“I must preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do.”
(c.f. Luke 4:43)
October 21 - 27, 2013
Objective of the week:
To trace the process whereby Jaime realizes that the best way to feed the crowd is through the ministry of the word. To rediscover with enthusiasm my vocation to preach the Word of God.
This week we are going to delve deeper into the Charism of our founder, Rev. Fr. Jaime Bonet, which is prayer and ministry of the Word. Looking at the life of Fr. Jaime, we could not help but reflect that his profound mission which is the ministry of the word stems out from a life of deep prayer and relationship with Jesus.
His constant daily dialogue with Jesus instills in Him a sincere and deep love for Him, establishing in himself unity to that of the mind and heart of Jesus. He thus fully understands the longings of Jesus’ heart, a heart that deeply desires to reach out as many people as possible and heal their brokenness.
It was a gradual process of prayer, discernment, and generously preaching the Word to people that Fr. Jaime finally understood that his vocation is the same vocation of Jesus “I must preach the Good News about the Kingdom of God in other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do” (Lk.4:43). Like Jesus, Fr. Jaime too, yearns that the Word of God will reach out to all the ends of the earth and to all who will hear it receive the salvation that comes from God.
Moreover, reflecting the vocation of our founder, we too are invited to recall and ponder our gradual process of understanding our own vocation to the Ministry of the Word. “Then Jesus went up a hill and called to himself the men he wanted. They came to him, and he chose twelve, whom he named apostles. I have chosen you to be with me,” he told them. “I will also send you out to preach” (Mark 3:13-14).
Seeing the brokenness of our world today in general and in particular our very own country, starting from the conflict in Zamboanga City, the typhoon Santi, and the pork barrel, the resent 7.2 magnitude earthquake and on-going aftershocks, the Lord is inviting us once again through the Church to keep alive and proclaim the “faith in the midst of ruin"; to reconstruct the living Church - the people of God through the Word. “But how can we reconstruct the Church apart from Jesus, the cornerstone? How can we construct the Church without his life-giving word? How can we strengthen the Church without the Holy Spirit, who will transform hearts of stone into living flesh, and all of us into a living temple? How can we construct the Church without love that enables us to break the shells of egoism and self-interest, in order to embrace God, neighbor, society, and the whole of creation?” “Unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do the builders labor” (cf. Archbishop Tagle, opening message, PCNE).
Jesus Healed Many
32 After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had demons. 33 All the people of the town gathered in front of the house. 34 Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything, because they knew who he was.
35 Very early the next morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and left the house. He went out of town to a lonely place, where he prayed. 36 But Simon and his companions went out searching for him, 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages around here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.” 39 So he traveled all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and driving out demons.
It is true that Jesus attend and healed all kinds of physical illnesses, but through prayer He gradually discovered that His mission is not limited to physical healing but also to those who are emotionally, mentally and spiritually ill as well through proclamation of the kingdom of God.
I have chosen you to be with me and I also send you out to preach
Then Jesus went up a hill and called to himself the men he wanted. They came to him, and he chose twelve, whom he named apostles. “I have chosen you to be with me,” he told them. “I will also send you out to preach, and you will have authority to drive out demons.”
These are the twelve he chose: Simon (Jesus gave him the name Peter); James and his brother John, the sons of Zebedee (Jesus gave them the name Boanerges, which means “Men of Thunder”); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Patriot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name.
With all humility, promptness and gratitude to the Lord, we assume in every sense and extent, the command of the divine Master to his disciples: “Go and make disciples of all nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
(VD Statute 64)
Let us give thanks to God for choosing us to partake in his divine mission. The fact that we are in VD Missionary Family is because of God’s personal choice and call for us not because of our merits but more so of his mercy and grace.
I want everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth
3 This is good and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.
(1 Timothy 2:3)
10 The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.
The announcement of the Kingdom, in fact, is no more than our response and giving ourselves to the plan of infinite and free love of the Father and following of Jesus. It is the response to the ardent desire of the Father who wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. That everyone have life and have it to the full. That everyone can know, live and live together the free gift of God that is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. We announce the Kingdom so that humanity may discover and live their true identity of child of God and may share the happiness and supreme joy of their union with God and communion with all men.
(VD Statute 122)
Do I perceive in my prayer the Father’s ardent desire to save everyone? In loving dialogue with the Lord, let us humbly ask Him how we can actively respond to His salvific desires for our brothers and sisters.
Mortal man, prophesy to the bones
I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. 2 He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?” I replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!”4 He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. 5 Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. 6 I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”7 So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. 8 While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies.9 God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind.[a] Tell the wind that the Sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”10 So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army. 11 God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. 12 So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel. 13 When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this—and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Seeing the brokenness of our world today, as VD disciples we are challenge to reconstruct the lives of our people through proclaiming to them the Living Word of God. Let us not delay our response meanwhile we still have the time.
Pay attention, come to me; listen and your soul will live
And faced with the ignorance and confusion of the people, heading towards vice and corruption in their search for realization and pleasure, at the top of our voices we cry out: “Oh come to the water all you who are thirsty, though you have no money, come! Buy corn without money, and eat, and at no cost, wine and milk. Why spend money on what is not bread, your wages on what fails to satisfy? Listen, listen to me and you will have good things to eat and rich food to enjoy. Pay attention, come to me; listen and your soul will live.” “How good Yahweh is - only taste and see.” “And Jesus stood there and cried out: If any man is thirsty, let him come to me! Let the man come and drink who believes in me! As Scripture says, from his breast shall flow fountains of living water”.
(VD Stat. 128)
“I 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.”
(1 Corinthians 9:16)
God never fails to provide for us at all times and so as a sign of our gratitude to Him, let us too, become God’s providence for his people. Although, to become His presence and His voice in their midst is actually our Christian duty and woe to us if we will not live it out. If it is not you to bring to them the Good News, then who else be?
I am perfectly willing to spend all that I have to proclaim the faith
“For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom. It was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.”
(1 Corinthians 1:21)
“I am perfectly willing to spend what I have, and we will exhaust ourselves so that everybody reaches the sublimity of this knowledge of Christ, in comparison to which everything else, as Paul says, is so much rubbish . “Because what I want, says the Lord, is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts”. “I will betroth you to myself for ever, betroth you to myself with faithfulness, and you will come to know Yahweh”.
(VD Statute 124)
To proclaim the kingdom of God to all will cost not only our free time, but even our whole life. It will cost not only our capacities, but even our incapacities are also included. Because taking seriously this ministry means taking seriously God’s ministry which entails as well taking seriously God’s people.
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.