A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.47)

WEEK 28 IN ORDINARY TIME: October 14-20, 2012 *****

 

(N.B. The pastoral tool BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD: A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE SUNDAY LITURGY includes a prayerful study 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: October 14-20, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

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October 14, 2012: 28th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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

 

BIBLE READINGS

Wis 7:7-11 // Heb 4:12-13 // Mk 10:17-30

 

 

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. Every person’s authentic desire for true wisdom is best expressed in today’s first reading (Wis 7:7-11). Wisdom, which is the knowledge of God and perceptive insight into human life, is preferred to scepter and throne and is esteemed above all other gifts and riches. 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 the love of God and chooses to put God above everything else.

 

            The full meaning of wisdom can be gleaned in the light of Jesus Christ who is divine Wisdom personified. Someone has even paraphrased today’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom in this way: “I preferred Christ to scepter and throne, and deemed riches nothing in comparison with him, nor did I liken any priceless gem to him. Because all gold, in view of him, is a little sand, and before him silver is to be accounted as mire. Beyond health and comeliness I loved Jesus Christ. And I chose to have him rather than light, because the splendor of him never yields to sleep. Yet all good things came to me in Christ and countless riches in his hands.”

 

            Against this backdrop, the story of the rich man in pursuit of eternal life in today’s Gospel (Mk 10:17-30) acquires a deeper perspective. The man has responded to the demands of the commandments. For one who lived 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 new challenge and demands a greater response. The challenge is absolute discipleship, the following of Christ who is the absolute good. Christian discipleship involves renunciation of human assurances and security. Jesus is the true wealth besides which everything pales in comparison. To follow Jesus is to pursue and make a radical choice for absolute good. Jesus is inviting the man to make a fundamental option for the incomparable wealth of his person.

 

            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. It is a choice made possible by the grace of God: “with God all things are possible” (Mk 10:30). The true option for Christ, the “treasure of all treasures” is guided by the wisdom of heart. This radical challenge 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 to make a fundamental option for his person? Do we believe in Christ’s exhortation: “With God all things are possible”

 

 

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

 

Lord God,

you made all things by your word.

Grant me Wisdom, the attendant at your throne.

Send her forth from your holy heavens

that she may be with me and work with me.

From your glorious throne dispatch her

that I may discern your compassionate plan for me.

Let your wisdom guide me

that I may have the strength to embrace

Christ’s call to radical discipleship

and be greatly filled

with heavenly treasures.

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.

            “Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasures in heaven; then come, follow me.” (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.   

 

 

***

 

October 15, 2012: SAINT TERESA OF JESUS, virgin, doctor of the Church

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Gives Them the Sign of Jonah”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Gal 4:22-24,26-27,31-5:1 // Lk 11:29-32

 

 

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

 

I have a beautiful statue of the Holy Child Jesus (known in the Philippines as Santo Niño). It is enthroned in a prominent place in my room. Every morning and evening I kneel before him and offer special prayers for vocations. I have recently received a new assignment. I will move to Fresno, but I am not sure whether I would bring the statue with me or leave it at our San Jose convent. I prayed to the Santo Niño to give me a “sign” where he wants to be. One day I mentioned to Sr. Mary Lucy that I have been praying for a “sign”. She spontaneously remarked: “Leave the Santo Niño in San Jose. I will keep it in my room.” That was the “sign” I was waiting for!

 

The adversaries of Jesus ask for a “sign”, but he refuses to oblige to their terms. It is futile to give a further sign to an “evil generation” that chooses not to believe. His opponents have accused him of driving demons by the power of Beelzebul. They have also demanded from him a sign of divine authority - a proof that his authority comes from God and not from the prince of demons. Jesus counters that they will not be given any sign, except the “sign of Jonah”. Jonah was a prophet sent by God to the Ninevites to move them to conversion. Just as Jonah became a sign and means of salvation for the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be the sign and means of salvation for all generations and creation.

 

The pagan Ninevites and the Queen of the South are models of receptivity to the Word that summons to conversion. Jesus is the incarnate wisdom and as the Word of God he is more than Jonah. Hence, the “paschal sign” of Christ is infinitely more powerful and efficacious than the “sign of Jonah”. Through Jonah, God generously extended forgiveness and salvation to the Assyrian Ninevites, a Gentile nation. But through the “Son of Man” Jesus Christ, God extends forgiveness and salvation to all nations.

