Called to Accompany Others
September 11-17, 2017
“… Until Christ is formed in you!”
To deepen on how to accompany others until they make an option to follow Jesus.
Objective of the week:
That as an apostle I may learn what is to accompany so that I no longer live for myself but for him, and with him, for others.
The invitation of Jesus to everyone is urgent, considering that we have many brothers and sisters who have been looking for Christ. Many of them could not identify what they want for in their lives. Many of them are confused and feel unjust over their poor situations as they look at the abundance of others. Some of them easily feel discouraged and desperate. Some of them believe and feel that they are being loved by God because they are blessed with material possessions. What about when they lose their property, will they still have the same belief? What about those who are not fortunate in their lives, do they find meaning in life with Christ? What about the youth of today, who do they consider as god in their lives? Do they know more about Jesus?
We as Verbum Dei must realize the urgency of Jesus’ mission. We must be sensitive to this issue for this is God’s manifestation of calling us to work in His field. We are God’s beloved children and friends. Our best manifestation for this identity lies in continuing the salvific mission of Jesus to proclaim God’s love to everyone through our self-giving.
Accompanying others is a great opportunity in responding to God’s invitation. We are blessed to work with Jesus for others. Let us consider that these people are instruments to exercise our faith, for without them our identity as His beloved children is insignificant. But when we show God’s love to them, the Triune God is present and is working in us the same way with the people who have gone ahead of us like Moses, as he led the Israelites to Canaan.
Am I willing to collaborate with Jesus for others’ sake?
“For you are all one in Christ Jesus”
For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28)
From the beginning, God has loved us so much, and He planned to bring us all to salvation. He has called us to remain faithful to Him even when the world tends to snatch our attention from Him. To keep us in our journey of faith, let us connect to Christ with sincerity in obedience to follow His will by extending His love to those around us, without choosing and make His love known through us. To accompany others is to see no distinctions among the people God has placed in our care. Am I faithful to my commitment with Christ? Am I obedient to follow His will?
“Encourage one another”
Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Cor. 13:11)
Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing. (1 Thes. 5:11)
The apostles admonished us to strive to become perfect in following Christ which means that we should not settle for less in walking with Him, but we must give our best for Him because God’s call is urgent. We have many brothers and sisters whose hearts are longing for Christ; they are waiting to be accompanied where and how to find Jesus to make their lives to be truly meaningful to live. As Christ’s disciples, let us encourage one another to continue with our journey with Christ and share how we concretize our faith in the way we live and in the way we accompany them especially in their challenging moments . Sharing of faith is one of the tools to make our Christian faith stronger, for it gives spiritual insights on how to become perfect followers of Christ. In what way do you make perfect your following of Christ? Have you been giving encouragement to others to follow Christ all the way?
“Faith works through love”
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.(Gal. 5:6)
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37)
To accompany others is to have a heart that sees where love is needed and responds to it. Christian charity is first of all the simple response to immediate needs and specific situations. […] Love of neighbor will no longer be for them a commandment imposed but a consequence deriving from their faith, a faith which becomes active through love (Deus Caritas Est).
As we work in the saving plan of God, we need to strengthen our life of prayer because temptation is also strong to divert our attention and to prevent us from pursuing the divine plan. Let us be vigilant and listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. If we think there is something wrong that harms our journey of faith, then let us turn to our Saviour for His rescue to capacitate us to continue with our Christian journey. Am I sensitive to temptation? How do I overcome it?
“Share the God who is love”
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John. 4:8)
Since God is love, it is unreasonable for us not to love others by sharing Him to them. We are created by God out of His great love, and by nature, we are meant to love as much as God loves us. His love becomes our reason to love others. In loving God, we imitate Him and shares His divine life of love to those we are accompanying. To accompany others without love does not make us happy. Our heart becomes heavy in serving and can bring us burden and illness.
To accompany others out of love is to allow ourselves to be taught when is the time to speak of God and when it is better to say nothing and to let love alone speak. Our words as well as our silence are credible witnesses to Christ.
Let us be grateful in all the things we do, in all the efforts we exert, and no matter how tedious, strenuous, or laborious it is, there is no grimace of pain and tiredness; all you have is the feeling of joy and gratefulness that you have worked with Christ and for Christ. Do I love others the way Jesus loves me? Am I happy to collaborate with Him?
“Christ lives in me”
and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.(Gal.2:20)
To love is to be Christ. We are encouraged to deny ourselves and collaborate with the plan of salvation. It entails prayer and sacrifice to keep our collaborative efforts with God to sustain our faith until the end. Let us exercise our faith in the service of our fellowmen. Their life is a gift to us to express our “Christ-like” love. They are instruments to measure how faithful we are to Him. Through them and with them, we perfect our discipleship and sanctify our commitment. Our inclination to love and to accommodate them show the presence of the Trinity who live in us. How do I look at others? Do I look at them the same way God looks at them? How is my commitment to them?
“This is your people”
Moses said to the Lord, “See, you have said to me, ‘Bring up this people’; but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now if I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” And he said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here. (Ex. 33:12-15)
God is faithful to his promise. Whenever He gives assurance to His people, He would certainly do it. The promise that He uttered to Moses is not only meant for him but is meant for everyone who is willing to respond to His call. God has called Moses to free His people from the slavery of the Egyptians as much as He has called us to free His children from the slavery of sin and ignorance. The urgency of God’s calling does not only happen in the olden times but also today. God has called us to become a new Moses to accompany the modern Israelites toward the new Canaan which is heaven. To accompany others is to grow in intimacy with God as we also plead for the people God place in our lives.
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1ST Reading Sir 27:30-28:7
Ps 103: 1-4,9-12
2nd Reading Rom 14:7-9