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WSC Circle – September 9 – 23, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
September 9, 2018 -23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)Community Word: Honoring God’s commandments bring peace to our hearts
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we are open to God’s saving power
Promise: “Here is your God…he comes to save you.”(Is 35:4b)

Reflection:
Life is filled with difficulties and challenges – serious illness, family relationship in need of peace and harmony, financial indebtedness, and other endless concerns that can keep us anxious and distraught. Under such forbidding conditions, there are community members who serve as examples of fortitude and faith.

One of them is a disciple who has been undergoing medical treatment for a serious illness. Despite this, she keeps a serene life and maintains an indomitable spirit; and she firmly believes that God will save and heal her. Someone else might ask, “How?” The answer is that she nurtures an intimate relationship with the Lord.

Another example of fortitude and faith comes from a woman who is the foundress of the Holy Land in Subic, Zambales, in the Philippines. After her retirement as a bank officer, she founded and gradually built the Holy Land site from scratch, relying mainly on her faith in the Lord. She says that she communes with God in a very personal way and she encourages us that we can experience miracles in our lives also, by having a profound relationship with Him, a relationship that is filled with fondness and affection. As she says in Tagalog, “may kasamang paglalambing” (which brings to mind what Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, did to Jesus when she anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume and wiped them with her hair).

This disciple accomplished this despite the fact that she is afflicted with cancer. Although ill, she is not the least bit worried, because she places her complete faith in the saving power of the Lord and in whatever His will for her will be.

How then do we open our very being to the Lord and develop an intimate relationship with Him so that we may receive the blessing of inner peace?

We do not have to look far.

As community members and faithful Christians, we simply have to live up to the pledges we sealed with the Lord, with all our heart, mind and soul. We become strong and not fearful of any troubles and obstacles that might come our way, because the Lord is always with us and He will save us (cf Is. 35: 4-7).

In his letter, St. James tells us how close the Lord is to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized. He asked, “Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?” (Jas 2:5). The Lord is asking us, in no uncertain terms, to be mindful of them. Its great importance cannot be expressed more powerfully than when the Lord said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” (Mt 25:40).

Doing so, with sincerity and love for the Lord, will open and help us nurture a relationship with Him so intimately that there is nothing we will fear. And ultimately, He offers us salvation not only for our earthly concerns but for the life to come – “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for your since the foundation of the world,” (Mat. 25: 34-40)

The Lord is indeed exhorting us to be open to Him, to place our complete trust in Him and to have a deep faith in His power to heal and to save. We can then be assured by this promise – “Here is your God…he comes to save you.”(Is 35:4b, c).

Prayer:
Lord, You say that You will save us who love you and will protect us who acknowledge You as Lord. When we call to You, You will answer us. You will rescue us and honor us. You will reward us with love life. You will save us. Amen

Reflection Questions:
1. How profound is my relationship with the Lord? What are the obstacles in deepening my relationship with Him?

2. What incident in my life tested my faith in the saving power of God? How did I respond?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Sept 9, 2018 (Sun) – Is 35:4-7/Ps 146:7-10/Jas 2:1-5/Mk 7:31-37
Sept 10, 2018 (Mon) – 1Cor 5:1-9/Ps 5:5-6, 7-12/Lk 6:6-11
Sept 11, 2018 (Tue) – 1Cor 6:1-11/Ps 149:1-6, 9/Lk 6:12-19
Sept 12, 2018 (Wed) – 1Cor 7:25-31/Ps 45:11-17/Lk 6:20-26
Sept 13, 2018 (Thu) – 1Cor 8:1-7, 11-13/Ps 139:1-3, 1, 14, 23, 24/Lk 6:27-38
Sept 14, 2018 (Fri) – Nm 21:4-9/Ps 78:1, 2, 34-38/Phil 2:4-11/Jn 3:13-17
Sept 15, 2018 (Sat) – 1Cor 10:14-22/Ps114:12, 13, 17, 18/Jn 19:25-27

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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Reflection for September 2018

Reflection for September 2018

Community Word: Honoring God’s commandments brings peace to our hearts.
Order: “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”(Jas1:22)

Reflection:
Peace is difficult to define and more challenging to attain especially when we are caught in a whirlwind of conflicts and anxieties. Oftentimes when we choose to follow our instincts and be led by temptations, we experience restlessness in our heart that reveals such negativity as, guilt, bitterness, resentfulness, discontent, doubt and fear. But when we obey God’s instructions and are guided by His precepts, inner peace prevails even in the midst of struggles and difficulties. During this month of September, we are given this core message: Honoring God’s commandments brings peace to our hearts.

