Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines and be nourished as you journey with our Community in Cebu.
You did it for me.
(Oct 21-27, 2019)
Breaking of Love: Sin and its Consequences
To discover that sin is a breakdown of love of self, of others and ultimately a ‘no’ to God’s Life and Love, to the one who loves us most in life, and has given all to us. Sin has serious consequences in us, in others and in the Body of Christ. That seeing Christ crucified may provoke our conversion to Love, a change of heart.
Objective : To realize how on the cross, Christ took on Himself our sins to free and heal us through his wounds.
We are full of gratitude to God who gave us Jesus to restore the Kingdom of Heaven for us through His death and resurrection. It is God’s initiative to save us because He is love and He is faithful to us. This is being manifested in celebrating this extraordinary month of mission, wherein we are being made aware of the greatness of this love of God to us expressed in different ways through people and situations.
We have been gifted by God with free will so we will be able to choose what’s good; yet we prefer to choose what is pleasing to us even if it is not pleasing to God. We became greedy and self-centered thus we tend to set aside God who is our loving Creator. Let us gaze on Jesus on the cross and realize what He did for us. It is the Kingdom of Heaven that He brings back to us; it is the fulfilment of eternal life that our souls have been craving for. It is the source of God’s grace toward redemption and it is the real source of joy and fulfilment of our desires.
Let us ponder more and more each day on how great the Lord is. Jesus on the cross shows us how great and unfathomable is the love of God the Father to His children. Let us be like Jesus who prioritized us more than Himself for the love of the Father. We too must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him. Our little sacrifices with cheerful hearts for the Lord go a long way that can give light to those in darkness and can open the eyes of those who are in deep sleep of sinfulness. We are invited to go out and move for the glory of God, and make our lives more memorable to others by participating in the mission of the church and to live out our charism as Verbum Dei disciples in the service of others regardless of where we are. It is where we can draw out our best because God wants us to be the best for us when we work for His glory and this is how others may also draw their best for the Lord.
If Jesus had done something for me, what must I do to show my gratefulness to Him? My plans and actions have relation to my salvation and others. As we contemplate the situation of our world and of our church, it’s to discover what has happened and realized that all these affects Christ, and to recognize it as the work of our hands.
I am one of them
The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God's curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me.’ Then they will answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and we would not help you?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.’
We are reminded that each one of us has a responsibility to look over our brothers and sisters. We are also called to love them for life is meant for loving. As God loves us, we too must love Him through them. In fact, we must be thankful to God at times when there are people who come to ask for our help for God has given us that opportunity to express our love to Him through helping them.
What makes my life meaningful? In what situation was I called to love? Do I believe that helping people is an opportunity to show my love to God?
I am despised
The people reply, “Who would have believed what we now report? Who could have seen the Lord's hand in this? It was the will of the Lord that his servant grow like a plant taking root in dry ground. He had no dignity or beauty to make us take notice of him. There was nothing attractive about him, nothing that would draw us to him. We despised him and rejected him; he endured suffering and pain. No one would even look at him— we ignored him as if he were nothing.
There is no physical attraction in following Christ if we compare it to the world. We easily get distracted by the tantalizing beauty of the world. We can easily give up Christ just for the world because this is what we believe that can greatly satisfy our wants and grasp our senses and desires. We give to them our first priority. But if our hearts know the infinite value of Christ, why do we choose things that make us be apart from Him? We know that they are all temporal. What we should give focus as long as we live is to know Christ more and more so that we can love Him all the more.
In what way have I rejected Christ? What shall I do to recognize Him more?
I endured just for you
“But he endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.
Jesus was scourged to death in obedience to the Father. God wanted us to know that sin cannot conquer his unfathomable love for us. His love was truly revealed in the life of Jesus who showed us the way to the Father. Jesus is the light that guides our way to the fullness of life as we transform our hearts to be like Him.
In what situations have I made Christ to suffer? Will I let Him continue to suffer for me?
Everything fall on me
All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved. “He was treated harshly, but endured it humbly; he never said a word. Like a lamb about to be slaughtered, like a sheep about to be sheared, he never said a word. He was arrested and sentenced and led off to die, and no one cared about his fate. He was put to death for the sins of our people.
God’s love is insurmountable which our mind cannot grasp. We deserved to be punished because of our sinfulness; yet, He made Jesus His sacrificial Lamb in exchange for our redemption from sin. He did everything to keep us in His love forever. He is so faithful to us despite our unfaithfulness to Him. His heart is wide open to give us another chance to change and return to Him.
How can I recompense God’s love? Am I willing to give up my priorities for the Lord or shall I remain in my old ways?
My death is your life
The Lord says, “It was my will that he should suffer; his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness. And so he will see his descendants; he will live a long life, and through him my purpose will succeed.
Jesus made Himself an instrument for our salvation therefore, we must be grateful to Him. He suffered not only for our salvation but also to emulate Him to bring salvation to others. This is what we must do for the Lord to gather our brothers and sisters and bring them closer to Him.
Whatever you do, you do it to Me
“Who are you, Lord?” he asked. “I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said.
Life is meant for loving everyone. We love not only those who can recompense our love but also to the poor, sick, less fortunate, outcasts, and most of all to those whom we hate. They are mere reflections of Christ. If Christ would ask us if we love Him, what will we respond to Him when we remember we have fights and grudges to our family members, to our co-workers, to our students, to our neighbors, etc.? This is what we should always ponder that we are enjoying the love of God every day from sunrise to sunset but are we loving the unlovable ones. Sometimes we forget that we are sinners, and who knows that we have made worse mistakes before God than them. We should not sacrifice the Kingdom of Heaven in exchange of hatred because that is evil. It can stop us from loving God by saying hurtful words and being hostile to them.
Do I believe that each one is God’s image and that they are children of God?How do I look at my neighbors? Do I look at them the way God sees them?How aware am I that it directly affects Him whatever I am living? Who is Jesus for me?
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading – Si 35:12-18
Responsorial Psalm – Ps 34;2-23
2nd Reading – 2 Timothy 4:6-18
Gospel – Luke 18:9-14