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WSC Reflection – June 17, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
June 17, 2018 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II):

Community Word: God’s great mercy keeps us in communion with Christ
Theme: We are in communion with Christ when we allow the word of God to grow in our hearts
Promise: “They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be.” (Ps.92: 15)

Our community theme for this week tells us that – We are in communion with Christ when we allow the word of God to grow in our hearts. The parables in the gospel compare the Kingdom of God to a seed planted in the ground that would naturally sprout and grow, and no matter how small that seed is, just like a mustard seed, over time it grows into a huge tree with large branches. But just like any seed, growing will not happen unless such seed is sown and allowed to grow into a full tree. The same is the case with the word of God that needs to be planted in our hearts to take root from there and become fruitful for God’s kingdom.

Spiritual growth does not happen instantaneously for everyone. Some receive what is planted within them, but nurturing and growing takes a while. Some are committed in allowing God’s word to take root in their hearts, while others struggle with many concerns that distract them from focusing their hearts and minds to God’s word. But what really matter is to acknowledge that God is the author and initiator of our spiritual growth, for with God everything is possible. It is by God’s grace that our small faith becomes stronger and we become open to God’s will and plan for our life. We must allow ourselves to bloom where we are planted, letting God’s word to grow and guide our life so that we can give glory to God and share our growth experiences with others.

This week, we take inspiration from God’s word in our scriptural readings. In the 1st reading, the prophet Ezekiel proclaims that God can take a tender lowly shoot, plant it elsewhere and it will grow into a lofty tree. God can make the most out of a humble servant when He choose him for God’s purpose. In Psalms, when the Lord plants us where we should flourish to honor His kindness and faithfulness, He will grant us this promise: “They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be,” (Ps 92: 15). Needless to say, God can sow greatness and positivity from what may seem insignificant in our life. He is able to expand our spiritual horizon to many possibilities and use our hidden capabilities when we allow Him to work in our everyday life that we might love and serve Him more.

The 2nd reading clearly speaks about how God will evaluate the positive growth and fruit of a Christian who seeks to do what He wants. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil,” (2Cor 5: 10). St. Paul, nearing the end of his life, looks towards the day when he would complete his earthly mission and be able to experience the blessings for all his labor in the heavenly home of God.

God is the giver of life and source of all positive growth and spiritual transformation. Like branches, we must continue to be firmly attached to the source of a life-giving vine. Jesus is the Vine and from Him we receive what we need to grow spiritually and produce good fruit. Jesus points out that once a seed is sown in the ground, God allows that seed to grow and eventually produce a rich harvest, many times the original seed. And so with us His children, God allows growth to take place in us as we ground ourselves in His word, letting it to take root in our hearts, and from its fullness, we become sharers of His word to other people.

Let us then reflect on these realizations: 1) God alone gives us the grace to grow in our spiritual life, 2) with God’s word, a small seed of faith can grow and expand to much stronger faith not only for us but also for others in God’s Kingdom, and 3) we should not grow weary in our struggles, for God will always nurture our faith with hope and love and bring us to our full potential as followers of Christ. And just like the small mustard seed, what small thing we do for the least of our brothers and sisters with love, is already a huge step in prospering the Kingdom of God till the end of times.

Blessed are You Lord God, by Your goodness You continue to empower us to grow spiritually so we can share who we are and what we have with others. Pardon us for the times we failed to grow in the ways You expect from us with our sins and imperfections. Thank you for reassuring us of Your love in Your desire for us to grow into that person You want us to be. We lift this prayer through Christ our Lord in unity with the Holy Spirit, One God forever. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Have I allowed the word of God to grow and prosper in my heart? What areas in my life have I allowed spiritual transformation to happen and become more like Christ?

2. How can I reach out to others and help them grow spiritually?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 17, 2018 (Sun) – Ez 17:22-24/Ps 92:2, 3, 13-16/2Cor 5:6-10/Mk 4:26-34
June 18, 2018 (Mon) – 1 Kgs 21:1-16/Ps 5:2-3, 4-6, 6-7/ Mt 5:38-42
June 19, 2018 (Tue) – 1Kgs 21:17-29/Ps 51:3-6, 11, 16/Mt 5:43-48
June 20, 2018 (Wed) – 2Kgs 2:1, 6-14/Ps 31:20, 21, 24/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
June 21, 2018 (Thu) – Sir 48:1-14/Ps 97:1-7/Mt 6:7-15
June 22, 2018 (Fri) – 2Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20/Ps 132:11-14, 17-18/Mt 6:19-23
June 23, 2018 (Sat) – 2Chr 24:17-25/Ps 89:4, 5, 29, 30, 31,-34/Mt 6:24-34

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

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WSC Reflection – June 10, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
June 10, 2018– 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: God’s great mercy keeps us in communion with Christ
Theme: We are in communion with Christ when we draw others to Him.
Promise: “…more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.” (2Cor 4:15b)

Grace is a favor from God to us who are undeserving. Mercy is God’s decision not to pour out wrath when we sin, but rather His forgiveness. Indeed, God is gracious and merciful because we can always count on Him for His grace, mercy and forgiveness. We are created for the glory of God (Is 43:7), and by nature since the entry of original sin, no man has any communion with God, for we are sinners and God is infinitely holy. But God Himself took the initiative to be reconciled with His people by sending His only Son to bear the curse that we deserved from God, be reconciled to Him, and thereby enjoy peaceful and loving communion with Him. Now, we are able to be in communion with our Lord God when we turn from our sins, repent for offending Him, believe in His promises and follow Him.

