Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
October 29, 2017 – 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
Community Word: Obedience to God’s will keeps us growing in holiness.
Theme: We grow in holiness when we manifest love of God and neighbor through our actions.
Promise: “If he cries out to me, I will hear him; for I am compassionate.” (Ex 22:26b)
Jesus summarizes all the commandments in just one word – Love. All his teachings and parables have one underlying message, the message on true unconditional love. He refers to the simplicity of a law we all already know – the law of love. Jesus invites us to pay attention to these words – love of God and love of neighbor, and to reflect upon them again without rushing.
The word for this month encourages us: Obedience to God’s will keeps us growing in holiness. If we truly desire to grow in our lives, we must be energized by love. Love hopes and plans for the good of all. Christ’s love is committed, enduring and tough, not weak and wavering, but strong and persistent. It is not a conditional love, but an open-hearted, generous, self-giving love which God offers to us. And it is His full intent that our love becomes as steadfast as His is.
Christian life is all about love. It is easy to speak about the love of God, but in reality, is it truly our top concern? When we say that we must love God above all things, it means trusting, believing and clinging to Him at all times and in all seasons and times of our life. It means to believe, not in ourselves or in our strength, but in the good that God Himself has promised us, the good things He has prepared for all His children. We are called to share the life of God, to come to a union (communion) with the Triune-God.
The first commandment assumes that the person who loves God does so because he has reasons for loving God. The one who says he loves God says so because he has experienced God’s love in his life. He has seen, heard, and felt deeply in his heart God’s loving concern for him and for others. Everything we experience is a sign of His love, even the trials and difficulties that come our way. When we go through difficulty, it may seem at first, like an insurmountable problem, an obstacle in our path. But later, we realize that it had a lesson to teach us, and in fact, helped us to become better persons.
Hearing the word of God is not enough, we need to act upon it, as our theme this week exhorts us: We grow in holiness when we manifest love of God and neighbor through our actions. Our love of God is made known and made visible in our love of neighbor. To love ourselves and others, we need our hearts to be opened and healed by the touch of divine love. Our love of God pushes us into active compassion and concern for the neighbor who needs our help, although at times, our love is restricted by our fear of getting hurt or going out of our comfort zone. We see people in great need and our Christian faith enables us to see the face of Jesus in each person, especially the lost and the least.
If we truly love God, then we can accept and trust the neighbor who failed us, or fell short of our expectations, just as we may expect our neighbor to overlook our own shortcomings. If we honestly love God, then we will be sensitive to the urgent needs of our neighbor and will not hesitate to forgive those who have wronged us. To love our neighbor is to show willingness to serve, to understand and to forebear and forgive.
The love of God and love of neighbor gives us both grace and mission. God’s love pours grace upon us, love of neighbor gives us our mission. Jesus calls us to be part of this community of faith to extend His compassion to others and to be instruments of His peace. And in so doing, we hold on to His promise: “If he cries out to me, I will hear him for I am compassionate.” (Ex 22:26b).
Our loving God and Father, Your love for us is beyond what we can grasp with our minds and hearts. May we do to others what You have done for us. May your unfailing love awaken in us true love for You and lead us to a genuine service of our neighbor. Amen.
1. What steps do I take to grow in my love for God?
2. What have I done to demonstrate my love of neighbor?
3. Who are those I should love but have not loved sincerely and truthfully?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
October 29, 2017 (Sun) – Ex 22:20-26/Ps 18:2-4, 47, 51/1Thes 1:5-10/Mt 22:34-40
October 30, 2017(Mon) – Rom 8:12-17/Ps 68:2, 4, 6, 7, and 20, 21/Lk 13:10-17
October 31 2017(Tues) – Rom 8:18-25/Ps 126:1-6/Lk 13:18-21
November 1, 2017(Wed) – Rev 7:2-4, 9-14/Ps 24:1-6/1Jn 3:1-3/Mt 5:1-12
November 2, 2017 (Thur) – 2Mc 12:43-46/Ps 103/Rom 8:31-35, 37-39/Jn 14:1-6
November 3, 2017 (Fri) – Rom 9:1-5/Ps 147:1-15, 19, 20/Lk 14:1-6
November 4, 2017(Sat) – Rom 11:1, 2, 11, 12, 25-29/Ps 94:12-15, 17, 18/Lk 14:1, 7-11
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”