A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.27)

PENTECOST & WEEK 8 IN ORDINARY TIME: May 27 – June 2, 2012 *

 

(N.B. The pastoral tool BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD: A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY LITURGY includes a prayerful stud of the Sunday liturgy of Year B from three perspectives. For reflections on the Sunday liturgy based on the Gospel reading, please scroll up to the “ARCHIVES” above and open Series 1. For reflections based on the Old Testament reading, open Series 4. For reflections based on the Second Reading, open Series 7. Please go to Series 10 for the back issues of the Weekday Lectio.

 

Below is a LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY - WEEKDAY LITURGY: May 27 – June 2, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

***

 

May 27, 2012: PENTECOST SUNDAY

“EASTER-PENTECOST: A Time to Experience the Power of the Spirit”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 1:1-11 // I Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13 or Gal 5:16-25 // Jn 20:19-23 or 15:26-27; 16:12-15

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Terns are aquatic birds related to sea gulls. They have a more slender body and bill, smaller feet, a long, deeply forked tail, and a more graceful flight. The following experience of Carolyn White, a Maryknoll Sister assigned in the picturesque Marshall Islands, is about these fascinating birds flying over a lagoon at sunset (cf. MARYKNOLL magazine, November 2003, p. 5) and how they have imaged in her the presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

On a small island in the Marshalls one evening, I sat looking over the lagoon with the setting sun behind the trees to my left. White fairy terns were diving for their supper. When they rose from the water with a splash, the sun struck their glistening bodies with a blaze of glory. I was stunned. It set me wondering if there had been some original connection between two of the symbols for the Holy Spirit – the white dove or tern and the Pentecostal tongues of fire.

 

The celebration of the feast of Pentecost helps us delve more deeply into the meaning and presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It underlines that the Holy Spirit flows from the Risen Christ as his Easter gift. The great liturgical theologian, Odo Casel, gives a beautiful insight into the Easter-Pentecost event.

 

Today we celebrate the glorious ending of the great festal season and at the same time its richest unfolding, a sacred mystery in itself. When our Lord Jesus Christ, God and man, died and rose again, God’s plan of salvation was fulfilled … In Christ the Trinity and the human race meet. Redeemed humanity can speak the same words to the Father as those uttered by the Risen Christ: I have risen and am now with you. Christ was sanctified and consecrated so that we too might be sanctified in truth. The light of the Holy Spirit has now completely irradiated him … And so at Whitsunday/Pentecost Sunday we do not honor the third person of the Godhead apart from the other two; we honor the threefold God who sanctifies and divinizes the Church through the gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in the Church and in every soul … We celebrate the completion of the work of our redemption: God as gift, the wonderful messianic gift from above. The Spirit is the gift of God and of Christ to the Church, through which it becomes the bride of Christ and reigns with the Holy Trinity. And all this is the result of the cross.

 

The Easter gift of the Holy Spirit is the principle of the Church’s mission. The renewing Spirit breathed forth by the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday is the same power that animates the Church on Pentecost as it proclaims the Gospel to all nations. The Spirit is alive and at work today. As the Spirit of truth, he makes the saving event of Jesus accessible to all through time and space. Christ’s revelation of divine love is complete, but our understanding is not. We need the guidance and the memory of the Holy Spirit to perceive Christ as the suffering-glorified Lord and to welcome him into our life. Through the Spirit of truth, we delve into the paschal event of Jesus Christ and experience his eternal light and perfect love.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO 

Do we respond with praise and thanksgiving to the precious gift we received from the Risen Lord, the Holy Spirit? Do we allow ourselves to be empowered by the Holy Spirit in our mission to spread the Good News?

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

           

Lord Jesus,

how beautiful is your Easter gift to us!

We thank you for anointing us with the Holy Spirit.

Bathe us in his font of truth

and grant us grace

to delve into the mystery of your death and rising.

Make our hearts soar to the sky

with his promptings and inspiration.

Let him animate us with burning zeal

as we proclaim the Good News to all the nations

Fill all creation with your Holy Spirit

and renew the face of the earth.

We love you and praise you.

We commit ourselves to you,

now and forever.

