August 18, 2018 – Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 19:13-15
"Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Have you ever thought why the Kingdom of God is placed in the heart of the children? During the last day of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization, Cardinal Tagle interviewed a young boy whose family is a victim of Oplan Tokhang. Despite the loss, the child remained joyful. His eyes reflected so much hope and innocence.
We are all God’s children and in us is the seed of His own heart. However, the world has its way of putting us down and taking us away from the root of our identity, thus, being owned by commercialism and many superficialities. As we grow older, we want to know all the answers and never want to make mistakes. But today, the gospel invites us to once again cultivate in us the heart of a child so we can experience and realize the Kingdom of God within us– a heart that is joyful amidst suffering; hopeful despite uncertainties; simple, humble, and trusting in the middle of an “I-should-always-be-on-top” world.
What attitude of a child are you invited to live out again? Today, hear God say, “You are my child. And my kingdom belongs to you.”
Mother Mary, help us to sustain our childlike heart with your yes.
August 17, 2018 – Friday
Gospel: Matthew 19:3-12
"Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."
God’s words in today’s Gospel speak to us how a hardened heart may lead to separation. This applies not only in married life, but in friendship, family, and even our relationship with Christ.
Today, we can ask ourselves: what hardens my heart? Is it pride? Disappointment? Bitterness? A shameful experience? No one is exempted from this. But just as the diamond is formed by pressure and intense heat, our hearts too can be strengthened and be made more beautiful through the setbacks and strong experiences we encounter in life.
Mother Mary, we place into your gentle hands the experiences that hardens our hearts. Help us to be open to allow the love of God penetrate in us and touch the part of our hearts that need healing.
August 16, 2018 – Thursday
Gospel: Matthew 18:21 – 19:1
"The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go."
Each time we utter in prayer the words, "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sins against us," do we really know what it means to forgive as Jesus did? In one way or another, we have set our own standards of forgiving people depending on how we are offended. But today's parable presents to us the way of God.
When God forgives, He forgives fully. God's standard of mercy is not about what we do, but who we are for Him. He looks at each one of us as His beloved that is why when He forgives, He does not give it partially. He gives it to us wholly and unconditionally. Remember how our sins have been paid with the life of Jesus? And only when we truly assimilate the truth of having been forgiven fully countless times that we can start recognizing that we can do the same for others.
When God forgives, He forgives intentionally. He willingly renews us each day with His mercy no matter how stubborn we see ourselves in front Him. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by pain and it becomes difficult for us to let go of bitterness and resentment. In those moments, we can draw strength from God to see people and situations through His eyes.
Mother Mary, help us to mature more in our faith and love for Christ that we may live a life of mercy to others.
News Updates - Verbum Dei Philippines
Read the latest news and updates from our Verbum Dei family here in the Philippines.
Message: News Updates - Verbum Dei Philippines (08/16/2018) -
August 16, 2018 at 04:02PM
August 15, 2018 – Wednesday
Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
A song of love
Pondering on Mother Mary’s Magnificat reminded me a part of the song that goes, “I write the song that makes the whole world sing. I write the song of love and special things.” Indeed, every word in her Magnificat expresses beautifully a story of love and special things that God has done in her and the life of others.
This is one of the wisdom of Mary; she knows who she is in front of God. Never once she boasted on being the mother of Jesus; instead, she magnifies the greatness of God in everything she does. She allows Him work in her life. She trusts, obeys, and surrenders to His will. And when we look at her life, we see not only a faithful servant, but more so, a faithful and loving God.
What about you? What song of your life are you writing? Does it magnify God’s greatness in your life? As we celebrate the Feast of Assumption of Mother Mary, let us ask her intercession that we may have a heart like hers – simple, humble, obedient, and in love with the will of God.
August 14, 2018 – Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12, 14
"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?"
Ever wonder what was in the mind of Jesus when He abandoned his usual routine with His flock to search for the one astray? To risk for one and leave the majority may seem a waste of time and energy, but Jesus’ logic is different! When He decided to look for one lost sheep, in His mind was not a number, but a life – a precious life that He does not want to take away from Him.
Jesus continues to love us that way today. He hopes for our lives that when we get lost, He won’t look down on us, instead He will look after us. And this is what He invites us also to do with others. Hanging around the faithful ones are good, but more than that, we are called to be like a child – vulnerable and humble enough to reach out for the people we see have gone astray. One heart at a time and surely, it will bring so much joy in Him as how joyful He was when He found the lost sheep!
What is your attitude towards your lost brothers and sisters? Mother Mary, may we be open like you to allow Jesus to mold in us the heart of a Good Shepherd.
August 13, 2018 – Monday
Gospel: Matthew 17:22-27
“..But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you."
Many times, we see Jesus confronted with conflicts with the leaders of Israel for standing firmly on what is right. But in today’s gospel, instead of throwing arguments to the tax collectors, Jesus opted to pay the tax to avoid unnecessary offense.
This is what Jesus invites us to practice when faced with unpleasant realities in life– do not offend intentionally and unnecessarily. There are things worth fighting for, but certainly not everything. Today, we are called to choose our battles wisely, but this does not mean opting to engage in a battle where the win is guaranteed. It means discerning which ones are worth fighting for and praying how to deal with it. When we do not know how to pick up our battles, we may end up promoting hatred. Everyone may not be pleased with us and strong situations may piss us off, but Jesus invites us to choose to be kind every day.
Mother Mary, help us to be a bridge of peace – responding to our daily battle with kindness, humility, and love.
Verbum Dei Audio School of the Word
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time August 12, 2018 John 6:41-51 Preacher: Jay-anne Desabelle Song: "You Complete Me" by Maeve Heaney
Message: Listen to today’s Audio School of the Word. https://ift.tt/2MHgYjJ
August 12, 2018 at 05:07PM
August 12, 2018 Sunday
Gospel: Jn 6: 41-51
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me, will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Extra rice is life! Coffee is life! Ramen is life! Food is life! And many more… Insert all our favorite food and meals. Indeed, food gives us life!
In our gospel, Jesus spoke to the Jews as the one giving life to them. He is the bread of life that will ease the hunger and quench the thirst of all.
Like to the Jews, Jesus provides us our food. He is our food when we feel hopeless and lifeless. When life takes away the nutrients and energy from ourselves, Jesus presents himself to us as our source of life.
Mama Mary, pray for us as we receive the gift of the Eucharist today, receive Jesus as our living bread, the one who nourishes our heart and soul. Amen.
August 11, 2018 Saturday
Gospel: Mt 17: 14-20
“Move from here to there, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Faith is restored in humanity. We often hear this famous line everytime we know of good stories about heroic acts. What was the common denominator about them? They let their faith speak about themselves by acting and doing about something that touches the human soul.
Today’s gospel strongly suggests to us an image of action: MOVE! The man who had a lunatic suffering son came to Jesus asking for help despite attempts of healing from the disciples. The disciples asked Jesus the reason why they cannot drive out the demon and Jesus said, “Because of your little faith. Move from here to there and it will move!”
Jesus invites us to act on our faith in order to heal and restore the humanity in the world. Mama Mary, help us to pray over the acts of service that we can extend to the people who surrounds us no matter how impossible it is. Amen.
Reflections of Faith
Read and be inspired by a reflection based on today's Gospel made by members of the Verbum Dei Family in Manila.