Verbum Dei – a sign of God’s presence in the world of today.
Main passage: “You yourselves are our letter written in our hearts that everyone can read and understand.”
(2 Corinthians 3:1-6)
- 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 value our charism of prayer and preaching as an effective way to heal the people.
Last month was a time to see and experience how God has been actively present in the history of humanity and in our present time. We have witnessed and prayed over so many concrete realities in the world and called to respond as a Verbum Dei Family.
This month is a time once again to know the way we are called to respond as Verbum Dei – through our specific charism and mission. Our living out of the charism increases more our value for it. The more we live it out, the more we understand and value what Jaime Bonet so insistently promote and live out..
We are aware that there is a deep thirst for the Word of God in every person. In the depth of his heart, man’s soul is thirsting for God. Who can quench that thirst which is manifested in so many expressions? None other than Jesus who is the Word of God himself. That’s why we believe that preaching the Word puts people in contact with Christ. We believe, as Jaime Bonet did, that preaching the Word is an effective way. People have deep wounds and are many times, unconsciously affected by them. Do I believe that the Word preached can bring healing to those wounds? Let us value and believe more the gift we have received – the gift of the charism and mission of Verbum Dei.
The soul thirsts for the Word of God
Amos 8:11 11 'The days are coming- declares the Lord Yahweh- when I shall send a famine on the country, not hunger for food, not thirst for water, but famine for hearing Yahweh's word.
Matthew 4:4 4 But he replied, 'Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'
God alone responds to the yearning present in the heart of every man and woman!” (Verbum Domini 23).
We believe that only God through His Word can quench and respond to the yearning present in every person. He is the only one who can give answer to the deepest questions of men and women. Let us welcome His Word and allow Him to fill the deepest longings of our hearts.
The Word that heals
Mark 1:40-45 40 A man suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you are willing, you can cleanse me.' 41 Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.' 42 And at once the skin-disease left him and he was cleansed. 43 And at once Jesus sternly sent him away and said to him, 44 'Mind you tell no one anything, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your cleansing prescribed by Moses as evidence to them.' 45 The man went away, but then started freely proclaiming and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but stayed outside in deserted places. Even so, people from all around kept coming to him.
We can see in Jesus how he is very much willing to heal our wounds and our sufferings. The Word of God heals in the same manner. It heals us if we allow the Word to enter in our hearts, to consume us, listen to Him and make of the Word as my life.
His Word makes a deep impression
Matthew 7:28-29 28 Jesus had now finished what he wanted to say, and his teaching made a deep impression on the people 29 because he taught them with authority, unlike their own scribes.
Luke 2:34-35 34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, 'Look, he is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is opposed- 35 and a sword will pierce your soul too -- so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.'
The Word of God always leave a mark and a deep impression on those who receive it. Jesus, who is the Word himself, is like the sword that pierce the deepest part of the soul where the secret thoughts may be laid bare. Nothing is hidden from Him. Yes, Jesus is a clear sign in the world – but a sign that is opposed for the Word of God always brings everyone to the truth.
A Word that saves through forgiveness of sins
Luke 1:76-79 76 And you, little child, you shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare a way for him, 77 to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, 78 because of the faithful love of our God in which the rising Sun has come from on high to visit us, 79 to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow dark as death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
Matthew 9:10-13 10 Now while he was at table in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, 'Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?' 12 When he heard this he replied, 'It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. 13 Go and learn the meaning of the words: Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifice. And indeed I came to call not the upright, but sinners.'
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 18 It is all God's work; he reconciled us to himself through Christ and he gave us the ministry of reconciliation. 19 I mean, God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone's faults against them, but entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Mercy and forgiveness of sins is the way that Jesus saves. The Word that we preach is of mercy and forgiveness. We are entrusted with this same message and we must be the first one to believe and convinced that the Word brings salvation and forgiveness.
The healing of deep wounds
Matthew 9:1-8 He got back in the boat, crossed the water and came to his home town. 2 And suddenly some people brought him a paralytic stretched out on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'Take comfort, my child, your sins are forgiven.' 3 And now some scribes said to themselves, 'This man is being blasphemous.' 4 Knowing what was in their minds Jesus said, 'Why do you have such wicked thoughts in your hearts? 5 Now, which of these is easier: to say, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up and walk"? 6 But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,' -- then he said to the paralytic-'get up, pick up your bed and go off home.' 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 A feeling of awe came over the crowd when they saw this, and they praised God for having given such authority to human beings.
Our wounds many times are not just superficial or external. We have deep wounds which are manifested many times in our words and actions. Many times these happen unconsciously and can greatly affect us and others. Healing is possible in Jesus who went to heal the deepest wounds we have and that is sin. The Word of God heals both body and soul
A Word written in human hearts
2 Corinthians 3:1-6 Are we beginning to commend ourselves to you afresh -- as though we needed, like some others, to have letters of commendation either to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, that everyone can read and understand; 3 and it is plain that you are a letter from Christ, entrusted to our care, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on the tablets of human hearts. 4 Such is the confidence we have through Christ in facing God; 5 it is not that we are so competent that we can claim any credit for ourselves; all our competence comes from God. 6 He has given us the competence to be ministers of a new covenant, a covenant which is not of written letters, but of the Spirit; for the written letters kill, but the Spirit gives life.
We are letters sent by Jesus himself to bring the message of mercy and forgiveness. His words are written in human hearts meaning, that it has a human touch. We know what is means to be sinful. We know what it means to be lost and to be weak. Knowing these, we are more human – gentle and patient to those who are coming back to God’s mercy.
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 66:10-14c
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 66
2nd Reading: Galatians 6:14-18
Gospel: Luke 10:1-12, 17-20
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.