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Counsel – January 31, 2018

EVANGELIZATION

 

Feb. 7 EC SDSA 1st Wednesday Mass
Feb. 14 EC SDSA Ash Wednesday
Feb. 21 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Feb. 28 CW SDSA CW/Healing Night

Marriage Encounter Weekend No. 292 on Mar. 2-4, 2018 at the Covenant House. For PIS forms, please contact Minn & Bobby Montales 09178702143 or 09988419453.

 

FORMATION

Service Ministry Teaching

CHRISTIAN MATURITY PROGRAM II (Christian Discipline, Christian Speech, Handling Conflict, Fraternal Correction,& Repairing Wrongdoing) on Feb. 10, 2018 Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at BLD Secretariat.

 

SCHEDULE OUTREACH
Feb. 10 (Saturday)

1:00pm-4:00pm

Haven for Women
Feb. 11 (Sunday)

2:00PM–5:00PM

GK Villa Paraiso
Feb. 11 (Sunday)

1:00PM–5:00PM

Tunasan, Muntinlupa
Feb. 18 (Sunday)

1:30PM–4:30PM

GK Euro Maralit
Feb. 18 (Sunday)

2:00PM–5:00PM

Target Range, Parañaque
Feb. 18 (Sunday)

2:00PM–5:00PM

Risen Christ Parish,

Smokey Mountain

Feb. 24 (Saturday)

2:00PM–5:00PM

Naujan, Mindoro – San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish (Pls. get in touch with Eran & Dorlie Carandan)
Feb. 25 (Sunday)

1:30PM–4:30PM

Bagumbayan, Lower Bicutan

Prayer, Healing and Counseling Seminar on Feb. 17-18, 2018 from 8:00am to 5:00pm, by visiting teachers from BLD Newark led by Msgr. Paul Schetelick, Spiritual Adviser, at 4th Floor AFP Mutual Benefit Assoc. Inc. Social Hall, Boni Serrano St. corner EDSA, Cubao, Quezon City. This is not inside Camp Aguinaldo. If coming from South, upon reaching Serrano & EDSA overpass, take service road, first gate  on the right corner of Boni Serrano. Seminar is for free, but please bring your meals (lunch and merienda). Registration of attendees is still open. All

covenanted and committed members and graduates of LSS are also encouraged to attend.

 

MISSION

Mission Outreach: All are invited, including non BLD members, to join Manila District missions:

 

MANAGEMENT

10th Fr. Pascual Adorable Golf Tournament on March 5, 2018 at the Ayala Greenfield Golf and Leisure Club in Calamba City, Laguna. This fundraising activity will support our mission outreaches, encounter retreats, SOH, evangelical teachings and Provident Fund. Get involved! Everyone is encouraged to sell tickets to golf enthusiasts, solicit corporate sponsors, provide leads and referrals for potential sponsors, and most especially PRAY for the success of the  Fr. Ado Cup! Golf Committee Coordinators Val and Fe Liwanag, and Boy and Liezl Sy will be seeking your support to this golf tournament. Likewise, feel free to get in touch with the Secretariat office. 

HOUSE OF WORSHIP FUND
As of December 31, 2017 7,547,073.19
January 3-9, 2018 110,000.00
January 10-16, 2017 46,300.00
January 17-23, 2018 3,000.00
January 24-30, 2018 500.00
As of January 17, 2018 7,706,873.19
TITHES & LOVE OFFERING
Date EC/CW Secretariat TOTAL
Jan. 3 43,070.00   43,070.00
Jan. 10 71,880.00 12,000.00 83,880.00
Jan. 17 50,360.00   50,360.00
Jan. 24 38,930.00   38,930.00
TOTAL 204,240.00 12,000.00 216,240.00
Please make all check donations payable to:

BLD MANILA

         

 

PASTORAL

Singles Ministry: Inviting all Singles Encounter graduates, including the encountered Young Couples to join us for – A Revival Weekend – Deepening Your Encounter, to be facilitated by the Lay-Force Team, Archdiocese of Manila on Feb. 3-4 (Sat 12:30pm to Sun 4:00pm) in the BLD Covenant House. Fee is only P1,000. Interested, please register outside the church right after the worship.

