For you this week:
- Reflection for Saturday: Is There Danger in Unintentional Idolatry?
- Inside the Ministry: Important Reminder
- Share your Good News: Give thanks!
This week’s Trivia Challenge: What idol, crafted by Moses’ brother Aaron, did the Israelites worship while Moses was away on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)
Saturday November 19, 2022
Psalm 144:1-2, 9-10
Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything. (From Saturday’s Gospel reading)
Reflection for Saturday:
Is There Danger in Unintentional Idolatry?
The scribes and Sadducees thought they had given Jesus a trick question in this Saturday’s Gospel reading. He handled it with grace, though. Of course. Don’t we all wish we could do that as easily?
An often over-looked but funny part of this scripture is near the end: “Teacher, you have answered well.” I mean, really guys? Who’s the teacher? The scribes gave their approval as if Jesus were the student. Clearly, they didn’t recognize Jesus’ superior wisdom, and certainly not his divinity.
We see the same thing happening all around us today. It’s called the “idolatry of self”.
The idolatry of self reveals itself most often in moral relativism. People fail to recognize Jesus’ superior wisdom when deciding for themselves what’s right and what’s wrong, what’s a sin and what’s not a sin (if they even think of the word “sin” at all). What God says is evil is now considered good, and what God says is good is now considered evil and anyone who takes God’s side publicly is believed to be evil (we see this happening in the controversies about abortion, homosexual marriage, and transgenderism).
But it’s not just the non-Christians who are caught up in the idolatry of self. We all need to examine our consciences about it. If we pray for God’s help and then tell him how he should help, getting angry or disappointed if he doesn’t do it our way, we’ve succumbed to the idolatry of self. This happens because we don’t truly and completely believe that God loves us and wants what is best for us.
If we disregard scripture-based Church teachings because they are inconvenient, we’ve succumbed to the idolatry of self. This happens because we don’t truly understand that the bottom line and goal of all Church teachings (from the official Church Magisterium) is always love.
In everything, we need to trust God’s love and recognize Jesus’ superior wisdom.
Someone once asked me: “I had my first marriage annulled, but my new wife never had her first marriage annulled. Therefore, we could not get married in the Church, but I was disappointed when I asked my pastor to bless the rings we were going to use for our wedding and he told me that he couldn’t bless them. Can you please explain to me why he was not able to do that?”
This is a good question! The man asking about it was humbly seeking greater understanding. He was standing on the bridge between the idolatry of self and the holiness of doing things God’s way even though it felt inconvenient.
Over the years, I’ve seen many similar situations in which loving couples lacked understanding of the path to holiness and the happier, deeper marriage that Jesus offers. Therefore, I’d like to share with you the answer I gave to this man’s question. Please click through to the WordByte “The Danger of Unintentional Idolatry in Marriage” @ wordbytes.org/marriage-and-family/the-danger-of-unintentional-idolatry-in-marriage.
Inside the Ministry: Important Reminder
Have you done it yet?
For years we’ve happily used Stewardship Technology, but recently they sold their company to Suran. We were forced onto a completely different — and unwelcome — program. It’s clunky and very difficult, especially for the GNM team’s admin work.
Now we’re closing our account at Suran. We’ve switched to “Continue to Give,” made for churches and ministries. It includes the Giving App for your phone, Text-to-Give, and a Giving Form on our website.
IMPORTANT: We are closing GNM’s account on Suran at the end of January 2023. If you have ever made online donations through the EGS site (Stewardship Tech), you need to take the following steps. I apologize for the inconvenience.
1. Log into the old platform @ engage.suran.com/goodnewmin/s/login. If you do not remember your login, you can have it emailed to you. (If you don’t remember setting up an account, it was made automatically at the time of your donation.)
2. If you have a recurring donation, use the menu to find and select “Scheduled Gifts” and cancel it.
3. Use the menu to select “Payment Methods” and delete your credit card or bank connection.
4. Go to gnm.org/donate and choose the giving app, text-to-give, or online form, and get started with a new donation today. We need the support! There have been very few donations in the past two months.
Remember, when you donate to Good News Ministries (and when you pray for us), you partner with us in sharing the Light of Christ. We can only continue this ministry with sufficient financial support.
Share your Good News: Give thanks!
In the US, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday November 24 this year (2022). But no matter where we live, we have much to thank God for and, in these stressful times, praising God has become more important than ever. Praising God and rejoicing in his goodness puts an attractive joy in our hearts that lifts us up while also drawing others to faith. And so, will you share your Good News? What’s your story?
Let’s have a Thankful Joy Campaign! Tell your story in the comments @ gnm.org/thankful-joy-campaign. Why are you grateful to Jesus for introducing you to Good News Ministries? Your story may be shared as an inspiration to potential supporters.
Answer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
What idol, crafted by Moses’ brother Aaron, did the Israelites worship while Moses away on the mountain getting the Ten Commandments? Answer: a golden calf (Exodus 32). Scholars have theorized that it represented the people’s longing to return to a life of slavery in Egypt when Moses’ leadership was absent.
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.
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.