Theme for the month:
Our Missionary intentionality in putting solid foundations (priority on formations)
General Objective of the month:
To value our formation as disciples of Christ so we can be apostles capable to respond to the call of the mission of evangelization in forming the life of Christ in others.
Objective of the week:
To realize that as we value our formation as disciples of Christ, it implies faithfulness, patience, humility and active obedience in our process.
The deposit of Christ’s teachings has been left in the hearts of the VD family. It has been settled in the system of every family member wherein the Holy Spirit is prompting each one’s heart to evangelize the nation. This is what has been reminded to us last week; to value our formation as Disciples of Christ – to discover clearly our vocation and the willingness to live it. To realize its objective, it corresponds obedience and faithfulness to the dynamism of the word daily. This practice is one of the solid foundations of each member in walking with Christ in the journey of love and bearers of his love to others. That is why when we joined Verbum Dei, we underwent the three fundamental stages: Initiation Stage, Discipleship Stage and Apostolic Stage.
We are all challenged to settle not only in the first stage, but we need to grow and commit ourselves to the Lord so that the formations we receive from the community will never be lost and forgotten but believed in us and in the lives of our brothers and sisters; that each member do not settle only in the mediocre but has his/her own projection of life to become a fully matured Verbum Dei disciple. That he must also become responsible in giving formations to the local community, and that he has a strong conviction to face any circumstances that he may undertake because of his deep relationship with God.
PRAYING WITH THE WORD
DYNAMISM OF THE WORD
In the VDMFa, there are three fundamental stages which are distinguished as: Initiation, Discipleship and Apostolic stage.
Initiation stage: this is the formation which the VDMFa offers to people in the first moments of contact and knowledge of the VD charism (school of the word).
Discipleship stage: the formation in the discipleship stage includes the period from which the person freely wishes to commit themselves to the VDMFa until the person does a stable commitment in the VDMFa (school of the apostles).
Apostolic stage: this stage includes in a permanent way those who have made a stable commitment in the VDMFa.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #70)
Which of these stages do you value most? At what certain level do you value the invitations of Jesus? Is the level you have chosen, enough to make you become a faithful disciple?
You should think of us as Christ’s servants, who have been put in charge of God’s secret truths. The one thing required of such a servant is that he be faithful to his master.
(1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
In order for the formation to be solid and produce a fruit of interior unity, it will be sought that each member of the VDMFa elaborates a project of life and of formation discerned and dialogued with the persons responsible for the formation in the local community. This project has to be in harmony with the life’s situation and has to be evaluated regularly.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #68)
Every VD disciple should practice the dynamism of the word because this is one of the strategies to deepen our relationship with the Lord. In this way, we grow our love for Christ as we remain faithful to his teachings and assure his abiding presence even to the point of hard work, struggles and pains. This is a concrete measure of how we value our formation and how it is rooted in our hearts. Each disciple is encouraged to evaluate his journey of love for confirmation and affirmation.
Do you have a project of life? How do you cultivate it? Do you find time to evaluate your following with Christ regularly?
Memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus
The formation processes have to be sufficiently gradual and systematic. At the same time, they need to be flexible and open enough to apply them to the diverse socio-cultural realities.
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family #69)
To value our formation as Disciples of Christ is to share our life for others especially those who are hungry and thirsty for God’s word. We are fortunate because we are spiritually rich and we should be thankful to God for that, by collaborating with the missionaries in their field of mission. As we look around, many people are seeking for love which they could express in various ways: prostitution, drug addiction, premarital sex, abortion, exploitation and the like. Their actions on the situation are the silent scream of wanting to be loved and accepted. The Holy Spirit is knocking in our hearts and conscience to take an active participation in building the Church to heed the people’s cry and lead them back to the Father.
Are you sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
In what way do you value your formation?
42 These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles,
3 Bear with your share of difficulties, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
(2 Timothy 2:3)
I have told you this so that you will have peace by being united to me. The world will make you suffer. But be brave! I have defeated the world!”
We are not only disciples but also soldiers of Christ. The title “Soldier of Christ” is received through the sacrament of confirmation. This is the sacrament that we receive as light blew on our cheek, which means “be ready”. Readiness is important in the battlefield because there are many enemies that we encounter. We should know how to counter them. There are also victims to be taken care of. Our individual realities are a battlefield because there are many people who are wounded by poverty, exploitation and injustices. We are responsible of healing them by bringing them to Christ. Our time and service for them is a sign of giving value to our formation.
How do you value yourself being a soldier of Christ? Are you saving your wounded brothers and sisters?
Memorial of St. Ignatius of Antioch
3 Bear with your share of difficulties, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one on active service involves himself in the affairs of civilian life, because he must win the approval of the man who enlisted him; 5 or again someone who enters an athletic contest wins only by competing in the sports -- a prize can be won only by competing according to the rules;
(2 Timothy 2:3-5)
I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them.
To follow Christ means to grow in love until we become ready and willing to lay down our lives for others. If we empty ourselves and fill our hearts with the love of Christ, we can experience contentment and joy. If we take seriously our growth in love, then we are not afraid to face the test until the end.
Are you willing to lay down your life for Christ?
Feast of St. Luke
12 Not that I have secured it already, nor yet reached my goal, but I am still pursuing it in the attempt to take hold of the prize for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not reckon myself as having taken hold of it; I can only say that forgetting all that lies behind me, and straining forward to what lies in front, 14 I am racing towards the finishing-point to win the prize of God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
We are encouraged to follow Christ until the very end. We should not settle for mediocrity but seek for the best for Christ, for he has shed his blood for us. When we falter in following him, we should learn to stand by extending our hands to Jesus and continue to carry our cross with him. Let us not focus on our failures for God’s love is stronger than them. But these could not be achieved without prayer. We are invited to practice the dynamism of the word to continue our race of life until we win the prize, our eternal abode – heaven.
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
World Mission Sunday
1st Reading: Isaiah 45:1, 4-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96
2nd Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5B
Gospel: Matthew 22:15-21
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.