Justin Chong, Little Whispers

The Gift of Mourning

First Reading
1 Timothy 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil’s punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil’s trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 101:1B-2AB, 2CD-3AB, 5, 6
R.(2) I will walk with blameless heart.

Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Luke 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


“When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.'” (Luke 7: 13)

The first time I have ever experienced death up close was way back in 2017. My lola (grandmother) has been fighting cancer for years and we all knew the battle was about to end. Seeing her so close to passing away on her hospital bed was devastating. It is never a good feeling when you know someone you love is in pain, but you can’t do anything to help even if you wanted to. Out of frustration, I asked the Lord, “Why do you allow these sufferings to happen to the people who love you?”

When my lola finally passed, we quickly began her wake. Surprisingly, the moment her wake began, the mood was different. Amid mourning for my lola, all I ever felt during the 5-day long wake was love. First, my family was complete daily, the whole time. This is one thing I know my lola wished for. Second, every day a different group of friends would visit and mourn with me. They would come to cheer me up, serve during mass and eat the food prepared. Lastly, I got to know my lola more through all the stories her friends and family would share.

I then came to realize. The Lord never takes, he only gives. He not only blessed my lola with eternal life but blessed my entire family by showing his love through everyone around us. Let us never forget that the Lord sees us, feels what we feel and will always bless us.

Lord, we tha
nk you for the gift of life but moreover we thank you for the gift of family, community and friends in which you use as instruments to allow your love to be felt. Open my eyes and heart to see your love in everything and everyone. Amen.



Click on the bubble to find out more about Justin!

Photo by: Rhodi Lopez (@20164rhodi at unsplash.com)

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