Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Be with me and have my same joy
November 27- December 3, 2017
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine… (John 17:10)
- to experience deeply the ownership of God over our lives.
- to live being conscious that everything I have comes from Him except sin and to be encouraged to live everything for Him as an apostle.
- to walk with the saints this month as examples having him as their King.
Objective of the week:
- to experience and learn to live the same joy of Jesus.
The greatest joy of Jesus is to see all of us in God’s Kingdom, for it is our rightful place being owned by God.
This week we are invited to learn the joy of Jesus in doing God’s will. What makes him joyful in doing God’s will? It is the greatest love of the Father for him and for his people. It was the love of the Father that moved him to come and to be with us, giving himself to us and saving us from the slavery of sins.
As his chosen apostles, we ought to stay with him and learn his ways so that others may experience that same joy through us.
Joy in giving glory to my Father
After Jesus finished saying this, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your Son, so that the Son may give glory to you. For you gave him authority over all people, so that he might give eternal life to all those you gave him. And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I have shown your glory on earth; I have finished the work you gave me to do. Father! Give me glory in your presence now, the same glory I had with you before the world was made.
“I have made you known to those you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me. They have obeyed your word, and now they know that everything you gave me comes from you. I gave them the message that you gave me, and they received it; they know that it is true that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those you gave me, for they belong to you. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine; and my glory is shown through them.
Let us learn from Jesus that to have his same joy is to have the will to obey in accepting and carrying the cross. It is the greatest honor, trust, and love we can give to the Father who has been generous with us. “All I have is yours and all you have is mine.” It is the greatest proof of God’s love for each one of us, a love that is unconditional, sacrificial, and generous beyond comprehension.
How can we give glory to our Creator? What are we willing to sacrifice for the sake of obedience to his will?
Joy in giving oneself
Jesus looked around and saw rich people dropping their gifts in the Temple treasury, 2 and he also saw a very poor widow dropping in two little copper coins. 3 He said, “I tell you that this poor widow put in more than all the others. For the others offered their gifts from what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, gave all she had to live on.”
It is the joy of Jesus to give selflessly everything he has, even to the point of sacrificing his own life, because true love comes from the heart and giving oneself out of love is precious. What we may offer seems very small and do not have much worth, but if we put all we have at Jesus’ disposal, no matter how insignificant it seems, God can do something with it.
How do we give out what God has already given to us--our life, all that we possess, our gifts, talents, time and resources--to others? Do we give out of love and gratitude?
Joy in entrusting to you the life of others”
As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw two brothers who were fishermen, Simon (called Peter) and his brother Andrew, catching fish in the lake with a net. Jesus said to them, “Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people.” At once they left their nets and went with him.
He went on and saw two other brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat with their father Zebedee, getting their nets ready. Jesus called them, and at once they left the boat and their father, and went with him.
It is the joy of Jesus to call ordinary people like us to be shepherds of his flock, for he takes what we can offer and uses it for greatness in his kingdom. Like the apostles, they were not professionals and had no wealth or position. He chose us and entrust to us the life of others not because of what we are but for what we would be capable of becoming with his direction and power. Do we make our lives an offering to the Lord and allow him to use us for the greater plan for his people?
Joy in giving the Words of life
(Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle)
The scripture says, “Whoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him. As the scripture says, “Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.”
But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, “How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!” But not all have accepted the Good News. Isaiah himself said, “Lord, who believed our message?” So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.
But I ask: Is it true that they did not hear the message? Of course they did—for as the scripture says:
“The sound of their voice went out to all the world; their words reached the ends of the earth.”
It is the joy of Jesus to see everybody in his kingdom and experience eternal life. But Jesus couldn’t wait for it to happen, so he called ordinary people and made apostles out of them to teach others to build God’s Kingdom and have eternal life here on earth. God’s word is so powerful; it makes one to move with compassion, to change one’s belief, to strengthen our faith, and to make us experience eternal joy. We are fortunate to have encountered the Word because someone was bold enough to preach the Good News to us. How did the Word come to you and change your life? Would you like others to have that same experience as yours?
Joy in coming to give hope
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Think of the fig tree and all the other trees. When you see their leaves beginning to appear, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you will know that the Kingdom of God is about to come.
“Remember that all these things will take place before the people now living have all died. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
It is the joy of Jesus to come again and again into our lives through people who have heard the call to spread his words that gives hope. All these challenges and situations we are facing everyday has no intentions to stay forever. We can all pass through it. As long as we believe that God is with us in all of this and as long as we keep his words within us, we will never lose hope because his Words will not pass away. Who are these people God is inviting you to give love, peace, joy, and hope?
Joy in giving all I have
“In the meantime the older son was out in the field. On his way back, when he came close to the house, he heard the music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him, ‘What's going on?’ ‘Your brother has come back home,’ the servant answered, ‘and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back safe and sound.’ The older brother was so angry that he would not go into the house; so his father came out and begged him to come in. But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! 30 But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes, and when he comes back home, you kill the prize calf for him!’ ‘My son,’ the father answered, ‘you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.’”
It is the joy of Jesus that everybody will experience that same joy--to learn to forgive, to give without waiting for something in return, to be generous, to pray for one another, and to love in the best way we can. The world needs love. The world needs us Verbum Dei. How can we show our love in the best way? How can we teach others to love others in the best way they can?
First Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 80
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Gospel : Mark 13:33-37