God’s word is like a mirror that reveals our very thoughts and the intentions of our heart. It exposes our self-centered attitudes, our unrighteousness and pride, our uncaring attitude towards other people. It uncovers our vengeful anger, our deception, our greed and lustful disposition. And if we ignore God’s commandments and remain lukewarm or indifferent towards addressing our sinfulness, we will never be brought out of our chaotic and unproductive lives. Peace in our hearts may come in many ways as we reflect on our themes for this month.

The theme for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time is – There is peace in our hearts when we confess our sins. When we sin, especially grievous ones, there is a resultant guilt that disturbs our heart and we lose our joy. But with the healing power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we can experience once again peace in our heart and soul that only comes from being in the right relationship with God. Forgiveness lifts the heavy burden of sin. Some may hesitate to go to confession, feeling afraid and ashamed. But when they have made a good one, they leave forgiven, free and liberated from sinful bondage. The beauty of confession is expressed in this promise from the Lord: “Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart … shall never be disturbed,” (Ps 15:2).

There is peace in our hearts when we are open to God’s saving power – is the theme for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time. Through God’s marvelous grace, we are delivered from sin and brought into a saving relationship with Father, by the work of Jesus Christ, completely as free gift. Such love and grace continue to be poured upon all faithful believers in their lifetime to eternity. Because of grace, we constantly receive the blessing of peace that will rule our heart as we live a life with God. For this is His spoken promise to those who remain faithful and obedient to the Lord: “Here is your God… he comes to save you,” (Is 35:4b).

For the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme is – There is peace in our hearts when we deny ourselves to follow Christ. Many people today seek contentment through worldly and materialistic desires. Many turn to fleeting pleasures of illegal drugs, immorality, adulation or wealth. There are those who embrace their comfort zones and do not lift a finger to serve the last, the least and the lost. They are afraid to be inconvenienced and are insensitive to compassion and kindness. But the word of God teaches us that these are fruitless and wasteful endeavors and calls us to follow Christ, to die to self and start serving Him through our neighbors. We cannot profess our faith without service, because following Christ is much more than just lip-service. When we follow Christ, we receive peace as He promised: “Whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it,” (Mk 8:35b).

The theme for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – There is peace in our hearts when we surrender our selfish ambition in serving Jesus. Surrendering our life to serve the Lord is an act of giving back to Him the very life He gave us. It is relinquishing our will, our heart, our mind, our soul, our ambitions and plans, and giving Him control over everything our life is all about, in all that we say and do. We may encounter many obstacles and challenges along the way because of our willingness to sacrifice for the sake of Christ, but we can hold on to this promise: “God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life,” (Ps 54:4). When we live for God’s sovereign pleasure, we will never lose sight of our eternal reward in God’s kingdom.

Finally, our theme for the 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – There is peace in our hearts when we do not allow sin to separate us from the love of God. Sin forms a barrier that isolates God from the people He loves. Because of sin, the mind is perverted, imagination corrupted and faculties of the soul degraded. There is a great abyss between light and darkness that cannot be bridged except by accepting the salvific gift of Christ. But when a heart is pure and the life and character of a person is transformed, he becomes a testimony to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because Christ lives in him. A person who is renewed in mind and spirit will be granted this promise: “… because you belong to Christ …you will surely not lose his reward,” (Mk 9:41). Be righteous and holy then, that you may inherit heaven as your reward.

Prayer:
Lord, you command us to be “doers of the word and not hearers only,” (Jas1:22). Grant us the grace to be obedient to your precepts and be followers of Christ in all that we do and say. In our faithfulness, give us the willingness to serve Your Son, Jesus, as we become transformed in His likeness, doing what is holy and pleasing to Your Holy Will. Amen.

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WSC Circle – September 2, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
September 2, 2018 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: Honoring God’s commandments brings peace to our hearts.
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we confess our sins.
Promise: “Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart … shall never be disturbed.” (Ps 15:2)

Reflection:
God’s will is above human traditions and precepts and His law takes precedence over our traditions, practices and rites. The latter are not substitutes for following the ways of God and for obeying what God wants from us. God cannot be reduced to mere performance of rituals, or observance of rules and regulations. God is honored by living His commandments. He is praised by our good works, and glorified by doing what He desires of us.

