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.
May 31, 2018 – Thursday
Lk 1:39-56 – Feast of the Visitation
Leap for Joy
We are happy when we see posts in social media sharing good news. This goodness happening around us gives us hope and joy. Something like this happened in today’s Gospel reading: Mary entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting then the infant on Elizabeth's womb leaped for joy.
Mary is faithful to the fulfillment of the word of the God in such way that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped for joy. This can continue happening today when others witness a person faithful to the word of God. The gospel is inviting us to be faithful to the word of God and its fulfillment. For faith will make the people around us leap for joy. A handful of faithful people can make the world leap for joy!
May 30, 2018 – Wednesday
Tread to become great
James and John asked Jesus to sit on the right and left in His glory. When the other ten disciples heard about this, they become indignant towards the two. Like James and John, we would like to become great--to be famous, have authority and social status. In contrast, Jesus tells us that to be great and first is to serve all and give our life to many.
The path to greatness is to serve others. Jesus, teach us how to be truly great. May our hearts have the desire to serve and to give our lives to all.
May 29, 2018 – Tuesday
Gospel – Mk 10: 28 - 31
Empty and offered to the Lord
Peter in the gospel said to Jesus, “We have given everything up and followed you”. This is a very brave and courageous statement. Are we bold enough like Peter? What did he surrender in order to follow Jesus? Was it love? Sadness? Confusion? Longing? No one knows except Peter. Of what can we be emptied so as to offer it to the Lord? No one knows except our own selves.
Personally, I have my own share of poverty at work. My soul longs for a Lord who will keep my heart at peace in times of trouble. Giving up my poor self and offering it to the Lord allows me to experience his peace, his embrace and his gentle love to me.
Jesus affirmed that whoever gives up everything for him will receive a hundred times more—we receive more when we give up the things that consume or worry us. Mama Mary, help us to know the things that we need to be emptied of to receive God’s promise of eternal life.
May 28, 2018 – Monday
Gospel – Mk 10: 17-27
Nothing is Impossible
In the gospel Jesus was asked how to have eternal life. The question raised does not ring a bell to us. Why? Oftentimes, we seek what is temporary, not the eternal. Or for some, ‘eternal’ is just an ordinary state, there is nothing new about it. We are left but to ask this to ourselves, how can we attain eternal life?
The word of God answers, “Go sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come follow me.” Truly, doing away with our possessions is one of the greatest challenges for all of us. We tend to cling to things we think we own. We think of our own achievements and success, not minding or putting first our faith and relationship with the Lord. The reading tells us that if we rely only on our capacity, we will be limited to the here and now. But if we focus on the Lord, we will achieve the impossible, for all things are possible for God.
Let us pray and ponder about the steps we must take to inherit the eternal life the Lord has promised to us. Mama Mary, pray for us so that we receive the grace of understanding what we need to pray for today. #PrayVD
May 27, 2018 – Sunday
Gospel – Mt 28:16-20
”In the name of the Father, and of thr Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
(cf. Mt 28:19)
Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. But, more than breaking our minds trying to explain what the Trinity is, let us ask the grace of grasping the beautiful message that the mystery of God being One and Triune has for us. God is not alone, he is community, family, diversity, gift. We know this verse by heart: “God is love,” (1Jn 4:8) and love requires reciprocity and mutuality, giving and receiving, going out of oneself and welcoming the other. That’s why they’re three, but one in love!
This movement of love and self-giving happens from all eternity between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And in today’s Gospel we are invited to partake of this love and to introduce as many as possible to this communion. Being baptized in the name of the Trinity is being witnesses of this kind of love wherever we may go, till the ends of the earth. #PrayVD
May 26, 2018 – Saturday
Gospel – Mk 10:13-16
I want to give you a future
Jesus, says the Gospel, was very angry when the disciples rebuked the people who were bringing their little children to be blessed by him.
A child was a promise for the family in the time of Jesus—more hands to work in the land, the assurance of having someone to take care of the parents in the old age . . . but a promise that was in danger. Many children didn’t reach puberty due to diseases or malnutrition. This is why having a child blessed by Jesus was a gesture of surrender and hope, putting his or her future in the hands of God.
We might or might not have children of our own, but we all have hopes, dreams and expectations for the future. Jesus wants to have a say in that future!
Let us bring all our hopes and dreams today in prayer to be touched and blessed by him.
May 24, 2018 – Thursday
Gospel – Mk 9:41-50
Today’s Gospel reading places in front of us one of Jesus’ most difficult lessons to understand: “If your hand, foot or eye causes you to sin, cut it off! For It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with a perfect body go into the unquenchable fire” (cf. Mk 9:43-47) But what Jesus is trying to stress is the value of Life—the Kingdom. Nothing is so important that it should be retained if it keeps you from entering the Kingdom.
But, what then is Life, or the Kingdom for Jesus? Why is it more valuable than anything else? The Kingdom was the core value that moved Jesus’ life. It is full communion with the Father, which develops our true selves. Therefore, even if there are things that we need to cut off from ourselves, in reality we are cutting precisely what we are not!
Holy Spirit, enlighten our minds and hearts in order to discern what is preventing us to enjoy full communion with the Father, and give us also strength to let go of it in order to develop our true self. #PrayVD
May 23, 2018 – Wednesday
Gospel – Mk 9:38-40
Open and Faithful
In today’s Gospel reading John was asking Jesus’ validation when he tried to forbid someone to cast out a demon without belonging to the group of disciples. Jesus answered, “Do not forbid (…) whoever is not against us is for us.” What an open mind, and how it contrasts our narrow-mindedness!
Indeed, many times we feel threatened by those who are not like us or with us. It is not easy for us to welcome diversity and see goodness beyond the differences.
But Jesus shows a great openness, because he was centered not in himself, but in the will of the Father—that all his children may have fullness of life, regardless of affiliations.
Let us avoid the temptation of monopolizing good and ask the Holy Spirit wisdom to see goodness when faced with people who are different or think differently than us, without leaving behind our duty of denouncing and confronting evil.
May 22, 2018 – Tuesday
Gospel – Mk 9:30-37
Today Jesus shows us another aspect of this ‘ordinary state’—to be disciples who are undergoing training under the care of a teacher.
We see today Jesus as that kind and patient teacher who walks side by side with us, teaching us his ways . . . honestly we are far of thinking and acting like him!
The reading highlights the contrast between the way of thinking of the disciples and that of Jesus: while he was explaining to them that he would lay down his life for many, they were arguing about who was the greatest. But Jesus does not lose hope in them and, instead of giving long discourses, he teaches them who is the most important by placing a little child in their midst.
Let us allow Jesus, our Good Teacher, to walk with us today and contrast our way of thinking, acting, and even feeling. Let us be aware that we are disciples—we need to learn, and we need the constant guidance of this good Teacher.
May 21, 2018 – Monday
Gospel – Mk 9:14-29
Only Prayer, Nothing Else
Welcome back, Ordinary Time! Our ordinary state as Christians is to be witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and of the power of the Spirit in us. The Gospel reading today points out the condition for us to be able to really live this ordinary state—prayer. The disciples failed to cast out a demon from a child, and they ask Jesus why. He answers, “Only prayer can drive out this kind, nothing else.”
In spite of having celebrated Christ’s resurrection and witnessed its power in our life, we may find that many realities haven’t changed—they are still “possessed” like the child of the passage. Let us not lose hope, but believe in the power of prayer, for “all things are possible for those who believe.”
Holy Spirit, accompany us as we strive to live our ordinary state as witnesses of Jesus rooted in prayer. Amen