Amen. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

            “He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn 20:22)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO   

 

Create an arena of silence deep within you. And in this silence, which is replete with the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, beg him to recreate your life anew. Pray that he will continue to be your guiding truth in the task and challenge of Christian witnessing in today’s world. By your act of charity and compassion to the people close to you, enable them to experience the renewing force of the Spirit, the Easter gift.

 

***

 

May 28, 2012: MONDAY - WEEKDAY (8)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Invites Us to a Radical Discipleship”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Pt 1:3-9 // Mk 10:17-27

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

A wise and holy hermit finds a precious stone beside the brook. He brings it with him to his little cottage. One of his disciples sees the precious discovery and begins to covet it. The hermit notices that the young disciple is looking dismal and miserable day by day. “What is it?” he asks the young man. “It is the stone,” the disciple replies. “I want to have it. I will never have peace and happiness until it is mine.” The good master remarks serenely, “But, of course, you can have it.” The disciple takes the stone. The next morning he is back. “What is it?” the hermit asks. The disciple holds up the precious stone and says, “I want the wisdom that made you renounce this precious stone so unselfishly.”

 

            The disciple’s “awakening” consists in discovering the need for wisdom, which gives a perceptive insight into human life. Wisdom directs our quest toward eternal life, the only goal worth striving for. The truly wise person is able to discern the unsurpassable value of God and chooses him above all. The full meaning of wisdom can be gleaned in the light of Jesus Christ, the divine Wisdom personified. Against this backdrop, the story of the rich man in pursuit of eternal life acquires a deeper perspective. The man has responded to the demands of the commandments. For one who lives under the Old Covenant, such a response would have been sufficient. And, indeed, Jesus looks at him and loves him. But Jesus, the absolute treasure and font of all good, goes further. The incarnate Wisdom offers a greater challenge and demands a fuller response.

 

            The challenge is Christian discipleship, which involves renunciation of false security. Jesus is the true wealth besides which everything pales in comparison. To follow Jesus is to make a radical choice for the absolute good. Jesus invites the rich man to make a fundamental choice. The enormity of the challenge is expressed in the Semitic hyperbole of a camel passing through the eye of a needle. It is a choice of a loving and discerning heart made possible by divine grace: “with God all things are possible” (Mk 10:30). This radical choice for the “treasure of all treasures” is addressed to us all.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

Do we yearn for the gift of wisdom? Do we beg the Lord to give us this precious gift? How do we respond to Christ’s radical challenge of discipleship? Do we trust in Christ’s exhortation: “With God all things are possible” (Mk 10:30)?

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Lord Jesus,

you are the “treasure of treasures” and the absolute good.

Fill us with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit

that we may choose your incredible beauty and value.

By the power of the same Spirit,

help us to affirm our fundamental choice for you

in every moment of life.

Teach us to live fully our discipleship.

Give us the grace to inspire the people to pursue you,

the incomparable good.

We love you and honor you,

now and forever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor … then, come, follow me.” (cf. Mk 10:21)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Pray for the gift of wisdom that will enable you to make a fundamental choice for Christ and follow him all the way. Take stock of your material possessions. Make a radical decision to share your material resources with the needy and to give to the poor.

 

 

 

***

 

May 29, 2012: TUESDAY – WEEKDAY (8)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Promises Eternal Life”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Pt 1:10-16 // Mk 10:28-31

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

The rich man who encountered Jesus on the road of discipleship went away sad. He is a dramatic illustration that selfish attachment makes participation in the Reign of God impossible. The rich man is not able to renounce his possessions for the sake of eternal life. To rely on false security, or one’s ability to obtain eternal life, is like a camel trying to enter the eye of a needle. It cannot happen!  But God can free us from enchantments and delusions. Through Jesus, he offers us the grace to renounce a false security or even a “relative good” so as to make a fundamental option for him, the absolute good - the source of all good, including eternal life.

 

Peter intuits the divine grace at work in the first disciples of Jesus. He asserts: “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus assures them and the Christian disciples through all times of the “hundredfold reward”. The “hundredfold reward” is already present in the present age, though its joy is overshadowed by the cross and threatened by the world’s persecution. Eventually those who left “houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands” for the sake of Jesus will experience in the final age the full reward - eternal life in the bosom of God.

