A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.7)

EPIPHANY, BAPTISM OF THE LORD AND WEEK 1

IN ORDINARY TIME: January 8-14, 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.

 

Series 10 presents A LECTIO DIVINA APPROACH TO THE WEEKDAY LITURGY: January 1-7, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

***

 

January 8, 2012 (Sunday): THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

 “Delving into the Christmas Mystery: Christ

Proclaimed among the Nations”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 60:1-6 // Eph 3:2-3a,5-6 // Mt 2:1-12

 

 

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

 

The World Youth Day celebrated in 1995 in Manila was, in a sense, an “epiphany”.  Thousands of youth and other delegates from all over the world, together with millions of Filipino Christians, gathered at the Rizal National Park to celebrate the Eucharist with our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II. The presence of vibrant and energetic youth delegates from all nations in their beautiful and colorful costumes and the participation of a great throng of Filipino believers from all walks of life contributed to make the event, using the words of the Pope, “a phenomenal experience”. Indeed, it was an “epiphany”, a revelation of the powerful presence of God… a manifestation of Christ proclaimed among the nations. It was a fulfillment of the prophetic words: “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you!”

The story of the visit of the magi or “wise men” is meant to show that Christ is the fulfillment. The adoration of the magi fulfills messianic prophecies of homage paid by the nations to the God of Israel. Under the influence of Psalm 72:10 and Isaiah 60:10, the magi were thought of as kings and their number settled at three, as deduced from the three gifts. Eventually the magi were named Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior. Caspar came to be depicted as a black person. The magi represented the Gentiles in all their racial diversity – those who come to Christ and adore him. With regards to the gifts of the wise men, in later tradition gold came to signify the kingship of Christ, incense his divinity, myrrh his redemptive suffering, prayer and virtue.

The “star” that guided the wise men to Jesus evokes Num 24:17, in which Balaam prophesied about “a star from Jacob” taking leadership. Moreover, the mention of the “rising star” evokes God’s promise to Abraham that the patriarch’s descendants would be as the stars of heaven (cf. Gen 15:5; 22:17). Jesus, a descendant of Abraham, is the “star that shall come out of Jacob”, the object of adoration of the wise men and all peoples of the earth. Christian disciples follow Jesus – the Messiah star - and radiate his saving light to all nations.

 

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

 

Do we strive to make Christ known to all the nations and make him truly “the light of the nations”? How do we radiate the saving light of Christ to others?

 

 

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

 

Loving God, we thank you for the feast of the Epiphany and the manifestation of your beloved Son Jesus Christ to the nations. His radiant light shines through all creation. His salvation is for the ages. Help us to respond to Christ the Light and aid us in our quest to bring the warmth of his love to all. Let the light of Christ vanquish the darkness of sin and death. We bless and praise you, almighty Father. You are the font of light and radiant glory, 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.

 

“We saw his star at its rising.” (cf. Mt 2:2b)

 

 

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

 

Pray for the five continents of the world that all peoples may come to know God and his Son Jesus Christ, the “light of all nations”. By your spiritual, moral and material contribution, assist the world-wide mission of the Church.

 

***

 

 

January 9, 2012 (Monday): THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD

 “Delving into the Christmas Mystery: Revealed

at the Jordan”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Is 55:1-11 or I Jn 5:1-9 //  Mk 1:7-11

 

 

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

 

In chapter 5 of her book, “Please Forgive Me, God”, Sr. Rose McGeady narrates the story of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, Colorado: “The two kids walked into the schoolyard, an arsenal of weapons hanging from their bodies and hidden inside their black trench coats. Their first two victims were a 17-year-old girl and 15-year-old freshman boy, both classmates, who were shot in the head and the back immediately outside the front entrance to the school. Once inside, the two killers strode quickly through the school, first to the cafeteria then upstairs to the library, pointing guns at their terrified classmates, casually deciding who should live and who should die. As each shot rang out, and each innocent life was snuffed out, we’re told the kids laughed triumphantly, and then moved on to the next victim … In one particularly nightmarish sequence, one of the killers confronted a girl trembling on the ground, and asked if she believed in God. Knowing full well the safe answer, the girl stood her ground. ‘There is a God’, she said quietly, ‘and you need to follow along God’s path’. ‘There is no God’, the boy gunman said, and shot her in the head.”