 

Singles Encounter No. 74 will be on Feb. 23-25, 2018 at the BLD Covenant House. For PIS forms, please contact Emmans & Jonnah Nana at 09175541839 & 09176500703 or Len Manalo at 09989675422.

 

Solo Parents Encounter No. 27 will be on March 16-18, 2018 at the BLD Covenant House. For PIS forms, contact Betchit Sison at 09189119242, Glady Segundo at 09178237550 & Luching Landoy at 09177916254.

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WSC Reflection – January 28, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
January 28, 2018 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: Jesus Christ is the Light that leads us to the Truth.
Theme: We are led to the truth when we speak God’s word with authority. 
Promise: “I will raise up for them a prophet…and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.” (Dt 18:18)

Reflection: 
In the gospel of Mark, people are often amazed at Jesus with His powerful preaching – “a new teaching with authority” (Mk 1:27). Jesus connected His teachings closely with His miracles. The miracles point to the strength of both His teachings and His personal declarations. He never directly claimed to be the Son of God, but this aspect of His preaching showed His subtle way of revealing Himself. His words are powerful, striking and effective – the Word of God in person. His words are potent statements that change the lives of people. This is expressed in our community word for this month: Jesus Christ is the Light who leads us to the Truth.

Jesus taught with authority, not only because He is God but because His words are always accompanied by His deeds, and His deeds are always consistent with His words. How far are we from the examples of Jesus? Our words are rendered meaningless because too often they are not matched by action. And sometimes, we act opposite to what we say and preach. But our words can be made powerful only if we live in it and by it, if we truly give witness to the power to serve, love and heal. We become the living and truthful instruments of Jesus in His works. Let us remember we have a God-given responsibility to live in a manner that will allow others to see Christ in us. As the body of Christ, we are His hands and His mouthpiece.

Our theme for the week says: We are led to the truth when we speak God’s word with authority. What inspires us is the fact that, by God’s grace, this authority can be given to anyone. A specific kind of education or status in life is not required for this. But whoever does what he says by that very fact becomes an authority. We too can teach with authority when we accept the teachings of Jesus and carry them out in our lives. When we do so, we are true to our calling as Christians, to be become witnesses of Jesus Christ. Like the disciples, they inherited the power of His words as they learned and were inspired by the Greatest Teacher. As modern-day disciples, we seek and hold on to the truth and so we are teachers in our own way.

Let us gain strength from the love, encouragement and wisdom that Jesus brings into our lives. We can be certain that our existence is meaningful in fulfilling God’s purpose by His word. As written by one writer: “If through one man’s life, there is little more light and truth in the world, then he will not have lived in vain.” We do exactly what Jesus has commanded us to do – to proclaim the true message of the gospel to as many people as possible. We offer others the trustworthy words of the Holy Scripture and the reason of our faith.

We have the power to be bold and to experience the indwelling presence of God through His word. When God’s Spirit is at work through us, we will accomplish the goals He helps us to set. No matter how complicated or impossible the task may seem, God provides exactly what we need. His assurance for doing His work is what the promise for this week declares – “I will raise up for them a prophet… and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.” (Dt 18:18)

Prayer: 
Almighty Father, thank you for imparting to us and in us Your authority behind Your word, allowing us to experience it in our life as we share Your truth with others. By Your Spirit, continue to grant us Your teaching ability for the benefit of Your people. All these for Your greater glory. Amen.

Reflection Questions: 
1. How does the authority of God’s Word empower me in my daily life?

