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.
November 19, 2019 Tuesday
Gospel: Luke 19:1–10
“So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Him.” (cf. Luke 19:4)
Today’s Gospel narrates to us the conversion of a sinner by encountering Jesus. Zacchaeus was just one of the many people Jesus encountered in His journey, but what made him stand out to Jesus was his great desire to be renewed through the mercy of the Lord. This desire to be renewed was shown in his concrete act of climbing the sycamore tree and his decision to let Jesus enter into his house.
Today we are also invited to stretch out our faith and climb up our own sycamore tree for us to show our great desire to see and welcome Jesus in our lives.
November 18, 2019 Monday
Gospel: Luke 18:35–43
“Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” (cf. Luke 18:42)
Faith conquers doubts and it gives conviction to believe in what bare eyes cannot see.
It may be hard for some to believe in what they have not seen but the blind man in today’s Gospel showed great faith in Jesus whom he had just heard and didn’t not see. This great faith gave him the capacity to reach Jesus amidst the crowd and the means to receive his sight.
Let us be faithful like the blind man in the Gospel, to exercise our faith by crying out to Jesus anytime we need him, to reach Him and see Him face to face.
November 17, 2019 Sunday
“With your perseverance you will be saved”.
The gospel is telling us to persevere whatever lies ahead as we take our journey in life. Sometimes the road ahead of us may deceive us or discouraged us. People might be using God’s name to confuse us, mislead us or persecute us. There will be conflicts and natural calamities that will come, like earthquakes as it is happening nowadays but God said it will not be the end! Today our society is filled with different fake news which deceives our people. There are many strong situations of conflicts and war in our world that seems like there is no hope anymore. When everything seems hopeless in our journey of in life, God is telling us – persevere till the end! The Gospel reminds us that Jesus is in control of everything for not even a single strand of our hair will fall without his knowledge and consent. He calls us to persevere whatever challenges we face along the way – “with your perseverance you will be saved”.
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, grant us the grace that we need to persevere till the end. Thank you for giving us renewed strength as we take on this journey of life. May you continue to guide us always and teach us how to walk steadfast in faith towards the goal and bring others to be saved too.
November 16, 2019 Saturday
“Pray always without becoming weary”
The gospel assures us that God always hear our prayer. Be confident in sharing everything to God, tell him if you are wearied, down, hopeless, or scared. Tell Him everything. Jesus wants us to grow in our confidence in His love. He is also telling us to share His love to others. Many people nowadays are unbelieving, they easily give up and lose faith and hope. It is a call for us to share to others the power of unceasing prayer. To share the fruits that you receive from persevering prayer. Through prayer we recognize the love of God who is always there to listen to us, to speak to us, to guide us in our life. Prayer gives us hope that we are capable of bringing change; that by His grace we are capable of turning the impossible to possibility.
Holy Spirit, may you continue to help us not to get wearied nor to get tired in praying but keep our hope in the Lord that in time it will bear fruit our perseverance in faith. Guide us also as we share to others the power of unceasing prayer.
November 15, 2019 Friday
Lk 17: 26-37
“Persevere on what is eternal”
Jesus is reminding us again to seek what is eternal and to give life. We have experienced the joy and the fulfillment when we give life to others. We have also experienced that its far worthy to invest ourselves on something that is eternal – acts love that can change and touch lives of others forever.
We are invited to look at the gospel in a positive outlook and not the negative consequences. We should be always ready and prepared when the Lord comes. We are to strive to live with faith not only to live for the “present” but always having in mind the perspective of what lies after, what is “eternal”.
Holy Spirit, may you guide us always to see the joy of giving life to others and the fulfillment on doing the works that brings eternal life. All of these are for the glory of God.
November 14, 2019 Thursday
Lk 17: 20-25
“The Kingdom of God is among you”
When Jesus tells “The Kingdom of God is among you” it means so much. We expect the Kingdom of God to be perfect, full of love, no sadness, no pain, etc. Each one of us has the Kingdom of God in our hearts – God’s presence in our lives. For this we are capable of bringing the goodness and love to others. We are capable to bring joy, consolation, hope and love to others.
Our world of today has difficulty to realize that the Kingdom of God is among us, Jesus has come already and He is within us. Why many people are hopeless and unbelieving? Why many feel that there’s a big hole in their lives and even many think that love doesn’t exist? We are called to bring the good news that God is already in our midst, we are to share his living presence to everyone.
Mama Mary, guide us as we announce the good news of the Kingdom of God to others, as you first received it and shared it to all through your life as a constant Magnifcat.
November 13, Wednesday
Gospel: Lk 17:11-19
“God is good, all the time”
Jesus met the ten lepers who stood at a distance, they cried out to Him to have pity on them. Jesus told them to go to the priests and as they went, one of them realized that he has been healed and came back praising God. With whom do you identify yourself? Maybe sometimes you maybe like the other nine lepers who haven’t realized yet the goodness God has done to you. Maybe you are like the healed leper, how have you expressed your gratitude to him? This gospel reminds us of God’s goodness and mercy who heals all our “leprosy”. God loves us so much and He embraces us in our “worst.”
Holy Spirit, may you open our eyes to see the healing touch of God towards our lives. May you teach us how to lead others so that they may also have faith in Jesus and cry out help to him with confidence.
November 12, 2019
Gospel: Lk 17:7-10
When we read today’s reading, it talks about a master-servant relationship. The Gospel today tells us the role of a servant who works for his master. The master will not invite the servant to eat with him but to serve him first then wait for him before he could eat. It seems like this is unjust but the parable reminds us that we are called to be his humble servant who knows our place and our role.
As followers of Christ, we are called to humbly serve Him with all our God-given talents and capacities. We cannot boast of anything in front of God, for everything we have comes from him. When we live our mission out of love with a humble heart - sharing the Word of God and generously giving ourselves to others, we receive our true recompense from Him.
Mama Mary, our Mother most humble, teach us to be humble of heart, to serve and give love to others.
November 11, 2019 – Monday
Gospel: Lk 17:1-6
“Jesus teaches us forgiveness”
In the gospel, Jesus is telling us about the danger of unforgiveness. The sin of unforgiveness brings death to us. Sometimes it is very hard for us to forgive because maybe the sin that the person committed against us seems unforgivable.Our hearts may be tired already of forgiving over and over again someone who had hurt us or caused us pain.
The disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith so that they may be able forgive with an unconditional love - seven times over! Jesus said that when we have faith even so little, we can uproot a mulberry tree and plant it to the sea – we can do the impossible! A little faith can uproot sin and can destroy death. The little faith that we have can enable us to forgive and welcome the other as our brother or sister unconditionally.
Lord, increase our faith. May you guide our journey of faith and teach our hearts to be more forgiving.
November 10, 2019 Sunday
Gospel: Luke 20:27–38
Live, here and now!
We profess our belief in the Resurrection every Sunday in the creed. We hope and desire to experience this Resurrection and live forever with God in eternal glory. But is our faith in the Resurrection confined only in the life after death? Every day we face different types of death – physical, emotional, spiritual, social, etc.
Resurrection means experiencing the power of Jesus to change difficult situations in our lives into glorious beginnings. We don't have to wait until we die to share in the risen life and risen power of Jesus. We can live it and share it in the here and now.