Jem Chong, Little Whispers

Take Courage

First Reading
Haggai 2:1-9

In the second year of King Darius,
on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,
the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:
Tell this to the governor of Judah,
Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak,
and to the remnant of the people:

Who is left among you
that saw this house in its former glory?
And how do you see it now?
Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?
But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD,
and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak,
And take courage, all you people of the land,
says the LORD, and work!
For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts.
This is the pact that I made with you
when you came out of Egypt,
And my spirit continues in your midst;
do not fear!
For thus says the LORD of hosts:
One moment yet, a little while,
and I will shake the heavens and the earth,
the sea and the dry land.
I will shake all the nations,
and the treasures of all the nations will come in,
And I will fill this house with glory,
says the LORD of hosts.
Mine is the silver and mine the gold,
says the LORD of hosts.
Greater will be the future glory of this house
than the former, says the LORD of hosts;
And in this place I will give you peace,
says the LORD of hosts!

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 43:1, 2, 3, 4
R.(5) Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight
against a faithless people;
from the deceitful and impious man rescue me.
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
For you, O God, are my strength.
Why do you keep me so far away?
Why must I go about in mourning,
with the enemy oppressing me?
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling place.
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God.

Gospel
Luke 9:18-22

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude,
and the disciples were with him,
he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”
They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah;
still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'”
Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”
He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”


nicole-geri-gMJ3tFOLvnA-unsplash.jpg

“..take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts. This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, and my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear!”

REFLECTION
Studying abroad has always been a dream of mine. One that I never thought would be true until my parents actually agreed to it. Even then, it still felt like a dream; and I realized then how unprepared I was. For the first time I was going to live in a completely unknown country. Feelings of fear and excitement danced around in my chest. Many years, I was safe under the loving presence of my family and friends. Now it felt like I was starting all over again 

One of my biggest fears was that I would lose my close connection with God while I was away. I would be far from my community; without any access to prayer meetings. I wondered why He would send me off, when these things could happen.

The first few nights were full of fear, I was worried that I would get lost or I would get myself into trouble. I remember taking a walk by myself at night, something that seemed dangerous. Only when I was completely alone treading unknown streets did I feel His presence. He still found a way to bring me back to Him. 

Despite all fear, God urges us to believe in the opportunities that He has provided for us, to believe in the foundation that we built together with Him. His promise to us is unfailing, so I would like to cling onto His presence in order to be renewed, to be strengthened. 

As I write this far from home, I am grateful for all the opportunities that He has given me. With this, I actually found great friends who also have their own community in devotion to Him. Sunday mass, which I have taken for granted in the past, now gives me feelings of peace and of home. Place does not matter, as long as I continue to take even a few minutes of every day to remember that there is a God out there looking out for me. Through that, everything does not seem so scary anymore. 

Prayer
Dear Lord, a
s many trials come and go, You have been with me constantly. You still find a way to make me happy, to shower me with blessings. Father, fill me with courage as I continue to face the unknown. Help me remember that You have a prosperous plan for me, and that there is nothing that You and I can’t handle. Lastly, thank you for always watching out for me, even when I doubt myself and focus on my fears. I believe that only You can fill my life with hope and clarity in the midst of the unknown. Amen. 

Author

wc-jem.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Jem!

Photo by: Nicole Geri (@nicolegeri at unsplash.com)

1 thought on “Take Courage”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s