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WSC Circle – February 17, 2019

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
February 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C, Year I)

Community Word: God’s word calls us to proclaim His love.
Theme: We proclaim God’s love when we perform charitable acts.
Promise: “Behold, your reward will be great in heaven,” (Lk 6:23)

Reflection:
What does the Bible tell us about charity? Some bible versions (e.g. King James) equates charity to love. In 1 Corinthians 13, the word “agapē” is a Greco-Christian term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God.” Acts 9:36 tells about a woman named Tabitha (which translated means Dorcas) who was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving or charity. The Greek word here means “compassion, as exercised towards the poor; beneficence.”

The Bible has much to say about charity and how we are to care for the poor and needy among us. One of the most famous passages on the importance of caring for those in need is in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats. He says, “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Mt 25:34-36, 40).

Clearly, when we care for someone in need, we do the will of Christ and manifest in our charitable actions the love of the Father. And our Father shows His appreciation and gratitude to us by promising the highest reward when He assures us: “Behold, your reward will be great in heaven,” (Lk 6:23).

For those who are in community, the compelling question would be – If I am already assigned to a ministry or apostolate doing other tasks, do I need to be involved in charitable acts or in mission works? The answer can be taken from the exhortation of Pope Francis when he said: “Churchmen should leave their comfort zone and tend to the needy on the peripheries. Jesus wanted his church to be a church on the move, a church that goes out into the world.”

As Christians, we are expected to help alleviate and even fight for better living conditions for the poor and the underprivileged. Social justice is part and parcel of Christian morality and something greatly emphasized by the Church from the time of its foundation. Social justice and care for the less fortunate is s foremost concern and duty for all Christians. Christ’s followers were convinced of that. Paul told Timothy, “Tell those who are rich in this world’s goods not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth. Charge them to do good, and be rich in good works, generally sharing what they have,” (1 Tim 6:17).

It is in this context that our community sets Christ in his earthly ministry, as our model for social responsibility. With an additional exhortation to serve him with joy, this call to action is clearly expressed in our week’s theme: We proclaim God’s love when we perform charitable acts.

Prayer:
Thank You Lord for the many graces and blessings you have given me. Please accept my heart-felt gratitude for Your countless gifts to me each day. In turn, dear Lord, help me to be aware of the needs of the least of my sisters and brothers, and to respond to those who are less fortunate with generous expressions of charity, kindness and caring. On that day, Lord, when I finally stand before You to give an account of my life, I pray I will hear you say, “Come O good and faithful servant to share your Father’s joy, for when you saw me hungry, thirsty, naked, homeless, ill and imprisoned, you offered your gifts in charity and you lovingly did it for me”. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:
1. In following the will of Jesus, how do you respond to the exhortation of Pope Francis for “Churchmen to leave their comfort zone and tend to the needy on the peripheries”?

2. What hinders you from participating in outreach programs to exercise charity for the poor? What are your difficulties and how do you plan to overcome them?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
February 17, 2019 (Sun) – Jer 17:5-8/Ps 1:1-4, 6/1Cor 15:12, 16-20/Lk 6:17, 20-26
February 18, 2019 (Mon) – Gn 4:1-15, 25/Ps 1.8, 16-17, 20, 21/Mk 8:11-13
February 19, 2019 (Tue) – Gn 6:5-8, 7:1-5, 10/Ps 29:1-4, 9, 10/Mk 8:14-21
February 20, 2019 (Wed) – Gn 8:6-13, 20-22/Ps 116:1-15, 18, 19/Mk 8:22-26
February 21 2019 (Thu) – Gn 9:1-13/Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29, 22, 23/Mk 8:27-33
February 22, 2019 (Fri) – 1Pt 5:1-4/Ps 23:1-6/Mt 16:13-19
February 23, 2019 (Sat) – Heb 11:1-7/Ps 145:2-5, 10-11/Mk 9:2-12

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

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WSC Circle – February 10, 2019

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
February 10, 2019–5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C, Year I)

Community Word: God’s word calls us to proclaim His love.
Theme: We proclaim God’s love when we respond to His call to be fishers of men.
Promise: “The Lord will complete what he has done for me.” (Ps 138:8a)

Reflection:
God loves us not because of who we are but because of who He is. God’s very nature is being complete and perfect in His love. He looks beyond our faults and sees our need for redemption. His love is personified in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our sin. On the other hand, our nature is that we are weak and sinful, like a sheep that goes away from the fold. Jesus knows this and that is why He declares in the gospel of John: “I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd,” (Jn 10:16). His mission… to find these lost sheep and bring them back to His flock.

