Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

Player One

First Reading
Joshua 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
In times past your fathers, down to Terah,
father of Abraham and Nahor,
dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.
But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River
and led him through the entire land of Canaan.
I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.
To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.
To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,
while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies
which I wrought in her midst.
Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,
the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea
with chariots and horsemen.
Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,
upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.
After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert,
I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan.
They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.
You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,
the two kings of the Amorites, before you.
Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,
prepared to war against Israel.
He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;
but I would not listen to Balaam.
On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.
Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,
the men of Jericho fought against you,
but I delivered them also into your power.
And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them
(the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites,
Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites)
out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

“I gave you a land that you had not tilled
and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;
you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves
which you did not plant.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 AND 24
R. His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

Gospel
Matthew 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”


“… it was not your sword or your bow. I gave you a land that you had not tilled and cities that you had not built, to dwell in; you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.” (Joshua 24:12-13)

REFLECTION
The biggest chunk of my childhood was spent playing video games with my family and friends. Red Alert, StarCraft and WarCraft are one of the many games that I would invest my time in. I would spend lots of time upgrading my base, weapons and armies because I hated losing. I was very competitive—I was always making sure that I had the best set of armies and weapons to defeat the enemy.

As I grew older, things started to get different. I didn’t play that much because I was busy with other things. Whenever I boot up the game and play with friends, I realize that I’ve lost my edge and began to lose a lot of games. I didn’t have the same level of commitment to my games and I felt bad because of it.

Friends, whenever things start to get tough or you feel like you’re losing, that is the perfect time to start trusting Him. It is Bible verses like these that remind me that our own strength is never enough. My armies and weapons in games are not enough, they also need commitment. The same can be said in the real world; God does the heavy lifting, but you need to commit to Him.

In your school, job or wherever you are right now, allow God to be God! You just need to believe that God is creating the perfect plan for us to win! All you have to do is to commit to the plan He has for you and everything will fall into place.

Not our own “sword” or “bow,” but His. We have victory because of Jesus! It is never our own strength but because of His love and providence for us.

Prayer
Lord, teach us to love just like You. Keep us guarded through Your love. Teach us to trust through trial or triumph, through winning and through losing. Always remind us that there is peace through Your will, not ours. Amen.

Author

Click on the bubble to find out more about Arlo!

Photo by: Alexander Andrews (@alex_andrews at unsplash.com)

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

Managing Manager

First Reading
ROM 14:7-12

Brothers and sisters:
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Why then do you judge your brother or sister?
Or you, why do you look down on your brother or sister?
For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God;
for it is written:

As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.

So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 27:1BCDE, 4, 13-14
R. (13) I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
One thing I ask of the LORD;
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.

Gospel
LK 15:1-10

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So Jesus addressed this parable to them.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”


manager

“… this man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2)

REFLECTION
I have no words for my manager who works more than 10 hours a day, staying at the coffee shop to make sure that everything is going well with the team, making sure that we have back up for our coffee grounds, cold and hot cups, syrups and everything that the store needs for the coming days. Also, he has to make sure that his 17 partners (our version of “employees”) are doing well in the store.

Yesterday, we started the Christmas Promotional of our store. Stickers will be given everytime you purchase a drink for the customers to complete and will be given a planner for a reward. People are already lining up even before the store started to open. “Bakbakan na, kaya natin to,” my manager started saying as soon as the door opened and we started greeting customers back and forth. Different orders came up and the really large volume of people came up too. Misunderstanding and mistakes with orders are the most difficult thing to deal with for me. Imagine all the people waiting just because of one mistake. So what our manager did is he insisted the partners not to panic and start focusing on one person and one drink. He didn’t scold us or he didn’t punish us for what is happening. “Ganyan talaga, challenge sa atin lahat yan. Kaya natin yan.”

The day ended with a pat on the back from our manager and telling us we did a great job today.

