“The Word of God is alive and active.”
July 14-20, 2014
Objective of the week:
1. To reflect on the importance of the Word of God in our missionary intentionality.
2. To answer the question: Why to form apostles through God’s word?
Last week we are reminded to increase our awareness in charism as VD disciples for we are called to be a minister according to the grace of GOD.
Jesus keeps on reminding us about our commitment being His disciples at the same time His missionaries. What is to be a missionary? A missionary is someone who believes that life is searched because it belongs to God from the beginning until the end. He is bound to treasure and care for it to bring to its fullness. To bring to its fullness is to increase our ability to listen and to ponder on God’s word day by day. His words would become flesh in us because it capacitates us to comply with His mission.
Jesus died on the cross for our redemption. Without His sacrifices, we cannot continue the mission He has started because life would become a worthless and pointless journey. He suffered and died because living on earth is not easy for there are many sufferings and temptations that come our way. His suffering is a point of reference for us, as little missionaries, to face our life’s difficulties as Jesus did. He embraced His sufferings because it is part of His commitment. His acceptance is an explicit sign of obedience to God for life belongs to Him until the end.
To treasure our life is to carry the mission of Christ allowing ourselves to become his extremities to reach out to God’s beloved children who are going astray. We as committed disciples don’t need to do heroic actions but to simply live out His words on our day to day living with good relationship with one another and by preaching how we live with Him. In this context, we express our faith to Him. Consequently, we become aware of the mission as we grow spiritually living our charism in every little thing we do, in every place we go, in every decision we take, making His words alive and active in us.
“Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”
“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?3 And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Christianity demands from us nothing less than a total commitment to God. To spread the good news needs to have a total commitment, because there are many people with different walks of life who are suffering from severe hunger and thirst for God’s Word that many of them are going astray. We as committed disciples should be sensitive enough to the feelings and the needs of our brothers and sisters who are engaged in vices because they thought that vices would be the answer to their quests and would give them satisfaction.
“The word of God transforms the heart of mankind”
Through the word of God we transform the heart of mankind.
Faith involves a change of life, a “metanoia”, (Cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi 10; Ad Gentes 13b; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1430-1431) that is a profound transformation of mind and heart; it causes the believer to live that conversation. Faith and conversation arise from the “heart”, that is, they arise from the depth of the human person they involve all that (person) is. By meeting Jesus Christ and by adhering to him, the human being see all of the deepest aspirations completely fulfilled. He (or she) finds what they had always been seeking and finds it superabundantly.
(Cf. Ad Gentes 13)
A change of heart is what God aspires for each one of us. This can be achieved by meeting our Lord everyday through His words. It is a way of internalizing, a way of knowing more about His attributes and consequently emit them into our systems. We need to adhere to Him for He is the source of profound transformation. Meeting Him daily is a sign of concrete commitment where we have to give up our comforts, listen, and ponder on his message. We need to pray devotedly to prepare ourselves as the chosen ministers of Christ. Constant assimilating of His words is a gateway to perform other commitments.
How do you express your devotion to the word of God everyday?
“The Word of God forms the conscience of the person”
Through the Word of God we form the conscience, because we form the truth.
In the heart of every Christian, in the inmost depths of each person, there is always an echo of the question which the young man in the Gospel once asked Jesus: “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?” (Mt. 19:16). Everyone, however, needs to address this question to the “Good Teacher”, since he is the only one who can answer the fullness of truth, in all situations, in the most varied of circumstances. And when Christians ask Him the question which arises from their conscience, the Lord replies in the words of the New Covenant which have been entrusted to His Church. As the Apostle Paul said of himself, we have been sent “to preach the Gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, lest the Cross of Christ be emptied of its power” (1 Cor. 1:17). The Church’s answer to man’s question contains the wisdom and power of Christ Crucified, the Truth which gives of itself. (Rom. 12:1-2)
(Veritatis Splendour 117)
Conscience is when we can hear the tiny voice of God. It is one of the greatest spiritual gifts that God has endowed to man. It is where he can recognize and choose between right from wrong. To gain eternal life is to listen attentively to the gospel with all sincerity for what is perceived from it shall retain in the conscience that dictates Him to do good and to avoid evil. Doing good is by having good relationship with one another and by self-giving. These are the fruits of commitments. The tiny voice of God whispers to us not to be afraid to preach because of our inequities and incapability. If we look back to the lives of the apostles they were just ordinary human beings who were created by Jesus to serve. High qualifications are not important in the service but what matters most is the commitment to love Jesus and working with Jesus and for Jesus.