Jesus’ evangelization ministry has been passed on to His disciples whom he calls “fishers of men.” Today, we are called to the same message as “catchers of men” to bring people back to the family of God. We are called to witness to and share His perfect love that forgives sinners unconditionally even of their most grievous faults. We are to bring His light to the weary and wounded souls, giving them strength, healing and hope. Are we willing to be partners of Christ in His mission?

The theme for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time – We proclaim God’s love when we respond to His call to be fishers of men, challenges us Christians to be His ambassadors to use the ordinary circumstances of our daily life and work situation to draw others back to His sheepfold. We may feel limited and incapable, but Jesus promised to be with us always that we may be successful and victorious in this mission endeavor. He will qualify and equip us. St. Paul reminds us of this assurance: “But thanks be to God, who in Christ Jesus always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,” (2 Cor 2:15).

Good “fishers of men” have teachable spirits and they have time to study the Scriptures. They are well equipped with God’s word and put its message into daily living and application. Their lifestyle and behavior draw people to them as role models rather than scandalize them. We don’t have to go far to “fish.” Our fish pond or sea can be our own home, neighborhood, workplace, our community or church – among our family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers or community brethren. And, we can also find people to evangelize among strangers, people we meet in the streets and public places as we go about our daily routine. Many of them hunger for answers and we should be ready to lead them to the truth and win their souls for Jesus.

God is not concerned about how many we catch. It’s about the willingness of our heart to answer His call to be the “arms, feet and voices” in letting the last, the least and the lost know that their redemption is in Christ alone. And even if sometimes we feel discouraged, unworthy, and insufficient, we should always remember that Jesus is the “Fisher of Men” and we are His “under-fishermen.” And, we need to trust in His promise that: “The Lord will complete what he has done for me,” (Ps 138:8b). He has given us the Holy Spirit who empowers us with His grace of persistence and perseverance so that we will never grew weary in doing evangelization work and mission, and continue the good work when He commands us to “put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch,” (Lk 5:4).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, teach us how to “catch” souls not by our own effort or skill, but with our willingness to follow You and by Your grace of perseverance. Make us more attentive to Your instructions especially in times of discouragement when we don’t seem to see the results of our efforts. Lead our hearts to yield to the prompting of Your Spirit to absorb the Truth. Shape our lives as worthy vessels that we may become authentic evangelizers of Your word to bring people to Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:
1. What are the difficulties you have encountered in being prepared and well-equipped “fishers of men”? How did you overcome these challenges?

2. How do you plan to overcome obstacles if you are not successful in evangelizing those close to you like your family members, friends or office mates?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
February 10, 2019 (Sun) – Is 6:1, 2, 3-8/Ps 138:1-8/1Cor 15:1-11/Lk 5:1-11
February 11, 2019 (Mon) – Gn 1:1-19/Ps 104:1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 12, 24, 35/Mk 6:53-56
February 12, 2019 (Tue) – Gn 1:20-2:4/Ps 8:4-9/Mk 7:1-13
February 13, 2019 (Wed) – Gn 2:4-9, 15-17/Ps 104:1-2a, 27-30/Mk 7:14-23
February 14 2019 (Thu) – Gn 2:18-25/Ps 1-5/Mk 7:24-3000 0
February 15, 2019 (Fri) – Gn 3:1-8/Ps 32:1, 2, 5-7/Mk 7:31-37
February 16, 2019 (Sat) –Gn 3:9-24/Ps 90:2,3-6,12,13/Mk 8:1-10

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

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Faith, Hope & Love : SE77

In today’s Sunday mass, part of the second reading was our class verse, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (Corinthians 13:13)

Less than one month to go, and the much awaited first Singles Encounter of the year is coming. Registration is still open.

