Bukas Loob sa Diyos Catholic Charismatic Covenant Community
Reflection for April 2017
The glory of God shines to those who believe.
“…Live and declare the works of the Lord.” (Ps 118:17)
This month, we are given the opportunity to reflect on and dwell in God’s perfect love for us as we re-live and experience the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every year, our faith goes deeper and continues to be strengthened when we remember that we have been saved by the blood of supreme sacrificial love and by our victory over sin and death through Christ’s resurrection. The weekly themes guide our reflection on our community word this month – The glory of God shines to those who believe. Then, we may “live and declare the works of the Lord,” (Ps 118:17).
The theme for the 5th Sunday of Lent is: The glory of God shines through us when we remain steadfast in our faith. The liturgical readings for this week bring us to reflect on our belief in eternal life, that death is not the end for us. The gospel reading shows us one of Jesus’ astounding miracles – the raising of Lazarus to life. Jesus came to the tomb of Lazarus to reveal that he is the Lord of life, the source of every hope as we face the disturbing eventuality of our own death. Deliberately waiting for the death of Lazarus, Jesus wants to show that He did not come to the world to save us from physical death, but to teach us the way to eternal life that extends beyond death. That the way to eternal life is through our faith in Him. Thus, he leaves us with this promise: “I will put my spirit in you that you may live,” (Ez 37:14a).
The theme for Palm Sunday is: The glory of God shines through us when we are obedient to His will. This Sunday signals the start of the Holy Week and highlights the most important attitude of Jesus to God’s purpose of sending him to this world and to us – obedience to the Father’s will. Throughout the ordeal, Jesus was relentlessly humble and obedient; not for a moment did he change his mind even if he foresaw his excruciating passion and shameful death. Again, Jesus is teaching us that God’s reward will be received when we surrender our arrogance and self-centeredness to the Lord. In many ways, we remain disobedient to God and we just maneuver our lives without trusting Him. During the Holy Week, let us ask forgiveness for crucifying Jesus to the cross again and again by our sinfulness. Let us learn to surrender to his promise: “The Lord is my help, therefore, I am not disgraced; I shall not be put to shame,” (Is 50:17).
The theme for Easter Sunday is: The glory of God shines through us when we rejoice in Christ’s resurrection. As true Christians, we believe in the Resurrection not just as a historical event in the Church, but that Jesus truly rose from the dead and is alive today, now and forever. Such belief is necessary because this is the key to our Christian faith – to believe in the fulfillment of His promise. Our faith should lead us to believe that Jesus is alive now as he was on that first Easter morning and he still invites people today to know him, love him, serve him, and be happy with him in eternity. Many of us who were brought into the Church and the community especially those who have been baptized in the Spirit have been transformed because we have encountered Jesus, the living God. This is the Easter promise of the Lord: “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name,” (Acts 10:43b).
The glory of God shines through us when the peace of Christ lives in our heart – is the theme for the 2nd Sunday of Easter. “Peace be with you” are the re-assuring words that the Lord spoke when he appeared to his disciples after he rose from the dead. This is the same message that Jesus wants to impart to us while we live in our troubled world today. But if there is so much unbelief in Christ, if there is mounting refusal to enter into a relationship with God and trust in his Divine Will, if worldly influences take precedence over taking the path of righteousness, how can we have peace in our hearts, the kind of peace that Jesus wants to give us? Believing that Jesus is alive seems to be difficult to comprehend amidst the noise and enticements of the world today. Sacrifice and suffering cannot seem to compete with comfort and luxury. But, for true Christians, eternal life is promised to those who are committed to follow Christ – “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed,” (Jn 20:29b).
The glory of God shines through us when our hearts are open to the understanding of scriptures – is the theme for the 3rd Sunday of Easter. Like the two disciples leaving Jerusalem, we are all “on the road to Emmaus.” We are in the state of unbelief and ignorance, simply relying on our own reason, intellect and experience. We choose to be deaf and blind to the truth that our Lord Jesus teaches us. Or we take the shortcut in exercising our faith, the path that our own limited understanding wants us to take, the road that brings us farther away from our relationship with our true Lord and Master. The Holy Scriptures, as the word of God, is the source of understanding and knowledge of our faith. This is our salvation. Christ is risen and he has overcome Satan and his lies. Let us no longer take the detour, but continue on with our faith journey towards the promise of eternal life: “You will show me the path to life, abounding joys in your presence,” (Ps. 16:11).
Community Word, Themes and Promises for April 2017 below, covering the 5th Sunday of Lent, Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, 2nd & 3rd Sunday of Easter.
Bukas Loob sa Diyos Catholic Charismatic Covenant Community
COMMUNITY WORD FOR APRIL 2017
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES)
April 2 Ez 37:12-14/Ps 130:1-8/Rom 8:8-11/Jn 11:1-45
April 9 Is 50:L4-7/Ps 22:8-9, 17, 20, 23, 24/Phil 2:6-11/Mt 26:14-27:66
April 16 Acts 10:34, 37-43/Ps 118:1-2, 16, 17, 22, 23/Col 3:1-4/Jn 20:1-9
April 23 Acts 2:42-47/Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24/1Pt 1:3-9/Jn 20:19-31
April 30 Acts 2:14, 22, 23/Ps 16:1, 2, 5, 7-111/1Pt 1:17-21/Lk 24:13-35
The glory of God shines to those who truly believe.
“… Live and declare the works of the Lord.” (Ps 118:17)
- “If you die to hatred, you will live in peace and harmony with one another.”
- “Have faith in Me.”
- Share God’s presence with those seeking fulfillment in life, through scripture readings, teaching and devoting time in prayer.
- Repent and be reconciled with the Father and experience His divine mercy.
- Be a living witness of the Gospel.
THEMES AND PROMISES
Week#1 (5th Sunday of Lent)
Theme: The glory of God shines through us when we remain steadfast in our faith.
Promise: “I will put my spirit in you that you may live.” (Ez 37:14a)
Week#2 (Palm Sunday)
Theme: The glory of God shines through us when we are obedient to His will.
Promise: “The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I shall not be put to shame.” (Is 50:17)
Week#3 (Easter Sunday)
Theme: The glory of God shines through us when we rejoice in Christ’s resurrection.
Promise: “Everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43b)
Week#4 (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Theme: The glory of God shines through us when the peace of Christ lives in our heart.
Promise: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29b)
Week#5 (3rd Sunday of Easter)
Theme: The glory of God shines through us when our hearts are open to the understanding of scriptures.
Promise: “You will show me the path to life, abounding joys in your presence. (Ps 16:11)