"He hid me in the shadow of his hand; he made me into a sharpened arrow"
June 1-7, 2015
Hidden life: “He hid me in the shadow of his hand; he made me into a sharpened arrow” (Isaiah 49:2)
To deepen and reflect on the hidden life of Jesus in order to understand and learn from Him that to form and to accompany others is a process that is forged in the hidden life.
That we transmit and teach what we assimilate in the secret.
Objective of the week:
To become more aware and therefore value the hidden life which Jesus is calling us to imitate in forming and accompanying others.
What we transmit and teach is assimilated in the secret.
Last Sunday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the most Holy Trinity. In the gospel, we saw Jesus commissioning his apostles to make disciples by baptizing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. This action of Jesus showed to us his trust in each of our life. We are the apostles of Jesus in this present world. We are commissioned and given the task to make disciples. Isn't it a great task? Yes, it is a great task and quite a difficult responsibility, but a great privilege to each one of us Verbum Dei disciples and as Catholic Christians. Why is it a privilege? Because with authentic faithfulness he said: "And teach them to obey everything I have commanded you and I will be with you always to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20)
It is very clear from Jesus that if we performe our task being His apostles, it is a way to be immersed in relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Committing ourselves as Jesus' apostles is a great moment to enjoy their presence as the Holy Trinity of our lives.
This week we are invited also to learn from Jesus his virtue of obedience; His way of obeying the Holy Spirit when he was lead to the desert and to be immersed in relationship with the Father. Why is it important to learn his obedience? As Jesus' apostles we are also called to be obedient to the Holy Spirit as he will lead us to our own desert of our apostleship and that is our mission. That is why Jesus wholeheartedly wants us to learn from Him, His secrets, why He was able to persevere and endure His public life. Of course the Public life of Jesus is born out of His hidden life in prayer. The purpose of this week is for each one of us to learn more and cultivate more of our prayer life, for that is our hidden life the same as Jesus'. We can't respond to the calling of Jesus for us to imitate Him in forming and accompanying others as we are commissioned to do so, if we don't cultivate and develop our own prayer life.
A Life Alone With God in Prayer
42 When daylight came he left the house and made his way to a lonely place. The crowds went to look for him, and when they had caught up with him they wanted to prevent him leaving them, 43 but he answered, 'I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, because that is what I was sent to do.'
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he sent the crowds away. 23 After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,
Jesus taught us that prayer must be hidden from praises of others in order to be seen only by our Heavenly Father who is the source of our motivation to do the mission. How is your prayer life? Do you still spend a one-on-one encounter with the Holy Trinity every day? How much time do you spend in listening to the words of God every day?
A Life in Awareness of the Stewardship for God's Graces each day
He went on to speak to them in parables, 'A man planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug out a trough for the winepress and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad. 2 When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. 3 But they seized the man, thrashed him and sent him away empty handed. 4 Next he sent another servant to them; him they beat about the head and treated shamefully. 5 And he sent another and him they killed; then a number of others, and they thrashed some and killed the rest. 6 He had still someone left: his beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, "They will respect my son." 7 But those tenants said to each other, "This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours." 8 So they seized him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. 9 Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and make an end of the tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not read this text of scripture: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; 11 this is the Lord's doing, and we marvel at it ?' 12 And they would have liked to arrest him, because they realised that the parable was aimed at them, but they were afraid of the crowds. So they left him alone and went away.
Hidden life is a life of those who are aware that they are just administrators of God's providence and knows how to return back the proper dues to God every day. The greatest expression of our hidden life of prayer is our gratefulness to God. How much time do you spend in prayer of thanksgiving to God every day? Are you aware of the trust of God in your life? Do you learn to stop for a short while each day in recognizing God's providence every second of your life?
A life that recognizes the rights of God to claim what belongs to Him
13 Next they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to catch him out in what he said. 14 These came and said to him, 'Master, we know that you are an honest man, that you are not afraid of anyone, because human rank means nothing to you, and that you teach the way of God in all honesty. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or not?' 15 Recognising their hypocrisy he said to them, 'Why are you putting me to the test? Hand me a denarius and let me see it.' 16 They handed him one and he said to them, 'Whose portrait is this? Whose title?' They said to him, 'Caesar's.' 17 Jesus said to them, 'Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar -- and God what belongs to God.' And they were amazed at him.
7 So Jesus said, 'Leave her alone; let her keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.'
Our hidden life is rightly a claim of God to what belongs to Him; To give always a part of our life to him each day without reservation. Are you willing to give up some of your time in order to pray? Are you always willing to share help to others just for God? Are you willing to give up a part of your convenience and share it to others just for God?
A life that believes the truth that our God is the God of the Living
18 Then some Sadducees -- who deny that there is a resurrection -- came to him and they put this question to him, 19 'Master, Moses prescribed for us that if a man's brother dies leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow to raise up children for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers; the first married a wife and then died leaving no children. 21 The second married the widow, and he too died leaving no children; with the third it was the same, 22 and none of the seven left any children. Last of all the woman herself died. 23 Now at the resurrection, when they rise again, whose wife will she be, since she had been married to all seven?' 24 Jesus said to them, 'Surely the reason why you are wrong is that you understand neither the scriptures nor the power of God. 25 For when they rise from the dead, men and women do not marry; no, they are like the angels in heaven. 26 Now about the dead rising again, have you never read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him and said: I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? 27 He is God, not of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken.'
Our hidden life is a life of those who believe that God is a God of the living. Therefore we are also encouraged that as Catholic Christians we need to show to the world that our life has to live with our resurrected CHRIST. How do you see the daily sufferings and crosses of life each day? Do you recognize the hand of God working quietly behind your life?
A life that knows how to respond to the commandment of love
28 One of the scribes who had listened to them debating appreciated that Jesus had given a good answer and put a further question to him, 'Which is the first of all the commandments?' 29 Jesus replied, 'This is the first: Listen, Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.' 32 The scribe said to him, 'Well spoken, Master; what you have said is true, that he is one and there is no other. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself, this is far more important than any burnt offering or sacrifice.' 34 Jesus, seeing how wisely he had spoken, said, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.' And after that no one dared to question him any more.
Our true hidden life is to respond to the basic and to the first commandment of love. Why? Because one of the most important motivation to mission is "LOVE". Never can we do real charity and generosity without recognizing the truth of love in our life; That the only purpose of life is to love. Do you recognize the love of God in your life? Do you realize how much he loves you? How do you see yourself with others? Do you see love in the midst of all what is happening in our families, society and to the whole world at this very moment?
A life that knows to sit at the feet of Jesus and praise Him as Lord
35 While teaching in the Temple, Jesus said, 'How can the scribes maintain that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, moved by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord declared to my Lord, take your seat at my right hand till I have made your enemies your footstool. 37 David himself calls him Lord; in what way then can he be his son?' And the great crowd listened to him with delight.
38 In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking.
Our hidden life is honoring Jesus as Lord sitting at his feet; Which means that the reality of our hidden life is to connect always to Jesus through our daily prayers in a Verbum Dei way. Always listen to Jesus and be alone with Him even a short while each day. Do you still often dialogue to Jesus in the Verbum Dei way? Do you still give time to listen to his word each day? How much time each week do you always use the guidelines sheet for prayer?
Solemnity of Corpus Christi
1st Reading: Exodus 24:3-8
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 116
2nd Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.