“The Word was with God and the Word was God”
(c.f. John 1:2)
December 2-8, 2013
Objective of the week:
To prepare for the coming of the Lord this season of Advent by making ourselves closer to the Word of God for the word is Jesus.
To make the Word of God the center of our life and of our following.
This week is an opportunity for us to prepare well our hearts for the coming of the Lord. A heart that is full of hope, joy and love, with the readiness to make it as the manger where the infant Jesus will lie down as he will be born in us. How do we prepare it well? As a Verbum Dei disciple and as a member of the Verbum Dei Missionary family, we are already equipped with the means. One of these is prayer where the center is the Word of God. We already have many wonderful experiences of the power of the word when we allow it to enter into our hearts in the most loving dialogue with him: the owner of the WORD. We are now invited to allow the word to be the center of our life and in our following in order that we are able to see the beautiful gift of His word in our life. The power of the word of God will direct us where to find that great sense of our human life in the WORD.
The word of God is so powerful because behind it is someone: the person of Christ. The word of God transmits the very life of God to us and makes us one with the living WORD.
As it is said in John 14: 23, “If anyone loves me he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to Him and live with Him.” As Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said, “If you keep the word of God this way it will also keep you. The son with the Father will come to you.”
How wonderful if we can again recognize that the word of God is so powerful and is even the most effective means of Salvation. Why? Because behind the word is the very person of the infant Jesus - the one whom we are going to receive this Christmas. The best way of making the WORD to be the center of our life is by receiving baby Jesus with an open heart and mind. In this way, it will make our life become WORD of God, become “Verbum Dei”, most especially to those people who are in need: the homeless, hungry, sick, dying, and lonely. What will you give this Christmas? As Jesus said, “What you do to the least of your brothers you do it to me.” (Matthew 25:40)
The word is the source of our authentic dignity
(Genesis 1:24-31) …26 God said, 'Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground.' 27 God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth.'…
(Genesis 2:7) 7 Yahweh God shaped man from the soil of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being.
How amazing is our God who made the universe beautifully and put it into order by His Word. Most of all, the wonderful way of God to create human beings from his word, greatly molded in the palms of his hands with love and his breath as our life. How dignified we are that we come from dust but he made it with his same image and likeness. It is very clear that all History starts with the Word, even our own history. Do you appreciate the gift of His word in your life? Do you see how you are made beautifully by God?
The word is our guide to the TRUTH… who we are, in our relationship to others and our environment
(Psalm 8:3-9) 3 I look up at your heavens, shaped by your fingers, at the moon and the stars you set firm- 4 what are human beings that you spare a thought for them, or the child of Adam that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and beauty, 6 made him lord of the works of your hands, put all things under his feet, 7 sheep and cattle, all of them, and even the wild beasts, 8 birds in the sky, fish in the sea, when he makes his way across the ocean. 9 Yahweh our Lord, how majestic your name throughout the world!
The Word of God is the sanctifying and liberating truth of mankind. It is the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. (Verbum Dei Statutes 9)
How wonderful is the trust God gave to us by giving us the responsibility over all creation. It is so amazing to see how God crowned us with His glory in order to attain such great Human Dignity. How He puts order in our relationship to others, to our environment and most of all to Him as our center. Do you see how God express His glory and His salvation through our Human Dignity? Do you recognize that we come from the Word of God? Have you experienced the liberating truth of mankind that comes from the WORD? How are you being the steward of God’s creation?
The word is the source of life that gives life to people to become children of God
(John 1:1-5) In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. 4 What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; 5 and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not overpower it.
(John 1:10-14) 10 He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognise him. 11 He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name 13 who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself. 14 The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Only the Word of God remains forever. Everyone who listens to the Word and acts on it is building on rock. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Word of God will never pass away.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 7)
How blessed are we that from the Word we become children of God. It is Jesus the living WORD that paves the way in order for us to become children of God. Jesus teaches us today how to become a living word for others. In this present time we are called by God to be like Jesus, to bring light to others, to inspire them that the word of God is the only powerful tool that will remain forever in our life. Do you allow the person of Jesus to talk to you today and to the rest of the days of your life? Have you experienced the powerful word of God becoming a living word in your life? Were you able to fix your eyes in Jesus every time he sets an example to you on how to become a living word for others?
The Word that fall to an open heart will bear fruit a hundredfold
(Luke 8:15) 15 As for the part in the rich soil, this is people with a noble and generous heart who have heard the word and take it to themselves and yield a harvest through their perseverance.
The Word of God, sown and rooted in our lives as in a fertile soil, will give fruit one hundredfold because it is, at the same time, like the fertile rain watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth. (Verbum Dei Statutes 8)
The seed is the word of God that must fall on a fertile ground and that is our human heart. The heart will become a fertile ground for the Word if it is open and cultivated everyday by prayer and listening to His words.
Our daily prayer as a Verbum Dei disciple is a way to cultivate the ground of our hearts to become fertile, in order that it will be ready to receive the seed of the word of God. This seed is the infant Jesus who is very willing to lie down in our hearts not just this Christmas but in all the days of our life.
How is your daily prayer and listening to the word of God? Do you recognize the importance of your daily prayer? Do you appreciate the gift of the word of God given to you daily through the guidelines of prayer printed in a paper or in the text messages sent to you?
The greatest happiness of every apostle is to obey the word and live it out
(Luke 11:28) 28 But he replied, 'More blessed still are those who hear the word of God and keep it!'
(Matthew 7:21) 21 'It is not anyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," who will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Above all human norms, the Word of God is the perfect law of freedom whose practice offers us the supreme happiness of mankind.
(Verbum Dei Statutes 12)
Today we are reminded of the incarnated word of God and that is Jesus. He is the only answer on where to find real happiness because he is the only true flesh of God, the living word of God who comforts us when we are afflicted. The living word that lifts us up when we are down, the only true God that forgives us and reconciles our lives to his great love. Now He is again giving us His secret of happiness and that is to put the Word as the center of our life. What does it mean by putting the Word as the center of our life? That is to obey and live it out. Today, just allow Jesus to tell you personally: “Obedience to my word makes you to dwell in my eternal love.” What is the invitation of Jesus to you today? Who are the people that Jesus is calling you to forgive and to reconcile as we live this Advent season? Are you now prepared to obey the word of God and live it out?
Let the Word live in your life for you to become a living the Word to others
(Luke 1:26-38) …38 Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
(Colossians 3:16) 16 Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God;
Mama Mary’s presence gives us the strength everyday for us to continue taking steps in following God through his words. She always showed us the true humility as a servant of God. Mama Mary never stopped teaching us how to respond humbly in saying yes for Jesus, “the living word” who will be born in us.
Are you willing to say yes to the word - Jesus to be born in you? How does the humility of Mama Mary inspire you to continue taking steps as a bearer of the Word?
2nd Sunday of Advent
1st Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 72
2nd Reading: Romans 15:4-9
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.