What matters is the condition of the heart. Jesus puts greater emphasis on sincere care and concern, not on mere obedience of rules and regulations. We please God more by being genuinely compassionate and concerned, able to understand and uplift the intolerable conditions of our underprivileged brothers and sisters. We can only be close to God by loving Him in His people. And love should be the motivating factor of all our words and actions. Traditions should lead us to love, rather than to finding excuses and justifications for feeling superior to others. God will surely measure us on the basis of how much we love, and the quality of our service.

Worthiness lies in a transformed life. To be a true and faithful disciple of Christ is to have a contrite heart and to live an honest and holy life. Jesus, in today’s gospel, demands purity of heart. If our hearts are pure, then we can speak and share true and inspiring words with others. If our hearts are clean, then we can love, forgive, and be forgiven. For where there is purity of heart, there will be love and faithfulness.

Jesus does not criticize traditions as such, because He himself kept many of them. What the Lord opposes are traditions that are cut off from the faith that gives them life. Traditions do not automatically make a person holy. Holiness and also sin are within the heart and soul of a person. They are ways of either sustaining or distracting our commitment to Christ and our Catholic identity. Traditions should express, renew and deepen, but not replace faith. Following the Lord is not easy in today’s world, but the Church, liturgy, music, teachings, prayers… these should enable us to express and maintain our faith in Christ. Through them, as St. Paul says in today’s second reading, we can welcome the Word, Jesus Christ, in our homes and into our lives. The condition of our heart speaks the truth of what we do. If we obey God’s commandments, then our actions should manifest our sincerest intention of following God’s will. Then we will be able claim the Lord’s promise for this week: “Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart … shall never be disturbed.” (Ps 15:2)

Prayer:
Lord, we pray that our intentions be purified and our faith in You be true and genuine. Help us that our acts of faith are not merely for the eyes of men, but by them we honor and glorify you. Renew our hearts to follow Your commandments in all that we do, rather than follow the dictates of the world. Let peace reign in our hearts knowing that only You are the truth, way and life. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What are the intentions behind everything I do and in everything I say?

2. What is the true condition of my heart towards the last, the least and the lost?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Sep 2, 2018 (Sun) – Dt 4:1,2,6-8/Ps 15:2-5/Jas 1:17,18,21,22,27/Mk 7:1-8,14,15,21-23
Sep 3, 2018 (Mon) – 1Cor 2:1-5/Ps 119:97-102/Lk 4:16-30
Sep 4, 2018 (Tue) – 1Cor 2:10-16/Ps 145:8-14/Lk 4:31-37
Sep 5, 2018 (Wed) – 1Cor 3:1-9/Ps 33:12-15, 20, 21/Lk 4:38-44
Sep 6, 2018 (Thu) – 1Cor 3:18-23/Ps 24:1-6/Lk 5:1-11
Sep 7, 2018 (Fri) – 1Cor 3:18-23/Ps 37:3-6, 27-28, 39, 40/Lk 5:33-39
Sep 8, 2018 (Sat) – Mi 5:1-4/Ps 13:6.6/Mt 1:1-16

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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WSC Circle – August 26, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
August 26, 2018 – 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word:Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: Our belief in the Living Bread compels us to stand firm in following Jesus.
Promise: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (Jn 6:63b)

Reflection:
The declaration of Jesus about himself being the Bread of Life from heaven that gives eternal life drew negative reactions and sharp questioning even from his own followers. Some even stopped believing in the Lord and left him. His teaching about his real presence in the Eucharist is difficult to be understood by human minds. Believing this is an act of faith which is a gift of the Father. Like any gift we receive, it is useless unless we use it. We renew our faith each time we kneel in the presence of Jesus and adore him. Jesus did not try to explain away what he said even when many of his disciples left. He knows that he is nothing less than the Divine Presence in our world.

Peter may not understand the full meaning of what Jesus is saying but he knows what is essential: “You have the words of eternal life,” (Jn 6:68b). Then, he added: “We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God,” (Jn 6:69). To follow Jesus is to walk in faith, understanding that other pretenders to the truth can never satisfy us. It is basic to our faith that we believe in everything that our Lord Jesus Christ says, and like Peter, we can also affirm and say to him – ‘Lord, you are the truth and you have the words that will bring us to eternal life in heaven.’

