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.
September 5, 2019 Thursday
Gospel: Luke 5:1-11
“Now go out to where it is deeper, lower your nets to catch some fish”
Jesus finished speaking with the crowd. Gave the instruction above to Simon who initially had hesitation in following Jesus and eventually responded by “going into the deep and lowered the nets”. Most often when we get invited to a mission fear, anxiety, insecurity attacks us first. It’s a normal human reaction as we saw in Simon. However, when we go deep into our prayer and encounter with Jesus, we become more aligned to his plans and instructions. Jesus who said, “do not be afraid, you will catch people from now on”, invites us to believe and trust him. The Holy Spirit equips us with the necessary gift for each call.
Holy Trinity we pray, increase our trust in you. Amen.
September 4, 2019 Wednesday
Gospel: Luke 4:38-44
“I have to go to other towns to announce the good news”
Jesus went about his mission. People suffering from many kinds of sickness were brought to Jesus. What kind of sickness do you see around you? At FB alone you will find articles on mental health, autism, cancer, suicide among young people, increasing cases of HIV. What is your take on this?
Jesus looked for a solitary place at daybreak to pray and went into another town to announce the good news. Jesus is relentless in pursuing his mission . How about you? Where are you called to respond?
September 3,2019 Tuesday
“Spoken with Authority”
Jesus is a Teacher and also commands evil spirits with authority and power. At work, we often hear our HR Group speak about Talent Assessment and Development. And so each employee gets a Development Plan and goes to training. Unlike in the workplace, by our identity we are Blessed, Empowered, Gifted. We too can receive the gifts of Teaching and driving evil spirits. It is the Holy Spirit that enables us.
Come Holy Spirit, we need you. Come Holy Spirit, we pray. Enable us as we are send off to places of missions today. Amen.
September 2, 2019 Monday
Gospel: Luke 4:16-30
“He has anointed me”
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.” And Jesus added, “today this passage has been fulfilled”.
Thank God it’s Monday! How are you today? Tired of work, lost your passion ? Are you in pursuit in finding your mission? The discovery process is unique for each of us. Still, it points us to the truth of our identity, that we are children of God . We are made for Him. We witness today Jesus’ declaration and we are urged to do likewise . To bring the good news of peace, joy, love where we are. Have no fear, God anoints us to our purpose.
Holy Trinity please guide us as we begin another week, anoint us with fresh fire to be mindful of the needs of the people around us. Amen.
September 1, 2019 Sunday
Gospel: Luke 14:1,7-14
“Because they are not able to pay you back...God will repay you” – cf Luke 14:14
In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about humility and hospitality. He highlights the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind, and invites us to embrace them, not out of pity or self-righteousness, but because God loves us despite our own poverty and weaknesses. We are again invited to examine our hearts whenever we give.
Jesus reminds us that the best giving is that which cannot be reciprocated. This doesn’t only pertain to giving alms and doing charity work, but also in showing love to those who are poor to appreciate, crippled in their way of thinking, lame in showing appreciation, and blind to justice. Embracing them indeed is very difficult, but let us trust God’s assurance that He Himself will repay.
August 31, 2019 Saturday
Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
“To everyone who has, more will be given” – cf Matthew 25:29
The Parable of the Three Servants highlights the importance of how we use the gifts and talents God has given us. On one end, we may use those to boast, to impress or to gain appreciation, while on the other end, we may choose to bury and hide them for fear of humiliation. Jesus then tells us that these should not be. Instead, we must use our talents to serve God, no matter how small and insignificant they seem to be in the eyes of the world.
Thus the more people we draw closer to God through our gifts, the more we also draw ourselves closer to His Kingdom.
August 30, 2019 Friday
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
“Stay awake!” – cf Matthew 25:13
After a long tiring day, we often feel that we deserve a good rest. The same goes for our faith. When we get tired of praying because they seemed to be unanswered; when we get tired of serving others because we feel unappreciated; when we get tired of loving when we get nothing in return, our minds often dictate that we deserve a break, we deserve to rest our faith. Then we fall into the trap of laziness, of complacency, of indulging too much in self-comfort.
Today, Jesus is inviting us to be vigilant and to avoid this trap. Stay awake in faith!
August 29, 2019 Thursday
Gospel: Mark 6:17-29
"He was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen.” – cf Mark 6:20
As we commemorate the dark and dreary account of the passion of St. John the Baptist, there is one line that stood out with a hopeful tone. King Herod, despite having John arrested and killed, was shown as someone who still liked to listen to him. ‘He became greatly disturbed every time he heard him’, but that didn’t stop him from listening.
Perhaps like King Herod, we may at times get distraught in our prayer or in the teachings of the Church, nevertheless we will always be drawn to holiness and truth. In the same way, whenever we feel discouraged to stand up for the truth or fearful to confront others, let us remember John who was able to attract even the hardest and proudest of hearts.
August 28, 2019 Wednesday
Gospel: Matthew 23:27-32
"Like whitewashed tombs” - cf Mt 23:27
The gospel reading for today proves that even from olden times, man has that tendency to place a huge importance on outward appearances. Jesus used these strong words to describe the Pharisees- ‘like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead bones and filth’.
Do we, too, sometimes get too preoccupied with our image, on how others see us rather than on how God sees us? Do we spend more time and money on things that beautify the body rather than those which beautify the soul? Our physical appearance will surely fade away, but the inner beauty will never decay in God’s eyes.
Saint Augustine, pray for our daily conversion.
August 27, 2019 Tuesday
Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26
"You have neglected the weightier things: judgement, mercy and fidelity” - cf Mt 23:24
In this gospel, Jesus continued to rebuke the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They tend to take notice of insignificant things, while neglecting the important ones. Like them, sometimes we get too preoccupied with minor things- a vehicle which cuts our lane, a snide remark from a colleague, not receiving a reply from someone we texted- that we fail to see the needs of others, we forget to show compassion, or we simply become unable to smile.
Let us pause and reflect on the things that occupy our mind. Are these things really worthy of our limited time in this world?
St Monica, pray for us.