To register, please log on to www.seweekend.com or contact Angela Pacho at bldse77@gmail.com for any inquiries. #jimly#se77

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Community Word for April 2019

Bukas Loob sa Diyos Catholic Charismatic Covenant Community

COMMUNITY WORD FOR APRIL 2019
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES)

READINGS
April 7 – Is 43:16-21/Ps 126:1-6/P126:1-6/Phil 3:8-14/Jn 8:1-11
April 14 – Is 50:4-7/Ps 22:8,9,17-20,23,24/Phil 2:6-11/Lk 22:14-23:56
April 21 – Acts 10:34, 37-43/Ps 118:1, 2, 16, 17, 22, 23/Col 3:1-4/Jn 20:1-9
April 28 – Acts 5:12-16/Ps 118:2-4,13-15,22-24/Rv 1:9-11,12-13/Jn 20:19-31

COMMUNITY WORD
Christ’s sacrificial love leads us to eternal life.

ORDER
“Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.” (Col 3:2)

PROPHECY:
• Return to Me and find Me; and be transformed.
• My mercy awaits those who seek My forgiveness.

DIRECTION:
• Go to confession and reconcile yourself with God and your neighbor.
• Share the love of Christ with your brethren, to comfort those who are broken, wounded and lost.

THEMES AND PROMISES

Week#1 (5th Sunday of Lent)
Theme: We live Christ’s sacrificial love when we repent of our sins and commit to renew our life.
Promise: “Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.” (Ps 126:5)

Week#2 (Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion)
Theme: We live Christ’s sacrificial love when we are obedient to the will of God.
Promise: “The Lord God is my help…I shall not be put to shame.” (Isa 50:7)

Week#3 (Easter Sunday)
Theme: We live Christ’s sacrificial love when we believe in the power of His resurrection.
Promise: “When Christ your life appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:4)

Week#4 (2nd Sunday of Easter)
Theme: We live Christ’s sacrificial love when we acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior.
Promise: “…believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:31)

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Reflection for February 2019

Community Word: God’s word calls us to proclaim His love.
Order: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Lk 6: 36)
Reflection:
February is popularly considered the month of love when Valentine’s Day is celebrated. It is not clearly a Christian holiday like Christmas or Easter, but the Holy Bible tells of the greatest celebration of love – God’s love. There are several passages that speaks about perfect, unconditional love. One of the more popular verse is 1 Corinthian 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” And, John 15:13: “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

As love is the greatest of all virtues, we gear all areas of our service to the community around love. The encounter season is starting, and what a better way to express our love for others than by inviting participants to the marriage encounters, family encounters, solo parents or singles encounter. Starting this month, we are being encouraged to be kind to all and to express our love for others and carry it through the entire year.

Indeed, God is calling us to proclaim His love, personified in Christ Jesus who gave His life as a ransom for our sins. His love is expressed in forgiveness and restoring our right to be God’s children again. This month is an opportune time to reconcile with someone who has a grudge against you or to forgive without condition, following Jesus’ words: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you,” (Lk 6: 27-28).

The theme for the 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time is: We proclaim God’s love when we follow Jesus and stand up for Him. We need to be spiritually prepared and strong to stand up for Jesus. Even Jesus himself was not accepted by his countrymen and they questioned his authority being merely a son of a carpenter, despite his words and wisdom in declaring the word of God. As Christians, sometimes we are put to the test even by our own family and household. In our renewed life, there are those who remain in disbelief that one is capable of being reformed as they continue to brood over our previous way of life. But, as we witness to Jesus in proclaiming his gospel of love and new life, we must not be discouraged in the face of doubt and persecution.

