A Lectio Divina Approach to the Sunday and Weekday Liturgy

 

BREAKING THE BREAD OF THE WORD (Series 10, n.9)

WEEK 3 IN ORDINARY TIME: January 22-28, 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 SUNDAY - WEEKDAY LITURGY: January 22-28, 2012. The following reflections are based on the weekday liturgy’s Gospel reading.)

 

***

 

January 22, 2012 (Sunday): 3rd SUNDAY

IN ORDINARY TIME

 “JESUS SAVIOR: He Calls Us”

 

BIBLE READINGS

Jon 3:1-5,10 // I Cor 7:29-31 // Mk 1:14-20

 

 

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

 

I heard this charming story while I was attending an evening Mass in a beautiful old church beside the sea, during my vacation in Goa, India.  The story was narrated by the parish priest in Konkani, his native language, as an introduction to his homily.  After the Mass, my host graciously translated it into English for me.  Here is the story:

 

A group of fishermen attended a town fiesta on another island.  The festivity continued late into the night.  By the time it finally ended, the fishermen had had a few drinks too many.  The merry drunkards got into a boat drenched in the soft brightness of a starlit night.  They started to paddle toward the next island.  They paddled doggedly until their arms were sore, but the distant, flickering lights from their coastal homeland never came any nearer.  As the morning sun rising in the vast sky dispelled their stupor, they realized that they had been rowing with their boat firmly tied to the shore!

 

The story of the tipsy revelers is a charming caricature of what Christian discipleship ought not to be, while the Gospel of today’s liturgy gives us an insight  into what it ought to be.  Indeed, the following of Christ involves a spirit of detachment, a life of conversion, and total adherence to the Gospel, to the person of Jesus Christ.  When he appeared by the seashore, Jesus had an immediate and transforming effect on the fishermen whose lives he touched radically. We too are called to respond, Yes, I leave all and follow you, not only in one radical conversion experience but continuously, until the end.

 

 

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

 

When we come face to face with Jesus who invites us, “Come after me”, what is our personal response?  Do we dare to respond: “Yes, I will leave all and follow you”?

 

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

 

Jesus Lord, the kingdom is at hand! You call us to turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel. We leave behind our security nets and those dear to us. We leave everything behind and follow you. Something mysterious and beautiful is ahead of us. Give us the grace to be faithful to our call and to love 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.

 

“They followed him.” (cf. Mk 1:20)

 

 

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

Pray for greater fidelity to our Christian vocation. Promote priestly-religious vocations by word, example, moral-spiritual-material support, etc.

 

***

 

January 23, 2012 (Monday): SAINT VINCENT, deacon, martyr, optional memorial

 “JESUS SAVIOR: They Blasphemed Him”

 

BIBLE READINGS

II Sm 5:1-7,10 //  Mk 3:22-30

 

 

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

Jesus was misunderstood by his relatives who believed he had become insane. But the scribes who had come from Jerusalem to observe were more vicious. Having witnessed the exorcisms performed by Jesus, they accused him of demonic possession and collusion. The Divine Master refuted their tortured reasoning, tainted with cold venom and vitiated with jealousy. Indeed, Satan is not so foolish as to align with Jesus in destroying his very self. Rather, Jesus expels demons through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus is the “stronger one” who overpowers Satan and subdues his household. Jesus exorcises through the power of the Holy Spirit. To declare that the power at work in Jesus is “demonic” and that the Holy Spirit that animates him is “unclean” is blasphemy. The animosity of the scribes was such that they willfully rejected the power of God’s saving grace to work in them. Hence, in this sense, forgiveness is not for them.

The following story could give us an idea of the misunderstanding and rejection that Jesus suffered both from his kinsmen and opponents – the same experience that his disciples and people of good will continue to have today (cf. Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight: A Book of Story Meditations, New York: Image Books, 1988, p. 124).

A family of five was enjoying their day at the beach. The children were bathing in the ocean and making castles in the sand when in the distance a little old lady appeared. Her gray hair was blowing in the wind and her clothes were dirty and ragged. She was muttering something to herself as she picked up things from the beach and put them into a bag. The parents called the children to their side and told them to stay away from the old lady. As she passed by, bending every now and then to pick things up, she smiled at the family. But her greeting wasn’t returned. Many weeks later they learned that the little old lady had made it her lifelong crusade to pick up bits of glass from the beach so children wouldn’t cut their feet.

