Little Whispers, Tisha Tayag

Heaven Sent

First Reading
Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11
In those days,
like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you
and who falls asleep in your friendship.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16, 18-19
R.(4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Gospel
Matthew 17:9A, 10-13
As they were coming down from the mountain,
the disciples asked Jesus,
“Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things;
but I tell you that Elijah has already come,
and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.
So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands.”
Then the disciples understood
that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.


johnbaptistesjesus

“Elijah will indeed come and restore all things but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him.” (Matthew 17: 11-12)

REFLECTION
As we know, Elijah was sent by God during the times of the Old Testament. In the time of Jesus and as seen in this Gospel, Elijah has come as John the Baptist. We all know how John the Baptist’s story went. Although, people believed, listened, and followed his teachings. There were still some who were discontent with what He had to say.

Just like us, we encounter our own kinds of Elijahs. These are God-sent people who aim to give us light and help us through our everyday journeys, yet we tend to take them for granted or set them aside. It is only at the end of it all that we realize that when we neglect these people, we have placed ourselves in deeper problems or more dangers. We may have our own clouded minds and endless reasons why we end up treating them this way but I guess, now would be a good time to acknowledge them and spend time listening to them because they only want what is best for you.

As we celebrate Jesus’s coming in 11 days, let’s also take some time out to celebrate the people sent to us who served as an Elijah or a John the Baptist. If you’ve thought of somebody that never tires to be there to for you in your lowest of lows and dark times, it would be nice to show a simple appreciation to them by making them feel loved and listened to as well. I’m pretty sure it would make their holiday season shine brighter too!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I want to take this time to thank the people that You have blessed me so much this year. The presence of the people who served as love and light has helped me overcome and conquer another year. I pray that You continue to empower them and protect them, and most importantly, may all their dreams and desires align to Your great plan for them. Amen.

Author

wc-tisha

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tisha!

Kitkat Fernandez, Little Whispers

Reason for the Season

First Reading
Isaiah 11:1-10
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
R. (cf. 7)  Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Second Reading
Romans 15:4-9
Brothers and sisters:
Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,
that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
for the glory of God.
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
to show God’s truthfulness,
to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.

Gospel
Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


photo-1498981529530-e0c63e19c38f

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Matthew 3:3)

REFLECTION
When I was younger, I looked forward to December because it meant receiving gifts, escaping school, and munching on delicious food. It was that time of the year when roads, houses, and malls were full of lights and decors. There were also the mandatory parties that we had to attend to.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew all along that it was because of the birth of Jesus. However, it was only when I turned older that I realized the true essence of the Christmas season. More than the festivities, it is the time to prepare for the Lord’s coming. It is the time for us to repent and have a clean slate. 

In the Gospel, there were Pharisees who wanted to be baptized but John reminds them that asking for forgiveness means producing good fruit as evidence of one’s repentance. Just like the Pharisees, we continue to sin despite asking for forgiveness. The Gospel is teaching us to not only ask for forgiveness but to make sure that we do not repeat our sins and instead do random acts of kindness.

During this advent season, may we await with great expectation the coming of the Lord and prepare ourselves when He comes. – Kitkat Fernandez

Reflection Song

Now That You’re Near by Hillsong Worship

Photo by: Walter Chavez (@walterch at unsplash.com)

Kyla Bulabos, Little Whispers

Aspiring Artist

First Reading
Isaiah 11:1-10
On that day,
A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A Spirit of counsel and of strength,
a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
The calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.

On that day,
The root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
The Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
R.(see 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
He shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Gospel
Luke 10:21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”


1

“… ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.'” (Luke 10:23-24)

REFLECTION
I’ve always wanted to learn how to draw and be creative, but I guess fate doesn’t want me to. During my 15 years of studying, from nursery to present, art classes never excited me because I know to myself that I don’t know how to excel in this area of learning.  I was so desperate to pass this subject that I had to seek help from my father during my younger years and my younger brother who was gifted with this talent. Imagine, a high school student asking help from her grade school sibling!

As a young kid, I would always ask my parents to buy me the 64 crayon set from Crayola, a complete set of watercolor, glitter pens, a drawing book, stencils, and all the artsy stuff that I would want to have but will just leave it slightly used because I would just get frustrated of my artworks. There was a time when I cried because my friends laughed at my artwork jokingly. Of course, I got hurt even though it was a joke because I know I did my best and gave effort in doing that. But then and again, it does not look like an artwork of a senior high school student.

I would always say “Sana magaling nalang ako magdrawing” (“How I wish I am a good artist”) or “Lord, pahingi naman talent sa drawing” (“Lord, please give me a talent in drawing”) but later on realized that God has given me a different talent wherein I excel and which I can use to bless other people. Like me, others would most likely ask and pray to have a talent like mine. But my dear friends, let us keep in mind that we need to learn how to appreciate what God has given us in whatever form it is.

