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Reflection for August 2017

Community Word: The glory of God transforms our lives

Order: “Listen to him.” (Mt 17:5b)

Reflection:
Our community word for the month is – The glory of God transforms our lives. Transformed lives begin with the message of God in the gospel of salvation that Christ gave us. The word of God is the power that renews and transforms our self-centeredness to Christ-centeredness. God tells us to “listen to him,” (Mt. 17: 5b) pointing to Jesus as His messenger and mouthpiece who leads us to behold God’s glory and gaze at the wonder of His power. Until we see Him face to face, it is our faith that brings us to continue believing in the gospel, living it in our everyday lives, and sharing it to many others.

During the month of August, let us ponder upon the Sunday and weekly bible readings that we may have a deeper understanding of God’s word and be steadfast in applying such knowledge in our day to day life.

On the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the theme is – We are transformed as we listen to Him. God has chosen this event at Mt. Tabor to show humanity, through the personal experience of Peter, James and John, that He truly wants us to see and know the divinity of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God. It is a significant moment when man meets God, bridging earth and heaven. The sight was beyond awesome for Peter that he no longer wanted to leave the place. But seeing is not enough; God wants us to listen to Jesus and He gives us His word to guide us in our daily life. We are called to focus on Jesus and be faithful to all his teachings and his message of salvation. As we do and fulfil our mission, we will receive God’s promise this week: “…all peoples see His glory,” (Ps 97:6b).

Our theme for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time is – We are transformed as we set our eyes of faith on Jesus. Living in fear, anxiety and doubt are manifestations of how little our faith is. Lord, save me!” (Mt 14:30b) … is a cry of helplessness which shows that, indeed, we cannot save ourselves by our own power. It is only by reaching out to Jesus and holding his hand that we will feel safe and secure most especially in tough situations. If we pay attention to the stormy seas and rough waves of our hardships, we may sink into our hopelessness and desperation. We need to renew our strength by focusing on Christ alone. If we allow our steadfast faith to carry us through our burdens and our difficulties, then we will reap God’s promise this week: “The Lord will Himself give His benefits; our land shall yield its increase,” (Ps 85:13).

On the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, our theme is – We are transformed as we put our trust in the love and mercy of God. Without any doubt, God’s love is complete and His mercy endures forever. This is His nature. But the response rests on us if we want to be in God’s good graces. If we are humble and persistent in our prayers, God will pour out His blessings, just as Jesus richly blessed those who put their complete trust in the Lord. He calls us to embrace the gospel and to share its message to others by what we say and do. The more we share Christ with others, the deeper we will feel His love and mercy. That alone gives us the encouragement to be His effective disciples. With hope in our hearts, God will surely bless us with this week’s promise: “all who… hold my covenant… I will bring to my holy mountains,” (Isa 56:6b 7a).

Lastly, the theme for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary time is – We are transformed as we pray for and submit to those in authority. In this Sunday’s gospel, we are exhorted to reflect on our answer to Jesus’ question – “Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15). When we come to know who Jesus is, we also discover who we are. Hopefully, in the process we too will become a “rock”, in the manner that Jesus gave authority to Peter, the “Rock” upon whom He built His Church. We become the church that Christ formed us to be, that our own identity is established in our relationship with Him. As we are united in the body of Christ, we also become instruments of unity for its members. In a world that grows divided and is drifting from the Truth, we need to recognize Christ’s anointed authority to keep His people anchored in Him in any kind of storm, believing in His direction and promise: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” (Mt 16:19b).

Prayer: 
Lord God, thank you for leading us to your Son Jesus by instructing us to listen to Him. We believe that our journey to transformation and wholeness starts only when we recognize Him as the Christ, our loving Redeemer whom you sent to save us from sin and death. As we encounter uncertainties and doubts in life, strengthen our faith that we may always put our complete trust in your goodness and mercy. Amen.

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WSC Reflection for August 6, 2017

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
Feast of Transfiguration (Cycle A, Year I)
August 6, 2017

Community Word
The glory of God transforms our lives

Theme
We are transformed as we listen to Him.

Promise
“… all peoples see His glory.” (Ps. 97: 6b)

Reflection: 
The Transfiguration is the turning point of Jesus as man when He experienced the manifestation of His glory, unveiling His fullness and greatness when He was affirmed by the Father as His beloved Son. Such heavenly recognition gave Him joy and strength to be able to endure the cross that He would later embrace, and spurn the betrayal, rejection and shame thrown at Him. For the apostles Peter, James and John, it was an experience beyond awe. Jesus had exhorted them to be steadfast in their faith and fix their eyes on eternal life.

The mountain experience is given to all of us so that we might have the necessary grace and spiritual strength to face trials in life, leading us to share in the eternal glory of heaven. God promises to continue to mold us, change us amidst our frailties, brokenness and sinfulness. This is expressed in our community word for this month – The glory of God transforms our live. Transfiguration tells us that God is not only experienced in the high mountains of our life when all is well. He is sought even more by those who are burdened and lost, those who are neglected in community and in our mission areas where there is much need for prayers.

