Justin Chong, Little Whispers

Loud and Proud

First Reading
Acts 16:1-10
Paul reached also Derbe and Lystra
where there was a disciple named Timothy,
the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer,
but his father was a Greek.
The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke highly of him,
and Paul wanted him to come along with him.
On account of the Jews of that region, Paul had him circumcised,
for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
As they traveled from city to city,
they handed on to the people for observance the decisions
reached by the Apostles and presbyters in Jerusalem.
Day after day the churches grew stronger in faith
and increased in number.

They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory
because they had been prevented by the Holy Spirit
from preaching the message in the province of Asia.
When they came to Mysia, they tried to go on into Bithynia,
but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them,
so they crossed through Mysia and came down to Troas.
During the night Paul had a vision.
A Macedonian stood before him and implored him with these words,
“Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
When he had seen the vision,
we sought passage to Macedonia at once,
concluding that God had called us to proclaim the Good News to them.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 100:1B-2, 3, 5
R.    (2a)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    
Alleluia.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    
Alleluia.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    
Alleluia.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.”


photo-1581726707445-75cbe4efc586

“As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” (John 15:19)

REFLECTION
Did you ever feel like the world hates you? That maybe, you are unlikeable by everything?

The first time I felt something like this was when I was in high school. Back then, I was very loud in a way that I was confident of the way I spoke and acted. I had a group of friends that I hung out with every day. We would eat together, play after class together and go out on gimmicks on weekends.

One day I realized, things were different. They started distancing themselves from me. They would make excuses when I asked them if they wanted to hang out. They would suddenly turn silent as I approach. Every time I would tease them, they would get angry instead of laugh about it. One day, I caught them talking behind my back. I heard “ang yabang yabang talaga ni Justin, akala mo kung sino.” (“Justin is so full of himself, he thinks he’s very important.”). That is when I felt that the world hated me. There is probably something wrong with me and with the way I acted which came out wrong to them.

I started to be overly conscious of the way I spoke and acted. I started overthinking and replaying conversations in my head if I did or said something wrong. Over time, I got used to overthinking and being conscious. I became humble. I started thinking before speaking and became more sensitive. My friends eventually forgot about the whole thing and accepted me again.

Sometimes, the Lord allows us to feel like the world hates us not because he hates us too but because He is preparing us for things beyond this world. In the story, the Lord taught me to be humble and more considerate of others through that experience of exclusion. The world sometimes hates us because we do not belong here, maybe it is the Lord way to reminding us to aim higher than this world and that is to be with Him and like Him.

Prayer
Father, I sometimes feel like my family, friends and society is rejecting me. I feel that I do not belong to this world because of my failures, problems, and anxieties. Remind me Jesus, that Your plans for me is greater than this world and that You will be with me as I overcome. Amen.

Author

wc-justin

Click on the bubble to find out more about Justin!

Photo by: Taylor Wilcox (@taypaigey at unsplash.com)

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