The words of Jesus come at a great price. He teaches us truths that are sometimes hard to swallow. He calls us to believe in mysteries that may defy our logical thinking and intellectual pride such as, his ‘real presence in the Eucharist,’ the sacredness of all life, and the need for confession. The path of life is strewn not with ‘bed of roses” but with crosses and obstacles – tribulation, pain and suffering. Some people may have stopped believing because their prayers seem to remain unanswered. Some of the sick whose recovery come slowly harbor grudges against God. Poverty may drive many people to discontinue their relationship with God. Following Jesus is seeing him at work even in the haze of daily concerns that leave us bewildered, confused and tired. Amidst all of these, it is believing in his abiding presence where true Christians are formed and strengthened.

Even to this day, Christians are divided on how to see Jesus as the Bread of Life. Some would emphasize faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Some commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection and profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ. But there is the mystery of faith which surpasses human understanding and can only be received in faith, a gift of the Father and the Spirit. Without Jesus’ real presence, where would our life be?

We are here for Jesus because we believe that he is here for us and he gives us his own body and blood for our strength and courage in our daily life. Though there are many weaknesses in our community, this is still the Body of Christ, the anchor of our faith. His presence truly compels us to stand firm in following him faithfully.
In receiving his body and blood thru Holy Communion, we are assured of his presence and power. His promise then assures us: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” (Jn 6:63b).

Prayer:
Loving Jesus, you have the words of eternal life. You are our salvation. Without you we are lost and we cannot do anything. Life is meaningless without your presence. Faithful God of the covenant, in the daily choices we have to make, give us the courage to always choose Your Son and His ways and to remain close to Him. Bless the difficult road we have to take sometimes without seeing where it will lead us. Keep us from making half-hearted decisions when our faith is rather weak and make us accept all the consequences of our choice. Keep us always faithful through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What else do you have to decide and do so that you can freely and unconditionally follow Jesus? Are you stifled by personal challenges in these situations?

2. What are the teachings of the Catholic Church that you doubt or cannot accept, or teachings that do not conform to your personal opinions, or circumstances? As a Catholic faithful, what action will you take to overcome these doubts or non-acceptance?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Aug 26, 2018 (Sun) – Jos 24:1-2, 15-18/Ps 34:2, 3, 16-21/Eph 5: 21-32/Jn 6:60-69
Aug 27, 2018 (Mon) – 2Thes 1:1-5, 11, 12/Ps 96:1-5/Mt 23:13-22
Aug 28, 2018 (Tue) – 2The 2:1-3, 14-17/Ps 96:10-13/Mt 23:23-26
Aug 29, 2018 (Wed) – Jer 1:17-19/Ps 128:1, 2, 4, 5/Mk 6:17-29
Aug 30, 2018 (Thu) – 1Cor 1:1-9/Ps 145:2-7/Mt 24:42-51
Aug 31, 2018 (Fri) – 1Cor 1:17-25/Ps 33:1-5, 10, 11/Mt 25:1-13
Sep 1, 2018 (Sat) – 1Cor 1:26-31/Ps 33:12, 13, 18-21/Mt 25:14-30

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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Community Word for October 2018

COMMUNITY WORD FOR OCTOBER 2018
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES)

READINGS
October 7- Gn 2:18-24/Ps 128:1-6/Heb 2:9-11/Mk 10:2-16
October 14 – Wis 7:7-11/Ps 90:12-17/Heb 4:12, 13/Mk 10:17-30
October 21 – Is 53:10, 11/Ps 33:4, 5, 18-20, 22/Heb 4:14-16/Mk 10:35-45
October 28 – Jer 31:7-9/Ps 126:1-6/Heb 5:1-6/Mk 10:46-52

COMMUNITY WORD
Those who are poor in spirit will inherit the Kingdom of God.

ORDER
“…come, follow me.” (Mk 10:21b)

PROPHECIES:
1. Come, follow Me and I will bring you to My Kingdom.

DIRECTIONS:
1 Serve the community by being a living witness to God’s love.
2. Be the servant of all by promoting unity and teamwork.

