Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
"Eat or the journey will be too much for you!"
(1 Kings 19:7)
January 1 - 7, 2018
Enlarge the space of your tent for the Verbum Dei Spirituality
- to welcome the beginning of the year by entering deeply in the love and devotion of Jaime towards the Sources of Spirituality of Verbum Dei as sources of our faith and of the whole Church.
- to make this new year truly a School of Apostles where we strengthen our love and commitment to Jesus by praying and living out the Sources of Spirituality of Verbum Dei.
Objective of the week:
- to enlarge the space of our tents by deepening our knowledge and love for the Sources of Spirituality.
"I would like to say to Verbum Dei . . . since I feel it as my great responsibility before God, that Verbum Dei without prayer will not exist, nor preach, nor expand, nor can it grow, nor can it be happy, nor have reason to exist."
Words of Jaime Bonet which remind each one of us today the urgency of prayer--to stay connected to the source in order to keep the flame of divine life and love in our hearts and encourage people to pray with the Word--because Jaime believes that "we have saved someone when we have taught him or her to pray. He or she ‘comes to know him' personally, not by hearsay."
For this new year, we are invited to continue to enlarge the space of our tent by learning from our founder his deep knowledge and love for the Sources of Spirituality: the Holy Trinity, the Eucharist, the Mystical Body of Christ, and Mother Mary; and to have that same true interest and real enthusiasm when we fully dedicate ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4).
A song of thanksgiving
(Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God)
O Lord, I will always sing of your constant love; I will proclaim your faithfulness forever. I know that your love will last for all time, that your faithfulness is as permanent as the sky. You said, “I have made a covenant with the man I chose; I have promised my servant David, 4 ‘A descendant of yours will always be king; I will preserve your dynasty forever.’” 5 The heavens sing of the wonderful things you do; the holy ones sing of your faithfulness, Lord. 6 No one in heaven is like you, Lord; none of the heavenly beings is your equal.
This new year, how wonderful it is to spend a moment of reflection to look back in order to give thanks to the faithfulness of God for our lives and for his mercy that made us worthy of his trust. It is also to be grateful for the life of our founder, Jaime Bonet for his dedication to prayer, for teaching others how to pray with the Word, and for handing on to us the importance of praying with the Sources of Spirituality.
What are we grateful for to the Trinity and Mother Mary?
Drawing close to the fire of God’s love
(Memorial of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen)
There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up.
1 Kings 19:5-8
He lay down under the tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said, “Wake up and eat.” He looked around and saw a loaf of bread and a jar of water near his head. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 The Lord's angel returned and woke him up a second time, saying, “Get up and eat, or the trip will be too much for you.” 8 Elijah got up, ate and drank, and the food gave him enough strength to walk forty days to Sinai, the holy mountain.
Prayer has always been the essential way for Jaime to draw closer to the living fire and to listen and to talk to the Trinity in a personal way. For Jaime, the Sources of Spirituality must be our “normal food and fountain of life of our daily exercise of prayer”, nourish ourselves from them and lovingly assimilate them, truly live them until they nourish us, frees us and others. (cf. VDStatutes 201 & 203)
Our dialogue with the Triune God keeps us alive the whole day after all the battles: life situations we face every moment, decisions to make, discerning what's good, etc.
How often do we get up and make time in order to listen and assimilate His Words?
Fountain of Eternal Life
(Most Holy Name of Jesus)
Jesus answered, “Those who drink this water will get thirsty again, but those who drink the water that I will give them will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring ,which will provide them with life-giving water and give them eternal life.”
On the last and most important day of the festival Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Whoever is thirsty should come to me, and whoever believes in me should drink. As the scripture says, ‘Streams of life-giving water will pour out from his side.’”
For Jaime, a constant dialogue with the Trinity keeps the flame of divine life and love alive in our hearts and finds importance of what the Sources of our Spirituality can give. It reignites the fire each time we come and drink again from these sources whenever we feel our hearts cold or lukewarm.
How often must we go and drink from the real source of eternal happiness?
Home and Tent for the Body of Christ
Make the tent you live in larger; lengthen its ropes and strengthen the pegs!
You will extend your boundaries on all sides; your people will get back the land that the other nations now occupy. Cities now deserted will be filled with people.
A believer's life, devoted to the Holy Triune God, becomes a Home for all peoples and a Tent, in which many can dwell.
For Jaime, a person living with the Trinity can bring life and love to the members of the Body of Christ and become a source of fire, warmth, and light for those who are living in darkness. This is his great desire, that all people can experience in their hearts and lives this greatest and most powerful love of the Trinity.
How devoted are we in leading others to the fire of prayer?
Becoming what we receive
Philippians 2:1, 5-7
Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit, and you have kindness and compassion for one another.
The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant. He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness.
"It is the divine-human love of our God, concentrated and given to us in the sacrificial and sacramental form. It is the real presence of the Trinity that is constantly renewed in us in a graphic and palpable way. Since the participation in the Body and Blood of Christ makes us 'become what we receive', christifying us, the Holy Eucharist constitutes the center of our purest affections, the fountain of our fruitful life, and the stability of a life of imperturbable peace and joy."
- Jaime Bonet
For Jaime, the Eucharist is the visible love of Jesus in his total self-giving, and at the same time an invitation for us to give ourselves totally like Jesus did and to propagate this same Eucharistic love in our flesh to others.
Jesus is looking for decided imitators more that adorers and admirers. Are we one of these decided imitators?
Maternal love of the Trinity for humanity
“I am the Lord's servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you have said.” And the angel left her. Soon afterward Mary got ready and hurried off to a town in the hill country of Judea. She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.
Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son.”
Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.
Mother Mary is the concrete expression of the maternal love of the Trinity to us--unconditional, selfless, and universal. Through her, God reveals his motherly love, compassion, and gentleness. She intercedes for all our needs, helps us to persevere in our following of Christ, and accompanies us in our difficulties in carrying our daily crosses.
For Jaime, Mother Mary is the perfect disciple of Jesus and encourages us to nurture our intimate dialogue with our Mother Mary in order to be like her--a disciple always on fire to do the will of God.
What have we learned from our Mother Mary in our spiritual journey as an apostle?
SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD
1st Reading – Isaiah 60:1-6
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 72
2nd Reading – Ephesians 3:2-3, 5-6
Gospel – Matthew 2:1-12