“Whoever Remains with Me Bears Fruit in Plenty”
August 4-10, 2014
Objective of the week:
To be aware and conscious that as we live our prayer contentiously we are helping each other to grow and persevere in our charism at the same time we are forming as a disciple
In the month of July, we were able to ponder that "we were made as ministers" (Eph 3:7) to "the Word of God that is alive and active" (Heb. 4:12) because "we are the apostles of the grace of God". But most of all, is to discover that we are more than apostles of God, "We are His children that are made apostles" (Is. 54:13)
How wonderful that this week we are again reminded that all those things mentioned above are ways to remain in God in order to bear fruit in plenty. But it will only be refreshed everyday in our lives if we always PRAY. It is to have the quality of prayer that connects us always to the vine. It is the kind of prayer that we learn from the Verbum Dei community, the prayer where the center is listening to the Word of God. As Fr. Antonio Velasco FMVD said (as found in the FOREWORD of the book Sharper Than a SWORD of Fr. James Mctavish FMVD): "The word of God is for our life: a voice, a face, a house and a way. It offers us the voice of God which illumines our identity and gives fundamental certainties enabling us to live a happy life. What is a real "Happy Life"? As Fr. Antonio continued: “Because the Word of God reveals the loving face of God, as Father and Mother, Friend and Brother, as Companion; it welcomes us in a house. The word of God offers us a way to grow in the fundamental vacation to love as disciples of Jesus and as Missionaries". As it is said "Life is a mission".
This week we are made to realize that the greatest proof that we bear fruit is to announce the word of God, but the strongest foundation is by having a personal encounter with Him. The best means of having a personal encounter with God is to pray in a Verbum Dei way. Where we listen to the words of God daily and have a personal dialogue with Him. The word of God is the light of our path and lamp of our feet (Ps. 119:105). We can never be a disciple of Jesus without listening to Him. A kind of listening that has an interpersonal dialogue just like one who talks to a friend. It is a great reminder to us that a disciple of Christ listens to Him, observes His way of assimilating the Word of God, live out, announce and make disciples.
This week, we are invited to pray with a thankful heart, to learn the ways of Jesus as our Good Shepherd through the prayer that Fr. Jaime Bonet our founder was sharing to us through the Verbum Dei Community. The PRAYER where it is not only a relationship but a wonderful relationship because it is a kind of prayer where we learn that our faith has a face, that our God has a loving face.
“In Prayer it Makes Me Remain in the Love of God”
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
"The first and principal proof of love among the members of the community will consist of the mutual co-responsibility in that each one personally achieves this existential living in union with God in Christ, in accordance with the warning of Jesus: "whoever remains in me, with me in Him bears fruit in plenty, for cut off from me you can do nothing...Remain in my love.
(Verbum Dei Statutes # 58)
Do you see the importance of prayer in your life?
What do you understand when we say: "remain in God every minutes of your life?"
How to remain in God?
“In Prayer God showed His Trust to me to Announce His Kingdom”
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
"To opt for this kind of life, St. Teresa of Jesus would say, means "to decide with determined determination" to decidedly take a habitual attitude of a deep life of prayer, living and tested faith and an integral clean, caring and constant love for Jesus and the members of HIs Body, all people without exception.
(Verbum Dei Statues # 100)
Have you realized that your life as an apostle is not exclusive?
Do you listen to God each day in your prayer?
How is He sending you to announce the Kingdom of God today?
“In Prayer It Provides an Existential Unison with God for Sanctification.”
26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
Who can speak of his descendants?
For his life was taken from the earth.”[b]
34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”  [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
An existential union with God is a preparation which is always in action, new and up to the minute, the permanent argument, the most accurate word and expression for the conversion and sanctification of people. The spontaneous and fruitful initiatives and creativity are the characteristics of the true Apostle of Jesus will be born in prayer.
(Verbum Dei Statutes # 137)
“In Prayer it Gives a Dynamic "Yes" to Work with Jesus for the Salvific Plan of God”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?”
39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken.
11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
"Our prayer and dialogue with Christ will never be a tranquilizer nor will give us a static attitude but rather it will provoke a dynamic, urgent and maybe conflictive response. It was frequently like this the life and prayer of Jesus, zealous of the salvific plan and mysterious will of the Father and for the fidelity and perseverance of His disciples."
(Verbum Dei Statutes # 207)
Are you aware of the urgent call from Jesus to work with Him to make disciples?
Are you ready to say yes?
Do you see the trust of Jesus in your life to work with Him?
Are you willing to give your life to others for the sake of the Gospel?
“In Prayer we have the Best Source of Energy, Enthusiasm and Joy in Every Apostle”
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
"The union with Jesus is the best source of energy, enthusiasm and joy of the apostle. This familiar relationship of affectionate intimacy gives us the best theme it impress on the apostle a particular way of teaching, a delicate and fine way of relating in order to adapt Christ's message and make it accessible to all.
(Verbum Dei Statutes # 136)
“In prayer I am guided and taught how to love others”
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. 7 And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a true and faithful teacher of the Gentiles.
(1 Timothy 2:1-7)
"We can not dissociate, in the practice, our action from our contemplation, when this action is to introduce, to indicate, to accompany and help the progression of our brothers and sisters in the contemplation and assimilation of the life of God, so that in their turn propagate it and share it. (Verbum Dei Statutes # 104)
Are you willing to propagate the love you receive from God?
Were you able to love even to the point of loving your enemies?
Have you realized that the only joy that will complete our life is the love of God and to share it to others?
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: 1 Kings 19:11-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14
Second Reading: Romans 9: 1-5
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.