Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
"Do whatever He tells you"
(cf John 2:5)
November 12-19, 2018
MARY: the mother of God and mother of the Church.
To experience the maternal love of Mary that urges us to do the mission. To know Mary as the model and example for all saints in the Church.
To be able to find support with Mary, the same support she gave to Jesus in the mission.
We are now pondering the fourth source of the Verbum Dei Spirituality, "Mary our Mother". This is one of the best things that Fr.Jaime Bonet, our founder had passed on to us, members of the Verbum Dei missionary family throughout the world. Jaime emphasized the important role of Mother Mary in our perseverance in the actual and real discipleship.
In actual and real discipleship, Fr. Jaime had the awareness of the struggle to persevere, and he taught us how we can be helped by Mary in the perseverance in the real following of Jesus as it requires an interminable patience... Patience is a fruit of the true love of God, and this love has its roots in real humility. Mary is the Mother, perfectly humble, to whom God fills to overflowing all the graces and that through generations extend to us. (A Heart on Fire p. 53)
How beautiful that this week reminds us again of the great opportunity that God has given to us, "A Real Mother" (cf.Jn.19:26-27).
Mary is still the heart of the church, the mother of the family of God. The Mother of Jesus still goes with us, sharing our joys and hopes, helping us with all the challenges of our daily life. She still opens her arms to us with tender love, to give us comfort and guidance. As we struggle in this journey in life, let us never be robbed of hope.
Mary as the Mother of God and our Mother in the whole church accompanies us bringing "Hope" that she readily shares to us since she knows that all of us need that hope that God wanted us to receive and possess in our hearts in order to persevere. She also wanted us to enjoy our life being blessed like her.
Mother Mary wants to show to us that the blessedness is not only of her, but to all of us. She wanted to emphasize that her blessedness is passed on to us as long as we always keep the Word of God in our hearts all the time of our life. The great concern of Mama Mary to all her children now are:
What is the concept of "being blessed" in the present generation?
Is the present generation's beliefs and judgments can make us open when Mary will tell us , "Do whatever he tells you"?
Can this concept bring hope in order to continue to follow Christ?
Mother Mary has this great sense of urgency for each one of us, that we may have openness and the desire to look at her as our reference point in what is an authentic blessedness and a true life with the presence of the Lord.
Let us now focus on Mary the Mother of God and Mother of the Church to learn from her great humility and to find her support for our perseverance in our discipleship and to do the mission with a joyful heart.
Ask Humbly To Increase Our Faith
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
(Lk 17: 5-6)
We are reminded of the importance of faith in our apostleship in order to perform the mission. Faith is a gift from God to us. The best example of having a true faith in the will of God is Mary, our Mother in Faith. She showed us how humble she accepted the gift of faith through pondering the message of God given to her.
How much faith do you need in order to do the mission? Are you faithful in your personal prayer every day? Have you tried to ask God the gift of faith in all humility? Do you consider your daily prayer as the moment to receive the gift of faith from God?
Doing Our Duty
7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
(Lk. 17: 7-10)
Today is the moment of thanksgiving to God for giving us the opportunity to serve Him through the mission. We can learn from Mother Mary how to become a faithful servant of God, concretely seen when she responded to the angel in Lk. 1:38, "I am the Lord's servant... may it happen to me as you have said"
How faithful are you in following Jesus as a Verbum Dei disciple? Are you willing to become a faithful servant of God by responding to the call to serve through the mission.
Giving Thanks To God
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
(Lk. 17: 11-19)
The secret of a faithful disciple is having a grateful heart. To be grateful for the very first experience of his/her personal encounter with Jesus. Do you still remember your first personal encounter with Jesus here in the Verbum Dei Community? What a beautiful encounter where you experienced healing from the love of God through His words. Just like Mary the Mother of God, when she received the message from the angel she shared it right away to Saint Elizabeth where Mary expresses her praise and thanksgiving through her Magnificat.
Do you consider your mission as your thanksgiving for the healing you receive from Jesus? Why? How do you bring your personal experience of the love of God to others? Who are those concrete people whom you know needs healing? Are you willing to learn from mother Mary on how to bring these people close to Jesus?
Giving All We Have
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” 41 He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. 43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. 44 For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Mk. 12: 38-44)
How can we give our "ALL" as a Verbum Dei disciple? As Pope Francis said in his 2015 World Mission Day Message: "Do not allow others to rob you of the ideal of a true mission, of following Jesus through the total gift of yourself ". We are invited today to learn from the ways of Mary,our Mother in being the first apostle of Jesus. It is simplicity and docility that enabled her to give all of herself to God.
How can you give your "ALL" to God? Are you willing to learn from Mama Mary on how to be docile in front of the message of God every day? What are the complications of life that hinders you to do the Mission?
Walking In The Lord's Law
Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart, who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways.4 You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.5 O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!6 Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.7 I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous ordinances. I will observe your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.
Mama Mary will always lead us on how to walk in the law of the Lord. She keeps on encouraging us to hold on to the word of God assuring us that she is with us. Mother Mary wanted us to learn from her on how to follow Jesus and how to fix our eyes on Him in order to walk in God's ways.
How much effort do you invest every day in following the ways of Jesus? Can you endure and persevere? How?
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. 3 In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ 4 For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’”6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? 8 I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
(Lk. 18: 1-8)
"Love seeks one thing only: the good of the one loved. It leaves all the other secondary effects to take care of themselves. Love, therefore, is its own reward."
Mama Mary showed her great hope and persistence in the love of God. She is inviting us to recognize always the goodness of the Lord in our life."From one generation to another He shows mercy to those who honor Him" (Lk.1:50)
How much hope in God do you put on your feet as you go to the mission? Do you have concrete people in mind where God invited you to encourage them? How do you bring faith, hope, and love to your co-disciple and to all people you meet every day? Do you consider your presence in the Verbum Dei Community as an encouragement to your co-disciple to continue in the mission?
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Dan 12:1-3
Resp. Psalm: Ps 16
2nd Reading: Heb 10:11-14,18
Gospel: Mk 13:24-32