 

Sr. Rose McGeady remarks: “The girl proclaimed her belief in God, knowing that her answer would be the last words she ever spoke.” Indeed, the girl proclaimed her baptismal faith in the blood bath of martyrdom. She followed the destiny of the Lord Jesus who offered his life totally to God, manifesting his fidelity to the Father at his water bath at the Jordan and at his sacrificial death on the cross where “blood and water” flowed from his saving side.

Today’s Gospel presents the Lord’s baptism at the River Jordan (cf. Mk 1:7-11). The event is an epiphany, the manifestation of Jesus as the faithful Servant of Yahweh, the one who would fulfill the divine messianic plan. The event, moreover, is a theophany, the divine revelation of God’s relationship with Jesus whom he acknowledges as his own Son. The baptismal scene of Jesus has exquisite paschal undertones. The ritual immersion in the waters of the Jordan prefigures the death and rising of Jesus. By his blood bath on the cross and glorification, Jesus brought to fulfillment his baptismal promise at the Jordan to serve totally the Father’s saving will.

 

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

How faithful are we to our baptismal covenant? Do we reflect our baptismal commitment in our daily life with renewed vigor and zeal for the spread of God’s kingdom of love, justice and peace?

 

 

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

 

Loving God, we thank you for the saving event of Christ’s baptism at the River Jordan. We also thank you for the gift of our own baptism which makes us sharers in your divine life. Make us faithful to our baptismal promises. Help us to live out our baptismal commitment in our daily life. In Jesus Christ, your only begotten Son and faithful Servant, make us limpid witnesses of the baptismal covenant. Be with us as we spread your kingdom of love, joy and peace through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We praise you, love you and serve 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.

 

“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (cf. Mk 1:11)

 

 

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

 

Pray that the baptized may be faithful to their promise to be at the total service of the Father’s saving will. Be ready to attest your faith in the public square by imbibing the Church’s social teaching: the dignity of the human person and respect for life, call to family, community and participation, etc.

 

***

January 10, 2012 (Tuesday): WEEKDAY (Week 1

in Ordinary Time)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Has Authority”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Sm 1:9-20 // Mk 1:21-28

 

 

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

(By Bong Tiotuico, APC-fdm, Antipolo Unit, Philippines)

 

The crowd is amazed at the ability of Jesus to command an unclean spirit to depart from one person’s body. Jesus performs the ritual of exorcism a few times in the gospel of Mark. The Church has received this power and office from him. Exorcisms may not be commonplace in the 21st century, but as we ponder through our every day lives, we carry with us certain mindsets and behaviors we call our “personal demons”. While they may not fall under the category of psychological illness, we need to “exorcise” them too because they bring long term harm to our health, to our relationships with others, to our careers/vocations and even draw us farther away from God’s kingdom. These are big words we often hear at Sunday homilies, but never had a chance to reflect on, like: covetousness, envy, vice, selfishness, despair, anger, hatred, impulsiveness, depression, cynicism, loneliness, blind ambition, instant gratification, indifference, conflict, violence, bigotry and others. They represent a cabal of “demons and unclean spirits” that we live with, while surviving in a very competitive and materialistic world.

 

We must pray to our Lord through the intercession of our Blessed Mother to help us cast out these “evil spirits” from our lives. We can start by being attentive to the reading of the word of God during the Mass and supplement it by private study. This will make the gospels more instructive in our lives. It will not be easy, as these “unclean” spirits will be convulsing and screaming as we attempt to get rid of them. Also with the help of people around us: our loved ones, close friends who care, co-workers, members of our congregation, and if necessary, professional help – we can certainly succeed. Then we create room for the Holy Spirit to occupy our lives and produce within us, as St. Paul tells us in Gal. 5:22, his gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control: big words we also hear during Sundays, but sadly more and more alien to us these days. Amen.

 

 

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

 

Do we surrender ourselves to the power and authority of Jesus as he teaches us with his life-giving word and releases us from the shackles of our “personal demons”?

 

 

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

 

O loving Jesus, you are the holy and mighty One of God! We recognize your great power and avow your sway over us. Your word is life-giving and you teach with authority. The power of your word drives away the “personal demons” within us. Cleansed from sin and evil, we turn to you in humility to receive the gifts of your Holy Spirit. You are our Divine Master. Teach and reign in our life, 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.

 

“A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.” (cf. Mk 1:27)

 

 

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

 

Pray for greater openness to the all-powerful word of Jesus and make an effort to read and study the Scriptures. By your gracious words and acts of charity, be united with Jesus in his ministry of deliverance from evil.

