Jon Hernandez, Little Whispers

Square One

First Reading
Isaiah 66:18-21

Thus says the LORD:
I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory.
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 117:1, 2
R.(Mk 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Luke 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”


“Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7)

In October 2010, I became part of the Praise Ministry of BLD Youth Manila. One of our mentors was Kuya Carlof. Honestly, I was scared of him, but I learned a lot from him. He challenged me to keep on learning and improving. It wasn’t always verbal, but my respect for (and also fear of) him made me want to step up to his challenge more.

For months, our mentors taught and disciplined us about the key to service – excellence. A year later, we grew into the role as the main instrumentalists. I was so proud of how we all improved.

That was the problem, though. I became too proud. I became complacent.

In Summer 2013, when we were preparing for the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar, we invited Kuya Carlof to help us with rehearsals. It had been months since I last saw him, so I was excited for him to see me play.

I received a mouthful of feedback from him on that day, even more than when I was in training. He made me realize that I stopped challenging myself. He pointed out to me that I was stuck doing the same things over and over again. He challenged me again to learn and improve; I was back in square one.

Today, I continue to love serving God. But every time I feel like my pride is catching up to me again, or every time I make a mistake, I look back at the passion and commitment Kuya Carlof showed through that humbling experience, and I would challenge myself again to do and become better; it reminds me to keep learning.

Just as mentors don’t like to see their mentees fail, God, Our Father, does not like to see us in pain. Still, they let us go through it anyway because the rewards waiting for us on the other side is worth it. It doesn’t matter how many times we go back to square one. God loves us so much that He will be the first back at square one with us, inviting us to get up and keep fighting.

Father, thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your grace and thank You for Your mercy. Open my eyes to see You in every trial. Humble my heart to trust in Your ways. Amen.



Click on the bubble to find out more about Jon!

Photo by: Elizeu Dias (@elishavision at

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