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 is for the unity of our whole being as a person and for us to form others.
“Formation is not the privilege of a few, but a right and duty of all. In this regard the Synod Fathers have said: ‘Possibilities of formation should be proposed to all, especially the poor, who can also be a source of formation for all’; and they added: ‘Suitable means to help each person fulfill a full, human and Christian Vocation should be applied to formation.
For the purposes of a truly incisive and effective pastoral activity, the formation of those who will form others is to be developed through appropriate courses or suitable schools. Forming those who, in turn, will be given the responsibility for the formation of the lay faithful, constitutes a basic requirement of assuring the general and widespread formation of all the lay faithful.” (Chrisitifideles Laici # 59. 223)
The more we are formed and the more we feel the need to pursue and deepen our formation, still more will be formed and are rendered capable of forming others. It is particularly important to know that the work of formation, while having intelligent recourse to the means and methods available from human science, is much more effective the more it is open to the action of God. Only the branch which does not fear being pruned by the heavenly vinedresser can bear much fruit for the individual and for others. The invitation to formation is an opportunity for us to work for God. How discerning are you in accepting this invitation for the mission? Do you feel God calling you to form disciples?
In Christ, you put on a new self
“ You have stripped off your old behavior with your old self, and you have put on a new self which will progress towards true knowledge the more its renewed in the image of its Creator.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17)
“And put on the new self, or self according to God, which is created in true righteousness and holiness.”
The transition from one to the other is what makes a Christian. To do is always to die and to rise with Christ in a spiritual way. To die to evil and to rise in goodness. J.B. Phillips once said “If words are to enter men’s minds and bear fruit, they must be the right words shaped cunningly to pass men’s defenses and explode silently and effectually within their minds. “As a VD disciple, did you put on your new self as you started your day? How do you think say and do things today that will manifest your new self?
The mission of teaching others about the faith
“Pass on to reliable people what you have heard from me through many witnesses so that they in turn will be able to teach others.”
(2 Timothy 2:2)
“In each church, they appointed elders, and after praying and fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had placed their faith.”
“What the world is in particular need today is the credible witness of people enlightened in kind and heart by the word of the Lord.”
(Porta Fidei #21)
We understand that a mission does not reach its goal if it does not succeed in forming mature communities, participation of their members. Faithfulness and constancy in “sound doctrine” must produce such fruits as goodness, modesty and good sense. Tm Shanaban, SJ of Christ. The strength and power to meet its demands rests squarely on Jesus who invites the response.” Where are you now in teaching and forming others to be disciples and apostles of Christ? Are you doing your share in helping the recent needs of the Verbum Dei family who is growing?
To practice what you preach
“Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus said, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees occupy the chair of Moses. You must therefore do and observe what they tell you; but do not be guided by what they do, since they do not practice what they preach.”
“It is possible for people to admire good preaching, and yet to remain in ignorance and unbelief; to be mesmerized, and yet not converted. Why? Because preaching remain in the level of entertaining, to draw attention to themselves.”
(Pope Benedict XVI)
It is easy to share scripture passages with someone who you think needs it. But before doing so, read the passage again and apply it to yourself. It is our good life, the good fruits that we bear, that will make people pay attention to us ----- to Christ. How do you avoid hypocrisy today in a world that glorifies fame, influence and pleasure? How do you bridge the gap between what you say and what you do today?
No one can serve two masters
“No one can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave of both God and money.”
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things are passing, God never changes. Patient endurance attains all things. Who possesses God is wanting in nothing. God alone suffices.”
(St. Teresa of Avila)
Jesus wants us to be free of all worries in order to serve God, The bible teaches us to choose between God and false gods so that we can live truly and freely. The false god will rob us of living in the present moment where God’s joy, peace, hope and love abounds. Deuteronomy 6:5 says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Which master are you serving today?
Work wholeheartedly for the Lord
“Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as done for the Lord and not for human beings, knowing that the Lord will repay you by his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.”
“May the favor of the Lord be upon us; may he prosper the work of our hands.”
“I can do all things in him that strengthens me.”
3 Commend what you do to Yahweh, and what you plan will be achieved.
God seeks from us honest work with faith in mind. It can lead to great things HE has planned for us. The work of the mission is God’s call for everyone to partake. We are sent to bring the good news ------ missionaries leading Christ to others by our prayer and charity. Do you participate in the task of building the church, the community of the faithful? What are the events and who are the persons entrusted to you today?
Sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth. I pray not only for these but also for those who through their teaching will come to believe in me.”
”To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive to act in his person.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church # 935)
“By virtue of their prophetic mission, lay people are called … to be witnesses to Christ in all circumstances and at the very heart of the community of mankind.”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church # 942)
Jesus’ call remains ever more relevant today. As disciples, we need to pray to God to inspire more men and women to the mission of leading people to know, love, serve and glorify GOD. How do you intend to do that today?
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Exodus 22: 20-26
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 18
2nd Reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:5c-10
Gospel: Matthew 22: 34-40
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.