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.
April 30, Monday
Gospel - John 14:21-26
“If a man loves me, he will keep My Word”
Some words speak so much to our hearts, that we carry them with us all our days. Mr. Tino, the president of the company where I used to work was retiring, and I dropped by his office to say farewell. I will never forget the words he spoke to me then, “Take care of yourself and take care of those who are dear to you.” I have tried to follow that sage advice every day since then.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us to remember and follow His word. He knew that the concerns of the world will make it easy for us to forget. He wants us to remember His word because it is the answer to the problems that the world throws at us. His word tells us what is most important in this world. His word is love. His word is life itself.
Thank you Lord for sharing your very words with us and for helping us to remember, through them, that you love us.
April 29, 2018 Sunday
Gospel : John 15:1-8
Fullness of Life
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit”.
We all want a life that bears fruit. But, what kind of fruit do you dream for your life? Economic success? Fame? Happiness? How about a life that brings others to God and so gives them what no one can take away from them--eternal life?
To draw others to God it all starts from the inside out. Our daily dialogue with God enriches us so much that it propels us to share this joy, peace and love we have received . However, we are always in a battle against principalities. Therefore, let us guard ourselves to remain connected with the source.
Holy Trinity and Mama Mary, help us to persevere in our journey. Guard and preserve us all the days of our lives. Amen.
April 28, 2018 Saturday
Gospel: John 14:7-14
You Still Do Not Know Me?
What does it take to know a person? I met couples in my recent trip who had been married between 30- 50 years and are still together! In contrast, a couple I know recently separated after 50 years! How can it be? Does time spent alone guarantee "forever?"
The same question can be asked in our love story with God. Jesus said to his disciple, “I have been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Phillip?" Really, what would it take to get to know someone and keep the relationship on fire?
Communicate, Committment, Fidelity to the word of God . Our daily dialogue with God allows us to hear his wisdom, feel his heart for his people and see his big dreams for us. Until one is willing to take this daily step, it will just be another “hello.”
April 27, 2018 Friday
Gospel : John 14:1-6
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?"
What’s does your dream house look like? If none yet, there’s plentiful of ideas through various magazines or via on-line to get insights on designs. When we desire it much, we work on it through sweat and blood to achieve our dreams! While we are at it, God on the other hand, has already secured our eternal home! No sweat at all! And free access to this is eternal life - a life that is built in relationship with Jesus.
So how to avail of it? “Come” he said for “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Who are you waiting for?
April 26, 2018 Thursday
Gospel : John 13:16-20
I Chose You
When Jesus finished washing the disciples’ feet he said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. I am not speaking of all of you, I know those whom I have chosen."
Simon Sinek’s book "Leaders Eat Last" is about leaders with emphaty who put first their team over themselves. It reminds me of Jesus himself with his disciples,"not to lord over them but to serve them." In our office we are encouraged to shift our address to our junior colleagues from staff to associate and that encourages openness, respect and trust resulting to “malasakit” (care) in the workplace . Our invitation is to serve and not to be served.
Ready for a shift? Let us continue to draw near to him that we may know his ways and yield to his call.
April 25, 2018 Wednesday
Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the eleven and said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” Jesus gave his disciples instructions.
At 14 years old, Fr Jaime Bonet, founder of Verbum Dei, felt the call to make Jesus known to all people . He understood the desire of God to draw all people to himself that they may receive eternal life. The invitation is addressed to all--concecrated and lay people like you and me as written in John15:16, “It was not you who chose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit.” Fr Jaime saw the urgency and responded to the need . How about you? What is your response?
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news!” Isa 52:7
April 24, 2018 Tuesday
Gospel : John 10:22-30
Draw Me Near
“My sheep hear my voice: I know them and they follow me."
Our constant dialogue with God trains us to recognise the voice of the good shepherd. We learn to distinguish his voice from the other voices that appeal to us. There's so many noises around us, that it is easy to be lured away from him.
Jesus illustrated further his desire for all people to be drawn to him as he spoke again about the relationship between the shepherd and sheep. But there are noises we hear everyday which could lead us to distraction if we are not careful to persevere in our daily walk with him.
What lifts your spirit? What satisfies your soul? What gives you peace? Jesus’ sheep are eternally secure because the Father gave them to Jesus. “No one can take them out of the Father’s hand,” such is his love for us. Come, let us draw near to him.
April 23,2018 Monday
Gospel : John 10:1-10
“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.”
In the sheepfold, the shepherd functions as a gate, letting the sheep in and protecting them from thieves, weather or wild animals. Sleeping across the doorway of the fold to secure them. Just as the shepherd cares for it’s flock, more so Jesus who cares for us. He knows you and he desires to give you lasting peace and joy which the world cannot give.
He invites us to “enter in” to the gate of eternal life. “A new life that will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God”(1Pt 1:23)
Today he gives us a choice between life and death, “Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life. You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him and committing firmly to him.” Deut 30:19) ... I say, enter in!
April 22, 2018 Sunday
Gospel John 10: 11-18
”I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
In today's Gospel, Jesus declares Himself as the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his flock. Jesus tells the disciples that the Son of God will die in order to ensure that none of his flock would be lost. The Good Shepherd is concerned with all the sheep before all else. He would enter any danger zone to defend his sheep from wild beasts.
Today's Gospel invites us also to be a good shepherd to one another. Like Jesus who took up his life again in the resurrection and transfigured with glory, we too should take up our life again, transformed and renewed by grace.
Let us not only admire the Good Shepherd, we should also honor Him by being good shepherds ourselves.
April 21,2018 Saturday
Gospel John 6: 60 - 69
Lord, to whom shall we go?
Life is made up of many choices - whether big or small, you have to choose. Choose where to go, what to eat, what to wear for OOTD or what you want and our choice will define us.
In today's Gospel, people had a hard time accepting the word of Jesus, they had difficulty accepting and believing on what Jesus was saying. Many of them chose to leave and no longer follow Him. Then Jesus asked his disciples "will you also go away?
Peter can choose to go away like the other disciples but he trusted, believed and acknowledged that Jesus is the Messiah the one that God had sent.
The Gospel invites us to be like Peter in believing and trusting in Jesus. In your journey of faith with Jesus, never lose the choice to trust and believe in Him.