Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Be My Voice!
August 10-16, 2020
Heirs of a charism of the word with a prophetic character
To learn from John the Baptist how he prepared the people to encounter the Messiah with his words and life.
To experience the joy in bringing others to Christ, in leading them back to a renewed relationship with Him.
John the Baptist has been the ‘voice of someone shouting in the desert’ (John 1:23), the voice that shouted with passion the message of repentance as he wanted the people of Israel to be converted and be back to God. Like John the Baptist, we are also called to be the voice at this present time to move the conscience of many. John is the voice that lasts for a time and so are we, but Christ is the Word that lives forever in our hearts. If we take away the word, the meaning, what is the voice? Where there is no understanding, there is only a meaningless sound. The voice without the word strikes the ear, but does not build up the heart. (From St. Augustine, Sermon) Just like John, the sounds of our voices bring the meaning of the Word to others and then pass away.
We share the joy of John, knowing that we, like him also bring others to Christ and igniting in them a renewed and strong relationship with Christ our Lord. John understood that he was a lamp, and his fear was that it might be blown out by the wind of pride.
John as the sound of the voice has made itself heard in the service of the Word, and has gone away, as though it were saying: My joy is complete. Let us hold on to the Word; and not lose the Word conceived inwardly in our hearts as John did.
(St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr)
"A voice called to prepare the way"
Luke 3:3-6 “He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.”
Like John, we are called to prepare the way of the Lord towards ourselves and to the people whom God has wanted to reach through us.
Have I recognized the invitation of God to prepare myself and others for His coming?
(St. Clare, Virgin)
"A voice that testify about Jesus Christ"
Luke 3:22-26 “After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
John desired to be great in God’s sight, and not in others. He humbly recognized that he was merely the one sent to prepare the way for the Messiah to come. As followers of Christ, we are also called to again and again testify about Christ and His works in us and in others.
Have I recognized that I am called again and again to testify about Christ in my daily journey?
(St. Frances de Chantal, Religious)
"A voice who knows his place"
Mt.3:13-17 “ Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
John knew and accepted his place in God’s plan of salvation of humankind. He knew what was his task and never overdid the work by relying on himself, but relying on the truth and in the grace of God.
Have I recognized that the effort I made is my act of gratitude to God? Have I not desired to be praised by doing the will of the Father?
(St. Pontian & Hippolytus)
"A voice, joyful for others"
Mt 11:2-6 “When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
Like John, we are called not to magnify ourselves, but Jesus. Seeing the conversion of heart and that our voice has not put into waste is enough for us to be joyful.
Have you recognized the work of God in the lives of the people to whom you are called to be His voice?
(St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest & Martyr)
"A voice that proclaims God’s love"
Jn 1:15 John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, l ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’”
John was born to manifest the glory of God that was within him. Thus, he constantly reminds us that we are only the voice preparing His way, the voice that proclaims the greatness of our God and His unfailing love for the whole human race. For this we are happy to serve God with all our cheerful hearts.
Does the Lord invite you to speak for Him to concrete people? Who are they?
(Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
"A voice that form others"
FMVDC #49 Faithful to the intention of the Word of God and to our Teacher’s greatest concern, we will heed the mandate and final wish of Jesus: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” and we will teach them to keep everything that Jesus has commanded us. We will seek that they may in turn be just as capable of making disciples and instructing others, transmitting, successively, the same mission of preaching the Gospel which has been confided to us by Jesus. We will seek that no one feels excluded, but rather that they may be administrators of the incalculable riches, rights, and duties proper to their Christian identity, conferred on them by Baptism, as priest, prophet and king.
As Verbum Dei, we are called to form and make as many disciples as the Lord desires us to be. Let us be faithful like our Mother Mary in His calling as He will capacitate us in the journey of forming others.
Does the Lord invite you to stand up to your identity to what you are called to and form others? Where? What prevents you to do so?
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 56:1,6-7
Resp. Psalm: Ps 67:2-3,5-6,8
2nd Reading: Rom. 11:13-15, 29-32.
Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28