Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
"I in Them and You in Me."
March 12-18, 2018
MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST: The composition of place for our daily prayer and mission.
Mystical Body of Christ: To create awareness of the presence of Christ in our brother and sisters of today.
It’s for us to live and share in God’s divine love until we be perfectly one.
We continue praying with the Mystical Body of Christ as one of our sources of Spirituality that enriches us in how we read God’s Word. The invitation for this week is to deepen in the awareness of Christ’s presence in our brothers and sisters and how this awareness can affect our daily prayer.
In the tradition of the Church, Saint Augustine teaches us to read the Psalms as prayers said by Christ’s body to Christ’s head. So we’ll try to experience this prayer some days of this week.
Here are some numbers of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which makes reference to the relevance of praying being aware of the Mystical Body of Christ:
‘The body's unity does not do away with the diversity of its members: "In the building up of Christ's Body there is engaged a diversity of members and functions. There is only one Spirit who, according to his own richness and the needs of the ministries, gives his different gifts for the welfare of the Church." The unity of the Mystical Body produces and stimulates charity among the faithful: "From this it follows that if one member suffers anything, all the members suffer with him, and if one member is honored, all the members together rejoice." Finally, the unity of the Mystical Body triumphs over all human divisions: "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (CCC791)
We are invited to deepen our prayer in order to deepen our relationship with the Lord. He needs our participation in the Church’s mission. God has shown His initiatives to unite all His children; therefore He needs us so that others may receive His grace.
‘Your son will live.’
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.
A royal official presents his ill son to Jesus asking him to heal ‘the son as he was at the point of death’.
Love is what gives life to Christ’s body. In the gospel, life and death is not only related to a physical condition but it is also a spiritual one.
We invite you to reflect the following:
which situations/ people are we concerned with because of being ‘ill… at the point of death’ in loving? Have you ever invited others to turn to Him?
‘Do you want to get well?’
John 5: 1-10
Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
Jesus not only met the physical and emotional, spiritual sick, blind, lame, paralyzed but he united himself totally to them. So, when I see someone sick of love, blind in his/her capacity to believe or trust, lame or paralyzed in forgiving or loving others, Christ is actually there. Who are these people, part of Christ’s body, around your life?
‘Do you want to be well again?’ asks Jesus head to them.
Let’s not be indifferent to Christ in them, but like Jesus, and with gentleness, help them (Christ’s body) in their hearts to believe and love.
‘Cried out to God for help…’
I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal:
the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all your works
and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Saint Augustine interpreted many Psalms as prayers said by Christ’s body to Christ’s head. An example of this is Psalm 77, ‘I cry to God in my distress… is his faithful love gone for ever?’
These words are said and felt in the heart of people that are also part of Christ’s body. As we listen to other people’s doubts of faith, could we connect there with Christ’s head asking us to encourage them, members of his body, to believe and infuse hope to them?
‘Remember me, Lord in your love to your people.’
Psalm 106: 4-7
Remember me, Lord, in your love to your people,
come to my aid when you save them,
that I may enjoy the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may share in the joy of your nation and join your inheritance in giving praise.
We have sinned, even as our ancestors did; we have done wrong and acted wickedly.
When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles;
they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
Lent is a time to connect with the longings in our heart in need of forgiveness and be immersed in God’s mercy.
As we pray today’s psalm, ‘remember me in your love to your people’, the invitation is to situate ourselves as part of Christ’s body telling this to the head who wants to reveal His mercy to us.
Do you believe God’s mercy to you and to all? And can this be the way to unite the broken parts of the mystical body of Christ?
God is close to the brokenhearted
Psalm 34: 17-20
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
Today we invite you to pray for all those we know that are broken hearted. Who and how are they in Christ’s body?
Sin or lack of love for self, for others and for God, breaks our hearts. However, the connection with Christ’s head can fill us with God’s love and bind our wounds, restore and rebuild us.
How is Christ inviting me to participate in his loving mercy helping others (Christ’s body) to experience His (Christ’s head) healing loving mercy?
Save and deliver me from my enemies
Psalm 7: 1-4. 9-10
Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all my enemies, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands--
if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe--
Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure—you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart.
Today the Psalmist cries out for God to rescue him from the enemy.
Who are the enemies in our lives and so also threatening Christ’s body, tempting us and pulling us away from a life of love, faith and hope?
Fifth Sunday of Lent
1st Reading – Jeremiah 31: 31-34
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 51
2nd Reading – Hebrews 5: 7-9
Gospel – John 12: 20-33