Reflection for January 2020
Community Word: Jesus is the revelation of God’s Truth and Light to the world.
Order: “Come after me…”(Mt 4:19)
We begin the year 2020 guided by our Community word for the month of January – Jesus is the revelation of God’s Truth and Light to the world.
How providential it is, that our word reflects the direction initiated by Pope Francis in his address to the Roman Curia enjoining the Cardinals, Archbishops and all of us to be brave, to make a difference, and to stand up for Jesus in our family, in our work place and in society. Pope Francis further enjoins us to cause our evangelization program to evolve and be radical missionaries in this rapidly changing world where faith is often forgotten, leaving Jesus in the dustbin.
In obedience, our directions for the month points us to the way by which we can accomplish this call – 1) Perform works of mercy as our gift to the Child Jesus, and 2) Be steadfast in giving our time, talent and treasure to serve in community.
The first direction reminds us that we can never go wrong if, at the beginning of each day, whatever plans we have, we first seek God’s guidance in scriptures to check if our plans or undertaking are in conformity with His will. As the Psalmist declares – “For He shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.”And, as we recognize His word for us, we are able to surrender and obey to His directions. Thus, we grow in knowledge and understanding through the love of Christ.
The second direction invites us to be “hearers and bearers of the word” as proclaimed by Isaiah in 42:6:“I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations.” And, in our Order for the monthin Matthew 4:19 we are told: – “Come after me and I’ll make you fishers of men,”suggesting that instead of whining and bickering and assuming the words “my thoughts and plans are better than yours” are about you, to remember instead that we are meant to be united as a community to “…be united in the same mind and in the same purpose” (1Cor 1:10) in our mission to spread God’s love in Jesus, whether it is comfortable for us or not.
A graphic statement made by Pope Francis should be our guide in mission, “…I ask you to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, and to be shepherds living with the smell of the sheep…”Likewise, in his message to the Filipino OFW’s after celebrating the first Filipino Simbang Gabi, he enjoins us “… be smugglers of the faith.”
Where then, is our mission field? And how do we begin? We begin in our family, our little church, then, move on to our work place or to places where God is not known, by standing witness to the love of Jesus in our life through our humility and obedience. Matt.18:4 says – “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
In all four weeks, Jesus is introduced as the Light that dispels the darkness of sins in our lives. As we look up to Him, as we cry out to Him in times of trials and tribulations, Jesus sheds a ray of hope into our hearts and minds. Our country, the Philippines, has experienced the devastation of the recent natural disasters – earthquakes and typhoons, as well as man-made disasters, wherein our faith is once again tested. Shall we lose ourselves in the mire of self-pity or desperation? Hopefully no! All of us are called to be like Jesus, bearers of Good News. We should all look up to that Star, and He will guide us to the right pathof righteousness and truth. We all are victims of these various calamities because we are all one; and God, who is impartial, sees our individual hearts. Are we moved with compassion to love and care for our suffering brothers and sisters? How are we responding to His call to be “radical missionaries or be smugglers of the faith”?
Lord, Jesus Christ, with Your great love and mercy, I ask for forgiveness for the times I was lukewarm or disobedient to Your call for me to love and care for others, to go out into deep waters so others may believe, repent and seek forgiveness of their sins. Bless me to be always on F.I.R.E. – fruitful, inspired, renewed and empowered, so that as I go into mission to stand witness to Your love and mercy, many will find and follow after You.
1. What keeps me from:
• Reading and reflecting on scriptures daily?
• Praying to God daily?
• Being a good witness to my family and work place?
2. What do I resolve to do in order for me to grow in knowledge and love of Christ?