We know that those who believe in and accept Christ’s message of salvation through his anointed evangelizers and who place their complete faith in God, will receive His blessings. The Lord will continue to use people, places and events so that the glory of His kingdom may be known to all. We must be always ready to defend our faith and to proclaim with boldness in our hearts that Jesus is Lord of all and He is our Savior. As we work together to fulfill God’s plan, we will receive His promise of fulfillment when He proclaimed: “I am with you to deliver you,” (Jer 1:19b).

We proclaim God’s love when we respond to His call to be fishers of men, is the theme for the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Following Jesus as his disciple in spreading the gospel of salvation is indeed an overwhelming task. For one, it requires a change in one’s outlook and priorities in life, including family, career and life style. There could be moments of anxiety when one has to prioritize the basic necessities of living – food, shelter, clothing, education of children and many more. There are times of discouragement when people will ignore your evangelization efforts and you feel you are a failure. Or, in your personal life, you find yourself still struggling with old bad habits and sinfulness that you want to overcome in your renewed life.

Peter did not become a great missionary overnight and he made many mistakes which makes one wonder how he became the head of the Church. His redemption was his closeness to Jesus and his being open to God’s revelation in his life. Peter became a great “fisher of men” because of his trust in Jesus. We too can do great in our mission when we recognize Jesus as the center of our mission life and we place our complete trust in him. God will always fill up what is lacking in us as His disciple and be true to His promise: “The Lord will complete what he has done for me,” (Ps 138:8a).

The theme for the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time is: We proclaim God’s love when we perform charitable acts. The Beatitudes is the perfect way to know the heart of Jesus. Jesus empathically tells us who are close to God and who will inherit His Kingdom. He preaches that true wealth is not measured by what you have in the world – success, prestige, privileged life, freedom from discomfort. On the other hand, he says that only the last, the least and lost are blessed and will inherit God’s kingdom. These are the poor or those who are “poor in spirit.” The poor are those people who are without material wealth, those who are powerless, helpless and without influence. They are the oppressed and the exploited. But they are the people with faith who turns to God as their only refuge and help. They may suffer in this world but their consolation is in the afterlife. As children of God, we are called to alleviate the suffering of the poor. We are God’s hope in them to bring the assurance of His promise: “Behold, your reward will be great in heaven,” (Lk 6:23).

Finally, for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, the theme for the week is: We proclaim God’s love when we forgive those who have wronged us. To forgive your enemies, those who have wronged you even if you have done nothing to deserve it, those who needlessly wounded your feelings, those who do not deserve your sympathy – to love these people is the most difficult thing one might be asked to do. But this is the definition of God’s love and the ultimate measure of true love. Our greatest role model in forgiving is Jesus. When he was dying, he prayed for those who had nailed him to the cross: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing,” (Lk 23:34).

As we end this month of Love, we are invited by Jesus to “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” (Lk 6:36). And as we practice the virtue of forgiveness in our personal and community life, we are always assured of God’s promise: “Forgive and you will be forgiven.” (Lk 6:37b). Then, we will enjoy the true freedom as God’s children, a new and authentic freedom to move on and receive the full measure of His blessings because we have loved.

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BLD MANILA CONDEMNS JOLO BOMBING

The Bukas Loob sa Diyos Catholic Charismatic Covenant Community (Manila District) condemns in a strongest way what it labeled as the barbaric bombing of Jolo Cathedral while the Sunday Mass was being celebrated on Sunday January 27.

This murderous attack on a place of worship and the killing of innocent civilians is in no way permitted under any form of pretext and there can be no legitimate claim to such savage, brutal and vicious act of terrorism. Even the Holy Qu’ran is clear on the shedding of blood as Ch. 5 v.32 specifies that “whoever kills one person, it is as though he has killed all of mankind.”

Although we as Catholic Christians are aghast and angry at this vicious desecration of a sacred place, we will draw our guidance from the words of the Sacred Scriptures. Allow us to quote from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:19-21 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Jesus also tells us in Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Such acts of violence and terrorism by individuals or groups should never divide the nation. In fact, it is in times like these that the citizenry must forge unity in our search for lasting peace. It is during these tragic times that we all must unite as we implore upon the corresponding authorities of the government to take all the necessary steps to help determine the motives and identify the perpetrators behind this heinous crime so that justice may be served.

