“The goal of the SOA is to make present the Kingdom with the greatest efficacy.” (Fr. Jaime Bonet)
50 years in Your Word
Week 3 - Feb. 25-Mar. 3, 2013
Objective of the week: To make the School of the Apostles our ordinary means and our greatest efficacy in announcing and propagating the kingdom of God.
For the past two weeks, it has been a renewing and refreshing experience to read and reflect on different aspects of the School of the Word (SOW) and the School of Apostles (SOA) coming directly from our founder Fr. Jaime Bonet.
This week we will continue to deepen on SOA for it is the best means and method to respond faithfully to the mandate that Jesus has given to us: “Go and make disciples of all peoples.”
In the mind of our founder, Verbum Dei itself is the School of Apostles. She is founded on the three pillars of prayer, ministry of the Word and testimony of life. She grows through the living out of the four exercises (prayer, community, cross and mission) and she applies the means of “forming others so that they in turn form others“(SOW / SOA).
This moves each of us who form part of Verbum Dei to conform to the dynamism of the SOA because it is the same method we apply in our apostolate.
Let us pray that our Lenten journey will continue to lead us to a greater transformation of our life and that we may be convinced by and in love with the Holy Trinity and Mama Mary for as Fr Jaime says, “No means or method will ever match the strength, conviction and vitality of the direct, personal and living word of a disciple of Jesus convinced by and in love with Christ, truly humble, possessed by the Spirit and passionately driven by the glory of the Father and by love for Mary.”
Conditions for participating in the SOA
The attendance and belonging to the School of the Word supposes and requires a substantial change, progressive in the life of the person. His or her life should not be contrary to the Gospel of Jesus. One cannot participate in the SOA without being truly united to Christ with the bonds of authentic and faithful friendship.
Gospel of the Day
Luke 6:36-38 36 Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as 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."
Has my life been an ongoing transformation as I journey in the School of the Word? Have I grown in being compassionate and generous in giving gifts, both material and spiritual?
Methods for the SOA
The method that we will use in the SOA is testimonial preaching of the fundamental truths of our faith. Jesus did not entrust any other mission to his 12 disciples but his own same mission. It is the same mission of the first Christian community.
Gospel of the Day
Matthew 23:1-12 1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice … 6 They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, 7 greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation 'Rabbi.' 8 As for you, do not be called 'Rabbi.' You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. 10 Do not be called 'Master'; you have but one master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you must be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
We transmit not what we say or counsel but rather what we profoundly pray and live. How is my preaching of the Word? Do I practice what I preach?
Listening to the Word: The essence of the SOA
The SOA is in the first place a school of living faith. The Word nurtures and strengthens the apostle’s faith and makes them more interested to be nourished. The goal of the SOA is to make present the Kingdom with the greatest efficacy.
Gospel of the Day
Matthew 20:17-29 … 20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached him with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. 21 He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom." 22 Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." 23 He replied, "My cup you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left (this) is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." 24 When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. 26 But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; 27 whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. 28 Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many." 29 As they left Jericho, a great crowd followed him.
Does our listening to the Word of God nourish our faith and lead us to serve others?
Assimilation of the Word: Confrontation through the SOA for conversion
What the SOA is not: It is not a meeting of friends. It is not a simple school of theology or doctrine. It is much more than a meditation, reflection on the Word or a contemplative life. The assimilation of the Word goes with the intention to give what I assimilate and pray. If the divine Life and Love does not burn in the heart of the person the true SOA does not emerge.
Gospel of the Day
Luke 16:19-31 19 "There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20 And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. 22 When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' 25 Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. 26 Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.' ...
How do I assimilate the Word of God? Does the assimilation of the Word lead me to recognize others as my sisters and brothers?
Living out of the Word: Practical orientation for the living out of the SOA
The living out of the Word of God is indispensable. The SOA involves the person listening and assimilating the Word of God, allowing the Word to dwell in them richly, such that it is transformed into a living word.
Gospel of the Day
Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46 33 "Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. 34 When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. 35 But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. 36 Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. 37 Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.' 39 They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 40 What will the owner of the vineyard do to those tenants when he comes?" 41 They answered him, "He will put those wretched men to a wretched death and lease his vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the proper times." …
Do I allow the Word to dwell in me richly and transform me into a living word? Or am I blinded by the greed and pleasures of this world and kill the divine life in me and others?
Proclamation of the Word: The necessity and urgency to transmit the truth of faith
It is urgent that we will give others this same right to be formed as apostles which they received in their baptism. We will seek that as quickly as possible they will join us in our preaching, so that we can open more SOW and SOA.
Gospel of the Day
Luke 15:1-3 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, 2 but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." 3 So to them he addressed this parable.
1 Then he said, "A man had two sons, 12 and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them. 13 After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. 14 When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. 15 So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. 16 And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. 17 Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger … 20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.' 22 But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
3rd Sunday of Lent
1st Reading: Exodus3:1-8, 13-15
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 102
2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Weekly Prayer Guidelines
Read this week's guidelines to help you deepen in the Word of God for today.