Do you love Jesus? How do you express His love everyday?
“The Word of God we teach, correct, rebuke and encourage”
“I charge you in the presence of God and in Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingly power: proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. For the time will come when the people will not tolerate sound doctrine but follow their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths. But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of the evangelist; fulfill your ministry.”
(2 Timothy 4:1-5)
We are called to do our share in spreading the Good News of Christ. He entrusts His message to us, in the same words that He addressed to His apostles before ascending to heaven. Through our words and deeds, we become the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Though we are bothered with our worldly tasks, conflicts, discriminations and divisions of the world, we should have to live out our faith as committed Christians for our commitment implies firmness and strength. Committed persons do not give up nor yield under pressures. They do not run away or hide in fear. They fight the battle to the end because this is how they live in communion with God allowing the word to become alive and active in Him. This is how to be an apostle and how to make an apostle of Christ.
Are you sincere of your commitment? How far have you gone through with your sincere commitment?
“The Word of God transformed our lives”
Our own experience is that God transformed our lives through His word and we find out that God gives us “Words of eternal life” (Jn. 6:68) For that we announce our own experience as disciples (1 Jn 1:13)
(Statutes FMVD # 130)
The word is God, and the word that becomes flesh is Jesus Christ. Jesus is the concrete image of Him. Jesus’ way of living has transmitted to his apostles likewise, His apostles had fulfilled what Jesus has started. It is also understood that we assume the mission of Christ. There are many souls who are waiting for us to hear God’s word. God is so happy to see us when we allow ourselves to be His hands, His feet and His mouth to proclaim the gospel. His words has also the power to transform our lives not only to the one who listens but most of all to the preacher himself because he opens his whole being allowing Jesus to work in him and with him. He may be very careful in every decision he makes, in every step he takes, in every word he utters and in very little thing he does. Though there are times that he falters but he continues to struggle and persevere in communion with God. He learns to understand the situation and the unpredictable circumstances that may happen to him however, he understands that these are only to measure his faith to feel how the Holy Spirit works in him. Consequently, this way of life is living life to the fullness.
Are you one of the apostles of Christ? How do you live your life as one of them?
“Silver and Gold I have none, but such as I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk”
1 One day Peter and John went to the Temple at three o'clock in the afternoon, the hour for prayer. 2 There at the Beautiful Gate, as it was called, was a man who had been lame all his life. Every day he was carried to the gate to beg for money from the people who were going into the Temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John going in, he begged them to give him something. 4 They looked straight at him, and Peter said, “Look at us!” 5 So he looked at them, expecting to get something from them. 6 But Peter said to him, “I have no money at all, but I give you what I have: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth I order you to get up and walk!” 7 Then he took him by his right hand and helped him up.
It is the exhortation of the VD Family to preach the gospel and form new apostles because the greatest poverty today is not the absence of food but the absence of the word of God in every person who are hallucinating by engaging different forms of vices just to give satisfaction to his inner quest. They could not identify their craveness and longingness and this is the real hunger and thirst.
Do we allow our brothers and sisters to suffer from the real hunger and thirst while we are full and abundant of God’s word?
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Psalm: Psalm 86
2nd Reading: Romans 8: 26-27
Gospel: Matthew 13: 24-43
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.