Little Whispers, Ryan Matignas

Sunny Days

First Reading
EX 16:2-4, 12-15

The whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The Israelites said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.

“I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the Israelites asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 78:3-4, 23-24, 25, 54
R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
We will declare to the generation to come
the glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength
and the wonders that he wrought.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
He commanded the skies above
and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
And he brought them to his holy land,
to the mountains his right hand had won.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Second Reading
EPH 4:17, 20-24

Brothers and sisters:
I declare and testify in the Lord
that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do,
in the futility of their minds;
that is not how you learned Christ,
assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him,
as truth is in Jesus,
that you should put away the old self of your former way of life,
corrupted through deceitful desires,
and be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
and put on the new self,
created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.

Gospel
JN 6:24-35

When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”

So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”


 

rainy
…”I will now rain down bread from heaven for you…” (Exodus 16:4)

REFLECTION

I’ve never liked rain.

When I was a small boy, I loved playing outside. I’d be in my rubber boots, tidy white-ies, two belts crossed over my chest wielding a plastic silver sword, pretending I was He-Man master of the universe fighting off Skeletor (an 80’s kid would know). And then it would rain, and I’d be asked to stop playing and come inside.  That sucked.

I hated rain.

My mom loved bringing me places. If she had errands, my mom would have me tag along and it would be awesome as it meant I saw different things. And then it would rain, and our trips would get cancelled. That wasn’t nice.

I didn’t like rain at all.

Our family went through a rough financial patch when I was younger. Our house wasn’t maintained well, to the point that our roof leaked buckets of water. I would often see my dad, staring blankly, wallowing in depression. The smoke from his cigarette would form a strange scent coupled with the smell of wet metal and wood. It was heart breaking.

I hated rain.

At one time, my mom had a big fight with my dad. She wanted to be away, so she left the house with us. While waiting for a jeepney, it rained very hard. We didn’t have an umbrella then, needless to say we were drenched. I hated every part of being wet and cold.

When my dad passed, my mom was left to fend for us. She didn’t earn much as a school nurse and had to have different rackets.

At one time, my mom was out on one of those errands, trying to make money selling all kinds of stuff. It rained really, really hard and I got worried. I knew my mom won’t take a cab to save money, which told me she would’ve been soaking wet by now. My fears were confirmed when she got home, soaking wet. Her eyes were glassy. I knew she was crying recently.

It broke my heart to see my mom like that. I locked myself in my room and prayed to the heavens for the rain to stop. I prayed to God for our “rain” to stop.

I remember my prayer: “Lord, please, ayaw ko na po mahirapan mommy ko. Wag na sana siya mabasa ng ulan ulit.” (Lord, please, I do not want to see mommy having a hard time. I don’t want her getting drenched in the cold rain again.)

Two weeks later, we got a call from a nearby shopping mall informing us we won the grand prize in the raffle it recently held. The grand prize: a brand new car. (The car was then sold off, proceeds were used to improve our house, and purchase a second hand sedan.)

God listens when you pray. Right now, if you’re getting rained on, pray. God listens to us. God answers prayers. You don’t have to suffer “hating rain” because God will make it stop, and you will have your sunny days.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for making the rain go away.
Author
matignas-ryan-wc
Click on the image to read more reflections by Ryan!

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