 

The following thoughts of Mother Teresa of Calcutta give insight into radical discipleship and the Christian disciple’s hundredfold reward (cf. MOTHER TERESA: Her Essential Wisdom, ed. Carol Kelly- Gangi, New York: Barnes and Noble, 2006, p. 2-7).

 

I knew that God wanted something for me. I was only twelve years old, living with my parents in Skopje, Yugoslavia (now Macedonia), when I first sensed the desire to be a nun. At that time there were some very good priests who helped boys and girls follow their vocation, according to God’s will. It was then I realized that my call was to the poor.

 

***

I remember when I was leaving home fifty years ago – my mother was dead set against me leaving home and becoming a sister. In the end, when she realized that this was what God wanted from her and from me, she said something very strange: “Put your hand in his hand and walk all alone with him.” This is exactly our way of life. We may be surrounded by many people, yet our vocation is really out alone with Jesus.

 

***

I did my novitiate in Darjeeling and took the vows with the Loreto Sisters. For twenty years, I was at work in education in St. Mary’s High School, which was mostly for middle class children. I loved teaching, and in Loreto I was the happiest nun in the world.

 

***

In 1948, twenty years after I came to India, I actually decided upon this close contact with the poorest of the poor. It was for me a special vocation to give all to belong to Jesus. I felt that God wanted from me something more. He wanted me to be poor with the poor and to love him in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor. I had the blessing of obedience.

 

***

I was traveling by train to Darjeeling when I heard the voice of God. I was sure it was God’s voice. I was certain he was calling me. The message was clear. I must leave the convent to help the poor by living among them. Thus was a command, something to be done, something definite. The call was something between God and me. What matters is that God calls each of us in a different way. In those difficult, dramatic days I was certain that this was God’s doing and not mine and I am still certain. And it was the work of God. I knew that the world would benefit from it.

 

***

To leave Loreto was my greatest sacrifice, the most difficult thing I have ever done. It was much more difficult than to leave my family and country to enter religious life. Loreto meant everything to me. In Loreto I had received my spiritual training. I had become a religious there. I had given myself to Jesus in the Institute. I liked the work, teaching the girls.

 

***

On my first trip along the streets of Calcutta after leaving the Sisters of Loreto, a priest came up to me. He asked me to give a contribution to a collection for the Catholic press. I had left with five rupees, and I had given four of them to the poor. I hesitated, then gave the priest the one that remained. That afternoon, the same priest came to me and brought an envelope. He told me that a man had given him the envelope because ha had heard about my projects and wanted to help me. There were fifty rupees in the envelope. I had the feeling, at that moment, that God had begun to bless the work and would never abandon me.

 

***

One by one, from 1949 on, my former students began to arrive. They wanted to give everything to God, right away. With what joy they put away their colorful saris in order to put on our poor cotton one. They came because they knew that it would be hard. When a young woman of high caste comes and puts herself at the service of the poor, she is the protagonist of a revolution. It is the greatest, the most difficult revolution – the revolution of love.

 

***

One of the most demanding things for me is traveling with all the publicity everywhere I go. I have said to Jesus if I don’t go to Heaven for anything else, I will be going to Heaven for all the traveling and publicity, because it has purified me and sanctified me and made me truly ready for Heaven.

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

Have we left everything in order to follow Jesus? Are we experiencing the hundredfold reward?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

O loving Jesus,

you are the absolute good.

To follow you

is to be blessed with the hundredfold reward

and attain the exquisite gift of eternal life.

Give us the grace to renounce false security.

Grant us the wisdom to sacrifice a relative good

and to pursue zealously the eternal good.

Teach us to give up everything to follow you

and the divine saving will.

We adore and serve you.

You live and reign,

forever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“We have given up everything and followed you.” (cf. Mk 10:28)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Humbly express your discipleship in the various renunciations and sacrifices that you carry out in daily life in union with Jesus Savior.

