Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Guidelines for prayer: September 25-October 1, 2017 - Until Christ is Formed in You
"Until Christ is Formed in You."
September 25 - October 1, 2017
To become an apostle who accompanies others until the other person becomes another Christ.
Have you ever asked yourself about these questions: What is my maximum fulfillment in life? What is my ultimate identity as CHRISTIAN?
This week is a very valuable moment for all of us to recognize God’s desire for each one. His desire is more than the desire of our parents and loved ones for our life. It is even far greater than our own desire. His desire for us is to be like His Son--to be like CHRIST. In Gen 1:26 God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us.” What is the concrete image of God that we have experienced? It is Jesus CHRIST His son. In Col. 1:15 is written, “CHRIST is the visible likeness of the invisible God.”
Everyone of us is called to be a reflection of “God’s image and likeness” for we are called “to be like CHRIST.” This is our maximum fulfillment, our real identity, our purpose and our absolute vocation.
For us who have been in the Verbum Dei community for quite a time, we must be grateful to God for the lives of those concrete people who came into our lives, taught us and introduced us to this truth.They have patiently accompanied us all the way to follow CHRIST, until CHRIST is formed in us.
We are invited to have a heartfelt and sincere recognition that as apostles of CHRIST, we are also sent to accompany others (in our family, school, workplace, friends, and neighborhood) until they will also become another Christ. Let us live out our real identity, our vocation, being “Christ” to speak and touch others’ lives from our very own mouth and hands. As Eph. 4:13 says, “And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature.” Unless we discover our true identity and that is to be like CHRIST, we will never feel complete and we will never be fulfilled until we can say like St. Paul in Phil 1:21, “For what is life? To me it is CHRIST.” Let us do our duty to accompany others and to let them experience the real fulfillment in life. Though it needs a lot of patience and humility, yet we must have a grateful heart that there are people who are willing to accompany us and so we too must be willing to accompany others until CHRIST is formed in them.
Until Christ nature is formed in you
“My dear Children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you!” (Gal 4:19)
How beautiful it is to see the great concern of Jesus to each of us. He wanted us to focus on the desire of God in each one of us and make that desire a part of us and have it known through our mother church. In that way, we will have enough strength to accompany others in order for them to recognize their true identity and fulfillment in life. Are you willing to say “YES” to accompany others? Do you recognize that to accompany others is a “gift of opportunity” given to us by God? Who are those concrete faces of people whom God is telling you to accompany?
Conform not to the standards of the world
“Do not conform yourselves to standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly. Be a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“We are not people who turn back and are lost. Instead we have faith and are saved.” (Heb 10:39)
Jesus is so compassionate in teaching us how to be open to His words, for His words can change us inwardly. How beautiful it is to see the love and concern of Jesus in each one of us that He even gave His own life for us, so that we will be able to connect with Him and enjoy His perfection.
To be perfect is to recognize and to accept the challenges. Our life is not meant for this world. Our focus changes and is already one in Jesus as He is one with our Father in heaven. He wanted us to be perfect like Him. He chose us to share our personal experiences with Jesus to others so that they may gain the gift of faith and be saved.
Are you ready to be an apostle who is willing to face the challenges? Are you willing to be taught by Jesus? Then learn to fix your eyes in Him as He promised to be with you till the end of time.
Endure everything with patience
“May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from his glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have you share what God has reserved for his people in the Kingdom of Light.”
“Fidelity consists of getting up each time we fail.” (Jaime Bonet)
We are invited today to remain faithful apostles of CHRIST even how many times we fail to follow Him. We need to remain in Jesus as He remains faithful to us. No matter what happens, let us not get discouraged. Let us remain united in Jesus through His words in our daily prayers in the way we are taught in the Verbum Dei community. Our prayer is the only way to connect to the source of all strength. Consequently, we can continue in our journey in accompanying others. Let us also remain thankful to God for all the difficulties along the way to endure them with patience and humility.
Walk while you have the light
“However the command I now write you is new, because its truth is seen in CHRIST and also in you. For the darkness is passing away and the real light is already shining.” (1 Jn 2:8)
Jesus answered, “The light will be among you a little longer. Continue on your way while you have the light, so that the darkness will not come upon you; for the one who walks in the dark does not know where is he going.” (Jn 12:35)
Let us be grateful to our Lord who reminds us to be grateful to the people who are accompanying us and giving us the light of Christ. Let us thank God for these people who never give up on us. By their examples we should be encourage to walk with others and lead them to the light of Christ as much as they do to us. Our darkness can be light to others as we discover and experience that CHRIST is the light in our darkness. Let us recall how we were being accompanied, and let us use our valuable experience with them as we accompany others.
The stone you rejected becomes the cornerstone
“Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the scriptures say? The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all. This was done by the Lord; what a wonderful sight it is!” (Mt 21:42)
Real transformation is a conversion. It accompanies acceptance and humility. It shows willingness to offer his shortcomings to the Lord and God’s grace. Today we are reminded again that if we follow our CHRIST, we must be ready to face rejection. For CHRIST himself was rejected. As we follow Him, many will misunderstand and misjudge us especially when the people around us can notice our change of attitude and outlook in life. As we follow Christ, our focus has changed and become one in Him. We should fix our eyes in Jesus and be close to Him through His words all the way. He will comfort, guide, and teach us how to be steadfast on His love and to be determined to face all the rejections for CHRIST’s sake, until we are formed in Him.
My life is CHRIST
“So that it is no longer I who live but it is CHRIST who lives in me. This life that I live now I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave his life for me.” (Gal 2:20)
Today God wants us to reaffirm that as His apostles, our labor of love day in and day out, in season or out season can bring others to CHRIST; that all persons we accompany can attain their ultimate identity in finding Christ in their lives. Jesus is reminding us again that our labor is not wasted. How blessed are we being Christ’s chosen ones who help others in leading them to Christ and live for Him. God is so happy and proud of all of us who come to fulfill His will. He eventually gives us a pat to our shoulder and said, “Good job, my child.” He is hoping that we would continue working with Him in His project, until all people may be formed in Christ.
(26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)