Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Brace To Be Embraced

First Reading
2 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Gospel
JN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”


braces

“But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

REFLECTION

I had crooked teeth when I was little. I smiled a lot and I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. I wanted so bad to have braces but we could not afford it then. I wanted to have braces but we couldn’t afford it. Finally, after 3 years of working, I have saved enough money to get them installed!

YES, ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I was excited about my soon-to-be-awesome pearly whites…until the pain kicked in. It hurt so bad – the tugging and pulling, unforgivingly making sores in my mouth. The pain was so real it made me question why I did this to myself, and paid for it too! I wondered if the pain would be worth it. But later over three months into it, I started to see progress – crookedness started to straighten and there was hardly any pain at all. I couldn’t believe it, my teeth are actually getting fixed! It was a good decision after all.

It’s easy to have faith when we see good fruits all around; as easy as it is to get discouraged when life throws hurtful curveballs at you.

Today, Jesus counters with a curveball of His own. He says, “But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Just like having braces, following Jesus may not always be a breeze. In fact for me, my most trying times happened after I chose to follow Him. And I doubted midway if my decision to follow Him was a good idea, if it would be worth it. But now I can say that those trials were me, dying to myself, was God working in my life, pulling out the crookedness in me and straightening it. Of course it was painful to have your crookedness show. But God says it does not stop there. It’s just part of something bigger.

Dying to ourselves means letting Him expose the bad in us and letting Him turn it into something good, and trusting that He knows what He’s doing. That’s not always comfortable to be in but friend, do not be afraid and take courage for “God is able to make every grace abundant for you.” “There will be much fruit.” And it’ll be worth it.

Prayer

Lord, give me the courage to surrender my sins and weaknesses to you and the gift of faith to trust that you’re with me every step of the way to make it all worth it and more. Amen.

Author

jalandoni-tal

Click on the image to find out more about Tal!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s