“Our dedication is to believe and enjoy being children of God where the Holy Spirit brings us beyond frontiers.”
- to believe and enjoy being children of God in order to understand the Verbum Dei charism and Mission.
- to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us beyond frontiers.
Objective of the week:
To believe and enjoy being children of God in the Verbum Dei mission
The VDMFa wants to live its dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word with the spirit of the first Christian community of the Twelve Apostles, in their dedication to prayer and ministry of the Word, as well as the tireless missionary zeal of St. Paul, in his proclamation of the Word, formation of apostles and creation of evangelizing communities. (Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #37)
We want to live our dedication to prayer and the ministry of the Word because this is our charism and mission as Verbum Dei Family. To live this, means to live our identity as children of God. Who is a child of God? Someone who is joyful in living out the mission because he is one with the mission himself, as Fr. Jaime said, “The mission is not something but someone.” Mission is meant to be enjoyed. How happy am I everytime I do the mission in Verbum Dei? Am I enjoying in the mission? What joys and fruits have I received from God in doing the mission?
Why am I not enjoying at times? Perhaps because I still don’t claim the mission and charism as my own. This week is a time to own the mission as true children of God – being filled by the encounter with Jesus – the source of true joy. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”(Evangelii Gaudium 1) Like John the Baptist who said that ‘my joy is complete because the bride is now united with the bridegroom.’
The joy and faith of the children of God
Luke 10:1-20 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them out ahead of him in pairs, to all the towns and places he himself would be visiting. 2 And he said to them, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to do his harvesting. 3 Start off now, but look, I am sending you out like lambs among wolves…
17 The seventy-two came back rejoicing. 'Lord,' they said, 'even the devils submit to us when we use your name.' 18 He said to them, 'I watched Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Look, I have given you power to tread down serpents and scorpions and the whole strength of the enemy; nothing shall ever hurt you. 20 Yet do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you; rejoice instead that your names are written in heaven.'
We can be joyful with the results in the mission and this could be our motivation and expectation why we do it. But Jesus reminded us that there is much more to this joy. Let us rejoice because we are children of God. Enjoy your being a child of God.
Mission is meant to be enjoyed
Acts 5:40-42 40 and they had the apostles called in, gave orders for them to be flogged, warned them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 41 And so they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, glad to have had the honour of suffering humiliation for the sake of the name. 42 Every day they went on ceaselessly teaching and proclaiming the good news of Christ Jesus, both in the temple and in private houses.
1 Corinthians 9:16-18 16 In fact, preaching the gospel gives me nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion and I should be in trouble if I failed to do it. 17 If I did it on my own initiative I would deserve a reward; but if I do it under compulsion I am simply accepting a task entrusted to me. 18 What reward do I have, then? That in my preaching I offer the gospel free of charge to avoid using the rights which the gospel allows me.
Mission is a privilege of the child of God. It is our reward – privilege to proclaim the Word of God – even in the midst of rejection and persecution. Let us enjoy being messengers of the Good News. “Happy are the feet of the messengers who bring Good News.”
Why am I not enjoying?
Mark 10:17-22 17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, 'Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 18 Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.' 20 And he said to him, 'Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.' 21 Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, 'You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.' 22 But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.
“Those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others.”(EG) We are not completely joyful because we don’t give our all to the mission.
Claiming the mission as my own
Acts 6:1-4 About this time, when the number of disciples was increasing, the Hellenists made a complaint against the Hebrews: in the daily distribution their own widows were being overlooked. 2 So the Twelve called a full meeting of the disciples and addressed them, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the word of God so as to give out food; 3 you, brothers, must select from among yourselves seven men of good reputation, filled with the Spirit and with wisdom, to whom we can hand over this duty. 4 We ourselves will continue to devote ourselves to prayer and to the service of the word.'
John 17:9-10 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.
“All I have is yours and all you have is mine.” This is the prayer of Jesus to the Father. He is aware of what has been given to Him and claims them as His own. In order to enjoy it fully, let us take the mission seriously and claim it as our own especially the mission and charism of prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Live as true children of God
1 John 3:1-2 You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God's children -- which is what we are! The reason why the world does not acknowledge us is that it did not acknowledge him. 2 My dear friends, we are already God's children, but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed. We are well aware that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.
John 3:29 29 'It is the bridegroom who has the bride; and yet the bridegroom's friend, who stands there and listens to him, is filled with joy at the bridegroom's voice. This is the joy I feel, and it is complete.
We are considered by God as His children. This is the proof of His great love. Let us live and be thankful for who we are and what he has made us. Like John the Baptist, let us live as his true children, experiencing the joy of being with Him and Listening to His Words.
Transmit the joyful faith
John 15:9-11 9 I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.
The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others”. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”. Consequently, an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ”.
(Evangelii Gaudium 9-10)
Jesus shares with us the completeness of joy by remaining in His love. Let us follow Him and live the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing as children of God.
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
1st Reading: Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 47
2nd Reading: Ephesians 1:17-23
Gospel: Luke 24:46-53
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.