"...Grace upon Grace."
(c.f. John 1:16)
January 15-21, 2018
Enlarge the space of your tent for the Verbum Dei Spiritualit
- 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 enter in the newness and freshness of the same Spirituality of Jesus
- To experience a new zeal and perseverance.
This new year, most of us are hoping for something new, or perhaps something better for ourselves, for others, and in the relationships we have. Jesus desires to renew in us that relationship that we have with Him. From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace (John 1:16) and through this, He wants to renew in us that zeal: the passion for the will of the Father, the will to serve Him with love, the dedication in our commitment to Him that gives us the strength to persevere in living our life of prayer and of preaching His Word to our brothers and sisters.
For the past two weeks we have been deepening our knowledge on the Sources of Spirituality that we may be able to root ourselves to the foundation of our value and identity as Christians. This week, as we continue to reflect in our life the Word of God, let us allow ourselves to be spiritually renewed and refreshed through entering into the same spirituality that Jesus have lived out and taught us.
As co-disciples and co-apostles, let us be reminded that our spirituality is at the service of all the Church of Christ and not only in function of our personal sanctification. It cannot be fed by our personal likes or our own whims, neither to be carried by whichever shifting wind of doctrines. (VDStatutes 201)
For the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. A light has dawned on those who live in the land of the shadow of death. For a child is born to us, a son is given us; he will reign on David’s throne and over all his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and righteousness from this time onward and forever (Isaiah 9:1,5-6).
This coming Sunday, the feast of the Sto. Niño reminds us this new year that though Christmas time may seem to be over, the child Jesus is alive in our lives desiring to live within our hearts and minds, renewing us through his daily presence.
And so, our life, focused on the Person, Life, and Gospel of Christ will necessarily take the fundamental attitude of Jesus in His prayerful attitude that makes of the man—God, an adorer of the Father and from the Father, a donation and self-giving to all men. (VDStatutes 205)
This is why we do not pray just for ourselves; when we pray, we also pray for the good of our brothers and sisters for we are part of One Body in Christ. They too, receive the fruits of our prayers and witness the living Christ in us.
“New wine, new wineskin”
21 No one sews a piece of new cloth on an old coat, because the new patch will shrink and tear away from the old cloth, making a worse tear. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wine skins, for the wine would burst the skins, and then both the wine and the skins would be lost. But new wine, new skins!”
This new year, Jesus offers us a newness not only just to cover our fallibility as humans, but He is offering us a complete renewal of our being that we may live our life in the fullness of God’s will. He is pouring for us every grace that we need each day that we may be able to reach this fullness through His example, His presence in the little things we do every day.
How open are we to the newness that Jesus is giving us?
“Be like Christ”
5 Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ had: 6 Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking on the nature of a servant, made in human likeness, and, in his appearance, found, as a man, 8 He humbled himself by being obedient, to death, death on the cross. 9 That is why God exalted him and gave him the name which outshines all names, 10 so, that, at the name of Jesus all knees shall bend in heaven, on earth and among the dead, 11 and all tongues proclaim, that Christ Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
One and identified with the reality of the Christ of today in all the humanity, our prayer and mission must form only one life, the life of Jesus shared and lived out with all men (VDStatutes 208).
What are my goals, dreams, and aspirations for this year? Do I also desire to be like Christ?
Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbot and Foundation of Verbum Dei
“Stretch out your hand”
Again, Jesus entered the synagogue. A man, who had a paralyzed hand, was there; 2 and some people watched Jesus: would he heal the man on the Sabbath? If he did, they could accuse him. 3 Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand here, in the center.” 4 Then he asked them, “What does the law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 Then Jesus looked around at them with anger and deep sadness at their hardness of heart. And he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was healed. 6 As soon as the Pharisees left, they met with Herod’s supporters, looking for a way to destroy Jesus.
Jesus’ questions are meant for us to ponder on where we are truly rooted in our service for God and how is the disposition of our hearts when we come to serve His Church. St. Anthony gives us a beautiful reminder, to treat each day as if it was the beginning, because to many, perseverance is simply not giving up, but perseverance meant waking up each day with the same zeal as the first day.
Looking at Jesus’ zeal to guide others toward living their life for what is essential for the good of the Church, do I allow Jesus to touch me and renew in me that same zeal of love and charity?
“Let them come to me”
“Let the children come to me” 13 People were bringing their little children to him to have him touch them; and the disciples rebuked them for this. 14 When Jesus noticed it, he was very angry and said, “Let the children come to me and don’t stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” 16 Then he took the children in his arms and, laying his hands on them, blessed them.
Living and sharing with the Total Christ of today, Head and Members, our prayer will follow the vital rhythm of all His Body, living in our own flesh the drama and situations of His Church, seconding the request of the Vicar of Christ on earth. (VDStatutes 206)
The young ones are also a part of the Body of Christ. How attentive are we to our children?
How are we passing on to them the value of the faith that Jesus takes root in us?
Jesus values each child no matter how small they are. How do we value the children of today?
“For that is why I came”
35 Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where he prayed. 36 Simon and the others went out also, searching for him; 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Let us go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came.” 39 So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; he also cast out demons.
Our prayer and dialogue with Christ will never be a tranquilizer nor will give us a static attitude, but rather it will provoke in us a dynamic, urgent, and maybe conflictive response. It was frequently like this the life and prayer of Jesus, zealous of the salvific plan and mysterious will of the Father and for the fidelity and perseverance of His disciples (VDStatutes 207). We disciples are called to live in our lives the same spirituality of Jesus and sent to share the gospel.
How do we allow our prayer to move us to fulfill the mission?
Many are waiting to see His kingdom; let us be His instrument for the people to truly understand His words and to live it out as well.
Memorial of Sts. Fabian and Sebastian
“Be renewed in Christ”
Colossians 3:1-2, 5-17
1 So then, if you are risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on earthly things. 5 Therefore, put to death what is earthly in your life, that is immorality, impurity, inordinate passions, wicked desires and greed, which is a way of worshiping idols. 6 These are the things that arouse the wrath of God. 7 For a time, you followed this way and lived in such disorders. 8 Well then, reject all that: anger, evil intentions, malice; and let no abusive words be heard from your lips. Put on the new self
9 Do not lie to one another. You have been stripped of the old self and its way of thinking; 10 to put on the new, which is being renewed, and is to reach perfect knowledge, and the likeness of its creator. 11 There is no room for distinction between Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, foreigner, slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Clothe yourselves, then, as is fitting for God’s chosen people, holy and beloved of him. Put on compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience 13 to bear with one another, and forgive, whenever there is any occasion to do so. As the Lord has forgiven you, forgive one another. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 May the peace of Christ overflow in your hearts; for this end you were called, to be one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of God dwell in you, in all its richness. Teach and admonish one another with words of wisdom. With thankful hearts, sing to God psalms, hymns and spontaneous praise. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it in the Name of Jesus, the Lord, giving thanks to God, the Father, through him.
This is the life we are called to as Christians—renewal in the source of all graces—as part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Our conversion leads to the conversion of the many people who will also encounter Christ in us.
How are we keeping up our faith for them?
Feast of the Sto. Niño
Holy Childhood Day
1st Reading – Isaiah 9:1-6
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 97
2nd Reading – Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18
Gospel – Mark 10:13-16