While we await the results of the investigation, we the District Council of Stewards of Bukas Loob sa Diyos Manila District express our prayers and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the lay faithful as well as the men in uniform who perished in this cruel act of terrorism. We also pray for those who survived that they may be healed of the trauma and fear that this tragic incident has created in their lives.

The District Council of Stewards,

BENNY & BADETTE NANA
Evangelization

ED & MALOU MALAY
Formation

GENE & MAY MERCADO
Management

BOBBIE & ENDA VILLAR
Mission ATO & BELLE ASILO
Pastoral

“Do not be afraid – I am with you!  I am your God – let nothing terrify you!  I will make you strong and help you;  I will protect you and save you.” (Is 41:10)

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Community Word for March 2019

COMMUNITY WORD FOR MARCH 2019
(WORD, THEMES AND PROMISES)

READINGS
March 3 – Sir 27:4-7/Ps 92:2, 3, 13-16/ 1Cor 15:54-58/Lk 6:39-45
March 10 – Dt 26:4-10/Ps 91:1, 2, 10-15/Rom 10:8-13/Lk 4:1-13
March 17 – Gn 15:5-12, 17, 18/Ps 27:1-9, 13, 14/Phil 3:17-4:1/Lk 9:28-36
March 24 – Ex 3:1-8,13-15/Ps 103:1-4,6,7,8,11/1Cor 10:1-6,10-12/Lk 13:1-9
March 31 – Jos 5:9-12/Ps 34:2-7/ 2Cor 5:17-21/Lk 15:1-3, 11-32

COMMUNITY WORD
God’s unconditional love brings salvation in Christ Jesus.

ORDER
“…be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor 5:20b)

PROPHECY:
1. I say to you, all will face passion and de ath but surely resurrection will follow.
2. You will experience abundant life in Me when you are at peace with everyone in word and deed.

DIRECTION:
1. Reconcile with God by going to confession and living a life that is pleasing to Him.
2. Be firm and steadfast always in working for the Lord.

THEMES AND PROMISES

Week#1 (8th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
Theme: We respond to God’s unconditional love when our hearts are filled with righteousness.
Promise: “They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be.” (Ps 92:15)

Week#2 (1st Sunday of Lent)
Theme: We respond to God’s unconditional love when we believe and obey every word that comes from God.
Promise: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom 10:13)

Week#3 (2nd Sunday of Lent)
Theme: We respond to God’s unconditional love when we allow Him to transform our lives.
Promise: “He will change our lowly body to conform with His glorified body.” (Phil 3:21a)

Week#4 (3rd Sunday of Lent)
Theme: We respond to God’s unconditional love when we seek Him with reverence and humility.
Promise: “He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.” (Ps 103:4)

Week#5 (4th Sunday of Lent)
Theme: We respond to God’s unconditional love when we repent of our wrongdoings and be reconciled with Him and others.
Promise: “Whoever is in Christ is a new creation.” (2Cor 5:17a)

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WSC Circle – January 27, 2019

Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
January 27, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle C, Year I)

Community Word: Christ is the revelation of God’s glory to the world.
Theme: God’s glory is revealed when we live our faith as one body of Christ.
Promise: “…the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.”
(Ps 19:8b)

Reflection:
We will reflect on the theme and promise this week as one unified scriptural message. Thus, the glory of God is revealed when we live our faith as one body of Christ, and our faith is that, the decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.

Scriptures says that it is possible for every believer to see the Lord’s glory. God says that He will reveal His glory to those who seek Him for it. Why is it important for us to see and understand God’s glory? It is because the revelation of His glory is meant to equip His people for the challenges and trials in life, and for them to receive the full measure of His blessings. According to Paul, this revelation “is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all of them which are sanctified,” (Acts 20:32).