 

 

***

 

 

January 11, 2012 (Wednesday): WEEKDAY (1)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Healed the Sick”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Sm 3:1-10, 19-20 // Mk 1:29-39

 

 

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

(By Eleanor Ronquillo, M.D.; APC-fdm – Antipolo Unit, Philippines) 

 

            These days, many people are getting sick from grave illnesses like strokes, heart attacks, cancer, AIDS, rare pneumonias. People seek many types of cures, search for doctors far and near, the latest medicines, the most advanced medical technology, herbal medicine, etc. They seek the CURE, not the HEALING. Amidst the sick person’s suffering is a big plea to God to take away this illness and this suffering. In the Gospel, as Jesus HEALS many, one is led to believe in such a “miraculous” CURE. And it is not surprising for some to turn away from God for not providing such a cure. “Why me God … why do you let me be sick like this? … I’m not a bad person … There are so many out there criminals/murderers, why don’t they get this illness? … I can’t take this anymore … You must have forgotten me Lord … I do not wish to live like this.”

 

            It is beyond physical CURE of an illness that is the essence of the Lord’s HEALING. The Gospel says, “People brought to Jesus all the sick … Jesus healed many who had various diseases.” I recall the story of a man who was disabled and paralyzed. He continually sought cures to be able to walk again. He struggled with his condition and felt his life was full of difficulties and hopelessness because of his disability. He prayed that God might take away his illness. One time (I think it was his visit to Lourdes in the Grotto in France) after a deep prayer, he felt an aura of peace within. He began to cry, to accept what he had, to see life as God willed it to be, to find hope and meaning in his “suffering”, to embrace the Lord and find peace. Finally, when he left, he had been healed.

 

            We must seek the Lord in our suffering, that he may heal us. For a lot of people in crisis, that is the time when opportunity knocks. The opportunity to seek and be closer to the Lord knocks on our doors in the face of crisis. And healing will come, as Jesus heals us, if we seek him and let him heal us. This healing is a process that only the suffering person can undergo. No doctor can effect a healing for the patient, a treatment perhaps, yes; but the healing, no. The person himself has to undergo the internal process of accepting his condition and surrendering to the Lord one’s suffering … and find peace and solace in his loving arms.

 

            “And he also drove away demons.” The words tell us that the devil was at work in people. The devil works in people’s hearts and minds. The “illness” is not exactly a phenomenon of possession. It can be masked as a wonderful extramarital affair though immoral, a wealth ill gotten, a successful oppression, an ongoing sexual abuse of a child. The list is long. The many facets of evil are within and among us. But do we recognize them? Do we recognize that we spite our neighbor, endlessly criticize people, persist in being unforgiving and harboring anger, scheme and carry out revenge, plan the next move to take what is not ours? The driving out of demons is our turning away from evil and seeking Jesus to rule our hearts. That is also our process of healing.

 

 

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

 

Do you turn to Jesus, the wounded Healer, for healing?

 

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

 (Adapted from Henri Nouwen’s Prayer “Give Me a New Heart for a New Life”)

 

Thank you, Jesus, for the mystery of your broken heart, a heart broken by us and for us, that has now become the source of forgiveness and new life. The blood and water flowing from your side show me the new life that is given to me through your death. It is a life of intimate communion with you and your Father. But it is also a life that calls me to give all that I am in the service of your love for the world. It is a life of joy, but also of sacrifice. It is a glorious life, but also one of suffering. It is a life of peace, but also of struggle. Yes, Lord, it is a life in water and blood that come from your heart and so bring reconciliation and peace. I adore you, Jesus, as I look upon you whom they have pierced. Let the blood and water that flow from your heart give me a new heart to live a new life.

 

 

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 cured many who were sick with various diseases and he drove out many demons.” (cf. Mk 1:34a)

 

 

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

 

Pray for people whose afflictions are so intense that they despair and are given to self-destruction. Be an instrument of God’s healing love by alleviating the problems and sufferings of the people around you

 

***

 

 January 12, 2012 (Thursday): WEEKDAY (1)

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Touched the Leper”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Sm 4:1-11 // Mk 1:40-45

 

 

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

In today’s Gospel reading  (Mk1:40-45), the evangelist Mark depicts one of the most beautiful pictures of Christian compassion. In this narrative, he portrays Jesus as offering a completely new and radical response to the unmitigated human suffering personified by a leper. Breaking down the barriers of hygiene and ritual purity, Jesus did what was unimaginable. Responding with compassion to the leper’s faith invocation, “If you wish, you can make me clean”, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, “I do will it. Be made clean.” He touched the “untouchable” with his healing hand. He comforted the outcast with an authoritative cleansing word that would bring him wholeness. Indeed, in the Gospel accounts, the cleansing of lepers is a victorious messianic sign that the Kingdom of God has come.

