Guidelines for prayer: June 20-26, 2016 - “The goal of Verbum Dei is the living out and propagation of the Kingdom of God.”
“…He saw this large crowd and his heart was filled with pity for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
- to see God present and working in the different realities of the people.
- to live our dedication as a Verbum Dei Missionary Family in our different realities.
- to let God transform us into missionaries for the world.
Objective of the week:
To respond as a Verbum Dei Missionary Family to the realities of the world in order to build the Kingdom of God
The lay missionaries/disciples of the VDMFa are guided by the present statute and desire to live their baptismal consecration in plenitude through the Verbum Dei spirit and mission. It is a call of God in a vocation that is fully missionary and lay, inserted in society. Those who participate in through this reality include youth and adults, singles, married, or persons in other situations of life. (VDMFa Statutes #16)
Last week, we were praying particularly on the different realities of our brothers and sisters in the world. The question comes, ‘How can we as a Verbum Dei Family respond to these realities?’ We must remember that Verbum Dei Family also consists of realities (youth, adults, singles, married, etc.) The Verbum Dei Family reaches out to the world as a Family full of realities that are changed and transformed. Realities consisting of apostles. Who can better touch the reality of the youth but the youth themselves? Who can better touch the reality of couples, working, etc.? None other than the same realities. The invitation then is that, we as a Family, help one another in forming the different realities we have. We help to form the reality of the youth so that they can reach out the reality of the youth in society. We help form the reality of the single parents in order that they can reach to the growing reality of single parents. And as well, we form ourselves to reach out to the realities of consecrated, religious, priests, etc. And so on and so forth.
 Cf. LG 31-33
To be a people. To be part of a people
1 Peter 2:9-10 9 But you are a chosen race, a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, a people to be a personal possession to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were a non-people and now you are the People of God; once you were outside his pity; now you have received pity.
Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness. Whenever we do so, our lives become wonderfully complicated and we experience intensely what is to be a people, to be part of a people.
(Evangelii Gaudium 270)
We have been formed by God as a Family consisting of different realities. We are called to be a people and to be part of a people. Let us be a Verbum Dei Family living our lives becoming wonderfully complicated in the realities of the people.
A Family building the Kingdom of God in the world
Hebrews 10:22-25 22 So as we go in, let us be sincere in heart and filled with faith, our hearts sprinkled and free from any trace of bad conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us keep firm in the hope we profess, because the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works. 25 Do not absent yourself from your own assemblies, as some do, but encourage each other; the more so as you see the Day drawing near.
Isaiah 11:6-9 6 The wolf will live with the lamb, the panther lie down with the kid, calf, lion and fat-stock beast together, with a little boy to lead them. 7 The cow and the bear will graze, their young will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like the ox. 8 The infant will play over the den of the adder; the baby will put his hand into the viper's lair. 9 No hurt, no harm will be done on all my holy mountain, for the country will be full of knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea.
What are we trying to do in the world of today? We are trying to build in the Verbum Dei Family, making real the Kingdom of God here on earth and in this generation through our charism and mission. Let us collaborate with God in doing this.
Growing in the light and knowledge of God
When we live out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide to the Lord’s greatest and most beautiful gifts. Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God. Whenever our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other, we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of God. If we want to advance in the spiritual life, then we must constantly be missionaries. The work of evangelization enriches the mind and the heart; it opens up spiritual horizons; it makes us more and more sensitive to the workings of the Holy Spirit, and it takes us beyond our limited spiritual constructs. A committed missionary knows the joy of being a spring which spills over and refreshes others. Only the person who feels happiness in seeking the good of others, in desiring their happiness, can be missionary.
(Evangelii Gaudium 272)
1 John 4:8 8 Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love.
How wonderful that in our different realities, there is newness and a growing knowledge of God because there is a daily atmosphere of love as a Verbum Dei Family. We pray that our love as a Family spill over to so many realities around – a love that refreshes.
Do not live as closed cells
The life of mutual charity, expression of God himself and of the love and presence of Jesus Christ – Word of God -, will prevent us from falling in to a closed circle of our Branch, community or persons; nor will it constitute life in community as an end in itself, nor much less a static or merely passive life. Our communitarian life should always be in function of the greatest apostolic effectiveness and favours it to the maximum. Our aspiration will be to untiringly form living cells and new dynamic communities that share the eternal life in praise of the Father with everyone.
(Constitutions of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity 142)
Mark 1:35-39 35 In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. 36 Simon and his companions set out in search of him, 37 and when they found him they said, 'Everybody is looking for you.' 38 He answered, 'Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can proclaim the message there too, because that is why I came.' 39 And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out devils.
Many times the joy we experience in the Family becomes our comfort zone and we lose the missionary aspect. Niches and circles are created even among the different realities. And we want to stay in that way afraid to get our hands dirty. Let us help make the Family more a Missionary Family.
Building a Family of apostles rooted in the Word
(Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist)
Matthew 7:24-27 24 'Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. 25 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. 26 But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. 27 Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!'
Mark 3:33-35 33 He replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' 34 And looking at those sitting in a circle round him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. 35 Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.'
Let us help build the different realities become apostles rooted in the Word of God because the Word of God is the solid foundation for our mission. Wherever we are sent, whatever we do, we will not be easily shaken because we are standing on solid rock.
Shepherding in mercy
All family life is a “shepherding” in mercy. Each of us, by our love and care, leaves a mark on the life of others; with Paul, we can say: “You are our letter of recommendation, written on your hearts… not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God” (2 Cor 3:2-3). (Amoris Laetitia 322)
My mission of being in the heart of the people is not just a part of my life or a badge I can take off; it is not an “extra” or just another moment in life. Instead, it is something I cannot uproot from my being without destroying my very self. I am a mission on this earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world. We have to regard ourselves as sealed, even branded, by this mission of bringing light, blessing, enlivening, raising up, healing and freeing. All around us we begin to see nurses with soul, teachers with soul, politicians with soul, people who have chosen deep down to be with others and for others.
(Evangelii Gaudium 273)
The Verbum Dei Missionary Family is a Family of mercy. We are invited to be shepherds of mercy. We pray that we may not only give harsh or dry activities to people but as people with soul.
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 16
2nd Reading: Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Gospel: Luke 9:51-62
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.