Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
July 10-16, 2017
“Here I am with the children God has given me.”
To learn to have an apostolic prayer; to identify and own the accompaniment of specific people
Objective of the Week
To have a deeper understanding of why and how Jesus owned and accompanied us with love that we may also do as He has done
Parenthood is often an option we take when we decide to get married and have children. Most of us think that this stage of life brings all the burdensome responsibilities that we carry for the rest of our lives; this for one hinders us to see the beauty of being a parent.
However, there are many people don’t have a child of their own flesh and blood, but they have lived their lives with an authentic dedication as that of being a parent. We as Christians have seen and experienced this in the lives of many faithful people who lived before us, people who accompanied us—our parents, family, friends, the Verbum Dei missionaries, and co-disciples who have known and experienced God deep enough to be able to share a mutual understanding of His feelings for His beloved children through Jesus. “For no one knows the Son, except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal to him” (Matthew 11:27).
Having learned the significance of our apostolic prayer and ownership of accompanying specific people, we are invited for this week to turn to the source of the passion to continue with the mission—Jesus of Nazareth, just as Fr. Jaime himself did in order to faithfully reproduce, represent, reincarnate, and relive Jesus in him especially in the mission.
“For them to be one in love”
John 17:22-26 22 I have given them the glory you have given me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. Thus they shall reach perfection in unity; and the world shall know that you have sent me, and that I have loved them, just as you loved me. 24 Father, since you have given them to me, I want them to be with me where I am, and see the glory you gave me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. 26 As I revealed your name to them, so will I continue to reveal it, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I also may be in them.”
“God always knocks at the door of hearts. He likes to do this. It comes from His heart. But, do you know what He likes best? To knock on the doors of families and find families that are united, to find families that love each other, to find the families that bring up their children and educate them and help them to keep going forward and that create a society of goodness, of truth, and of beauty.” --Pope Francis
Love has always been one of the strongest forces that can unite us in every concrete and critical moment of our life for it gives us the capacity to continue and live out the mission. To have this communion with Jesus is to share in the oneness of His Father’s love for us. This can help us understand how God, as a Father, guides us that we may build our identity and fulfilment of our lives.
Many realities of today are broken and suffering because of lack of love, for they have not felt love and its authenticity and profoundness even inside the walls of their homes. As apostles, how conscious are we of the feelings of our Father and of Jesus’ love for us and for the people we accompany?
“For them to live life”
John 21:15-19 15After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” 17 And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep! 18 Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.” 19 Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me!”
“Love has hands to help others. It has feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sights and sorrows of men. This is what love looks like.” —St. Augustine
“Love can accomplish all things. Things that are most impossible become easy where love is at work.” —St. Therese of Lisieux
Our lives and the way we choose to live it can affect others’ lives. Jesus chose to accompany us that we may find life in the love that the Father provides us through Him. God entrusted us to take care of the lives of our brothers and sisters. It’s in this sense of responsibility that we allow Jesus to teach us how to take care of the people: to look after them, feed them as He would, for the people we accompany desire to witness how we truly love Jesus and concretely live out our prayer, letting it transcend in all aspects of our being.
How are you now with the people you accompany? Are we conscious of the way we care for them?
“For them to be fed”
Mark 6:37-38 37Jesus replied, “You, yourselves, give them something to eat.” They answered, “If we are to feed them, we need two hundred silver coins to go and buy enough bread.” 38 But Jesus said, “You have some loaves; how many? Go and see.” The disciples found out and said, “There are five loaves and two fish.”
As Verbum Dei disciples and apostles gathered in a community, sometimes we get overwhelmed with the challenges we face especially in the needs that we have to meet for ourselves and for others. Yet Jesus sees some things that we are unable to see—that in the little that we have we can provide for many people.
As we accompany others, are we conscious of the kind of food for the soul that we give them? How have we allowed Jesus to help us see how we can provide for them as he would?
“For them to grow
in strength and trust”
Luke 22:31-36 31”Simon, Simon, Satan has demanded to sift you like grain, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have recovered, you shall strengthen your brothers.” 33 Then Peter said, “Lord, with you I am ready to go even to prison and death.” 34 But Jesus replied, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day before you have denied three times that you know me.” 35 Jesus also said to them, “When I sent you without purse or bag or sandals, were you short of anything?” They answered, “No.” 36 And Jesus said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse or a bag must take it, or even his coat, and sell it, and but a sword.”
“Showing them how faith helps us to go forward and face challenges and tragedy, not with pessimism but with trust; this is the best witness we can give them.” —Pope Francis
Jesus never leaves our side, and He always provides. As apostles and His children, we are made prepared to do the mission. He loves us eternally thus throughout the mission, we should also share to our brothers and sisters the gifts we received from Him. The true essence of accompaniment is to strengthen and help them build their trust even stronger.
“For them to pray
and keep each other safe”
John 17:12, 15, 20-21 12“When I was with them, I kept them safe in your name; and not one was lost, except the one who was already lost, and in this, the Scripture was fulfilled. 15 I do not ask you to remove them from the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 20 I pray not only for these but also for those who through their word will believe in me.”
“Spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God… to accompany them would be counter- productive if it became a sort of therapy supporting their self-absorption and ceased to be a pilgrimage with Christ to the Father” —Pope St. John Paul II
How am I accompanying these specific people in my life that they may grow closer to God?
“For them to give life in love“
Romans 10:14 14But how can they call upon the name of the Lord without having believed in him? And how can they believe in him, without having first heard about him? And how will they hear about him, if no one preaches about him?
Timothy 2:2 And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.
Luke 10:16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me; and he who rejects me, rejects the one who sent me.”
John 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life, not the flesh. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
“Genuine spiritual accompaniment always begins and flourishes in the context of service to the mission of evangelization.” —Pope St. John Paul II
“We will understand the true apostolic life as an abundantly contemplative life that in a spontaneous and necessary way, spreads the Word transformed into the diffusive Life-Love of Christ, as a burning fire.” —Fr. Jaime Bonet
Transmission happens once we truly set ourselves on faith and live it well. Do we honestly hand on the faith?
The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm: Ps 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
2nd Reading: Romans 8:18-23
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23