For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Abba-Father is full of compassion for you
- Inside the Ministry: Sign up now for healing in The Father’s Heart
- Next Event: Turn Your Crosses Into Resurrections
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: Why go to a priest for confession?
- Footsteps to Heaven podcast: 100th Episode Blast!
This week’s Trivia Challenge: According to Pope Saint John Paul II, what is one of the most effective instruments of personal growth? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday March 11, 2023
Micah 7:14-15, 18-20
Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Abba-Father is full of compassion for you
Compassion is not something that we have to wait for. Compassion is not something we need to be good enough for. Jesus gave us a parable that describes what the Father’s compassion looks like. The story of the Prodigal Son in this Saturday’s Gospel reading (Luke 15:11-32) illustrates that compassion fills the Father’s heart even while we are still far off-track in the Christian life.
Abba-Father cherishes us no matter what we’ve done. He waits, full of fatherly yearning, for us to turn away from our sins and turn toward him. That’s all we need to do; just turn around. And the moment we do that, he runs to us! He wastes no time but immediately embraces us, welcomes us, and kisses us with his super-abundant love.
The prodigal son had not yet asked his dad for forgiveness when he felt forgiveness wrap around him like a warm blanket. His confession came afterward. This is how the Father treats us. When we sin, he waits for our repentance with eager anticipation. He feels the pain of our absence. His fatherly heart yearns for the moment when we’ll realize that we’re better off with him than in the pigsty of our sins.
Just like Father God is focused on our turn-around and celebrates our repentance, so should we. Instead of unceasingly wallowing in regret, we can learn from our mistakes, and we can grow stronger in our commitment to live as the saints that God gifted us to be when we were baptized.
When my imagination illustrates the story of the Prodigal Son, I see the son limping toward home. He’s walked a long distance on an empty stomach. He’s weak and barely able to trudge through the last few miles of the journey home. His father runs to him and cries tears of joy and relief while hugging his son. Then he provides his own strength to support his son for the rest of the journey home.
Abba-Father is bracing you up, too, in your weaknesses — even before you conquer that persistent sin that makes you feel so unworthy. In his tremendous compassion he is giving you powerful support.
The problem is, such compassion is unimaginable for those of us who were abused or neglected or rejected by parents. If we grew up in a home where we did not feel our parents’ compassion during punishments, we subconsciously project their character flaw onto God’s Fatherhood. Then, when our prayers go unanswered, we automatically assume that God is lacking compassion.
To heal from this, in my book, “30 Days to the Father’s Heart“, I lead you through spiritual exercises. In today’s exercise, I guide you through the process of learning to identify the Father’s compassion for you in your daily life. Order the book now; visit charispublishing.com/products/30-days-to-the-fathers-heart-terry-modica.
Inside the Ministry:
Sign up now for healing in The Father’s Heart
Sign up now. I’ll provide prayer and spiritual direction in the Good News Ministries Zoom Room. You’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions, be heard, and learn from the successes of others, all within the privacy of confidentiality. The session topics will come from my book “30 Days to the Father’s Heart” — but if you don’t have it, that’s okay. You’ll be blessed whether you read my book or not.
The group will begin meeting on Wednesday April 19. (Time will be decided based on your preferences.) Order your copy of the book now; allow 4 weeks for printing and shipping. Visit charispublishing.com/products/30-days-to-the-fathers-heart-terry-modica.
Tell me: What time of day works for you? Vote for your preferences @ calendly.com/d/zy9-9zz-thc/terry-s-corner.
To register, visit us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIkf-ytrTgrH9bh45RVR8nhp_zIR3zhKTOt.
I hope to see you there!
Turn Your Crosses Into Resurrections
What crosses are you carrying? Where is this hardship taking you spiritually? Maybe it feels like you’re alone. Maybe Jesus doesn’t seem to be carrying any of your burdens. Maybe you think that the reason you suffer is because he doesn’t care about you.
You are invited to meet Jesus and his strong, compassionate arms lightening your burdens. Take our video workshop entitled, Turn Your Crosses Into Resurrections. Through a daily series of short daily videos, you will not only feel Jesus ministering to you. You will learn how to turn tragedies into triumphs, grief into joy, and the deaths of your hopes and dreams into resurrections — just in time for Easter Sunday!
The daily email program begins March 28th and ends on Good Friday.
Sign up free @ elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/workshops.
This week’s recommended faith-builder:
Why go to a priest for confession?
Since God hears and answers our prayers, we can confess our sins directly to God; why go to a Catholic priest? What is so special about the Sacrament of Confession?
Well, remember that everything we do creates ripples in the stream of life that reach much farther than we can see. Even our small deeds of kindness make a wide-spread difference. So too our sins. But it’s impossible for us to go directly to each and every person who deserves our remorseful apology. So, in God’s great mercy, he provides a way to accomplish it: In the Sacrament of Confession, the priest stands in for all those who have been affected by our sins.
Most people overlook the ripple effect because, in our individualistic world, we’ve lost sight of our interconnectedness.
For more on this and to download the teaching as a printable PDF, visit wordbytes.org/faqs/why-priest-confession.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
100th Episode Blast! (new podcast)
We’ve reached a milestone! 100 episodes of Footsteps to Heaven! To celebrate, we’ve compiled snippets from the top 10 episodes of all time. This 100th episode contains the best of the best according to how often they’ve been viewed and shared.
1. Prayers for Your Lost Loved Ones
2. How I met the Holy Spirit
3. How to overcome the pain of frustration
4. Wielding the Sword of the Spirit (2 months)
5. Revelation 3:16 – An important message from Jesus for today
6. The Healing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
7. Be Not Afraid
8. 3 Keys in Turbulent Times to Grow Closer to Christ
9. Three Healing Messages From God Today
10. Helpers from Heaven
Listen to this very special episode @ gnm.org/footsteps100.
Or watch the video @ gnm-media.org/100th-episode-blast.
Sign up for early access to podcasts. New episodes of the podcast show Footsteps to Heaven are published before this newsletter goes out. You can be notified as soon as new ones are published! Subscribe at gnm-media.org for the podcast videos or at footstepstoheaven.com for the audio-only version.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
According to Pope Saint John Paul II, what is one of the most effective instruments of personal growth? The Sacrament of Reconciliation. He said (in 2002): “Here the Good Shepherd, through the presence and voice of the priest, approaches each man and woman, entering into a personal dialogue which involves listening, counsel, comfort and forgiveness… All who receive sacramental absolution ought to be able to feel the warmth of this personal attention. They should experience the intensity of the fatherly embrace offered to the prodigal son: ‘His father… embraced him and kissed him’ (Luke 15:20). [Through the voice of the priest] they should be able to hear that warm and friendly voice that spoke to the tax collector Zacchaeus, calling him by name to new life (cf. Luke 19:5).”
God bless you!
Every morning, I lift up in prayer everyone who helps Good News Ministries in any way (donors, volunteers, prayer supporters, etc.) and all the prayer requests posted on our site. What can I cover in prayer for you? Post your prayer request.
How else can the team and I serve you today? Visit our homepage.
Let’s connect in GNM’s own SmartCatholics community, called Good News Faith Builders. I’m available to interact with you there.
Thank you for reading this newsletter.
Your servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries
Find this and past issues at gnm.org/newsletter. Please share what will minister to others.