Objective of the week:
To be moved with urgency to preach and transmit the love of Christ to my brothers and sisters
Once again we allow Christ to continue to form us this week. The more we do this, the more we allow our brothers and sisters to be formed by Him. Deepening our love for Christ through our daily encounter with Him, we also grow in our love for His children – our brothers and sisters.
This week, we are invited to a concrete truth of our faith – the Mystical Body of Christ as the context and composition of our prayer and our mission. This is the Christ we are called to encounter and love each day - The Total Christ, head and members. What is the context of my daily prayer and mission? Looking at the Body of Christ, aware of how He is and with all His members, my dialogue will be, “How are you Lord in your Body? How can I help and love you?” This awareness in our prayer and mission, urges us, claims our whole being and binds us more closely to Christ, finding ways to reach out to Him and respond to Him. This is the strongest reason for our preaching and our mission.
Yet many times, the context and reason of our prayer and mission is not Christ but mixed with our selfish interests and intentions. That is the reason why there is no fire and sense of urgency. There is no love for Christ.
Let us be moved once again of the urgency that comes from our encounter with the Total Christ.
The Body of Christ as the composition of place for our prayer and mission
The Total Christ, Head and members, opens us up to the most appropriate composition of place for our daily prayer and mission. This personal encounter and specific mission leave us vitally and necessarily bound to the living Christ who needs us and claims us with all our being; it constitutes our full dedication that unifies and integrates our whole person, and it is the most urgent means and the strongest reason for our preaching. Our preaching, in turn becomes an urgency that cannot be put off and it captivates in a dynamic way all of our spousal, paternal and maternal love on behalf of the aching members of Christ, the brothers and sisters who most suffer in the world.
(Constitutions of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity # 76)
12Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. 13In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptized into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.
(1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
This type of prayer and mission leave us vitally and necessarily bound to the living Christ
Mission is part of the “grammar” of faith, something essential for those who listen to the voice of the Spirit who whispers “Come” and “Go forth”. Those who follow Christ cannot fail to be missionaries, for they know that Jesus “walks with them, speaks to them, breathes with them. They sense Jesus alive with them in the midst of the missionary enterprise.”
(Evangelii Gaudium 266)
14For the body itself is not made up of only one part, but of many parts. 15If the foot were to say, “Because I am not a hand, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 16And if the ear were to say, “Because I am not an eye, I don't belong to the body,” that would not keep it from being a part of the body. 17If the whole body were just an eye, how could it hear? And if it were only an ear, how could it smell? 18As it is, however, God put every different part in the body just as he wanted it to be. 19There would not be a body if it were all only one part! 20As it is, there are many parts but one body.
(1 Corinthians 12:14-20)
The Total Christ, head and members need us and claim us with all our being
21So then, the eye cannot say to the hand, “I don't need you!” Nor can the head say to the feet, “Well, I don't need you!” 22On the contrary, we cannot do without the parts of the body that seem to be weaker; 23and those parts that we think aren't worth very much are the ones which we treat with greater care; while the parts of the body which don't look very nice are treated with special modesty, 24which the more beautiful parts do not need. God himself has put the body together in such a way as to give greater honour to those parts that need it.
(1 Corinthians 12:21-24)
16I have no right to boast just because I preach the gospel. After all, I am under orders to do so. And how terrible it would be for me if I did not preach the gospel! 17If I did my work as a matter of free choice, then I could expect to be paid; but I do it as a matter of duty, because God has entrusted me with this task. 18What pay do I get, then? It is the privilege of preaching the Good News without charging for it, without claiming my rights in my work for the gospel.
(1 Corinthians 9:16-18)
The Total Christ is the most urgent means and strongest reason of our mission
Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for His people. When we pray before Jesus crucified, we see the depth of his love which gives us dignity and sustains us. At the same time, we realize that the love flowing from Jesus’ pierced heart expands to embrace the People of God and all humanity. We realize once more that he wants to make use of us to draw closer to his beloved people and all those who seek him with a sincere heart.
(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2015 par. 3)
19I am a free man, nobody's slave; but I make myself everybody's slave in order to win as many people as possible. 20While working with the Jews, I live like a Jew in order to win them; and even though I myself am not subject to the Law of Moses, I live as though I were when working with those who are, in order to win them. 21In the same way, when working with Gentiles, I live like a Gentile, outside the Jewish Law, in order to win Gentiles. This does not mean that I don't obey God's law; I am really under Christ's law. 22Among the weak in faith I become weak like one of them, in order to win them. So I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible.
(1 Corinthians 9:19-22)
The unity of the disciples is for the greater fruitfulness of the mission
Jesus made the unity of His disciples a condition so that the world may believe (cf. John 17:21). This convergence is not the same as legalism or institutionalism, much less a stifling of the creativity of the Spirit, who inspires diversity. It is about giving a greater fruitfulness to the Gospel message and promoting that unity of purpose which is also the fruit of the Spirit.
(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2015 par. 8)
25And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. 26If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness.
(1 Corinthians 12:25-26)
1 We write to you about the Word of life, which has existed from the very beginning. We have heard it, and we have seen it with our eyes; yes, we have seen it, and our hands have touched it… 3 What we have seen and heard we announce to you also, so that you will join with us in the fellowship that we have with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.4 We write this in order that our joy may be complete.
(1 John 1:1, 3-4)
An urgency that captivates in a dynamic way our love for the aching members of Christ’s Body
Within this complex dynamic, we ask ourselves: “Who are the first to whom the Gospel message must be proclaimed?” The answer, found so often throughout the Gospel, is clear: it is the poor, the little ones and the sick, those who are often looked down upon or forgotten, those who cannot repay us. Evangelization directed preferentially to the least among us is a sign of the Kingdom that Jesus came to bring: “There is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.” (Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day 2015 par. 6)
6 We did not try to get praise from anyone, either from you or from others,7 even though as apostles of Christ we could have made demands on you. But we were gentle when we were with you, like a mother taking care of her children.8 Because of our love for you we were ready to share with you not only the Good News from God but even our own lives. You were so dear to us!
(1 Thessalonians 2:6-8)
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Daniel 12:1-2
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 16
2nd Reading: Hebrews 10:11-14, 18
Gospel: Mark 13:24-32
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.