Last week, we continued to pray and deepen on how to help the Church and each other to constantly go out from ourselves and live out our identity as missionaries. The Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father Pope Francis entitled Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) continue to inspire us and awaken the missionary identity in us to prolong the mission of Jesus in this world. If we try to ask ourselves when to continue the mission, the answer is NOW. For God, the most important time is NOW. As Verbum Dei disciples, our lives have been touched by the Verbum Dei charism and it’s our turn to also touch the lives of others. God wants us to participate in the mission. This is the will of God that all men maybe saved and come to know His name. There may be doubts and fears that hinders us to carry out the mission but let us be reminded that we have an unbreakable support that hold our mission and this is the truth that Christ is alive and Christ is risen.
(EG 276) Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world. Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up. It is an irresistible force… and all who evangelize are instruments of that power.
If we live the mission in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, we are not alone. We have support and sustenance. Many times in the Bible we were told “Do not be afraid” but still fear cripple back. But let us remember that we are sent with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. They work beyond our missionary self-giving. They work beyond our comprehension. We may meet some challenges in our missionary journey but we should be sure that all little acts of giving are not put to waste. This is our strong assurance from the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. There is always certainty in our endeavor if it is according to His will. The only danger in our journey is when we walk outside the will of God.
Be the compassion of Christ and agents of change, of healing and reconciliation in a broken and divided world. St. Paul tells us to give credit to God “whose power working in us, can help us do infinitely more than we dare ask or imagine. May God be glorified at this time and through future generations. (Ephesians 1:3, 20-23)
Discover the Risen Christ
275. Some people do not commit themselves to mission because they think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make effort. They think: “Why should I deny myself my comforts and pleasures if I won’t see any significant result?” This attitude makes it impossible to be missionary. It is only a malicious excuse for remaining caught up in comfort, laziness, vague dissatisfaction and empty selfishness. It is a self-destructive attitude, for “man cannot live without hope: life would become meaningless and unbearable” if we think that things are not going to change, we need to recall that Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death and is now almighty. Jesus Christ truly lives. Put another way, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain” (1Cor.15:14) The Gospel tells us that when the first disciples went forth to preach, “the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message” (Mk16:20). The same thing happens today. We are invited to discover this, to experience it. Christ, risen and glorified, is the wellspring of our hope, and he will not deprive us of the help we need to carry out the mission which he has entrusted to us.
(Evangelii Gaudium 275)
Beauty is Born Anew
276. Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty. But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. On razed land life breaks through, stubbornly yet invincibly. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew, it rises transformed through the storms of history. Values always tend to reappear under new guises, and human beings have arisen time after time from situations that seemed doomed. Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelized are instruments of that power.
(Evangelii Gaudium 276)
Walk in the Light
277. At the same time, new difficulties are constantly surfacing: experiences of failure and the human weaknesses which bring so much pain. We all know from experience that sometimes a task does not bring the satisfaction we seek, results are few and changes are slow, and we are tempted to grow weary. Yet lowering our arms momentarily out of weariness is not the same as lowering them for good, overcome by chronic discontent and by a listlessness that parches the soul. It also happens that our hearts can tire of the struggle because in the end we are caught up in ourselves, in a careerism which thirst for recognition, applause, rewards and status. In cases like these, the Gospel, the most beautiful message that this world can offer, is buried under a pile of excuses.
(Evangelii Gaudium 277.)
“If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
The Kingdom Is Here In This World
278. Faith is also means believing in God, believing that He truly loves us, the He is alive, that He is mysteriously capable of intervening, that He does not abandon us and that He brings good out of evil by His power and His infinite creativity. It means believing that He marches triumphantly in history with those who “are called and chosen and faithful” (Rev.17:14) let us believe the Gospel when it tells us that the kingdom of God is already present in this world and is growing, here and there, and in different ways; like the small seed which grows into a great tree. (cf. Mt 13: 31-32), like the leaven that makes the dough rise (cf. Mt 13:33) and like the good seed that grows amidst the weeds (cf. Mt13, 24-30) and can always pleasantly surprise us. The kingdom is here, it returns, it struggles to flourish anew. Christ’s resurrection everywhere calls forth seeds of that new world; even if they are cut back, they grow again, for the resurrection is already secretly woven into the fabrics of this history, for Jesus did not rise in vain. May we never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope!
(Evangelii Gaudium 278)
Our Interior Certainty
279. Because we do not always see these seeds growing, we need an interior certainty, a conviction that God is able to act in every situation, even amid apparent setbacks: “we have this treasure in earthen vessels” (2Cor 4:7). This certainty is often called “a sense of mystery”. It involves knowing with certitude that all those who entrust themselves to God in love will bear good fruit (cf. Jn15:5).No single act of love for God will be lost, no generous effort is meaningless, no painful endurance is wasted. Sometimes it seems that our work is fruitless, but the Holy Spirit works as He wills, when He wills, and where He wills; we entrust ourselves without pretending to see striking results. We know only that our commitment is necessary. Let us learn to rest in the tenderness of the arms of the father amid our creative and generous commitment. Let us keep marching forward; let us give Him everything, allowing Him to make our efforts bear fruit in His good time.
(Evangelii Gaudium 279)
So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it”.
(John 11: 3-4)
Jesus said to her, “ I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
The Holy Spirit Knows Well
“ In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words;
280. Keeping our missionary fervour alive calls for firm trust in the Holy Spirit, for it is He who “helps in our weakness” (Rom.8:26). But this generous trust has to be nourished, and so we need to invoke the Spirit constantly. He can heal whatever causes us to flag in the missionary endeavour. It is true that this trust in the unseen can cause us to feel disoriented: it is like being plunged into the deep and not knowing what we will find. I myself have frequently experienced this. Yet there is no greater freedom than that of allowing oneself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, renouncing the attempt to plan and control everything to the last detail, and instead letting Him enlighten, guide and direct us, leading us wherever He wills. The Holy Spirit knows well what is needed in every time and place. This is what it means to be mysterious fruitful.
(Evangelii Gaudium 280)
Easter Week 7
First Reading – Acts 1:1-11
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 47: 2-9
Second reading – Eph 1:17-23
Gospel – Matthew 28:16-20
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.