“I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me.”
July 7-14, 2014
Objective of the week:
1. To increase our awareness in the charism and to develop the mission that God has given us.
2. To reflect it in our missionary intentionality.
We are reminded last week that we are a family united to the mission of the Apostles: in Paul and Peter apostles of Christ.
“The life and path taken by Jesus and the Twelve, and the group of disciples who accompanied them, are the inspiration for our apostolic dynamism. Jesus formed the twelve apostles to be with him and to be sent out to preach, becoming his witnesses. The desire to form apostles among all peoples is a specific element of our charism that become the method and intention of our mission.” (VD Statutes # 40)
Jesus is aware that he receives the power and authority to develop the mission that the Father entrusts to him. For this reason, HE lived as someone sent. Likewise, are you aware that you are called to be an official witness of Christ? That you can do apostolic work? The Father sends HIS Son to earth and, in turn, the Son sends his apostles. The Father entrusts to Jesus the realization of his plan, and the Church takes you upon herself the continuation of the work, initiated by Jesus. Jesus follows his Father’s plan of salvation as described in the bible. To reject the messengers is to ignore the call of the Father and to lose the greatest opportunity of one’s life --- to be a witness of Jesus. Are you aware that our charism is in function of our mission? And our mission is in function of our charism?
Like Jesus, we need to be aware of our missionary identity and to help develop the mission that God has given us. To do so, it requires that we love God with all our heart and soul and neighbor as ourselves. We need to abide in the truth in the WORD of GOD no matter how difficult our circumstances in life may be. And not to fear but seek for courage and strength for Jesus has assured us to “take courage for I have conquered the world.” Likewise, we need to be ready for the transformation that would occur for the bible says “it is no longer me but Christ that lives in me”. Lastly, to be a missionary requires commitment --- a total surrender of our time, our will, our whole being as well as attachments to the things of this world.
Are you ready to commit to become an ambassador of Christ?
“We have received a charism in order to develop the mission that God has entrusted in us.”
“For this reason I, Paul came to be the prisoner of Christ for you, the non-Jews. By a revelation he gave me the knowledge of his mysterious design, as I have explained in a few words. This mystery was not made known to past generations but only now, through revelations given to holy apostles and prophets. Now the non-Jewish people share the inheritance; in Christ Jesus the non-Jews are incorporated and are to enjoy the Promise. This is the Good News of which I have become minister by a gift of God, a grace he gave me, a power that works in me. Although I am the least among all the believers, this grace was given me to announce to the pagan nations the immeasurable riches of Christ and to make clear to all how the mystery, hidden from the beginning in God, the Creator of all things, is to be fulfilled. Even the heavenly forces and powers will now discover through the church the wisdom of God in its manifold expression, as the plan is being fulfilled which God designed from the beginning in Christ Jesus, our lord. In him we receive boldness and confidence to approach God. So I ask you not to be discouraged at seeing the trials I endure for you, but rather to feel proud because of them.”
(Ephesians 3: 1-3, 5-13)
“There is diversity of gifts, but the Spirit is the same. There is diversity of ministries, the Lord is the same. There is diversity of works, but the same God works in all. The Spirit reveals his presence in each one with a gift which is also a service.”
(1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
The actualization that comes forth from the charism is the mission. God is the fountain of the various gifts granted to the church and God is also the model of how diversity may be coupled with unity. Are you aware of your gifts? Are you willing to share this for the work of the mission?
“Go and make disciples”
8 for I have given them the teaching you gave to me, and they have indeed accepted it and know for certain that I came from you, and have believed that it was you who sent me. 9 It is for them that I pray. I am not praying for the world but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All I have is yours and all you have is mine, and in them I am glorified. 11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep those you have given me true to your name, so that they may be one like us. 12 While I was with them, I kept those you had given me true to your name. I have watched over them and not one is lost except one who was destined to be lost, and this was to fulfill the scriptures. 13 But now I am coming to you and I say these things in the world to share my joy with them to the full. 14 I passed your word on to them, and the world hated them, because they belong to the world no more than I belong to the world. 15 I am not asking you to remove them from the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. 16 They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. 17 Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world,
(John 17: 8-18)
“Then Jesus approached them and said, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth’. Therefore, go and baptize them in the Name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to fulfill all I have commanded you. I am with you always until the end of this world.