Ignoring God’s presence in our hearts makes us spiritually weak; we become fearful and we withdraw from fully committing as followers of Christ. These limit us from developing our full potential. God appears in moments of greatest fear to instill faith and strength in our hearts with His encouraging words and helping hand. His love moves us and gives us courage to face problems in ourselves and in our relationships. Filled with faith, the only important thing is to know that Jesus has done the impossible for us. Jesus teaches us the Truth and by His grace, makes obedience to the commandments possible.

Our theme for this week is – We are transformed as we listen to Him. Peter’s faith at the time of the Transfiguration was not perfect. Only after he suffered a great deal and learned the importance of listening to the voice in his heart that he became more aware of who he was. Then he was able to pass on to others his profound belief in God and his deep love for Jesus. We are like Peter in many ways. We are anxious over many things that we often forget “to listen to Him.” Let us contemplate on the importance of listening to our Lord Jesus Christ as we go through our daily routines and live our lives in accordance with His words.

The transfiguration event also shows us the value of retreating from our busyness to go to our “mountain” of rest, to pray and listen to Jesus. Our problems need not necessarily go away when we pray, but we know that after prayers our outlook and attitude towards the same world will be different because our hearts are being transformed. In our constant and persevering prayers we will discover that what matters is doing God’s will, not ours.

As we listen to the voice of God within us, calming and strengthening our spirits, we are also inspired by and reminded of the promise this week: “… all peoples see His glory,” (Ps 97:6b).

Prayer: 
O loving Jesus, draw me close to You and allow me to see Your glory. Keep me always awake and alert to Your word, Will, and Your presence in my life. Keep me away from temptations and any occasion of sin that separates me from You, preventing me from being transformed into Your likeness. Let me give my life to You totally and without reserve. Let me call upon Your name forever. Amen.

Reflection Guides: 
1.Are you ready and prepared to see God’s glory?

2.What do you do when trials and disappointments put you down making you spiritually blind and insensitive to everything that God has done to and for you?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
August 6, 2017 (Sun) – 1Kgs 3:5, 7-12/Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77,127-128,129-130/Rom 8:28-30/ Mt 13:44-52
August 7, 2017(Mon) – Ex 32:15-24, 30-34/Ps 106:19-23/Mt 13:31-35
August 8, 2017(Tues) – Ex 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28/Ps 103:6-13/ Mt 13:36-43
August 9, 2017(Wed) – Ex 34:29-35/Ps 99:5-7, 9/Mt 13:44-46
August 10, 2017 (Thur) – Ex 40:16-21, 34-38/Ps 84:3-6, 8, 11/Mt 13:47-53 
August 11, 2017 (Fri) – Lv 23:1, 4-11, 15, 16, 27, 34-37/Ps 81:3-6, 10, 11/Mt 13:54-58
August 12, 2017(Sat) – Lv 25:1, 8-17/Ps 67:2, 3, 5, 7, 8/Mt 14:1-12

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

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WSC Reflection for July 30, 2017

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
July 30, 2017

Community Word: 
True disciples of Christ bear much fruit.

Theme: 
We bear much fruit when we desire the kingdom of heaven as our treasured possession.

Promise: 
“All things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

Reflection:
Where is your heart? “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be,” (Mat 6:21). Our life here on earth is simply a journey towards our final and eternal destination. The things that preoccupy us here will tell us what we value most in life. Therefore, whatever we do should bring us closer to our goal. Any activity that keeps us away from our ultimate quest is a detour in our lifelong journey. We would be better off doing things that lead us right to where we want to be – the kingdom of heaven.

Two parables, the hidden treasure and the pearl, speak to us in this Sunday’s gospel of our search of the kingdom of heaven. In the first case, a common laborer sells everything to purchase the field in which he found and buried his treasure. Here the treasure is a pure gift, which he just happens to find without effort. But upon finding it, he commits himself to safeguarding it. In the second parable, a rich merchant sells all he has in order to buy the pearl of great price that he had searched for. He remains persistent, not giving up until he finds the treasure.

The gospel concludes by comparing the kingdom of heaven to a net that is thrown into the sea and brings in a catch of every kind of fish. When the net was full, it was drawn ashore and sorted out, the good fish put into baskets, the bad thrown away. The fish is a metaphor for man. At the end of time, God will separate the good from the bad. The latter will be thrown into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. This is a place we definitely don’t want to find ourselves in when judgment day comes. At that time, judgment will not be ours. There will be no second chances in seeking the ‘pearl of great price.’ We can no longer come back to earth and start all over again to undo whatever wrong we may have done. The time is now for us to be counted among the good fish when we appear before God for the final judgment. This is the essence of our theme for the week: We bear much fruit when we desire the kingdom of heaven as our treasured possession.