2. As a Christian believer, in what ways can I declare the Word of God with authority?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 28, 2018 (Sun) – Dt 18:15-20/ Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9/ 1Cor 7:32-35/ Mk 1:21-28
January 29, 2018 (Mon) – 2Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13/ Ps 3:2-7/ Mk 5:1-20
January 30, 2018 (Tue) – 2Sm 18:9-10, 14, 35-25, 30; 19:1-3/ Ps 86:1-6/ Mk 5:21-43
January 31, 2018 (Wed) – 2Sm 24:2, 9-17/ Ps 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7/ Mk 6:1-6
February 1, 2018 (Thu) – 1Kg 2:1-4, 10-12/ 1Ch 19:10-12/ Mk 6: 7-13
February 2, 2018 (Fri) – Mal 3:1-4/ Ps 24:7-10/ Heb 2:14-18/ Lk 2:22-40
February 3, 2018 (Sat) – 1Kg 3:4-13/ Ps 119:9-14/ Mk 6:30-34

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

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Reflection for February 2018

Reflection for February 2018

Community Word: Our relationship with the Father gives us hope and fullness of life.
Order: “Listen to him.” (Mk 9:7b)
Reflection:
Our community word for the month tells us: Our relationship with the Father gives us hope and fullness of life. Our relationship with God comes from His amazing love and grace reaching to us. It has always been the Father’s desire to reveal Himself to us since creation. In the beginning, God desired an everlasting, loving relationship with man. God made us according to His image and likeness, until man chose to reject and disobey His command, producing sin which separated mankind from Him. But God restored us to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ, whose voluntary sacrificial death on the cross and resurrection delivered and redeemed us from sin and death, and brought us life through the Holy Spirit.

If we decide to make our relationship with God foremost in our life, everything else will naturally fall into place in the right order, fulfilling the life of abundance that we hope to enjoy. Jesus gives us this encouragement: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well,” (Mt. 6:33). We are being asked to set our priorities right and turn our attention away from worldly attachments, to desire of things above and not of earthly things. Seeking God first in our life – trusting Him, listening to His voice, turning away from sin, and obeying His commandment to love, is a decision we need to make so that we will enjoy fullness of life. We should avoid wasting time and energy on what does not really matter, but instead focus our hearts, minds and spirits in experiencing the fullness of God’s blessings for us.

During the next four weeks, we shall be guided in our meditation on the word of God as we begin to enter the Lenten Season.

Our theme for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We receive fullness of life when we take time to pray and preach the gospel. Jesus, despite being so occupied healing the sick, driving out demons, or teaching those who followed him, never forgot to commune with His Father where he draw His consolation and strength and receive affirmation in doing His Father’s will. Many of us are overwhelmed by the demands of life, work and ministry that we have difficulty finding time to pray. Jesus is setting the example that being grounded in prayer and be recharged in spirit, connects us with the Father even closer. With this spiritual relationship with the Lord, we have His promise this week: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; to his wisdom there is no limit,” (Ps 147:5).

We receive fullness of life when we forgive others out of love and compassion, is the theme for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Choosing to forgive is not like the sticker card at your favorite supermarket where you are rewarded with a bonus point for buying an item. We cannot show forgiveness and compassion in the spirit of reciprocity. We offer it out of love with no expectations in return. Forgiveness and compassion is genuine when given out of love, care and pure sincerity, without any condition. Let us be like Jesus, when He forgives our sins, He blots them out and forgets them when we are truly sincere. He gives us this week’s promise: “Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered,” (Ps. 32:1).

For the 1st Sunday of Lent, the theme is – We receive fullness of life when we repent and firmly believe in the gospel. Lent is a time of atonement and penance, a period when we acknowledge our sinfulness, turning away from a life of sin to a life with Christ and embracing the call to holiness. To fully enter such a call, fervent repentance is necessary. Repentance is not merely to know of Christ, nor is it a matter of picking and choosing, with an intellectual arrogance, some aspects of our Lord’s teaching, while coldly rejecting others. Rather, it is a union of mind, heart and soul to the Person of Christ. To repent is to die to Christ, discarding our former way of life in favor of the Way, Truth and Life that is Christ himself. For in repentance, “…the Lord shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way,” (Ps 25: 8 – 9).

