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.
Wednesday, March 31
Is it I, Lord?
It seems surprising for the disciples other than Judas to ask "Is it I, Lord?" They each knew full well there was no intention of any of them to betray Him. Yet there was revealed in their question, perhaps a doubt in their own capacity to follow Jesus at any cost. Perhaps it was a sincere acknowledgment of their weakness.
In our own way, we should have this same humility to acknowledge that we are not always faithful followers of Jesus, that we are afraid to carry the cross like Him.
Let us ask Him today the same question but with the intent to ask Him to strengthen us in our weakness.
Tuesday, March 30
Jn 13:21-33, 36-38
If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him
What is the glory in suffering? What joy is to be found in carrying the cross? Our Lord today speaks to his disciples for the last time before his passion and he tells them the strangest thing: God will be glorified in the cross! Not because of sin and suffering, but because behind that is a love that embraces these for the sake of others. It is love that reveals the full glory of God!
Like our Lord, let us glorify God in the struggles of our lives, knowing we are participating in his saving mission.
Monday, March 29
Let her keep it for the day of my burial
As Holy Week fast approaches, the Lord Jesus looks ahead to the fulfillment of his mission. But he knows it means much suffering and death and so he prepares himself for it. Can we be like Jesus in facing our own crosses? They can be heavy to lift and full of pain. Still, the Lord sets an example for us. Do not be afraid of the cross. Instead prepare for it with courage and love.
Lord, please help us to always be prepared to suffer for the sake of love.
March 28, 2021 – Palm Sunday
Gospel: Mark 11:1-10
“Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!”
What a way to welcome the Lord into our hearts! But in a matter of 5 days, the cries become “Crucify him! Crucify him!” Why the sudden change in the people’s shouting? Turning our backs on Jesus so soon!? So easily surrendering to sin, and discouragement?!.
When we sin, do we turn back with speed to the Lord, full of sorrow and repentamce? We know we are human and with so many temptations in our midst each minute of the day, if we are not vigilant, we succumb to such temptations. The Lord knows what’s in our hearts, but let’s not be too lax, knowing He will easily forgive us.
Today marks the beginning of the most sacred week of the year. A week to try to grow in holiness. A week to truly have a change of heart and allow ourselves to be totally loved by God through Christ.
March 27, 2021 – Saturday
Gospel: John 11:45-56
“This man is performing many signs. One man must die instead of killing a whole nation.”
The Jews were afraid of all the signs Jesus was performing. And unfortunately, from that day on, they started to plan to kill Christ.
How are we? Do we also see signs that show we or others are also consciously or unconsciosly killing Christ in us, in the other? What can we do? What can you do you may ask... how about we counter it by willingly laying down our life for the God, for humanity.
Lord, we will die for you each day, each time we give up on anger, holding back our tongues (not grudgingly) on someone who hurt us, offering our pain for a sick person. Mama Mary, we look up to you for patience and humility.
March 26, 2021 – Friday
Gospel: John 10:31-42
“.....believe the works, so that you may realize the Father is in Me and I in the Father. “
During those times when people were skeptical about Jesus being the Son of God, they kept looking for signs or proof of how that can be possible. They needed to see proof, and despite the cases of healing He did, they still were doubtful of Him, saying He blasphemed and was from the devil.
How are we today in our state of our faith? Do we also require signs that He will heal us and provide solutions to our problems? Do we believe that although we have not seen, we still believe?
Lord, teach us and give us strength to see beyond our trials, to see the hope beyond the desperation, see your suffering in our suffering, and deepen our faith while waiting/ praying for our pleas.
March 25, 2021 – Thursday
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
“ Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your Word.”
On this feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, we give honor to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the Mother of God. The Word became flesh through Mary. And for this reason, in the Verbum Dei, we also celebrate today as our feast. For as Mary gives her yes, the incarnation of the Son of God began.
May you who are nourished through the Verbum Dei charism also find a moment today to celebrate this gift that we can help each other and many others know God through his Words. United with Mary’s yes, we give thanks to God for all the ways his words have given us life and love. And in a special way we pray for the consecrated people renewing their yes, their vows to the Holy Trinity in this day.
Mother Mary, we give you thanks.
March 24, 2021 - Wednesday
Gospel: John 8:31-42
“ I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
Again Jesus reminds us that He and God the Father are One, what He says comes from the Father. The Jews at that time considered Abraham as their father, so when Jesus spoke of His Father, they thought He was referring to Abraham. He had to emphasize that he came from Yahweh,God the Father.
To us,, it is very clear then when Jesus speaks , what He says comes from God the Father. Therefore if you love Him, you should love and believe Jesus too. Jesus here talks also about slavery to sin, our worldly sins of materialism, etc. Which are of no importance to God the Father.
He reminds us not to be slaves to sin, giving in to too much comfort, gadgets, cars etc. We learn to detach ourselves from such things, and not be enslaved by these.
March 23, 2021 – Tuesday
Gospel: John 8:21-30
“The One Who sent Me, is with Me.”
Jesus speaks of His being one with the Father, and if we don’t believe in Him and the Father, we are doomed. Doomed because if we don’t believe in them, it would mean we refused their offer of salvation because on our own, we would die of our sins.
Yet Jesus was sent by the Father as the Way, the Truth and the Life. He gave us a template on how we are to live our life on earth , which if we don’t follow, naturally has grievous consequences because we remain enslaved by the evils of this world.
And so the real question is, How do we want our life, to be? Do we want to align our lives to Jesus teachings so that we can be totally free?
Stay with us, Lord, as Padre Pio would constantly pray, that we may not be led astray when darkness comes to our lives.
March 22 , 2021 – Monday
Gospel: John 8:1-11
“Neither do I condemn you. Go and do not sin again.”
In the first reading of today (Dn 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41c-62), we see how the Lord saved the innocent and just. This is to show, even when people will mistreat us, our peace and hope is in God’s justice. How about the sinner? Where will we find our peace and hope? In the gospel, it is clearly shown. We are all sinners (not a single one of us can ever cast that stone) but we can always find our peace and hope that we have a God who does not come to condemn us but to save us. He sets us free from that sin and encourages us to be better, to sin no more.
As we approach holy week, may we more and more approach it with a contrite heart and a sincere desire to be better.