Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Mary kept everything in her heart
December 28, 2020 - January 3, 2021
Theme: MARY, PROPHET OF HOPE AND JOY
General Objective: To imitate the woman who received, nourished, shared and give flesh to the Word in her Life. Mother of Verbum Dei, source of our hope and joy.
Specific Objective: To continue to learn from Mary as she introduces us in the ways of maturity in faith - faith as this capacity of dependence on God.
(Feast of the Holy Innocents, Martyrs)
Taking the plight to life
In order to share in abundance and to take care of the divine life that is love, Jesus calls His followers to be disposed in living only from the love of God in its fullness. Mary, all and only love, in the same steps of Jesus, begets, forms, educates, and accompanies the ones who want to follow Him up to the greatest proofs and extremities of love.
Matthew 2:13-15 13
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.” 14 Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt, 15 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.”
In what way are you invited to take care of the life of Jesus in us?
(St. Thomas Becket, Bishop & Martyr)
Experience the inner peace
The perseverance in the real following of Jesus requires an interminable patience in the personal spiritual process as well as that of the others. The patience is the fruit of the true love of God, and this love has its roots in the real humility. Mary is the mother, perfectly humble, with whom God fills to overflowing all the graces that, through generations, are extended to us.
Luke 2:22,33-35 22
When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord… 33 And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed 35 so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
In my everyday journey, am I ready to embrace what it means to follow Jesus?
(6th Day in the Octave of Christmas)
Growing in faith
Evangelii Gaudium 287.
Mary is the woman of faith, who lives and advances in faith, and “her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church”. Mary let herself be guided by the Holy Spirit on a journey of faith towards a destiny of service and fruitfulness. Today we look to her and ask her to help us proclaim the message of salvation to all and to enable new disciples to become evangelizers in turn. Along this journey of evangelization we will have our moments of aridity, darkness and even fatigue.
Am I willing to proclaim his message of salvation to others, what I have seen, heard and experienced?
(St. Sylvester I, Pope)
Contemplating more deeply the birth of Jesus
Evangelii Gaudium 288.
There is a Marian “style” to the Church’s work of evangelization. Whenever we look to Mary, we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. Contemplating Mary, we realize that she who praised God for “bringing down the mighty from their thrones” and “sending the rich away empty” (Lk 1:52-53) is also the one who brings a homely warmth to our pursuit of justice. She is also the one who carefully keeps “all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). Mary is able to recognize the traces of God’s Spirit in events great and small. She constantly contemplates the mystery of God in our world, in human history and in our daily lives. She is the woman of prayer and work in Nazareth, and she is also Our Lady of Help, who sets out from her town “with haste” (Lk 1:39) to be of service to others. This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization. We implore her maternal intercession that the Church may become a home for many peoples, a mother for all peoples, and that the way may be opened to the birth of a new world. It is the Risen Christ who tells us, with a power that fills us with confidence and unshakeable hope: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5). With Mary we advance confidently towards the fulfilment of this promise.”
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
As we continue to reflect on the rich mystery of our faith, what does it bring to us? where does it lead us in our life of following Him?
(Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God)
World Day of Peace
Magnifying and Rejoicing in God
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.50 His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”56 And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
How am I facing this new year? In what am I invited to magnify the Lord in a way to carry His gift of peace in my life?
(Sts. Basil the Great & Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church)
Enter into the mystery of faith
Verbum Domini #28
As we contemplate in the Mother of God a life totally shaped by the word, we realize that we too are called to enter into the mystery of faith, whereby Christ comes to dwell in our lives.
What attitudes am I invited to live in this new year?
First Reading: Isaiah 60:1-6
Resp. Psalm: Ps 72:1-13
2nd Reading: Eph 3:2-6
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12