Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
I have come to bring fire to humanity
February 17-23, 2020
General Theme: Heirs of a Charism, Open to the Dynamism of the Spirit
General Objective of this Year:
To promote in the entire Verbum Dei Family a missionary, prophetic, itinerant and expansive spirit by looking at the signs of times so that we can joyfully form apostles and evangelizing communities.
To deepen into the roots of our charism and legacy received from our founder, Jaime Bonet, so that we renew our missionary consecration and we transmit it with creative fidelity to the new generations.
Specific Objective for the month:
To go deeper in the understanding of our Charism.
To be faithful to how our founder Fr. Jaime understood this Charism.
The motto chosen for the 2018 Congress of the community : “Heirs of a charism, open to the dynamism of the Spirit,” places us in continuity with that journey. Thus, the need of continuing to deepen in the understanding of our charism. It’s helpful to look where our charism is rooted, the legacy that we received from our founder, Fr. Jaime Bonet. His foundational dialogues that had started at his young age, at fourteen, in a personal experience of dialogue with the crucified Christ, has brought him to feel the call to make Him known to all people. This became the heart of his vocation and the seed of the future foundation of Verbum Dei. From thereon, his passion was to prepare himself for the preaching of the Word. It was for this reason that he also entered the diocesan seminary and after his ordination, he devoted himself intensely to preaching from a prayerful lifestyle that encouraged others to follow Jesus and to proclaim Him. His apostolic activity, then brought about different groups and movement, evangelizing by means of the Word, adapted to young women, who themselves in turn preached, forming themselves for this purpose in the Schools of Apostles. This movement soon spread in the five continents. As we can see, the birth of Verbum Dei is the fruit of Fr. Jaime’s response, faith and faithfulness. In gratitude to the gift received is the continuous openness to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Fundamental equality in our baptismal consecration
In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that we are always “missionary disciples”.
(Evangelium Gaudium 120)
Our founder strongly believed in the equality of all. His firm conviction lies on the fact that all Christians by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism are called to pray, live and proclaim the Gospel, sharing in the joy of Christ’s own life and mission.
Every baptized person, then is invited to a life of prayer and to be drawn close to the fire of God’s love. Concretely, he even promoted the women as he saw it a great lost their contribution in the church. As Pope Francis also stated in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangeli Gaudium, we are all missionary disciples, agents of evangelization. For this, we are challenged to be actively engaged in evangelization - communicating to others what has helped us to live and what has given us hope.
As baptized Christian, how do I take the challenge that is being posed to me? Can Jesus count on me? Or I continue with the excuses I put when it comes to living my baptismal calling?
United by the same prophetic mission
Verbum Dei” from its origin is of an ecclesial nature. Its ecclesiality is based on the intimate insertion in the life and mission of the universal Church. The specific sense of ecclesiality in the Verbum Dei Missionary Family is expressed by integrating in a single Family different states of life, age, cultures and social conditions. Each member and group within the Family, in communion with the whole VDMFa, projects its apostolic dynamism to all peoples.
(Identity & Mission of the VDFa 10)
We are united by the same ideal and mutual commitment to aspire to the perfection of charity, spreading this fraternal love around the whole world, the vital nucleus of the Kingdom of God.
(Identity and Mission of the FaMVD#8)
I have a greater task for you, my servant. Not only will you store to greatness the people of Israel but I will also make you a light to the nations – so that all the world may be saved.
Faith opens horizons. Our founder as a man of faith allowed God’s intervention to happen in his own life. He dreamt with God. He understood the mission he has is to propagate the faith. Thus, we extend as a family, embracing all people of every state and area of life: single, married, old and young, students, people of different backgrounds and occupations, who share the same spirituality and mission. It’s a working together in the growth and development in our discipleship. Just like what we can see with what Jesus did with His chosen disciples, how He worked, and saying, “I need you: a group of people that can help in continuing what I started – who can think with me what activities can be done; how can we grow; what are our needs,etc… and if we are not growing, what has to be done.
What is Jesus’ invitation today to me as I pray?
Being at the service of the Word
The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to people.
What gives life is God's Spirit; human power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you bring God's life-giving Spirit.
Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the “peripheries” in need of the light of the Gospel.
(Evang. Gaudium 20)
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."
Our call is to BE and to ANNOUNCE God’s Word - to be God’s presence and voice.
Thus, with our founder, truly a man of the Spirit, has led him to be in this constant attitude of listening to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. He lived an intense apostolic dynamism and his preaching of the Word of God bore fruit. Vocations then began to spring up. He was not threatened or overshadowed by the achievement of others. For him, if we can do even greater things than he did, much better. Like Jesus, as the Word of God has been sown in one place, the Spirit moves him to go forth to other towns.
How open am I to the work of the Spirit in my life?
Profoundly missionary, in love with Christ
We love Jesus in a practical and effective manner when we apply our love whole-heartedly to His Church. Our habitual attitude towards the Church will be that of a deep and effective filial love for the Mother who gives us being and Life, and who entrusts to us the mission of sharing this same Life among all her children, our brothers and sisters..
I wish you would tolerate me, even when I am a bit foolish. Please do! I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself. 3 I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ—in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake's clever lies.
What we can see from our founder is a person taken by SOMEONE. Thus, his famous phrase,”The mission is someone”. This is what He has transmitted to us and wanting us to be: a person in love with Christ, a heart burning on fire. Receiving the joy and the happiness of Christ, prayer impels us to a life of mission: announcing the Good News that we have heard from Christ himself. The love of God then urges us to apply ourselves completely to the needs of Christ today in our broken world.
How do I see myself as a bridge where others can encounter God?
Aspiring the supreme ideal
To be Christ is the supreme ideal to which all the members of the Family aspire and which, in all justice, we will present to all people in our preaching and apostolate.
I came to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!
Recounting our history is essential for preserving our identity, for strengthening our unity as a family and our common sense of belonging. The very same passion that the first missionaries carried is being passed to us. They serve as a model for us, who young as they were during that time, risked themselves to go out of their comfort zone, of their country and be in a new culture outside and so different from their own, carrying with them the conviction – the Good news has to be received by others as well. They could not just keep it for themselves, having experienced the power of the Word of God in their lives, that can also in others, why not? That made each of us to be here now and discovering our respective vocation. How that encounter one day with the Word of God has brought us the desire to collaborate with Him.
How the simplicity of the missionaries, their inner joy and way of living has attracted us as they aspire for the supreme ideal, what about us?
Living the Kingdom and helping others to live it
So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.
Jesus desired to find hearts ablaze and ready to spread the fire of his love to others. He found such a heart in our founder. Fr. Jaime once stated that “the contact of the apostle with the living fire is important”. This is why he gave such emphasis in his own life, spending many hours in front of the tabernacle, in prayer and dialogue with the Word of God. Later he would come to announce that this prayer in front of the Eucharist forges the heart of the apostle. (cf.Heart on Fire)
In what way am I invited to commit more my life to God to make the Kingdom possible?
7TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
1st Reading: Lv 19:1-18
2nd Reading:1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48