I believe that just like my manager, Jesus doesn’t focus on our mistakes, faults and most especially with our sins. As long as you show love in whatever you are doing. Jesus will see the drive and effort and will surely appreciate it in the end. I believe also that no matter how lost and how bad you feel with yourselves, Jesus will turn it around before the day ends. He will let You feel that you are loved and you are special and Jesus’ love will weigh more than anything in this world. ☺

Prayer
Lord Jesus, Help me to see the good in ourselves. Help us to make every mistake our challenge and a reminder. Remind us that You love us Your children, no matter what.

Author

borromeo-arlo-wcClick on the image to find out more about Arlo!

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

Back To Shore

First Reading
JON 1:1–2:1-2, 11

This is the word of the LORD that came to Jonah, son of Amittai:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it;
their wickedness has come up before me.”
But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD.
He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish,
paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish,
away from the LORD.

The LORD, however, hurled a violent wind upon the sea,
and in the furious tempest that arose
the ship was on the point of breaking up.
Then the mariners became frightened and each one cried to his god.
To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea.
Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship,
and lay there fast asleep.
The captain came to him and said, “What are you doing asleep?
Rise up, call upon your God!
Perhaps God will be mindful of us so that we may not perish.”

Then they said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots
to find out on whose account we have met with this misfortune.”
So they cast lots, and thus singled out Jonah.
“Tell us,” they said, “what is your business?
Where do you come from?
What is your country, and to what people do you belong?”
Jonah answered them, “I am a Hebrew,
I worship the LORD, the God of heaven,
who made the sea and the dry land.”

Now the men were seized with great fear and said to him,
“How could you do such a thing!–
They knew that he was fleeing from the LORD,
because he had told them.–
They asked, “What shall we do with you,
that the sea may quiet down for us?”
For the sea was growing more and more turbulent.
Jonah said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,
that it may quiet down for you;
since I know it is because of me
that this violent storm has come upon you.”

Still the men rowed hard to regain the land, but they could not,
for the sea grew ever more turbulent.
Then they cried to the LORD: “We beseech you, O LORD,
let us not perish for taking this man’s life;
do not charge us with shedding innocent blood,
for you, LORD, have done as you saw fit.”
Then they took Jonah and threw him into the sea,
and the sea’s raging abated.
Struck with great fear of the LORD,
the men offered sacrifice and made vows to him.

But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah;
and Jonah remained in the belly of the fish
three days and three nights.
From the belly of the fish Jonah prayed
to the LORD, his God.
Then the LORD commanded the fish to spew Jonah upon the shore.

Responsorial Psalm
JONAH 2:3, 4, 5, 8
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

Out of my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me;
From the midst of the nether world I cried for help,
and you heard my voice.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea,
and the flood enveloped me;
All your breakers and your billows
passed over me.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
Then I said, “I am banished from your sight!
yet would I again look upon your holy temple.”
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.
When my soul fainted within me,
I remembered the LORD;
My prayer reached you
in your holy temple.
R. You will rescue my life from the pit, O Lord.

Gospel
LK 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”


back to shore

Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you.” (Jonah 1:12)

REFLECTION
Back then as a kid, I was really afraid of my parents whenever I did something wrong. I was afraid of being scolded and disappointing them with my mistakes. So I would always hide my mistakes and just keep them to myself. I would even make stories just to cover up everything.

But I remember when I was in the 5th grade, I got into a fight when I was protecting my friend from getting bullied. I had to bring my parents to school as a consequence. I stood up for what I did and bravely told my mother what happened. I didn’t make up any stories. I just told her everything. And I was surprised when she didn’t get angry. She even comforted me.

Just like Jonah in the first reading, he knew that it was because of him that there was a raging storm in the sea. He was staying away from Jesus and fleeing from his God. And so he bravely sacrificed himself for the others in the boat; and he chose to be thrown into the sea. He stood up for what he had done. And when Jesus sent the fish to eat Jonah, where Jonah stayed for three days and three nights, Jesus eventually commanded the fish to bring him back to the shore.

