Objective of the week:
To realize the importance of a pure heart in living our identity as Christians.
To develop a capacity to love with a pure heart.
This week we are again given the opportunity to realize the importance of a pure heart as Verbum Dei disciples and as Christians. Pure heart is a concrete way to live out our identity as Christians. A true Catholic Christian need to develop the capacity to love with a pure heart. Never to live in hypocrisy: where we are only good in speaking words of love but never to act on it. Christians must never be superficial in their loving because true loving is an expression of a true follower of Christ.
Each Christian is called to live out his identity. Are you aware of that? Have you asked yourself these questions: What does it mean to be a Christian? How to live out that identity? As Christians we have a great power within us “Jesus inside”. For each of our hearts is the dwelling place of God, a God that is LOVE. God’s love as St. Paul reminds us “has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Why do we need a pure heart to express love to others? Because “where love is, God is”, same as “For your heart will always be where your riches are.” (Luke 12:34). How wonderful to realize that we are the treasure of God for He puts his love to us. We are even liberated by Jesus by His new commandment “I give you a new commandment: Love on another” (John 13:31)
This is a great challenge to all of us Christians; though great but a beautiful challenge. Why? Because our world of today needs a new quality of love, a love from a pure heart and that is the “LOVE of CHRIST”. A love that is patient, kind, no record of wrongs. A love that believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things (1 Corinthians 13: 1-13) We receive all of these, as we receive the Holy Spirit in our baptism.
This very week we are asked by Jesus to share his love that we receive from Him. To share to others with a pure and chaste heart as the bearer for it. In order that his love will reach to the ends of the earth. This is a great expression of our beautiful identity. But remember, what we need is to integrate the Word of God in all dimensions of our life in order to express fully this Christian Identity. In that way, others may see that truly Jesus is in each of our hearts.
Jesus’ Pure Heart Teaches Us To Be Pure in our LOVING
23 More than all else, keep watch over your heart, since here are the wellsprings of life.
23 Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as done for the Lord and not for human beings,
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: they shall see God.
Jesus is reminding us today the importance of our life to be shaped by His love in thought, word and deed. He is also reminding us that He needs us to work for Him and not for the world. Are you willing to submit your heart, mind and the whole of yourself to Jesus?
Jesus’ Pure Heart Heals Our Weary Heart
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lake. 22 Then the president of the synagogue came up, named Jairus, and seeing him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him earnestly, saying, 'My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her that she may be saved and may live.' 24 Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him. 25 Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years; 26 after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she had spent all she had without being any the better for it; in fact, she was getting worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and she came up through the crowd and touched his cloak from behind, thinking, 28 'If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved.' 29 And at once the source of the bleeding dried up, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint. 30 And at once aware of the power that had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, 'Who touched my clothes?' 31 His disciples said to him, 'You see how the crowd is pressing round you; how can you ask, "Who touched me?" ' 32 But he continued to look all round to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth. 34 'My daughter,' he said, 'your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint.' 35 While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the president of the synagogue to say, 'Your daughter is dead; why put the Master to any further trouble?' 36 But Jesus overheard what they said and he said to the president of the synagogue, 'Do not be afraid; only have faith.' 37 And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 So they came to the house of the president of the synagogue, and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly. 39 He went in and said to them, 'Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.' 40 But they ridiculed him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child's father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay. 41 And taking the child by the hand he said to her, 'Talitha kum!' which means, 'Little girl, I tell you to get up.' 42 The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At once they were overcome with astonishment, 43 and he gave them strict orders not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.
Jesus is asking us today to imitate Him in his ways of loving. It is only His love that can cure the haziness of our hearts and minds to love. He is the only one who can drive away the crowds around our hearts and be cleansed and made pure to love. Are you willing to submit your heart to Jesus for cleansing and healing? Do you believe that you are a great bearer of the love of Jesus to others? Are you aware that Jesus needs you, to bring his love to heal the CANCER that our society is suffering today?
Jesus’ Pure Heart Is our Source of the Fullness of Life
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for whatever you please and you will get it. 8 It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples. 9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. 13 No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do what I command you. 15 I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master's business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. 17 My command to you is to love one another.
Jesus is teaching us clearly how to love with a pure heart. We cannot love sincerely and purely if we don’t connect to Him as the source of true loving. How beautiful to realize that connecting to our Lord and savior is through His words, which will lead us to the fullness of life. Are you aware that your life is a very rich source of true loving? Is it very clear to you where the source of the happiness of life is?
Jesus’ Pure Heart Gives Us the TRUE Meaning of Life
13 Jesus replied: Whoever drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14 but no one who drinks the water that I shall give will ever be thirsty again: the water that I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up for eternal life. 15 'Sir,' said the woman, 'give me some of that water, so that I may never be thirsty or come here again to draw water.'
Jesus is showing us that he is the source of life giving water. He lovingly invites us to connect and drink this water for us to have life that gives real happiness. It is through him that will give us the true meaning of life and, its fullness is in a person with a pure heart in loving. Do you realize that the love we want to share must come from God? Do you recognize the generosity of God to your life? Do you see the great hope of Jesus for your life? Do you value your life the same way Jesus values it?
Jesus’ Pure Heart Makes Our Life Become the Light in the darkness of others
13 'You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people's feet. 14 'You are light for the world. A city built on a hill-top cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine in people's sight, so that, seeing your good works, they may give praise to your Father in heaven.
Jesus is trusting our life. He believes the capacity of our life to bring His love to others as long as we connect to Him faithfully. Everyday Jesus is so open for us to connect to Him through His words. This is the only way that we can function our role as Christians, to become light in the darkness of the people we meet everyday. Do you see the importance of prayer with the word of God? How often do you dialogue to God by listening to Him through His words? Do you value the prayer that we learn from the Verbum Dei community?
Jesus’ Pure Heart Will Mold Us to Have a Compassionate Heart
7 As they persisted with their question, he straightened up and said, 'Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her.' 8 Then he bent down and continued writing on the ground. 9 When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until the last one had gone and Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained in the middle. 10 Jesus again straightened up and said, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 11 'No one, sir,' she replied. 'Neither do I condemn you,' said Jesus. 'Go away, and from this moment sin no more.'
Jesus is so clear in the pureness of heart in loving us. He wants us to learn from Him the pureness of heart to love through mercy and compassion without reservation, to give forgiveness and be forgiven. Are you willing to submit to Jesus your “SELF” for you to learn his merciful love? Do you value a kind of life where people can see and praise God through it?
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23
2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:13-18
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.