Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Guidelines for Prayer: November 6-12, 2017 - You are God’s temple. Be careful how you build it
You are God’s temple. Be careful how you build it.
November 6-12, 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 own God’s zeal for His temple.
For God placed deep in each human heart the yearning to be owned and to belong to someone--God--who alone can fill all the empty spaces and the smallest gaps that not even the world can satisfy.
Last week, we have deepened on our understanding of our Creator’s ownership over our lives. It’s beautiful to recognize that God did not merely create us with the bonds of human flesh and blood but also gave us a spirit that desires to know Him and to be guided and live by His Spirit. He made us living temples of His Spirit and living tabernacles of His Son.
As we continue to reflect this week on God’s desire to also be with us and in us, let us never lose sight that our God desires the best for each one--to be like His Son in all things but sin. Yet, because of His great love and mercy, He gave us the freedom to choose the way we live our life. With this freedom and sense of responsibility, how do we choose and desire to build our image and likeness according to the will of our Father, our sole Creator?
“We should see not only with our physical eyes but with the eyes of our soul which can perceive the light of our creator shining through the beauty of creation.” St. Leo the Great
“ Own God’s zeal for His house”
13 As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple court he found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. 15 Making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, 16 and ordered the people selling doves, “Take all this away, and stop making a marketplace of my Father’s house!” 17 His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: Zeal for your house devours me like fire. 18 The Jews then questioned Jesus, “Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?” 19 And Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then replied, “The building of this temple has already taken forty six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. 22 Only when he had risen from the dead did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.
1 Peter 2:4-8
4 He is the living stone, rejected by people, but chosen by God, and precious to him; set yourselves close to him, 5 so that, you, too, become living stones, built into a spiritual temple, a holy community of priests, offering spiritual sacrifices that please God, through Jesus Christ.
Each one is the temple of God, a bearer of God’s image and likeness. But if we look at the world now, it seems that it’s too easy for people to take away life and give away their dignity in exchange for the pleasures that couldn’t satisfy their cravings within. Do we stand to own God’s zeal for our lives? God has paid the price for us through His Son, are we conscious of how we bring ourselves about in the marketplace of the world?
“Value God’s zeal for your life”
29 because the call of God, and his gifts, cannot be nullified. 30 Through the disobedience of the Jews, the mercy of God came to you who did not obey God. 31 They, in turn, will receive mercy, in due time, after this disobedience, that brought God’s mercy to you. 32 So, God has submitted all to disobedience, in order to show his mercy to all. 33 How deep are the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God! His decisions cannot be explained, nor his ways understood! 34 Who has ever known God’s thoughts? Who has ever been his adviser? 35 Who has given him something first, so that God had to repay him? 36 For everything comes from him, has been made by him and has to return to him. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
4 See, the body is one, even if formed by many members, but not all of them with the same function. 5 The same with us; being many, we are one body in Christ, depending on one another. 6 Let each one of us, therefore, serve, according to our different gifts.
God has given unique gifts to each one of us. With the skills and capacities that we have, God is looking forward for us to work as one in fulfilling the mission. How do we value these gifts He has bestowed upon us? How do we spend our time? Where do we invest our capabilities? Do we share the Lord’s zeal, his intention for what and how He also desires for us to maximize the gifts He has given us?
“Allow Christ to own everything of you”
One day, when large crowds were walking along with Jesus, he turned and said to them, 26 “If you come to me, unwilling to sacrifice your love for your father and mother, your spouse and children, your brothers and sisters, and indeed yourself, you cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not follow me, carrying his own cross, cannot be my disciple. 28 Do you build a house without first sitting down to count the cost, to see whether you have enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, if you, have laid the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone will make fun of you: 30 ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’33 In the same way, none of you may become my disciple, if he doesn’t give up everything he has
17 may Christ dwell in your hearts, through faith; may you be rooted and founded in love. 18 All of this, so that you may understand, with all the holy ones, the width, the length, the height and the depth—in a word, 19 that you may know the love of Christ, that surpasses all knowledge, that you may be filled, and reach the fullness of God.
We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love him, whom he has called, according to his plan.
As his disciples, we are owned by Jesus just as he is by His Father. When he asks of us to give up everything we have to follow Him, He is asking us to trust in His Father so that following the example of the Son, we too as brothers and sisters in Christ, through our flesh, make living in us the image and likeness of God. For even though we were given our own will on how we live our life in this world, only the Father, the only God who created us can truly give to us the fullness of life both in flesh and in spirit. Are we willing to let Jesus own our everything?
