Enlarge the space of your tent. (Isaiah 54:2)
To introduce the National Apostolic Project (NAP) to the VDMFa inviting them to own and personalize this project of God for the Verbum Dei Missionary Family Philippines for the next three (3) years
Objective of the week:
To enlarge our tent is to consolidate our existing identity.
It is of great thanksgiving for we are given the time this week to recall and evaluate ourselves as VD disciples. This is a great opportunity for us to examine ourselves if we value our discipleship, in the same way as how Jesus value each of His disciple. We need to look what we have. What is in our hands that is more valuable than gold? Our being a “Verbum Dei disciple”. Why do we need to see clearly what we have? In order for us to be able to consolidate our existing identity both personal and the whole family structure with its activities. To consolidate means to strengthen our discipleship in order that we will become more effective and secure. To strengthen our discipleship is a hope of growth (personal and communitarian). To strengthen our small prayer group by making them a part of the bigger family of God in the local, national, to Asia and to the world.
How blessed are we that we have a family to count on, “our VDMFa”. It is a family of God given to us in order that we will not be alone in finding how to grow in our following of Christ. How wonderful if we give our time to help consolidate our existing family structure and its activities as we strengthen our existing identity as a Verbum Dei disciple.
A HUMAN HEART: THE TENT WHERE GOD DWELLS.
Isaiah 54:2 2 Widen the space of your tent, extend the curtains of your home, do not hold back! Lengthen your ropes, make your tent-pegs firm,
Acts 7:44 44 'While they were in the desert our ancestors possessed the Tent of Testimony that had been constructed according to the instructions God gave Moses, telling him to work to the design he had been shown.
We are invited to recognize that the tent is the place of worship. A place where it is considered that God is present there. It is God himself who plans everything in us and builds it for He desires very much to dwell in us. How are we as the tent of God’s presence?
A HUMAN HEART: WHERE PEOPLE CAN WORSHIP GOD.
Acts 7:48-50 48 Even so the Most High does not live in a house that human hands have built: for as the prophet says: 49 With heaven my throne and earth my footstool, what house could you build me, says the Lord, what place for me to rest, 50 when all these things were made by me?
Joshua 22:29 29 Far be it from us to rebel against Yahweh or now to repudiate our allegiance to Yahweh by building an altar for burnt offerings or oblations or sacrifices, in rivalry with the altar of Yahweh our God that stands before his Dwelling!'
How wonderful to recognize that the tent is already built by God in us. He personally plans the design, the materials to be used, and where it will be placed. God personally point out our hearts as the location of where he wanted to dwell. The only thing that God asks from us is our collaboration and that is to strengthen the pegs of our hearts. Pegs or stakes are pointed wooden posts in order to be pushed into the ground to support. In this case the corners of our hearts has to be strengthened for God desires so much to dwell in there.
A HUMAN HEART: ROOTED IN SOLID GROUND - THE HEART OF JESUS.
Colossians 2:6-7 So then, as you received Jesus as Lord and Christ, now live your lives in him, 7 be rooted in him and built up on him, held firm by the faith you have been taught, and overflowing with thanksgiving.
Jesus is the only solid ground for our stakes to push into for a real support. We need to remain rooted in Christ as our stronghold. How is your prayer life as a Verbum Dei disciple? This is the only way in order to remain rooted in Christ.
A HUMAN HEART: HUMBLE TO SUBMIT TO THE FAMILY OF GOD.
2. “Verbum Dei” from its origin is of an ecclesial nature. Its ecclesiality is based on the intimate insertion in the life and mission of the universal Church. It starts from the fundamental equality of Baptism that makes us all children of God, as well as disciples and apostles of Christ.
The specific sense of ecclesiality in the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity is expressed by integrating the different states of life present in the Church in the same spirit and mission into a single institutional form composed of three Branches. Each Branch, in communion with the others, projects its apostolic dynamism, on behalf of the Fraternity, to all persons and peoples.
(Constitutions of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity #2)
We are so blessed to have this Verbum Dei missionary family because we are led into the universal church where we belong. It is in this family where we are taught about ecclesiality in the Catholic Church where everyone (all walks of life) has a place and cannot be replaced.
A HUMAN HEART: RECOGNIZING THE PRESENCE OF JESUS, HIS LOVE AND MERCY TO US.
Luke 24:13-32 13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking together about all that had happened. 15 And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognising him. 17 He said to them, 'What are all these things that you are discussing as you walk along?' They stopped, their faces downcast. 18 Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, 'You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.' 19 He asked, 'What things?' They answered, 'All about Jesus of Nazareth, who showed himself a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and the whole people; 20 and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. 21 Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have now gone by since it all happened; 22 and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, 23 and when they could not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. 24 Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.' 25 Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?' 27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself. 28 When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; 29 but they pressed him to stay with them saying, 'It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them. 30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?'
Jesus is so concerned for us. He is the first one who cares for our discipleship. How wonderful if we can open our hearts to Jesus. Each one of us has a place in His heart. He is even the first one who asks us: “Stay with Me”. This is the only secret in order to be rooted and can strengthen the stakes of our tent as VD disciples. Are you willing to stay with Jesus according to the means that VDMFa is providing us?
A HUMAN HEART: WILLING TO WALK WITH JESUS IN ORDER TO SERVE IN THE MISSION.
48. The exercise of the ministry of the Word, in its diverse forms, aspires to a process of drawing people to Christ, in the measure of the capacities and possibilities of each listener. It is a patient labour of teaching and learning to pray, through which the apostle, more than with theoretical explanations, takes the disciple by the hand towards the person of Christ. We have saved someone when we have taught him/her to pray. Christ will have a new disciple when
s/he, through prayer, “comes to know Him” personally, not by hearsay but by personal experience. The fullness of our missionary joy will consist in this.
What is in our hands is the mission that God entrusted to us with the help of the VD community. Jesus is now inviting us to share what we receive from Him (from our very first personal encounter with Jesus up to the present through his words and through the help of the VD community). It is through this mission that we can gain fullness of our existence in our community, to the Philippines, to Asia and to the whole world. How good to realize that the existence of the VD family structure is the expression of God’s compassion for us. Its missionary activities is an opportunity where we can experience what Jesus said: “and I will be with you till the end of age”.
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sirach 15:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119
2nd Reading: 1Corinthians 2:6-10
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37