 

 

 

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

 

Are we receptive to the grace of God and his living Word calling us to conversion? Do we greatly welcome the “sign of Jonah” into our lives?

 

 

 

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

 

Jesus Master,

we thank you for being the “sign of Jonah” par excellence.

Help us to welcome the “paschal sign”

of your death and resurrection into our life.

Let not the pagan Ninevites and the Queen of the South condemn us,

but let their positive response be our own inspiration.

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.

 

“No sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Lk 11:29)

 

 

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

 

Pray for those who have difficulty perceiving and welcoming the “sign of Jonah” and the “paschal sign” of Jesus Christ into their life. By your acts of charity enable the people around you to relish the “paschal sign” of Christ who calls us to salvation and sanctification.

 

 

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October 16, 2012: TUESDAY – WEEKDAY (28); SAINT HEDWIG, religious; SAINT MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE, virgin

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Teaches the Importance of Almsgiving”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Gal 5:1-6 // Lk 11:37-41

 

 

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

 

            When I was a young girl, I was trained to scoop up a cup of grains from the rice bin whenever the “alabado” (a beggar) knocked at our door. I would solemnly offer it to him. He would pour my offering in his woven basket and utter words of blessing. That childhood formation on almsgiving had great effect on me. It helped me to be more compassionate and caring for the poor and needy.

 

Today’s Gospel contains a revolutionary statement of Jesus about almsgiving. In the context of his polemic with the Pharisees who are more concerned with ritual cleanliness than with cleanliness of the soul, Jesus asserts: “But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” Indeed, almsgiving is purifying. It liberates us from evil tendencies that lead to self-destruction. Jesus teaches the ritually conscious Pharisees and all of us that charity is above hand-washing rules and other humanly contrived regulations that are hard to bear. Jesus motivates his disciples to be deeply concerned with the needy and vulnerable. To take a legalistic stance and a hypocritical attitude would seriously compromise the meaning of Christian discipleship, which is deeply animated by love of God and neighbors.

 

The following article circulated on the Internet gives insight into the importance of almsgiving in the Christian life.

 

“Alms” is a word from Old English that refers to something, like food or money, given to the poor. As a practice, almsgiving can include many things, such as making a donation to a charitable organization or tithing to a religious institution (that is, giving one-tenth a part of something). Almsgiving is part of our baptismal calling, as it is one way to take care of our brothers and sisters, both locally and globally, and to provide for the needs of the “least of these.” In a sense, almsgiving is putting money where our mouths are, that is, giving a material gift as a sign of our commitment to follow in the steps of Jesus.

Like fasting, almsgiving is a practice that encourages us to think about our lives and ourselves in new ways. Almsgiving encourages focusing on what we have to give, rather than on what we can get for ourselves. It also can help correct our attitude toward material possessions. Rather than hoarding our things out of fear that we may not have enough, almsgiving encourages us to express gratitude for all that God has given to us by giving some away. Small acts of almsgiving help us to grow in charity, leading toward recognition of Jesus Christ in the poor of our world. Almsgiving takes us beyond an attitude of “it’s just me and God,” as we respond to the needs of others, of those who participate in the Body of Christ with us. (…)

Almsgiving and tithing do not have to involve money.Take a look at your closet and what is in your room. Could you donate 10% of your clothes, items that are in good condition that you do not use but that someone else could? Do you have books in good condition that could be donated to a homeless shelter or school? Think about how many hours of “free time” you have each week. Could you donate 10% of that time to charity or justice work—serving lunch at a soup kitchen, writing letters for Amnesty International, joining Big Brother/Big Sister?

 

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

 

Are we guilty of concerning ourselves with external observances but not with inner attitudes and personal integrity? Do we realize how important is “almsgiving” in the practice of Christian discipleship and in the cleansing of evil tendencies that lead to self-destruction?

 

 

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

 

Jesus,

we thank you for calling us to personal integrity

and for teaching us

that charity preempts mere legal observance.

Help us to appreciate

the power and beauty of almsgiving.

Grant us the grace

to exercise almsgiving creatively and efficaciously,

especially in today’s world

marked with callousness and uncaring.

You are our self-giving Lord, 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.

 

“Give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” (Lk 11:41)

 

 

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

 

Practice almsgiving creatively and with personal dedication.