 

 

***

 

 

May 30, 2012: WEDNESDAY – WEEKDAY (8)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Came to Serve”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Pt 1:18-25 // Mk 10:32-45

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

Jesus Christ, the beloved Son-Servant of God, came to serve – his greatest act of servitude was his paschal journey to Jerusalem and his life-offering on the cross. To be a Christian is to be a servant like him. To imitate Christ is to reject such a non-Gospel stance as “lording it over others”, and to refuse to play the world’s power game. The criterion of Christian discipleship is mutual service for the good of others. The path to glory is to serve the needs of others. The Church is a community of loving disciples who take to heart the words of Jesus: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”

In the following account, Mother Teresa of Calcutta gives us beautiful examples of Christian service (cf. Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart, ed. Jeff Cavins, et. al., West Chester: Ascension Press, 2004, p. 232-233).

One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition. I told the Sisters: “You take care of the other three; I will take care of the one who looks worse.”  So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, and she said one thing only: “Thank you.” Then she died.

Then there was the man we picked up from the drain, half-eaten by worms. And after we had brought him to the home, he only said, “I have lived like an animal in the street, but am going to die as an angel, loved and cared for.” Then, after we had removed all the worms from his body, all he said – with a big smile – was: “Sister, I am going home to God.”

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

How do I emulate Christ’s example of serving love? Do I believe that in service is true greatness?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO 

 

O Jesus, the Father’s beloved Son-Servant,

you became a slave on the cross.

You did not come to be served, but to serve

and to give your life as a ransom for many.

You teach us the way of serving love.

By your public ministry and paschal sacrifice,

you show us how to serve fully

the saving will of God.

Help us to reject the world’s power game

and not to seek false prestige.

Let us imitate you in serving the needs of others,

especially the weak and vulnerable in today’s society.

We love you, Jesus Savior,

and glorify you,

now and forever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.” (cf. Mk 10:45)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Let the service that you carry out on behalf of others be joyful and replete with love and self-giving.

 

 

***

 

 

 May 31, 2012: THURSDAY – THE VISITATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Is the Fruit of Mary’s Womb”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Zep 3:14-18 or Rom 12:9-16 // Lk 1:39-56

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

Today we celebrate the feast of the visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Christ bearer, into the home of Elizabeth. It is a profound meeting between two wonderful women, each carrying a very special baby with a vital role in salvation history. Mary’ son, Jesus, is the Messiah, while Elizabeth’s son, John, is the Messiah’s precursor. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit at Mary’s greeting and the child in her womb leaps for joy at the coming of Jesus, the fruit of Mary’s womb. This grace-filled event foreshadows the joyful outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Jesus Christ’s glorification.

 

Mary’s visit to assist Elizabeth exemplifies the spirit of service that marks Christian discipleship. But more remarkable than her assistance to a needy pregnant cousin, Mary’s incomparable service and ministry in salvation history is her divine motherhood. Her “FIAT” to the saving plan made possible the incarnation of the Son of God. Saint Bede the Venerable remarks: “Above all other servants, she alone can truly rejoice in Jesus, the Savior, for she knew that he who was the source of eternal salvation would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.” United with the saving mission of her Son and Lord Jesus, Mary of Nazareth is truly the servant of God – the handmaid of the Lord.

 

Today’s feast also invites us to be truly concerned with a social issue that militates against the service of life that the Mother of God exemplifies. Abortion is a negation of a person’s right to life … a direct attack against an innocent human being, who is a gift of God. The following words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta are insightful (cf. Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart, ed. Jeff Cavins, et. al., West Chester: Ascension Press, 2004, p. 228-231).

 

And God loved the world so much that he gave his son. God gave his son to the Virgin Mary, and what did she do with him? As soon as Jesus came into Mary’s life, immediately she went in haste to give that good news. And as she came into the house of her cousin, Elizabeth, Scripture tells us that the unborn child – the child in the womb of Elizabeth – leapt with joy. While still in the womb of Mary, Jesus brought peace to John the Baptist, who leaps for joy in the womb of Elizabeth. (…)

 

But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we imitate Mary’s neighborly concern for her cousin Elizabeth as well as her maternal devotion and apostolic zeal as Christ-bearer?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Jesus Lord,

we thank you for sharing with us

the ineffable goodness of Mary, your blessed Mother.

By the Holy Spirit,

you were made incarnate in her womb and became man.

Mary nourished you with her own body and blood.

The Blessed Mother could not contain you,

- the infinite goodness and love incarnate - within her.

Love, joy and peace need to be outpoured.