 

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

Are we guilty of jealousy and unable to recognize the grace at work in other persons? What do we do about this?

 

 

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

 

Lord Jesus, you were misunderstood and viciously accused. Your opponents refused to recognize that the power of God is in you and that you exorcise demons through the Holy Spirit. But as for us, we embrace your love. We are deeply awed by the marvels of your healing strength. Let the power of your Holy Spirit be with us. Help us to bring order and justice to a world convulsed with the violence of evil and sin. We adore and bless you as our saving Lord. We thank and praise 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.

 

“Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness.” (cf. Mk 3:26)

 

 

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

 

Pray for perpetrators of blasphemy against God, especially those who do this making use of the means of social communication. Make an effort today to spread the Good News to the people around you.

 

***

 

January 24, 2012 (Tuesday): SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES, bishop, doctor of the Church

“JESUS SAVIOR: His True Family”

 

BIBLE READINGS

II Sm 6:12b-15,17-19 // Mk 3:31-35

 

 

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

 

The relatives of Jesus misunderstood his public ministry as “crazy” and “overdone”. They wanted to take charge of him. They probably had pleaded with Mary to come and see the frantic situation involving her son Jesus. They arrived when a crowd was sitting around Jesus and listening to him. The relatives sent in a message, asking for him. Jesus used the moment to declare what true family means to him. Those who do the will of God are his mother, his brother and his sister. Jesus redefined the sacred boundary of the family in a radical way. The biological family is replaced with the larger family of God, that is, those who do the will of God, of whom his mother Mary is foremost. Jesus subordinates natural kinship to a higher bond of relationship based on the obedience of faith. Indeed, the “family of God” inaugurated by Jesus is greatly inclusive and faith-intensive.

 

The following missioner tale illustrates the beauty and warmth of belonging to a spiritual family based on the love and service of God and his people (cf. Jason Obergfell, “Missioner Tales” in MARYKNOLL, May/June 2011, p. 11).

 

Recently, Maryknoll Sister Marilyn Bell passed away in Bolivia after countless years of service here. She was a tough woman who was active until a few months before her death, which is why she died in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where I serve as a Maryknoll lay missioner, rather than in the United States. Although no one from Marilyn’s biological family in the States was able to attend her funeral, her death brought together her Maryknoll family of priests, Brothers, Sisters and lay missioners who also serve in Bolivia.

 

Just last year being in mission in Bolivia, I was unable to attend the funeral of my grandmother, but now I was able to attend Sister Marilyn’s funeral as a “grandson” in our Maryknoll family. It was an experience that revealed what we only strive to describe with words. The Maryknoll family of missioners, thrown together by chance but held together by love for one another, is a lived example of Jesus’ message – we are all family. Sister Marilyn’s family in Bolivia wasn’t just limited to Maryknollers. The church was filled with Bolivians who had become her family because of her love for them. Being a model of God’s family, bound together by our love for one another, may just be the most important thing any of us will accomplish in mission or in life.

 

 

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

 

Do we strive to belong truly to the family of God by our life of obedient faith and serving love?

 

 

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

 

O Jesus, you are our brother. You revealed to us the criterion for belonging to the family of God – by doing the Father’s saving will. Help us to love and serve one another. We thank you for Mother Mary. She exemplified in her life the obedient faith that makes us belong to God’s family. Teach us to be faithful and loving children of God our Father. He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 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.

 

“For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (cf. Mk 3:35)

 

 

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

 

By your acts of charity and compassion to the poor and vulnerable, prove to the world that you belong to the family of God.

 

 

***

 

 

January 25, 2012 (Wednesday): THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Calls for a Mission

 

BIBLE READINGS

Acts 22:3-16 or 9:1-23 // Mk 16:15-18

 

 

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

 

The feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul provides wonderful insights into his spiritual journey, which can be summed up as “MISTICA” (spiritual experience), “METANOIA” (conversion-transformation) and “MISSIO” (mission of evangelization). Paul’s spiritual journey was a spiritual experience that produced a transformation and impelled him to assume a mission of evangelization. The converted Paul thus became an apostle of Christ to the nations.

 

Mistica: On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus had a profound, dynamic spiritual experience. It was God’s initiative, grace and compassion that brought about Paul’s encounter with the Risen Lord. It was an experience of light – of revelation – of who Christ really is for Paul. Christ revealed himself not as an enemy, but as a personal Savior. Moreover, on the road to Damascus, it was revealed that Jesus of Nazareth lives on in his Body, the Church – the suffering Church. It was a knocked-down experience that left Paul vulnerable, defenseless and open to grace. He could not help but welcome the loving initiative of God. Saint Paul is a model for us of total receptivity and openness to grace.