Our theme for the week expands this further to: We are in communion with Christ when we draw others to Him. It is easy to get self-consumed and self-centered in life. But authentic Christian love is selfless, concerned more with the needs of others than with one’s own, always focused on the Lord, points others to Jesus, and draws the lost back to Him.

This Sunday’s Gospel shows a fast-moving account of a complex episode in Jesus’ ministry – from His family and from the scribes. His family comes to take Him away because they think He is out of His mind and the scribes think that He is possessed by and in collusion with the devil. But Jesus pointed to them the absurdity of their thinking and concluded with a brief saying about forgiveness of sins. He told them, “Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin,” (Mk 2: 28-19).

There are actually four (4) sins against the Holy Spirit: 1. Despair concerning the possibility of salvation; 2. Presumption of God’s mercy and forgiveness; 3. Denial of the truths of faith; and 4. Final impenitence and refusal to turn to God. Our omnipotent God knows everything. God knows all our sins and often does it with a little nudge to our conscience. He also wants us to verbalize our iniquities so that we will be aware and are sure that we know what these sins are. It is always God Himself who makes the invitation to confess our sins to Him, thru His priests. However, when free human choices cause things to go awry or wrong, God does not turn away from us or from the situation, but He comes and continues to search for and calls us back.

Putting evil in its place and naming sin for what it is, Jesus reminds us that sin and evil must be confronted. The relationship we were meant to enjoy with God will be restored when we learn to do as Jesus did, to do the will of God in all that we are and in all that we do. Therefore, we should spend much time in prayer, reading and studying the word of God in the bible, regularly go to Mass and do God-given opportunities to share with those whose hearts have been prepared by the Lord to hear His message of salvation. Moreover, the solidarity with God in Jesus Christ, which has been extended to each of us, enables us to find courage in the struggle and in our faith journey. In Christ, we have been assured that goodness will never be overcome by evil.

St. Paul points out, God’s grace is bestowed in abundance in order that we may not lose heart as we struggle, as the Promise for this week says: “…more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God,” (2Cor 4:15b). By faith, we are assured of God’s continuing help and with graces bestowed by Him in abundance, we become capable of facing the demands of life with calmness of mind and heart and of enjoying abundant life with gratitude. And as we witness to Christ and draw others to Him, we are enabled to let our light shine in such a way that others will recognize the power of God in us and glorify our Heavenly Father.

O eternal loving and merciful Jesus, let your Light look upon our weaknesses, fall upon our wrongful and sinful ways and disturb us to resolve to sin no more. Please equip and empower us to overcome temptations and to turn away from all of these. Infill us with your Holy Spirit and plant the word of God into our minds and hearts and by the fear of and love for the Lord, we may depart from evil, confess our sins and be one with you always and forever. We pray that our lives will be in accord to your divine way and holy will. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How can we be effective witnesses to Christ in the present world that we live in?

2. Share some ways of increasing your life’s witnessing for Christ and thereby drawing your family or community members closer to our Lord God.

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 10, 2018 (Sun) – Gn 3:9-15/Ps 130:1-8/2Cor 4:13-5:1/Mk 3:20-35
June 11, 2018 (Mon) – Acts 11:21-26, 13:1-3/Ps 98:1-6/Mt 5:1-12
June 12, 2018 (Tue) – 1Kgs 17:7-16/Ps 4:2-5, 7, 8/Mt 5:13-16
June 13, 2018 (Wed) – 1Kgs 18:20-39/Ps 16:1-5, 8, 11/Mt 5:17-19
June 14, 2018 (Thu) – 1Kgs 18:41-46/Ps 65:10-13/Mt 5:20-26
June 15, 2018 (Fri) – 1Kgs 19:9, 11-16/Ps 27:7-9, 13, 14/Mt 5:27-32
June 16, 2018 (Sat) – 1Kgs 19:19-21/Ps 1, 2, 5, 7-10/Mk 5:33-37

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

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WSC Reflection – June 3, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
June 3, 2018 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Cycle B, Year I)

Community Word: God’s great mercy keeps us in communion with Christ
Theme: We are in communion with Christ when we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice.
Promise: “…those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance” (Heb 9:15b).

The Feast of Corpus Christi is a time when Catholics show their love for Christ in His Real Presence. We honor Him by sharing the gospel and bringing our Lord closer to our neighbors as we show our love for them.

The Eucharist in the mass is very special because it is the celebration of Jesus Himself. At every mass, Jesus joins us and offers Himself to us. It is not only a fellowship, but it is the eternal sacrifice of Jesus that He offers to our heavenly Father in atonement for our sins. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist assures us that God walks with us in all circumstances of our life. Thus our community word for the month expresses that: God’s mercy keeps us in communion with Christ. The Eucharist is heaven on earth and as Catholics we should take advantage of this great gift.