Hence, Mother Mary became a “christofora” and a Gospel bearer

to Elizabeth and her son John,

and to all believers through time and space.

Help us to imitate Mary

in her maternal devotion, faithful discipleship and apostolic zeal.

Grant that in the spirit of Mary,

the handmaid of the Lord,

we may be instruments of your grace-filled “visitation”

to the poor and the needy,

the weak and the marginalized,

the “anawim” and the chosen people of God.

You live and reign, forever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“And how does this happen to me that the mother of the Lord should come to me?” (Lk 1:43)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

In the spirit of Mary, the Christ bearer, make a “visitation” to a person who is in need of assistance, comfort and consolation. Pray for the victims of abortion and for the conversion of the perpetrators of this crime.

 

 

***

 

 June 1, 2012: FRIDAY – SAINT JUSTIN, martyr

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Calls us to True Piety”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Pt 4:7-13 // Mk 11:11-26

 

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

In today’s Gospel, the story of Jesus cleansing the Jerusalem temple is sandwiched between the strange story of him cursing the fig tree. As he leaves Bethany to return to the Jerusalem temple he gets hungry. He goes over to a fig tree. It is covered with leaves but no fruit because it is “out of season”. Jesus curses the fruitless tree. Early in the morning of the following day it is withered. Against the backdrop of Jesus driving the buyers and sellers from the temple area because they have turned what was meant to be “a house of prayer for all peoples” into a “den of thieves”, the withered fig tree symbolizes the barrenness, irrelevance and condemnation of Jewish temple piety. The corruption of temple worship has provoked Jesus’ prophetic ministry and his pronouncement of divine condemnation. The fig tree symbolizes Israel. The cursing of the fig tree and its withering dramatizes God’s judgment against Israel’s perverted temple worship: unfruitful and “out of sync” with the signs of the time - the radical newness of the Reign of God that Jesus brings. The Divine Master then completes the lesson of the withered fig tree by challenging his disciples to a more efficacious prayer-worship that is based on “faith in God” and total surrender to his saving will and forgiving love.

 

The following story is a modern day example of a piety that is as irrelevant and unfruitful as the cursed fig tree (cf. Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird, New York: Image Books, 1984, p. 64).

 

October 1917: The Russian Revolution is born. Human history takes a new direction.

 

The story goes that that very month the Russian Church was assembled in council. A passionate debate was in progress about the color of the surplice to be used in liturgical functions. Some insisted vehemently that it has to be white. Others, with equal vehemence, that it had to be purple.

 

Coming to grips with revolution is more of a bother than organizing a liturgy. I’d rather say my prayers than get involved in neighborhood disputes.

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Is our faith relationship with God manifested in true prayer and fruitful acts of charity? Do we seek to live the spirit of piety and strive for full surrender to the divine saving will?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

Jesus Divine Master,

you taught us the meaning of prayer and true worship

upon the cross of salvation.

Let our life be focused

on the radical newness of the Reign of God.

Help us work for justice and peace

and promote the advent of his kingdom on earth.

Make our prayer an expression of faith in God

and submission to his saving will.

Do not allow us to degenerate

into a barren and cursed fig tree,

but rather transform us into a vigorous tree

with abundant fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Let us witness the power of prayer in today’s world.

You live and reign, forever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

            The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the week. Please memorize it.

 

“Have faith in God.” (Mk 11:22)

 

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

 

Endeavor to live the true meaning of prayer and worship in today’s world. By little acts of charity to the people around you, especially to the poor and vulnerable, let your life be pleasing to God and fruitful

 

 

***

 

June 2, 2012: SATURDAY – WEEKDAY (8); SAINT MARCELLINUS & PETER, martyrs; BVM on Saturday

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Has Messianic Authority”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Jude 17:20b-25 // Mk 11:27-33

 

I. BIBLICO-LITURGICAL REFLECTIONS: A Pastoral Tool for the LECTIO

 

The chief priests and scribes are seeking a way to kill Jesus after his drastic cleansing of the temple and on account of his subversive actions and words. Now they are joined by the elders in challenging Jesus by what authority he is doing these things. Jesus counters with a question about John’s authority to baptize. For fear of the crowd, the opponents of Jesus refuse to make a statement about the source of John the Baptist’s authority. What began as a threat to Jesus’ authority ends in the exposure of how little authority and courage his antagonists really have. What was meant to subvert and humiliate Jesus turns into a manifestation of the authoritative wisdom of the Divine Master.

