CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

The Influencer

First Reading
Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Moses said to the people:
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord, your God, ask of you
but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow his ways exactly,
to love and serve the Lord, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul,
to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord
which I enjoin on you today for your own good?
Think! The heavens, even the highest heavens,
belong to the Lord, your God,
as well as the earth and everything on it.
Yet in his love for your fathers the LORD was so attached to them
as to choose you, their descendants,
in preference to all other peoples, as indeed he has now done.
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked.
For the Lord, your God, is the God of gods,
the Lord of Lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,
who has no favorites, accepts no bribes;
who executes justice for the orphan and the widow,
and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.
So you too must befriend the alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
The Lord, your God, shall you fear, and him shall you serve;
hold fast to him and swear by his name.
He is your glory, he, your God,
who has done for you those great and terrible things
which your own eyes have seen.
Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy strong,
and now the Lord, your God,
has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Matthew 17:22-27
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”

“.. now the Lord, your God, has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.” (Deuteronomy 10:22)


I grew up in a time when the concept of social media was just starting. I had accounts from the ones you use today like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but I was also active in those that are non-existent already like Plurk, Multiply and Friendster. You can only imagine the time I spent in these platforms–customizing backgrounds, putting music, and even changing the cursor for when you visit my profile. I put in the effort simply because I wanted to do the same things that my friends were doing. They were my “influencers” back then.

Eventually, my set of influencers changed. I now follow people who I look up to for recommendations on things, like clothes and food. There was also a person who does boxing, and actually inspired me to do the same. Being an influencer now bears a deeper meaning, because people who hold this prestige can actually change our mindset; from lifestyle decisions up to how we form opinions on things.

And this, my friends, is the message of today’s readings. It gives us an image that resembles greatly how Jesus lived His life – kind, humble, and accepting of differences. But this is given to us with a purpose. When we become Jesus-like to our neighbors, we become agents of His word and love. We give others the chance to be like Him, and believe that they can help others to do the same. Then, like stars in the sky (as promised by God our Father), the goodness we show multiply with the people we influence. Today, we are being tapped as modern-day Jesus-influencers, so let us bear this title well!

Reflection Song



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