“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Mt. 28:19a)
50 years in Your Word
Week 2 - Feb. 18-24, 2013
Objective of the week: To understand the means of the School of the Apostles as a training ground to be formed as the apostles of Christ and be able to develop the capacities and potentials of being his apostles in the world of today.
Last week we have deepened on one of the means that help the person to grow spiritually in our Verbum Dei charism; be it for the one who just started the journey of faith, or for those who have a longer time in community.
The School of the Word (SOW) is one of the means that is part of the Verbum Dei evangelization. It is completely open to all who want to know the community or participate in any activity, and to commit themselves according to their possibilities to our charism.
And yet, this is not the only means we can offer to you as we continue to journey with the Lord through the Word that we listen to, assimilate, live out and announce in every School of the Word. For the next step we also have the School of Apostles which is the best means and methods we can we possibly attain for our lives and the lives of others.
These two weeks, we are going to deepen on the SOA. This will help us be equipped with the right pedagogy of our charism in order to adhere to the same spirit that our founder, Jaime Bonnet has dreamed for each one of us; that is to form apostles of Christ from all the people of every state of life, race, culture and social condition for the spread of the Kingdom of God.(cfr. Verbum Dei Constitution No. 1)
In practice there are differences between School of the Word and School of Apostles in terms of their objectives: the objective of the SOW is to put people in contact with Christ through praying with the Word of God. The SOA is for those who take further steps, to go deeper into the truths of their faith…and to become “Apostles”. Hence they learn all the need not only to receive but also to be able to give the faith to others. They aspire to a greater dedication or commitment in our Verbum Dei charism.
Let this season of Lent be a time for us to renew our commitment and our active collaboration in this evangelization through Verbum Dei with a new zeal being formed as Jesus’ Apostles.
Objective & focus of SOA: to form apostles of Christ
The objective and focus in the School of Apostles (SOA) is to form apostles of Christ from among people of all states and areas of life: single, married, old and young, students, people of different backgrounds and social conditions. We seek to be a clear expression of the Kingdom of God, building up Christian communities of living faith through prayer, witness of life and the Ministry of the Word.
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
Reading of the Day
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (Leviticus 19:1- 2)
For Reflection: How is your spiritual journey with the Lord through Verbum Dei? Do you experience the need to go further steps in your following? Why?
Forming SCHOOL OF APOSTLES at the level the disciples can reach
Following Jesus as closely as possible in his specific mission of preaching the Good News of the Kingdom in every city, as well as in his method and scale of values, we will form SCHOOLS OF APOSTLES at the level the disciples can reach. Accompanying them so that they can learn to discern the will of God, we will encourage them all to aspire to perfection in love and to preach the Good News of the Kingdom, in the measure of their possibilities. (Verbum Dei Constitutions No. 50, 1)
Reading of the Day
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)
For Reflection: Do you allow Jesus to form you as His apostles in the world of today? Do you take the means of SOA seriously? How?
The Intention of our Founder
From the point of view of the person who directs the SOA, either missionary or disciple, it is the best means and method to respond faithfully to the mandate that Jesus has made us to make disciples of all people. If we take this as a subject the disciples, the school would be the best means and method for their formation and his perseverance.
Gospel of the Day
When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
For Reflection: In what way, you can respond to the mandate of the Lord as his apostles? Do you bring a sign of hope being an “apostles” in your family, offices, etc…? In what ways?
Fundamentals of the School of apostles
This is our response to the Church’s persistent calling to propagate the faith throughout the world, conscious that, as St. Paul said: “Faith comes from hearing, from preaching, and how will they hear of Him if no one preaches to them, if no one is sent? So faith comes from preaching, and preaching is rooted in the Word of Christ.
Gospel of the Day
"Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:7-12)
For Reflection: Do you ask … search…knock… the Lord with faith? How is the SOA helping you to form a his apostles?
Friday - Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle
Intentionality or Finality of SOA
The Intentionality of every SOA is to encourage to form a schools of disciples-preachers of the Word of God. We are not in the schools to be a passive receiver in every formation. The finality of SOA is that we can also give to others the faith, the formations we have received.
Gospel of the Day
Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
For Reflection: Are you aware of the intentionality of the SOA? Do your personal knowledge of the Trinity bring you to aspire for its intentionality or finality being an apostles Jesus? How?
From a truly prayerful life, the Word that is heard and the Word which is transmitted will be unified in such a way that they become one and the same activity, one and the same Life-Love, Word: Christ. The theme, then, is Christ and Christ the one who gives the theme. Prayer and mission will constitute, in this way, one and the same Life and transmission of that Life, transforming our whole existence into the living Word of Christ.
This very day the LORD your God is commanding you to observe these statutes and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you have obtained the LORD's agreement: to be your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him. Today the LORD has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments; for him to set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honor; and for you to be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. (Deuteronomy 26:16-19)
Gospel of the Day
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
For Reflection: In the journey with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truly God and truly human, we are invited that our preaching and the way we live must be coherent with His very life and mission.
2nd Sunday of Lent
First Reading: Genesis 15: 5- 12, 17-18
Responsorial Psalm: The Lord is my Light and my Salvation.
Second Reading: Philippians 3:20 – 4:1
GOSPEL: Luke 9: 28b – 36 – the Transfiguration
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.