 

 

***

 

October 17, 2012: WEDNESDAY – SAINT IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH, bishop, martyr

 “JESUS SAVIOR: He Denounces the Pharisees and the Lawyers”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Gal 5:18-25 // Lk 11:42-46

 

 

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

A religious habit, the special dress worn by Sisters, is a sign of religious consecration and a witness to poverty. To wear a religious habit entails blessings as well as challenges. People have high expectations of those wearing a religious habit. They are deluded when a Sister’s behavior does not conform to the high ideals they profess. Last month I was at a crowded boarding area in the Houston airport, trying to catch my connecting flight to San Jose. Since I was eager to board immediately, and find a space for my carry-on luggage, I unwittingly cut into the passengers’ line. One disgusted lady muttered: “How shameful!” I felt very sorry and ashamed. The irked passenger was justified in chastising me. I therefore resolved to be more attentive and respectful of the rights of other passengers.

Jesus is fully justified in chastising the Pharisees and scribes for their lapses and hypocrisy. They have distorted their priorities and have neglected the essentials. They pay tithes meticulously, but fail to pay the debt of justice and charity. They seek recognition in synagogues and marketplaces, but fail to give honor to God through integrity of heart. They are to lead the people on the right path, but by their hypocrisy and false teachings they lead them astray instead. Hence, his description of them as “unseen graves” is very fitting. Jesus likewise admonishes the scholars of the law for imposing on people heavy burdens which they themselves do not wish to carry. They use the law to punish the people instead of interpreting it for them as a gift of God. The Pharisees and scribes, having studied the Torah and the prophetic writings, should have set their priorities right. With all the special resources and tools they have received, they should have known better. On account of the greater graces they have received, they have greater accountability and responsibility.

 

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

Do I behave in ways that deserve censure and condemnation? What do I do to rectify the awful things I have done?

 

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

 

Heavenly Father,

we thank you for Jesus, the Divine Master.

He exposes our hypocrisy and duplicity

that we may rectify our evil ways.

He leads us on the road to wholeness and personal integrity.

Grant that we may be totally converted

and let us be spared from the woes

that result from distorted priorities.

Help us to love God wholehearted

and serve our neighbors devotedly.

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.

 

            “Woe to you Pharisees …Woe to you scholars of the law.” (Lk 11:42,46)

 

 

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

When you receive some chastisement for a failure or a misdeed, do not react negatively, but humbly welcome it. Resolve to rectify your actions so as to become a better disciple of Christ.

 

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 October 18, 2012: SAINT LUKE, evangelist

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Calls Us to Proclaim the Advent of God’s Kingdom”

 

BIBLE READINGS

2Tm 4:10-17b // Lk 10:1-9

 

 

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

 

This happened in November of 1984 in Bombay, India. I accompanied our Italian Superior to a cemetery where hundreds of Italian soldiers, who died during World War II, were buried. A special memorial service was held for them. Italian citizens and members of the diplomatic corps attended the celebration, which was graced by the presence of the Italian Minister of Finance, the Honorable Signor Spadolini. After the laying of the floral wreath, a Mass followed. Two good-looking young men were actively participating in the Mass. Probably, the sons of some diplomats, I thought. After the Mass, the two were introduced to us as members of Chiara Lubich’s Focolare Movement. They were residing and working in the slums of Bombay. As we hitched a ride back home, a Sister was reciting a litany of miseries. She cynically asked, “Where is the Kingdom of God, tell me!” One of the two Focolare missionaries answered, “The Kingdom of God is within you!” She sobered up.

 

The Gospel reading (Lk 10:1-12, 17-20) depicts the mission of Christian disciples to be bearers of peace and the Gospel joy as they move from village to village, proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom. The image of the “rich harvest” signifies the peoples of the whole world that need to be gathered into the kingdom of God. In order to be more efficacious in gathering the people of God as in a “rich harvest”, Jesus gives his disciples remarkable directives. They are to travel light and not to carry any moneybag, sack or sandals. The detachment from material goods would enable them to uphold the absolute priority of preaching the Good News. The spirit of detachment would also help them to trust more deeply in Divine Providence and oblige them to rely humbly on the hospitality of those who are receptive to the Gospel. The mission of the Christian disciples is urgent. Hence, they are enjoined not to greet anyone on the way. Above all, they need to persevere. Even if not always welcomed, they are to continue to bring the peace of Christ and the Good News of the Kingdom. Their power to heal the sick would reinforce their message that the Kingdom of God is at hand.

 

 

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

 

Do we follow Jesus’ instructions to his disciples, especially with regards to the sense of urgency, spirit of trust and detachment, and absolute commitment that the mission of the Gospel entails? Do we take to heart Jesus’ exhortation: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest” (Lk 10:2)?  