 

Metanoia: Paul confessed: “I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a man filled with arrogance, but I have been mercifully treated … I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has strengthened me … made me his servant” (cf. ITim 1:12-13). He experienced a change of heart, reorientation of goals, renewed vision and life transformation. From a bold persecutor of Christ-Church, he became a vessel of grace and the great apostle to the nations. As we look to Saint Paul as a model of true conversion, let us turn away from thoughts, words and actions that negate the love of Christ … from inconsiderate actions and words that wound the Church … from irresponsible deeds that do not promote the dignity and personal worth of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Above all, Saint Paul is our model of “christification”. Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Pauline Family, exhorts us: “So then reach the point of Vivit in me Christus … when our thoughts and desires exist no more, but we live in Christ … It is not I anymore, but Christ in me. Transformation, transformation! In that way we have not only a body and soul, but another natural life – that is, the life itself of Christ.”

 

Mission-Evangelization: Paul’s mystic experience and conversion led to a special task or mandate: the mission of salvation … the call to evangelization. The Risen Lord who appeared to Paul made him a servant and witness to the nations. He mandated Paul to preach the Gospel that he may turn their darkness to light … that they may be brought back to God … that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and become part of God’s covenant people.

 

Today’s Gospel reading (Mk 16:15-18) about the missionary mandate to go out to the whole world and tell the Good News and about the signs of protection and power that will accompany the believers is fully exemplified in the life and person of Saint Paul. He went to the Gentile world to preach the Gospel of salvation. He was baptized by Ananias in Damascus. Totally obedient to Christ in faith, he became God’s vessel of salvation to the nations. He made the crippled man in Lystra walk. Through the apostle, God performed unusual miracles in Ephesus. Even handkerchiefs and aprons Paul had used were taken to the sick, and their diseases were driven away, and the evil spirits would go out of them. At Troas Paul resuscitated Eutychus, who fell from the third story to the ground during an evening fellowship meal while sitting drowsily by the window. When they picked him up, Eutychus was dead but Paul gave him back to them alive. After a shipwreck in Malta, Paul was bitten by a snake but was unharmed. Also in Malta, he healed the father of Publius, the chief of the island, and many others. Wherever he went, Paul was speaking a totally “new language” – the good news about Jesus as the Son of God – a marvelously “new language” of love and salvation.

 

On this beautiful feast of Paul’s conversion, we conclude this year’s Octave of Prayer for the Unity of Christians (January 18-25, 2012). I remember an ecumenical prayer service that I attended in the 1980’s at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, Italy. Pope John Paul II led the prayers for Christian unity with the participation of leaders from various denominations. That evening I felt that the spirit of Saint Paul was with us – challenging us to center our lives on Christ that we may overcome the divisions among us believers. We have a long way to go, but in faith we continue our quest for Christian unity so that at the end we could declare with Saint Paul: “Because there is one bread, we though many are one body, for we all share in the one loaf and in the one cup” (I Cor 10:17).

 

 

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

 

Each of us has a spiritual experience. How do we imitate Paul in being receptive and responsive to this experience? Do we imitate him in our work of conversion and “christification”? How do we carry out the mission of evangelization?

 

 

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

 

Thank you, loving God, for the marvelous event of Paul’s conversion from a bold persecutor to a zealous apostle. Help us to imitate Paul in being receptive to Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Give us the grace to carry out, in the spirit of Saint Paul, our mission of salvation and evangelization in the here and now. Bless us with the reward of eternal glory. With the blessed apostle Paul, we shall sing your 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.

 

“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” (cf. Mk 16:15)

 

 

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

 

Spread the Gospel to the people around you by promoting the reading of the Gospel and the Pauline epistles.

 

***

 

 January 26, 2012 (Thursday): SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Reveals the Mystery”

 

BIBLE READINGS

II Tm 1:1-8 or Ti 1:1-5 // Mk 4:21-25

 

 

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

Jesus Master continues to reveal himself not only through miraculous deeds, but also by his teaching. His parables were not meant to conceal the mystery of the Kingdom but to enable his audience to take his word to heart more personally and more profoundly. A lit oil lamp is not put under the bed or covered with a bushel basket, but placed on a stand to maximize its light giving. The parables of Jesus, when received with humble hearts, are like an oil lamp that shines brightly from a stand. They shed light on the heavenly kingdom that Jesus proclaims. They challenge the audience to conversion and, when pondered dutifully and lovingly, they evoke their faith response.