What exactly is the glory of God? It’s not some physical manifestation, though some Christians believe it is. In simple terms, God’s glory is a revelation of His nature and attributes. When the Lord chooses to show us His glory, it is a revelation of how He wants to be known by us. When the Lord sent Moses to deliver Israel, He told him, “Go, and say I AM sent you.” But He gave no explanation of who “I AM” is. So Moses cried, “I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory,” (Ex 33:18). Moses had a gnawing hunger to know who the great I AM is, the essence of His nature and character.

When God reveals His glory to His people, it is with a purpose in mind. And He allowed Moses to see His glory so he might be transformed by understanding it. The same is true for us today. God reveals His glory to us so that we may be reassured in our daily walk. And to us followers of Christ, the glory of God is revealed through His decrees, so that we will know and faithfully live them.

For better understanding of the promise in Psalm 19:8b, this is expressed in different ways in various Bible versions. For one, the decree is stated in the plural form and referred to as statutes, commands, laws, teachings and rules in others. Thus,
– “The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
– “The testimony of the Lord is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.”
– “His teachings last forever, and they give wisdom to ordinary people.”
– “The commands of the Lord are trustworthy, giving wisdom to those who lack it.”
– “The rules set down by the Lord are reliable and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.”
– “The testimony of the Lord is faithful, giving wisdom to little ones.”

But what are these decrees? According to Scripture, God has made a number of decrees or divine pronouncements. The Bible says that God has decreed a number of things. First, He has decreed the stability of the universe. The universe remains stable because of God’s pronouncement. God has also decreed the free acts of human beings – humans can act either for good or evil. God has also decreed the circumstances of nations. God has decreed the length of a person’s life. The way one will die has also been made by God’s decree. The Lord has also decreed the salvation of believers. Finally, God has decreed the kingdom of Jesus Christ. The various decrees of God are in harmony with God’s attributes.

There are a number of practical benefits that can be derived from understanding God’s decrees. First, there is confidence that what God has decreed will come to pass; what God says will indeed happen. This also brings humility to the believer. For the unbeliever the decrees warn them of judgment to come. Finally the decrees bring a genuine hope to believers. Consequently, it is important to understand the things that God has decreed for humanity and for the universe.

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for being faithful to Your promise. Grant us the grace to know You more and more, so that we will be transformed into Your image and likeness. And as people see You in us, may they will likewise get closer to You and give You all the honor, glory and praise that You deserve. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:
1. How is God’s glory revealed in my life?

2. What are the obstacles that prevent God’s glory to be fully revealed in my life?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 27, 2019 (Sun) – Neh 8:2-4, 5, 6, 8-10/Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 15/1Cor 12:12-30/ Lk 1:1-4; 4:14-21
January 28, 2019 (Mon) – Heb 9:15, 24-28/Ps 98:1-6/Mk 3:22-30
January 29, 2019 (Tue) – Heb 10:1-10/Ps 40: 2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11/Mk 3:31-35
January 30, 2019 (Wed) – Heb 10:1-18/Ps 101:1-4/Mk 4:1-20
January 31 2019 (Thu) – Heb 10:19-25/Ps 24:1-6/Mk 4:21-25
February 1, 2019 (Fri) – Heb 10:32-39/Ps 37:3-6, 23, 24, 39, 40/Mk 4:26-34
February 2, 2019 (Sat) – Mal 3:1-4/Ps 24:7-10/Lk 2:22-40

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

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Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide January 20, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – International (Cycle C, Year I)

Community Word: Christ is the revelation of God’s glory to the world.
Theme: God’s glory is revealed when we are obedient to pastoral authority.
Promise: “You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord.” (Is 62:3)

Reflection:
Despite reminding His mother that it was not yet time to make His ministry known, Jesus transformed water to wine at the behest of Mother Mary. She simply told the stewards – “Do whatever He tells you,” (Jn 2:3-5). These are profound and powerful words which can easily serve as the foundation of our spiritual lives. We know that both the Blessed Mother and Jesus speak these words to us, for no matter what we face in live, both Mother and Son continue to invite us towards this glorious commandment of obedience and love.

