Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
Dedicate to form Apostles
July 20-26, 2020
Called to form and Journey with a people
To be able to journey with the people the Lord entrusted to us and to form them as apostles who will take our place.
Objective of the week:
To be able to do the mission and enable others to do the same not out of compulsion but out of love and dedication to the Lord and to the people he has entrusted to us.
We are being reminded of the responsibility and repercussion of the life of an apostle. We have a responsibility out of love for our life of prayer that allows us to be faithful more and more to the call of God for us to be His true apostles – both “response-able” and faithful to the Holy Spirit.
Being convince of the faithfulness of God for each one of us, we dedicate our lives in forming apostles. We dedicate ourselves because of our love for the Trinity and because of our love for our brothers and sisters. Forming apostles in many moments is always challenging. There will be time that we will be hurt, frustrated, and tired in forming others. But God’s great love for us and for others is enough to make us walk and go through that gives us joy. Bearing in mind that in forming apostle, we are also formed by the Father in a perfect vessel for Him. Our capacity to be patient, compassionate, and loving is being increased as Christ increases in us.
Certainly, the call to “form apostles” is for the whole Verbum Dei depending on the context where we are. As Verbum Dei apostles, our gaze and focus need to be pointed to the Mystical Body of Christ with its aching member. The harvest is large and there’s a need for more workers to bring God’s salvation to as many people as possible. Thus, as we continue to allow the Lord to form us as we form others, we will seek for people who can in turn be capable of forming others to become his apostles.
Jesus dedicates Himself out of love
Mt 9:36 As He saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them, because there were worried and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Jn. 17:19 And for their sake, I dedicate myself to you, in order that they, too, may be truly dedicated to you.
Jesus gives himself freely to be with us whom He loves. He just cannot bear to see us with the many concerns and situations we are in right now - with the pain, the restlessness, the meaningless of life live in vanity. His heart is full of mercy and compassion appealing to us to recognize Him and discover the life we ought to live that can only be found in Him.
Do you recognize Jesus’ work and dedication in drawing us to be near to Him?
Jesus shares His mission with us
1 Thes 2:7-8 Even though as apostles of Christ we could have made demands on you. But we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children. Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives. You were so dear to us!
IMFMVD #40 - Our vocation is only understood and lived when the joy of one’s own life in Christ is united with the full joy of the same life in our brothers and sisters. As John the apostle and evangelist says, “We are writing this to you so that our joy may be complete” and as Christ’s precursor confirms, “This joy of mine has been made full.”
What moves the apostles to do the mission of Jesus? It is the reward of peace, Joy, gentleness hope and love that no one could ever give in this world. These things are the best that life could give more than money, power and possessions. Like the apostles, when we discover the real treasure, we have the responsibility to share it with many.
What moves you to dedicate yourself to form apostles?
Step into the Mission
James 1:22-25 Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead put it into practice. Whoever listens to the word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks in a mirror and sees himself as he is. He takes good look at himself and then goes away and at once forgets what he looks like. But those who look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, who keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice-they will be blessed by God in what they do.
If the disciple takes too long to act, they become sterile. If after a certain incubation time a bird does not hatch from the egg, already you can leave it because it expires and it’s sterile. It is also like a seed that does not germinate rapidly and grow, it will never grow. Well, something like that is what happens with the disciple. If you receive the Word effectively, that seed of Life sown in your heart, springs up, grows, develops and prepares to bear fruit. The disciples have to grow learning the Word, living it and giving it. You have to give it necessarily, for that Word is the Word of Life and there are many people who need it. (cf. Form Apostles)
Our founder stresses the importance of the task of helping and forming others. We are invited to act in order to advance. A simple gesture with a great intention of doing the good work God entrusted to us is better the big plan kept in mind.
Have you set a particular time for prayer? Make a daily option today to nurture your identity as Verbum Dei.
Dedicated to be formed and to form
Gal 4: 19- My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ’s nature is formed in you.
1 Thes 1:6 You imitated us and the Lord, and even though you suffered much, you received the message with that joy comes from the Holy Spirit.
In dedicating ourselves in forming apostles, we are also being formed by God in a perfect way that we may be a pleasing apostle for Him. Sometimes it is painful but at the same time joyful.
How is God forming you as you form others?
Jesus is with us in forming apostles
John 14:12-14 - I am telling you the truth those who believe in me will do what I do – yes, they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.
In forming apostles, we are not alone. Jesus will always be there to capacitate and guide us on how to accompany, journey and teach others to be His apostles, too.
How is Jesus encouraging you to do the mission of forming apostles?
Seek and accompany people who can do the mission better
Acts 14:3 - The apostles stayed there for a long time, speaking boldly about the Lord who proved that their message about his grace was true by giving them the power to perform miracles and wonders.
IMVDMF 41 – For the sake of the Gospel we will give up our own lives day after day, full time, to prayer and the ministry of the Word. Following the spirit of the first disciples-apostles of Jesus, it is not right that we should abandon the Word for any reason. That is why we will ask from and confide to the people that the Lord puts in our path the preparation of places and necessary spaces for the faithful accomplishment of our urgent and irreplaceable mission. We will ask for the cooperation of our brothers and sisters in Christ, so that the most in need of society do not feel excluded from the living and personal experience of the Lord of the Father who loves all his children equally, without any favoritism or discrimination.
I will find people better than myself. – Jaime Bonet
There will be perfect apostle for a specific people. Let’s work amidst challenges.
Who are those people God is inviting you to form for Him in this moment?
1st Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Resp. Ps: Psalms 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16;
2nd Reading: Romans 8:26-27;
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43