And, finally, for the 2nd Sunday of Lent, the theme is – We receive fullness of life when we listen to God’s voice to transform us. We are invited to follow the Lord at all cost, but we can only do that if we empty ourselves with our pride and self-centeredness, and be filled by His grace. The transfiguration of Jesus reminds us to have a continued conversion of heart, to transform our lives in Him, a change of self towards being Christ-centered. The transfiguration event is the affirmation of God’s glory in Him, just as our transformation is our walk to holiness towards God. God commands us – “Listen to him,” (Mk 9:7b). The more we try to make our life better by pursuing our own desires, the more our desires will take control over us, giving us stress and frustration. But when we pursue a closer relationship with God above all else, the wiser we will become and be able to discern what is truly right and meaningful, freeing us to receive more blessings that God wants to send us. He says in this promise for this week: “I will bless you abundantly…because you obeyed my command,” (Gn 22: 17a, 18b).

Prayer
Heavenly Father, may this Lenten season allow us time to reflect on our spiritual journey, to examine what we have accomplished in our life, in our desire for genuine conversion and transformation as followers of Christ. In our prayers, may we be always reminded by Your command to constantly listen to Your Son, Jesus, through His words and teachings in the gospel. Amen.

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Community Word for March 2018

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

READINGS
March 4 – Ex 20:1-17/ Ps 19:8-11/ 1Cor 1:22-25/ Jn 2:13-25
March 11 – 2Chr 36:14-16, 19-23/ Ps 137:1-6/ Eph 2:4-10/ Jn 3:14-21
March 18 – Jer 31:31-34/ Ps 51:3, 4, 12-15/ Heb 5:7-9/ Jn 12:20-33
March 25 – Is 50:4-7/ Ps 22:8, 9, 17-24/ Phil 2:6-11/ Mk 14:1-15: 47

COMMUNITY WORD
Jesus, our Redeemer, calls us to be the temple of the Holy Spirit.
ORDER
“…love me and keep my commandments.” (Ex 20:6b)
PROPHECIES:
1. I will manifest My presence when you have a humble and pure heart.
2. Follow My commands and be guided by My Spirit that you may receive My full blessing

DIRECTIONS:
1. Read, meditate, and share the word of God during the Lenten season.

THEMES AND PROMISES
Week#1 (3rd Sunday of Lent) 
Theme: As the temple of the Holy Spirit we obey God’s commandment.
Promise: “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul … giving wisdom to the simple.” (Ps 19:8a)

Week#2(4th Sunday of Lent) 
Theme: As the temple of the Holy Spirit we believe in Jesus and live in His truth
Promise: “Whoever believes in him will not be condemned.” (Jn 3:18a)

Week#3(5th Sunday of Lent) 
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)

Week#4(Palm Sunday) 
Theme: As the temple of the Holy Spirit we allow the Lord to sanctify us through suffering.
Promise: “The Lord God is my help therefore I am not disgraced … I shall not be put to shame.” (Is 50:7)

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Bulletin – January 24, 2018

 

EVANGELIZATION

 

Jan. 31 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Feb. 7 EC SDSA 1st Wednesday Mass
Feb. 14 EC SDSA Ash Wednesday
Feb. 21 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Feb. 28 CW SDSA CW/Healing Night

Marriage Encounter Weekend No. 292 on Mar. 2-4, 2018 at the Covenant House. For PIS forms, please contact Minn & Bobby Montales 09178702143 or 09988419453.

 

FORMATION

Service Ministry Teaching

CHRISTIAN MATURITY PROGRAM II (Christian Discipline, Christian Speech, Handling Conflict, Fraternal Correction,& Repairing Wrongdoing) on Feb. 10, 2018 Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at BLD Secretariat.

 

Prayer, Healing and Counseling Seminar on Feb. 17-18, 2018 from 8:00am to 5:00pm, by visiting teachers from BLD Newark led by Msgr. Paul Schetelick, Spiritual Adviser. Venue: TBA

 

PASTORAL

Silent Retreat 2018 is scheduled 8am on Jan. 27 to 4pm Jan. 28 at the Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City by Bro. Mon Callo, SDB, MA, CIS. Contact Jo Tamayo 09189997777 or Sharon Roberto 09989980615.

 

Singles Ministry: Inviting all Singles Encounter graduates, including the encountered Young Couples to join us for – A Revival Weekend – Deepening Your Encounter, to be facilitated by the Lay-Force Team, Archdiocese of Manila on Feb. 3-4 (Sat 12:30pm to Sun 4:00pm) in the BLD Covenant House. Fee is only P1,000. Interested, please register outside the church right after the worship.