THEMES AND PROMISES
Week#1 (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: We inherit the Kingdom of God when we possess childlike obedience and humility.
Promise: “Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways!” (Ps 128:1)

Week#2 (28th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: We inherit the Kingdom of God when we share our blessings with those in need.
Promise: “… give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Mk 10:21b)

Week#3 (29th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: We inherit the Kingdom of God when we become servant of all.
Promise: “If he gives his life as an offering…the will of Lord shall be accomplished through him.” (Is 52:10b)

Week#4 (30th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: We inherit the Kingdom of God when we witness to our faith.
Promise: “I will console and guide them, I will lead them to brooks of water on a level road, so that none shall stumble.” (Jer 31:9b)

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WSC Circle – August 19, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
August 19, 2018 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: Our belief in the Living Bread inspires us to partake in the Holy Eucharist.
Promise: “… the one who feeds on me will have life.” (Jn 6:57b)

Reflection:
As Catholics, we believe that we receive Jesus Christ Himself as the Living Bread every time we received Holy Communion. It is in the Holy Eucharist that we become aware of who we are and to whom we truly belong. At the moment of Consecration, the miracle of transubstantiation – the turning of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, brings life to our beings and fortifies our relationship with Jesus. Jesus promises us: “…the one who feeds on me will have life,” (Jn 6:57b).

The liturgical readings for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time invite us to “taste and experience the wisdom of the Lord.” In the 1st reading, we gain true wisdom when we understand God’s ways. In Psalms, we are exhorted to join in praising God and be enriched from all that He gives us. St. Paul in the 2nd reading urges the Ephesians and us, too, to drink of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit rather than get drunk from alcoholic spirits. And in the gospel, Jesus tells the crowd that the true food and divine drink are His own Body and Blood which give us nourishment for eternal life.

Jesus wants everyone to come to Him and feed on Him in order that we will receive true understanding and wisdom. He promises to give His Real Presence to those who will accept Him and receive His Body and Blood. Jesus is our spiritual food in our journey towards God, our Father in heaven. He nourishes us in several ways: through His word – food for our souls, through His ministry – healing food for our bodies, and through His sacramental presence – our spiritual food. Jesus feeds us through our communion with Him and with all those who are also in communion with Him. Thus, we are all nourished as a community of believers who come to the Lord’s Table.

Receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is receiving God’s wisdom that leads us to forsake our foolish and selfish ways. In Proverbs 9:6, it says: “Forsake foolishness that you may live.” St. Paul also tells the people of Ephesus: “….live, not as foolish persons but as wise,” (Eph 5:15b). We are reminded that we must live in the wisdom and understanding of God because the ways of the world are foolishness in God’s eyes. Being drunk in the Spirit leads us to a greater sense of community. All the Lord wants is for us to come to Him and receive His goodness, rather than to seek the perishable things in the world.

It is truly a humbling experience to know how much Jesus honors us by feeding us with His words, by His ministry, and most significantly with His Real Presence in the Eucharist. God’s love is perfectly demonstrated in giving us the best, in the person of His Son, Jesus. We only need to come to Jesus and take what He offers us – His very being. Our belief in the person of Jesus Christ as the Bread of Life then, allows us to partake in the Holy Communion. And when the host is presented us and the minister says: ‘The Body of Christ,’ our eager response is – ‘Amen! I receive Jesus and I believe in His Real Presence in me.’

Prayer:
Lord God, it is by Your goodness that You gave us the gift of Your Son, Jesus. His Real Presence nourishes us, not only physically but more importantly, spiritually. We are sorry for the times when we have instead chosen the “junk food” of this world that does not sustain us in our faith journey. Through Your Holy Spirit, we seek Your wisdom and understanding so that we can have a better grasp of the reality of the Eucharist, receiving Jesus in our hearts. Jesus, You are our Bread of Life that brings us to eternal life. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What do I seek from the Lord as I receive Him in Holy Communion? How have I been nourished by Jesus?

2. In what ways can I reach out to those with whom I am in communion with?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Aug 19, 2018 (Sun) – Prv 9:1-6/Ps 34:2-7/Eph 5:15-20/Jn 6:51-58
Aug 20, 2018 (Mon) – Ez 24:15-24/Dt 32:18-21/Mt 19:16-22
Aug 21, 2018 (Tue) – Ez 28:1-10/Dt 32:26, 27, 28, 30, 35, 36/Mt 19:23-30
Aug 22, 2018 (Wed) – Ez 34:1-11/Ps 23:1-6/Mt 20:1-16
Aug 23, 2018 (Thu) – Ez 36:23-28/Ps 51:12-15, 18, 19/Mt 22:1-14
Aug 24, 2018 (Fri) – Rv 21:9-14/Ps 145:10-13, 17, 18/Jn 1:45-51
Aug 25, 2018 (Sat) – Ez 43:1-7/Ps 85:9-14/Mt 23:1-12

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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WSC Circle – August 12, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
August 12, 2018 -19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)Community Word: Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: Our belief in the Living Bread allows us to listen and learn from our Father.
Promise: “They shall all be taught by God.” (Jn 6:45b)

Reflection:
Some people perceive God by the way they experience their earthly father. In our world today, it is not easy to think of God as the Father whom we can trust and surrender our personal situations to. There are people who experience broken families, of parents being absorbed in work commitments and have no more time for their families. For some, personal communication lines are eroded due to the negative effect of media. There are those who experience overly authoritarian fathers, fathers who lack affection, or fathers who are absent from their families.