Anyone who is serious in obtaining everlasting life in Heaven will do all he can to constantly live in the virtue of obedience. Without it, one will never please God who is our benevolent Creator and compassionate Master. Indeed, we are obliged to be obedient; it is our solemn obligation. In our faith journey, it will help us attain the crown of perfect beatitude, the unending face to face vision of the Most Blessed Trinity in paradise.

As we render obedience to God, His promise to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation will surely unfold in us through the Holy Scriptures and traditions, continuously enriching our knowledge of Him (cf. Eph 1:17). This knowledge brings us to God’s call to obey others whom He appoints in authority – our parents, teachers, spiritual authority in church and community, people in government. By obeying them, we follow the example of Jesus who was obedient to Joseph and Mary (cf. Lk 2:51) and ultimately being obedient even if it meant His death on the cross (cf. Phil 2:8).

The Catechism of the Church explains the 4th Commandment – Honor your father and your mother: “As long as the child lives at home with his parents, the child should obey his parents in all that they ask of him when it is for his good or the good of the family.” “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord,” (Col 3:20). “Children should also obey the reasonable directions of their teachers and all to whom their parents have entrusted them. But if a child is convinced in conscience that it would be morally wrong to obey a particular order, he must not do so.” (CCC No 2217).

We are also called to obey our political leaders, as shown by the example of St. Joseph who traveled to Bethlehem for the ordered census (cf. Lk 2:1-4). St. Paul teaches us, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgement,” (Rom 13:1-2).

Within the life of the Church, St. Paul instructs the Christians, “Obey your pastoral leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your soul, as men who will have to give account.” (Heb 13:17). Our Catechism addresses the virtue of obedience as doing it above duty: “The duty of obedience requires all to give due honor to authority and to treat those who are charge to exercise it with respect, and, insofar as it deserved, with gratitude and goodwill.” (CCC No. 1900).
However, when human authority commands something that is against God’s law, one should refuse to follow that order. Authentic authorities are those whom God has delegated part of His authority. If they misuse such authority by enjoining others to do what is contrary to human nature and divine law, we are bound not to follow. When this happens, “we must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).

God desires that we grow in obedience because it is by the virtue of obedience to Him and to His appointed authority that His glory will be revealed. Our obedience to Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, who was deeply obedient to the Father, and to His earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, will bring us to our final joy in heaven. The Lord gives us this promise: “You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the Lord,” (Is 62:3).

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, grant me the necessary graces that I may imitate the heroic obedience of Your Son, Jesus, our Mother Mary, St. Joseph and all the Saints, who dedicated their lives in loving surrender to Your Holy Will. Help me to grow continuously in the virtue of obedience and persevere in it even in the midst of pervasive disregard, dishonor and disobedient towards Your Holy Name. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:
1. Am I continuously growing in the virtue of obedience to God? What steps am I taking in order to improve in my obedience to God and authority?

2. As a BLD Community member how is my commitment towards obedience to my pastoral head?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 20, 2019 (Sun) – Is 62:1-5/Ps 96:1-3, 7-10/1Cor 12:4-11/Jn 2:1-11
January 21, 2019 (Mon) – Heb 5:1-10/Ps 110:1-4/Mk 2:18-22
January 22, 2019 (Tue) – Heb 6:10-20/Ps 111:1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10/Mk 2:23-28
January 23, 2019 (Wed) – Heb 7:1-3, 15-17/Ps 110:1-4/Mk 3:1-6
January 24, 2019 (Thu) – Heb 7:25-8:6/Ps 40:7-10, 17/Mk 3:7-12
January 25, 2019 (Fri) – Acts 22:3-16/Ps 1171, 2/Mk 16:15-18
January 26, 2019 (Sat) – 2Tm 1:1-8/Ps 96:1-3, 7-8/Lk 10:1-9

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

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WSC Circle – January 20, 2019 – Feast of Sto. Niño (Cycle C, Year I)

Community Word: Christ is the revelation of God’s glory to the world.
Theme: God’s glory is revealed when we are obedient to pastoral authority.
Promise: “…the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.” (Eph 1:17)