When the mass celebrant or priest elevates the bread and wine while repeating the words of the Lord – “This is my body…this is my blood,” Jesus becomes truly present in this sacrament of love. Ordinary bread and wine are transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ Himself. Thus, it is essential that we prepare our hearts before receiving Jesus with great joy and reverence. Jesus is truly, substantially and really present in the most unlikely elements and appearance of bread and wine. The continued presence of Jesus in the transubstantiation of bread and wine into His Most Holy Body and Blood is the greatest gift of God to man and the treasure of the Church.

The theme for this week is – We are in communion with Christ when we offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. The Eucharist is not reserved for the perfect but it is given to help us all for our life’s journey. Pope Francis reminds us: “The Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” This is all of us. Thus, when we partake of the body of Jesus thru Holy Communion, we share this gift through our compassion and generosity with those in need. Pope Francis also says: “How many Christians, as responsible citizens, have broken their own lives to defend the dignity of all, especially the poorest, the marginalized and those discriminated! Where do they find the strength to do this? It is in the Eucharist: in the power of the Risen Lord’s love, who today breaks bread for us and repeats: ‘Do this in remembrance of me.’” Jesus was broken, and today He is broken for us. He asks us to give ourselves and to break ourselves for others.

When we reverently receive Jesus through Holy Communion, we remember that we are the body of Christ, the Church. St. Paul reminds us – “Now Christ’s body is yourselves, and each of you with a part to play in the whole,” (1Cor 12.27). Today’s Feast reminds us that we are the living Church whose head is Jesus Himself. Through our communion with Jesus and with each other, we are called to be “living stones making a spiritual house.”

St. Augustine said “you become what you receive.” If we celebrate the Eucharist with each other and receive Jesus in the form of bread, then we become the body of Christ and are called to be a missionary church. At the end of every Eucharistic celebration we are sent out with this great prayer of mission – Go now to love and serve the Lord! Those who honor and partake Jesus in the Eucharist as frequently as possible awaits the fulfillment of a beautiful promise: “…those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance,” (Heb 9:15b).

Today, on this awesome Feast of Corpus Christi, may each of us be fed, nourished and healed by the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Lord, may Your Will prevail that every community of disciples eat the body and drink the blood of Your incarnate Word. We pray that we may live the experience of the Last Supper – that just as Jesus offered Himself as the living sacrifice for men, we too may become a community where members give of themselves in the service of one another. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. Do I value receiving Holy Communion as often as possible? Share your personal experience on how your life has been nourished and ministered to by Holy Communion.

2. In what way can I demonstrate the Eucharist as a source of unity and love in my family and in my community?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 3, 2018 (Sun) – Ex 24:3-8/Ps 116:12, 13, 15-18/Heb 9:11-15/Mk 14:12-16, 22-24
June 4, 2018 (Mon) – 2Pt 1:2-7/Ps 91:1, 2, 14-16/Mk 12:1-12
June 5, 2018 (Tue) – 2Pt 3:12-15, 17, 18/Ps 90:2-4, 10, 14, 16/Mk 12:13-17
June 6, 2018 (Wed) – 2Tm 1:1-3, 6-12/Ps 123:1-2/Mk 12:18-27
June 7, 2018 (Thu) – 2Tm 2:8-15/Ps 25:4, 5, 8, 10, 14/Mk 12:28-34
June 8, 2018 (Fri) – Hos 11:1, 3, 4, 8, 9/Is 12:2-6/Eph 8-12/Jn 19:31-37
June 9, 2018 (Sat) – Is 61:9-11/Ps 71:8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22/Lk 2:41-51

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

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WSC Reflection – May 27, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
May 27, 2018 – Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations.
Theme: We make disciples of all nations when we bear witness to the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Promise: “… I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20b)

As a community of believers, we profess our faith in the Holy Trinity as a communion of three Divine Persons who are ‘one with the other,’ ‘one for the other’ and ‘one in the other,’ the mystery of perfect love of the living God. These three timeless, united and equal Persons have positions of authority based on their loving relationship with each other. The Father is the begetter, the Son the begotten one, and the Holy Spirit the one emanating from both. The distinctiveness of the three Divine Persons does not dissolve God’s oneness, for they are one nature or substance. In them, there is no contradiction of will, only perfect unity.

In the gospel of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Jesus commands His apostles: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt 28:19). This ‘great commission’ is a huge challenge to His apostles and now to us, His modern-day disciples, as we ought to proclaim the mystery of the Holy Trinity (the Triune God), considered the ‘central mystery of our Christian faith and life.’ There will always be tough questions and apparent persecutions which may come our way to challenge our shared belief in the Truth, and more often, we may experience lack of words to defend it.

Our community theme for the week is – We make disciples of all nations when we bear witness to the glory of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The best way to evangelize and touch the lives of others is not by words alone, but by living a life rooted in the unity, authority, and intimacy of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. Scripture expresses a wonderful comparison between the nature of God and the community we belong. The Three Divine Persons continually collaborate, sharing as one in all their activities – always acting in unity and harmony. They are completely equal with each other, but each one is totally free and possess royal dignity and authority. If members of the Trinity have for all eternity live in self-giving love for each other, Christians in community should be united by mutual love, working together in harmonious consensus and respect for each other’s authority and dignity. The diversity among us should not be a deterrent, but instead it should allow each one to use individual God-given gifts and talents to achieve a common purpose and motivate others to grow spiritually.

