Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
April 15, 2018 – 3rdSunday of Easter (Cycle B, Year II)
Community Word: The resurrection of Jesus Christ strengthens our faith.
Theme: Our faith is strengthened when we open our hearts and minds to God’s word.
Promise: “… whoever keeps his word the love of God is truly perfected in him.” (1Jn 2:5)
“He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,” (Lk 24:45). His disciples were still fearful, troubled and unbelieving so Jesus had to prove to them that he was not a ghost, but truly resurrected in “flesh and bones” leading them tobelieve that he indeed rose from the dead. It takes the Lord’s wisdom and authority to help them understand and accept the truth of his word.Jesus enlightened them and opened their minds to the understanding of what the Scriptures had foretold and meant regarding the Messiah. The Risen Christ guided his disciples then and he continues to lead us to a fuller knowledge of faith. As the community word for the month declares – The resurrection of Jesus Christ strengthens our faith.
“Our faith is strengthened when we open our hearts and minds to God’s word,” is our theme for the week. By his words in the scriptures, Jesus continues to widen our understanding and build up our reason that our spiritual convictions may be strengthened. As our Messiah, he offered the perfect sacrifice for us in order that the gates of heaven would be opened again, surpassing every human expectations. Now, all we need to do is to allow Jesus to enter our hearts and open our minds so that in turn we may have the light and truth of our salvation through his word, and in all his works and promises.
In fulfillment of the Scriptures, Jesus told his disciples: “You are witnesses of these things,” (Lk 24:48) and told them to preach in his name to all nations and they were to do this as witnesses. We, too, are to witness to others that we who believe in the Risen Christ will also rise again with him on the last day. Because of this, we are to live not only for this world but for the next one as well. We are to be witnesses to Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist, the bread that was broken and given for us to partake. The Risen Lord lives in us and helps us to serve one another, to lighten their burdens as we help them, give them words of encouragement and heal them with our prayers.
Our mission to proclaim our Risen Lord is urgent because more people are putting their faith in matters other than God. The influences of technology, media, worldly ideas and ideology are distracting many from the godly truth. In the midst of these earthly challenges, we are to be God’s witnesses by our own lives despite our weaknesses. We can still live our faith. Jesus approaches us in our humanness with our ups and downs. Our encounter with Jesus is filled with deep emotions and love, given and received, and are committed with care, forgiveness and love beyond measure. We encounter him in the community of faith that gathers to celebrate the Eucharist.We encounter him in a mystifying experience when we reflect on God’s word because God speaks to us here. That is why it is so important to read and meditate upon the holy words. It is the way by which God tells us to cleanse our life and come to know Him in an intimate way.
It is easy to be lost in expectations, thinking that the world is open in entirely material manner and believing that only in this way can we have complete joy. But we have learned of the possibility of eternal life and that’s the only triumph that truly matters in the end. Sometimes, unbelief and doubt overwhelm the heart and weaken our faith that God is truly present in our life. But we have the assuring promise that “… whoever keeps his word the love of God is truly perfected in him,”(1Jn 2:5).
Almighty God, You are omniscient and all-loving. Touch our hearts and our minds that we remain strong and steadfast in our Catholic faith. Give us the grace that allows us to encounter You always in the many ways that You seek to encounter us. Help us to grow in Your abundant love and to share that same love and encounters with You with our sisters and brothers in community. Amen.
1. How do you deepen your understanding of the Scriptures to strengthen your faith?
2. How can you testify that God is truly present in your life after your renewal experience?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
April 15, 2018 (Sun)- Acts 3:13-15, 17-19/Ps 4:2, 4, 7-9/1Jn 2:1-5/Lk 24:35-48
April 16, 2018 (Mon) -Acts 6:8-15/Ps 119:23, 24, 26, 27, 29, 30/Jn 6:22-29
April 17, 2018 (Tue) – Acts 7:51-8:1/Ps 31:3,4,6,7,8,17,21/Jn 6:30-35
April 18, 2018 (Wed) – Acts 8:1-8/Ps 66:1-7/Jn 6:35-40
April 19, 2018 (Thu) -Acts 87:26-40/Ps 66:8, 9, 16, 17, 20/Jn 6:44-51
April 20, 2018 (Fri) -Acts 9:1-20/Ps 117:1, 2/Jn 6:52-59
April 21, 2018 (Sat) – Acts 9:31-42/Ps 116:12-17/Jn 6:60-69
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”