February 18, 2023

Insider's View newsletter

For you this week:

  • Reflection for Saturday: When we think it’s hopeless, here’s why it’s not
  • Inside the Ministry: Before it’s too late, sign up for our Lenten Journey with Jesus
  • This week’s WordBytes faith-builder: How the witness of hope can change the world
  • This week’s video faith-builder: The Power of Hope

This week’s Trivia Challenge: When the prophet Samuel picked David as king instead of his brothers, God revealed something important about himself: While people look at the outward appearance, what does God look at? (Check your answer at the end of this newsletter.)

Saturday February 18, 2023

ScripturesHebrews 11:1-7
Ps 145:2-5,10-11
Mark 9:2-13

Saints Calendar (new and improved coming soon!)

“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (from Saturday’s first reading).

Reflection for Saturday:
When we think it’s hopeless, here’s why it’s not

snake trapA sign at the entrance to Hell: “ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE” (from Dante’s Inferno).

When we lose hope, we’re believing a lie. We’re trying to be our own god, believing that we know what is best, or we’re letting someone else or even a demon tell us the lie.

There’s a direct connection between holiness and hope. It’s actually a sin to dwell in hopelessness. Of course, there are good reasons to feel discouraged about troublesome, on-going situations, even to the point of giving up our hope. But this is exactly where the devil wants to keep us.

Abba-Father wants to hold us in his arms of reassurance. When we choose holiness over hopelessness, we accept that no matter how long-suffering a problem is, God is with us, God cares about us, he cherishes our prayers, and he will make good come from every hardship if we trust him all the way to the end. We accept this truth regardless of evidence to the contrary.

The biggest enemy of hope is fear. Fear says that God will disappoint us. When you’re not thinking but you’re simply reacting to a problem, what do your actions and attitudes reveal about your understanding of God’s love? Are they triggered by the lies of fear? Or do the promises of God shine through you?

The traps of fear are rampant, but the love of the Father is always abundant. In my book 30 Days to the Father’s Heart (30daystothefathersheart.com), I name six traps. Here are the first two: 

Fear’s trap #1: If you react by taking matters into your own hands, you’re believing lies about God.

Defeat the fear: One good way to overcome this is to find scriptures that show God handling a bigger problem. Since he did that for those people in the Bible, he will certainly help you; after all, he gave his Son Jesus to you knowing full well that Jesus would have to suffer and die for you.

Fear’s trap #2: If you entrust the problem to God and then take it back by worrying about it, fear is telling you that God can’t or won’t do enough good with it.

Defeat the fear: The best way to deal with this is to see yourself as God’s partner in dealing with the problem. What can you do to help solve the problem? Pray about it. Convert the energy of worry into an action plan. Then sit with it for a while before acting upon it, waiting to find out if the Holy Spirit anoints the plan with divine energy. You’ll know when that happens, because divine energy brings with it joy and hope and opportunities to implement the plan.

Inside the Ministry:
Before it’s too late, sign up for our Lenten Journey with Jesus

Journey with Jesus on the Trail of Roses

What are you doing for Lent this year? Take a journey with Jesus on THE TRAIL OF ROSES! February 22 through April 8 we’ll post ideas for connecting with Jesus each day except Sundays (did you know that Sundays in Lent are still celebrations of the Resurrection of Jesus?).

The gift Jesus gave you when he suffered and died on Good Friday was his very Self, his entire Self. This Lent, give him a gift of yourself — a different “rose” on each of the 40 days of Lent. Good News Ministries will send you a short daily meditation that contains a suggested gift that you can give to him, and a message from Jesus about it, and a prayer. Each one is a super easy but super incredible experience with Jesus.

Sign up today for this very special Lenten exercise that’s quick and easy, yet heart-changing!

Receive by email @ elists.gogoodnews.net/dada/mail.cgi/list/lent.

Receive by text message on the Telegram app @ t.me/joinchat/U9SBjMex74UZm-Ud.

Or download the free PDF e-book version @ gnm.org/terry-modica-author/trail-of-roses.


This week’s recommended faith-builder:
How the witness of hope can change the world

Many people who are rejecting Christ today have enveloped themselves with false hopes. And of course this always disappoints. That’s why there’s been such an increase of anger. The cure, as you know so well, is Christ. But what can draw these people to Christ in today’s world?

The world needs Christians who can see and practice holiness as a way of life that is very desirable. We should be showing, with our lives, that holiness is a glowing grace (think of St. Stephen whose face literally glowed), not stigmata. Although you and I are very impressed with Saint Pio and other stigmatists, worldly people are not. While there is much value in uniting ourselves to the sufferings of Christ (and indeed it is part of the calling of every Christian, especially during Lent), this is not what draws others to Christ.

We Christians should be smiling as a result of our faith. And the pictures that hang in our homes and churches should include images of Jesus’ loving smile. I think that sometimes we confuse piety with stern frowning over sin. But who’s attracted to a faith that worships a scowling God?

Let me turn this into a challenge for the artists who are reading this. As your Lenten exercise, paint or sketch a picture of Jesus revealing hope. Then let me see it. Let’s share it to spread this hope to others.

For more on this topic and for one artist’s picture of Jesus smiling (which can be purchased for your wall or sent as cards to invite others to church), visit wordbytes.org/spiritual-growth/hope-can-change-world.

WordBytes is a library of Catholic faith-building articles by Good News Ministries. Come on in and explore! Visit WordBytes.org today.

Good News Media Library

This week’s recommended video:
The Power of Hope

What are you hoping for? Do you know the difference between wishful thinking and hope? Here’s how to build up your faith as you pray!

This 4-minute video reflection is from my old series “Quick Faith-Builders with Terry Modica”. In it I shared what I learned during trials that seemed hopeless. Filmed ten years ago, I wouldn’t change a word of it now. But it got me thinking: Maybe I should start making videos on my porch again. What do you think? Do you like the more informal style?

Watch the video @ gnm-media.org/the-power-of-hope. You can also download the transcript at this link.

Sign up for early access to new videos. New episodes are published before this newsletter goes out. Subscribe at the link above.

Trivia QuestionAnswer to this week’s Trivia Challenge:
 When the prophet Samuel picked David as king instead of his brothers, God revealed something important about himself: While people look at the outward appearance, what does God look at? Answer: The heart (see Samuel 16:7).

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.

Terry ModicaYour servant in Christ,
Terry Modica, Executive Director
Good News Ministries

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