Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Eucharist: The Forge
July 2-8, 2018
General Theme: Eucharist forms and transforms apostles
To renew constantly my identity as an apostle in the Eucharist.
To follow the same steps of Jesus.
Objective of the week:
To enter into this forge where we find an intimate transforming dialogue
For a couple of months we have been reflecting on the Eucharist as one of the sources of our spirituality as Verbum Dei disciples and apostles—Eucharist as an expression of the generous love of God, and a source of nourishment.
This month, as disciples and apostles we are invited to partake in the Eucharist not as guests but as a member of the household wherein we allow ourselves to be nourished and strengthened by this loving relationship with Jesus, which becomes for us a forge of love that deeply touches and molds our identity as Christians.
A forge is a place where metal objects are made by heating and shaping.
“Like the blacksmith at his anvil, planning what he will make from a piece of iron. The heat from the fire sears his skin as he sweats away at the forge. The clanging of the hammer deafens him as he carefully watches the object he is working take shape. He takes great pains to complete his task, and will work far into the night to bring it to perfection.” (Sirach 28:38)
Eucharist as a forge, is also a place where we experience the burning love of God, recognizing his voice in the midst of the noises of the voices in our minds and the weight of his words hammering our hardened hearts, molding us like scraps of iron heated and hammered to its perfection.
Entering this forge of love in the Eucharist, we are drawn to the presence of God, who like a blacksmith who knows well what kind of metal we are and with full knowledge and understanding of our uniqueness and capacity to be formed and molded to live with meaning and purpose.
FORGE OF BELONGINGNESS
19So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God,20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone. 21 Through him the whole structure is held together and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord; 22 in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
The Eucharist is a place where we all gather as one, regardless of race, gender, and status. It is through our faith and Christ’s that, despite our differences, hold us together as one community and transform our emptiness into fervor of His love. When we come to the Eucharist, Jesus is not only inviting us to come and be nourished but also to remain and experience his acts of love and mercy toward us as his disciples and apostles.
Who am I toward Jesus in the Eucharist?
Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle
FORGE OF FAITH
30 He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Wasn't it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others 34 and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”
35 The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread.
The Eucharist opens our eyes to see that, despite all the time that has passed since Jesus walked this earth, He is still with us. It gives us hope and courage to follow our faith in Him, released from fear and doubt.
Which part in the Eucharist helps us to recognize Jesus’ presence among us?
Memorial of St. Elizabeth of Portugal
FORGE OF TRUST
My child, if you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. 2 Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. 3 Stay with the Lord; never abandon him, and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. 4 Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient. 5 Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. 6 Trust the Lord, and he will help you. Walk straight in his ways, and put your hope in him.
In the Eucharist,our identity as Jesus’ disciples and apostles is forged through the Word of God, is tested like hard metal in the furnace of the different realities we face every day.
In the moments where things become difficult, do I place my hope in Him, in His words in the Eucharist? How am I allowing Jesus to forge in me the trust in God's will?
Memorial of St. Anthony Zaccaria
FORGE OF IDENTITY
1 Corinthians 3:10-13
10 Using the gift that God gave me, I did the work of an expert builder and laid the foundation, and someone else is building on it. But each of you must be careful how you build. 11 For God has already placed Jesus Christ as the one and only foundation, and no other foundation can be laid. 12 Some will use gold or silver or precious stones in building on the foundation; others will use wood or grass or straw. 13 And the quality of each person's work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. For on that Day fire will reveal everyone's work; the fire will test it and show its real quality.
The Eucharist is a template on which we build our lives with Christ as its core. Through it, we are able to determine the quality of how we are living, measured not in material possession but in spirit and deeds.
Have I been living my life with Christ as an example? How am I building my life?
Memorial of St. Maria Goretti
FORGE OF FIDELITY
24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”
28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”
Oftentimes, we are plagued with doubt due to uncertainties and tests that the world throws at us. We continue to seek for miracles, not knowing that the Eucharist is a miracle in itself. Through it, we are filled with an assurance that the sacrifices we have to endure are like that of a refiner’s fire—harsh but fueled to remove our weakness that prevents us from being a true disciple of Christ.
Were there times where doubt overcame my faith? What made me believe again?
FORGE OF MISSION
12 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. 13 Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14 And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. 15 The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Christ's message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct one another with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. 17 Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
Encountering Jesus in the Eucharist immerses us into this fire for the mission of living in our lives the reflection of our real identity in Christ and witnessing to the world.
How am I allowing myself as a disciple to be forged for this apostleship?
FOURTEENTH Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading – Ezekiel 2:2-5
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 123
2nd Reading – 2Corinthians 12:7-10
Gospel – Mark 6:1-6