Guidelines for prayer: April 4-10, 2016 - “The culmination of the Gospel, the Good News par excellence: Jesus is risen!"
“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 experience the risen power of Jesus by living out the Verbum Dei charism.
Happy Easter to everyone! In all the Easter Encounters and the Easter Missions, we have witnessed, experienced, lived out the Verbum Dei charism through the proclamation of the Good News of the Risen Christ. This happened through the efforts, self-giving and preaching of the disciples and ours as well. We have tasted the efficacy of the Word of God as we witness the transformation of those who joined and participated. We have experienced this also for ourselves. We do this because we believe that the Word of God is effective and can touch the deepest core of the person.
This month, we want to get to know more and be familiar with the features of the Verbum Dei charism. The charism was born for perseverance. Most of us Christians only live out and practice our faith during big events in the year or even important moments in our life. Most of us don’t even know how to persevere in faith. Many give up especially when challenges come. The charism has been entrusted to us in order to help us persevere joyfully with God living the Risen life.
Let us this month, starting this week, live the risen life through the Verbum Dei charism.
The Church throughout the world echoes the message: “Do not be afraid! He is risen!”
(Feast of the Annunciation)
The Church throughout the world echoes the angel’s message to the women: “Do not be afraid! I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised… Come, see the place where he lay” (Matthew 28:5-6). (Pope Francis’ Easter message)
Matthew 28:1-7 After the Sabbath, and towards dawn on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to visit the sepulchre. 2 And suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His face was like lightning, his robe white as snow. 4 The guards were so shaken by fear of him that they were like dead men. 5 But the angel spoke; and he said to the women, 'There is no need for you to be afraid. I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said he would. Come and see the place where he lay, 7 then go quickly and tell his disciples, "He has risen from the dead and now he is going ahead of you to Galilee; that is where you will see him." Look! I have told you.'
This should be the message that always echo in our hearts and throughout the world. First of all, it is not a message of fear, but of the joy that He is risen. Let the message of the Risen Christ bring us out from our fears today.
This is the Good News we preach
(Memorial of St. Vincent Ferrer)
This is the culmination of the Gospel, it is the Good News par excellence: Jesus, who was crucified, is risen! This event is the basis of our faith and our hope.
(Pope Francis’ Easter message)
1 Corinthians 15:1-7 I want to make quite clear to you, brothers, what the message of the gospel that I preached to you is; you accepted it and took your stand on it, 2 and you are saved by it, if you keep to the message I preached to you; otherwise your coming to believe was in vain. 3 The tradition I handed on to you in the first place, a tradition which I had myself received, was that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried; and that on the third day, he was raised to life, in accordance with the scriptures; 5 and that he appeared to Cephas; and later to the Twelve; 6 and next he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still with us, though some have fallen asleep; 7 then he appeared to James, and then to all the apostles.
The message of the Resurrection is the Good News we preach with our words and with our lives. This is the basis of our faith and hope. This is the reason why we preach and persevere in Verbum Dei. This is the reason why we continue to enable people to do the same and live a Risen life.
This is the impulse of the whole mission of the Church
(Memorial of St. John Baptist de la Salle)
Acts 4:8-13 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, 'Rulers of the people, and elders! 9 If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple and asking us how he was healed, 10 you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. 11 This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; 12 for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.' 13 They were astonished at the fearlessness shown by Peter and John, considering that they were uneducated laymen; and they recognised them as associates of Jesus;
Acts 4:18-20 18 So they called them in and gave them a warning on no account to make statements or to teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John retorted, 'You must judge whether in God's eyes it is right to listen to you and not to God. 20 We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard.'
What moves you in doing the mission? We are an Easter people and we pray that the Church in this generation show a Resurrected image in the world today. Let our faith in the Risen Christ be our impulse for the mission each day.
Luke 24:36-40 36 They were still talking about all this when he himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you!' 37 In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 But he said, 'Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts stirring in your hearts? 39 See by my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.' 40 And as he said this he showed them his hands and his feet.
John 20:24-29 24 Thomas, called the Twin, who was one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples said to him, 'We have seen the Lord,' but he answered, 'Unless I can see the holes that the nails made in his hands and can put my finger into the holes they made, and unless I can put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe.' 26 Eight days later the disciples were in the house again and Thomas was with them. The doors were closed, but Jesus came in and stood among them. 'Peace be with you,' he said. 27 Then he spoke to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving any more but believe.' 28 Thomas replied, 'My Lord and my God!' 29 Jesus said to him: You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.
Does the Resurrection have any effect in us and in the world today? How come the world remains the same with all its problems? If we are convinced of Him then why doubt? Help us Lord to believe!
If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning
1 Corinthians 15:14 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without substance, and so is your faith.
1 Corinthians 15:17-19 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is pointless and you have not, after all, been released from your sins. 18 In addition, those who have fallen asleep in Christ are utterly lost. 19 If our hope in Christ has been for this life only, we are of all people the most pitiable.
If Christ were not raised, Christianity would lose its very meaning; the whole mission of the Church would lose its impulse, for this is the point from which it first set out and continues to set out ever anew. (Pope Francis’ Easter message)
Indeed, when we are not living with the Risen Christ nor believe in His Resurrection, we will lose the meaning of our being Christians. We will lose the impulse in the mission. But when we are united with him, we continue to persevere and set out ever anew to the Risen life.
The message we bring to the world – in Jesus, love has triumphed
1 Corinthians 15:55 - 16:1 55 Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin comes from the Law. 57 Thank God, then, for giving us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. 58 So, my dear brothers, keep firm and immovable, always abounding in energy for the Lord's work, being sure that in the Lord none of your labours is wasted.
The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death. (Pope Francis’ Easter message)
3rd Sunday of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 30
2nd Reading: Revelations 5:11-14
Gospel: John 21:1-19
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.