Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
He comes to open a new way for all people
December 9-15, 2019
The love of God made flesh
To believe in love made flesh, letting it be made flesh in us by living Christ’s life of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
To discover why Jesus Christ the Son of God became a human being and showed the way of salvation to all people.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (John 3:16).
From the very beginning the love of God towards his creations, specially us, has never been failing, never ceasing; it goes through times abound. For this reason, God never stop reaching us in the midst of our sinfulness and stubbornness. Through the signs of time God continuously speaks to us making communion with us, from the days of the prophets until the generations to come. Even his begotten Son, Jesus as a proof of his unwavering love, became man, live our humanity and became a bridge for the reconciliation between human and God.
Jesus became man to show us the way to life - a new way of living - the kind of life that allows us to partake in the identity of God in restoring our lives as His temple making it hope for others, bringing forth healing and happiness of life to the fullest.
As we continue our journey this advent, how great we can enter into this mystery of God’s love, in giving us Jesus together with Mary who has been this instrument of God in bringing forth the salvation that God desires for the whole humanity.
(Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception)
Manifestation of God’s love
O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world! Your praise reaches up to the heavens; it is sung by children and babies. You are safe and secure from all your enemies; you stop anyone who opposes you. When I look at the sky, which you have made, at the moon and the stars, which you set in their places - what are human beings, that you think of them; mere mortals, that you care for them? Yet you made them inferior only to yourself; you crowned them with glory and honor. You appointed them rulers over everything you made; you placed them over all creation: sheep and cattle, and the wild animals too; the birds and the fish and the creatures in the seas. O Lord, our Lord, your greatness is seen in all the world!
How our God has cared for us! Our identity and dignity can be seen in the greatness of our Lord, proclaimed also by our Mother. God marvelously created us inferior to himself alone. Mere mortals, but yet in his great benevolence, being lavishly cared for from life itself up to the graces bestowed to us appointing us rulers of all his creation to restore, heal and re-create.
Have I realized my identity and dignity as a human being?
Have I claim it as my own?
Showing us the way to the Father
Jesus answered him “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me”.
“No one goes to the Father except by me” is Jesus’s conviction of his identity, that people may see the Father through him. His total love and obedience to the will of the Father makes him faithful to this identity proclaiming himself as the way, the truth, and the life. With this, we are all being reminded that as Christians we share the same identity of Christ as children of God and we are invited to be faithful, so that others may see the Father through us in our entire being with our words, actions, and dispositions in life.
Have I been faithful to my identity?
How can I make the Father visible in my entire being?
Follow His example
The Father and I are one.
But the world must know that I love the Father; that is why I do everything as he commands me. “Come, let us go from this place.”
Living life to the fullest is embracing the truth of our identity and it is the very reason why Christ became man, to show us the full extent of our being. This fullness of life can be drawn out if we can understand the greatness of the Father through Christ who showed us the will of the Father. By the examples and teachings of Christ, we learn the desire of the Father. Realizing how is the Father loving us, we can then grasp the fullness of life that He wants for all of us his children.
How can I understand the depth of the Father’s desire?
How can I live my life to the fullest?
Is his will my will?
(Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe)
A life in it’s fulness
So Jesus said again, “I am telling you the truth: I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be saved; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness. “I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd. The Father loves me because I am willing to give up my life, in order that I may receive it back again. No one takes my life away from me. I give it up of my own free will. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it back. This is my Father has commanded me to do.”
Christ did not just become man to show us the Father. He became man in order for us not just to see, but to feel and experience him in the depths of our being. He became man to share to us the greatness of the Father so that we may realize how blessed we are who enjoys the goodness of the Father. He became man to bring back those who were lost and gave up his life so that we may have life.
What kind of life I am living now?
How can I experience the greatness of the Father in my being?
To what extent I can give up my life to have a life in its fullness?
(Feast of St. Lucy)
Dying to our old selves
You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
The Son of God became man to enable men to become the sons of God. (Augustine of Hippo)
Our God seeks to be in total communion with us. It is the very reason for His incarnation. We can have the kind of life that He promises to us, only when we clothe ourselves with what he lived, embracing and taking it as our own. It’s then to die in our old selves that only harbors death and abhors life in what Christ is offering to us. It is to bring out the beauty of life in us, a life that surpasses death.
What is it that He is inviting me to clothe myself of?
What do I need to deny myself of?
Rejoice in God’s actions
Jerusalem rejoices because of what the Lord has done. She is like a bride dressed for her wedding. God has clothed her with salvation and victory.
The desire of our Father to be with us does not start and end with the birth and death of Christ, but it goes on forever without end. Here lies our reason to rejoice. It is then our responsibility, humans crowned with glory and honor, to treasure this identity and dignity bestowed to us by our God through our Lord, our redeemer, our teacher, our brother, and friend Jesus Christ.
How can I treasure it more?
(Third Sunday of Advent)
1st Reading – Isaiah 35:1-6a,10
Psalm – Ps 146:6-7,8-9,9-10
2nd Reading – James 5:7-10
Gospel – Matthew 11:2-11