“Set your heart in His Kingdom First”
November 4-10, 2013
Objective of the week:
To see in Jaime not only the concern for forming preachers of the Word, but to show a concrete expression of the Kingdom here on earth by creating centers of evangelization or evangelizing communities.
After the experience of encounter as one Verbum Dei family, this week we will be praying on the Kingdom of God. The real Kingdom where there is oneness, self-giving, sensitivity, real love and happiness that lasts. Our world presents to us a lot of false images of the Kingdom. May this week it will guide us to the truth and will lead us to the real Kingdom. May it awaken in us the desire to lead others who are lost and taken by the world.
The ultimate goal of our entire apostolate is to create the Kingdom of God in all places that we are in. Together as one Missionary Family, we give testimony that the Kingdom is the only essential that we need to seek everyday before all else. It is a Kingdom that is open to all and touches the broken reality of the world and offers it an alternative society where people and families can find God together in just relationships. Verbum Dei Family strives to answer to the thirst of Christ for His Kingdom, where He is able to unite us though we are many and different from each other through His Spirit. He teaches us new values that assure authentic communion and builds up His dream among us as one people united in His love. Our active participation and collaboration in the VD Family specifically in the Charism is thus important to be a clear sign of that Kingdom. Even though we may be few in some places, the Lord places us there to be seeds of His Kingdom that will grow up into the place for all peoples to take shelter in.
As one family we will continue to help build the Kingdom here on earth. May we keep the fire burning from the family encounter in Tagaytay. To be bold in preaching what we believed and experienced personally with God. Though we have cracks and limitations but this should not hinder us because it is in our weakness that God becomes stronger and where the light of God passes through in our cracks. Jesus concretely showed to us how to be a servant. His humility is overwhelming and should inspire us to do same. His cross will always be a constant reminder of his unfailing love. With our faithful daily “yes” and generous self-giving, God's Kingdom will be a dream no more.
Set your hearts in His Kingdom First
“Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.”
We cannot change the radicality and urgency that Jesus Himself demands of the one who wants to follow Him in such a mission: “Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the Kingdom of God.” Nor can we lower the primary and absolute giving of oneself to the living together and announcing of this same kingdom, as Jesus commanded us: “Set your hearts on His kingdom first and on His righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well.”
(Verbum Dei Statutes 50)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Lord, help me to examine my heart today. Help me to see the things that I treasure in this world because where my treasure is there my heart will be also. May I set my heart to what is lasting, to what really satisfies, to what truly makes us happy – Your Kingdom. Let me not be blinded by false love and images that the world is offering. May I be wise in seeing what is real and lasting happiness and that is to be in your Kingdom. And to realize that if I have the real treasure, all other else that I need will be given to me.
What are the treasures that I'm longing for? Are these leading me to the Kingdom of God or to the World?
“Who is my Neighbor?”
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ”You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? “The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
We can, in this way, be an example and encouragement of the faithful carrying out the first and second commandments, the summary and fullness of the law and of the prophets. Then the people—called to love God with all their mind, heart, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves—perceive and confirm the growth and development of this same love carried out to perfection in those who live intimately united in Christ. (Verbum Dei Statutes 54)
Lord, I thank you for every chance you called me to love you in others. You value the big or little things that I do out of love and generosity to the concrete situations I encounter everyday, in the places where I am and in the people that I meet. Help me that I may be always sensitive to your voice to respond to your call. I thank you also for all the good Samaritans that has passed by my life whom has helped me and brought me closer to you. May my life be also a blessing to others.
Who is God calling me to help today? Who are the Good Samaritans in my life?
Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of plants
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.
Lord, I thank you for the gift of your Kingdom and for taking part in building it. You believed in my poor life. How you see the cracks in my life as a blessing where your light could pass through so I may radiate it to others. You make me realize that a life nurtured in your Word will be a life that bridges others to know you more. Help me to be positive in moments that I encounter trials and discouragements believing that as long as I connect my life in prayer with you, I will always have strength and I will continue to grow in faith and love.
What are the limitations that I see in me that hinders me to love? In what way God strengthens me in my weakness?
“I am Thirsty”
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The very faithful following of Jesus integrates us fully in the activity of announcing His kingdom, as He was sent by the Father: “I must proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God because that is what I was sent to do.” (Verbum Dei Statutes 49)
Lord, help me to be shaken by the many strong realities of sin around me. Help me to be brave and daring in going against the current of this world. May I be a light, an inspiration, a good friend & listener, a shoulder to cry on, a source of life to quench your thirst for love. May my little life be a big blessing for others to know you. Give me the sensitivity and the willingness of heart.
What are the strong realities at home, at work or in the places that I'm in that God is calling me to be a channel of love? What are the things that hinder me to go against the current of the world?
Anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant
And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Lord, before you called us to serve you, you have served us first. Your humility Lord is overwhelming and has inspired us to do the same to others. But many things slow us and hinder us, like our differences, limitations, our being complicated. Give us the strength everyday to say “Yes” knowing that it's not easy and it entails a lot of humility. May your cross be our constant reminder of your continuous self-giving and sacrificial love.
How can I humbly serve God today? What are the situations that I see that God has loved me first?
You are all one in union with Christ Jesus
So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
(1 Corinthians 12:25-26)
Fixing our gaze on Jesus’ intention, on His life and Gospel, we will center our being and existence on the essence of His kingdom: “That they may be one like us . . . may they be one in us . . . may they be so completely one that the world will realize that it was you who sent me.”
(Verbum Dei Statutes 52)
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 12:13)
So there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.
Lord, I thank you for there is oneness in your Kingdom; that I am as important as the other members. My place is very special because I cannot be replaced by anyone else. And though we are different members but we are one in your body. Help me to respect others in their capacity and to be of help in what is lacking. May I be also humble in asking for help in my limitations and to do the task that is asked from me wholeheartedly.
As part of the body of Christ, in what way I can respond to God? How do others help me in my limitations?
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
First reading: 2 Maccabees 7:1-2, 9-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
Second reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5
Gospel: Luke 20:27-38
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.