Disciples – being true witnesses of Jesus’ love and self-giving.
- to strengthen the relationship of us disciples with the person of Christ whose urgency of giving life and love is the basis of our missionary expansion.
- to follow the footsteps of Jesus as closely as possible in his public ministry.
- to allow Him to illumine our journey of missionary expansion and inspire us with His same sentiments towards others.
Objective of the week:
- to respond with love to the different situations of hatred and uncertainty.
- to gain the same courage of Jesus as a community of disciples.
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU. PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE AND CALUMNIATE YOU. (MATTHEW 5: 43-47) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives emphasis on aspects of love that are very demanding: love of our enemies, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who persecute you and calumniate you. As disciples, we are called to love more fully! We are called to love like Jesus without compromise or condition, without counting the cost and beyond “the normal standards”. Enter into the new teaching of love of Jesus. It is not an option but this is a new commandment! The love which Jesus commands has nothing to do with sensory gratification or emotional fulfillment. Rather, an act of the will. Let Jesus bring you to his examples: how he overcame evil through the power of love, how he chose to forgive his persecutors even as they were killing him. Usually, when people hurt you, they expect you to retaliate and seek revenge. But Jesus wants you to do the exact opposite- to respond in love.
Who are my personal enemies? Do I allow them to control me by harboring ill feelings and bitterness towards them? How can we respond with love to the different situations of hatred and calumniations?
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Our being disciples, our being witnesses of the Gospel values to the indifferent world is literally like walking on the water. We need courage in the apostolate. Jesus called out to them, saying, “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.” (Matthew 14:22-23)
We need to take risk in walking on the uncertainties of the water (of the apostolate). But for this we need to look at Jesus. In the passage Peter became distracted. As he saw the wind very strong coming across the waves, Peter took away his look from Jesus and he began to sink into the water. What are the winds and waves that take away our look from Jesus? What takes courage away from us in the apostolate as if we walk on the waters? Is our community of disciples a source of courage for us to walk on waters?
Stand Firm in Faith
(Feast of St. Albert the Great)
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9)
The disciples of Jesus should have poise and self-control in any situation they face. Christian disciples who possess poise have stability for the changing circumstances of life especially in our following with Jesus. They do not allow fear, hatred and doubts to neutralize their ability to love and follow Christ in His works of mercy and love.
Be Active in the Work of Jesus
(St. Margaret of Scotland and St. Gertrude)
2 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Jesus is present with us: right here, right now. He is walking among us to comfort and to judge. Both of these realities ought to change the way we live. He shows us His interest in all that we do and experience. He is the great Evaluator and one day He will examine our deeds. That’s why we need to constantly serve Christ by being active and dynamic in the ministry of the Word. We are no spectator here. Let us actively be involved in the work of Jesus’ ministry.
Our Faith Can Heal us
(Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary)
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you? “Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:35-43)
When Jesus passes by, we should cry out to Him in faith and He will be merciful to us. Every day is an opportunity to cry out to Jesus for His mercy and love. He is the only One with the power to open one’s eyes that have been blinded by sin. How can we help lost people feel their spiritual blindness? What are some ways that Christians may be hindering outsiders from coming to Jesus?
Love More, Reach Out
(Dedication of Basilicas of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles)
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)
God does not love us because we repent, or when we repent. God loves us, and so gives us the grace to repent — endlessly. In our littleness, we have a big God who capacitates us to love more fully by reaching out to others and help them recognize the big God we have .
Re-Confirm Your Discipleship
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Jesus is once again re-confirming us as His disciple and He is confirming His love for us even though we have failed Him many times. This time we are given an opportunity to confess our love for Jesus. How can you profess your willingness to continue to love Him and be a witness of His love and self-giving?
- 25th Anniversary of Verbum Dei Cebu
- Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe
1st Reading – 2 Samuel 5:1-3
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 122
2nd Reading – Colossians 1:12-20
Gospel – Luke 23:35-43
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.