Today’s Gospel passage also contains a parable-like saying of Jesus about the measure that is given is the measure that is received and that to one who has more will be given while the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is a powerful invitation to respond wisely and generously to the kingdom of God. The wise person who seeks to grow in the knowledge of God is fully rewarded. Those who foolishly refuse to listen to Jesus would end up terrible losers. Indeed, the Divine Master calls us to an attentive hearing and true understanding of his saving word. Jesus calls his disciples to a deep spirituality.

The following charming story gives insight into what true light means and what deep spirituality entails (cf. Anthony de Mello, Taking Flight: A Book of Story Meditations, New York: Image Books, 1988, p. 161).

A Guru asked his disciples how they could tell when the night had ended and the day begun. One said, “When you see an animal in the distance and can tell whether it is a cow or a horse.” “No”, said the Guru. “When you look at a tree in the distance and can tell if it is a neem tree or a mango tree.” “Wrong again”, said the Guru. “Well, then, what is it?” asked his disciples. “When you look into the face of any man and recognize your brother in him; when you look into the face of any woman and recognize in her your sister. If you cannot do this, no matter what time it is by the sun it is still night.”

 

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

 

Do I cherish the light of the Word of God and make it shine like a burning lamp on a stand? Do I dedicate myself to the meditation of God’s Word and the study of the parables of Jesus?

 

 

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

 

Jesus Lord, we thank you for the Gospel parables and for revealing the mystery of the Kingdom. Your Word is a light that brightens our path. Help us to respond generously to your saving Word. Let it transform us and may we continue to grow in your love. You are our Divine Master, our way, truth and life. We love and adore you. We praise 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.

 

“Is a lamp not to be placed on a lamp stand?” (cf. Mk 4:21)

 

 

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

 

Make an effort to study and meditate upon the Gospel parables. By your kind words and good deeds, let the people around you experience the beauty and transforming power of the Gospel message.

 

***

 

 January 20, 2012 (Friday): SAINT ANGELA MERICI, virgin, optional memorial

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Makes the Seed Grow”

 

BIBLE READINGS

II Sm 11:1-4a,5-10a,13-17 // Mk 4:26-34

 

 

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

 

The farming images we have in today’s reading are beautiful and powerfully symbolic. The parable of the growing seed while the farmer sleeps (Mk 4:26-29) teaches us that the growth of the Kingdom is inevitable and that it is God’s initiative. The image of the sleeping farmer shatters the illusion of those who believe that the coming of the Kingdom is under human control. The Kingdom grows by the power of God. Like a seed that breaks forth from the ground, God’s Reign has already irrupted into the world through Jesus’ ministry.

 

The parable of the mustard seed (Mk 4:30-34) underlines the contrast between an insignificant beginning and the full growth of God’s kingdom. The tiny seed grows into a full-blown tree. This symbolizes the organic continuity between Jesus’ ministry, so disappointing to Israel’s hopes, and the future of the Kingdom of God, that would encompass both the Israelites and the Gentiles – indeed peoples from all nations and cultures.

 

We are called to promote the growth of the Kingdom of God and the integration of creation. The following story illustrates the value of our personal contribution to bringing about the fruition of the divine saving plan (cf. Fr. Eric Haarer, “The Old Man in the Plaza” in CATHOLIC DIGEST, July-August 2011, p.66-67).

 

Barcelona, Spain is an amazing city … I had been walking all day and it was hot, in the 80s. I wanted a rest away from the hustle and bustle, so I ambled down a side street and sat on a low wall in a tiny plaza near the Gothic Quarter. To my right was a small fountain, basically a pipe in the wall that spilled drinking water into a cement basin. In front of me stood a sickly looking sapling. It received little light in this narrow plaza, and its leaves were drooping and discolored from thirst and exhaust. An older, well-dressed gentleman at the fountain was filling an empty plastic soda bottle. He walked over to the tree and poured the water at its base. He returned to the fountain for more, and again watered the tree. And again. And again. I stopped counting after 12 trips and was on my way before he finished.

 

This simple act of kindness touched me deeply. It reminded me of something Mother Teresa said about her work in India: “We don’t do great things; we do small things with great love”. (…) This gentle man was tending the Earth, and in this “small thing done with great love”, he did his part to bring hope and new life into the world. Certainly he brought it to one foot-sore pilgrim.

