All this I do for the Gospel's sake!
(1 Cor 9:29)
January 29- February 4, 2018
- To welcome the beginning of the year by entering deeply in the love and devotion of Jaime towards the Sources of Spirituality of Verbum Dei as sources of our faith and of the whole Church.
- To make this new year truly a School of Apostles where we strengthen our love and commitment to Jesus by praying and living out the Sources of Spirituality of Verbum Dei.
Objective of the week:
- to allow the Sources of Spirituality be our guide that orient us, accompany us, animate us and project our life for this year.
We continue to meditate on the sources of our spirituality that can help us to enter into the same feelings of the Church in seeking towards what can be really be good for all her children. Guided by the Word of God and by the orientation of the Magisterium of the Church, for the good of all Her children, our spirituality and life of piety will be obviously like the life of Jesus, oriented towards the love and glory of the Father, under the light and guidance of the Holy Spirit, with the constant help of Mary, centered on the Eucharist, the Church and the Mystical Body of Christ. (VD Statutes 209)
We are reminded once again to rekindle our faith through our daily exercise of prayer which we inherit from our founder, Fr. Jaime Bonet. We must be thankful to him for making Mama Mary his model in his following until the end. With him, we are able to encounter Christ in our lives. This is his simple legacy for all of us from God which we should cherish. Let us consider that prayer is a normal food for our soul and we can’t continue with the mission if we fail to listen, assimilate, and live out. We are not able to give what we don’t have. As life-giving member of the Mystical Body of Christ, let us work together to feed our brothers and sisters the real food, to heal their brokenness, and to lead them home to our Heavenly Father. This entails to focus our life on the person, life and Gospel of Christ, to necessarily take His fundamental attitude, His zealousness in doing the will of the Father. Our prayer and dialogue with Christ then will never be a tranquilizer nor will give us a static attitude but rather provoke in us a dynamic, urgent and maybe conflictive response. (VD Statutes 207)
The Sources can rekindle my faith
Mark 4: 35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, he said to them, “Let us cross to the other side.”Leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up.Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm.Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
Listening to God’s word and believing in him is not enough to be a Christian. The identity of a real Christian is to follow the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ and we cannot fully follow him without doing the following: The daily prayer – in pondering and assimilating the Word of God; the eucharist – in receiving the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ through the sacrament; the mission in cultivating our faith to all the people around us; and the cross – in facing the storms of life with faith and trust in God. These are the means to keep our faith burning because challenges are inevitable and in the challenges we sharpen our faith in God,making us to be still.
The Sources can bring forth life
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment,and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery. ’But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. “Again, you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.“You have heard that it was said,‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on [your] right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
What the Gospel is inviting us to live is not that easy. Much more when we are deeply troubled by many concerns. Our minds are very much pre-occupied with business, work, status, bills, debts, health, possessions, etc. We easily forget about God and others. Drinking from the sources of our spirituality will orient us again and again to what we are to live. This can open our eyes to recognize each one as our brothers and sisters. It can make us to become sharers of God’s life and love as we allow ourselves to be led by our God and allow Him to work through us.
What is His personal invitation for you today as you reflect on this passage?
Memorial of St. John Bosco
The Sources are Strength for our journey
He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Jesus calls us to follow Him in the spirit of poverty and simplicity. Simplicity is very essential in following him. It refrains us from craving for something that is beyond our need. It is the state of contentment and satisfaction from the meager stuff we have. When we live in simplicity, the more we cling to God and trust in his divine providence. Sometimes material possessions hinder us from following Him because we tend to look back and start to worry about them. Our heart becomes heavy and our attention is divided. As He sends us, all that we need to carry in the mission is Christ and He alone is what we are to give. Christ is our message.
Is your following rooted in the examples of Christ?
What are you bringing in your mission?
The Sources lead us to give ourselves
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late.Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?”He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out they said, “Five loaves and two fish.”
The sources of our spirituality are essential because it provide food for our journey that gives us strength to give ourselves and to fight against any temptation. The Eucharist is the real food, broken and shared to everyone to nourish one’s soul. Praying makes us to listen to Jesus in his members. The amount of food we share to others is measured through the amount of prayer we spend each day. He calls us to stop to pray and find our rest in Him again and again, to be renewed by Him in our self-giving.
How often do you listen to Jesus? How open are you to Him in your prayer? Do you consider your prayer as an encounter with Jesus?
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
World day for Consecrated Life
The Sources lead us to consecrate our lives
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord,just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,”and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,and the holy Spirit was upon him.It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word,for my eyes have seen your salvation,which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,a light for revelation to the Gentiles,and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Life is a precious gift from God. It must be lived to the fullest by doing what is pleasing before Him. Let us not waste our time by pursuing our own will and desire as though we are in charge of ourselves. Let us remember that all what we have come from Him. Therefore, let us rely only on Him so that the effects of our work would be better and presentable to Him.
How do you invest your life? What is your projection of life this year?
Memorial of St. Blaise and St. Ansgar
The Sources lead us to become the salt and light for the world
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
Jesus calls us:You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the world.”Let us savour these words, experience the trust and try to live who we are meant to be. Jesus is reminding us once again to function as the light of the world to reach the far corners of the world. As we preach, we will shine so brightly. It heals the dark spot of our soul for preaching is not only about proclaiming, but also about healing to both the preacher and the listener. It is similar to salt. It gives taste to food and the food nourishes our body. We function as the salt of the world to restore beauty and inspiration to all those who are experiencing bitterness and pain. With our mission, many would be able to find the right path to salvation.
In what way do you sustain your life?
How can I be this salt and light to others today? What are the challenges I see in living as such?
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading – Job 7:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Psalm – 147
2nd Reading – 1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23
Gospel – Mark 1:29-39