Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
He loved them to the very end.
Nov 20-26, 2017
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine (John 17:10)
Objective of the week:
- to look at how Jesus himself lived these words. “All I have is yours and all you have is mine.”
It is an honor to be owned by our God as His children. This act is a concrete example of His love that He embraces us so dearly despite our sinfulness because His love is far greater than our sins. We are so precious to Him that he could not afford to abandon even one of his children, but we should not abuse His divine nature. We should be grateful for He does not look at our inequities; words are not enough to express our gratefulness. As His children, we are to actively participate in the Church’s mission as our way of thanking Him. Our participation in the mission makes the Church fully alive in the evangelization; thus we become His hands, His feet, and His mouth. Being tangible witnesses, we can help the blind to see and become sensitive to His presence. We can help others to become free from the ignorance of faith and to find salvation. We can serve those who are in need especially the less fortunate. We recognize that all things that we have come from God, and in return we desire to do something good to please Him. As Jesus offered Himself for our salvation,he invites us to work joyfully and to walk faithfully for His glorification until the very end.
He gives me my sight once again
Now as he approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me! people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!”Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him,“What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
Sometimes we are living in blindness—the blindness from recognizing God would slowly bring us to eternal damnation. Consequently, we are reminded to turn ourselves to the Lord and ask the gift of awareness and sensitivity of His presence. The love of the Father is everlasting even if we fail to recognize Him. When we call upon Him for help, He doesn’t leave us unaided for His love is more vast than our inequities. He never gets tired of waiting for our return until we come to recognize Him in our lives.
Do you believe that God is present in your daily life? Do you recognize His invitation in your situation? In what particular situation have you failed to recognize Him? Or were you also a factor of making others blind?
He comes to where I am and brought me to salvation
(Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”And he came down quickly and received him with joy.When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvationc has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
Many times in our lives, we forget that we are mere creatures. We tend to think that we are like gods and think that we can do everything especially when we are in the state of abundance. Sometimes, we become powerful over others. It is because we have not encountered Christ in our life because we are very much preoccupied of accumulating worldly things. We don’t even exert effort to know Him more and more.
Let us be like Zacchaeus who was once a sinner who reached the point of searching Jesus and merit a contrite heart. However, salvation has been granted to each one of us; yet we need sincerity in recognizing Jesus and willingness to welcome him in our hearts.
In what particular situation were you searching for Christ? In what way have you helped others in their search for Him?
Jesus wept in front of Jerusalem for their ignorance
As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides.They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
Jesus’ mission is to reveal the plan of God the Father to all His children—salvation. This salvific mission is achieved as we live in the peace in Christ. Jesus is the perfect example of peace. Despite the attack of His enemies, He didn’t look at them with their wickedness but beyond their deeds to teach them how to love and not to hate; how to be patient and not to be proud; how to be strong amidst temptation and not to be frail. Jesus did everything even to the point of sacrificing himself on the cross just to fulfill the Father’s will. All his efforts were not wasted but bore much fruits to his apostles until the birth of the Christian Church. Let us actively participate in the Church’s mission to help our brothers and sisters to be free from the ignorance of our faith so that they too may inherit the teachings of Christ and be able to welcome Christ in their hearts.
Have you reached out to someone who is ignorant of our faith? How have you express your faith as a believer?
Whatever you do to others, you do it to me
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.33He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’Then the righteous* will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
To all those who serve, others have recognized Christ in them. Through their availability, they have established the kingdom of heaven. Jesus has shown us the image of what we will become in the last judgement. Our sacrifices for the love of others are not wasted because every time we give ourselves to them, God treasures them and prepares a special place for us in heaven. We should not get tired of helping our brothers and sisters so that they too can encounter Christ and can start building theirs too.
Do you recognize Jesus through others? How do you welcome Jesus every day at home, at work, and in the community? Can you also be an image of Jesus to others?
The Lord is my shepherd
The LORD is my shepherd;there is nothing I lack. In green pastures, he makes me lie down; to still waters, he leads me; he restores my soul. He guides me along right paths for the sake of his name.Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.
The absolute goal of our soul is to see God face to face in heaven. If our life is focused on this matter, then we have nothing to worry about in this life, even if we don’t have anything, because what we are accumulating are not worldly treasures. To journey with God is to cherish our time with Him, for He makes us strong in times of temptation. He fills us in our nothingness. In Him indeed there is nothing we shall want because He is the real answer to our longing; he is the peace in our restlessness.
How do you invest your life? What kind of things or deeds are you accumulating now? Are they necessary for your salvation?
He loved them to the very end
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The Lord has shown us how much; He loves us in a very concrete situation in His life and the highest expression of His vast love is to lay down His life for our salvation. It is the best thing that He could give just to show how much He loves us. He has relatively carved us in His heart. Our words of saying “thank you” is not enough to express but to follow His ways and to proclaim His goodness and compassion to every corner of the world.
What is the invitation of God to love others? How often have you been grateful to Him?
Solemnity of Christ the King
1st Reading: Ez 34:11-12, 15-17
Psalm: Ps 23:1-2, 2-3, 5, 6
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 15:20-26,28
Gospel: Mt 25:31-46