“We must consider how to rouse one another to love and good works. We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (HEB 10: 24-25)
We are spouses, we are families, we are together, we are united; it so good and beneficial when we remember about our rituals and how to protect a time of a good quality. Time together with our spouses or even with others, who experienced the same benefits of our Love and Life Programs, helps “to rouse one another to love and good works.”
“A lamp to my feet is your word, a light to my path.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.” (MK 4: 18-19)
This is a warning: “it bears no fruit.” We “heard the word” but forgot to practice rituals, daily dialog, tenderness, respect, gift of self or how to defend our spouses. There are consequences to our actions and lack of actions too.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’” (MK 3: 34-35)
How amazing are these words; we are called Our Lord’s relatives: “is my brother and sister and mother.” And the only condition is: “whoever does the will of God.” The will of God is so simple—to love each other. We know it is simple, but not easy. It is about changing ourselves, not our spouses or other, respecting others in their differences, being a gift of self not a demander, protecting our true identity, listening carefully to others and implementing it in every step in our daily routine; not easy, but still so simple.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” (MK 3: 24-25)
Our unity is not a luxury; it is a “to be or not to be” condition: “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.” This is about our homes, our relationships, our communities or groups of friends. Unity doesn’t mean sameness or oneness, but the ability to understand each other and realize a common good.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.’” (LK 4: 17-19)
We believe that this is also a part of our Programs’ mission: “proclaim liberty to captives” of idealistic visions or lack of respect, or demands instead of the gift of self …; “proclaim recovery of sight to the blind,” for those who can’t see hope, a chance for a new beginning, for a renewal of their marriages; “to let the oppressed go free”—with new strategies, new ideas and new strength; “ to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord,” with trust, hope and practical homework.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.” (LK 10: 1)
“In pairs”—sounds like specially dedicated to couples and parents, who are, in their vocation, always in pairs.
“Ahead of him”—because we are His messengers, and our role is to prepare “every town and place” for His visit; He is important, not we.
“He intended to visit”—He came to save us and is always looking for any occasion to be with us, to stay with us and to protect us and lead us; this is His main intention.
“The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor and to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.’”
This is a very strong reminder: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.” “The whole” and “to every” was directed firstly “to the Eleven,” but we know that this is also for us and for today. Marriage and family are one of the most important parts of “the whole . . . and to every.” Our homes are the first areas of our evangelization. “Proclaiming the Gospel” sometimes is difficult for a “rebellious teenager,” but when my evangelization starts from me, it will bring results sooner or later.
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.” (HEB 7: 25)
Our Lord “lives forever to make intercession for us.” He never gets tired of forgiving; He is never tired of listening when we talk to Him or when we are in trouble. He loves us.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel.” (Gospel Acclamation).
“Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him.” (MK 3: 1-2)
Again God’s words remind us how important it is to change the way we look at others: to see the good they do or to be more focused on accusing them. The Pharisees did not see the problem from the perspective of “a man there who had a withered hand;” they saw only a law of the sabbath and “watched Jesus … so they might accuse him.” Jesus saw a man and helped him. How often behind our actions is a good will to help others, not recognized by “watchers.”
“Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom and cured every disease among the people.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?’” (MK 2: 23-24)
It wasn’t true. “Picking the heads of grain” wasn’t forbidden. Forbidden was harvesting. The Pharisees, to discredit Our Lord, equate picking with harvesting. Sometimes we also can exaggerate somebody’s behavior to discredit him or her. We need to remember always how to defend others, not to discredit them.
“May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ enlighten the eyes of our hearts, that we may know what is the hope that belongs to our call.” (Gospel Acclamation)