Like in today’s gospel, Jesus said Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it. We as humans cannot have everything we hope and desire of, but Jesus wants us to remain humble and just be thankful and grateful of what He has given us.

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I thank You for all the blessings that You have given me. Lord, teach me how to appreciate everything that I may know how to use them and in order to be Jesus to other people, Amen.

Author

wc-kyla

Click on the bubble to find out more about Kyla!

Little Whispers, Tisha Tayag

Call Me Maybe

First Reading
Romans 10:9-18
Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R.(10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R.(John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Gospel
Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.


neonbrand-zFSo6bnZJTw-unsplash.jpg

“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

REFLECTION
As a grade school teacher, I hear my name being called many times a day for many different reasons. Just recently, as I was walking away from our level corridor, a student shouted, “Ms. Tayag!” There was urgency in the voice so I quickly turned to face the student and there I saw tears about to fall from the eyes. I walked towards the student and immediately listened to the concern. The tears were falling as the student felt fearful because she has been bitten by a mosquito. For adults, this may not seem like much but for her, it was a major concern. I held her tight and invited her to prayer of surrender. As we ended our comfort session, I reminded her to place her trust in the Lord. Even though she is young, it is never too early (or too late) to have faith in the Lord.

My student’s cry was a call for help. Just like her, we go through every day calling out for help in our own ways. At home, may it be for a serious matter or to be extra affectionate, you’d hear my brothers and I shout “Maaaaa!” (“Mooom!”) to which our mother would respond to instantly even if she knows we may be up to no good. This immediate response from our mom makes us feel secure and safe. The best part here is that our Good Lord does the same for us too. Isn’t that such a delightful thing to be graced with?

My dearest friends, the letter of Paul to the Romans contains a very beautiful promise. You may be reading this and thinking of that something you wish to be saved from. This is the perfect time for you to call on His name and surrender to Him whatever it may be that is on your mind right now. God’s hotline is 24/7 and He will be the one to pick up the call. He is waiting for the phone to ring just to hear Your voice because He himself will show You how He intends to save you no matter what.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, there are thoughts and situations that I need saving from in my life. I tend to find solution and escape from worldly things only to wake up and see that it is still there, lingering by. I no longer want to do this alone so, I am calling out to You because I believe and claim that You will save me every day and always, now and forever. Amen.

Author

wc-tisha (1)

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tisha!

Photo by: NeON Brand (@neonbrand at unsplash.com)

 

Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

Change

First Reading
Daniel 7:2-14
In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
from which emerged four immense beasts,
each different from the others.
The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.
While I watched, the wings were plucked;
it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
like a man, and given a human mind.
The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
It was given the order, “Up, devour much flesh.”
After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
and it had four heads.
To this beast dominion was given.
After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
different from all the others,
terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
and what was left it trampled with its feet.
I was considering the ten horns it had,
when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
This horn had eyes like a man,
and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
As I watched,

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was snow bright,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm
Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!”
“You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

Gospel
Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”


photo-1521127307357-3701b855583c

“… ‘Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’” (Luke 21:32-33)

REFLECTION
I am one of the people who don’t really like change. I would rather stay in my comfort zone of the regular and usual things I do in my daily life. Being used to seeing things that I see everyday gives me that assurance that I will be alright and nothing else is going on.

Most of the time, we suddenly get bombarded with change that we never really wanted in the first place. You could get a new teacher for class, a new kind of food served at home, or a new friend that you end up not really liking. This reminds me that we have no control over everything that happens in our lives because change is inevitable.

Today’s gospel talks about how change leads to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. All of the events in our lives have already been planned by Him. Even though we go through many changes and challenges, He reassures us that He will remain with us until the end. Even the toughest hardships will eventually lead to a better future set for us.

Change may sometimes scare us, but when we go through them, it could blossom into blessings on blessings on blessings from the Lord.

Prayer
Dearest Lord, thank you for the life you have blessed us with. Thank you for giving us the life that we should live to the fullest and use to spread Your love to others. Guide us Lord as we continue this journey of life and may You always be by our side. Amen.

Author

wc-josh

Click on the bubble to find out more about Josh!

Photo by: Phil Henry (@philhenryproductions at unsplash.com)

 

Kyla Bulabos, Little Whispers

Glossophobia

First Reading
2 Maccabees 7:1, 20-31
It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.

Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
“I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man’s beginning,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”

Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words,
thought he was being ridiculed.
As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him,
not with mere words, but with promises on oath,
to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs:
he would make him his Friend
and entrust him with high office.
When the youth paid no attention to him at all,
the king appealed to the mother,
urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
After he had urged her for a long time,
she went through the motions of persuading her son.
In derision of the cruel tyrant,
she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
“Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
nursed you for three years, brought you up,
educated and supported you to your present age.
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner,
but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them.”

