Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
"He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
(cf. John 6:30-35)
June 18-24, 2018
To be nourished by the Eucharist;
To grow in relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist
Objective of the week:
To acknowledge the source of our true food.; the Creator will never abandon his creation
This week is our moment to focus to the kind of nourishment we are going to take. Nutritionists often encourage us to eat the right quality and right quantity of food in order to be well-nourished. They also tell us to take care of what we eat for there is a saying that goes “You are what you eat.” For us Christians we are to eat more than the biological food. We need to seek the bread from heaven. This is the kind of bread provided to us by God the Father our creator. He gave that bread to us personally to let us know that He never abandons us.
“For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jn 6:33
This is very clear about the Eucharist whom Jesus is very present not in appearance but in the substance; this is the bread from heaven.
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry, those who believe in me will never be thirsty.” Jn 6:35
How good if this week we are very open to Jesus in order for us to understand that as disciples of Christ we must not be contented of the scraps of food from the table. What we need is to seek and discover the true nourishment for our spiritual life. This must not be to search for food that looks appetizing, but to really search the will of God. The Eucharist is the will of God. This is the bread from heaven that makes us grow in relationship with Jesus. In this way we can respond to the call to be like Jesus for we are called to become living bread and nourishment for others with our words and life. We are invited by Jesus as he said:
“Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures for eternal life.” Jn 6:24-29
As we receive eternal life from Jesus, we are also reminded that we need to share this kind of life to others. Are you aware that Jesus is also suffering from hunger? His hunger is in the many people who are suffering from spiritual hunger and thirst. As disciples, apostles, missionaries, and people of God we are to be nourished well. Let us be nourished by the word of God and the Eucharist so that we are fit to go to others and joyfully bring the food to them; in order that “these others” will experience the fullness of life that Jesus is bringing to each one of us. Let us start to work now, with urgency, for there is so much spiritual hunger and thirst in the world of today.
HE GAVE US HOPE
1 Thessalonians 4:13-15
Our brothers and sisters, we want you to know the truth about those who have died, so that you will not be sad, as are those who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him. What we are teaching you now is the Lord's teaching: we who are alive on the day the Lord comes will not go ahead of those who have died.
Today is the right moment to thank the Lord for giving us the gift of Hope through His death and resurrection. He is our God who is good and generous in giving us hope especially in the moment of our hopelessness. How much hope do you get from the Lord every day? Are you open to Him fully? Approach to him now for he is always waiting for us in the “Eucharist” for it is Jesus himself present and it is his desire to nourish us from our spiritual hunger and thirst.
HE GAVE US LIFE
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. Whoever comes 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.
Jesus is the real source of life. He is the best protector of this life we receive from him. He is our good shepherd. We are invited by him to enter into the gate of his love in order for us to be nourished in the green pasture, the Eucharist—“the bread of life.” Jesus wanted us to be spiritually nourished so that we will be strong and determined to choose what is essential of this life while we are still on earth.
HE GAVE US PEACE
“I have told you this while I am still with you. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and make you remember all that I have told you. “Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father; for he is greater than I. I have told you this now before it all happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe.
Today is a refreshing moment with Jesus as we see his concern to all of us. How safe we are in the hands of the Holy Spirit. It helps Jesus to assure us that He will be with us until the end of time. Jesus is the only source if authentic peace. But what we need is to connect to him through his words and to be close to him through the Sacraments where the main course is the Eucharist. Do you value prayer as WORK? How much time and effort do you spend in order to pray? Remember this is one of the ways to be connected to God, the source of Peace.
HE GAVE US FORGIVENESS
For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour.
Then everyone went home, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early the next morning he went back to the Temple. All the people gathered round him, and he sat down and began to teach them. The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery, and they made her stand before them all. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. In our Law Moses commanded that such a woman must be stoned to death. Now, what do you say?” They said this to trap Jesus, so that they could accuse him. But he bent over and wrote on the ground with his finger. As they stood there asking him questions, he straightened himself up and said to them, “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.” Then he bent over again and wrote on the ground. When they heard this, they all left, one by one, the older ones first. Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there. He straightened himself up and said to her, “Where are they? Is there no one left to condemn you?” “No one, sir,” she answered. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again.”
How often do you avail the grace of forgiveness through the sacrament of reconciliation? Let us taste and see the goodness of the Lord in his forgiveness. How can we effectively proclaim his mercy to others if we don’t experience it personally. There is nothing for us to be afraid of, we only need to have a contrite heart in front of our Lord Jesus Christ. Listen to him well today for he has many things to tell you about his merciful love. In that way we are ready to be nourished well through the Eucharist.
HE GAVE US FREEDOM
Freedom is what we have — Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.
So Jesus said to those who believed in him, “If you obey my teaching, you are really my disciples; you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” “We are the descendants of Abraham,” they answered, “and we have never been anybody's slaves. What do you mean, then, by saying, ‘You will be free’?”
Jesus is reminding us today that to be nourished by him in the Eucharist makes us his disciples who take responsibility to live out what we have learned from his TRUTH. For the truth that we learn from Jesus is the only way to set us free. Jesus is inviting us to listen more of this TRUTH: HIS WORDS and the EUCHARIST; in order that we will be his apostles fit to go to lead others so that “these others” can receive the freedom that Jesus is giving for all of us.
HE GAVE US JOY
I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
The Eucharist is the food that can strongly make us to remain in Jesus. Jesus is very clear to us that what we need is to eat his body and drink his blood in order to become disciples, apostles, missionaries, and people of God that can joyfully bring the bread of life to others in order for them to be nourished as well. Nothing and nobody can separate us from the Love of God. Being a joyful Christian can be a concrete example for others that what we need in our life is the love of God in the person of Jesus.
Nativity of St. John the Baptist
1st Reading – Isaiah 49:1-6
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 139
2nd Reading – Acts 13:22-26
Gospel – Luke 1:57-66, 80