 

Singles Encounter No. 74 will be on Feb. 23-25, 2018 at the BLD Covenant House. For PIS forms, please contact Emmans & Jonnah Nana at 09175541839 & 09176500703 or Len Manalo at 09989675422.

 

Solo Parents Encounter No. 27 will be on March 16-18, 2018 at the BLD Covenant House. For PIS forms, contact Betchit Sison at 09189119242, Glady Segundo at 09178237550  & Luching Landoy at 09177916254

MANAGEMENT

10th Fr. Pascual Adorable Golf Tournament on March 5, 2018 at the Ayala Greenfield Golf and Leisure Club in Calamba City, Laguna. This fundraising activity will support our mission outreaches, encounter retreats, SOH, evangelical teachings and Provident Fund. Get involved! Everyone is encouraged to sell tickets to golf enthusiasts, solicit corporate sponsors, provide leads and referrals for potential sponsors, and most especially PRAY for the success of the  Fr. Ado Cup! Golf Committee Coordinators Val and Fe Liwanag, and Boy and Liezl Sy will be seeking your support to this golf tournament. Likewise, feel free to get in touch with the Secretariat office. 

HOUSE OF WORSHIP FUND
As of December 31, 2017 7,547,073.19
January 3-9, 2018 110,000.00
January 10-16, 2017 46,300.00
January 17-23, 2018 3,000.00
As of January 17, 2018 7,706,373.19
TITHES & LOVE OFFERING
Date EC/CW Secretariat TOTAL
Jan. 3 43,070.00   43,070.00
Jan. 10 71,880.00 12,000.00 83,880.00
Jan. 17 50,360.00   50,360.00
TOTAL 165,310.00 12,000.00 177,310.00
Please make all check donations payable to:

BLD MANILA

         

 

MISSION

Mission Outreach: All are invited, including non BLD members, to join Manila District missions:

SCHEDULE OUTREACH
Jan. 27 (Saturday)

2:00PM–5:00PM

Naujan, Mindoro – San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish (Pls. get in touch with Eran & Dorlie Carandan)
Jan. 28 (Sunday)

1:30PM–4:30PM

Bagumbayan, Lower Bicutan

 

 

“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed free.”(Lk 4:18)

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WSC Reflection – January 21, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
January 21, 2018 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II) – International

Community Word: Jesus Christ is the Light that leads us to the Truth.
Theme: We are led to the truth when we respond to God’s call to be followers of Christ. 
Promise: “…the Lord shows sinners the way… and teaches the humble his way.” (Ps 26:8b-9)
Reflection: 
If we are given a task to assemble a team to start a movement to change the world, presumably, we would be looking for extra-ordinary, gifted and accomplished people to form the core group. But in the gospel of Mark for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, the men whom Jesus called to be His inner circle were not the most educated or influential figures that He could have found. By all appearances, they were ordinary people among the lower echelon of society, but in whom Jesus saw extra-ordinary potentials. After He taught and formed them, the Lord ultimately used them to bring to birth something awesome, still alive today and will live for eternity – God’s Kingdom.

The theme for this week states: We are led to the truth when we respond to God’s call to be followers of Christ. The call of Christ’s first disciples is more than a challenge. They gave up their identity, status and worth and got out of their “comfort zones” with a determined purpose, to follow Jesus and be in relation with Him as their master and teacher. As modern day disciples, we are invited to the highest calling as true followers of Christ in faith. First and foremost, we are called to be with the Lord, to spend time and develop spiritual intimacy with Him, be molded by His teachings and be recipients of His gifts as vessels of spiritual power. Then, with the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, we are commissioned “to witness in our lives the beauty and truth of His life and teachings,” (CCC 2470). We ought to become effective instruments for the proclamation of the Good News in today’s world, not just by words, but mostly by our actions.