So what does it take to seek God’s Kingdom here on earth? The gospel challenges us to examine our goals. Having found this treasure, you would be wise to embrace it by rejecting your worldly priorities. Are you willing to let go of everything to focus your life on the ultimate goal, earnestly working to find this treasure? In the first reading Solomon prayed, not for riches or fame, but for the wisdom to judge what would be best for his people, and the Lord God rewarded him for his unselfish desire to be righteous. In like manner, we must aspire for wisdom and understanding in order for us to seek His kingdom above all else. It is not easy choosing between a life of worldly treasures, and an unselfish Christian life that strives to meet the needs of others. But because of our love and commitment to God, His grace enables us to seek His kingdom above all.

St. Paul give this assurance for us who work in faith to embrace the kingdom of God and this is our promise for the week: “… all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose,” (Rom 8:28). God knows from all eternity that we are made in His perfect image and likeness. We have been called to be glorified so we may inherit the Kingdom of God.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for the grace of finding the way to the ‘pearl of great price’ through our community and prayer groups. May we find You in the families we evangelize, in the mission work we do in your Church in accord with our God-given gifts, and in the work we do for our fellowmen to alleviate their poverty. Amen.

Reflection Guides:
1. What are the thoughts and desires that usually fill your heart? 
2. What activities occupy most of your time and you give priority to? 
3. What would you do differently so that you will be able to dedicate more attention to your spiritual life?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
July 30, 2017 (Sun) – 1Kgs 3:5,7-12/Ps 119:57,72,76-77,127-128,129-130/Rom 8:28-30/ Mt 13:44-52
July 31, 2017(Mon) – Ex 32:15-24,30-34/Ps 106:19-23/Mt 13:31-35
August 1, 2017(Tues) – Ex 33:7-11;34:5-9,28/Ps 103:6-13/Mt 13:36-43
August 2, 2017(Wed) – Ex 34:29-35/Ps 99:5-7,9/Mt 13:44-46
August 3, 2017 (Thur) – Ex 40:16-21,34-38/Ps 84:3-6,8,11/Mt 13:47-53 
August 4, 2017 (Fri) – Lv 23:1,4-11,15,16,27,34-37/Ps 81:3-6,10,11/Mt 13:54-58
August 5, 2017(Sat) – Lv 25:1,8-17/Ps 67:2,3,5,7,8/Mt 14:1-12

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

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Bulletin – July 26

 

EVANGELIZATION:

Aug 2 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 9 EC SDSA Eucharistic Celebration
Aug 16 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 23 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 30 CW SDSA Healing Night
Sept. 6 EC SDSA Eucharistic Celebration
Sept. 13 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Sept. 20 CW SDSA Corporate Worship

 

MANAGEMENT:

 

Help Marawi: a heartfelt thank you to all BLD members who extended financial assistance for relief efforts in war torn Marawi City. Please continue to pray for peace in Mindanao.

 

BLD ID: Bro. Fred Estioko will be taking ID pictures at the entrance of the SDSA church for BLD members who have no IDs yet,especially LSS No. 53 graduates. Also, ID applicants are requested to accomplish a personal information sheet form (PIS) at the registration. Fee is P150. Please claim IDs at the BLD Manila Secretariat or from Bro.Fred during Corporate Worship.

 

Reminder: Due to pronounced security concerns, all BLD members are encouraged to wear their official BLD ID during our CW/EC at SDSA.

 

BLD House of Worship: we are looking for a 1,000-square meter property in Makati, Pasig, Taguig or Mandaluyong for our venue for corporate worship and future permanent office. For a referrals, please contact Bro. Gene & Sis. May Mercado at 09271271937.

 

HOUSE OF WORSHIP FUND

 

As of July 26, 2017 7,151,380.54

 

 

    Date TITHES & LOVE OFFERING
(EC/CW) (Secretariat) TOTAL
July5   61,150.00 14,000.00    75,150.00
July12   55,430.25   1,500.00    56,930.25
July19   59,240.00    59,240.00
TOTAL 175,820.25 15,500.00  191,320.25
Schedule of Greeters for Corporate Worship
Assigned Greeters Date
Evangelization Core Group Aug. 2, 2017
Homestead 1 Aug. 9, 2017
Homestead 2 Aug. 16, 2017

 

FORMATION:

 

Service Ministry Teaching:

  • Basic Bible Seminar – Aug. 12, Sat., 8am-5pm at Two E-Com Center, MOA Complex, Pasay City.

 

Intercessory Ministry Teaching:

  • Basic & Advanced Intercession – Aug. 19, Sat., 8am-12nn at BLD Secretariat, Bangkal, Makati City.

 

Discipling Teaching:

  • Catholic Lay Evangelization (CLAYE) Seminar Part 1 – Aug. 12-13 (Sat–Sun) from 8am to 5pm at the Secretariat.
  • CLAYE Seminar Part 2 – Aug. 26-27 (Sat-Sun) from 8am to 5pm at the Secretariat.

 

PASTORAL:

 

Healing Ministry:

  • Healing Workshop (Retooling) will be on Aug. 19, Saturday from 1:30pm to 4:30pm at BLD Secretariat. This is also open to Intercessory Ministry and to all Covenant Disciples.

