Why your disciples don’t fast?
August 7 – 13, 2017
To deepen how to form Disciples/ Apostles of Christ and give elements to the formation of Apostles.
To contemplate Jesus as a different master/formator
We are again invited this week “to fix our eyes in Jesus” (Heb. 12:2) as a master/formator and to see the great difference he has shown compared to the usual master/formator that exists on this earth.
During the time of Jesus 2000 years ago, many people were amazed by his being a different master/formator even to the point that there were also many people who misunderstood him, including the teachers of the law.
In Mt. 9:14-15 is written: “Then the followers of John the Baptist came to Jesus asking why is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciple don’t fast at all?”
Jesus answered, “Do you expect the guests at a wedding party to be sad as long as the bridegroom is with them? Of course not! But the day will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them and they will fast.”
How wonderful if we can recognize that this week is a great opportunity for us to open fully our hearts, minds, and soul in order to follow what Jesus wants for us: to imitate his apostles. We need to take advantage of our prayer time this week where Jesus will be teaching us how to become a master/formator like him.
How beautiful if we can listen intently to Jesus and be able to learn from his ways and observe his actions as the master/formator of our discipleship in the Verbum Dei community, hoping that we can appreciate our discipleship because it is Jesus himself who choses each one of us. It is also very important to know that Jesus needs us to be a happy and joyful apostle following him. He desires from us that we may recognize his presence in us till the end of time. That is why he wanted us to be like him, to become a master/formator for others because that is the only way the we can fully experience his presence in our life.
“And called to himself the men he wanted”
He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him.And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles,to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons.So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. Jn. 15:16
Jesus wanted us to see his heart as a master/formator where he personally chose his apostles. He doesn’t wait that we are the one to choose our teacher. Jesus himself chose us because he wanted us to know that each one is very important to him. How beautiful if we can recognize the desire of Jesus for each one of us being his apostles. Do you value your apostleship? Why? What particular value do you see in Jesus why he chose you as his apostle?
“At once they left their nets and went with Jesus”
And immediately they left their nets and followed him. Mk. 1:18
Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Lk. 9:62
Are you determined “to fasten your belts” in your apostleship? This is what Jesus is wanting us to do, because following him needs commitment and consecration. It is a no turning back decision. How good if we can build strength and firmness in our decision making. This is what Jesus needs from us in order that we can fully learn from him on how to become a master/formator for others. Let us ask God to continuously bless us with strength and determination in our apostleship.
“You are my friends”
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. Jn. 15:11-17
After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.Jn. 13:12-17
Jesus is very clear that he trusts our lives. That is why he made us his friends, not servants. How wonderful if today we can learn how to practice generosity, being trustful and loving to others as the way Jesus did to us, hoping that we can learn and practice sincerity of heart to work in the mission and to serve the Word of God to others with love and compassion.
“Go to my brothers and tell them”
Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Jn. 20:17
… After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Lk. 2:41-46
Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources. Lk. 8:1-3
Today, Jesus wants us to contemplate his ways of teaching. He showed to us that a master does not discriminate. He emphasizes that everyone in all walks of life can follow him as long as we are open to his teachings and have the desire in our hearts to become a master like Jesus, our teacher and master. We can only learn from Jesus if we constantly do our daily prayers centered on the Word of God.
“You do what I have done for you”
For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Jn. 13:15
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. Jn. 14:3
Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Jn. 14:12
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. Jn. 15:11
Jesus is very determined that we can be like him as our master/formator. He trusts that we can really do so. Jesus is wanting us today to live out what we learn from him. He wanted us to have hands-on experience from what we learn from him. Why? Because Jesus wants us to be truly happy in our apostleship and in our lives. Never can we attain complete joy if we don’t share the fruits we receive from the teachings of Jesus.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Mt. 28:18-20
Jesus transforms us, “his disciples” into masters capable to form other masters. Do we believe of what we are now as apostles of Jesus? Jesus believes in us for he taught us how to teach others. In that way, if we are transformed by the teachings of Jesus, we can transform others too. Let us just continue to fix our eyes on Jesus and not to be afraid to go to the mission. Let us be trustful of the faithfulness of Jesus in our life and to remain in him as he remains in us.
(19TH Wk) SUNDAY
1st Reading 1Kings 19:9, 11-13
2nd Reading Rom 9:1-5
Gospel, Matthew 14:22-33