One of the exigencies of Christian life is to bring the healing ministry of Jesus to the many “lepers” of today, especially the millions of victims of Hansen’s disease all over the world who, more than all others, fit the description “the poorest of the poor”. Mother Teresa of Calcutta dedicated her ministry of charity in a special way to these lepers, impelled by the slogan that was a rewording of the ancient taboo. “Touch a leper with your compassion.” Mother Teresa, moreover, spoke of the “leprosy of the Western world”, which is, the leprosy of loneliness. In her ministry to the lonely, the unwanted, the marginalized, the rejected, the AIDS victim, etc. she had given witness that with the love of Christ, there is healing for the leprosy of our modern times. Indeed, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, together with St. Francis of Assisi, Blessed Damien of Molokai, and many other Christian disciples, had shown that it is possible to respond to the Christian missionary imperative: “Cure the sick … cleanse the lepers!” (Mt 10:8) and that it is necessary to replicate the healing gesture of Christ: “Touch a leper with your compassion.”

 

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

 

A touch can be a beautiful gesture of encouragement, reconciliation and love. A touch can heal the suffering spirit of a person. When was the last time you showed your love and concern with a gentle, healing touch?

 

 

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

 

May the loving and compassionate God fill us with tender feelings for his injured children, for a society that needs healing, and for “the holy mystery of creation” besieged by threats of cosmic destruction. May everything we do and say in love and healing for today’s lepers become a sign of Christ’s paschal victory over sin and death, and of God’s resurrected world.

 

 

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.

 

“Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper …” (cf. Mk 1:41)

 

 

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

 

Perform a corporal work of mercy for any of today’s lepers: the homeless, the AIDS victims, the destitute, etc. and especially, the victims of Hansen’s disease.

 

***

 

 January 13, 2012 (Friday): SAINT HILARY, bishop and doctor of the Church, optional memorial

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Heals and Forgives Sins”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a // Mk 2:1-12

 

 

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

 

The following story is very powerful illustration of a person’s need for inner healing. (cf. Hal Manwaring, "Fourteen Steps" in A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul, Deerfield Beach: Health Communications, Inc., 1996, p. 264-267).

 

I became afflicted with a slowly progressive disease of the motor nerves, affecting first my right arm and leg, and then my other side … In spite of my disease I still drove to and from work each day, with the aid of special equipment installed in my car … As I became older, I became more disillusioned and frustrated. I’m sure that my wife and friends had some unhappy times when I chose to expound to them my philosophy of life. I believed that in this whole world I alone had been chosen to suffer …

 

On a dark night in August 1971, gusty winds and slashing rain beat down on the car as I drove slowly down one of the less-traveled roads. Suddenly the steering wheel jerked in my hands and the car swerved violently to the right. In the same instant I heard the dreaded bang of a blowout … It was impossible for me to change that tire! Utterly impossible! … Then I remembered that a short distance up a little side road was a house. I started the engine and thumped slowly along … Lighted windows welcomed me to the house and I pulled into the driveway and honked the horn … The door opened and a little girl stood there, peering at me. I rolled down the window and called out that I had a flat and needed someone to change it for me because I had a crutch and couldn’t do it myself. She went into the house and a moment later came out bundled in a raincoat and hat, followed by a man who called a cheerful greeting. I sat there comfortable and dry, and felt a bit sorry for the man and the little girl working so hard in the storm. Well, I would pay them for it … It seemed to me that they were awfully slow and I was beginning to become impatient … Then they were standing at my car window. He was an old man, stooped and frail-looking under his slicker. The little girl was about eight or 10 I judged, with a merry face and a wide smile as she looked up at me. He said, “This is a bad night for car trouble, but you’re all set now.” “Thanks,” I said, “thanks. How much do I owe you?” He shook his head. “Nothing, Cynthia told me you were a cripple – on crutches. Glad to be of help. I know you’d do the same for me. There’s no charge, friend.” I held out a five-dollar bill. “No! I like to pay my way.” He made no effort to take it and the little girl stepped closer to the window and said quietly, “Grandpa can’t see it.”

