For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: 3 ways to silence the voices of fear so that our courage can grow
- Inside the Ministry: Mark your calendar for the 2023 Marian Summit
- Next event is about to begin! Turn Your Crosses Into Resurrections
- This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: What it means to be a handmaid of the Lord, Like Mary
- This week’s video: Stations of the Cross by GNM Artists
This week’s Trivia Challenge: What is the shortest verse in the Bible? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday March 25, 2023
Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
Isaiah 7:10-14; 8:10
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
3 ways to silence the voices of fear so that our courage can grow
I think we all wish that God would describe his plans for us outlined in 10 easy steps with the end results clearly detailed. How do you feel about uncertainty? Is it paralyzing you? How do you feel about people’s disapproval? Do you have the courage to follow God’s inspiration no matter what, or are you waiting for him to reassure you that all will turn out well?
He rarely gives us that reassurance. He prefers that we trust him and rely on him instead. Mary found her courage in God when the angel gave her the shocking news that she would become the mother of the Son of the Most High God and that he’d be conceived by the Holy Spirit, not Joseph. Trust is not a feeling; trust is a decision to depend on God’s love and power and wisdom. To whatever extent we’re controlled by fear or by the disapproval of others, this is how much we’re not guided by our faith in God.
Here’s a simple but powerful way to silence the voices of fear so that courage can grow:
1. Identify what message your fears are telling you. What are you afraid will happen if you forge ahead and do what God seems to be asking of you?
2. Remember that fear’s message is based at least partially on falsehoods; ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of all the truths that contradict these lies.
3. Choose to act upon those truths — respond to the truth instead of the fear. Move forward emboldened and encouraged (“in courage”) by the awareness that you can safely trust in God’s desire and ability to help you do everything that he asks of you. This is the moment of your own Annunciation experience. This is your opportunity to give God your own fiat, your own “Yes! Let it be done to me as You say!”
God speaks to us in annunciations every day. If we learn from Mary’s example, she helps us to say “yes”, and she’s available as our nurturing mother and guide to help us live out that “yes.”
Inside the Ministry:
Mark your calendar for the 2023 Marian Summit
Sign up for the FREE online Marian Summit: Hope for Families. Yours truly is one of the featured speakers.
This event is geared for families in crisis. The dates are May 16, 17, and 18 at 6 p.m. eastern US time each day.
The summit will feature talks from more than 20 Catholic authors and speakers on topics related to Mary, Our Mother. As the summit is geared for families in crisis, it is sure to offer hope and healing to those who have faced traumas and adversities.
My talk is on finding hope by making Mary’s Magnificat your own personal, powerful prayer.
The event is provided by the St. Raymond Nonnatus Foundation, Patchwork Heart Ministry, and Fiat Ministry Network.
Register @ nonnatus.org/marian-summit.html.
Next event is about to begin!
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 feel his strong arms lightening your burdens. Sign up for Turn Your Crosses Into Resurrections. Through a daily series of short videos, you will feel Jesus ministering to you. You will learn to turn tragedies into triumphs, grief into joy, and the deaths of your hopes and dreams into resurrections — just in time for Easter Sunday!
It 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:
What it means to be a handmaid of the Lord, Like Mary
When Mary said “yes” to the special vocation of being the handmaid of the Lord, serving the kingdom of God as the mother of the Messiah, she gave us an example to follow. It can be very tough at times. Confusing sometimes. Unbelievable many times.
To get a deeper understanding of what her “yes” entailed — and what happens when we say “yes” to God — we need to look at the word “handmaid.” What did she mean by that? According to the dictionary, a “handmaid” is someone whose essential function is to assist. ASSIST! Not: Take charge of. Not: Become the Savior of. Not: Be such a good priest or lay minister or religious brother/sister that people admire you and give you the credit for a job well done.
Here are 10 ways that Mary modeled the assistant’s job. Visit wordbytes.org/evangelization-ministry/how-to-be-handmaid-of-the-lord.
WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.
This week’s video:
Stations of the Cross by GNM Artists
See and meditate on Christ’s love for you. The pictures in this video meditation are works of art created by GNM members around the world in 2011 when we opened our first office. Each one is a different style, representing the globalness and diversity of the Church while honoring Christ through the talents of God’s people.
The words of this Stations of the Cross (an original set of prayers) connects our own personal lives to the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
The video and the prayers can be found at gnm.org/stations-of-the-cross.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What is the shortest verse in the Bible? “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). This is after his good friend Lazarus had died. When he saw his dear friend Mary, the sister of Lazarus, weeping, he was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (verse 33). He joined her and the other grievers in their tears. Remember this when you feel alone in your troubles.
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.