 

  • BLD Members who need counseling and who want to be prayed over (hospital or home), may get in touch with Bro. Bobby (0933 279 0342) and Sis. Nene Hernandez (0916 6399023) or BLD Manila Secretariat at 478 9782.

 

MISSION:

 

Poverty Alleviation Ministry is still accepting sponsors for 125 scholars of the SOH Enhanced Learning Program. Those who are moved by the Spirit to help indigent children, please approach or contact any PAM members or its coordinators, Bro. Bobbie and Sis. EndaVillarat 09195957777 and 09204759780. Donation is only P500/month or P6,000/year per scholar.

 

Mission Outreach: we are inviting Community members and non members to join our missions:

 

SCHEDULE OUTREACH
July 29 (Sat)

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

GK – Villa Paraiso

 

 

 

“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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Mission Newsletter – The Brown Scapular

 

THE BROWN SCAPULAR 

July 16 is the feast of our Lady of Mt. Carmel.  On this day in 1251,  St. Simon Stock, the Vicar General of the Carmelite Order   prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary for special protection  and  she appeared in a vision handing him the scapular professing: “It shall be a sign of salvation, a protection in danger and a pledge of peace. WHOSEVER DIES WEARING THIS SCAPULAR SHALL NOT SUFFER ETERNAL FIRE.”

What better way to celebrate the Feast of Our  Lady of Mt. Carmel than by consecrating all the members of Tunasan Prayer Group to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the imposition of the Brown Scapular.  The investiture was conducted by Fr. Ike of St. Peregrine Parish.


In her very last appearance at Fatima, the Blessed Virgin was holding a Scapular. Lucia (of whom it was said by Our Lady that she would live in order to spread devotion to Her Immaculate Heart) explained that Our Lady did so because “She wants everyone to wear it.” Lucia said further: “The Rosary and the Scapular are inseparable” and that the reason for wearing the Scapular is because it is our “Sign of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

As the Rosary is inseparable to the Scapular, it is providential that we have long encouraged devotion to it  among the members.  The following are some of the  promises of the Blessed Virgin Mary for those who regularly recite the Rosary as imparted to St. Dominic:

  1. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary.
  2. Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune.
  3. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  4. I shall deliver from Purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
  5. All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

In faith, we believe that,  all the members we have consecrated to our Blessed Virgin Mary will receive her full protection and graces.

WSC was held after the investiture. It is heartening to note the growing number of members in our prayer groups not only in Tunasan but in  four other areas as well,  such as  BF Target Range, Lower Bicutan, GK Euro Maralit and GK Villa Paraiso.  All together, we  have now over three hundred (300) regular members in our prayer groups. This is mainly because of our holistic vision in our ELP/SOH program where we require the parents to join the prayer groups.  Our donors and sponsors in our scholarship program therefore not only assist the poorest of the poor children in their education but most importantly the whole family in personally knowing Christ and His Blessed Mother.  While the members have much hesitancy at the outset in joining,  even the  husbands now are  the one reminding their spouse of the prayer meeting. What the Community does to them can be summed in this recent prayer of a couple, which we quote: Panginoon, kami ay buong pusong nagpapasalamat  sa pagpapadala mo ng  mga taga BLD. Dahil  sa kanilang walang sawang pagtulong sa amin ay nagkaroon  ng malaking pagbabago sa aming buhay sa pamamagitan ng pagsasabuhay ng Iyong Banal na Salita.”

TO GOD BE THE GLORY & HONOR!

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Community Word for September 2017

Reflection:

The Sunday liturgical readings for the month of September are summed up in our community word – Jesus enlightens the hearts of those who trust in God’s ways.  We trust God when we are in relationship with Him, a relationship founded in the Truth of His word.  As we diligently read, reflect and understand His word with purpose, we are able to set our eyes on God and trust Him more. God surely helps us grow in our faith even when at times we may be distracted by the challenges and adversities in our spiritual journey. And as we remain deeply rooted in His promises, Jesus will enlighten our hearts and enable us to respond to His command to “Be transformed,”(Rom 12:2b).

The Theme for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Week 1) is – Our hearts are enlightened when we trust in God’s plan for our life.  God invites us to offer ourselves as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to Him that we may realize the full potential of our lives.  Jesus, as well as Jeremiah in 1st reading, fulfil God’s will in spite of much opposition.  God knows what is best for us and gives us hope in our struggles and burdens. As we deny ourselves, carry our cross daily and follow Jesus’ ways, He assures us of His promise – “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” (Mt 16:25b).

Our hearts are enlightened when we are reconciled with others in the love of God is the theme for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Week 2).  ‘Hate the sin but love the sinner’ is a good guideline whenever we find it difficult to forgive or correct a wrongdoing.  We have a moral obligation to correct any wrongdoing, whether in the family, workplace or community we serve.  But it is to be done with love and respect as brothers and sisters of one Father.  To strengthen our resolve to look beyond ones faults, St. Paul gives us this counsel – “Owe no one anything, except to love one another.” Loving others through God’s eyes will allow us to reap His promise – “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by their heavenly Father,” (Mt 18:19).

