Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
March 18, 2018 – 5th Sunday of Lent (Cycle B, Year II)
Community Word: Jesus, our Redeemer, calls us to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Theme: As the temple of the Holy Spirit we follow Jesus and serve Him in His people.
Promise: “…Whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (Jn 12:25b)
It is not easy to surrender our will to just anyone. If one surrenders his will to someone who will only make a slave of him or take away his freedom, he will definitely resist or refuse to be subjugated. However, the idea of someone who is capable of enhancing our will and our ability to make the right choices and decisions has much more appeal. This is what we find in the obedience we give to God, following the example of Jesus. When seeking to do God’s will, we rely on the truth that God is for our freedom and for our own good as a people. We do not become lesser human beings by freely accepting God’s will and fully trusting Him to receive His grace to gain fullness of life.
A major purpose in this life is to grow in the righteous character of God. Through His dwelling in us by the power of His Holy Spirit, we are helped in achieving that purpose in life that will enable us to live forever in His family. Because of His love for us, it is God’s will that everyone should be saved and that all creation should come to unity and perfection in Him. Thus, we should allow our will to be taken over by God and everything that we are, our heart, mind and soul, so that we may know what God wants for us and for the world we live in. This is the fundamental understanding of Christian obedience.
In our search for truth in what we do, we are entirely free once we have learned to see the knowledge of the Spirit and once we are guided by love. Above the law of man and in freedom that comes from the Spirit, we know that we can act in knowledge that if we are guided by love in the Spirit of God we cannot do anything other than good.
We are truly a reflection of God’s will and love, and our hearts the temple of the Holy Spirit, when we follow Jesus and serve Him in His people. Our constant and reverent communication with the Lord molds us, shapes us and equips us to become more like Jesus and to mirror His heart and character, be obedient to God and follow His commands. In Jeremiah 31:33, God is very specific and intentional when he said: “I will place my law within them, and write it upon their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Hence, our guiding force is the Holy Spirit, while Jesus Christ is our model of obedience.
“Jesus learned obedience, Son though He was, through His sufferings,” Hebrew 5:8 tells us. Unlike the worldly leaders who issue orders from high offices and care little about how it affects their subjects, Jesus empathized and sympathized, especially with the broken and suffering. He cared about His flock. In like manner, we should identify with the people whom we have been tasked to minister. We have to see them with the eyes, heart and mind of Jesus. God calls us to go further – to go beyond the letter of the law and put people ahead of legalism, and our relationship with God before any earthly concerns and institutions. We are called to get out of our comfort zones, to die to ourselves and aspire to become fruitful in order to grow and remain faithful to God through Jesus (Jn12:24).
It is indeed a challenge for us in these trying times to pray and be of service to the Lord through our brethren. In this season of Lent, it is worthwhile reflecting on the Lord’s promise: “…Whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life,” (Jn.12:25b). Christians are in this world but we are not of this world. We belong to Christ. He is our one pure and holy passion. We have to be living witnesses of Christ for the transformation of all in Christ.
Lord Jesus, we pray with contrite heart and humble spirit. Receive us and let our lives be an offering of praise to You and our sacrifice pleasing in Your sight, as we follow You unreservedly. For those who trust in You cannot be put to shame. Deal with us in Your loving kindness and mercy, deliver us by Your wonders and bring glory to Your name. Amen.
1. How do you nurture yourself to overcome the challenges that block your response to following Jesus Christ in serving others in your family and community?
2. What is your motivation in obeying God’s commandments? How much do you value your worldly attachments, priorities and comfort zones in your life?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
March 18, 2018 (Sun) – Jer 31:31-34/ Ps 51:3, 4, 12-15/ Heb 5:7-9/ Jn 12:20-33
March 19, 2018 (Mon) – 2Sm 7:4-5, 12-14, 16/Ps 89:2-5, 27, 29/Rom 4:13, 16-18, 22/Mt 1:16, 18- 21, 24
March 20, 2018 (Tue) – Nm 21:4-9/Ps 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21/Jn 8:21-30
March 21, 2018 (Wed) – Dn 3:14-20, 19, 92, 95/Dn 3:52-56/Jn 8:31-42
March 22, 2018 (Thu) – Gn 17:3-9/Ps 105:4-9/Jn 8:51-59
March 23, 2018 (Fri) – Jer 20:10-13/Ps 18:2-7/Jn 10:31-42
March 24, 2018 (Sat) – Ez 37:21-28/Jer 31:10-13/Jn 11:45-56
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”