AR Manalo, Little Whispers

A Letter To My 15 Year Old Self

First Reading
GN 49:2, 8-10

Jacob called his sons and said to them:
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
–your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
Judah, like a lion’s whelp,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches like a lion recumbent,
the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him?
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his legs,
While tribute is brought to him,
and he receives the people’s homage.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17
R. (see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
The mountains shall yield peace for the people,
and the hills justice.
He shall defend the afflicted among the people,
save the children of the poor.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Gospel
MT 1:1-17

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ,
the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,
whose mother was Tamar.
Perez became the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab.
Amminadab became the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz,
whose mother was Rahab.
Boaz became the father of Obed,
whose mother was Ruth.
Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon,
whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh,
Manasseh the father of Amos,
Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers
at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile,
Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud.
Abiud became the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok.
Zadok became the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar.
Eleazar became the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations
from Abraham to David
is fourteen generations;
from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations;
from the Babylonian exile to the Christ,
fourteen generations.


dearMe

“Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever”. (Psalm 72:7)

REFLECTION
A Letter to my 15-Year-Old Self

Hey Man!

Around this time, you are probably:

  1. worrying about what clothes you’re going wear for the party you’ll attend;
  2. saving up for that dream Chuck Taylor you have been eyeing on for years;
  3. wondering if she will attend the youth Christmas party;
  4. still doodling on the first ever comic book you made; or
  5. dreaming of the Nokia 5110 which is on the topmost of your Christmas wish list.

Anyway, just a heads up:

  1. It’s still the same black polo you will be wearing for the Christmas party.
  2. Yes, you will have your Chuck Taylor and you’re going wear it until you graduate from college.
  3. No she won’t be there. Prepare yourself for more heartaches along the way.
  4. Keep on doodling. No matter what they say, keep on doodling.
  5. You won’t have the Nokia 5110, but mom will make a way for you to have your own cellphone.

AR, I won’t tell you much what will happen in the next 15 years, but let me tell you this.

You may see that the choices you made, your financial status and your appearance make you weak, unlovable, and insecure. Cheer up, AR, I want to assure you that you are a beautiful mess.

Every flaw in your body, every weakness you have, every bit of angst or regret that you have because of some stupid decision you did, every heartache that you felt, every unsuccessful relationship that has happened with you, embrace it. It makes you HUMAN. Every FAILURE, it makes you relatable and it makes you beautiful in the eyes of Jesus.

Our God is a god of justice. Our God knows how much you are struggling right now. Seeing in your 15-year-old eyes, I know it is indeed hard to be faithful. AR, do not be discouraged.  He will be there until you reach the finish line and he will still cheer you on right until next levels and phases of your life. He will turn your rock bottom moments, as you say, into a mountain of blessings. I am sure.

Poverty is not a curse, it’s a challenge for you to be a steward of your finances.

The bad choices that you made and will make will wake you up and drive you to be better next time.

The heartbreaks that you felt will prepare you for your future wife and the two of you will grow and learn together. Here’s a hint: She might be sitting next to you right now in your prayer meeting.

And AR, I have a favor, keep on doodling, keep on imagining and keep on drawing. Because this for you is believing in yourself. We need that. Sometime in 2015, the 2015, the seeds of your imagination will be on an exhibit.

Yes, it’s true. So keep on serving and giving back to society. It will make you closer to Jesus. Everything you’re praying for will happen “sa tamang panahon”. (Trust me you’ll get that pun once you reach 2015)

Fist-bumping you all throughout,

15+15-Year-Old AR

Reflection Song

God of Justice By Tim Hughes

Author

AR Manalo

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