For the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Week 3) the theme is – Our hearts are enlightened when we forgive others and treat them with compassion.  The message of the gospel calls us to forgive just as Christ forgives. But as human beings, it is always difficult to ask and extend forgiveness. God understands that it is a great challenge for us to follow His ways.  So, He constantly reminds us that we need to fix our eyes on His Son, Jesus. St. Paul says: “As we belong to Christ, we live to the Lord who is full of compassion, love and mercy.”  If we are merciful like Jesus, we gain to benefit from this promises – “Forgive your neighbor’s injustice, then your own sins will be forgiven,” (Sir 28:2).

Our hearts are enlightened when we respond to God’s grace with gratefulness is the theme for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Week 4).  God’s mercy is beyond measure.  We may forget Him at times especially when everything is going well for us. Yet, He patiently waits for us to humbly call on Him in prayer for the things that we need. We do not deserve anything from Him but He will surely answer our prayers when we come to Him with grateful and humble hearts. This is God’s promise for us this week: “The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth,” (Ps 145:18).

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we are grateful for Your love and mercy.  Thank you for Your Son, Jesus Christ, who shows us the way to be His true disciples and followers – to die to self, carry our crosses and follow Him.  When it becomes difficult to follow this path and we choose to turn away, give us the grace and guidance to come back to You.  Through Your Holy Spirit, give us the strength to persevere in following Christ and imitate His ways and make Him known to others that Your name may be glorified.  Amen.

COMMUNITY WORD FOR SEPTEMBER 2017
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES) READINGS
September 3 – Jer 20:7-9/Ps 63:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9/Rom 12:1-2/Mt 16:21-27
September 10 – Ez 33:7-9 / Ps 95:1, 2, 6-9 /Rom 13:8-10 / Mt 18:15-20
September 17 – Sir 27:30 – 28:7 / Ps 103: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9-12 /Rom 14:7-9 / Mt 18:21-35
September 24 – Is 55:6-9 / Ps 145:2-3, 8, 9, 17, 18 / Phil 1:20-24. 27 / Mt 20:1-16
COMMUNITY WORD
Jesus enlightens the hearts of those who trust in God’s ways.ORDER
“Be transformed.” (Rom 12:2b)

PROPHECIES:
1. “You will have a meaningful and successful life if you do My Will.”

DIRECTIONS:
1. Immerse yourself daily in God’s word.
2. Persevere in your daily struggles and challenges in life.

THEMES AND PROMISES

Week#1 (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Our hearts are enlightened when we trust in God’s plan for our life.
Promise: “Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Mt 16:25b)

Week#2 (23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Our hearts are enlightened when we are reconciled with others in the love of God.
Promise: “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray for, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.” (Mt 18:19)

Week#3 (24th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Our hearts are enlightened when we forgive others and treat them with compassion.
Promise: “Forgive your neighbor’s injustice, then your own sins will be forgiven.” (Sir 28:2)

Week#4 (25th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: Our hearts are enlightened when we respond to God’s grace with gratefulness.
Promise: “The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.” (Ps 145:18)

 
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WSC Reflection for July 23, 2017

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
July 23, 2017

Community Word:
True disciples of Christ bear much fruit.

Theme:
We bear much fruit when our works of faith prosper the Kingdom of God.

Promise:
“The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Mt 13:43)

Reflection:
For the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Matthew’s gospel gives us a metaphorical perspective of the reign of the Kingdom of God through three parables. In the parable of the weeds, Jesus reminds us that in this world, both good and evil exists and he gives us wisdom to understand why and what our attitude should be.

Everyday in our lives, we are faced with both good and evil. There is so much beauty and blessing that we see each day, but in the midst of these we also experience weeds of injustice, violence, and all kinds of evil wrongdoings. We begin to ask why a loving and compassionate God allow evil to exist. Although God permits evil, He can make good things out of worst situations. In Psalms 86, He is acknowledged as a God who is all good, forgiving, merciful, gracious, abounding in kindness. He allows us to freely choose to have a relationship with Him amidst tragedies and difficulties. He allows temptation to come our way because He knows that by them, our faith will be stronger and good will overcome evil as we choose to turn away from the easy and selfish path.

St. Paul tells the Romans: “If sin abounds, grace abounds much more,” (Rom 5:20). We may grow impatient and want to pull out the “weeds” immediately and beg God’s vindication on evil people. But, God as the landowner of the harvest tells us: “Let them grow together until harvest,” (Mt 13:30a). By not uprooting the weeds, God is teaching us to approach the enemy with forgiveness, patience and forbearance. God loves goodness more than He hates evil. And He is a God who gives second chances to people who reform or transform their evil ways. He is our Creator and the Author of life.