But, as written in the gospel of Matthew, the truth is “…no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him,” (Mt 11:27). God is revealed as the Father who expressed His supreme love by giving His own Son for the salvation of humanity. Jesus, the Living Bread, came down from heaven and introduced the Father to us by His teachings and His works that conveyed the love of God. Thus, we have our theme this week: Our belief in the Living Bread allows us to listen and learn from our Father.

We can fully see the benevolent face of God in Jesus, the Begotten Son. He does not merely represent the Father, but presents Him to us in their oneness and mutual indwelling. His words and deeds comes from the Father. In Jesus we are able to have a glimpse of the character and qualities of a loving Father. God the Father communicates to us through His word, loving us totally, providing for us abundantly, correcting us compassionately, forgiving us unconditionally and offering us the ultimate gift of eternal life in His kingdom. By His grace, He calls us His children. We become heirs of heaven when we are spiritually transformed through repentance, baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul tells us, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God,” (Rm 8:14).

God’s desire is to fill His house with His children. When He sent Jesus to the world, He was tasked to pave the way and lead everyone to His heavenly home for all eternity. Jesus is not merely a guiding light that illuminates the way, He Himself is the Way. He does not only teach us the truth about the Father, He is Truth Himself. He is not simply a model of righteous life, He is Life Himself. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life that brings us to Eternal Life. The end of our human quest of the Father is Jesus Christ. God the Father is always in our life, giving us His Spirit, His Word and His teachings through Jesus. To learn from the Son is to learn about the Father and, as His devoted children, we are called to listen and obey His will. We are blessed because our heavenly Father truly cares for us. As the promise for this week tells us, “They shall all be taught by God,” (Jn 6:45b).

Prayer:
Precious Father, we thank You because You revealed Yourself in the person of Jesus, our Living Bread and the expression of Your infinite love, grace and mercy. Thank You for unveiling Your character to us by the Spirit through Your Word, Jesus Christ. You are truly one true God. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How do you describe your relationship with your earthly father? Do you see God the Father as you see your earthly father?

2. Share a personal experience when you felt closest to God and His love. How did you feel?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Aug 12, 2018 (Sun) – 1Kgs 19:4-8/Ps 34:2-9/Eph 4:30-5:2/Jn 6:41-51
Aug 13, 2018 (Mon) – Ez 1:2-5, 24-28/Ps 148:1, 2, 11, 12-14/Mt 17:22-27
Aug 14, 2018 (Tue) – Ez 2:8-3:4/Ps 119:14,24,72,103,111,131/Mt 18:1-5,10,12-14
Aug 15, 2018 (Wed) – 1Chr 15:3-4, 15-16; 16:1-2/Ps 132:6-7, 9, 10, 13, 14/1Cor 15:54-87/Lk 11:27-28
Aug 16, 2018 (Thu) – Ez 12:1-12/Ps 78:56-57, 58, 59, 61, 62/Mt 18:21-19:1
Aug 17, 2018 (Fri) – Ez 16:1-15, 60, 63/Is 12:2-6/Mt 19:3:121
Aug 18, 2018 (Sat) – Ez 18:1-10, 13, 30-32/Ps 51:12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19/Mt 19:13-15

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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WSC Circle – August 5, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
August 5, 2018 – 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)Community Word: Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life.
Theme: Our belief in the Living Bread leads us to accomplish the works of God.
Promise: “… whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst.” (Jn6:35)

Reflection:
In the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus points to us that it is not by bread alone but God’s presence that gives us life. The Holy Eucharist brings us deeper in our soul to find God and recognize the challenge this brings to our daily life, in living with and for others in peace. The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist is not merely a call for devotion, but a real desire to find deeper meaning in our relationship with God, leading us to eternal life.

Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty,” (Jn 6:35). As the “bread of life,” Jesus speaks of the benefits of believing and abiding in Him, of consuming Him and making Him part of us. To understand Jesus as the bread of life is to be passionate about our faith. It means seeking after His word and following His teachings. To have a relationship of Jesus in the Eucharist requires us to rearrange our lives and reset our priorities. To be a person of passion is to make sacrifices and have an ardent longing for the bread of life. To accept the life-giving bread of Jesus is to completely trust in God who will provide all our needs.

When we focus more on working for food that perishes and makes us hungry, we may forget about the food that sustains us to eternal life. Jesus is the food that stops our spiritual hunger. We are all hungry for God’s love, kindness, care and grace. We worry so much, we trust so little, we are so concerned with material things. Yet what really matters are our families, friends and the people that God places in our lives. When we have Jesus, we no longer hunger for earthly things because He is sufficient for us. When Jesus is in our hearts, we hunger no more because His love fills us up.

Our belief in the Living Bread leads us to accomplish the works of God, is our theme for the week. Jesus knows that we are searching for lasting and everlasting happiness. To share in His divine life, we are to partake of Him and then offer ourselves in the service for others, by sharing what we have, by being “bread of life” ourselves to others. We are to become “Eucharist” so that through us, others may have the promised eternal life as well. Through the Eucharist we are richly blessed everyday and with this blessing we become a blessing to others. Everyday, we are grateful to God for the people in our lives and for the blessings of our daily bread to enable us to finish the work that Christ has begun in us.

How eagerly we should search for Jesus, the bread of life, not just to ask for food that satisfies our human hunger alone, but to have a personal relationship with Him in our life. It is a continuing search and journey of faith, but one that will lead us to fulfillment knowing that we have the source of true joy, the Sustainer of our being. Truly, Jesus is life and we believe in Him as we receive this assurance in His words: “… whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst,” (Jn 6:35).

Prayer:
Thank you, Precious Jesus, for being the true Bread of Life that fills us with God’s love. Let Your heavenly food renew us, that our faith may increase daily and enable us to serve You fervently more than ever before, all for the glory of Your name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How does Jesus as the Bread of Life satisfy your spiritual hunger? What is your personal experience when you receive Him in Holy Communion?

2. What have you accomplished by being “bread of life” to others?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
Aug 5, 2018 (Sun) – Ex 16:2-4, 12-15/Ps 78:3, 4, 23-25, 54/Eph 4:17, 20-24/Jn 6:24-35
Aug 6, 2018 (Mon) – Dn 7:9-10, 13, 14/Ps 97:1, 2, 5, 6, 9/Mk 9:2-10
Aug 7, 2018 (Tue) – Jer 30:1,2,12-15,18-22/Ps 102:16-18,19-21,29,22,23/Mt 14:22-36
Aug 8, 2018 (Wed) – Jer 15:10, 16-21/Ps 59:2-4, 10, 11, 17, 18/Mt 13:44-46
Aug 9, 2018 (Thu) – Jer 31:31-34/Ps 51:12-13, 14-15, 18-19/Mt 16:13-23
Aug 10, 2018 (Fri) – 2Cor 9:6-10/Ps 112:1, 2, 5, 6, 7-9/Jn 12:24-26
Aug 11, 2018 (Sat) – Hab 1:12-2:4/Ps 9:8-13/Mt 17:14-20

“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”

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Reflection for August 2018

Community Word: Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life.
Order: “Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life.”
(Jn 6:27a)
Reflection:
Belief in Jesus Christ, our Living Bread, leads us to eternal life. This is the central community message for the month of August. Christ gave Himself to us as our spiritual food as we journey in this life. He feeds us by revealing the Father to us in word and in deed, giving us the knowledge and wisdom of God who satisfies our hunger for God. He says: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever,” (Jn 6:51). Every time we participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we remember the redemptive, life-giving love of God that culminated in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Through our communion with Christ in this sacrament, we deepen our friendship with Him and allow Him to shape the way we see, decide and act. The Eucharist is a place where one comes to eternal life, (Gospel of John, Sacra Pagina p 224).