 

 

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

 

Lord Jesus,

you are the font and power of mission.

You send us to proclaim,

“The kingdom of God is at hand.”

Help us to feel the urgency of the Gospel proclamation

and realize the spirit of detachment it entails.

Help us to commit ourselves totally to the kingdom value

and to take to heart your exhortation:

“The harvest is abundant

but the laborers are few;

so ask the master of the harvest

to send out laborers for his harvest”.

Let us feel the touch of joy and the spirit of peace

alive in the Church today.

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.

 

            “The kingdom of God is at hand for you.” (Lk 10:9)

 

 

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

 

Pray that the Christian disciples may truly be bearers of the Gospel joy and his peace in today’s anguished world. Be actively engaged in the peace-making effort of the Church and the world community. Bring your gift of peace to a person who is in a painful and stressful situation. 

 

 

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 October 19, 2012: FRIDAY – SAINTS JOHN DE BREBEUF AND ISAAC JOGUES, priests, AND COMPANIONS, martyrs (USA)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Encourages Us Not To Be Afraid”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Eph 1:11-14 // Lk 12:1-7

 

 

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

 

The central message of today’s Gospel reading is: do not be afraid to speak out for Jesus and proclaim his kingdom of justice and right. The kingdom of God message, proclaimed once by Jesus, must be repeated to every generation as a fearless witness to truth. The all-knowing and compassionate God who cares for the sparrows has even greater care for the faithful disciple who sacrifices his life for the spread of the Gospel. Jesus argues that the enemies may destroy the body, but not the soul. The worst aggressions against the body do not always succeed in reaching person’s inner core where true dignity and greatness reside. God, who knows when a small bird dies and perceives the destiny of each creature, is mindful of the trials and anguish endured by the disciples on behalf of God’s kingdom. His Son Jesus therefore encourages us not to be afraid.

 

Blessed Pedro Calungsod of the Philippines will be canonized on October 22, 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. The following, circulated on the Internet, is an account of his martyrdom.

 

Pedro Calungsod (c. 1654 – 2 April 1672) was a young Roman Catholic Filipino migrant, sacristan and missionary catechist, who along with Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores, suffered religious persecution and martyrdom on Guam for their missionary work in 1672. Through Calungsod and San Vitores' missionary efforts, many native Chamorros converted to Roman Catholicism. Calungsod was beatified on 5 March 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced that Calungsod will be canonised on 21 October 2012.

Calungsod (spelled Calonsor in Spanish records) was born ca. 1655. Few details of his early life prior to missionary work and death are known. It is probable that he received basic education at a Jesuit boarding school, mastering the Catechism and learning to communicate in Spanish. He likely honed his skills in drawing, painting, singing, acting, and carpentry as these were necessary in missionary work. Calungsod would have been expected to have some aptitude in serving in the Tridentine Mass (now known as the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite).

Calungsod, then around 14, was among the exemplary young catechists chosen to accompany the Jesuits in their mission to the Ladrones Islands (Islas de los Ladrones or “Isles of Thieves”). In 1668, Calungsod travelled with Spanish Jesuit missionaries to these islands, renamed the Mariana Islands (Las Islas de Mariana) the year before in honour of both the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the Queen Regent of Spain, María Ana of Austria, who funded their voyage. Calungsod and San Vitores went to Guam to catechise the native Chamorros.[5]Missionary life was difficult as provisions did not arrive regularly, the jungles and terrain was difficult to traverse, and the islands were frequently devastated by typhoons. Despite all these, the mission persevered, and was able to convert a significant number of locals. A Japanese merchant named Choco began spreading rumours that the baptismal water used by missionaries was poisonous. As some sickly Chamorro infants who were baptised eventually died, many believed the story and held the missionaries responsible. Choco was readily supported by the macanjas (medicine men) and the urritaos (young males) who despised the missionaries.

In their search for a runaway companion named Esteban, Calungsod and San Vitores came to the village of Tumon, Guam on 2 April 1672. There they learnt that the wife of the village chief Mata'pang gave birth to a daughter, and they immediately went to baptise the child. Influenced by the calumnies of Choco, the chief strongly opposed to give Mata'pang some time to calm down, the missionaries gathered the children and some adults of the village at the nearby shore and started chanting with them the tenets of the Catholic religion. They invited Mata'pang to join them, but he shouted back that he was angry with God and was fed up with Christian teachings.