 

In the next few frozen seconds the shame and horror of that moment penetrated, and I was sick with an intensity I had never felt before. A blind man and a child! … They changed a tire for me – changed it in the rain and wind, with me sitting in snug comfort in the car with my crutch. My handicap. I don’t remember how long I sat there after they said good night and left me, but it was long enough for me to search deep within myself and find some disturbing traits. I realized that I was filled to overflowing with self-pity, selfishness, indifference to the needs of others and thoughtlessness. I sat there and said a prayer. In humility I prayed for strength, for a greater understanding, for keener awareness of my shortcomings and for faith to continue asking in daily prayer for spiritual help to overcome them. 

 

Here we have the personal account of a crippled man who discovered that his need for inner healing is greater than that of physical healing. Indeed, there is more to it than physical malady. There is more to it than physical cure. Jesus Christ, who embodies the Reign of God, shows that the Kingdom of wholeness involves more than just physical healing. The messianic ministry of Jesus, the Healer, includes the liberation of human beings from the bondage of sin. The Kingdom of wholeness includes the forgiveness of sins. 

 

 

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

 

Do we realize that a situation of sin is an illness that weakens, paralyzes and imprisons us in pain? Do we realize that being reconciled with God entails true healing?

 

 

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

 

Lord, our sinful hearts are broken and we are in pain. But we believe, O Christ, that you are the “healing Physician”. Heal our hearts and make us turn back to you. Take away the “paralysis” that results from our sins. Strengthen our will and fill us with the strength of new life. May your healing hand and word of forgiveness be the source of joy for God’s injured children.

 

 

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 said to the paralytic, ‘Child, your sins are forgiven’.” (cf. Mk 2:5b)

 

 

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

 

Pray for the grace of inner healing. Extend God’s gift of healing forgiveness to a person who has offended you.

 

 

***

 

January 14, 2012 (Saturday): BVM on Saturday, optional memorial

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Came to Call Sinners”

 

BIBLE READINGS

I Sm 9:1-4, 17-19; 101a // Mk 2:13-17

 

 

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

 

The Fresno-based POVERELLO HOUSE is a nonprofit, nondenominational organization whose mission is to enrich the lives and spirits of all who pass their way, to feed the hungry, offer focused rehabilitation programs, temporary shelter, medical, dental and other basic services to the poor, the homeless, the disadvantaged, without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex or disability through Providential and community support. Its founder is Mike McGarvin, a man who had experienced God’s mercy and transforming compassion through a saintly Franciscan priest, Fr. Simon Scanlon. They met at the “Poverello Coffee House” which Fr. Simon opened in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, notorious for its poverty, prostitution and violence. Mike narrates: “Gradually my life of self-indulgent destruction was being replaced by a life of service … I began seeing people through Father Simon’s eyes. He, in turn, saw people through Christ’s eyes, and he deeply believed that Jesus walked among the poor and the outcast. It was a revelation to me. The more I got to know the people who came to Poverello, the more compassion I felt for them.”

 

The compassionate mercy that Mike experienced from Fr. Simon springs forth from the healing love of Christ. Jesus is the physician par excellence and he does not have to justify his presence among the sick. His presence amidst tax collectors and sinners was a mission of mercy. He was sent by the Father to heal distress of every kind. The vocation to experience God’s mercy and compassion is offered to the entire Church and the challenge to incarnate the divine mercy in today’s world is directed to each of us.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Are we willing to welcome fully into our hearts Jesus and the gift of divine mercy that he brings into our fragile, often times broken and self-destructive lives? Are we ready to incarnate God’s compassionate heart in today’s distressed world so needful of healing and mercy?

 

 

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

 

Lord Jesus, you are the most beautiful expression of God’s mercy. You come to us with your healing touch. You are the divine physician who assists us in all our distress. Heal us in our mind, body and soul that fully restored we may give you praise, 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.

 

“I did not come to call the righteous but sinners…” (cf. Mk 2:17)

 

 

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

 

In your compassionate stance for the poor and needy, and especially for the “outcasts”, let the loving mercy of God be revealed in today’s world.

 

 

***

 

 

Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang  PDDM

 

 

PIAE DISCIPULAE DIVINI MAGISTRI

SISTER DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER

60 Sunset Ave., Staten Island, NY 10314

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