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.
Feb 09, 2020 – Sunday
Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth....Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father.”
What does Salt do? It gives flavor to food and preserves it. It also represents Divine wisdom. So applying this concept to us being a salt in this world, we give deeper meaning to our values. At the same time, one becomes the light since you show the way out of darkness for others.
Thus when one does not bring his being the salt and the light from the inside self to his office, his community, and society, he loses flavor. There must be oneness in our being Christ-like in and out of ourself: honest at home, at work and in all transactions. We are cheerful, treat others with respect, considerate, compassionate. Our behavior will show what we are inside and others will see that.
Let us follow Mama Mary the way she carries herself, in all her trials, she was dignified and faithful to the Lord despite her trials; let us be children of the light.
Feb 08, 2020 – Saturday
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
“Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.”
Jesus got tired too, so he understood when the apostles were tired after a long journey, after a mission. So he tells them to rest....It is our duty to rest too, relieve our weariness with sleep, have a lazy day, or do less strenuous tasks. Enjoy nature, go walking, admire God’s creations.
Being tired can make us aware we are human, being weak can make us humble, see that we are not invincible, or superhuman doing everything others cannot do. It also gives us time to reflect , to be with others, engage in productive conversation, paint, or read.
We need that break to ensure that we don’t burn out. We need to rejuvenate our bodies and spirits or time to re-calibrate our goals. It’s okay to do nothing at all sometimes, make the mind go blank. It’s perfectly alright.
February 7, 2020 – Friday
Gospel: Mark 6:14-29
“When he heard him speak, he was perplexed but like to listen to him.”
This is about the beheading of St. John the Baptist by Herod upon the daughter’s request. What was it about St John that his popularity was second to Jesus. He was that courageous man who stood his ground speaking to Herod on his adulterous life. He didn’t keep quiet and just give up talking to a powerful king.
Are we ready to give up our life in the same manner as John for Christ? St. John’s life was so simple that everybody was able to understand his message, at the same time was a sign who open the way for Jesus. Somehow we are being called to live in such a simple manner too.
All we need to do is do good without wavering, and avoid sin; to be faithful in the little things, and living detachment of what not allow us to live in the truth. Courage and fortitude are ingredients for heroism, do we have these?
Let’s pray that we may be strengthened to have these simplicity of life that make St. John of Baptist a witness of the truth.
Feb 06, 2020 – Thursday
Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
“So they went off and preached repentance. The twelve drove out demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.”
I personally experienced how the Anointing of the Sick, which was originally the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, became such a spiritual and morale booster, attitude-changing, for some loved ones who felt helpless, lost and anxiously waiting in bed for whatever outcome.
I saw the glow in their eyes, the spirit lifting, energized, anxiously waiting for the Priest to arrive, take her/his confession, and receive the Holy Eucharist. It’s just very moving that it has become my goal each time I hear of someone who is ill, I offer to bring a priest to them.
It was all I could do for them. I’m so glad the Church has changed the concept – it is not a deathbed sacrament, but is now a sacrament for the living, of repentance and reconciliation. Thank you, Lord, for giving us this Sacrament.
Feb 05, 2020 – Wednesday
Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
“Is He not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, John, Judas and Simon?”
Dignity of labor is greatly implied here. Jesus became man, to be an ordinary working man, in the village, they were identified by their trade: fix houses, furniture, farm instruments.
Thus people from his village “took offense of Him”, did not look kindly at a carpenter’s son, who was speaking with so much wisdom and authority. Let us look at how Jesus and Joseph saw their work, they probably became masters of their trade.
Even if we do a lowly job, do we attach the definition of who we are to it? Is there joy in our hearts when we work?Look forward to each day of work? Strive for excellence, always aspiring to do better? Let not our work define us or define our identity. We are children of God, we are defined by God’s plan.
Dear Lord, guide us in our aspiration to work well and offer each day to You.
Feb 04, 2020 – Tuesday
Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
“If I touch even his garment, I shall be well.”
This is the story of the woman who has been bleeding for 12 years and has lost all hope until she hears Jesus is nearby, touches the hem of his garment and pleads for mercy. Such faith!
Jesus felt the power come out of Him and asks, Who touched Me? How often do we call on Him to help us? We can approach Him each day through the Holy Eucharist. Do we spend time to be with Him, listening to His words, and feeling Him in our hearts? When we tug at His heart (“I perceive the power gone out of Me. – Luke 8:46), He is moved with pity.
Let us ask Our Lady to help us be humble, and devoted like her, and learn to call on Jesus for all matters, big or small.
Feb 03, 2020 – Monday
Gospel: Mark 5:1-20
“ Go home to your family and announce to them that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
We are familiar with this parable of the legion of evil spirits thrown into a herd of swine, and they all drowned. It depicts choices that we make: do we choose material matters (herd of swine) over spiritual things? In order to walk in freedom, we have to drown or cast aside what hinder us to follow Jesus, and turn our attention to Jesus.
It could be a high price to forego or let go: a high paying job with ethical questions, a high price handbag (once in a lifetime item) , or giving help to a friend in need for medical reasons.
We die a little each day, and the Lord will know, when we allow Him to take over our life, inch by inch.
Lord, help us in our journey to holiness, it may be difficult but we yearn for the peace and joy from You.
February 02, 2020 – Sunday
Gospel: Luke 2: 22-40
The Holy Spirit was in him
Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. In the gospel, a faithful man named Simeon came to visit as Jesus is about to be presented in the temple. It was said that “the Holy Spirit was in him” and was “assured” and “comforted” by the Holy Spirit. He then announced the salvation of people through Jesus.
Let us reflect and recall the moments where Jesus was presented to us in the different scenarios we face in our daily life. Do we easily see Jesus as our light and salvation? Have we felt how the Holy Spirit guided us in those moments we want to see Jesus in our relationships and in society? Do we seek his guidance and presence in our daily lives?
Mother Mary, direct us to the Holy Spirit in our daily endeavors to be our guide, teacher and counselor.
February 01, 2020 – Saturday
Gospel: Mark 4: 35-41
Quiet now! Be still!
I’m sure most of us have experienced information overload, noisiness of social media or even being drowned with our own thoughts. It’s too much to bear but when we encounter the perfect words from a bible verse that suddenly calms us down, how do we feel? We feel at peace, right? In the gospel, that’s how the disciples felt when Jesus ordered the storm to be quiet and be still. They got surprised and peaceful at the same time.
In the same way, we might be surprised how God knows and calms down our situation. Jesus is our great Savior in times of great storms in our lives. We are invited to acknowledge the great power that Jesus has.
Mother Mary, may we be like you who has the full confidence and trust in Jesus power of saving us during the great storms of our lives.
January 31, 2020 – Friday
Gospel: Mark 4: 26-34
The Kingdom of God
Our gospel today highlights how Jesus wants to teach us the mystery of the Kingdom of God through parables. He likens the kingdom of God to a small mustard seed which grows and become the largest of all plants. For our faith to grow, we must shower it with efforts no matter how small or big it is. We must take advantage of the available means provided to us to grow in our faith through praying with the word of God or being present with God in Eucharist. If we encounter difficulties, be humble and ask the grace to God to help and guide us in the challenges we face in our prayer and faith life.
Mother Mary, accompany us to persevere in loving, allowing the Kingdom of God to grow in us, living and sharing the Kingdom of God especially to others who need it.