Determined to kill the missionaries, Mata'pang went away and tried to enlist another villager, named Hirao, who was not a Christian. Hirao initially refused, mindful of the missionaries' kindness towards the natives, but when Mata'pang branded him a coward, he became piqued and capitulated. Meanwhile, during that brief absence of Mata'pang from his hut, San Vitores and Calungsod baptised the baby girl, with the consent of her Christian mother.

When Mata'pang learnt of his daughter's baptism, he became even more furious. He violently hurled spears first at Pedro, who was able to dodge the spears. Witnesses claim that Calungsod could have escaped the attack, but did not want to leave San Vitores alone. Those who knew Calungsod personally meanwhile believed that he could have defeated the aggressors with weapons; San Vitores however banned his companions to carry arms. Calungsod was hit in the chest by a spear and he fell to the ground, then Hirao immediately charged. towards him and finished him off with machete blow to the head. San Vitores absolved Calungsod before he too was killed. Mata'pang took San Vitores' crucifix and pounded it with a stone whilst blaspheming God. Both assassins then denuded the corpses of Calungsod and San Vitroes, tied large stones to their feet, brought them out to sea on their proas and threw them into the water. In the Roman Catholic Church, Calungsod's martyrdom is called In Odium Fidei or In Hatred of the Faith, referring to the religious persecution endured by the person in evangelisation.

 

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

 

In our Christian mission, are we brave and fearless in proclaiming the truth that is Jesus? Trusting in the irresistible power of the Kingdom of God, do we respond positively to Jesus’ exhortation not to be afraid in the face of trials and persecutions? 

 

 

 

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

 

Loving Father,

by his public ministry and his paschal mystery,

your Son Jesus Christ proclaimed courageously

the Kingdom value.

In our missionary task and Gospel ministry,

help us to respond positively to his exhortation: “Do not be afraid.”

We trust in your care for us,

knowing that we are worth more than sparrows

and that the hairs of our head have all been counted.

Fill us with courage and strength

that we may courageously witness to Christ

and be heralds of the Gospel

in today’s anguished and fragmented world.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

            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.

 

“Do not be afraid.” (Lk 12:7) 

 

 

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

 

Pray for Christian missionaries who promote the Kingdom value with courage and conviction. Pray for those who are fearful when faced with the contradictions, persecutions, and violent reactions that their ministry is bound to elicit. Pray for those who have been persecuted, tortured and killed.

 

 

***

 

October 20, 2012: SATURDAY – WEEKDAY (27); SAINT PAUL OF THE CROSS, priest (USA); BVM ON SATURDAY

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Invites Us to Trust in the Holy Spirit”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Eph 1:15-23 // Lk 12:8-12

 

 

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

 

In December 1989 I was to make a public defense of my doctoral dissertation, “James Alberione and the Liturgical Movement” at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselm in Rome. I was anxious and distressed, but the Gospel reading at Mass during the day of the thesis defense gave me strength: “Do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.” The Holy Spirit truly came to my aid. Everything went well and I even got a “ten out of ten” for my oral defense.

 

Jesus assures his followers through time and space that they have the Holy Spirit to speak for them in times of trial. Christians subjected to persecution have the Holy Spirit as their teacher and defender. They need not worry how to defend themselves or what words to say when they are brought to court. The Holy Spirit will give them strength and wisdom to witness to their faith in Jesus. But they need to be receptive to the Spirit and allow him to work in them. To reject the Holy Spirit who offers forgiveness, repentance and renewal is to reject salvation. Jesus’ contemporaries who rejected him during his earthly ministry would have another chance through the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost. But to resist the Holy Spirit, the Easter gift, is to refuse deliberately the Father’s saving will. To close oneself to the Spirit is to negate the experience of God’s peace and reconciliation.

 

 

 

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

 

In moments of trial and persecution do you call upon the Holy Spirit to give you courage and strength? How do you manifest your trust in the Holy Spirit?

 

 

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

 

Lord Jesus,

help us to acknowledge you in today’s world

so that on judgment day,

you will acknowledge us before God’s angelic court.

In times of persecution and trials,

send us your Holy Spirit

to defend, teach and speak for us.

Help us always to be receptive

and obedient to his promptings.

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.

 

            “The Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”  (Lk 12:12)

 

 

 

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

 

In your resolve to give an authentic Christian witness invoke the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and strength.

 

 

***

 

 

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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