Objective of the week:
To build up a Verbum Dei community that helps in the perseverance of the Easter experiences.
Jesus reveals himself. He is the one deciding the encounter with us. Jesus takes the lead. He takes the initiative. He revealed himself, appeared to his disciples in the way that he wanted. In what way did He reveal himself? He revealed himself to the community. The Revelation of the risen Christ is through a Community. Even when he revealed to a few, he always directed them to announce his risen presence to the community.
How can we persevere in our Easter experiences? The community gives perseverance to the Easter experiences. Through a community that believes – a believing community. A community that listens and does the Word of God. A community that witnesses to the Resurrection. A community that brings encouragement.
Verbum Dei Community was born for perseverance. The perseverance in our Easter experiences needs the Community. Building a community is part in the charism of Verbum Dei for the perseverance of each one. How is my Community? How can I strengthen more my bonds and commitment to the Verbum Dei Community?
Jesus decides to reveal himself and encounter us in the way that he wants
John 21:1-6 After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. 2 Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We also will come with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." 6 So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.
Jesus reveals himself to the Community. His revelation is a gift. He wanted to do this in this way. How did Jesus appear to you this Easter? How did he reveal himself to you in the Community?
A believing community helps in the perseverance
Acts 2:42-47 42 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers. 43 Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 All who believed were together and had all things in common; 45 they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one's need. 46 Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Acts 4:31 31 As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
How can we persevere in our Easter experiences? Perseverance comes through a believing community. Do I believe in my community? If I believe, then I commit and persevere with her.
A Community that listens and puts into practice the Word of God.
The identity of the VDMFa is expressed in its own name: to be “family” profoundly “missionary”, at the service of announcing the “Word of God”. The VDMFa gathers in her womb, persons or groups of all states of life, age, culture, and social condition, who participate in one same vocation to be “Verbum Dei”. All of us are united by the common call to identify ourselves personally and in community with Jesus, revealing the face of our One and Triune God in our lives. (Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family 3)
Mark 3:32-35 32 A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, 'Look, your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.' 33 He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' 34 And looking at those sitting in a circle round him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. 35 Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.'
The centrality of our charism as a Verbum Dei Family is the Word of God. This is our life and our mission as a community. This is what gives us our identity. How can I strengthen in my commitment to Propagating the Word of God? How can I strengthen my bonds to the community?
A Community that witnesses to the Resurrection
Acts 4:33-37 33 The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect. 34 None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them, 35 to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need. 36 There was a Levite of Cypriot origin called Joseph whom the apostles surnamed Barnabas (which means 'son of encouragement'). 37 He owned a piece of land and he sold it and brought the money and presented it to the apostles.
1 John 1:1-4 Something which has existed since the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have watched and touched with our own hands, the Word of life -- this is our theme. 2 That life was made visible; we saw it and are giving our testimony, declaring to you the eternal life, which was present to the Father and has been revealed to us. 3 We are declaring to you what we have seen and heard, so that you too may share our life. Our life is shared with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing this to you so that our joy may be complete.
We are witness to the Resurrection. The Easter experiences are real. We have seen it with our eyes and our hands have touched it. Let us continue to live as a community helping each other to make real all our experiences each day.
A Community that brings encouragement
Acts 9:26-28 26 When he got to Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him: they could not believe he was really a disciple. 27 Barnabas, however, took charge of him, introduced him to the apostles, and explained how the Lord had appeared to him and spoken to him on his journey, and how he had preached fearlessly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 Saul now started to go round with them in Jerusalem, preaching fearlessly in the name of the Lord.
From a tender love and in the most effective way possible, we will help and support each other, by means of our formation and preparation being as complete and perfect as possible in its background and in its form, for the proclamation of the Word. We will diligently take care that each and every member may give his/her talents to the maximum, multiplying and perfecting them more and more each day in the mission of announcing the Kingdom, for the good of the whole Church of Christ. (Constitutions of the FMVD 139)
We are companions in this journey of perseverance in living the new life. Let us encourage each other because alone we get easily lost. A community that encourages constantly each other to live out the charism and mission makes us persevere.
Come and see where Christ wants to be Resurrected
That is why we tell everyone: “Come and see!” In every human situation, marked by frailty, sin and death, the Good News is no mere matter of words, but a testimony to unconditional and faithful love: it is about leaving ourselves behind and encountering others, being close to those crushed by life’s troubles, sharing with the needy, standing at the side of the sick, elderly and the outcast… “Come and see!”: Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness. (Pope Francis’ Easter 2016 message)
Mark 16:14-18 14 Lastly, he showed himself to the Eleven themselves while they were at table. He reproached them for their incredulity and obstinacy, because they had refused to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; proclaim the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 These are the signs that will be associated with believers: in my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover.'
We are called to be a community that enters to where human situation is. A community that encounters Jesus where he wants to be Resurrected.
4th Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 13:14, 43-52
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 100
2nd Reading: Revelations 7:9, 14b-17
Gospel: John 10:27-30
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.