Gerard Lubaton, Little Whispers

Just Keep Fishing, Fishing, Fishing…

FIRST READING
1 Sm 1:9-20

Hannah rose after a meal at Shiloh,
and presented herself before the LORD;
at the time, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair
near the doorpost of the LORD’s temple.
In her bitterness she prayed to the LORD, weeping copiously,
and she made a vow, promising: “O LORD of hosts,
if you look with pity on the misery of your handmaid,
if you remember me and do not forget me,
if you give your handmaid a male child,
I will give him to the LORD for as long as he lives;
neither wine nor liquor shall he drink,
and no razor shall ever touch his head.”
As she remained long at prayer before the LORD,
Eli watched her mouth, for Hannah was praying silently;
though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard.
Eli, thinking her drunk, said to her,
“How long will you make a drunken show of yourself?
Sober up from your wine!”
“It isn’t that, my lord,” Hannah answered.
“I am an unhappy woman.
I have had neither wine nor liquor;
I was only pouring out my troubles to the LORD.
Do not think your handmaid a ne’er-do-well;
my prayer has been prompted by my deep sorrow and misery.”
Eli said, “Go in peace,
and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
She replied, “Think kindly of your maidservant,” and left.
She went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband,
and no longer appeared downcast.
Early the next morning they worshiped before the LORD,
and then returned to their home in Ramah.
When Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah,
the LORD remembered her.

Responsorial Psalm
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

“My heart exults in the LORD,
my horn is exalted in my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
I rejoice in my victory.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The bows of the mighty are broken,
while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
while the hungry batten on spoil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
while the mother of many languishes.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“The LORD puts to death and gives life;
he casts down to the nether world;
he raises up again.
The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
he humbles, he also exalts.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.
“He raises the needy from the dust;
from the dung heap he lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
and make a glorious throne their heritage.”
R. My heart exults in the Lord, my Savior.

Gospel
Mark 1: 14 – 20

After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The Kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
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REFLECTION
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

I enjoyed serving in different committees during my first three years in the Youth Ministry. I remember that it was a real joy having new friends even though we had different backgrounds because we all came for the same purpose. It was also the time when my friends in high school were looking for other activities to do during summer. So my friend and I were moved to invite some of our friends to attend the annual orientation for the Life in the Spirit Seminar. I was ecstatic to see them experience what I have been experiencing every Saturday. Eventually, they took the Life in the Spirit Seminar and Youth Encounter and served through the different ministries.

I am proud to say that I made the right choice of inviting them to the Youth ministry because I saw them grow as members and even as leaders. They’ve come to understand the Lord, and they’ve received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s not me who made them changed persons but it’s the Spirit of the Lord that brought them to life again. It’s our mission to become “fishers” of men, to draw more people most especially the Youth to get to know the Lord in a more personal way. And the gospel tells us, wherever or whatever state we came from, we are all asked to answer his call of mission.

To Adel, Ave, Eric, Marj, Sam: Thank you for being my closest friends. And thank you for all the laughter that we shared when we still served together in the ministry. Love you all! -Ge Lubaton. YLSS#22

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, may you help us to have the courage and enthusiasm to call more people to be your disciples. Amen.

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