Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
“If I have no love, I am nothing.”
(1 Cor 13:26)
May 6-12, 2019
Specific Objective: To discover that to love is vital for a person.
Have you asked yourself these questions: What is my life for? Is my life only to love only my family and those around me?
This week we are going to listen intently to the words of God that guide us to what kind of life we have to live now. That our life is for loving because that is our real identity. For loving is not optional but vital, meaning very necessary in our life. For life is meaningless and useless if we don’t live our life according to the purpose of God. God created us in love for He is love. That is why directing our life for loving is a commandment. It is an absolute imperative that demands us to make the choice to love. For loving brings joy and peace to life and failure to love means death, as it brings sadness within. So we are to remember that we must choose life. The life that the risen Christ has given to us.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI shared in his spiritual reflection said: “The new life emerges, live well: live life in such a way that when death comes, you will not die.” (Sermo Guelferb 9,3).
How to live well? To live well is to exercise the love that we receive from Jesus and share it with others. This is a true fulfilment. Let us make the decision to love. Let us not be choosy in our loving for God loves us, who we are and what we are. Instead, let us follow what Saint Paul has said in Gal. 4:13-16, “Let love make you serve one another. For the whole law is summed up in one commandment. Love your neighbors as you love yourself.”
To Love is My Real Identity
Then God said, “And now we will make human beings; they will be like us and resemble us. They will have power over the fish, the birds, and all animals, domestic and wild, large and small.” So God created human beings, making them to be like himself.
The image of God is love for “God is Love”. His likeness is a life of “True Loving”. We are reminded today that love is our real identity. How great is the Lord our God for creating us like himself. This is our highest identity and our true dignity.
Do you believe that your true self is love? We may see ourselves negatively, or we may even judge often ourselves, others may put us down, but God sees us with love and with the capacity to love above all. Let’s live today under His loving gaze, He who believes we are love and so He believes in our capacity to love.
To Love is not Optional But Vital
1 Cor 13:1-3
I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned - but if I have no love, this does me no good.
1 Cor 13:13
Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
To love is not optional for we really have to love, for that is who we truly are, the way God created us to. For example, if we live just to work or just to earn money, but we don’t care to love, sooner or later, we will feel insatisfied, sad. Or who doesn’t experience being upset and down when there are problems in relationships? Love makes us feel our life has a worthwhile purpose. Life is meaningless and useless if it is not used for loving.
Who are you if you don’t love? Do you find that love is essential in your life? Why?
To Love is the Best Choice
If you love others, you will never do them wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law.
For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
The greatest gift that we receive from God is His life and love through Jesus, His Son. He invites us to do the same, as children of God. We have received much love from God, so then we have to share this to others. This is the only way to have the fullness of life where true happiness comes. God knows that sometimes we feel we cannot love as we’d like to. But He asks us to receive His Love first so we are able to love others.
How can we love others as we are loved by God or as God teaches us to love ourselves?
To Love is to Live
Lk 10: 25-28
A teacher of the Law came up and tried to trap Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “What do the Scriptures say? How do you interpret them?”
The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’”
“You are right,” Jesus replied; “do this and you will live.”
We are reminded today about the greatest gift of love our God has given us through Jesus: the Eternal Life. Jesus is constantly teaching us how to live each day with the quality of life being children of God and with the belief that real life is eternal, this is the greatest inheritance we receive from God. Jesus is always inviting us, “Choose eternal Life”, that is choose to love, because love is the only thing eternal, that will last from our lives and that we will take with us when we die.
What kind of life do you choose to live each day? Do you believe that only what you love will last forever?
To Love is our Mission
1 Jn 4:8-9
Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.
Be always thankful to God for the gift of community through the Verbum Dei Catholic Missionary Family, which main mission is to help us/ others to know God, the source of all Love our hearts seek for. Today, I invite us to prayers for the whole Verbum Dei Community throughout the world. That all of us in the community will be open to receive God’s Grace and strength in order to continue the mission work of letting people know God, that their lives can become become springs of love to many.
How is your discipleship after encountering the risen Lord? Is your “Yes” still blazing for the mission? How often you allow your life become a life for loving? How does attending to the sacraments help you to be empowered to love?
The Exercise of Love Constitute our True Fulfillment
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your friends, hate your enemies.’ But now I tell you: love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may become the children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike, and gives rain to those who do good and to those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect—just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Let us make the decision to love, regardless of our feelings toward others. Our life is meaningless and a failure if it is not in function to love others. We were created by a perfect love from the Father; He wants to empower us to be perfect sharers of this love to others. As St. Augustine said, “His resurrection is a sacrament of new life.” So if the old life is a life of sin and guided by our ego impulses, the new life is a life guided by the love of God within us, which brings greater fulfilment.
Do you want to achieve real fulfilment in life? What is real fulfilment? How often do you connect to the source of perfect love that help us to love friends and enemies?
4th Sunday of Easter
Good Shepherd Sunday
1st Reading: Acts 13:14,43-52
Resp.Psalm: Ps 100:1-3,5
2nd Reading: Revelation 7:9,14b-17