Though the persons of Blessed Trinity have different roles in the work of creation and redemption, these does not negate equality of value and nature of each other. They are in perfect community – oneness and intimacy, just as we are expected to exist, not one without others, not above or against others, but one with others and in others. True intimacy is both the mutual expression of love and the willingness to be vulnerable. It is acknowledging weaknesses and allowing others to speak into our lives, whether words of correction or encouragement.

The Blessed Trinity is the source of our beginnings. More so, union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in eternal life must be our end goal. In bearing witness to the splendor of the Holy Trinity, we endeavor to work hard for unity, submission to proper authority, development of loving relationship with one another in our ‘imperfect’ community. This challenge is indeed tough. But we are assured that we are not alone in our life’s transformation journey because we believe in God’s promise – “… I am with you always, until the end of the age,” (Mt 28:20b).
Almighty and everlasting God, we, Your servants, are grateful to You for giving us the grace to acknowledge and witness to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity with unwavering faith. We thank You for allowing us to worship and bless You, our one true God in three Divine Persons. Keep us steadfast in our faith that we may relentlessly defend our belief against all adversaries. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How can we relate to the unity of the Blessed Trinity in our day-to-day life?
2. What are your struggles in promoting unity and loving relationship in your family and community? How do you plan to overcome them?
3. Have you taken a small step in “making disciples of all nations” by your little action of love and witnessing to others around you?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
May 27, 2018 (Sun) – Dt 4:32-34, 39-40/Ps 33:4-6, 9, 18-20, 22/Rm 8:14-17/Mt 28:16-203
May 28, 2018 (Mon) – 1Pt 1:3-9/Ps 111:1, 2, 5, 6, 9, 10/Mk 10:17-27
May 29, 2018 (Tue) – 1Pt 1:10-16/Ps 98:1-4/Mk 10:28-31
May 30, 2018 (Wed) – 1Pt 1:18-25/Ps 147:12-15, 19, 20/Mk 10:32-45
May 31, 2018 (Thu) – Zep 3:14-18/Is 12:2-6/Lk 1:39-56
June 1, 2018 (Fri) – 1Pt 4:7-13/Ps 96:10-13/Mk 11:11-26
June 2, 2018 (Sat) – Jude 17.20-25/Ps 63:2-6/Mk 11:27-33

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

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WSC Reflection – May 20, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
May 20, 2018–Pentecost Sunday(Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word:God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations.
Theme: We make disciples of all nations when we use our spiritual gifts to unite the Body of Christ.
Promise:“Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them.” (Jn 20:22a)

Today, Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the birth of the Church. Happy birthday to all believers in the Christian faith! On the Feast of Pentecost, we experience and celebrate the immense outpouring of gifts of the Holy Spirit upon the Church, upon all followers of the Risen Lord. Pentecost is the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise that He would not leave us orphans and that He would return to His Father so He can send the Holy Spirit – the Paraclete, the Comforter and Advocate, to bestow His many empowering gifts upon us.

The Holy Spirit is God of love and has the power to create love in our hearts. In Christ Jesus and with faith working through love, our task is to bring all people to God and to work in building His kingdom, as we acknowledge the Lordship of God, our Creator. As disciples of the Lord, we direct our lives to be one with Him, responding to the mission He gave us: “As the Father has sent me, so am I sending you.”

We make disciples of all nations when we use our spiritual gifts to unite the Body of Christ – is the theme for this week. “There is diversity of gifts, diversity of ministries, diversity of works, but the same God works in all. The Spirit reveals His presence in each one with a gift that is also a service,” (1Cor: 7-11). The gifts of the Holy Spirit must be put to good use, otherwise what good are these gifts if they remain dormant? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “Charisms are to be accepted with gratitude by the person who receives them and by all members of the Church as well…for the apostolic vitality and for the holiness of the entire Body of Christ…” (CCC 800). Gifts are received in fullness in our Baptism and confirmed in the sacrament of Confirmation. But they only come to life and stirred up into action when we are baptized in the Spirit, such as what transpires in the LSS.

In today’s feast, we need to ponder deeply on the particular roles that God has given us and the particular contribution(s) we can make to the mission of the church, particularly, through our community. Be it as servants, stewards, teachers, sharers, worship leaders or members of an apostolate or ministry, we all work together in different ways towards one noble spiritual goal. As community members, let us embrace and put to action our BLD vision – “A community of disciples inspired by the Holy Spirit to be living witnesses for transformation in Christ to bring about a world of justice, human development and true peace.” The Holy Spirit is mighty, powerful, convincing and life-changing. He challenges and calls us to change and action. As Pope Francis said, “Go out again and again, without hesitation, without fear and proclaim this joy which is for all people.”

Pentecost happened on that momentous day in the “upper room.” There was the sound of a mighty wind from heaven filling the whole house (indicating the Spirit of God). There appeared tongues of fire which rested on the head of each one present (symbolizing the presence of God) and He breathes on them (giving them Life). When we receive the Holy Spirit, a new life is given to us, making us new creations and giving us a new life in the Spirit. Likewise, just as authority was given to the Apostles, the ultimate mission of the Church (where we are part of) is to bring people back to God. This is specifically expressed in the Promise this week: “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven,” (Jn 20:22a). As present-day disciples, anointed and empowered with the Holy Spirit, we pray for and help reconcile those who have become separated from God and lead them to restore or renew their unity with Him. Through and with the Holy Spirit, we are given new hope, new heart and new purpose.