 

The messianic authority of Jesus continues in the “one, holy catholic and apostolic Church”. In the face of moral-social-political issues that convulse and challenge the faithful today, it is good to assert the authoritative Church teaching. The following are the Seven Key Themes of the Catholic Social Teaching in the Public Square (cf. USCCB, The Challenge of Forming Conscience for Faithful Citizenship, November 2007).

 

1. The Right to Life and the Dignity of the Human Person: Human life is sacred. Direct attacks on innocent human beings are never morally acceptable. Within our society, life is under direct attack from abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, and destruction of human embryos for research. These intrinsic evils must always be opposed. This teaching also compels us Catholics to oppose genocide, torture, unjust war and the use of the death penalty, as well as to pursue peace and help overcome poverty, racism and other conditions that demean human life.

 

2. Call to Family, Community and Participation: The family, based on marriage between a man and a woman, is the fundamental unit of society. This sanctuary for the creation and nurturing of children must not be redefined, undermined or neglected. Supporting families should be a priority for economic and social policies. How our society is organized - in economics and politics, in law and public policy – affects the well-being of individuals and of society. Every person and association has a right and a duty to participate in shaping society to promote the well-being of individuals and the common good.

 

3. Rights and Responsibilities: Every human person has a right to life, the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible. Each of us has a right to religious freedom, which enables us to live and act in accord with our God-given dignity, as well as a right to have access to those things required for human decency – food and shelter, education and employment, healthcare and housing. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities – to one another, to our families, and to a larger society.

 

4. Option for Poor and Vulnerable: While the common good embraces all, those who are in greatest need deserve preferential concern. A moral test for society is how we treat the weakest among us – the unborn, those dealing with disabilities or terminal illness, the poor and marginalized.

 

5. Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers: the economy must serve the people, not the other way around. Economic justice calls for decent work at fair, living wages, opportunities for legal status for immigrant workers, and the opportunity for all people to work together for the common good through their work, ownership, enterprise, investment, participation in unions and other forms of economic activity.

 

6. Solidarity: we form one human family; whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic and ideological differences. Our Catholic commitment to solidarity requires that we pursue justice, eliminate racism, end human trafficking, protect human rights, seek peace, and avoid the use of force except as a necessary last resort.

 

7. Caring for God’s Creation: Care for the earth is a duty of our Catholic faith. We all are called to be careful stewards of God’s creation and to ensure a safe and hospitable environment for vulnerable human beings now and in the future.

 

 

II. POINTS FOR THE EXAMINATION OF THE HEART: A Pastoral Tool for the MEDITATIO

 

Do we fully accept the messianic authority of Jesus? Do we promote the truth that Jesus the Divine Master teaches and incarnates in today’s world?

 

 

III. PRAYING WITH THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the ORATIO

 

O Jesus Divine Master,

we adore as the Word incarnate sent by the Father

to instruct us in the life giving truth.

You live on in the Church.

Grant us the grace to embrace your authoritative wisdom

that enables us to embrace moral principles,

care for the needs of the weak,

defend the culture of life,

and pursue the common good.

We humbly submit to your messianic authority

for you are the One Sent by God

and anointed by the Holy Spirit for our salvation.

You live and reign, forever and ever.

Amen.

 

 

IV. INTERIORIZATION OF THE WORD: A Pastoral Tool for the CONTEMPLATIO

 

The following is the bread of the living Word that will nourish us throughout the day. Please memorize it.

 

“By what authority are you doing these things?” (Mk 11:28)

 

 

V. TOWARDS LIFE TRANSFORMATION: A Pastoral Tool for the ACTIO

Make an effort to understand the personal implication for you of the Catholic Teaching in the Public Square and to put it into practice.

 

 

***

 

 

Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang  PDDM

 

 

PIAE DISCIPULAE DIVINI MAGISTRI

SISTER DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER

60 Sunset Ave., Staten Island, NY 10314

Tel. (718) 494-8597 // (718) 761-2323

Website: WWW.PDDM.US

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