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" To witness to God's love, as told in the Scriptures, sending us to transform all creation through self-giving and dialogue. "

Pope Francis meets with the SVD in Rome

Pope urges Verbites to trust in God and be brothers in proclaiming the Word of God

Pope Francis on June 22 met members of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) participating in their General Chapter near Rome.
 

By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis on Friday encouraged the Divine Word Missionaries to trust in Divine Providence while preaching the Gospel, especially to those who are excluded, abandoned and trampled, while remaining united as brothers in their vocation and mission. 

The Pope’s exhortation came in a talk to 155 members of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), popularly known as Verbites, who are participating in their 18th General Chapter which began Nemi, near Rome, on June 17.   

Noting the theme of their general chapter, “'The Love of Christ impels us’ (2 Cor 5:14): Rooted in the Word, Committed to His Mission”, the Pope said it has a “clear Pauline and missionary flavour” and urged the Verbites to return to their roots and origins as envisioned by their founder Saint Arnold Janssen.  In this regard he encouraged them to trust in Divine Providence, to proclaim the Word of God and to be a community of brothers.

Trusting in Divine Providence

Pope Francis encouraged the Verbites to renew their trust in Divine Providence and to go out without fear, to witness to the joy of the Gospel, which many make happy.   They must be courageous in taking risks and not be an impediment to the action of the Holy Spirit.  This trust, he said,  renewed every day in the encounter with Jesus in prayer and in the sacraments will help them be open to discernment, to examine their own life in trying to do God's will in all their activities and projects.

Proclaiming the Word of God

The Pope reminded the Divine Word Missionaries that proclaiming the Word of God to all people, in every time, place and culture, using every possible means, is their charism.  Besides being a legacy it is also challenge that awaits them today, especially in their mission to those who don’t know Christ as yet as envisioned by their founder.   

Community of brothers in mission

Lastly, the Holy Father urged them to be a community of brothers united by the Lord, walking together and loving one another, which he said is “the greatest evangelization.”  “The world, like the Church,” he said, “needs to feel this fraternal love despite its diversity and inter-culturality,” where “everyone is at the service of others and no one more than the other.”

This unity the Pope said will help them overcome difficulties and go out “meet other brothers who are outside, excluded from society, abandoned to their fate, trampled underfoot by selfish interests.”  He said they are “sent to realize the spirit of the Beatitudes through works of mercy” by “listening to and responding to the cries of those who ask for bread and justice; bringing peace and integral promotion to those who seek a more dignified life; consoling and offering reasons for hope to the sadness and suffering of so many men and women of our time.”

Roots and cemeteries

At the end, the Pope set aside his prepared text and spoke off hand.  He told the Verbites that going back to their origins is not an abstract spirituality but are roots that give life, for which they must be cared for and loved.  Secondly, he asked the Verbites to think of the cemeteries in distant lands in Africa, Asia, the Amazon and around the world where many a Verbite missionary lay buried -  young men who died gambling with thier lives.  

 

Mission Statement

VISION

A religious missionary community of priests and brothers inspired by the Holy Triune God, proclaiming the reign of God by sharing intercultural life and mission among ourselves and our dialogue partners, following the example of Saints Arnold Janssen and Joseph Freinademetz

MISSION

To witness to God’s love, as told in the Scriptures, sending us to transform all creation through self-giving and dialogue

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Sunday Reflections

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

July 22, 2018

Mark 6, 30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When the disciples embarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.


Reflection

When was the last time we went to a deserted place and rest for a while? It has been observed that many of us are afraid to be alone.

Living in this modern time, we want to be with someone or something (i.e cell phone). Without knowing it, our human brain is now cluttered with so many things and our human heart is clogged with a lot of emotional baggage.

In today's Gospel, the disciples came back from their mission and were all happy to share their accomplishments with Jesus. Jesus knew the importance of resting that's why he immediately invited them to go to a deserted place.

Neuroscience tells us that the human brain has 85 billion neurons (a neuron is a specialized nerve cell that transmits nerve impulses) and it functions very well  if it is rested. That's why creative and inspiring thoughts literally dawn on us without effort when we are relaxed.

As an extrovert person, I am comfortably inclined to connecting to others and the world around me. That is how I naturally source my energies. However, I see to it that I spend silent moments everyday. I apply the three spiritual disciplines of solitude (to be alone), silence (free from external noise and inner murmuring) and prayer (connection with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit).

Do we want to recharge so that we will find new vigor to spread the Good News? Follow Jesus' advice: "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."

by Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez SVD

 

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