"Add love, which binds all things" (Col. 3:14)
50 years in Your Word
January 7-13, 2013
Objective of the Week: To establish communion in the practice of fraternal love in the Verbum Dei fraternity, Family.
Download the printable version:
Another feast that the Church celebrates, the feast of the Epiphany, the manifestation or revelation of the love of God provides us guide in our journey in living out our call to ecclesial communion. The Word of God made flesh, has pitched his tent among us but was known only to few. It was first revealed universally, to all the nations of the world represented by the three magi. His presence, His light was made known not only to the chosen people but to the gentiles as well. God’s love is for all.
We believe that God’s love is already present and manifested, but we cannot deny the fact that not all have experienced it. In our world many situations and peoples are still in darkness, still there is brokenness among many due to lack of the love of God. In this situations God calls the Church, He calls us, Verbum Dei, to offer to the world the reality of a people, a family of brothers and sisters congregated as One solely through the love of Christ, that is simply a Christian family. (cf CFMVD 54)
Without doubt, the encounter, with God, like the magi will move us to take the other route, the route of God’s love, the route of communion. It entails aiming for a quality of love different from any other love; it has to be only and fully love of God, because fraternal love comes forth only from Him. This is fruit of vital dependence from God.
How can we bring it forth as a radiant light for all people?
Jaime Bonet in many of his writings indicates that next to prayer “second integrant element of the mission is to live and announce the kingdom, that is, to live and to teach, to create fraternal communities and families already with those whom we live, more with our life everyday than with words. It implies intense exercise of discipline, dominion of self, a constant work to transform our life into the divine love, to defeat arrogance and the fruits of the flesh so as to give way to the fruit of the Spirit.
We pray on the different practical aspects of fraternal love in a way that creating communion and building up families in fraternal love becomes something natural not additional to our being apostles and disciple-missionaries.
Fraternal love from the perspective of the charism
We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. Those who obey God's commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us. (I John 3:22-24)
How do we understand loving one another among the members of Verbum Dei Missionary family? What are the best help we could extend to the members so that our words and life be credible signs of communion with God and with others?
We will try not only to know theoretically but to assimilate affectively and effectively the truth that nourishes and liberates. We will take care, during the day, an atmosphere proper to a contemplative life and to translate into our own life and for the Church the truth which we pray, study, assimilate and live for the life and good of all. In this exercise and life in Christ, our formation and apostolic dynamism proper to our evangelizing mission is rooted. (FMVD Const 83)
Fraternal love seeks to set an example and to promote the others.
To love those who live with us, and those who come after us is to live for them, consecrate our lives for them. And look at them with the eyes of Jesus and treat them as He treated His disciples. We can never aim less for them, rather, we are to sincerely desire for them to be better than us as Jesus says: “I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do - yes, they will do even greater things, … (John14:12).
When Jesus got out of the boat, he saw this large crowd, and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began to teach them many things. When it was getting late, his disciples came to him and said, "It is already very late, and this is a lonely place. Send the people away, and let them go to the nearby farms and villages in order to buy themselves something to eat." "You yourselves give them something to eat," Jesus answered.
They asked, "Do you want us to go and spend two hundred silver coinsj on bread in order to feed them?" So Jesus asked them, "How much bread have you got? Go and see." When they found out, they told him, "Five loaves and also two fish."
Jesus then told his disciples to make all the people divide into groups and sit down on the green grass. So the people sat down in rows, in groups of a hundred and groups of fifty. Then Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and gave thanks to God. He broke the loaves and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. Everyone ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up twelve baskets full of what was left of the bread and the fish. The number of men who were fed was 5,000. (Mk 6:34-44)
How can we leave the crowd of people without light, direction and life just because we cannot do it by ourselves? How much trust do we have in others that we can delegate task? How to promote others?
Fraternal love that fosters communion is founded in profound sense of equality in the fraternity/family
The sense of equality of rights and duties is founded on that we all have the rights and duties to know and to make known, to live, to enjoy and to propagate the only vocation of man which is the divine and the greatest reason of the human dignity: the union with God. The proof is that whoever encounters Christ and knows Him by experience does not need anybody and so can give and even give him/herself to all.
"You are my Lord; You are my only good." (Psalm 16:2)
That is why the religious consecration that directs and unites one’s life to Christ has no special sacrament. It is rooted in the sacrament of baptism.
Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. (I John 4:7)
Does our relationship among the three branches reveal this equality in dignity?
Revision of Life
The revision of life is the most effective means to live our fraternal and communitarian commitment, helping each other to make real the genuine sense of community forged in the love of Christ. It is a true contagion of faith and love of Jesus. Respecting the freedom of each one, we commit ourselves to defend and develop to the maximum the maturity of each person, with his talents and values, so as to respond better the vocation and mission to which God has called us and convoked us in community. (CFMVD 140)
So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith. (Gal 6:10)
You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful. Christ's message in all its richness must live in your hearts. Teach and instruct each other with all wisdom. Sing psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing to God with thanksgiving in your hearts. Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father. (Col 3:12-16)
So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. (Gal 6:9-10)
Fraternal love in pardon and mercy
This responsibility implies engaging in the dynamism of forgiveness, since love has to be constantly being clothed with mercy in order to accompany others in their process, with the same patience and delicateness that God has for us.
I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength for my work. I thank him for considering me worthy and appointing me to serve him, even though in the past I spoke evil of him and persecuted and insulted him. But God was merciful to me because I did not yet have faith and so did not know what I was doing. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life.
Attitude of Hope and gratitude
We are to live from the love of God that never acts according to the response of the beloved, instead, by the quality of love that never changes. He maintains his firm and unfailing hope in each one of us. This should also move the apostle.
… and his approval creates hope. This endurance brings God's hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God's gift to us. (Rom 5:5)
The Baptism of the Lord
1stReading: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 29
2nd Reading: Acts 10:34-38
Gospel: Luke 3:15-16, 21-22
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.