The theme for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – Our belief in the Living Bread leads us to accomplish the works of God. As Catholic Christians and Eucharistic people, we are also a people of mission. We are commissioned to proclaim the goodness and greatness of Jesus Christ by word and deed in the witnessing of our lives. As we are blessed with His Real Presence in the sacrament, we are sent forth to make His presence real to others. As we are fed by the Bread of Life, we are also called to feed the hungry people that we encounter, to strengthen the bond of communion among members of our family, community and work places. As we do, all of God’s people will be able to share in Jesus’ promise in John 6:35 – “…whoever comes to me will never hunger and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

For the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time the theme is – Our belief in the Living Bread allows us to listen and learn from our Father. To listen and to learn require humility, a key characteristic of a disciple of Jesus. One who listens to God will learn from God and will be drawn to Jesus, for Jesus is the one who speaks God’s word and manifests His presence. A prayerful reflection is a learning process that brings us into conversation that connects us with God. It is noteworthy to mention that Christian listening requires patience with an act of love to one who is speaking. It allows the avenue to ask perceptive questions and readies us to minister words of grace to others in need at the right time and place. It reflects our sincere and loving relationship with God because as John wrote – “They shall all be taught by God,” (Jn 6:45). Jesus says: Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from Him comes to me.” This is the promised assurance of Jesus for those who listens to His Father’s word.

Our belief in the Living Bread inspires us to partake in the Holy Eucharist – is the theme for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Celebrating the Holy Eucharist is central to our faith as Catholic Christians. It is unique to us because we believe that bread and wine are not merely representation of Christ, but that at the moment of consecration, these species become transubstantiated into the Body and Blood of Christ. It is in the Eucharist that we discover who we are and to whom we truly belong, that we belong to and remain in Jesus. Partaking Holy Communion reinforces our commitment to God and fortifies our relationship with Jesus. In the Holy Eucharist, we are taking God into our body and into our lives, bestowing grace on us. Jesus promised us – “…the one who feeds on me will have life,” (John 6:57b).

Finally, the theme for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time is – Our belief in the Living Bread compels us to stand firm in following Jesus. The Eucharist sums up the mystery of our faith. In John 16:33, it is clear and evident that trials and troubles will be part of our life. Difficulties may pile up and at times, we may hardly see God at work. But our true and strong belief in Jesus as the Living Bread compels us to be resolute in embracing God’s truth and in following Jesus. If ever we may not see God working, we can depend and take refuge in our Rock and Fortress (Ps 71:3). We should never fear or be discouraged, but be relentless in placing our trust and hope in the Lord and allow Him to work mightily in us, anticipating His promised deliverance. For He has assured us – “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” (John 6:63b).

Prayer:
O Heavenly Father, nourish and sustain us with the Bread of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ. Transform us for mission, strengthen us for service and let our hearts, minds and whole being be ready to receive You and offer You our thanks and praises. Amen.

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Community Word for September 2018

COMMUNITY WORD FOR SEPTEMBER 2018
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES)

READINGS
September 2 – Dt 4:1,2,6-8/Ps 15:2-5/Jas 1:17,18,21,22,27/Mk 7:1-8,14,15,21-23
September 9 – Is35:4-7/Ps 146:7-10/Jas 2:1-5/Mk 7:31-37
September 16 – Is 50:5-9/Ps 116:1-6, 8, 9/Jas 2:14-18/Mk 8:27-35
September 23 – Wis 2:12, 17-20/Ps 84:3, 4, 5, 6, 8/Jas 3:16-4:3/Mk 9:30-37
September 30 – Nm 11:25-29/Ps 19:8, 10, 12, 13, 14/Jas 5:1-6/Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47, 48

COMMUNITY WORD
Honoring God’s commandments brings peace to our hearts.
ORDER
“Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”(Jas1:22)
PROPHECIES:
– My children, I ask you to abide in My presence and honor My word where there is peace that the world cannot give.

DIRECTIONS:
– Faithfully go to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and receive Him in the Holy Eucharist.
– Evangelize and be active in mission works.

THEMES AND PROMISES
Week#1 (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we confess our sins.
Promise: “Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice; who thinks the truth in his heart … shall never be disturbed.” (Ps 15:2)

Week#2 (23rdSunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we are open to God’s saving power.
Promise: “Here is your God… he comes to save you.” (Is 35:4b)

Week#3 (24thSunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we deny ourselves to follow Christ.
Promise: “Whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” (Mk 8:35b)

Week#4 (25thSunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we surrender our selfish ambition as we serve Jesus.
Promise: “God is my helper; the Lord sustains my life.” (Ps 54:4)

Week#5 (26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: There is peace in our hearts when we do not allow sin to separate us from the love of God.
Promise: “… because you belong to Christ …you will surely not lose his reward.” (Mk 9:41)

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