Guidelines for prayer: July 18-23, 2016 - He died for all so that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again for them.
Verbum Dei – a sign of God’s presence in the world of today.
To value our charism of prayer and preaching as the effective way to heal the people – going to the core of man’s conscience, heart, etc.
To know that the essence of our Verbum Dei charism is to go to the root of the problem in society – healing the broken hearts of the people.
Objective of the week:
To go and heal the broken hearts of the people through our charism
Christian faith is not only a new way of looking at God; it also includes a plan for a new society and a new life together. To dedicate ourselves with all possible means to reconciling people. We must remember the love of the Father who wishes to reconcile us. I disciple’s mission is not only to sing praises to God or to live in peace but to be actively involved in the task of universal reconciliation---- with the spirit of courage, love and sacrifice.
We are ambassadors of Christ when we visit the sick and the needy, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit prisoners and the like. Our calling is to bless one another with our love, presence and assurance. We are to help and inspire one another. Let us bless others now as we speak well of them, recognize their capabilities and discover their goodness. Go and heal the broken hearts of the people by the way you live the gospel of Christ.
The purpose of parables
10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,and you will indeed see but never perceive.”15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed,lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. (Mt13: 10-17)
Parables can also become riddles to people who are not open to God and to Jesus’ teachings. They may hear but not understand and look but never see. Someone once said “It Is only through the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” A parable demands reflection for understanding and only those who are prepared to explore its meaning can come to know it. It invites us to open our heart and mind to receive the gift they offer. Jesus parables are very much relevant today. Make an effort to reflect on the events today as well as the Word of God and use it to assess your relationship to God and others. As a Verbum Dei disciple, you became a co-worker of Christ. Believe that the Father will reveal to you His secrets.
The Weeds among the Wheat
24 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds[a]among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants[b] of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” (Mt 13:24-30)
The parable is reminding is not to attempt to anticipate the final judgment of God by excluding the unworthy. It is only God who knows the secrets of the human heart and God alone can judge rightly. Thus, God allows sinners and the just to live together to give sinners the chance to repent and return to the Lord. As a Verbum Dei disciple, find a way this week to tell others about Jesus in order to bring others back to the fold.
The Demand for a Sign
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them,“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation andcondemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold,something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold,something greater than Solomon is here. (Mt 12:38-42)
Jesus is asking us to have faith in Him and to trust Him even without the most convincing sign or miracle. Jesus, in turn, calls for repentance and a return to God more than people’s excitement over His miracles, Are we not an “evil and faithful generation” waiting for something earthshaking to move us to repentance and return to God? Find the time to go to the sacrament of repentance this month.
The call of Jeremiah
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Alas, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”(Jeremiah 1: 4-10)
Discerning God’s plan for some is full of anxiety and fear. In order to hear and follow God’s purpose, we must throw away all excuses that keep us from being who it is God has called us to be. What does God have in mind? What are His plans? What and where is God calling you to do? Trust then that He will equip you, enable you, protect you and accompany you. Lately, did you share God’s WORD? Believe that He will accomplish His purposes no matter how the people would respond. Seek for the grace so that your hearts will always be set on fire for the mission.
Martha and Mary
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Marthax opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary,y who sat at the Lord’s feetz listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you carea that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worriedb and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.f c Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 38-42)
Action is important but contemplation like prayer and intimacy with Jesus is necessary to determine that the action is in accordance with the Will of the Father. We sometimes fret (like Martha) in saying our prayers. We should look for a form of prayer in which we take time to put ourselves in the presence of God before beginning to pray. We need to listen, giving time to silent meditation on God’s word. Sometimes, we enter into prayer with our concerns and do not let go of them until our prayer is ended. Yet, one thing is necessary: unity of life. Our spiritual and secular life (family, work) should complement each other. Does your prayer complement your endeavor lately? Find time to reflect and ponder.
Christ in you, our hope of glory
24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1: 24-29)
After Christ’s death something would be lacking in the salvation of the world if Jesus followers and apostles did not in turn, meet with trials and sufferings. Working for the church means suffering for the church. As Verbum Dei disciples, we should not be discouraged when our efforts affect little or no change. By our actions, we uphold the truth of a just God that one day our meager efforts will be rolled up into God’s victory.
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Gen. 18:20-32
Responsorial Psalm: PS.138:1-2,2-3,6-7,7-8
2nd Reading: Col. 2:12-14
Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.