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.
July 31, 2018 Tuesday
Gospel – Mt 13:36-43
Focus on what will last
Do you like to have connection with important people to get things done—someone in an important government position, for example?
Today’s Gospel tells us which is the greatest and most important connection we can aspire to have: to be disciples of Jesus. It gives us the privilege of having private lessons and build up a personal relationship with the Master.
What is Jesus’ teaching for us, disciples of the 21st century, as we come close to him and listen to his explanation of the parable of the wheat and the weeds?
Starting with the fate of the weeds—they will be burnt and disappear—He invites us to invest our energy wisely and not waste it in what is passing. Rather, he calls us to give ourselves fully to nurture the wheat: seek justice, peace, kindness. . . in short, strive to live united to him and bear fruit that will last.
Mary, perfect disciple who lived united to God, help us today to focus on what will last. Amen.
July 30, 2018 Monday
Gospel – Mt 13:31-35
Lord, reign in me
One of my friends was working in a cereal company. She would talk about the ‘exciting’ process that a grain of corn has to undergo to become a flake, as if she would change the world one box of cereal at a time!
How about Jesus? What is his passion? The Kingdom of God. The love of the Father reigning in his heart was at the core of his teaching and actions.
Today Jesus reveals one fascinating aspect of it. Like a tiny mustard seed or a little yeast, the Kingdom has an inner strength capable of transforming reality. God’s love reigning in my heart has the capacity of giving life to many.
Today the culture of death seems to prevail. Change will come if each one of us allows the Kingdom—or intimacy with God—to transform us from within. This can start with simple but powerful gestures: forgiveness, acceptance, compassion.
Mother Mary, help us to be citizens of the Kingdom in the middle of the world. Amen.
July 29, 2018 Sunday
Gospel: John 6:1-15
Do we still give thanks to God before our meals?
Today’s Gospel narrates to us the mystery of Jesus’ feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes in which He gave thanks first before distributing to the people.
Many people nowadays forget the attitude of giving thanks before having their meals. Instead of asking first for blessings, they prioritize the taking of pictures of the gifts that they are about to receive from the Lord’s bounty. This also happens in a larger picture of receiving graces from God, acting as if everything is solely earned and ultimately, disregarding the act of sharing to others – the picture of ungratefulness, vanity and greed.
Today’s Gospel invites us to acknowledge the power of God’s providence in our lives as we receive His graces and have a generous heart to share the bountiful graces to others.
July 28, 2018 Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
What kind of seed do you sow in your heart?
Jesus in today’s Gospel spoke another parable which is about a man who sowed good seeds in his wheat field but his enemy sowed weeds among his wheat. He let them grow together until harvest time so the weeds could be separated from the wheat and be burned.
Recently, our country is being deceived by ones who wanted to twist the truth with ‘fake news’. These are the ‘bad seeds’ that some people sow in ignorant hearts to grow weeds of confusion in the society.
Today’s Gospel timely calls us to be vigilant with things that we accept in our lives, for these things could grow in our lives and influence our faith.
July 26, 2018 Thursday
Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
How is your heart today?
In our Gospel today, the disciples asked Jesus why He speaks to people in parables. With this, He responded to them that the reason He speak to the people in parables is “because they look and they do not see; they hear but they do not listen or understand.” Is (cf. Mt 13:13)
Words are meaningless not to impaired ears, but to closed hearts as signs are inauthentic not to blinded eyes, but to hardened hearts.
The Word of God is not only meant to be heard by ears, but to be understood by hearts. Same as well as the miracles of Jesus not only meant to be seen by eyes, but to be witnessed by hearts.
Today, Jesus reminds us to take a look at our hearts and be conscious with its current condition inviting us to open our hearts to His words and miracles.
July 25, 2018 Wednesday
Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
Greatness means humility.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus encountered the desire of two of His disciples to be His right and left hand men. And with this, Jesus responded telling them His purpose of coming to the world to serve and not to be served.
Jesus being the King of kings does not intend to rule but to lead the people; He does not aim to have authority but to minister; He does not desire to have all of the world but to give His all to the world.
Today’s Gospel calls us to humble ourselves as we serve the ministry of Jesus to the people.
Mother of humility, pray for us.
July 24, 2018 Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50
How do we relate ourselves with each other?
Jesus in our Gospel today declared his disciples as his brother and sister and mother – as his family.
To be a family is the closest and deepest relationship that we can have with each other. And being a family means having someone whom we can confide our own weaknesses and strengths; means having someone who would unconditionally accept our own unique persona – and Jesus wanted to be our family.
Jesus’ declaration of His relationship with His disciples is also a declaration of the Father’s mercy and compassion to each one of us as His children.
Today’s Gospel invites us to look at each other as children of God, calling us to break the walls that divides us and hinders us to accept each other as brothers and sisters. Nothing is diverse when it comes to our Father’s unconditional love to His children.
July 23, 2018 Monday
Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
What sign do we need to see to have faith?
In today’s Gospel, some teachers of the law and some Pharisees spoke up to Jesus wanting to see a sign from Him but instead He told them the signs that were shown in the past by Jonah’s preaching in Nineveh and Solomon’s wisdom heard by the Queen of the South relating Himself to Solomon and Jonah as someone greater.
What sign do we still need to see from the Lord to have faith when He is present with us? Isn’t His presence enough to make us faithful?
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, invites us to acknowledge His mere presence and concrete works in our lives. He also calls us to have faith in His selfless love which already is an enough sign to prove to us the unconditional love of God the Father.
Mary, woman of faith, pray for us.
July 22, 2018 - Sunday
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while (Mk 6:31)
In our world today, everything moves so fast: technology, exchange of information, relationships, and many more. We are caught up with this fast-paced life. What happens next? We feel overfatigue, tiredness, and stress in living the life we have.
In the gospel, Jesus' disciples experienced the same. They came to Jesus reporting all they did and taught. They even had no chance to eat because there were a lot of people coming to them. Because of this, they went to a deserted place to rest for a while.
Have you taken a break in your fast-paced life? Today is Sunday and Jesus invites us to take a break together with him in the Holy Eucharist. We pray that whenever we feel tired, our hearts should always long for Jesus' presence. We ask for the grace to be able to open our hearts and dialogue with him every day, not only when we are tired but in every moment of our lives. Amen.
July 21, 2018 - Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21
Many people followed him and he cured them all (Mt 12:16)
One song goes, "When love calls your name, follow him. Though you don’t know where it leads."
In the gospel, Jesus is followed by many people. He cured all who followed him, fulfilling what Prophet Isaiah said: Jesus will proclaim justice and victory and his name will give hope to the Gentiles. Many people still followed him even though he warned them not to make him known.
In our lives, when Jesus seems not to make his presence known and felt by us, do we still follow and seek him? His presence? Do we crave and ask for his healing to the different realities we experience? We pray that we can be able to offer to Jesus all the present worries, problems, and challenges we are experiencing. Let us hold on to the promise of victory that Jesus hopes in each of our lives.