 

 

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

 

Do we believe in small beginnings and in the power of God to make his kingdom grow and embrace all nations and creation? What do we do to promote the growth?

 

 

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

 

Lord Jesus, how marvelous is the growth of the heavenly kingdom! It is a seed sown in human history by your messianic ministry. Its power irrupts into our lives and we are a part of its growth. We thank you for the power of life and the universal expanse of the kingdom of God. Grant that we may continue to give our very best – no matter how humble and insignificant – to promote the growth and fruition of God’s Reign upon earth and in all creation. We love you and praise you as our saving 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.

 

“Once it is sown, it springs up.” (cf. Mk 4:32)

 

 

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

 

Pray for social justice and the integration of creation. In view of the integration of God’s creation, practice proper waste management in your household using the ecological principles: reduce, reuse and recycle.

 

 

***

 

January 21, 2012 (Saturday): SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS, priest, doctor of the Church

“JESUS SAVIOR: He Masters the Raging Seas”

 

BIBLE READINGS

II Sm 12:1-7a,10-17 // Mk 4:35-41

 

 

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

(By Andy Ruperto, Fresno, CA – U.S.A.)

  

            Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? Lord, who are You? Is this not the question we must constantly ponder? In today’s Gospel we again see Jesus’ disciples continuing on their journey of faith and asking, “Lord, who are You? You have power over the wind and the sea!”

 

            In this event, we must place ourselves in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. The wind and waves are beginning to violently shake the boat. The disciples are stumbling around and yelling, trying to get things under control. I do not know what it must have been like being in a potentially life-threatening storm, but I do remember being in a motorboat with family on a lake. When the front of the boat took on some water, because it was too heavy, there were screams and a bit of hysteria. How much more so if we were in a violent storm?

 

            In the meantime, our Lord is asleep in the stern. So, then the disciples ask – “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” This is a question I sometimes ask in different life situations. God, do You not know what I’m going through?” “Why is this happening to me?” Sometimes I ‘feel’ like my life is ending or that I cannot go on. There are too many storms – confusion, stress, studies, relationships, finances … So I ask, “Lord, do You not care that I am perishing?”

 

            Jesus then comes in power, and stills the storms with His word and says, “Peace! Be still.” This is the peace that comes from Jesus and it is a peace not as the world gives it. Christ is the only way to true peace. Here, our Lord Jesus shows His power over the wind and sea and amazes the disciples. Jesus is GOD. He is powerful. He is mighty. He can do anything. He can calm these modern day storms. He is also humble and sometimes we cannot see through the veil of humanity.

 

            A friend once told me that the hard part for God is not the miracles, but changing human hearts. It seems that in this event, our Lord Jesus was using the storm to awaken the disciple’s hearts to faith. He asks them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

 

            The “good news” of the reading today is one that was constantly repeated by our late Holy Father, John Paul II. It was the message, “Do not be afraid!” Our Lord tells us not to let our hearts be troubled. He is with us, and so what can we fear? He will take care of us. It is our faith that enables us not to fear. Let us always call on the name of Jesus in the stormy chapters of our lives. In these times let us quickly say, “Jesus, I trust in You. Jesus, I trust in You …”

 

 

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

 

Do we believe in faith that God is in control? Do we place our trust in Jesus whom even wind and sea obey? Do we derive strength from the fact that the Lord Jesus masters the storms and the raging seas?

 

 

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

(By Andy Ruperto, Fresno, CA-USA)

 

So, Lord, who are You? You are my refuge, savior and teacher in the storms. You are GOD! I have often tried to control the storms myself. Let me learn to go through them with You, having recourse to You when I find myself in trouble. Peace! Be still my soul! Know that Jesus is GOD and that He does care and that He loves me. Mother Mary, you know our Lord so intimately. Please purify our faith in Him. Form us into His likeness and into fearless saints. 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.

 

“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (cf. Mk 4:41)

 

 

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

 

Pray to God that we may be able to feel his presence and serenity even in the midst of life’s storms. Offer comfort and assistance to those whose faith is wavering and whose lives are deeply upset by trials and difficulties. Share with those who are overwhelmed in the sea of sorrows the comforting presence of Jesus who masters the winds and the raging seas.

***

 

 

Prepared by Sr. Mary Margaret Tapang  PDDM

 

 

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