Theme for the month:
Our Missionary intentionality in our organizing.
General Objective of the month:
To help in the development of our Family and sustain our Family.
Each member is important and have a place. For this reason, we are called to help each one to find his/her place of collaboration.
September 15-21, 2014
Objective of the week:
To learn from Jesus how He shares His missionary perspective and pedagogy to His disciples so as to learn how in our organization we can live effectively our mission where each member in the community finds his/her place.
We were reminded last week that to work in accordance to God’s perspective is to become totally open to God’s will. This week, we are invited to learn from Jesus regarding the work of the mission since God has willed it that each member finds his/her place.
Jesus presents the reality of the cross and lays down two conditions for following HIM ---- to deny oneself and to take up one’s own cross entails entrusting oneself to God and turning away from the perverse logic of the world.
Jesus’ followers must labor so that all peoples of various places and times may know God and be harvested for God’s Kingdom. We are called this week to learn from Jesus how he shared his missionary perspective to the disciples and to the people. He taught them how to love each one with his same merciful heart and as well teaching them the importance of helping and organizing the people so that He can effectively reach out to them and share with them his same missionary heart. Let us learn to prepare the people well so that they can easily, freely and enjoy encountering Jesus in their lives. As we pray this month on our organization and structure, let us pray and value the growth of the different realities in the Family. ‘Make the people sit down in groups of fifty each. (Luke 9:14)’
The call to be disciples
“The life and path taken by Jesus and the Twelve, and the group of disciples who accompanied them, are the inspiration for our apostolic dynamism. Jesus formed the twelve apostles to be with him and to be sent out to preach, becoming his witnesses. The desire to form apostles among all peoples is a specific element of our charism that becomes the method and intention of our mission.”
(Statutes of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family 40)
13 He went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons:
Jesus’ call is addressed to every disciple. As Christians, we are imbued with the missionary spirit of spreading the Good News, witnessing to the life of Jesus in our own realities as such that many will encounter Jesus in the very ordinariness of life.
Do you have a personal advocacy so that you become a Christian missionary even in your own family, neighbors and workplace?
Miracle of the loaves
10 On their return the apostles gave him an account of all they had done. Then he took them with him and withdrew towards a town called Bethsaida where they could be by themselves. 11 But the crowds got to know and they went after him. He made them welcome and talked to them about the kingdom of God; and he cured those who were in need of healing. 12 It was late afternoon when the Twelve came up to him and said, 'Send the people away, and they can go to the villages and farms round about to find lodging and food; for we are in a lonely place here.' 13 He replied, 'Give them something to eat yourselves.' But they said, 'We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we are to go ourselves and buy food for all these people.' 14 For there were about five thousand men. But he said to his disciples, 'Get them to sit down in parties of about fifty.' 15 They did so and made them all sit down. 16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven, and said the blessing over them; then he broke them and handed them to his disciples to distribute among the crowd. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and when the scraps left over were collected they filled twelve baskets.
We need to let the members of the Family sit down and find their own place in the community. With the missionary perspective of Jesus, we learn how to organize the people well so that they can enjoy encountering him and sharing the meal with Him in the most effective way. Let us pray for each reality that we are forming in our communities.
Take my yoke upon you
28 'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.'
…for you have been granted the privilege for Christ's sake not only of believing in him but of suffering for him as well;
In the person of Jesus, God himself reveals his deep absolute humility. Also, Jesus will not relieve you of your load but by placing HIS yoke on you, HE will give you the means of carrying the load. We pray that we can learn from his same gentle and humble heart so that we can effectively live out our mission.
What “yoke” gives you meaning and direction? Has your “yoke” become heavy and tiring?
Take up your cross
23 Then, speaking to all, he said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me. 24 Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it. 25 What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self?
12This means that death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
(2 Corinthians 4:12)
4 but in everything, we prove ourselves authentic servants of God; by resolute perseverance in times of hardships, difficulties and distress;
10 in pain yet always full of joy; poor and yet making many people rich; having nothing, and yet owning everything.
(2 Corinthians 6:4&10)
To follow Jesus requires denying oneself, as well as a lifestyle of serving others and sacrifice. Also comes the acceptance of the cross which the Lord gives to each one of us and which we do not have to choose because we find it as part of us.
How do you deny yourself today? How do you die to yourself daily in order to “live” for others? Do you cause others to “die” because of your selfishness?
36 Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful. 37 "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. 38 Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." 39 And he told them a parable, "Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? 40 No disciple is superior to the teacher; but when fully trained, every disciple will be like his teacher.
Our pride is satisfied by comparing ourselves with others. And in order to appear better, we begin by criticizing and judging others. This attitude is the very opposite of mercy--- of GOD who is merciful. God challenges us to look into our own faults first. Honesty with oneself enables one to see another person’s situation more fairly. Find the time today to search your own heart and to look into your life.
The Servant is not greater than his master
“You call me Master and Lord, and you are right for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also must wash one another’s feet. I have just given you an example that as I have done, you also may do. Truly, I say to you, the servant is not greater than his master, nor is the messenger greater than he who sent him. Understand this, and blessed are you if you put it into practice.”
Jesus’ washing of their feet was a sacred act of purifying the apostles for they needed more preparation before sharing the Bread of Life. They are to embrace humility and mercy in order to purify those who approach God. Ask God for divine humility and mercy.
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Isaiah 55:6-9
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 145
2nd Reading: Philippians 1: 20-24; 27
Gospel: Matthew 20: 1-16
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.