“Verbum Dei Missionary Family: You are profoundly missionary”
February 23-March 1, 2015
To renew in the apostles the plan of God for their lives as a person, as a disciple, as a community, as a family VD and help them to enter in God’s vision, in his dream of transcendence and hope in oreder to be open and available for His plan.
Objective of the week:
To renew and assimilate the plan of God for VD family.
It is in the family that we first learn how to pray. There we come to know God, to grow into men and woman of faith, to see ourselves as members of God’s greater family, the Church. In the family we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous and open, not closed and selfish. We learn to move beyond our own needs, to encounter and share our lives with them. That is why it is so important to pray as a family! That is why families are so important in God’s plan for the church. (Pope Francis)
Having this gift of the family Verbum Dei, we are invited to renew and assimilate the plan of God for this family entrusted to us. Let us be grateful to God for giving us a home where we are nurtured and helped to discover our purpose in this world, to be Jesus’ apostle and to help others become one.
“Call to be Family of God”
Being Church means being God’s people, in accordance with the great plan of his fatherly love. This means that we are to be God’s leaven in the midst of humanity. It means proclaiming and bringing God’s salvation into our world, which often goes astray and needs to be encouraged, given hope and strengthened on the way. The church must be a place of mercy freely given, where everyone can feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live the good life of the Gospel.
(Evangelii Gaudium #114)
9 But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were a non-people and now you are the People of God; once you were outside his pity; now you have received pity.
(1 Peter 2:9-10)
How can you make the Verbum Dei Family a family of God?
“Family: Place where we protect the identity of God’s children”
The pressures on family life today are many. Here in the Philippines, countless families are still suffering from the effects of natural disasters. The economic situation has caused families to be separated by migration and the search for employment, and financial problems strain many households. While all too many people live in dire poverty, others are caught up in materialism and lifestyles which are destructive of family life and the most basic demands of Christian morality. These are forms of ideological colonization. The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life.
Our world needs good and strong families to overcome these threats! The Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan and to be a support and example for other families. Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself. The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 85). The future passes through the family. So protect your families! Protect your families! See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments. Families will always have their trials, but may you never add to them! Instead, be living examples of love, forgiveness and care. Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death. What a gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation! So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on the path the Lord traces for each of you.
What can we contribute to protect God’s children in the VD family in order that the plan of God may be realized?
“Family: Place where we grow and educate God’s children”
The sense that the VDFMa as our own family of faith in the Church, making of this community a real school of life, communion, and missionary love.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family 1.2.4)
Finally, the Gospel we have heard reminds us of our Christian duty to be prophetic voices in the midst of our communities. Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord and responded to God’s call to care for Jesus and Mary. In this way he played his part in God’s plan, and became a blessing not only for the Holy Family, but a blessing for all of humanity. With Mary, Joseph served as a model for the boy Jesus as he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Luke 2:52). When families bring children into the world, train them in faith and sound values, and teach them to contribute to society, they become a blessing in our world. Families can become a blessing for all of humanity! God’s love becomes present and active by the way we love and by the good works that we do. We extend Christ’s kingdom in this world. And in doing this, we prove faithful to the prophetic mission which we have received in baptism.
Our family Verbum Dei has provided us means to grow as a true disciple of Jesus and what we received from this family is not only for our own sanctification, but of the sanctification of the life of many and at the service of the whole church of Christ and humanity.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #26)
“My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
During this year which your bishops have set aside as the Year of the Poor, I would ask you, as families, to be especially mindful of our call to be missionary disciples of Jesus. This means being ready to go beyond your homes and to care for our brothers and sisters who are most in need. I ask you especially to show concern for those who do not have a family of their own, in particular those who are elderly and children without parents. Never let them feel isolated, alone and abandoned, but help them to know that God has not forgotten them. Today I was very moved when, after Mass, I visited a home for children without families. How many people work in the Church to make that home a family! This is what it means, in a prophetic sense, to build a family.
31 Now his mother and his brothers arrived and, standing outside, sent in a message asking for him. 32 A crowd was sitting round him at the time the message was passed to him, 'Look, your mother and brothers and sisters are outside asking for you.' 33 He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' 34 And looking at those sitting in a circle round him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. 35 Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.'
“VDFam: You are profoundly missionary”
The identity of the VDFMA is expressed in its own name: to be “family” profoundly “missionary”, at the service of announcing the “Word of God”. The VDFMA gathers in her womb, persons or groups of all states of life, age, culture and social condition, who participate in one same vocation to be “Verbum Dei”. All of us are united by the common call to identify ourselves personally and in community with Jesus, revealing the face of our One and Triune God in our lives.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #3)
20 'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven…
23 So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. 25 Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison.
You may be poor yourselves in material ways, but you have an abundance of gifts to offer when you offer Christ and the community of his Church. Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!
“VDFAM: Place where we form and engender apostles.”
The VDFMA participates in the mission of the universal Church, contributing in such a way that each person may live the plentitude of their vocation to love, to be a disciple and apostle of Jesus, inserting them as an active member of the Church and of society.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #7)
43 'You have heard how it was said, You will love your neighbour and hate your enemy. 44 But I say this to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven, for he causes his sun to rise on the bad as well as the good, and sends down rain to fall on the upright and the wicked alike… You must therefore be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.'
Do you recognize your role in the Verbum Dei family, in forming disciples and apostles of Jesus? Are you willing to participate in making this Verbum Dei family a place to form apostles?
2nd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116
2nd Reading: Romans 8:31b-34
Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.