CASA DE HA-MEBASSER: Forge of the Messenger of Good News

I am a messenger of Good News. That’s what I call myself. I dare to call myself as a messenger because I want the world to be filled with good news, news that ensures terrestrial and extraterrestrial life (the life in heaven). It is an identity, an ideal, and a great dream to achieve. I repeat, I am a messenger of Good News.

I live in the house of the Messenger, in the house of ha-mebasser, where I am learning to identify myself with the Master, the True Messenger. Now I come with a lot of passion to present you the house of ha-mebasser. It is a place where a messenger of Good News is formed (the forge). This house has a large hall where you can find every information and formation you need to configure yourself with the Master. We put the name of this first space as hall of conocer (to know). There we can communicate with the messengers of the house and his Master. We can ask them anything we want to know: what is ha-mebasser, who are the messengers and their master, how do they live, etc. All the questions or the communications that we make in this hall have the objective to know the situations, the characters, and other curiosities that we find or want to know there. We make a communication to reveal the most essential of the house (casa) of ha-mebasser.

If you feel called to be part of the house, your communications and presentations in the hall should raise curiosities to introduce more yourself to the closure spaces of the house such as the dining room, the bedrooms, the kitchen, etc. Entering these most interior spaces means entering the personal spaces of the messengers and their Master. The one who wants to enter there is not merely a visitor, but a person who wants to participate in the life of the house of ha-mebasser. That is why you need to know the house well in order to feel at home and love (amar) those who live in it. The place of love (amar) is the second space you must enter in the house of ha-mebasser. If love is your motivation, I assure that you will know and enjoy the inner ambiance of the house.

For loving it so much you will dare to do anything good in it, even serve (servir) the master and the other residents. It is the third space of the house, space to serve (servir). From cleaning the bathrooms, preparing food in the kitchen, and serving it at the table of the Master and the messengers are deep expressions of love. Moved by love, you can do anything for the sake of true love experienced in the house of ha-mebasser. This is the lifestyle of the house of ha-mebasser.

The curiosity to know something (conocer) in the house of ha-mebasser is without prejudice, knowing to love. True love is not passive, but active that is expressed in serving each other. In this dynamic of service, we praise each other (alabar) with an appreciative attitude that finally together we can praise (alabar) the Master of the house that enables all kinds of knowing – conocer (revelation), loving – amar (the reason for everything), and serving – servir (the lifestyle). It is the casa of ha-mebasser (casa: conocer – to know, amar – to love, server – to serve, and alabar – to praise), the character expected of every messenger of Good News. We know that this casa is the ideal of Saint Anthony Mary Claret in his apostolic prayer, “O my God and my Father, may I know you and make you known; love you and make you loved; serve you and make you served; praise you and make all creatures praise you” (Aut. 233) [1].

In this article I propose la casa of ha-mebasser as a way (method: met-hodos), the objective, and the ideal of the messenger of Good News. To be a messenger, one must know and love the Word of God as Good News. After you know and love it, start to serve it so that the whole world praises the Father, the source of all good news. The Word of God is Jesus Christ himself, the Messenger of the Good News of the Father.

The Scriptures as the Word of God is an inspiring source for a messenger of Good News. Approaching the Scriptures is fundamental to learn how to identify with the Master. As Saint Jerome said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” [2]

Various ways have been proposed to us to approach the Scriptures as the Word of God: how to read the Bible, how to pray together with the Bible, the famous lectio divina, etc.[3] Now I propose la casa of ha-mebasser (know-conocer, love-amar, serve-servir, praise-alabar) as another way to approach the Scriptures, a kind of forge where a messenger of Good News is formed. It is a simple way for ha-mebasser (a messenger) to be gradually configured with the Messenger of the only Father.

