Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!
(Jan 27 – Feb 2, 2020)
Missionaries for all people
To enter in Jesus' spirit of openness and dialogue with all peoples and learn from him to be missionaries of communion for the world of today.
Specific Objective: To learn from Jesus’ life of sacrifice in order to bring the good news and gather us into the Father’s abode.
Our Christian faith consist of having this personal friendship with Jesus. If we don’t know Him deeply, have a renewed encounter with Him in our daily prayer, we haven’t truly grasped what is in our faith. As missionaries for all peoples, we need to undergo a process of transformation. As we go about the different stages and seasons in life, we grow in our relationship with God and others.
As we mature in our faith through God’s grace, the Holy Spirit will help us talk about Jesus – about our heart being wired to GOD. Through the eyes of faith we are sensitive to those people who have lost the sense of God – those who have forgotten the sense of transcendence. It compels us to share this Jesus who is the center of our lives. We want others to return to Jesus, to look at Him and to talk to Him.
To those of us who have encountered the Lord, have in mind that everyone is called and each has a specific mission. It compels us to bring this LIGHT that we have seen – to bring the Christ that we have become to the world. We need not travel to far oceans and mountains to go to mission territories. The mission is in our home, our neighbor, our workplace and in the people & situations that we encounter daily. Patience and perseverance are essential in the journey as we continue learning from Jesus to bring the Good News to others.
One with Jesus
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Then Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath he went as usual to the synagogue. He stood up to read the Scriptures…Jesus rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. All the people in the synagogue had their eyes fixed on him as he said to them, “This passage of Scripture has come true today, as you heard it being read.”
True joy comes when we are with one another. Many are unaware that we belong to the mystical body of Christ, thus we are united as one in God. Yet there are several areas in our lives that causes division … selfishness, envy, pride, greed, lust and many others. Being one, do you feel the pain, confusion and loss of others? How do you combat these deadly sins that would often come to divide and destroy us? How do you help in the healing of the sick members of Christ’ body? In Jesus, the Scriptures was fulfilled. He came to bring the Good News - God’s love to all, especially to those in suffering and in sorrow. He came to tell us that God stood with us, not against us. A missionary of Christ brings the love of God as such that it seeks the good of the other.
What is that good in you today that you can bring to others?
Doing the will of God
A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
“To convert somebody go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
(St. Thomas Aquinas)
For Jesus, His true family are those who do God’s will. Jesus did the Father’s will faithfully up to the end. What is the will of our Heavenly Father? It is His will that we live in the present moment where His joy, peace, love, hope abounds, and that we share these to others – to the multitude who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. But many of us today have become slaves of our dreams, passions, desires and ambitions in life. This is definitely not the will of the Father. His will is for us to be joyful and free from the worries and cares of this life. It’s to have an intimate relationship with Him in order to know more of His will, plans and purpose of our being.
Are you willing to give up everything -- your time, resources, plans and dreams to pursue God’s plan and will? How are you accompanying others in such a way they, too can do His will?
“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”9 Then Jesus said“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
Today, Jesus is asking you, do you hear the Word of God? He called His listeners to enter into a true relationship with God. From this relationship, we will work for God with hearts focusing on what truly matters, to bear fruits of the Kingdom and share all that we receive to others.
When the WORD of GOD was sown into your life, did it actually take root and produced fruit?
Can you hear and listen to the cry of many who are hungry for Christ, those who are in need of purpose and meaning in life?
Bringing light to many
21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
As the Scripture says, “ Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.” But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, “How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!”
Goodness is a light that should not be hidden. Share your time, talent and treasure to others. With this, there is hope that your self-giving would inspire and contaminate others. On the other hand, omission is hiding the light. They say that evil thrives because of the lack of concern of many good people. Thus, we need to be involved, sympathize and empathize with others.
When we share the Word of God, it is a light that would spread and illumine the hearts and mind of others. Have you lately taken the time to share this light—the Word of God to others?
Aspiring for the Kingdom
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
Our journey in life is a process. There are stages and moments when growth occurs, and when it becomes fruitful or progress/success. God sees our potentials rather than our weaknesses. Likewise, God wants us to do so with others. The journey to holiness is a slow pace but by God’s grace it will come and bring forth the right yield in God’s time. As missionaries for all people, we need to have the patience and perseverance in accompanying others to Christ, in making the Kingdom of God present among us.
Bringing Others to the Flock
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.
How different is to live in this world with the awareness of our belongingness to God. Yet, it’s also to admit that we have aspects in our lives that are currently not under his control, leading us to go astray and away from Him. Today, let us simply find comfort in our God who watches over us, day and night. How fortunate we are to have Him always with us, ready to search and rescue us in our life, trying to put harmony, peace and order. How have we brought to others our experience of Him in a way that they be brought back into the sheep pen?
4th SUNDAY in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Mal 3:1-4
Resp.Psalm: Psalm 24
2nd Reading: Heb 2:14-18
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40