Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
“Behold, your Mother”
November 5-11, 2018
MOTHER MARY AND THE EXERCISE OF THE MISSION
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 value her presence in taking her on our journey of faith in living the mission.
For the past months we have been living and reflecting with the presence of the Holy Trinity. This month we will begin to reflect about Mother Mary, the mother of Jesus and the significance of her presence, her motherhood to us as Verbum Dei disciples and to the Church. In the exercise of our mission, how great we are accompanied by a mother – a mother who commits herself to us as Jesus entrusted us to her. (cf.Jn. 19:27)
“Mary will always occupy a unique and decisive, indispensable and irreplaceable place in the VDMFA. Her presence will accompany our laborious missionary journeys sustained by a living and proven faith and by the joy of a strong redemptive love. She will promote in our VDMFA the sense of her spiritual and apostolic fruitfulness, forming Jesus in us and in our brothers and sisters.” Verbum Dei Family Statutes 30,#4
Pope Francis in celebrating the first feast of Mary, Mother of the Church (Monday after the feast of Pentecost) was saying that without the emphasis placed on motherhood, the Church would be isolated, composed of no more than “old bachelors.” Thus, the feast was established in order to help encourage growth in “the maternal sense of the Church” and in “genuine Marian piety.”
The title “Mother of the Church,” was given to the Blessed Mother by St. Paul VI. In his homily, Pope Francis noted that in the Gospels, Mary is not referred to as “the lady” or “the widow of Joseph,” but is rather called “the mother of Jesus.”
Mary's motherhood extends towards us, the Church, leading us to discover our mission, and our own vocation in following Jesus. She being a mother, places her as the closest person to Jesus, someone who is able to know Jesus more than the apostles making her a beacon of guidance and counsel.
“The failure and frustration for the person individually and for the Church has its explanation in the absence of the Mother. Without Mary, we live as orphans that are impossible to overcome” (FMVD Statutes 239)
This week, let us know more how valuable it is to have Mother Mary, who fervently cares for us, guides us, intercedes for us and encourages us in prayer and in the mission.
Mary, Mother of the Church
Standing close to Jesus' cross were his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son. Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home.
In our discipleship,we were never alone in our journey with Jesus. Like John, Mother Mary is there close beside us, accompanying us in the different crosses that we face in life. Jesus reminds us that we have a mother whom we can depend on. Do I value the presence of Mother Mary in my discipleship and mission?
Mary, Genuine Maternal Love
1 Kings 3:23-27
Then King Solomon said, “Each of you claims that the living child is hers and that the dead child belongs to the other one.” He sent for a sword, and when it was brought, he said, “Cut the living child in two and give each woman half of it. The real mother, her heart full of love for her son, said to the king, “Please, Your Majesty, don't kill the child! Give it to her!”. But the other woman said, “Don't give it to either of us; go on and cut it in two.” Then Solomon said, “Don't kill the child! Give it to the first woman—she is its real mother.”
A mother’s concern for her children is genuine. As our mother, Mary intercedes for us that we may not fall to depravity. How is my relationship with Mother Mary now? Do I recognize her maternal concern?
Mary, Our Gentle Mother
On the third day they found him in the Temple, sitting with the Jewish teachers, listening to them and asking questions. All who heard him were amazed at his intelligent answers. His parents were astonished when they saw him, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you. He answered them, “Why did you have to look for me? Didn't you know that I had to be in my Father's house?” But they did not understand his answer. So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. Jesus grew both in body and in wisdom, gaining favor with God and people.
Mary, as the mother of the Church, deeply cares for our growth both physically and spiritually. Her motherly nature nurtures us to grow in God’s favor. She guides us to lead a life of holiness, helping us discern the ways that we can best serve and express our loving response to God. In which situation in my life does Mary's motherhood and discipleship inspire me to also follow Jesus with a pondering heart?
Mary, Our Fervent Support
My dear children! Once again, just like a mother in childbirth, I feel the same kind of pain for you until Christ's nature is formed in you. How I wish I were with you now, so that I could take a different attitude toward you. I am so worried about you!
Mother Mary accompanies and encourages us to live and love as Jesus did. She is our mother and it gives her great sorrow to see us go astray. This is the same motherly love of the Church that desires to gather all people to live with Christ and grow in love and communion. Am I allowing myself to be guided by Mother Mary to be Christ to others? Do I recognize her tenderness and care for me and for the Church?
Mary, Woman of Faith
Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”
Our lives too can either save or destroy others’ lives in the way we choose to live it. It is Mary's obedience and trust in God that gave her the capacity to accept the sacrifice of her son, to follow him to the end, even as it broke her heart. She too accompanies us on our own crosses and helps us to be firm in our faith in God's will for us. She never ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God's word. And so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 149). In what crosses in my life do I find Mother Mary accompanying me? How can I accompany others with the kind of faith Mother Mary has shown?
Mary, Channel of God's Grace
Two days later there was a wedding in the town of Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine had given out, Jesus' mother said to him, “They are out of wine. “You must not tell me what to do,” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” Jesus' mother then told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Mary’s tenderness and compassion extend to each and everyone of us. Her humble request to Jesus is indicative of her caring personality. Her motherhood shows us her sensitivity towards the needs of others. She looks at our needs and mediates for us. God cannot fulfill the ideal He has for men, whom He created in freedom, without his free and willing collaboration in the plan of God. Mary approaches instinctively and lends to each one of her children, affected by the condition of sinners, the “Yes“ of a Mother (FMVD Stat. 236). What instances in my life do I pray for Mother Mary’s intercession?
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1Kgs 17:10-16 Keeping God’s Word
Ps 146 Trust in God
Hebrews 9:24-28 The Highest Sacrifice
Mark 12:38-44 Giving all we have