In his reflection on the parable, St. Augustine said: “But in the Lord’s field, which is the church, at times what was grain turns into weeds and at times what were weeds, turn into grain; and no one knows what they will be tomorrow.” As human beings, it is not all the time that we do what is right. Sometimes, we also do wrong to the point of inflicting harm to others and to ourselves. But in all circumstance, we must show the love of Christ even when there is disagreement among us. God does not just “uproot” or condemn us when we make mistakes. He forgives us and truly looks after us. The book of Wisdom says: “There is no god besides you who have the care of all, that you need show you have not unjustly condemned,” (Wis 12:13). God changes hearts and lives. We just need to rely on His ways and allow all things to pass in accordance with His perfect will and time.

Our theme tells us – We bear much fruit when our works of faith prosper the Kingdom of God. Our response to the message of the gospel this week is to put our complete faith in God’s purpose. And to strengthen our faith in doing the Lord’s will, St. Paul reminds us: “The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought,” (Rom 8:26a). Our faith may be like a very small mustard seed or yeast, but as we allow the Holy Spirit to help us grow and prosper God’s Kingdom through our works, we will be the rich harvest as God’s children at the end of this age. Matthew’s gospel describes this for us: “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” (Matthew 12: 41 – 43).

Let us be strong in our faith and do good to promote the kingdom of heaven here on earth while there is still time. As we do, in our Lord’s goodness, we will reap our reward when the time comes.

Prayer:
O most gracious God, we thank You for giving us faith to do what is good and participate in promoting Your heavenly kingdom. Let your Holy Spirit empower us to see what is morally right and be instruments to fight what is evil. Lord, deepen our faith to keep us strong as we face the works of the evil one and to remain steadfast in our faith journey to the very end. Amen.

Reflection Guides:
1. When you encounter evil or bad people, what is your normal reaction? Is it your wish that God might punish them? Or, would you pray for their conversion instead?

2. How can you inspire people to be good, especially those who are unpleasant and difficult to deal with? Share how you can be that “good seed” or “yeast” to help them grow as better Christians.

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
July 23, 2017 (Sun) – Wis 12:13, 16-19/Ps 86:5, 6, 9, 10, 15, 16/Rom 8:26, 27/Mt 13:24-43
July 24, 2017(Mon) – Ex 12:13, 16-19/ps 86:5, 6, 9, 10, 145, 16/Rom 8:26-27/Mt 13:24-43
July 25, 2017(Tues) – 2Cor 4:7-15/Ps 126:1-6/Mt 20:20-28
July 26, 2017(Wed) – Ex 16:1-5,9-15/PS 78:18-19,23-28/Mt 13:1-9
July 27, 2017 (Thur) – Ex 19:1, 2, 9, 11, 16, 20/Dn 3:52-56/Mt 13:10-17
July 28, 2017 (Fri) – Ex 20:1-17/Ps 19:8-11/Mt 13:18-23
July 29, 2017(Sat) – Ex 24:3-8/Ps 50:1,2,5,6,14,15/Jn 11:19-27

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

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Bulletin – July 19, 2017

 

EVANGELIZATION:

 

July 26 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 2 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 9 EC SDSA Eucharistic Celebration
Aug 16 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 23 CW SDSA Corporate Worship
Aug 30 CW SDSA Healing Night
  • Wishlist: Amplifier

 

FORMATION:

  • Teaching for Intercessory Ministry and those undergoing Discipling:

Spiritual Warfare – July 22, 2017 Saturday from 8:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Secretariat.

 

MANAGEMENT:

 

  • BLD ID: Fred Estioko will be taking ID pictures near the entrance of the SDSA church for BLD members who have no IDs yet, especially LSS No. 53 graduates. Also, ID applicants are requested to accomplish a personal information sheet form (PIS) at the registration table. Fee is P150. Please claim IDs at the BLD Manila Secretariat or to Fred Estioko during Corporate Worship.

 

  • Annual General Meeting of BLDMMDFI will be on July 20, Thursday, 7:00 p.m. at BLD Manila Secretariat. Members of BLDMMDFI are requested to remit their annual membership dues of P100 per year.

 

  • Reminder: Due to pronounced security concerns, all BLD members are encouraged to wear their official BLD ID during our CW/EC at SDSA.

 

  • BLD House of Worship: we are looking for a 1,000-square meter property in Makati, Pasig, Taguig or Mandaluyong for our future permanent office and venue for corporate worship. For a referrals, please contact Bro. Gene & Sis. May Mercado at 09271271937.

HOUSE OF WORSHIP FUND

 

As of July 19, 2017 7,146,380.54

 

 

    Date TITHES & LOVE OFFERING
(EC/CW) (Secretariat) TOTAL
July 5   61,150.00 14,000.00   75,150.00
July 12   55,430.25   1,500.00   56,930.25
TOTAL 116,580.25 15,500.00  132,080.25

Thank you very much for your generosity!

 

Please make all check donations payable to:

BLD MANILA

PASTORAL:

 

  • Healing Ministry: BLD Members who need counseling and who want to be prayed over (hospital or home), may get in touch with Bro. Bobby (0933 279 0342) and Sis. Nene Hernandez (0916 6399023) or BLD Manila Secretariat at 478 9782.