Let us remember that to actualize and experience our spiritual gifts, it is essential to function as one body of Christ. We are united as one body when we serve each other with love, respect and humility.

O Holy Spirit, You are the God of life, truth, love, joy and service. Instill in us the fullness of your Spirit. Anoint and empower us that we may fully utilize the gifts you bestowed on us to help us improve our personal relationship with You, and thereby, enabling us to reach out to others and be of service to them, all for the glory of your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What spiritual gifts have you received from the Holy Spirit that you can utilize and can benefit your family, your community and others?
2. What are some possible areas of service that you can undertake to reach out and serve more? What steps can you take to bring more cooperation and unity in your family and your community?
3. Share on what ways the Holy Spirit has helped you lived a righteous life.

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
May 20, 2018 (Sun)- Acts 2:1-11/Ps 104:1,24,31,34,29-30/1Cor 12:3-7,12,13/Jn 20:19-23
May 21, 2018 (Mon) -Gn 3:9-15, 20/Ps 87:1-3, 5-7/Jn 19:25-34
May 22, 2018 (Tue) – Jas 4:1-10/Ps 55:7-11, 23/Mk 9:30-37
May 23, 2018 (Wed) – Jas 4:13-17/Ps 49:2, 3, 6-11/Mk 9:38-40
May 24, 2018 (Thu) -Jas 5:1-6/Ps 49:14-20/Mk 9:1-50
May 25, 2018 (Fri) – Jas 5:9-12/Ps 103:1-4, 8, 9.11, 12/Mk 10:1-12
May 26, 2018 (Sat) – Jas 5:13-20Ps 141:1-3, 8/Mk 10:13-16

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

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Bulletin – May 16, 2018



May 23 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
May 30 CW SDSA Healing Night /

LSS No. 54 Salubungan

Jun 6 EC SDSA EC / 1st Shepherding
Jun 13 CW SDSA CW / 2nd Shepherding
Jun 20 EC SDSA EC / 3rd Shepherding
Jun 27 CW SDSA CW / 4th Shepherding
July 4 EC SDSA Invocation Mass/

Shepherds Vigil

July 7-8 (Sat-Sun) Life in the Spirit Seminar No. 54 (Adult)

St. Scholastica’s Kuniberta Hall, Malate



Wish List: 2 LAPTOP units for Corporate Worship and Formation Teachings.


25 & 30 Years Faithful Service: In celebration of the 33rd Foundation Anniversary, BLD Manila will recognize Covenant Disciples who have reached 25 and 30 years as Faithful Service.

Ministry Heads and Homestead Shepherds are requested to nominate members based on the following criteria:

  1. Must be an active Covenant Disciple – participates actively in the CW/EC and WSCs;
  2. Must have rendered actual faithful service in the Community – must have uninterrupted service in BLD for 25 and 30 years reckoned from the year of their LSS; and,
  3. Must have actively participated in Community activities.

Please send the list of nominees at the BLD Secretariat on or before May 25, 2018.


As of April 30, 2018 8,094,156.12
May 8, 2018 5,000.00
May 9, 2018 10,000.00
As of May 16, 2018 8,109,156.12
May 2 48,590.00 4,660.00 53,250.00
May 9 31,100.00 65,430.00 96,530.00
TOTAL 79,690.00 70,090.00 149,780.00
Please make all check donations payable to:



Tithes & Love Offering: We exhort every BLD member to bring their tithes at the altar during the monthly Eucharistic Celebration and love offering during Corporate Worship. May God bless you more abundantly and continue to prosper the work of your hands. Thank you ver much.



We praise and thank the Lord for the successful and spirit-filled Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar No. 37 held last weekend, May 12-13, 2018 at Layforce, San Carlos Seminary, EDSA, Guadalupe, Makati City with 40 youth candidates. To God be the glory!  




LakbayBiblia:Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Feb 27-March 8, 2017

Organized by Bro. Karlo Lara

Diocesan lay bible coordinator of Kalookan

Fr. Syl R. Mutia, Chaplain 


Cost: 110,000.00 pesos per person/$2,359.00

Includes air fare, hotel,airline taxes, meals, tips, entrance fees (museums, parks, sites), professional English speaking guide, private transfer air conditioned coach with wifi, etc.


For inquiries contact frsyl: 09189450105 / 9984983Email:sylsvd80@yahoo.com 











Healing Ministry: BLD Members who need counseling and who want to be prayed over (hospital or home), may get in touch with Bobby and Nene Hernandez at 0933 279 0342 or 0916 639 9023 or BLD Manila Secretariat at 478 9782.



Intercessory Ministry Teaching:

Introduction to Spiritual Warfare on May 17, 2018 (Thursday) 7:30PM to 9:30PM at BLD Secretariat.




LakbayBiblia:Pilgrimage to the Holy Land

Feb 27-March 8, 2017

Organized by Bro. Karlo Lara

Diocesan lay bible coordinator of Kalookan

Fr. Syl R. Mutia, Chaplain 


Cost: 110,000.00 pesos per person/$2,359.00

Includes air fare, hotel,airline taxes, meals, tips, entrance fees (museums, parks, sites), professional English speaking guide, private transfer air conditioned coach with wifi, etc.


For inquiries contact frsyl: 09189450105 / 9984983Email:sylsvd80@yahoo.com 











Discipling Ministry Teaching:

Module 2 – Foundation of Christian Discipleship on May 26, 2018 Saturday from 8:00AM to 5:00PM at BLD Secretariat.



BLD Parañaque Prayer Group – next schedule of Praise and Worship will be on May 25, 2018, Friday, 7:00PM at at the 2nd floor, St. Michael Hall, San Isidro Labrador Parish, right beside SM Southmall, Alabang-Zapote Road, Las Pinas City.


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


May 19 (Saturday)


Haven for Women
May 20 (Sunday)


Villa Paraiso
May 20 (Sunday)


Euro Maralit
May 20 (Sunday)


Risen Christ Parish, Smokey Mountain
May 26 (Saturday)


Naujan, Mindoro – San Nicolas de Tolention Parish (Contact Eran &  Dorlie Carandan)
May 27 (Sunday)


Target Range, Parañaque
May 27 (Sunday)


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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Community Word for July 2018


July 1 – Wis 1:13-15;2:23-24/Ps 30:2,4,5,6,11,12,13/2Cor 8:7,9,13-15/Mk 5:21-43
July 8 – Ez 2:2-5/Ps 123:1-4/2Cor 12:7-10/Mk 6:1-6
July 15 – Am 7:12-15/Ps 85:9-14/Eph 1:3-14/Mk 6:7-13
July 22 – Jer 23:1-6/Ps 23:1-6/Eph 2:13-18/Mk 6:30-34
July 29 – 2Kgs 4:42-44/Ps 145:10, 11, 15-18/Eph 4:1-6/Jn 6:1-15

Faith anchored on Jesus Christ is unshakeable.

“Do not be afraid; just have faith.” (Mk 5:36b)

1.Trust in Me completely and I will take care of you.

1.Do not allow your circumstances to sway your faith; all of God’s promises are true.
2.Be a living witness to your faith and lead by example.

Week#1 (13th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Unshakeable faith brings life through the spoken word of Jesus.
Promise: “…your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mk 5:34)

Week#2 (14th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Unshakable faith gives us wisdom to do mighty deeds.
Promise: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor 12:9a)

Week#3 (15th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Unshakeable faith drives us to go to mission fully dependent on God’s provision.
Promise: “The Lord himself will give his benefits, our land shall yield its increase.” (Ps 85:13)

Week#4 (16th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Unshakeable faith enables us to lead others to a deeper understanding of Christ’s teachings.
Promise: “I will appoint shepherds for them … so that they need no longer fear… (Jer 23:4)

Week#5 (17th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Unshakeable faith allows us to share our love and compassion with others.
Promise: “They shall eat and there shall be some left over.” (2Kgs 4:43b)

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WSC Reflection – May 13, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
May 13, 2018 – Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations.
Theme: We make disciples of all nations when we open ourselves to God’s call in spreading the
Good News.
Promise: “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” (Acts 1:8a)

As the Resurrection is the turning point of salvation history, so is the Ascension the apex that marked the beginning of the Kingdom of God. Jesus was taken up to heaven, and returned to the Father in glory, having fulfillment of His mission on earth. Heaven is also the eternal home to which the Father has destined us, because it is His plan that all of us will be with Him forever.

The Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord implies that our hope does not consist merely of living in this world, but rather of living in Heaven. God truly wants to share His happiness with all men, and Christ is the bridge to heaven. For where Christ has gone, we hope to follow once our earthly journey is over. This is the joyful hope we share as the safe and sure anchor for our lives. Beyond the boundaries of death and decay, Christ has brought our human nature with Him, and there He now prepares our true home and waits to welcome us, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”

With His earthly mission over, Jesus instructs His disciples, as well as those who believe in Him, to continue the work He began and to proclaim the salvation He has won “that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name,” (Lk 24:47). Like His first disciples, we are called to follow Christ and proclaim His message to all. But if we are to do so, we must repent of, and renounce our past mistakes and tendency to sin, and put our own lives in good spiritual order. We are to accept forgiveness, just as we are called to forgive others. As His witnesses, we are tasked to preach repentance that forgiveness may be given, the same way Christ taught us through His own example. We are also to testify to the forgiveness and healing we have received, that others may come to believe that God is a merciful Father, who will wash us clean no matter how scarlet our sins may have become. The words of our Lord are words of forgiveness, even while hanging on the cross. The point of His death is to reconcile us with His Father through the forgiveness of our sins, past, present and future.

Jesus’ final words to His apostles are brief and to the point. “I am with you always. Go, teach all nations.” And before sending them on their way, He arms them with the power to carry out their mission. “You will be clothed with power from on high,” (Lk 49:49b), when “the Holy Spirit comes upon you” (Ac 1:8). Christ’s ascension reveals the work we must do in order to be His followers. While He is no longer physically present, His words and instructions remain with us through the Church in whose mission we participate by bringing more people to accept and share the love of God. God gives us the mission to preach the gospel using the gifts and talents He has given us, the time He has allotted for us, and ultimately, the very life He has given us. He gives us the opportunity to help save others for whom He paid so dearly.

As we journey in faith, we hope for the day when we will join Christ in the glory of God, just like the disciples who were gazing intently at the sky when Jesus ascended to heaven. But we have now received the promised gifts of the Holy Spirit: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” (Acts 1:18). Thus, we are to follow Christ and accomplish the work He entrusted to us to be His witnesses, and to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in His name. Christian witnessing is an occasion for purification and rebirth. It is a wonderful opportunity to continue to discover the newness of God’s presence in our lives, that we may indeed be transformed into new creations, a people with new hearts and spirit. 
Lord Jesus, You have allowed me to experience the joy of Your great love and the gift of Your Holy Spirit that gives me strength and hope, and newness of life. Help me to be sensitive to Your divine assignment, to respond with eager anticipation to the task You have set before me to share Your gospel to all men. May I be a living witness of Your transforming love. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. How have I responded to the call of the Lord in spreading His Good News?
2. Have I put to good use my natural gifts and gifts of the Holy Spirit in my daily life? How?
3. Do you share the joy of the Gospel and the hope of new life?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
May 13, 2018 (Sun) – Acts 1:1-11/Ps 47:2, 3, 6-9/Eph 4:1-13/Mk 16:15-20
May 14, 2018 (Mon) – Acts 1:15-17,20-26/Ps 113:1-8/Jn 15:9-17
May 15, 2018 (Tue) – Acts 20:17-27/Ps 68:10,11,20,21/Jn 17:1-11
May 16, 2018 (Wed) – Acts 20:28-38/Ps 68:29-30,33-36/Jn 17:11-19
May 17, 2018 (Thu) – Acts 22:30;23:6-11/Ps 16:1,2,5,7-11/Jn 17:20-24 
May 18, 2018 (Fri) – Acts 25:13-21/Ps 103:1,2,11,12,19,20/Jn 21:15-19
May 19, 2018 (Sat) – Acts 28:16-20,30,31/Ps 11:4,5,7/Jn 21:20-25

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

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WSC Reflection – May 6, 2018

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
May 6, 2018 – 6th Sunday of Easter (Cycle B, Year II)

Community Word: God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations.
Theme: We make disciples of all nations when we bear much fruit that will remain
Promise: “…whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (Jn 15:16b)

Do you want your prayers answered? The reply would of course be, yes! But many of us wonder why at times our prayers don’t seem to reach God’s ears. Then we fall into unbelief, we grumble, become angry, or rebel against God, and proceed to do things our own way, laying the blame for our disappointment on other people or circumstances. We behave contrary to the heart and character of Jesus Christ, as we ran short of love.

The scriptural readings for the 6th Sunday of Easter speaks mainly of love – God’s love. Not that we have loved God, but that God is love, and has loved us first. Every act and spoken word of God expresses His love for us, His children. In the First Reading, Peter tells us that God shows no partiality, “The man of any nation who fears God and acts uprightly is acceptable to Him,” (Acts 10). God does not judge by creed, color or race. All are equal in the sight of God, for He looks at the thoughts and motivations of our hearts.

Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments given to Moses into two: “Love God above all and your neighbor as you love yourself.” This, He says, is the whole of the law and the prophets. It is a command to act in the righteousness of God, as exemplified by Jesus Himself. It mandates the kind of love that goes beyond the self and self-interest, a love that transcends the boundaries of our comfort zones, a generous, selfless love that honors God. Remember that God the Father surrendered His only Begotten Son, Jesus, to ransom us from our sins and restore us as sons and co-heirs of the Kingdom. The Second Reading exhorts us, “Beloved, let us love one another because love is of God. Everyone who loves is begotten of God and has knowledge of God,” (1 Jn 4: 7).

The Gospel Reading summarizes the order of priority in loving: first, the Father loves the Son, and the Son the Father. Then, the Son loves the believer, and finally, the believer is commanded to love others, believers and non-believers alike. Jesus Himself provides the best example of love goes beyond all limitations. He laid down His life to buy our freedom and earn for himself the rather unworthy privilege of being able to call the likes of us human beings, as ‘friends’ – no longer slaves or servants – but ‘friends’ that He may generously invite us to come follow Him and receive the reward of eternal life.

Therefore, any act of love we do is a testimony of our faith in God. As we walk in His righteousness, we become living proofs of His love, a love that is intended for our own good. For as we follow His way of loving, we reap a harvest of God’s blessings. The Gospel itself speaks of this promise, that as we endure in loving each other, “…whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you,” (Jn 15:16b). God wants us to be happy. He wants us to have His joy. As we follow Jesus’ command to love one another, our joy will be complete. What more can we ask for? Once we experience that joy in our hearts, all our wish lists will become unnecessary. God’s love will completely fill the vacuum in our lives.

Lord Jesus, You have shown me Your kind of love. And I am one of those many recipients of Your love, because You have called me back to Your fold despite my sinfulness. Lord, I ask for the grace to be able to love more fully, more unconditionally, and find joy in serving beyond my comfort zone, loving each person you send my way, and even those I do not know, for that is what You would do Lord, for everyone is equal in Your eyes. Help me to trust You more as I learn to love more fully, knowing that You provide all my needs. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What is my present need and what stops me from experiencing joy in my life? Have I loved enough, or is there someone in my life I find difficult to love?
2. In my own circumstances, in what ways can I imitate the kind of love of Jesus which requires me to die to self?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
May 6, 2018 (Sun) – Acts 10:25-26,34-35,44-48/Ps 98:1,5-3,3-4/1Jn 4:7-10/Jn 15:9-17
May 7, 2018 (Mon) – Acts 16:11-18/Ps 149:1,2,3-4,5-6,9/Jn 18:26-16:4
May 8, 2018 (Tue) – Acts 16:22-34/Ps 138:1-3, 7-8/Jn 16:5-11
May 9, 2018 (Wed) – Acts 17:15, 22-18:1/Ps 148:1, 2, 11-14/Jn 16:12-15 
May 10, 2018 (Thu) – Acts 18:1-8/Ps 98:1-4/Jn 16:16-20 
May 11, 2018 (Fri) – Acts 18:9-18/Ps 47:2-7/Jn16:20-23 
May 12, 2018 (Sat) – Acts 18:23-28/Ps 47:2, 3, 8-10/Jn 16:23-28

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

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Reflections for May 2018

Reflection for May 2018

Community Word: God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations.
Order: “Remain in my love.” (Jn 15:9b)
The Community Word for the month is – God’s love empowers us to make disciples of all nations. He has commissioned all of us to proclaim the Good News of His love to all people. The very nature of God is love. He is love and this is the reason why He wants all of us to know about His love and be affected by His love and be part of His kingdom. We are loved by God as manifested by giving us His only Son to save us – through the ministry, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. In our gratefulness, we respond to His commandment and share the Good News of Salvation to His people, by our loving service and witnessing to Christ. We are called and empowered to love one another as He has loved us. And His order for us is “Remain in my love,” (Jn 15:9b).

The theme for the 6th Sun. of Easter is – We make disciples of all nations when we bear much fruit that will remain. The only way to bear fruit in the Kingdom of God is to live our lives in Jesus and in imitation of Jesus. We are called and chosen by God to continue the work and ministry of Jesus. Once we experience God’s love in our life, we should be able to testify to this love and bear fruit, to announce it by our caring service to others and glorify and honor God in each thought and action of our daily life. Christian life is life in Jesus, life in relationship with Him under the guidance of the His Spirit with the Father. We are promised – “whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you,” (Jn 15:16b).

The Theme for the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is – We make disciples of all nations when we open ourselves to God’s call in spreading the Good News. If we truly love God, we will listen to Him and open our hearts to answer His call to share the Good News. It is indeed a great task but we do not have to go far in this undertaking. We can start right where God has placed us, and Jesus will always be with us in His Spirit as we carry out our divine mission. We may feel underserving of this task but with His Spirit, we live not only with hope but also with strength as He tasks us to accomplish a mission. Christ is working through us and therefore, we should not fear to undertake great things for His Kingdom. Jesus assures us – “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,” (Acts 1:8a). It is the work of the Holy Spirit, who is our Counselor and Helper, to empower and enable us to spread the Good News.

The Theme for Pentecost Sunday is: We make disciples of all nations when we use our spiritual gifts to unite the Body of Christ. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles is what happened on Pentecost. They were empowered with varied spiritual gifts, giving them courage and strength. Because of this, they went out courageously to the whole world and proclaimed that Jesus is the Son of God and our Savior. The same Holy Spirit is now working in our life and unites us in His Church, the Body of Christ, through His gifts. The Holy Spirit equips us to succeed in the tasks given to us to love and serve others, even in the face of many challenges and obstacles. We have been transformed and as our minds are renewed, we manifest the presence of the Holy Spirit as true Christians, bearing the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Holy Spirit shows us what the word of God means and He reveals to us the truth. In times of opposition and oppression, the Holy Spirit continues to be our Advocate, calling on all Christian generations to come forward, to stand up and be counted as Christ’s witnesses. In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that His peace will always be with us as we have His Spirit in our hearts, telling us – “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,” (Jn 20:22a).

The Theme for the Solemnity of the Blessed Trinity is – We make disciples of all nations when we bear witness to the glory of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The sign of the Cross is a profound and powerful profession of our faith in the Holy Trinity. One aspect of our belief that can help us in our day-to-day life is that the Trinity as one community – the perfect community. Looking at what each of the Person is and what binds “Them” together in a Trinitarian community can help us create better human communities. The whole existence of the Three Persons in one Godhead revolves around the perfect love each one has for the other. It is this love that forms the Trinitarian community. And this is what Jesus wants for every human community to be, whose members give more than they take and settle conflicts where love reigns, for where there is love there is harmony, trust and peace, just what true disciples of Christ are expected to do.

Thus, Jesus commanded His disciples and us today to “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt 28:19). As we work for the glory of the Holy Trinity by sharing the central mystery of our faith, we are assured by this promise – “I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20b).

Heavenly Father, by Your goodness You call us to share in the love which flows from Your very being. You always desire that we experience Your love. We come before You to humbly seek Your forgiveness for not following Your command to love others. We thank You for enriching our lives through the love we receive from others and for choosing us to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ, by our loving service to those You entrusted in our care. This we pray in the name of Your Son, Jesus, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one GOD for ever and ever. Amen.

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