Friends, no matter what situation you find yourself in, or what mistake you’ve done, always choose to stand by them. And if you’re experiencing a storm in your life right now, choose to face it. It may be hard at first but it will all be worth it in the end. Jesus has His ways of saving you from your mistakes. So rest assured that Jesus will be with you until the end. Imagine Jonah being stuck inside a whale for three days and three nights; Jesus will also bring you back onshore. Have faith, and never let it run out of you.

Prayer
Lord, help me to stand by my mistakes. Remind me to extend my faith on You because everything is found in You. No mistake or fault shall drive us away from You. Amen.

Author
borromeo-arlo-wc Click on the image to find out more about Arlo!

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

Jobs and Guitars

First Reading
JGS 6:11-24A

The angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah
that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite.
While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press
to save it from the Midianites,
the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said,
“The LORD is with you, O champion!”
Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us,
why has all this happened to us?
Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers
told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’
For now the LORD has abandoned us
and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have
and save Israel from the power of Midian.
It is I who send you.”
But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel?
My family is the lowliest in Manasseh,
and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”
“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him,
“and you will cut down Midian to the last man.”
Gideon answered him, “If I find favor with you,
give me a sign that you are speaking with me.
Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you
and bring out my offering and set it before you.”
He answered, “I will await your return.”

So Gideon went off and prepared a kid and a measure of flour
in the form of unleavened cakes.
Putting the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot,
he brought them out to him under the terebinth
and presented them.
The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and unleavened cakes
and lay them on this rock; then pour out the broth.”
When he had done so,
the angel of the LORD stretched out the tip of the staff he held,
and touched the meat and unleavened cakes.
Thereupon a fire came up from the rock
that consumed the meat and unleavened cakes,
and the angel of the LORD disappeared from sight.
Gideon, now aware that it had been the angel of the LORD,
said, “Alas, Lord GOD,
that I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!”
The LORD answered him,
“Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.”
So Gideon built there an altar to the LORD
and called it Yahweh-shalom.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 85:9, 11-12, 13-14
R. (see 9b) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace
To his people, and to his faithful ones,
and to those who put in him their hope.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Gospel
MT 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”


guitar

“We have given up everything and followed you. What will be there for us?” (Matthew 19:27)

REFLECTION
Who knows the feeling of giving up something that is really important in your life? It might be a gift from your special someone that you really value, gift from your significant other for your Anniversary or something  you bought for yourself.

Last week, I had to give up my first ever guitar (my dream guitar) that I bought using all the money that I saved from work. I had to replace the guitar that I borrowed from my close friend from college which I unfortunately lost.

It was very hard for me. I questioned a lot of things. I even considered ignoring all of my friend’s attempts at communication, but I finally decided to do the right thing. I met with her parents and agreed to give my dream guitar as replacement for the one I lost.

I went home really depressed and frustrated. I asked God for help and I started praying. After I prayed, there was a phone call and it was an anonymous number. I answered it, and to my surprise, it was a call asking me for an interview for a well-known hotel. They were offering me the position of pastry chef. It was my dream job.

Friends, you might be struggling right now, things may go the other way around. But have faith! Bigger things are coming. God’s plans are almost always different from our plans but His plans are perfect. I believe that bigger plans are in store and we will receive a hundred times more.

Prayer
Lord I know that You’re a God that provides. Teach us to trust in Your plans. Amen.

Author

borromeo-arlo-wc

Click on the image to find out more about Arlo!

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

Mustard Seed

First Reading
EX 32:15-24, 30-34
Moses turned and came down the mountain
with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands,
tablets that were written on both sides, front and back;
tablets that were made by God,
having inscriptions on them that were engraved by God himself.
Now, when Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting,
he said to Moses, “That sounds like a battle in the camp.”
But Moses answered, “It does not sound like cries of victory,
nor does it sound like cries of defeat;
the sounds that I hear are cries of revelry.”
As he drew near the camp, he saw the calf and the dancing.
With that, Moses’ wrath flared up, so that he threw the tablets down
and broke them on the base of the mountain.
Taking the calf they had made, he fused it in the fire
and then ground it down to powder,
which he scattered on the water and made the children of Israel drink.

