“It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade”
(c.f. Mark 4:32)
August 26 – 31, 2013
Objective of the Week:
To realize that we are called to expand the Kingdom of God here on earth, to expand our Verbum Dei Family.
Having in mind our true identity as missionary family at the service of the Word of God, we are all invited to help expand this family of God following the examples of our founder, Jaime Bonet. It starts with our personal encounter with God and a true and humble conversion, nurtured by a life of daily prayer, living out and assimilating the word of God. The fruits of these daily processes will push us to announce His word to all by way of proclaiming it and by our testimony of life.
Mk 4:30-34 "What shall we say the Kingdom of God is like? asked Jesus. What parable shall we use to explain it? It is like this. A man takes a mustard seed, the smallest seed in the world, and plants it in the ground. After a while it grows up and becomes the biggest of all plants. It puts out such large branches that the birds come and make their nests in its shade.
Jesus teaches us that we should not underestimate the power of the mustard seed of faith that He planted in our hearts. Jesus fully believed in us that we have the capacity to take care of this mustard seed.
To nourish that it can become a very big mustard seed tree ready to give shade and shelter to the people who may come our way. Jesus intends for this seed to grow. Jesus intends for this Verbum Dei family to welcome more youth, more couples, more families and to make a shelter and rest for them in the strong branches of the family. Jesus intends that we may be able to reach out to many more who do not know Christ.
Salvation is for All
14 But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? 15 And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, “How wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news!” 16 But not all have accepted the Good News. Isaiah himself said, “Lord, who believed our message?” 17 So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.
Jesus needs more messengers and carriers of His message in order for the kingdom of God to expand.
Jesus counts so much on our daily humble conversion in prayer prompting us to share our personal encounter with Him through His words and more effectively through the way we live.
We pray that our life may always radiate the love of God for others.
Good Managers of God's gifts
7 The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8 Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9 Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. 11 Whoever preaches must preach God's messages; whoever serves must serve with the strength that God gives, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
(1 Peter 4:7-11)
It is very important for good messengers and proclaimers of God's words that we become also good managers of God's gifts. We as Verbum Dei disciples are constantly reminded by God of the different and special gifts that He has given us to develop and to share to others. Our Verbum Dei family is one of these gifts.
May we always put to good use the ways and means provided by the community so as to propagate the Life-Love of God to many.
7 You are so rich in all you have: in faith, speech, and knowledge, in your eagerness to help and in your love for us. And so we want you to be generous also in this service of love. 8 I am not laying down any rules. But by showing how eager others are to help, I am trying to find out how real your own love is. 9 You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; rich as he was, he made himself poor for your sake, in order to make you rich by means of his poverty.
(2 Corinthians 8:7-9)
Jesus invites us in our prayers today to reexamine our real intentions in participating to propagate and expand the family of God.
Is it out of obligation only or a sense of doing what is good? Or is it likened to the intention of Christ. Rich as he was, he made himself poor for our sake, in order to make us rich by means of his poverty.
Preserve your freedom
1 Freedom is what we have — Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.
God has already saved us as one people. He has already saved us from all the bondages of sin and slavery. He has already set us free. Let us help each other in this family of God that each one may maintain his freedom. Let us not go back to the old life that we have.
We must instead contaminate others to live in freedom and in the new life that we have in Christ as a family Verbum Dei.
God’s sure promise
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, he made a vow to do what he had promised. Since there was no one greater than himself, he used his own name when he made his vow. 14 He said, “I promise you that I will bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 Abraham was patient, and so he received what God had promised.
God is always true to his promise. He promises to bless us and give us many more descendants just as he has promised Abraham.
Our following of Jesus is not only for us. Our discipleship is not only for us but for the many more generations ahead of us. Not only does Abraham have descendants but we too also have descendants, the countless number of families that come after us. Now, it is crucial to lay the strong foundation of our faith, a faith that is always rooted in the word of God.
Like Abraham, we must learn to be faithful to God as a Verbum Dei family, so He will bless us with many more disciples and followers.
The flock of God
1 I, who am an elder myself, appeal to the church elders among you. I am a witness of Christ's sufferings, and I will share in the glory that will be revealed. I appeal to you 2 to be shepherds of the flock that God gave you and to take care of it willingly, as God wants you to, and not unwillingly. Do your work, not for mere pay, but from a real desire to serve.
(1 Peter 5:1-2)
Jesus invites us to become leaders the flock that God gave us. As of now, who is your flock? Your flock can be your family, friends, neighbors, classmates and office mates.
Are we the kind of shepherd of the flock that Jesus expected us to be?
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Psalms 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24
Luke 14:1, 7-14
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.