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
“You are God’s Temple. Be careful how you build it.”
1 Corinthians 3:9-13,16-17
9 We are fellow-workers with God, but you are God’s field and building. • 10 I, as a good architect, according to the capacity given to me, I laid the foundation, and another is to build upon it. Each one must be careful how to build upon it. 11 No one can lay a foundation other than the one which is already laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Then, if someone builds with gold upon this foundation, another, with silver and precious stones, or with wood, bamboo or straw, 13 the work of each one will be shown for what it is. The day of Judgment will reveal it, because the fire will make everything known. The fire will test the work of everyone.16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit abides within you?17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him. God’s temple is holy, and you are this temple.
46 Why do you call me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what the one is like, who comes to me, and listens to my words, and acts accordingly. 48 That person is like the builder who dug deep, and laid the foundations of his house on rock. The river overflowed, and the stream dashed against the house, but could not carry it off because the house had been well built. 49 But the one who listens and does not act, is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. The flood burst against it, and the house fell at once: and what a terrible disaster that was!”
God’s ownership over our lives is not just a title, nor does it make us greater or lesser to others. Rather, He owns us with the desire that we may be able to reach the fullness of our lives through Him, with Him, and in Him in the Church--His people. Are we eager to build our lives with others as a Christian, living out the gospel values?
Memorial of St. Leo the Great
“You are God’s Temple. Be careful how you live in it.”
7 In fact, none of us lives for himself, nor dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; 9 It was for this purpose that Christ both died and came to life again, to be Lord, both of the living and of the dead. 10 Then you, why do you criticize your brother or sister? And you, why do you despise them? For we will all appear at the tribunal of God. 11 It is written: I swear by myself—word of the Lord—every knee will bend before me, and every tongue shall give glory to God. 12 So each of us will account for himself before God.
19 Now, you are no longer strangers or guests, but fellow citizens of the holy people: you are of the household of God. You are the house, 20 whose foundations are the apostles and prophets, and whose cornerstone is Christ Jesus. 21 In him, the whole structure is joined together, and rises, to be a holy temple, in the Lord. 22 In him, you, too, are being built, to become the spiritual Sanctuary of God.
“Thus it is clear that all we can do for our brothers and sisters is in response to what God has done and continues to do for us.” - Pope Francis
If we are indeed the temple of God, and if the Spirit of God lives in us, then what every believer has within himself is greater than what he admires in the skies. -St. Leo the Great
To be Christ is to be with people, to be part of one body of the Church, as one big family in Christ Jesus. We are called to be compassionate, loving, merciful, and forgiving for we’re all made in that image and likeness of God. How do we take care of the lives of those whom God entrusted to us?
Memorial of St. Martin of Tours
“All people are mine”
Luke 14:12-14 12
Jesus also addressed the man who had invited him, and said, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, don’t invite your friends, or your brothers and relatives, or your wealthy neighbors. For surely they will also invite you in return, and you will be repaid. 13 When you give a feast, invite instead the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind. 14 Fortunate are you then, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the upright.”
15 But if you hurt your brother or sister because of a certain food, you are no longer walking according to love. Let not your eating cause the loss of one for whom Christ died. 16 Don’t put yourself in the wrong with something good. 17 The kingdom of God is not a matter of food or drink; it is justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 and if you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be praised by people. 19 Let us look, then, for what strengthens peace and makes us better. 20 Do not destroy the work of God because of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat. 21 And it may be better not to eat meat, or drink wine, or anything else that causes your brother or sister to stumble. 22 Keep your own belief before God, and happy are you, if you never act against your own belief.23 Instead, whoever eats something, in spite of his doubt, is condemned by his conscience, because whatever we do against our conscience is sinful.
“Lord, if your people still need me, I do not refuse the work. Thy will be done.” St. Martin of Tours
“We should be happy for the chance to get closer to the poor and humble — as Jesus is with each of us when we are away from him — to bend at the foot of brothers, as he, the Good Samaritan, does with each of us, with his compassion and forgiveness.” Pope Francis
For centuries we know of many lives through the saints and our faithful departed as examples of how they’ve followed and built their life in God through Jesus. Our faithfulness and dedication in living and proclaiming the Word of God is a living testimony and valuable example for the generations to come. Let us persevere and continue to allow God--the Holy Trinity to work within us as His temple.
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading – Wisdom 6:12-16
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 63
2nd Reading – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Gospel – Matthew 25:1-13