Moses asked Aaron, “What did this people ever do to you
that you should lead them into so grave a sin?”
Aaron replied, “Let not my lord be angry.
You know well enough how prone the people are to evil.
They said to me, ‘Make us a god to be our leader;
as for the man Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt,
we do not know what has happened to him.’
So I told them, ‘Let anyone who has gold jewelry take it off.’
They gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out.”

On the next day Moses said to the people,
“You have committed a grave sin.
I will go up to the LORD, then;
perhaps I may be able to make atonement for your sin.”
So Moses went back to the LORD and said,
“Ah, this people has indeed committed a grave sin
in making a god of gold for themselves!
If you would only forgive their sin!
If you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written.”
The LORD answered, “Him only who has sinned against me
will I strike out of my book.
Now, go and lead the people to the place I have told you.
My angel will go before you.
When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 106:19-20, 21-22, 23
R. (1a) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Gospel
MT 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

He spoke to them another parable.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.


“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants” (Matthew 13:32-33)

REFLECTION

Have you ever seen a mustard seed? These are the smallest seeds I have ever seen. A mustard seed is so small that if you hold one and dropped it on the ground, you might not be able to find it.

I’ve been serving in the praise ministry for almost three years already and it was not an easy task. I’ve seen myself struggle throughout the year. It came to a point that I thought of quitting the ministry closest to my heart. Being with different people of different personalities, having different levels of skill and different ways of understanding music were never easy. I always compared myself to my other bandmates. My insecurities became my weakness. I started to ask myself: Why am I still serving? Why am I still playing?

Sometimes, our biggest blessings has the same size of a mustard seed. In my case, I already have my mustard seed that bloomed the biggest plants and branches – my bandmates who continuously play together. They never left. They never fail to inspire me when I’m down. They never fail to push me to be better. Just like the mustard seed, things may look small. You may not see the seed that He planted in you but believe me, even the smallest of things can be your biggest blessing. -Arlo Borromeo (arloborromeo23@gmail.com)

Prayer
Jesus, teach me to love just like You. Teach me to see beyond our insecurities, failures, doubts. Our seeds may look small, but someday it will grow way bigger than our biggest dreams. Amen.

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

No Smoking

First Reading SIR 17:20-24 To the penitent God provides a way back, he encourages those who are losing hope and has chosen for them the lot of truth. Return to him and give up sin, pray to the LORD and make your offenses few. Turn again to the Most High and away from your sin, hate intensely what he loathes, and know the justice and judgments of God, Stand firm in the way set before you, in prayer to the Most High God. Who in the nether world can glorify the Most High in place of the living who offer their praise? Dwell no longer in the error of the ungodly, but offer your praise before death. No more can the dead give praise than those who have never lived; You who are alive and well shall praise and glorify God in his mercies. How great the mercy of the LORD, his forgiveness of those who return to him!

Responsorial Psalm

PS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7 R. (11a)

Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord. Blessed is he whose fault is taken away, whose sin is covered. Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt, in whose spirit there is no guile.

R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord. Then I acknowledged my sin to you, my guilt I covered not. I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,” and you took away the guilt of my sin.

R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord. For this shall every faithful man pray to you in time of stress. Though deep waters overflow, they shall not reach him.

R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord. You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. R. Let the just exult and rejoice in the Lord.

Gospel MK 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”


