“The harvest truly is plentiful but the laborers are few. There pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”
(C.f. Mt. 9:37-38)
November 18-24, 2013
Objective of the week:
To realize with Jaime that the real efficacy of the mission comes not only in the personal preaching of the Word of God, but in forming others who could do the same.
Praying last week about our dedication as Verbum Dei of prayer and ministry of the Word, this week we are invited to put more focus in this dedication that Jaime B. founder of Verbum Dei understood, in VD Constitutions #1 “the objective and focus is to form apostles of Christ from among people of every state of life regardless of sex, race and social condition.”
Fr. Jaime, has a special dream, objective and focus for all of us, that we can become an apostle of Christ from among people of every state of life regardless of sex, race and social condition, that our focus should be not only to preach, but to make disciples that make the same
“Conscious that the preaching of the living Word of God puts people in contact with Christ and that we only make disciples of Christ when they “come to know” him, follow him and, in turn, make other disciples,
The Verbum Dei Missionary Community, with the motto of the first disciples of Jesus, “Orationi et ministerio verbi instantes” and the spirit of the first Christian community, centres its specific mission in the Word of God: to pray with the Word, assimilating it until it becomes our own life, transforming us in itself and teaching others to do the same, in order that they, too, pray, live, and teach the Word existentially to others.” (VD Constitution # 10)
Our call as Verbum Dei is to give birth to spiritual children through our preaching and to accompany them until they became Disciples of Christ is to be a father and mother to them in forming them into apostles.
The example of St. Paul the apostle can help us to understand how to life this aim of our mission, we need to have the kind of transformation that St. Paul experienced when he met Jesus. St Paul’s transformation was immense, sincere, persevering and deeply rooted in his intense love and trust in Jesus. This kind of transformation capacitated him to become an apostle of Christ and forming others to become apostles of Christ too.
In the same way Fr. Jaime envisions that we become an apostle of Christ, it doesn’t seem impossible because to become an apostle of Christ is to live like Christ with our very own lives day by day like what St. Paul did. We can very much become an apostle of Christ when we live out the kind of life that Jesus has and when we radiate it unto others. We are then called to live a life of daily prayer, simplicity, faithfulness, love, tenderness, humility, obedience, trustworthiness, perseverance, generosity, kindness, respectfulness and sensitivity to the needs of others. These simple qualities attract non-believers of Christ to those who fully trust and believe in Him.
Therefore, when we try to reflect on our life and evaluate how we have been as Verbum Dei disciple/apostle of Christ, it is not that we ask ourselves if we have been doing what is expected of us, but that the right question should be, “Have we been living the qualities of an apostle of Christ attracting others to.
“We will put all our efforts into ensuring that all people “reach full knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4): being, knowing, and experiencing that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the one Father, with the same rights and duties. Our greatest ideal will be to make disciples of Jesus Christ of all nations who, in their turn, may proclaim, with their lives and with their words, the Good News of the Kingdom and the marvellous works of God.“ VD Constitution # 9
Jesus needs many more laborers for harvest
Then He said to His disciples “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. There pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
“Conscious that the preaching of the living Word of God puts people in contact with Christ and that we only make Disciples of Christ when they “come to know” him, follow him and, in turn, make other disciples”
(VD Constitution # 10)
Jesus needs our very own lives for others. Jesus sees the life of many who are anxious, depressed, oppressed, insensitive, and directionless and without meaning. Jesus needs our lives for those who are thirsty of the Word of God.
Aspirations to move progressively closer to Christ
The exercise of the ministry of the Word of God, at whatever level, aspires to move the person progressively closer to Christ, in the measure of the capacities and possibilities of each one. It is a patient labor of teaching and of learning to pray by means of which the apostle, more than theoretical explanations, guides the disciple by the hand towards the person of Christ. We have saved someone when we have taught him or her to pray. Christ will have a new disciple when he or she through prayer “comes to know Him” personally not by hearsay but by personal experience. This will constitute the fullness of our missionary joy.
(VD Constitution # 40)
We should not underestimate the power of daily prayer. As an apostle of Christ, we must try our very best to preach and share the Word of God to others daily at all cost because the Word of God can save lives. This is just the very first step of the discipleship to Christ of many people. Are you convinced of it?
Go and make disciples as I did in you
Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. Amen.
To make disciples as the master did in us, bringing them in a closer relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. As apostles of Christ, this is the reminded of Jesus to go and make disciples of all the nations -without exception- baptizing them-bringing them to the newness of life in Gods project- in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit –in a close relationship- and teaching them all things that Jesus has commanded.
Being an apostle of Christ is inherent to our Christian Identity
Faithful to the same intention of the Word of God and to the Master’s greatest desire, we will attend to Jesus’ mandate and last will. “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations,” and we will teach them to keep all that Jesus commanded us, in order that they, in turn, be equally capable of making disciples, and teaching others, thus successively transmitting the same mission of preaching the Gospel that Jesus entrusted to us. We will seek that no one feels excluded, but rather administrators of the incalculable riches, rights and duties inherent to their Christian identity, conferred on them by their baptism, as priests, prophets and kings.
(VD Constitution # 41)
The invitation to become an Apostle of Christ doesn’t just come out as an imagination or an idea of Fr. Jaime. This identity is really inherent in us by virtue of our baptism as Christians and as children of God.
The example of St. Paul the apostle can help us to understand how to live this aim of our mission
6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you.Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
(1 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
The exercise of the ministry of the Word, at whatever level, aspires to move the person progressively closer to Christ, in the measure of the capacities and possibilities of each one. It is a patient labour of teaching and of learning to pray by means of which the apostle, more than by theoretical explanations, guides the disciple by the hand towards the Person of Christ. We have saved someone when we have taught him or her to pray; Christ will have a new disciple when he or she, through prayer “comes to know Him” personally, not by hearsay but by personal experience. This will constitute the fullness of our missionary joy”
(VD Constitution # 40)
Jesus seeks out our faithfulness to Him and our commitment to the mission
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself, and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother: James and John: Philip and Bartholomew: Matthew and Thomas: James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot: Judas the son of James and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
(2 Timothy 2:2)
Jesus seeks out our faithfulness and prays that all of us may become His apostlesso that we can teach others to become apostles too. Jesus needs our total faithfulness and commitment to do the mission for others. He constantly invites us to be faithful to a life of daily prayer, a life of daily and humble conversion and a life of daily radiating the face of Jesus to other people in all the circumstances of life.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe (Solemnity)
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.