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
“What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king’s command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 17:1BCD, 5-6, 8B AND 15
R.(15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Gospel
Luke 19:11-28
While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.'”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.


Glossophobia

“He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’” (Luke 19:26)

REFLECTION
Being the shy person that I am, I never thought that I would be able to lead worship, sing, and speak in front of many people. Glossophobia is defined as the fear of public speaking. I always hated speaking in front because it makes me weak, tremble, and anxious at all times. Whenever I am in front, I just feel like my mind stops and I cannot think of anything right. As a kid, my parents would always get mad at me every time I tell them that I don’t want to sing alone and speak in front of people because I’m too shy to do it.

As I grew older, circumstances came wherein I had no choice but to do the things that I don’t usually do. I had school performance tasks which included extemporaneous speeches, memorized speeches, graded recitation, and many more and I really can’t understand why I am too scared to do things like these.

When I was tapped to be the worship leader in BLD Youth for the first time, my first question in mind was “Kaya ko ba? Baka matulala lang ako sa harap.” (“Can I do it? I might just space out in front.”) but God whispered to me and said that I’ll never know unless I try. To cut it short, I said yes and lead worship for the first time. Right after that, more opportunities came. I became part of the student council, I was asked to lead worship in our school, and more. One day, a schoolmate approached me and told me that I am actually a good speaker and she wants to hear more of me soon. Right at that moment, I realized that I can actually bless other people with my greatest fear.

I did not know that the thing that I’ve always been insecure of will serve as a blessing to other people. My greatest fear turned out to be my greatest weapon—my strength. Similarly in today’s readings, God only asks us to utilize and spread what we have in order to bless ourselves and other people more.

Prayer
Dear Lord, teach me how to be more like You. Continue to guide me as I use Your gifts in order to be a blessing to other people. This we ask in Your most holy name, Amen.

Author

wc-kyla

Click on the bubble to find out more about Kyla!

Bea Borromeo, Little Whispers

Self-care

First Reading
2 Maccabees 6:18-31

Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes,
a man of advanced age and noble appearance,
was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork.
But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement,
he spat out the meat,
and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture,
as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food
which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life.
Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately,
because of their long acquaintance with him,
and urged him to bring meat of his own providing,
such as he could legitimately eat,
and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice
prescribed by the king;
in this way he would escape the death penalty,
and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.
But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner,
worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age,
the merited distinction of his gray hair,
and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood;
and so he declared that above all
he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

He told them to send him at once
to the abode of the dead, explaining:
“At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense;
many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar
had gone over to an alien religion.
Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life,
they would be led astray by me,
while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.
Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men,
I shall never, whether alive or dead,
escape the hands of the Almighty.
Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now,
I will prove myself worthy of my old age,
and I will leave to the young a noble example
of how to die willingly and generously
for the revered and holy laws.”

Eleazar spoke thus,
and went immediately to the instrument of torture.
Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed,
now became hostile toward him because what he had said
seemed to them utter madness.
When he was about to die under the blows,
he groaned and said:
“The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that,
although I could have escaped death,
I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging,
but also suffering it with joy in my soul
because of my devotion to him.”
This is how he died,
leaving in his death a model of courage
and an unforgettable example of virtue
not only for the young but for the whole nation.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (6b) The Lord upholds me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
R. The Lord upholds me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain.
R. The Lord upholds me.
When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side.
R. The Lord upholds me.

Gospel
Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”


photo-1523916480930-3eb0627839bb-2

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.’” (Luke 19:9-10)

REFLECTION
Just last week, I attended a training entitled “Presentation Skills Workshop”. As participants, we were required to think of a topic and present it to the whole class. The first thing that came to my mind was to share something personal so that I can discuss it well. 

Self-care — that’s what I presented. I shared my journey on how I learned to love myself just the way I am. From my physical, emotional and spiritual self. 

Almost everyone knew how low my self-esteem was before despite being a happy person and not just because of my physical appearance but how I see myself as a whole and my capabilities. But with the help of the people around me, I learned not to marginalize myself from others. Experiencing all the struggles, judgements and feeling of rejection from others gave me an opportunity to love myself more. 

Just like Zacchaeus, once in this lifetime, we were or we will be socially marginalized. But at the end of the day, it is how we will humble ourselves and believe that we are created in God’s own image and likeness. In that way, Jesus will choose to look into our hearts over and over again. He will choose to look beyond our sins and see us perfectly the way He planned us to be.

Reflection Song

So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-beab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Bea!

Photo by: Allef Vinicius (@seteales at unsplash.com)