Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Preaching as Paternal Love
April 16-22, 2018
General Theme: Mystical Body of Christ: The preaching and the way we preach is transformed.
To become aware of the presence of Christ in our brothers and sisters of today and to listen to the call of God to announce urgently the Word of God as a way of transforming the world.
The call to preaching in Christ's body is entrusted by God and lived with the intention to form disciples of Christ.
As we journey in this Easter season, the readings somehow lead us to what we have been deepening – the task that we are asked in serving the Body of Christ, i.e., to preach. We have been given the gift of speaking His message.(cf.1 Cor. 12:10). In the book of Acts, we can see how the disciples whom Jesus called and chose to preach (cf.Mk.3:14-15) had so much boldness in speaking the truth, in sharing the Good News they received, inspite of persecution or rejection. They carry the conviction that they need to obey God and be faithful to Him, to what has been entrusted to them, that led the number of disciples to grow larger and larger. (cf.Acts 6:7). Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the Word of God to many, even despite of disagreements between them. Their paternal love for God’s people didn’t stop them to evangelize. (cf. Acts 15:35-40)
Preaching as Paternal love implies not to let go of stating the truth. Philip shares the scriptures to a eunuch and this one,too becomes a believer. (cf. Acts 8:26-40). We are entrusted by God to preach within His Body. Our encounter with the Total Christ-Head and members-opens us to the most appropriate “composition of place” for our daily prayer and mission, and binds us to this living Christ who needs us and claims all of our being. Our encounter with the Total Christ is the most pressing cause and strongest reason for our preaching(cf.VD Statutes).
We preach proclaiming the Good News out of love for Christ and all of the members of His Body. Let our preaching’s ultimate purpose is none other than to make us all share in the communion between the Father and Son in their Spirit of love. It is from God’s love for all that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism “for the love of Christ urges us. Indeed, God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. (cf. 1 Tim 2:3) Salvation is found in truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet her desire, so as to bring the people to the truth. Believing in God’s universal plan of salvation,the Church then, must be missionary. (cf CCC 850)
Preach out of LOVE
Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves, and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which is provided. So when each separate part works as it should the whole body grows and builds itself up through love.
In preaching, we are called to bring the TRUTH in a spirit of LOVE. Let love be the center of our preaching that the whole body of Christ be joined together to grow and be built out of love in the Father’s mercy and grace. Paternal love heals.
How is our prayer and preaching? Do we preach the truth, and out of love for our brethren?
Preach to reach as many people
But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages around here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.”
Jesus came not only for few people, but for all whom God desired to be saved. In the same way we are called to preach to as many people like what Christ did.
Am I contented to the few people to whom I am preaching now? How is Christ calling me to go and preach to “another place” so that His Love and salvation may reach to as many people as possible?
Preach to bring the Good News
When Jesus finished giving these instructions to his twelve disciples, he left that place and went off to teach and preach in the towns near there. When John the Baptist heard in prison about the things that Christ was doing, he sent some of his disciples to him. “Tell us, they asked Jesus, are you the one John said was going to come or should we expect someone else? Jesus answered, “Go back and tell John what you are hearing and seeing: the blind can see, the lame can walk, those who suffer from dreaded skin diseases are made clean, the deaf hear, and the dead are brought back to life and the Good News is preached to the poor.
2 Tim 4:2,4-5
I solemnly urge you to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it ,whether the time is right or not, to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience.They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
We are once receivers of the preaching of others’ experiences of who Christ is in their lives. Now it’s our turn to continue and take part in preaching and proclaiming the Good News of who is Jesus for us.
What is my recent encounter with Christ that He would like me to preach?
Preaching what is entrusted to us
Paul and Barnabas spent some time in Antioch, and together with many others, they taught and preached the word of the Lord. Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in every town where we preached the word of the Lord, and let us find out how they are getting along.” Barnabas wanted to take John Mark with them, but Paul did not think it was right to take him, because he had not stayed with them to the end of their mission, but had turned back and left them in Pamphylia. There was a sharp argument, and they separated: Barnabas took Mark and sailed off for Cypus, while Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the care of the Lord's grace.
In preaching Christ, it is not always smooth sailing. There are moments that conflicts and arguments may arise, but at the end, we continue our work for Christ in the proclamation of His love and life.
How do I handle conflict, misunderstanding, or any arguments in the proclamation of the Good News?
Preach to please God
(Memorial of Sts. Timothy and Titus)
1 Thes 2:4
Instead, we always speak as God wants us to, because he has judged us worthy to be entrusted with the Good News. We do not try to please men, but to please God, who tests our motives.
Let us be courageous enough on what the Lord wants us to preach about, even if it will not please others. Through the light of the Holy Spirit and the courage He gives, let us preach what is pleasing to God and not to men.
Am I courageous enough to speak on what the Lord desires me to speak to his people even if it is not pleasing to them?
Preach to form disciples
1 Tim. 4:11-16
Give them these instructions and these teachings. Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith and purity. Until I come, give your time and effort to the public reading of Scriptures and to preaching and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift that is in you, which was given to you when the prophets spoke and the elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things and devote yourself to them, in order that your progress may be seen by all. Watch yourself and watch your teaching. Keep on doing these things, because if you do, you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
For we brought the Good News to you, not with words only, but also with power and the Holy Spirit,and with complete conviction of its truth. You know how we lived when we were with you; it was for your own good. You imitated us and the Lord, and even though you suffered much, you received the message with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. So you became an example to all believers..All those people speak about how you received us when we visited you, and how you turned away from idols to God, to serve the true and living God..
In forming apostles or disciples, we must be mindful of our own life, of our own testimony, that we may live what we preach and preach what we live in Christ Jesus.
How is my own journey and the journey of the people I am accompanying?
4th Sunday of Easter
(Good Shepherd Sunday)
First Reading: Acts 4:8-12
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 118
Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-2
Gospel: John 10:11-18