Guidelines for prayer: October 3-9, 2016 - Commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel
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 recognize and consider the mission of the Church as a great and immense work of mercy both spiritual and material.
Welcome to the Mission month. As missionary disciples and as a Missionary Family, this month is our month to live out our identity as missionaries for all the nations.
We as Verbum Dei Family, was born from the mercy of God and this month of mission is all about that. In fact, mission is about the mercy of God. In the message of Pope Francis for Mission Sunday this month, …he invites us to consider the missio ad gentes (“ad gentes” means “to the nations”) as a great , immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material… all of us are invited to “go out” as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family.
We, as part of the Church, knows how …she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love.
She “is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel” (Misericordiae Vultus, 12) and to proclaim mercy in every corner of the world, reaching every person, young or old.
Let us in this week take part in the mission of the Church to be witnesses of God’s mercy. …wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident …wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy. (Misericordiae Vultus, 12)
The mission, going beyond boundaries, is a work of love and mercy
Luke 10:25-37 25 And now a lawyer stood up and, to test him, asked, 'Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 26 He said to him, 'What is written in the Law? What is your reading of it?' 27 He replied, 'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.' 28 Jesus said to him, 'You have answered right, do this and life is yours.' 29 But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?' 30 In answer Jesus said, 'A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of bandits; they stripped him, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. 31 Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan traveller who came on him was moved with compassion when he saw him. 34 He went up to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him onto his own mount and took him to an inn and looked after him. 35 Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper and said, "Look after him, and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have." 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the bandits' hands?' 37 He replied, 'The one who showed pity towards him.' Jesus said to him, 'Go, and do the same yourself.'
Mission is about the mercy and love of God. That’s the summary made by the lawyer from the Scriptures. And yet, it is about doing it that is the most important. We are asked to go out and do the same.
Mission is a work of mercy both spiritual and material.
(Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi)
Luke 10:38-42 38 In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking. 40 Now Martha, who was distracted with all the serving, came to him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the serving all by myself? Please tell her to help me.' 41 But the Lord answered, 'Martha, Martha,' he said, 'you worry and fret about so many things, 42 and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part, and it is not to be taken from her.'
Mission as the work of mercy is not just loving materially but is both loving materially and spiritually as is portrayed in the lives of the two sisters, Martha and Mary. Both are equally essential.
Persistence in reaching every person
(Memorial of St. Faustina Kowalska)
Luke 11:5-8 5 He also said to them, 'Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, "My friend, lend me three loaves, 6 because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him;" 7 and the man answers from inside the house, "Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you." 8 I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship's sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants.
1 Timothy 2:4 4 he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth.
Mission brings us out of ourselves. When all our concerns points to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we persist because we want to love them and be saved.
Show mercy to every corner of the world.
(Memorial of St. Bruno)
Isaiah 55:4-5 4 As I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of nations, 5 So shall you summon a nation you knew not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, Because of the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, who has glorified you.
Isaiah 49:1-6 Coasts and islands, listen to me, pay attention, distant peoples. Yahweh called me when I was in the womb, before my birth he had pronounced my name. 2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword, he hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow and concealed me in his quiver. 3 He said to me, 'Israel, you are my servant, through whom I shall manifest my glory.' 4 But I said, 'My toil has been futile, I have exhausted myself for nothing, to no purpose.' Yet all the while my cause was with Yahweh and my reward with my God. 5 And now Yahweh has spoken, who formed me in the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him and to re-unite Israel to him;-I shall be honoured in Yahweh's eyes, and my God has been my strength.- 6 He said, 'It is not enough for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel; I shall make you a light to the nations so that my salvation may reach the remotest parts of earth.'
We are commissioned to announce the mercy of God to the nations. This is missio ad gentes. This is what we are called to be – light to the nations, so that God’s salvation may reach every corner of the world, reaching every person young and old.
The message we receive and carry.
(Our Lady of the Rosary)
Galatians 1:10-12 10 Whom am I trying to convince now, human beings or God? Am I trying to please human beings? If I were still doing that I should not be a servant of Christ. 11 Now I want to make it quite clear to you, brothers, about the gospel that was preached by me, that it was no human message. 12 It was not from any human being that I received it, and I was not taught it, but it came to me through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
The message we receive and carry is no ordinary human message. Let us remember that we are doing this not for any worldly honor or reward but out of love for God. We are not pleasing human beings but God himself in the lives of the people. Who are you pleasing in the mission? What is your intention?
Our service to the Gospel makes us apostles, heralds and teachers.
2 Timothy 1:6-14 6 That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. 7 God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control. 8 So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God 9 who has saved us and called us to be holy -- not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, 10 but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel, 11 in whose service I have been made herald, apostle and teacher. 12 That is why I am experiencing my present sufferings; but I am not ashamed, because I know in whom I have put my trust, and I have no doubt at all that he is able to safeguard until that Day what I have entrusted to him. 13 Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 With the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, look after that precious thing given in trust.
Let us not be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord’s mercy because the whole Church is doing the same. This mission makes us more and more God’s apostles, heralds and teachers of his mercy.
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: 2 Kings 5:14-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98
2nd Reading: 2 Timothy 2:8-13
Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
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