Mission is to send or be sent. To be sent, responds to a certain task that a person is assigned to in order that this task be realized when he receives a determined charism. Are you courageous enough to go on a mission? Do you have the faith and trust that Jesus will be with you always until the end of this world?
“We pray and preach to form disciples”
“The VDMFa aspires to live their dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word in the spirit of the First Christian Community and of the Twelve Apostles in their dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word, with the untiring missionary zeal of St. Paul, in his proclamation of the Word, formation of apostles, and creation of evangelizing communities.”
(VD Statutes # 37)
“This missionary intentionally at the service of the Word is expressed in different ways, each one living the mission from their specific vocation, with their capabilities and talents, sensitivity and possibility, integrating themselves in the social media where the members of the VDFa find “themselves.”
(VD Statutes # 39)
“The dedication to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God, through life and words, results for the VDMFa, in the formation of small Christian communities inserted and in communion with the local Church. Following the example of St. Paul, we seek to promote and form disciples of these communities of Christian life and mission. The intention of our mission aims thus to a stable evangelization in as many places and circumstances possible. The joint labor among all the members of the VDMFa in collaboration with the local Church is indispensible.”
(VD Statutes # 42)
Prayer is essential, along with a daily encounter with the WORD (through bible reading, the Eucharist & confession) as one dedicates to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God. To help in the formation of disciples is the work of the mission. Do you heed to this kind of lifestyle? Do you have the needed time, faith, trust & hope in God to carry out this missionary zeal of St. Paul?
“In the same mission of Jesus”
“Then Jesus went up into the hill country and called those he wanted and they came to him. So he appointed twelve to be with him; he also wanted to send them out to preach. And he gave them authority to drive out demons.”
(Mark 3: 13-15)
“I have made your name known to those you gave me from the world. They were yours and you gave them to me, and they kept your word. And now they know that all you have given me comes indeed from you. I have given them the teaching I received from you, and they received it and know in truth that I came from you; and they believe that You have sent me.”
(John 17: 6-8)
“Again Jesus said to them, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
(John 20: 21)
Our principal duty is to know God. Its proper and indispensable mission will be to keep and proclaim the true knowledge of God and the commandment of his Son. Jesus wants each of his own to know God. The authority to go and make disciples through the Word of God is the Lord’s persistent invitation. Do you accept this invitation to be ambassadors of Christ?
“To form apostles who in turn make other disciples”
“They can be lay missionaries/disciples ---- those persons who after a free and mature discernment that is verified by their responsibilities in an itinerary of formation and life, are bound to the VDMFamily through temporary or stable commitment. According to the cultural or communitarian situation, they may be done privately.”
(VD Statutes # 17)
“You, my son, be strong with the grace you have in Christ Jesus, Entrust to reliable people everything you have learned from me in the presence of many witnesses, that they may instruct others.”
(2 Timothy 2: 1-2)
Christ’s witness must preserve the faith integrally. To surrender completely to Christ with the assurance that one’s efforts in the mission will be rewarded. With the firm hope of faith, your participation in mission work will convince others. Are you willing to become or continue to be a committed VD disciple? Do you believe that in turn you will be able to pave the way for others to become a disciple of Jesus?
“For the propagation of the Kingdom of God”
“But he said, ‘I have to go to other towns to announce the good news of the Kingdom of God. That is what I was sent to do.”
“The proclamation of the word of God, preceded and accompanied by prayer and witness of life, will always be the best means for the propagation of the faith. We will sow the good seed of the Word in all fields, trusting in the growth that God gives, knowing that the Word, like ‘the rain which falls from heaven will not return empty,’ because certainly, ‘The Word of God is alive and effective and sharper than any two- edged sword.”
(VD Statutes # 38)
Christ is the one who chooses and sends them in HIS name. But where will Jesus find someone to send except among those who are willing to cooperate with HIM? We could wonder why so many Catholics listen to the Gospel and so few really cooperate with Christ. One begins to cooperate with Christ when it is beyond performing good works for the benefit of the community but rather when one feels responsible for people --- fisher of people. Do you feel responsible for others as such that you are willing to leave everything in order to follow Jesus?
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 55: 10-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 65
2nd Reading: Romans 8: 18-23
Gospel: Matthew 13: 1-9
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.