Guidelines for prayer: October 17-23, 2016 - And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us
Missionaries witnessing the mercy of God.
to live out the missionary aspect of mercy especially the missio ad gentes.
- to enter deeply in the merciful heart of the Father that goes out to every child.
- to be one with the Church in her mission of mercy.
Objective of the week:
To see how Jesus personifies and incarnates the mercy of the Father in the mission.
From Last week guidelines, true indeed, that when mercy encounters a person, it brings deep joy to the Father’s heart; for from the beginning, the Father has lovingly turned towards the most vulnerable, because his greatness and power are revealed precisely in his capacity to identify with the young, the marginalized and the oppressed (cf. Deut 4:31; Ps 86:15; 103:8; 111:4). God is illustrating and extending his great mercy to us visible in our very eyes; for us, Christ was born; Christ the very fulfillment of the messianic prophecy by becoming the incarnation of the love that is manifested with particular force with regard to the suffering, the unfortunate and sinners. He makes present and thus more fully reveals the Father, who is God "rich in mercy." At the same time, by becoming for people a model of merciful love for others, Christ proclaims by His actions even more than by His words that call to mercy which is one of the essential elements of the Gospel ethos. In this instance, it is not just a case of fulfilling a commandment or an obligation of an ethical nature; it is also a case of satisfying a condition of major importance for God to reveal Himself in His mercy to man: "The merciful...shall obtain mercy." (DIVES IN MISERICORDIA II .3)
Christ, the one who "went about doing good and healing"71 and "curing every sickness and disease"72. Now, He Himself seems to merit the greatest mercy and to appeal for mercy, when He was arrested, abused, condemned, scourged, crowned with thorns; when He was nailed to the cross and dies amidst agonizing torments.73 It is then that He particularly deserves mercy from the people to whom He has done good, and He does not receive it. Even those who are closest to Him cannot protect Him and snatch Him from the hands of His oppressors. At this final stage of His messianic activity, the words which the prophets, especially Isaiah, uttered concerning the Servant of Yahweh are fulfilled in Christ: "Through his stripes we are healed." (DIVES IN MISERICORDIA V.7)
Jesus: God’s Mercy Dwelling amongst us
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Jesus Christ is the richest expression of the mercy of God for us all, a concrete manifestation of our reality as His own children, making His face visible for us to see. Do you recognize the Mercy of God in the person of Jesus?
Jesus: Mercy that gives healing and freedom
He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” 20Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. 21He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21
The Main Mission of Jesus was prophesied by Isaiah and was fulfilled in the Gospel of Luke. How beautiful it is to recognize that the one reading the fulfillment of the prophecy is He himself in the very person of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived out this mission and completed it well to the very end of his life. Are we compelled to respond to the mission God is calling us?
Jesus comes and seeks for us when we are lost
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” 6And he came down quickly and received him with joy. 7When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” 8But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” and Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:1-10
We are confident of Jesus’ willingness to draw us back to Him every time we’re lost; when we value things more than our relationship with our Father God. Do you feel the string that holds you back to Him? Are we willing to give up whatever it is that breaks the string?
Jesus restores the dignity we’ve lost
4He had to pass through Samaria.5So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. 7A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”8His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11[The woman] said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the well is deep; where then can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” 13Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 14but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16Jesus said to her, “Go call your husband and come back.”17The woman answered and said to him, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus answered her, “You are right in saying, ‘I do not have a husband.’18For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”19The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” 21Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jew. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. Continue reading….
Jesus Manifests the Mercy of the father in another perspective of tenderness and humility, crossing beyond boundaries set by men, with the goal of pursuing His messianic intentionality.
Jesus taught us to treat all our Neighbors with Mercy
Jesus replied, “A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 32Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. 33But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. 34He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn and cared for him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.’ 36Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?” 37He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
This parable draws out the infinite mercy of God (through Jesus Christ) looking not on the status of life, nor on profession, nor culture or tradition, nor complexion, nor affiliations, nor positions but rather on the identity and dignity of each one of us as his beloved children. Are we still selective in extending our works of mercy?
Jesus is inviting us to take good care of the flock God is entrusting us
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
With the same command from our Father God bestowed on Jesus, we oath to take good care of the flock God chose to be gathered together as one.
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sirach 35:12-14,16-18
Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-3, 17-19,23
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.