    “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” (Mk 10:17-27) REFLECTION

One of things that I regret doing when I was in High school was that I smoked cigarettes. Growing up, I would see a lot of relatives and even friends who lit a stick whenever they want to. Out of curiosity, I tried smoking because I wanted to be “IN” and also wanted to know what they get out of smoking. During the first few times I smoked, it tasted really BAD and I kept doing it until I learned to like it. Smoking for me became a habit that couldn’t be killed easily. I have been smoking for four years and it has been a struggle for me. I thought of stopping for many times but it wasn’t enough. The vision of me from stopping from smoking seemed like a blur. It became impossible for me not to smoke a single day. But Jesus has His own ways of turning things around. He reminded me that there are still more to life than inhaling smoke into my body, that I have my dreams and plans for my life and for my future. He reminded me that He is powerful and my dreams and plans for my life weigh more than my addiction with smoking. He doesn’t want me to just rely on my own strength. One day, I made a decision to stop smoking and I have been smoke-free for a whole month. I am so much happier right now. He just wants us to believe in Him that everything will fall into place. He will never forsake us. Whatever your frustrations are right now, trust in Him that He will turn everything around. Even the impossible, because all things are possible for God. -Arlo Borromeo (arloborromeo23@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Jesus, teach me to believe in You. Show me Your heart and fix my heart in Your perfect way. Nothing can separate me from Your love for nothing is impossible for You. Amen.

Reflection Question

Have I faced an impossible challenge knowing that the Lord is beside me?

Arlo Borromeo, Little Whispers

The Stand

First Reading
Dt 4:32-40

Moses said to the people:
“Ask now of the days of old, before your time,
ever since God created man upon the earth;
ask from one end of the sky to the other:
Did anything so great ever happen before?
Was it ever heard of?
Did a people ever hear the voice of God
speaking from the midst of fire, as you did, and live?
Or did any god venture to go and take a nation for himself
from the midst of another nation,
by testings, by signs and wonders, by war,
with his strong hand and outstretched arm, and by great terrors,
all of which the LORD, your God,
did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
All this you were allowed to see
that you might know the LORD is God and there is no other.
Out of the heavens he let you hear his voice to discipline you;
on earth he let you see his great fire,
and you heard him speaking out of the fire.
For love of your fathers he chose their descendants
and personally led you out of Egypt by his great power,
driving out of your way nations greater and mightier than you,
so as to bring you in
and to make their land your heritage, as it is today.
This is why you must now know, and fix in your heart,
that the LORD is God in the heavens above and on earth below,
and that there is no other.
You must keep his statutes and commandments which I enjoin on you today,
that you and your children after you may prosper,
and that you may have long life on the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you forever.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 77:12-13, 14-15, 16 AND 21
R. (12a) I remember the deeds of the Lord.

I remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I remember your wonders of old.
And I meditate on your works;
your exploits I ponder.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.
O God, your way is holy;
what great god is there like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
among the peoples you have made known your power.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.
With your strong arm you redeemed your people,
the sons of Jacob and Joseph.
You led your people like a flock
under the care of Moses and Aaron.
R. I remember the deeds of the Lord.

Gospel
Mt 16:24-28

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
Or what can one give in exchange for his life?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory,
and then he will repay each according to his conduct.
Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here
who will not taste death
until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
______________________________________________________________________
images (1)REFLECTION

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” -Mt 16: 24

They asked “Palagi ka nalang hindi pwede every Saturday ah?”

I would say “Sorry bro, busy eh.”

They asked again “Bakit? Saan?”

I would say “Ah wala eh. Dami ginagawa for school eh.”

Every time my High school friends asked me those questions, I always felt so unworthy. There is this little voice inside of my head that was ashamed to say “Ah bro, sorry galing ako prayer meeting eh.” I felt terrible about those times, and just wished that I had told the truth instead.

Many times, we tend to betray God. We tend to disobey Him and tell lies to others. We sin, do things that God wouldn’t want us to do. We tend to doubt the things that we believe in order for us to be “in”, to be “cool”. I was afraid of the things that my friends would think about me.

The good news is, Jesus didn’t give up on me. He made me realize that in every situation, I have a choice. Do I focus on worldly things and what others would think of me OR to stand for Him and what I really believe in?

Friends, today He wants you to carry your own cross and never be ashamed to tell and spread the good news that you have witnessed personally. Stand for Jesus and remember that the world is not about us. It’s about Him and how He stood for us, how He exchanged His life for us. – Arlo Borromeo (Jeih.sxiie@yahoo.com) 

Prayer

Lord, teach us how to stand for You. Teach me to have the courage and believe in You, every time. I want others to be able to see You in me. Amen.

Reflection Question

What is hindering you from standing up for God?

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