Gerard Ramirez, Little Whispers

Saving Grace

First Reading
HOS 11:1, 3-4, 8C-9

Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.

My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not a man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.

Responsorial Psalm
IS 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
R. (3) You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. You will draw water joyfully from the springs of salvation.

Second Reading
EPH 3:8-12, 14-19

Brothers and sisters:
To me, the very least of all the holy ones, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ,
and to bring to light for all what is the plan of the mystery
hidden from ages past in God who created all things,
so that the manifold wisdom of God
might now be made known through the church
to the principalities and authorities in the heavens.
This was according to the eternal purpose
that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,
in whom we have boldness of speech
and confidence of access through faith in him.

For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Gospel
JN 19:31-37

Since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.


grace

“God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” (Is 12:2-3)

REFLECTION

I am always afraid. I am the type of person that is afraid of changes and uncertainties. I have no direction in life because I don’t plan on moving at all.

I was comfortable with what I had and with who I was. Until one day, God took my greatest comfort zone. He took Mama away from me. I was so angry, confused, and afraid. I didn’t know what to do. What happened next still gives me goose bumps every time I think of it.

I attended the weekly prayer meetings  just because I wanted to spend time with my friends. I kept praying, “What now, Lord? Ayoko na. Give me a reason to live or take me with You, too.” I was in front of the congregation as a praise minister, but all along, I was praying this repeatedly. Usually, during quiet time, when everyone listens to God’s message, I always take my seat. But something was off that day. I didn’t feel like sitting down. Instead, I kept repeating the prayer in my head. Then all of a sudden, I felt the urge to open my eyes. For the last time, I prayed, “What now, Lord? Ayoko na. Give me a reason to live or take me with You, too.” As I opened my eyes, the prayer leader started to pray again and in front of me, I saw the congregation, all standing up with their hands held high as if telling me to count them as my reason to live.

From that day on, I vowed that I will do everything for them; for the youth ministry that became my saving grace.

Friends, we have our struggles and our weaknesses. We may have things that we need to face everyday that make our lives miserable, but always remember, God will never leave you alone. Let Him be your strength and your peace and He will give you all the reasons you need to live. And before I end this, let me live you with my daily motto; Pray. Have faith. Keep moving forward. God bless you. – Gerard Ramirez (ramirez.gk@gmail.com)

Prayer

Jesus, You are my savior, my strength and my courage. I am confident and unafraid in You. Thank You  Amen.

Reflection Question

What can Jesus not do for you today?

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