Reflection:
The Feast of the Sto. Niño is a celebration for those with the heart of a child, a feast to rediscover and preserve the child in us. As children of God, we nurture the goodness we have received, demonstrating it in the life we live and our commitment and obedience to God. Being born to be joyful in life, God’s joy in us endures not from having everything we want, but from knowing and doing what our Heavenly Father wants for us. Fulfillment is not found in accumulating things. There are many unhappy people in the world because they focus on what they lack and are blind to what God is actually offering them. Guided by the community word for this month – Christ is the revelation of God’s glory to the world, we can move on in life even if we do not get everything we want. As long as we are in communion with God in our journey of faith, we will find joy in the light of God.

We are created with the heart of a child – simple, loving, humble, trusting, obedient. Just like any child, Jesus went through the various stages of growing up and experiences of children. Like him, we can continue to nurture our childlike qualities, reminding ourselves of what Jesus said: “whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” It takes childlike qualities to be part of the Kingdom of our heavenly Father. Being childlike means to give all the love, care, attention and respect to one another. His is not an invitation to childishness, but a challenge to have the humble heart in trusting God. Instead of relying on human knowledge and intelligence, we should be as little children relying on God alone, just as little children rely on their parents. While remaining childlike in our attitude and character, we should mature in our faith and our determination to follow God’s will.

Our theme for the Feast of the Sto. Niño tells us: God’s glory is revealed when we are obedient to pastoral authority. Great is a man who can humble himself as Jesus did in being born as a human being, humbling himself to be born helpless and weak, like a child. In this image of the Child Jesus, we come to understand and accept ourselves for who we really are, children of God. A person’s greatness is not measured by his lording it over others, nor in power, but in being little as the Lord and caring for our brothers and sisters, especially in this community God has given us. We can only help change the hearts of others if we ourselves embrace the way of the Divine Child Jesus. We cannot soften hearts by overpowering them. A childlike grown up will avoid the recognition and will not think in terms of pride and self-importance. A childlike adult requires openness and trust in God, accepting our dependency upon God and working towards total obedience to God and his duly constituted authority.

Humility is the key to obedience, and obedience is the key to love. As a child, Jesus practiced these virtues in His relationship with His earthly parents and more so with His heavenly Father. Thus, He is our Savior, truly victorious over sin and death for our salvation. Though we are celebrating the Feast of the Sto. Niño, we are also celebrating Christ as our Redeemer. Jesus became man as a helpless child, but grew and lived to fulfill His mission to restore our inheritance as worthy children of God. All these came to pass because He was obedient to the will of His Father.
Prayer:
Our Loving God, cultivate the heart of a child in us. As your children, may we journey together in this community, in unity and obedience to pastoral authority, that we may be what your promise this week says: “…the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him,” (Eph 1:17). We eagerly anticipate the fullness of your Kingdom and to be devoted to reach our real home in heaven where we will rejoice in your unending goodness and joy. All for your Name sake. Amen.

Reflection Guide Questions:
1. In what ways can I show my obedience to pastoral authority and listen to what God is telling me to follow?
2. How do others see Jesus in me as Sto. Niño in the way I relate to others?

This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
January 20, 2019 (Sun) – Is 9:1-6/Ps 98:1-6/Eph 1:3-6, 15-18/Lk 2:41-52
January 21, 2019 (Mon) – Heb 5:1-10?ps 110:1-4/Mk 2:18-22
January 22, 2019 (Tue) – Heb 6:10-20/Ps 111:1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10/Mk 2:23-28
January 23, 2019 (Wed) – Heb 7:1-3, 15-17/Ps 110:1-4/Mk 3:1-6
January 24, 2019 (Thu) – Hob 7:25-8:6/Ps 40:7-10, 17/Mk 3:7-12
January 25, 2019 (Fri) – Acts 22:3-16/Ps 1171, 2/Mk 16:15-18
January 26, 2019 (Sat) – 2Tm 1:1-8/Ps 96:1-3, 7-8/Lk 10:1-9

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

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