Not fully aware of the Lord’s plan, we have no idea that He had placed us where we should be. He planted us in our respective families, work places, communities or churches to experience His presence in our life. Often, we do not notice that God is challenging us to use and develop the talents and gifts that He has given us. Sadly though, we limit our calling to a particular job description insisting to be just hardworking parents, effective office workers, or obedient ministry members and being contented on following instructions and fulfilling a given task. We wait for other people to point to us our capabilities because we are hesitant to fully explore the extent of our charisms.

People do not make us preachers or teachers, leaders or shepherds, counselors or healers; only God can if we only heed His call and allow Him to work in us and through us. Take for example St. Paul, a mere tent maker who later on was designated to work on a much bigger tent, God’s Church. Or Peter, an ordinary fisherman who became a “fisher of men” and the first vicar of Christ. The Lord can increase our talents to a level we cannot comprehend to accomplish greater tasks.

Our giftedness is unique and exclusive to each one, but complimenting those of others to support building God’s Kingdom. We may ignore them and limit our effectiveness, abuse them and destroy our credibility. Though we make bad choices and at time offend God, dead ends or detours do not change our calling. The truth is, God never changes His mind when He give gifts or call someone. We just have to accept our failures with humility and Lord will restore us because this is what He promises to those who are faithful – “the Lord shows sinners the way… and teaches the humble his way,” (Ps 26:8b-9).

Prayer: 
Heavenly Father, make us steadfast in following Your ways and truth. Give us the grace to resist temptations and help us to live uprightly. Enable us to exercise our God-given gifts to pursue our calling, to be with You always and do Your will at all times. When we fail and fall, help us make a genuine repentance so that we will remain fit for Your Kingdom. Amen.

Reflection Questions: 
1. What gifts or talents does the Lord want you to develop and use when He called you to serve in your church or community?

2. How much do you value your earthly priorities and attachments? Are you prepared to give them up and focus more on your spiritual well-being?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 21, 2018 (Sun) – Jon 3:1-5, 10/Ps 25:4-9/1Cor 7:29-31/Mk1:14-20
January 22, 2018 (Mon) – 2Sm 5:1-7,10/Ps 89:20-22,25,26/Mk 3:22-30
January 23, 2018 (Tue) – 2Sm 6:12-15,17-19/Ps 24:7-10/Mk 3:31-35
January 24, 2018 (Wed) – 2Sm 7:4-17/Ps 89:4,5,27-30/Mk 4:1-20
January 25, 2018 (Thu) – Acts 22:3-16/Ps 117:1,2/Mk 16:15-18
January 26, 2018 (Fri) – 2Tm 1:1-8/Ps 96:1-3,7,8,10/Mk 4:26-34
January 27, 2018 (Sat) – 2Sm 12:1-7,10-17/Ps 51:12-17/Mk 4:35-41

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

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WSC Reflection – January 14, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
January 14, 2018 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: Jesus Christ is the Light that leads us to the Truth.
Theme: We are led to the truth when we make Christ known to others. 
Promise: “Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.” (1Cor 6:17)

Reflection:
In today’s gospel, Jesus asks his would-be disciples: “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1:38). This is the same question that Jesus continues to ask us. What are we really trying to get out of our lives? Is it security, rewarding career, successful relationship, prosperity, popularity, peace? Scripture says that first and foremost, look for God and seek His kingdom first before you are able to acquire other benefits in your life. It was Andrew’s great joy to bring his brother, Simon, to meet Jesus and his desire to share the excitement of finding the Messiah. Like Andrew, we should be able to bring others to Jesus, the light who leads us to the Truth. “Come, and you will see” (Jn 1:39) is the invitation of our Lord for us to go to Him and experience Him. Accepting Jesus makes us His faithful disciples and we become His witnesses in making Christ known to others.

Jesus called a few men to follow Him and their lives were transformed, sharing the fullness of grace to everyone who believed. Every believer is commissioned to bring people to Christ. The Lord is not asking us to do something impossible or impractical. While it is not easy to be a witness of Christ, our lives have to be patterned after the character of the Lord so that the power of the Holy Spirt, by His gifts and fruit, will enable us to testify boldly to the truth that Jesus is our Lord and Savior. Indeed, there is a great need for good and holy men and women, who are in touch with God, to help and lead people in their search for the true purpose and meaning of life and to look to Jesus who is the way, truth and life. Through Jesus, we will understand who God is. Having a deep relationship with Jesus, brings us to a deeper and holy relationship with God. And having experienced Jesus, we become true disciples and we can joyfully lead others to Him.