  1. First step: invocation of the Holy Spirit.  The Scriptures as the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit[4]. It is not just any text or writing. Logically, to approach the passages of the sacred text we need the help of the same Spirit. Before opening the passage that we want to read, it is necessary to invoke the Lord to send his Spirit and open our hearts so that the Word waters the interior of each person, and thus the seed sprouts, grows and bears much fruit (cf. Is 55,10-11)[5].
  • Second step: to know the Word of God in its profound. To enter this hall of conocer – to know we read the passage we want to approach slowly. After reading it we keep a space of silence. Then we read it again slowly noting the central setting of the passage. To deepen our knowledge of the text, we try to answer some questions: what image of God does the passage present, who is the protagonist (or antagonist) in the passage, what does he say and what does he do, to whom does he say it or for whom, etc. It is suggestive that the questions in this space are done in the sense of an appreciative perspective highlighting the details of the passage that bring hope, optimism, life, true liberty, and salvation.
  • Third step: to love the Word of God. Knowing the important details of the passage, we can read it again savoring[6] the words or phrases that favor the love that God has for us and those that favor our love for the divine designs. With the passage in hand, we review the textual details or some setting in the passage that speak of God’s love for us and for other creatures. We spend a few minutes reflecting on the textual details that invite us to love God more, love others as well as ourselves, and love nature more. In this step it is helpful answering this question: what does the passage say about love for God, love for others, love for one’s own life, and love for nature (ecology).
  • Fourth step: serve God, neighbors, and other creatures. Based on the fruits of the previous step (to love the Word of God) we weave some commitments to serve God, serve others, and serve – take care of nature (the common home). In this step we are invited to commit ourselves to put into practice the urge of love moved by the Word of God. We are invited to look at the reality of faith in God around us, the social relations in society, and the treatment towards nature. The key questions in this step are how can I serve God in this reality so that others can also serve the same God; how can I serve the people around me so that others can also serve their neighbors; and how I can take care of nature so that others take care of it and other future generations live from it. In this step, the identity of a messenger of Good News is already specified. After formulating the personal commitments, in the community reading, we open a space for each one to share their concerns and concrete convictions urged by the Word of God.
  • Fifth step: to praise God, and invite others to praise Him. The final objective of this dynamic of approaching the Scriptures is not merely a social attitude or an ecological commitment, but the worship of our God. Cosmic praise or cosmic worship is an adoration of all creatures to the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit[7]. In this step we are invited to make a prayer of praise or a prayer of thanksgiving for all that we have received from God and for the inspiration that we have received in this process of living in casa of ha-mebasser. In the community reading, we give a certain space of time so that some of the group can present their prayer of praise or thanksgiving in aloud voice. We can include in this step petitions for the Church or for the world in which we live.
  • Sixth step: apostolic sending. The entire process to enter the casa-house of ha-mebasser concludes with the act of sending. In this step, each one makes a list of concrete commitments that he or she has found in the fourth step: concrete commitment to serve and praise God, serve and appreciate others, and take care for the common home or ecology. It then closes with the Our Father prayer. The missionary dimension of this process appears in the testimony of our experience of knowing the Master’s life to others (…and make You known), testimony of the love of the messenger (…and make You loved), testimony of the work of the messenger (…and make You served), and the testimony of praise to the Lord in the life of the messenger (…and make You praised)[8].

Valens Agino, cmf

Misionero Claretiano de Indonesia – Timor Leste

[1] The apostolic prayer of Saint Anthony Mary Claret is the synthesis or the scheme and the ideal of his his apostolic itinerary. These four verbs (to know – conocer, to love – amar, to serve – servir, and to praise – alabar) appear in various numbers of his autobiography: nn. 136, 152, 327, 641, 743§7, 744§8, 789§15.

[2] Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation n. 25 (DV. 25).

[3] General Prefecture de Formation of Claretian Missionaries, Initiation in the Ministry of the Word, Rome 1998, pp. 99-106. “The steps of reading the Bible: the right ambiance for reading, reading the text in its context, reading existentially in order to understand life, prayerful reading, community reading, committed reading. Praying together with the Bible: we invite the Lord, we read the text, we dwell on the text, we keep silence, we share what has affected us, we talk about what the Lord is asking of us, and we pray together. Lectio divina: invocation of the Spirit, lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio.”

[4] DV. 7: “… those Apostles and apostolic men who under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit committed the message of salvation to writing”.

[5] Is. 55:10-11: “For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the Word what goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do”.

[6] DV. 25: “…they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose … And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.”

[7] Rev. 5:13: “Then I Heard all the living things in creation – everything that lives in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea, crying: To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honor, glory and power, forever and ever.”

[8] General Prefecture de Formation of Claretian Missionaries, Initiation in the Ministry of the Word, p. 106.

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