Jon Hernandez, Little Whispers

College

First Reading
NM 11:25-29

The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses.
Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses,
the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders;
and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.

Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad,
were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp.
They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent;
yet the spirit came to rest on them also,
and they prophesied in the camp.
So, when a young man quickly told Moses,
“Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, ”
Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’aide, said,
“Moses, my lord, stop them.”
But Moses answered him,
“Are you jealous for my sake?
Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets!
Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:8, 10, 12-13, 14
R. (9a) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Though your servant is careful of them,
very diligent in keeping them,
Yet who can detect failings?
Cleanse me from my unknown faults!
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
From wanton sin especially, restrain your servant;
let it not rule over me.
Then shall I be blameless and innocent
of serious sin.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Second Reading
JAS 5:1-6

Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries.
Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten,
your gold and silver have corroded,
and that corrosion will be a testimony against you;
it will devour your flesh like a fire.
You have stored up treasure for the last days.
Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers
who harvested your fields are crying aloud;
and the cries of the harvesters
have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure;
you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.
You have condemned;
you have murdered the righteous one;
he offers you no resistance.

Gospel
MK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'”


college

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off…” (Mark 9:43)

REFLECTION
Let me start this by letting those who aren’t in college yet know that this isn’t only for college students and graduates. This will hopefully prepare you for what’s to come.

College is such a fun time in life. It’s that time where you decide who you’re going to be, and meet the people you’re going to be with, FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. You start plotting out your career and life path. You meet the people that will be with you during this time that you’re putting your life together; people that will not just be your friends but will also be your colleagues.

This is particularly why I loved my college experience more than high school. Yes, people say that HS is the best years of your life because it’s the most fun and you start to enter the adventurous phase of being teenagers together with your friends. But it’s in College where you’re exploring and discovering life rather than just playing around, and you decide what you want to do, what you want to say, what you want to believe in. This is when you start making who you are.

This is the time when you start taking care of yourself rather than just trusting in your parents and teachers to serve you everything you need. You start shedding away from your fragile and dependent kid skin, and start growing into your new strong and independent adult skin.

In today’s Gospel, we are reminded to remove from our lives whatever causes us to sin. Cut or pluck off your hands, feet, or eyes, if they cause you to sin. It is better to live a pure life without these than to live with them but used in ungodly ways.

Friends, we are reminded to check up on ourselves. It may be time to let go of those unnecessary habits, those childish desires, those mediocre dreams, those selfish intents, and start building yourself to be the best you can be; to be what God intended you to be. It is time to create healthy habits, have a childlike desire for impossible dreams, and become selfless.

Maybe you’re in “High School” right now, stuck and struggling. Today, God is telling you to go to “College,” and become new and improved. Remove the unnecessary, and become extraordinary.

Prayer
Jesus, today, I humble myself, I open my heart, and I accept change in my life. Give me the courage and grant me the strength to let go of the things that are holding me back from reaching my full potential. Make me the person you meant me to be. Amen.

Author

Jon Hernandez

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