In bringing Christ to others, we should not be disappointed if people do not show the response that we expect. Renewal and transformation take time and one should exhibit patience, understanding and perseverance along the way. Our job is to lift Jesus up (Jn 12:32) and that takes place when we present the love and forgiving grace of God. It is the Holy Spirit who convicts sin (Jn 16:8, 9). If we try to impose guilt or coerce a conversion, people might reject our message. On the other hand, when we invite others to come to Jesus, telling them of His wondrous love and sharing with them what Jesus has done in our lives, the gentleness of Christ is seen in us and others will be drawn to Him. Anyone desiring to lead another person to Christ needs to be aware of John 3: 8: “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, and you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. So, it is with everyone that is born of the Spirit.” Accepting Christ and be born again is the work of the Holy Spirit. As we respond to the call to minister to others, let us allow the Holy Spirit to do His work through us.

What are you looking for? The Lord is telling us today to direct our invitation to those who are waiting for us to bring them to Jesus. Surely there is one or many out there who need to be invited to ‘come and see’ Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. And as Paul tells the people of Corinth: “Whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.” (1Cor 6:17). This promise is received by anyone who comes to Christ and believes in Him.

Prayer:
Thank you, Almighty Father for giving us your incarnate Word, Jesus Christ. Grant me the grace to be an obedient disciple in your community and church. Give me a sensitivity of heart to understand and grow in love with your Word. Let the light of your Word shine in my being that I will be able to respond to your every calling and testify to Your saving presence in my life. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Recall when the invitation of Jesus started in your life. Do you still hear His calling? Are you responding as in John 1: 38-39?

2. What is my personal response to Jesus Christ? How do I share the life-giving Word to others?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 14, 2018 (Sun) – 1 Sm 3:3-10/Ps 40:2, 4, 7, 8-10, /1Cor 6:3-15, 17-20/Jn 1:35-42
January 15, 2018 (Mon) – 1 Sm 15:16-23/Ps 50:8, 9, 16-17, 21, 23/Mk 2:18-22
January 16, 2018 (Tue) – 1 Sm 16:1-13/Ps 89:20-22, 27, 28/Mk 2:23-28
January 17, 2018 (Wed) – 1 Sm 17:32-33, 37, 40-51/Ps 144:1, 2, 9, 10/Mk 3:1-6
January 18, 2018 (Thu) – 1 Sm 18:6-9, 19:1-7/Ps 56:2, 3, 9-13/Mk: 3:7-12
January 19, 2018 (Fri) – 1 Sm 24:3-21/Ps 57:2-4, 6, 11/Mk 3:13-19
January 20, 2018 (Sat) – 2 Sm 1:1-4, 11, 12, 23-27/Ps 80:2, 3, 5-7/Mk 3:20-21

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

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WSC Reflection – January 21, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
January 21, 2018 – Feast of Sto. Niño (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: Jesus Christ is the Light that leads us to the Truth.
Theme: We are led to the truth when we accept the kingdom of God with a pure heart.
Promise: “God may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of Him.” (Eph 1:17)

Reflection: 
The Feast of Sto. Niño in the Philippines recalls the Christmas mystery of God offering His love to humanity in the Child Jesus. This is popular to us, Filipinos, for reason of history. The devotion dates back to the beginnings of Christianity in the country as the image came to the Philippines with Magellan in 1521 and is now enshrined in the Cebu Basilica. In the Catechism for Filipino Catholics, Sto. Niño is one of the “three popular Filipino images of Christ that are particularly expressive…imaging the innocence, simplicity, child-like wonder of Christ…responding to the Filipino’s natural love for children. Filipinos have traditionally recognized children as a gift from God. They experience the birth of a baby into the world as a special moment when God’s creative power is so intimately united with their own human parental procreative powers.” Moreover, as we have natural intimacy with children, our yearning for God’s intimacy with us becomes real in the Child Jesus.

