Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God
(cf. 2 Tim. 1:6)
(March 2-8, 2020)
Heirs of a Charism,
Open to the Dynamism of the Spirit
General Objective for this month:
As we journey in this time of Lent, it’s to rediscover the gifts that God has poured personally and communally through the Verbum Dei Charism that we received and to use them to the full in the service of the Church.
Specific Objective for the week:
To fan into flame the Charism in you with creative fidelity.
We are now in the season of Lent. Lent is a Germanic word which means spring season. The Latin equivalent is “quadragesima” which means forty days. Lent is a time for spiritual spring which is a time for spiritual growth and renewal. This season is an opportunity to rediscover the special grace God has given us through the Verbum Dei Charism.
God has given us a gift and grace to live out this charism through prayer, preaching and witness of life. Oftentimes, we go about our daily lives without knowing that the spirit is working through us and within us. We become the first ones to receive, empowered to teach what Jesus taught us, and practice what we preach with faithfulness and creativity as we take part of Christ's apostolic ministry.
It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit". These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church.(Lumen Gentium #12)
Each one has a place and a role to offer in service of the community and of the Church. In everything that we do must make us more like Christ until our lives become entirely one with Him. We will ask Him to unfold to us the immensity of the gift of our charism. The charism in our hands, given to us to benefit many. It is needed that we may learn to read the signs of the times to attend more closely to the world to remain faithful to our calling, Let us be reminded constantly that in the Church and for the Church, we receive the grace of being apostles, in order to bring the faith to all nations.
God leads us to a personal encounter with Him
Hosea 2:16 So I am going to take her into the desert again; there I will win her back with words of love. I will give back to her the vineyards she had and make Trouble Valley a door of hope. She will respond to me there as she did when she was young, when she came from Egypt. Then once again she will call me her husband—she will no longer call me her Baal.
As we journey this season of Lent, how beautiful it is to see how God leads us to the desert as He desires to speak to us personally, to speak to our hearts again and be renewed in our love for Him through this charism. Praying with the Word of God, He encounters us in our deserts and sustains us in our discipleship.
How many times do I find myself in the desert of my life? Do I see it as a place where God desires to encounter me?
I am Verbum Dei because of God's grace
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God [that is] with me.
1 Corinthians 12:8-1 To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.
Each charism is a gift, and it is God Himself who chose to give us personally the gift of our charism. He also gives each one the graces through his Spirit to journey together as a missionary family inspite the ups and downs in our discipleship.
Which moments of my discipleship made me witness God's grace working in my life and in the Verbum Dei family? How am I trusting God's grace to work in me in situations where I find my life and my discipleship difficult? Do I turn to God with humility and ask to give me the graces I need?
His mercy never comes to an end
Lamentations 3:22-23 The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; They are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness!
Psalms 9:1 I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the wonderful things you have done.
Indeed, how great is God's love and faithfulness to us that he desires that we may learn to receive from him and be renewed everyday in the experience of his mercy and compassion. He pours out his love for us out of His unending faithfulness that even in the moments that we fail again and again, and least expect him, he comes to us, saves us and sustains us by His mercy everyday.
How have I lived my life before I met the community Verbum Dei? What were the things that God has done to my life through the community? Did the charism of praying the Word of God moved me to preach and give witness to the life that God is leading me?
Our calling for unity in prayer
John 17:21 I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
The VDMFa as a whole, in its complementarity, is an expression of the Verbum Dei charism in its fullness and seeks to make visible the being of the Church, in the image of the Trinity, always open to the needs of the world and the signs of the times. “Verbum Dei” from its origin is of an ecclesial nature. Its ecclesiality is based on the intimate insertion in the life and mission of the universal Church. The specific sense of ecclesiality in the Verbum Dei Missionary Family is expressed by integrating in a single Family different states of life, age, cultures and social conditions. Each member and group within the Family, in communion with the whole VDMFa, projects its apostolic dynamism to all peoples. (IMVDMFa#9-10)
United in the same evangelical spirit, the Fraternity carries out in and with the Family its genuine apostolic identity, in joint fidelity to the charism received.
We, Christians bring peace and grace as a treasure to be offered to the world, but these gifts can bear fruit only when Christians live and work together in harmony. This makes it easier to contribute to building relations of respect and peaceful coexistence with those who belong to other religious traditions, and with non-believers (Pope Francis)
God has given us a charism that intend to bring us to be in communion with each other, with the Church and with God, in a way, to be a living sign of the Kingdom of God here on earth. We have received a charism that empowers us to reach out to all peoples who are capable in turn of bringing others as well to be in communion with God.
How am I taking care of my communion with God? Do I seek to be one with my family, with my workmates and in the community? How am I taking advantage of the means given by the church this lent to seek communion with my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Do just what I have done for you
John 13:13-15 “You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.
Jesus calls us to follow him with the specific dynamism of his very same life and mission. This means to be with Him until our entire life is united to God, to understand and love what we learn and experience from Him, and to announce it to others. Our announcement carries the missionary intentionality that persons to whom we teach will teach others creating, among all, Christian communities, ferment of the Gospel, in the midst of the world. (IMVDMFa#28)
Jesus continues to challenge us that with what He shown to us as an example and teaching us through His words and action may be true in us. It takes to believe if we recognize him as our Teacher and Lord. In this way, our charism can continue to benefit our brothers and sisters as they, too start their journey in having establish this personal relationship with Him.
What values do I need to exercise my sensitivity towards the needs of the ones that I accompany so they too may grow deeper in their friendship with God?
Stir up the spirit in me
2 Timothy 1:6-7 For this reason I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.
The community through our charism has given us the means necessary for our growth as disciples, helping us to keep alive the gift we received from God. Yet we cannot be eternal receivers and remain in apostolic unemployment. The Word of God desires to reach out especially those who longed to encounter God personally.
Do I allow the spirit to empower me as a disciple in my daily life? What means given by the Verbum Dei Family helped me to keep alive the fire of the charism in me? In what way can I faithfully give of what I have received from you Lord?
2nd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Gn 12:1-4
Psalm: Ps 33:4-22
2nd Reading: 2 Tm 1:8-10
Gospel: Mt 17:1-9