Objective of the week:
To be deeply identified with the missionary zeal of the Lord in the midst of the challenging realities in the world.
The missionary zeal of the Lord reaches out to everyone and he will not stop until all will be saved (Isaiah 62:1). Salvation has come for all of us. It has been worked out by Christ through his passion, death and resurrection. Everything has been prepared for all of us. However, this can only be achieved through our collaboration. Likewise, we have sisters and brothers who are unaware of this great privilege that God has bestowed upon us. So, He needs someone to bear witness of his mercy and compassion; someone who is ready to strive and to work for the salvific mission. Let us not waste this opportunity as long as we live. Let us go out to participate in God’s divine plan for He will never allow any of His children to go astray. “Israel, you are my dearest son, the child I love best. Whenever I mention your name, I think of you with love. My heart goes out to you; I will be merciful.” (Jeremiah 31:20)
Last week it was emphasized in the objective that we are a pilgrim Church. So as pilgrims, we must draw ourselves from the true source of mercy and love who is God. It is where we find the spirit of fortitude which keeps our missionary zeal burning in our hearts amidst the challenging realities, a missionary zeal that goes to look for the child. It is born from a strong love that reaches out to every person. The reality of the mercy of God is that God comes to look for you. (Jaime Bonet)
Bearing the message of hope
Isaiah 40:1-8 1 'Console my people, console them,' says your God. 2 'Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and cry to her that her period of service is ended, that her guilt has been atoned for, that, from the hand of Yahweh, she has received double punishment for all her sins.' 3 A voice cries, 'Prepare in the desert a way for Yahweh. Make a straight highway for our God across the wastelands. 4 Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, every cliff become a plateau, every escarpment a plain; 5 then the glory of Yahweh will be revealed and all humanity will see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.' 6 A voice said, 'Cry aloud!' and I said, 'What shall I cry?' -'All humanity is grass and all its beauty like the wild flower's. 7 The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of Yahweh blows on them. (The grass is surely the people.) 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains for ever.'
There is only one thing that God wanted from His children; to be happy and to enjoy His friendship forever. We who recognized God in our life must do our part to spread God’s divine plan. We must show our faith to everyone so that they too may find Christ in us who is the true source of our joy in living this challenging world.
How do you spread God’s love in your own ways?
Revealing God’s promise
Isaiah 49:15 15 Can a woman forget her baby at the breast, feel no pity for the child she has borne? Even if these were to forget, I shall not forget you.
…he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child. (Misericordiae Vultus 6)
“Israel, you are my dearest son, the child I love best. Whenever I mention your name, I think of you with love. My heart goes out to you; I will be merciful.” (Jeremiah 31:20)
Missionary zeal goes to look for the child. Missionary zeal is born from a strong love that reaches out to every person.
The reality of the mercy of God is that God comes to look for you. (Jaime Bonet)
Every day is an occasion to experience God’s love in us through the people around us, through the kind of work we engage, through the situations we are in and through the gift of faith that we live. So everyday, we need to be very resourceful to show Him our gratitude for making us His children and for loving us unconditionally.
In what way have you expressed your gratitude to the Lord?
Witnessing the Risen Lord
Luke 24:30-35 30 Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. 32 Then they said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?' 33 They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, 34 who said to them, 'The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon.' 35 Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
Jesus accompanies His disciples even after His death. His presence with them marks his genuine promise to them and continues even in our time. It is concretized in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through the liturgy of the word and the liturgy of the Eucharist. God speaks to us through the liturgy of the word. The words he has spoken to His disciples are the same words that we hear today. The second part is the liturgy of the Eucharist where Jesus’ presence is concretized in the Body and Blood. It is the same Body and Blood of Jesus who has suffered and was crucified at Calvary. Let us contemplate on the real presence of God in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass every day to make our missionary zeal stronger and be recognized by many.
How often do you listen to Jesus and receive Him in the Holy Communion?
Announcing the presence of God
…Now at the dismissal rite, they are told, “Go, (the assembly) is sent.” As in the story of the disciples of Emmaus, the encounter with the Risen Christ in His Word proclaimed and in the breaking of the bread has innate power to transform the assembly into enthusiastic and zealous heralds of the Lord. The fellowship they experienced, the Word they heard, and the Eucharistic meal they shared together are now to be brought into the world in the form of coherent witness… (IEC Theological Symposium Basic Text p. 16-17)
During the IEC, we were all reminded about the essentiality of the Eucharist. Though it appears very small and simple, it has the inner power to transform our lives. As we hear mass and receive Holy Communion, let us acknowledge the divinity of Christ with all our heart, mind and soul. It is an efficacious way of becoming Christ – our true identity.
How can you concretize your identity as a child of God?
Walking with Jesus among our brothers and sisters
…Witness means that through our actions, words and way of being, that Person we give witness to – the Lord Jesus Christ who gathered us, spoke to us and gave his body to us as life-giving bread – makes himself present. Witnessing to Christ means that people we meet at work, at home, and elsewhere in the world are able to experience his consoling words, his healing, his unifying, and life-giving presence because we are there…
(IEC Theological Symposium Basic Text p. 16-17)
We are called to become witnesses of Christ. Let us bring Him to all the people we meet every day without hesitation. Let us tell them that God never abandons them for He has a vast ocean of love that flows endlessly especially to the sinners, the wounded, the sick, the deprived.
How did you concretize your preaching as Christ’s witness?
Receiving Jesus in the Holy Communion
…There is to be an uninterrupted continuity from the Mass just celebrated and our mission as Christians in the world. The prayers after Communion express this uninterrupted continuity which is the fruit of authentic Eucharistic participation: “that we may lay hold of your redemption both in mystery and in the manner of our life.” (IEC Theological Symposium Basic Text p. 16-17)
…This is the greatest Project of Christ: transforming us in communion, irradiating love to the whole world through the Body of Christ (Jaime Bonet)
Going to mass regularly is a repeated experience of the apostles with Jesus. They heard His words and even witnessed His miracles. They talked, ate and walked with Him. Let us not get tired of going to mass and receive Jesus in the Holy Communion for it is a memorial of His passion, death and resurrection. The blessings given by the priest to us is a tangible initiation of Christ to continue His mission to all the corners of the world.
How often have you talked, ate and walked with Jesus?
2nd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Genesis 15:5-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 27
2nd Reading: Philippians 3:17- 4:1
Gospel: Luke 9:28-36
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.