In the Gospel, St. Mark describes a custom among the Jews of bringing their children before a rabbi, who is expected to give a blessing to accompany the children all their life. The disciples prevented them from coming close to Jesus for just like in most ancient cultures, children are considered as without value; they are essentially dependent nonproductive, ignorant. They believe that Jesus’ work is “serious” adult business requiring maturity, experience, merit and achievement. Like the Scribes and the Pharisees, the disciples believe that only those who know and observe the Mosaic Law count before God.

But Jesus receives the children, embraces and blesses them. Not only does he accept the Jewish practice but also points to the child as the prototype of a redeemed person. They are models of those who belong to God’s kingdom in their pristine humility, in their trust and complete dependence upon their parents. They have never been touched by the cunning of the world and so they never cease to amaze with their spontaneity and unconditional trust. To them is revealed the way to the kingdom that was hidden to the clever and the wise (1Cor.1:27). St. Mark saw in the child the promise of eternity: “…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” (Mk.10:14b). The Kingdom is a gratuitous gift given to everyone, worthy or unworthy, not because they know and observe the law. For as the Lord promises: “God may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of Him,” (Eph 1:17).

God came to us as a baby because he knows that it is by being reborn that we can love him unconditionally with a pure heart, and be renewed to start all over again. A baby will always be a sign of hope, abundant joy and great rejoicing, to reunite, to heal, to form bonds, to reconcile, “For there is a child born for us…and this is the name they give him: Wonder-counselor, Mighty-God, Eternal-Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isa.9:5). A baby will always be one with whoever takes care of him/her. There is always a symbiotic relationship with the caregiver.

God is more than a caregiver. He is Father and Creator! Our adult life in Christ poses a challenge for us to reinvent the stage in our life that is long been past and forgotten. St. Paul reminds us that God “…chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ…” (Eph.1:3b). It is not enough that we utter words of protestations as a response to God, but like Mary in her fiat, we are to live the Word each and every day of our life. She is a bearer of Christ and therefore is fully aware that the reason of her being is to lead others to her Son, Jesus. In turn we are given this stewardship of God’s grace and truth of His kingdom. We have a fitting theme for this week in this feast to honor the Sto. Nino: We are led to the truth when we accept the kingdom of God with a pure heart.

Let not our devotion to the Sto. Nino be stunted into a ritual or merely into a superstitious endeavor. May we see in the Child Jesus the potentiality of the human race being born again, with our great responsibility towards human life.

Prayer: 
Father, You have freely given us Your Kingdom out of Your over-flowing love for us. As You have revealed Jesus, your Son, our Savior, as a child to reunite, to heal, to form bonds, to reconcile, may He reveal our true selves to us. Jesus, help us to revisit our childhood and get in touch with who we were in our innocent trust and dependence upon the Father. And may the Holy Spirit empower us to lead the children to Jesus so we can truly be stewards of Your grace and proclaim that truly we have seen a great light. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions: 
1. What are the ways in which you can bring children to Jesus in the Sto. Niño devotion that can strengthen the family?

2. How can the devotion to Sto. Niño enrich your life in maintaining a pure and humble heart in your relationship with the Lord through others?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 21, 2018 (Sun) – Is 9:1-6/Ps 98:1-6/Eph 1:3-6, 15-18/Mk 10:13-16
January 22, 2018 (Mon) – 2Sm 5:1-7, 10/Ps 89:20-22, 25, 26/Mk 3:22-30
January 23, 2018 (Tue) – 2Sm 6:12-15, 17-19/Ps 24:7-10/Mk 3:31-35
January 24, 2018 (Wed) – 2Sm 7:4-17/Ps 89:4, 5, 27-30/Mk 4:1-20
January 25, 2018 (Thu) – Acts 22:3-16/Ps 117:1, 2/Mk 16:15-18
January 26, 2018 (Fri) – 2Tm 1:1-8/Ps 96:1-3, 7, 8, 10/Mk 4:26-34
January 27, 2018 (Sat) – 2Sm 12:1-7, 10-17/Ps 51:12-17/Mk 4:35-41

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

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