“Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Gospel to all Creation.
- To get to know and be familiar with the features of the Verbum Dei charism.
- To persevere from our Easter experiences through the Verbum Dei charism.
- To taste and live out the efficacy of the Word of God that transforms the world.
Objective of the week:
To be able to use the most effective ways and methods as Verbum Dei in our perseverance to live and give life through the Word.
For the past weeks, we have been trying to get to know and be familiar with the features of the Verbum Dei charism and mission in order to persevere in our Easter experiences. During this final week of the month, we are invited to discover and use the most effective means of living out the charism. We want that in everything we do, we always point to the aim: to make disciples preachers of the Word of God who in their turn can make disciples. In order to reach this goal, we have to offer the most effective methods. In Verbum Dei, one of these is the School of Apostles where all the dynamism of knowing the Word and making it known is generated. A dynamism of participation should be fostered in “making others do”, where everyone collaborates in everything from simple things to the highest level in evangelization.
We need to know that if the person is not nourished the day after every encounter, “they die.” It is essential to provoke in those who have received and welcomed the Word the recognition that they need the community as an indispensable way to start and carry out the mission. The fire that is not propagated goes out.
This whole ideal will remain unreal and will not be realized if we don’t make use of the methods and means. Anyone who wants to reach the goal will find and use the means to do it.
(Taken from the old Verbum Dei Temario on the Talk of Perseverance.)
Fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess
2 Timothy 1:6-11 6 That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. 7 God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control. 8 So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God 9 who has saved us and called us to be holy -- not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, 10 but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel, 11 in whose service I have been made herald, apostle and teacher.
We are reminded that each person possesses this gift to proclaim the Word of God and that we are called to awaken that gift. Our perseverance then is to fan into a flame what the Lord has already given to each one.
God’s word cannot be chained up – so I persevere.
2 Timothy 2:7-13 7 Think over what I have said, and the Lord will give you full understanding. 8 Remember the gospel that I carry, 'Jesus Christ risen from the dead, sprung from the race of David'; 9 it is on account of this that I have to put up with suffering, even to being chained like a criminal. But God's message cannot be chained up. 10 So I persevere for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they, too, may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 Here is a saying that you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. 12 If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. 13 If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he cannot disown his own self.
To persevere means to believe first of all that the Word of God can never be chained up by persecutions or whatever challenges that may come. Do I allow the Word of God to be stronger than anything?
Know the Word and make it known.
Luke 24:13-35 13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking together about all that had happened. 15 And it happened that as they were talking together and discussing it, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; 16 but their eyes were prevented from recognising him…
25 Then he said to them, 'You foolish men! So slow to believe all that the prophets have said! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?' 27 Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself. 28 When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; 29 but they pressed him to stay with them saying, 'It is nearly evening, and the day is almost over.' So he went in to stay with them. 30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?' 33 They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, 34 who said to them, 'The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon.' 35 Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
We see how Jesus tirelessly accompanied the disciples that they know the true meaning of the Word of God. This dynamism of accompaniment in making the Word known, generates apostles who do the same.
Perseverance in proclaiming the Word.
Acts 19:8-10 8 He began by going to the synagogue, where he spoke out fearlessly and argued persuasively about the kingdom of God. He did this for three months, 9 till the attitude of some of the congregation hardened into unbelief. As soon as they began attacking the Way in public, he broke with them and took his disciples apart to hold daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, with the result that all the inhabitants of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, were able to hear the word of the Lord.
38. The proclamation of the Word of God, preceded and accompanied by prayer and witness of life, will always be the best means for the propagation of the faith. We will sow the good seed of the Word in all fields, trusting in the growth that God gives, knowing that the Word, like "the rain which falls from heaven will not return empty," because certainly, "the Word of God is alive and effective and sharper than any two-edged sword." (Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family 38)
The School of Apostles in Verbum Dei is indeed a school for perseverance in proclaiming the Word. The first apostles persevered until everyone hear the Word. We do the same because we believe that the Word itself perseveres until it bears fruit.
The dynamism of “making others do”.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 As for you, my dear son, take strength from the grace which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Pass on to reliable people what you have heard from me through many witnesses so that they in turn will be able to teach others.
…Jesus formed the twelve apostles to be with him and to be sent out to preach, becoming his witnesses. The desire to form apostles among all peoples is a specific element of our charism that becomes the method and intention of our mission. (Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family 40)
The School of Apostles is a place where each person enters in this dynamism of “making others do”. One of the best ways to generate and make the Word grow is through involvement in the mission. Let us help one another to put ourselves in the mission.
Helping one another as an evangelizing community
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 9 You remember, brothers, with what unsparing energy we used to work, slaving night and day so as not to be a burden on any one of you while we were proclaiming the gospel of God to you. 10 You are witnesses, and so is God, that our treatment of you, since you believed, has been impeccably fair and upright. 11 As you know, we treated every one of you as a father treats his children, 12 urging you, encouraging you and appealing to you to live a life worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and his glory. 13 Another reason why we continually thank God for you is that as soon as you heard the word that we brought you as God's message, you welcomed it for what it really is, not the word of any human being, but God's word, a power that is working among you believers.
Acts 2:42-47 42 These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. 43 And everyone was filled with awe; the apostles worked many signs and miracles. 44 And all who shared the faith owned everything in common; 45 they sold their goods and possessions and distributed the proceeds among themselves according to what each one needed. 46 Each day, with one heart, they regularly went to the Temple but met in their houses for the breaking of bread; they shared their food gladly and generously; 47 they praised God and were looked up to by everyone. Day by day the Lord added to their community those destined to be saved.
6th Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 15:1-2, 22-29
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 67
2nd Reading: Revelations 21:10-14, 22-23
Gospel: John 14:23-29
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.