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.
August 31,2018 - Friday
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Keep your lamp burning!
Jesus told the parables to clarify further what it means to ready when he returns and how to live until he comes.
This parable is about a wedding. Ten bridesmaid were waiting to join the procession and take part in the marriage feast. But when the groom didn’t come at the expected time, five of them were out of lamp oil. By the time they secured the extra oil, it was too late to join the feast.
No parable itself completely describes our preparation. Instead, we are encouraged to make use of our God given time, talent & treasure to make our world a better place to live. To love is to live . Let’s keep loving while we can!
August 30,2018 - Thursday
Gospel: Matthew 24:42-51
So you too must keep watch!
Flooding here! Hurricane in Hawaii! Earthquake in Bali! We must expect and prepare for the events foretold!
Jesus’ purpose in telling about his return is not to stimulate predictions about the date but to warn us to be prepared. Will you be ready?
“A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the matter can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them.” This is what Jesus ask of us, to spend the time of waiting taking care of his people and doing his work here on earth. This is the best way to prepare for Christ’s return.
“If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward.”
Lord Jesus may you find us faithful. Keep us on fire. May the footprints that we leave inspire the others to obey your word. Amen.
Aug28, 2018- Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26
Jesus teaching emphasizes that it is not what is on the outside that matters but what is on the inside of us. In contrast, the Religious Leaders did all their deeds to be seen by men. Putting on their best garments to look a righteous man of God. But “clothes do not make the man”. Jesus went about doing his mission dressed just like everyone else.
The point is that Jesus teaching is not to make us look good, rather aimed at transforming us day by day from the inside out. By focusing on the interior life and set free from sin can we become more like him. Spending more time in prayer, we draw ourselves closer into his image & likeness. So that Jesus may live through you and me.
Today let us ask St Agustine to intercede for us that we may be delivered in our pre-occupation to pleasing man. Rather to remain our gaze to Jesus the giver of life. #PrayVD
Aug 27, 2018- Monday
Gospel : Matthew23:13-22
Blind Guides! What sorrow awaits you!
Jesus condemns the Religious Leaders - Hypocrites! Which is more important- the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
Church leaders in the past were powerful & most respected of all leaders. Jesus made this accussations because the leaders hungered for more power, money & status thus losing sight of God . And this may happen to us lay people too!When our wants and ambition occupies our mind. Getting into the rat race may seem exciting initially but eventually makes you wearisome, wasted and sad. There you find all these tips & ideas on “Happiness Project” but still do not satisfy.
Come back to him. Return your gaze upon him and never lose sight. He is the way, the truth and the life. For only through him we find true peace & joy which the world cannot give.
Mama Mary, help me not to be blinded of what the world dictates. Help me to see and listen through God’s word. That i may not lose sight of God.
August 26, 2018 – Sunday
Gospel: John 6:60-69
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of Eternal Life.”
When we accept our path to holiness is through Jesus Christ, then we listen to His words and are sensitive to His every teaching. We seek to understand Him more, give Him our full trust, making Him live in our hearts forever.
We seek His teachings so as not to be led astray, we accept what He says freely with no conditions. We just follow and it liberates us. When the Holy Spirit has touched us, we know because of the peace that envelops us. We are freed from the guilt, the doubts, the fears, the helplessness and suffering. We know deep in our hearts when we are freed from these tensions. The peace and joy are immediately manifested in our smiles, and in our calm thoughts and actions. .
Let us imitate Mary who said “Behold, the Handmaid of the Lord, let it be done according to your Word.”
August 24, 2018 – Friday
Gospel: John 1:45-51
“Come and see...”
On this feast of St. Bartholomew or Nathaniel, we see that Philip led him to Jesus. We too have been led by some others to Jesus. We were also told “Come and see.” Since our friends speak with joy, we believe we too will find peace and joy in Jesus.
When Nathaniel approaches Jesus, He says “This is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.“ Wow the words struck me the most: Is there duplicity in me? Such simple words but heavy words to think about.
We may be guilty of self-interest when we think of approaching Jesus only because we have to find solutions to our problems. But at the same time, we find comfort and solace from Him, because we know He is all giving and forgiving. Let’s listen to Him more, instead of talking one way.
Dear Mama Mary, help us to see Him more clearly and be more determined in our path to holiness.
August 22, 2018 - Wednesday
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
“The last will be first and the first will be last.”
This statement appears confusing but what Jesus means here, is that He may call us to become His workers or shepherds at any stage of our lives. It maybe early or late in life, but the reward will be the same = eternal life (a full day’s pay).
He calls all of us to be co-Redeemers in His work. We have to work with urgency to bring in new souls; to be constantly vigilant in watching out for opportunities to teach, to counsel, to lead others from going astray, to lift their spirits, to bring to Confession or Reconciliation, and bring them back to the fold.
By our example, others will see Christ in us; see the joy in us. They will seek our company, ask our advice and prayers, may follow our lead in serving others.
We go to Mary, our Mother, and St. Joseph, the first teachers of Jesus, make good use of our time in serving others through the Church and as we go about our ordinary day’s activities with joy.
August 21, 2018 - Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30
“It will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
When we put our material wealth ahead of Christ, it presupposes pride and egoism. It puts oneself ahead of God, and connotes disobedience and contempt for the Lord.
Possessing material richness is not a sin in itself, but it might create the predisposition to being “poor in spirit.” Or make it appear like we don’t need God anymore since we have everything we need. Thus becoming a form of idolatry. Goods of this earth are for the betterment of one’s family and of society, thus being generous doesn’t mean being a wealthy person. In fact, poor people are more generous than wealthy ones. So how do we sanctify ourselves in the middle of the world?
Let us look deeply into our hearts to one’s clarity of purpose and sincerity. Mama Mary, teach us to acquire this virtue to temper down our dependence on material possessions.
August 20, 2018 - Monday
Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22
“What do I still lack?”
Perhaps when the young man asked this of Jesus, he was still not happy despite his status in life. Thus Jesus presents a challenge, “Sell all your possessions, and follow Me.” And the young man turned away sad.
The young man is obviously attached to his material possessions and found he couldn’t accept the implications of what Jesus said. He couldn’t sacrifice his material things, for spiritual richness. Being separated from his possessions made him “sad.” .
What a missed opportunity ! He was being offered a way to tranquility and peace, but he preferred anxiety and guilt. Jesus asks us to give whatever we have joyfully, depriving oneself of things we thought gave us joy. Let us seek the joy of being with Christ and give so that we become a joy to others....
Mama Mary, pray for us, that we may be the cause of joy to others and not turn our backs on Jesus. Stay with us most specially in moments of desperation and sadness.
August 19, 2018 – Sunday
Gospel: John 6:51-58
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world."
We heard many stories of well-off people yet feeling unsatisfied. We are in constant search for that piece that would make us fulfilled and complete in many ways - social media, affirmation, positions, money, etc. Jesus exactly knows this. He hungers for our own hunger that is why He came down from Heaven as a living bread. He desires to feed us a fulfilled life that no one can take away from us.
Today, we can ask ourselves: What is my hunger? Peace of mind? restored relationship? Affirmation? Recognize Jesus' hunger for it and allow Him to feed you with His own life and love.
Mother Mary, may we keep our eyes on Jesus - the one who can truly satisfy our hunger of a fulfilled life.