Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Imitate me as I imitate Christ
(cf. 1 Cor.11:1)
December 23-29, 2019
General Theme: INCARNATION (The Love of God made Flesh)
General Objective: To believe in Love made flesh, letting it be made flesh in us by living Christ’s life of poverty, chastity and obedience
Objective of the week: To fully understand our responsibility as disciples of Christ in this generation that is full of slaveries. We are called to be imitators of Christ and bearers of the key to freedom of those who are entangled in the sinfulness and lies of this world.
Christmas is a season to encounter the love of God expressed in Jesus, His final Word. The life and the coming of Jesus in our midst is not just like a best story to tell or an award-winning manuscript to be put on Guinness book of records that each one should have and be part of their collectible items. Jesus is the real life that everybody needs. He is the love to whom all people are looking and searching. He chose to take our human form to experience our frailties and limitations to encourage us and give us hope to face all life’s challenges. He wants us to draw faith and love from Him to connect and live with Him and never leave from His presence for He is the only one who can satisfy our being.
Jesus wants us to have new horizons to life and to be directed to a decisive orientation to live as God’s children. It is in doing, loving and living like Him that we experience real liberation and freedom with which our Father prepared for us - His will for our life. Let us be aware of the presence of Jesus in us, in each one and live in total freedom. Discovering the reason for His coming, let us allow Him to re-direct our lives towards what is real and essential.
Capacity to accept greater responsibility
St. John of Kanty, Priest
And standing beside the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother's sister, and Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. Therefore, when Jesus had seen his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold your son. Next, he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother." And from that hour, the disciple accepted her as his own."
Jesus has given us the responsibility and the opportunity to continue the mission that He started in our own reality. He keeps on inviting us to be imitators of His deeds in building the Kingdom of God with the intercession of our own Mother Mary who was the first one to allow the incarnation to take root and bear fruit in her own life.
Like Mary and the disciples, am I ready to accept the challenges for greater responsibility?
Persevering in Prayer
Jesus’ other then told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you”
Acts of the Apostles 1:14
"All these were persevering with one accord in prayer with the women, and with Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers."
Mary the mother of Jesus will accompany us in our journey in this missionary life and will always encourage us to “Do whatever He tells you” in order for us to persevere and accomplish our own mission, experiencing it in our flesh and bringing this experience of great love to others fresh and raw. Mary pray for us.
How do I persevere in prayer, asking help from our Mother and co-disciples?
The Nativity of the Lord Jesus
The attitude you should have is the one that Jesus Christ had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a
servant. He became like man and appeared in human likeness.
The Holy Spirit within us moves us to live like Jesus in our own ministry to proclaim what is essential and eternal. We are to present clearly with our own lives the love of Christ totally and freely given. The love from God, becoming flesh, took our human nature to liberate us and others in all our slaveries.
How free and sincere are you in doing the ministry where you commit to take part? does the love of God through Jesus grows in you? do you allow Jesus to motivate you to do it with Him?
Offering what is holy and pleasing to God!
Feast of St. Stephen, First Martyr
"And so, I beg you, brothers, by the mercy of God, that you offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, with the subservience of your mind. "And do not choose to be conformed to this age, but instead choose to be reformed in the newness of your mind, so that you may demonstrate what is the will of God: what is good, and what is well-pleasing, and what is perfect."
"Therefore, as most beloved sons, be imitators of God. And walk in love, just as Christ also loved us and delivered himself for us, as an oblation and a sacrifice to God, with a fragrance of sweetness. But let not any kind of fornication, or impurity, or rapacity so much as be named among you, just as is worthy of the saints,"
Jesus, our Prince of Peace came to bring peace to our world. He lived His life in total consecration and obedience to the Father, revealing His heart, giving all His divine and human nature for the salvation of many for which He was destined to do. St. Stephen followed the footsteps of Jesus, in choosing to live for peace, love and forgiveness. St. Paul invites us to do the same, as we totally dedicate and consecrate ourselves (mind, heart, and will) in forming disciples, free to incarnate the greatest proof of love, Jesus Himself.
What impedes you in the invitation of Jesus to totally offer yourself? what holds you back?
Doing what He sets for us to do
St. John, Apostle and evangelist
"No one has a greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends."
"Therefore, if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of one another. For I have given you an example, so that just as I have done for you, so also should you do."
Jesus will never stop in reminding us to serve as He served and to love as He loved. The greatest sign of loving is to give one’s life to a friend and to wash their feet by showing the compassion they need in their miserable realities. Allowing ourselves to be loved by Jesus will spontaneously make us to desire that others may also know and experience the treasure we possess.
How’s our love and self-giving? are we contented of what we have done? do we have something more to give? what is it? is Jesus inviting you to give it?
Taking care of His life in us
Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs
Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”
To become a liberator of others, we need to protect and take care of the life of Jesus in us against the “Herod” within us and around us. It entails a total dedication and a daily dying from our own selfishness, self-sufficiency and mediocrity in order for others to live. Let us be attentive and sensitive to the voice of God in our daily life, aware to what can threaten and kill the life of Jesus within us.
How close are you with Jesus? is He increasing in you? What part of you denies Jesus?
FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY OF JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH
1st Reading – Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14
Resp. Psalm – Ps 128:1-5
2nd Reading – Colossians 3:12-17
Gospel – Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23