 

MISSION:

 

  • Poverty Alleviation Ministry is now accepting sponsors for 125 scholars of the SOH Enhanced Learning Program. Those who are moved by the Spirit to help indigent children, please approach or contact any PAM members or its coordinators, Bro. Bobbie and Sis. EndaVillarat 09195957777 and 09204759780. Donation is only P500/month or P6,000/year.

 

  • We are inviting Community members and non members to join the Mission Outreaches:

 

SCHEDULE OUTREACH
July 22 (Sat)

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Target Range, Parañaque
July 22 (Sat)

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Naujan Mindoro -San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish(Pls. get in touch with Eran & Dorlie

Carandan)

July 23 (Sun)

2:00 nn – 4:00 pm

Smokey Mountain

(Risen Christ Parish)

July 23 (Sun)

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Bagumbayan, Lower Bicutan
July 23 (Sun)

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

GK Euro Maralit
July 29 (Sat)

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

GK – Villa Paraiso

 

 

 

“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)

 

 

Schedule of Greeters for Corporate Worship
Assigned Greeters Date
Singles Ministry July 19, 2017
Solo Parents Ministry July 26, 2017
Evangelization Core Group Aug. 2, 2017
Homestead 1 Aug. 9, 2017
Homestead 2 Aug. 16, 2017
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WSC Reflection for July 16, 2017

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
July 16, 2017

Community Word: 
True disciples of Christ bear much fruit.

Theme: 
We bear much fruit when our hearts become rich soil for the word of God.

Promise: 
“My word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (Is 55:11b)

Reflection:
For the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme supporting this message is: We bear much fruit when our hearts become rich soil for the word of God. In the gospel reading, the Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Mt 13: 1 – 23) is about the ground and seed, more than the sower. The seed that is sown is the message of the Kingdom of God. The soils are the hearts of people who receive, react or make decision about the message. These are the people who hear the message of Christ.

Some hear the message of truth, but like hardened paths, their hearts do not allow the truth to penetrate and be received so they cannot respond to the word of God with faith. Before long, Satan takes the truth away as the opportunity is stolen by the evil one. Some hear the message with exuberance, but like the rocky soil, the message does not take root. They are outwardly enthusiastic about Jesus, but inwardly they do not take the word to heart. They do not receive it with genuine thoughtfulness and faith and due to external pressures, it quickly dissipates. Some hear the message not with joy, but with “thorns” of apprehension as their life is filled with too many earthly concerns – other commitments and priorities, worries, and worldly attachments that choke out the message, preventing them to take it to heart. So, they are not ready and willing to yield beyond their pleasures and competing pressures. They would have to give up many things to make a commitment to Christ.

But some hear the message and believe. They are those whose hearts are like the good ground that receives the seed well, let it be nurtured and grow to bear fruit. Their hearts receive God’s word with faith that take root in their life and produce the fruit of righteousness and obedience. They are Christ’s true disciples. As authentic followers of Jesus, we bear fruit when our hearts become rich soil for the word of God. God prepares our hearts to receive the message with faith, and through faith He reveals the truth about His Kingdom. Surely, those who believe will produce much fruit. Added to it, “those who have, more will be given and will grow rich” (Mt. 13:12). They will be given “knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 13:11), as this knowledge is revealed to those who seek after the deep spiritual truths of God. Some of us will understand but others will not, unless you open your hearts and minds to receive God’s word and live it.

As true disciples, we are like the sower in the parable who have the responsibility to proclaim and spread the message of the kingdom of God, the Gospel of Christ, to our family, community and to rest of the world. We need to remember that the word of God is powerful and His word will produce results. God’s word is never spoken in vain and never fails to produce the purpose that He intends to accomplish. In Isaiah 55:11, God made this promise: “My word shall not return void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” God is sovereign, omnipotent and gracious.

Prayer:
Almighty Father, lead us towards the path of Your righteousness and humble obedience. Let not the “thorns” of our lives and allures of this world choke out the message of Your Kingdom which threaten to take us away from your Holy Presence. Instead, grant us the grace for our hearts to receive your message with great joy, profound faith and genuine love. Loving Father, help us to remain focus on Your word. Fill us with your Spirit and teach us so that we may be able to know You more, love You more and be ready and equipped to serve You more. All for Your glory. Amen

Reflection Guides:
1. What life experiences have you encountered that hindered the word of God from growing in your spiritual life?

