Giosh de la Fuente, