Objective of the week:
To have a grateful look to what the Lord is doing in the different communities.
Recounting our history is essential for preserving our identity, for strengthening our unity as a family and our common sense of belonging. More than an exercise in archaeology or the cultivation of mere nostalgia, it calls for following in the footsteps of past generations in order to grasp the high ideals, and the vision and values which inspired them, beginning with the founders and foundresses and the first communities. In this way we come to see how the charism has been lived over the years, the creativity it has sparked, the difficulties it encountered and the concrete ways those difficulties were surmounted. We may also encounter cases of inconsistency, the result of human weakness and even at times a neglect of some essential aspects of the charism. Yet everything proves instructive and, taken as a whole, acts as a summons to conversion. To tell our story is to praise God and to thank him for all his gifts.
(Apostolic letter on the year of the Consecrated life)
It is not only through the sacraments and the ministries of the Church that the Holy Spirit sanctifies and leads the people of God and enriches it with virtues, but, "allotting his gifts to everyone according as He wills,(114) He distributes special graces among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts He makes them fit and ready to undertake the various tasks and offices which contribute toward the renewal and building up of the Church, according to the words of the Apostle: "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for profit". These charisms, whether they be the more outstanding or the more simple and widely diffused, are to be received with thanksgiving and consolation for they are perfectly suited to and useful for the needs of the Church.
(Lumen Gentium 12 2nd paragraph)
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3Let us give thanks to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ He has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world. 4Even before the world was made, God had already chosen us to be His, through our union with Christ, so that we would be holy and without fault before Him.
Having our community Verbum Dei is the best gift that God has ever given to us. With the presence of this community we are always blessed with the presence and guidance of God through the missionaries and disciples in the community. Being thankful to God for this gift is healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us that we belong to God, and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in our community Verbum Dei. Do you recognize the spiritual blessings through our Verbum Dei community? How can you be a spiritual blessing to others?
Verbum Dei Community, a Home to Nurture our Faith
31Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. 32It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches”.
(Matthew 13: 31-32)
The gift of Verbum Dei community in the Philippines that we are enjoying now is but caused by faithful apostles ahead of us who persistently nurtured the seed of faith that was planted in them. The incarnation of the Verbum Dei community in our country gives us a home where we too can nurture our faith in which God expects us to become home for others to nurture their faith. Let us be thankful to our founder Jaime Bonnet and the missionaries and disciples who gave us branches to build our nest of faith.
Help For Needy Believers
9As the scripture says, “He gives generously to the needy; His kindness lasts forever”. 10 And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. 11He always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. 12For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God. 13And because of the proof which this service of yours brings, many will give glory to God for your loyalty to the gospel of Christ, which you profess, and for your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else. 14 And so with deep affection they will pray for you because of the extraordinary grace God has shown to you. 15 Let us thank God for His priceless gift!
(2 Corinthians 9: 9-15)
God gives not only enough for ourselves, but also wherewith we may supply the needs of others not only in physical needs but more so with their spiritual needs. As a gesture of gratitude to our God who never ceases to pour out His blessings to us through the community, we must show our loyalty to Him by works of charity. With interdependence, let us endeavor to imitate the example of Jesus Christ being unwearied of doing good, and deeming it more blessed to give than to receive.
Final Instructions and Greetings
16 Be joyful always, 17 pray at all times, 18 be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Being a Christian, being in Verbum Dei community doesn’t mean we are exempted from troubles and challenges. Even Jesus has His own share of difficulties. It is not easy to rejoice always but one hope of doing so is to pray without ceasing. To trust God to work out every detail of what we’re going through and to stop fooling ourselves into believing that we have control over our lives with all our planning. Our difficulties will be less if we acknowledge that God is in control. By doing so, we can still give thanks to Him in all situations in our lives. Let us remember that we have ultimate victory because Jesus conquered death on the cross. We just need to develop the habit of cultivating a thankful and joyful heart.
Every Good and Perfect Gift Come From Heaven
12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.16 Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.
(James 1: 12-17)
Not every man who suffers is blessed, but he who goes through difficulties doing the will of the Father. Our afflictions are designed to draw out our graces but not our corruptions. The beginning of evil and temptations is in our hearts which will eventually lead us to sin and cause our death. And God has nothing to do with our sin but He promised the crown of life to all those who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. The people behind the community we are in are continuously taking care of us, the sheep that God has entrusted to them. The love of God in their hearts gave them the strength to bring the goodness of the Lord to people, and how amazing that in spite of the trials, they remain faithful. They are the good gifts of God to us, helping us to be born again and experience the holy and happy consequences that come only from God.
Ask With A Thankful Heart
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Anxiety is one of the greatest thieves of joy. It is the effect of our lack of trust and confidence to God who knows everything what is best for us. Let us pray with confidence and thanksgiving that God will provide the needs of each one and our community. In doing so, anxiety has no place to rob our joy.
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Joshua 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34
2nd Reading: Ephesians 5:21-32
Gospel: John 6:60-69
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.