2. What have you done to stop these life’s thorns or hindrances from keeping you away from the Lord and turning your heart to be the rich soil or vessel for the word of God?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
July 16, 2017 (Sun) – Is 55:10-11/Ps 65:10-14/Rom 8:18-23/Mt 13:1-23
July 17, 2017(Mon) – Ex 1:8-14/Ps 124:18/Mt 10:34-11:1
July 18, 2017(Tues) – Ex 2:1-15/Ps 69:3, 14, 30, 31, 33, 34/Mt 11:20-24
July 19, 2017(Wed) – Ex 3:1-6, 9-12/Ps 103:1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7/Mt 11:25-27 
July 20, 2017 (Thur) – Ex 3:13-20/Ps 105:1, 5, 8, 9, 24-27/Mt 11:28-30 
July 21, 2017 (Fri) – Ex 11:10-12:14/Ps 116:12, 13, 15-18/Mt 12:1-8
July 22, 2017(Sat) – Sg 3:1-4/Ps 63:2-6, 8, 9/Jn 20:1-2, 11-18

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

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WSC Reflection for July 9, 2017

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year I)
July 9, 2017

Community Word: 
True disciples of Christ bear much fruit.

Theme: 
We bear much fruit when we surrender to God’s ways.

Promise: 
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11:28)

Reflection:
The unity of our Lord Jesus with his Father is characterized by mutual knowledge and understanding between the Father and the Son – “No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son,” (Mt 11:27). Jesus attributes the source and power of his preaching and miracles to the Father whom he glorifies. He extends his Father’s compassion to the weak and the vulnerable and he offers us a yoke which will fit well and not add to our hardship. Why is Jesus’ burden light? Because it is laid upon us in love and is carried by us in love. The love that comes from Jesus makes light even the heaviest burden.

Our theme for this week – We bear much fruit when we surrender to God’s ways reflects the special invitation of Jesus to us who are suffering and are burdened. Jesus, being meek of heart, compassionate and merciful, comes as the humble Son of God who offers his constant and unconditional love. He yearns to dwell within us so that he may accompany us in our wavering and uncertain steps. He is with us to give us rest and refresh us from our sufferings. He comes to us to lighten our loads, to comfort us in our afflictions, and to console us in our sorrows. Jesus utters these powerful yet gentle words of assurance: “Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28). These are words that every person and entire world desperately need to hear. For who is not tired of confronting endless family and financial problems, of being burdened with bitterness, anger, regrets, fears or shame, and of being harassed by the pretentions and falsehood, by addictive materialism and deceptive choices in our society today.

There is so much hope when we hear Jesus say to us: “Come to me…” We have to learn to let go of our burdens, worries and anxieties and entrust them to God. God is not a mere on-looker to what we are going through. If we join our sufferings with the passion and death of Jesus, there is redemptive purpose and meaning in them. Then we will understand and experience what Jesus means when he says: “My yoke is easy and my burden light,” (Mt 11:30). ‘Yoke’ is Jesus law of love, a revelation of truth that love consists of deeds not just words. Jesus is not calling for a heroic “all in” sacrifice, but a gentler call to the day-to-day concern of easing the burdens of others. Jesus is also telling those who are comfortable in life, the wealthy, the privileged, and the gifted ones to ease the burden of the oppressed and marginalized, and to share their time, talent and treasures with the least, the last and the lost.

The yoke of Christ is a ‘light burden’ because Jesus is carrying it with us, transforming the weight into a sweet experience of rest and peace of mind. For followers of Christ who must bear much fruit, his yoke is the sum total of our responsibility as Christians in whatever state of life God has called us. Sometimes the yoke can be burdensome and we may be tempted to put it down. But we can choose to take up our cross with joy in our hearts as we work out our salvation and those of others. Jesus takes us for what and who we are.

As Jesus invites us to call upon him and surrender all our cares when we are burdened with life, we are challenged to learn from the Lord and know his gentle heart. Let us take the words of Jesus as words of hope for our restless souls and weary hearts, always keeping in mind his promise this week: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28). Then, as we entrust our cares and surrender to God’s ways, we will begin to bear much fruit.

Prayer:
Most gracious Father, comfort those who are cast down and weak of heart amidst their trials and difficulties. Grant that by the quickening power of the Holy Spirit, they may be lifted up to You with hope and courage, and, with gratitude in their hearts, continue to rejoice in Your love along the way. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Reflection Questions:
1. What prevents me from giving my utmost help to comfort and ease the pains of others?

2. In what ways can I demonstrate the comforting love of Jesus to the weary and the needy?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
July 9, 2017 (Sun) – Zec 9:9-10/Ps 145:1, 2, 8-14/Rom 8:9, 11-13/Mt 11:25-30
July 10, 2017(Mon) – Gn 28:10-22/Ps 91:1-4, 14, 15/Mt 9:18-26
July 11, 2017(Tues) – Gn 32:23-33/Ps 17:1-3, 6, 7, 8, 15/Mt 9:32-38
July 12, 2017(Wed) – Gn 41:55-57; 42:5-7, 17-24/Ps 33:2, 3, 10, 11, 18, 19/Mt 10:1-7 
July 13, 2017 (Thur) – Gn 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5/Ps 105:16-21/Mt 10:7-15 
July 14, 2017 (Fri) – Gn 46:1-7, 28-30/Ps 37:3, 4, 18, 19, 27, 28/Mt 10:16-23
July 15, 2017(Sat) – Gn 49:29-32;50:15-26/Ps 105:1,2,3,4,6,7/Mt 10:24-33

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

Read more