Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time (July 21, 2018): We are an army victorious over evil.

Thứ Sáu, 20-07-2018 | 14:50:05

Today’s Readings:

Micah 2:1-5
Psalm 10:1-4,7-8,14
Matthew 12:14-21

USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

You behold misery and sorrow, taking them in your hands. On You the unfortunate one depends. You are the helper of the fatherless. (From Saturday’s responsorial psalm)

Reflection for Saturday: We are an army victorious over evil

By Graciela Ramos, Director of Online Ministry

Sometimes we are tempted to stay focused looking at only 80% of this Saturday’s psalm. From the beginning, we begin nodding at what the psalmist says. Yes, God sometimes seems far away; yes, the wicked oppress the poor; yes, the greedy curse the Lord and lurk to take advantage of the innocent. Yes, we see all this every day and we would like to be able to do something. Where are you Lord? Why do you stay away?

But silently and meekly and, almost effortlessly, though powerfully, the remaining 20% arises: “You are the orphan’s help.” In him is our victory. He sees everything, he takes everything in his hands, blesses it and multiplies it.

In Saturday’s Gospel reading, we see reiterated what Isaiah had said about Jesus hundreds of years before: “He will not shout or cry out”. He will do everything through the meekness of his obedience to the Father.

The poor, the down-trodden, the victimized can do nothing more than commit themselves to God. Faced with evil, we cannot do anything but cry and wait in silence for the time of salvation (Lamentations 3:26). And God the Father looks at us his children and, in his perfect timing, works.

At the time of the Psalmist, God the Father saw the pains and labors of the poor, took them into his hands and eventually sent his beloved Son into the world to save them.

Today, God the Father sees the sorrows and labors, pains and sufferings caused by the evil that confuses, victimizes and annihilates. He is taking them into his hands and continues to be the help of the orphans. But now his only begotten Son keeps coming to the worldthrough you and in me, and through every Christian who courageously stands up to defeat evil, waiting for the moment when the Lord sends us to the harvest.

No, the Lord does not forget us, his poor people. On the contrary, he formed an army of poor people to “bring justice to victory”.

Do you feel like you’re part of that victorious army? You are! You have been chosen and empowerd by God to fight evil and to bring justice to victory on earth! Watch this video or read this WordByte: “The Passion of Saint Paul in the World of Today” and reflect on how you were sent to the world to share the light of Christ.

349 champions of victory

Our mid-year fundraiser was amazing. 128 GNM members made a commitment to pray for the continuation of Good News Ministries, and 221 members answered their prayers by supporting this ministry with more than US$44,000 in total funding. (And a few more pledges are expected to be fulfilled soon.)

Helen Watuka in Zambia says, “Great thank you to all of you  who made it to $44,000. God richly bless you and your families. Another big thank you to all those who supported through prayers. God’s favor upon all the champions of Catholic Faith.”

Helen has been receiving from Good News Ministries for three months. “What I like best about Good News Ministries,” she says, “is that it has made me a proud Catholic because I never knew that we Catholics have such ministries online. I discovered GNM when I wanted to download the Bible.” She also values the “enriching and encouraging messages in the daily quotes by different Saints.” And she adds, “The daily readings with reflections make me eager to read more everyday and have given me an opportunity to turn to the Bible anytime. I quote, ‘Oh God, you are my God, and I long for you. My whole being desires you; like a dry, worn, and waterless land, my soul is thirsty for you’ (Psalms 63:1).”

Father D. Lukio wrote: “Greetings from Zimbabwe. I have been receiving the Good News Reflections for over 10 years. The reflections … have assisted me in my own personal spiritual nourishment. They have also assisted me in listening to what our Lord is saying to me as a priest and what I need to share with the people of God. Thank you very much.  I will always have the Good News Ministries at heart and in prayers. Continue the Work of the Lord.”

Caedmon and Nicolette from New Zealand say, “Your daily reflections and other resources on GNM have supported our spiritual journeys in ways you may not even imagine — through mountains and valleys, times of joy and times of struggle, times of decision and uncertainties — but through it all God has always spoken to us through what we have read on GNM. Good News Ministries holds a very special place in our lives, and we pray God continue to touch the lives of many through you and your staff, and bless you all abundantly for all you do in His service.”

Ifeoma Abosi from Nigeria says to all who serve as partners in our mission: “Beloved, I wish to thank you immensely for the good work you and and team are doing in spreading the Gospel. I discovered your site while I was in Australia when I was surfing the web in search of what to feed my soul with, because I did not get much out of the homilies at mass over there. I would read it before attending Mass.” Then something happened that, as it turns out, made her even more grateful that she was receiving our online resources.

“I followed worldly ways in trying to resolve issues,” she explains. “But within me I was not having an inner peace. I was so traumatized that I started searching how to get this peace back again. I started reading whatever I could lay my hands on. Believe me, your reflections on the Gospel within that month resonated with was happening around me. I got hungrier for the Word and even searched past reflections. It was then that I got the peace I needed for my soul.”

She adds, “It has pained me all this time that I could not donate to your ministry — until recently when I just made donated a paltry sum. Your description about Maria in your story resonates with me as if it’s me you are describing.”

I’m sharing these testimonies as a thank-you to all who champion the cause of spreading the Catholic Faith through Good News Ministries. God the Father is smiling at you and angels are dancing with Jesus because of you! And Graciela adds:

“I really feel so happy, so honored and so blessed to be part of a ministry, of a community so committed to the Lord. How I would like to thank each of those who, in any way, committed to this fundraising. How silent their way of acting! Without vainglory, or drums, or cymbals, each one, with what little or much he/she can contribute, helps Christ to continue to reach out with his love, his healing and his peace, to thousands of people who need him.

Humanly, it is impossible to thank everyone. Only God can. Therefore, my commitment is to have them all in my daily prayers, all those who in one way or another, explicitly or in ways that only God knows, have committed themselves to God so that this ministry can continue to carry Living Water to those who are thirstiest. God bless you all!”

© 2018 by Terry A. Modica

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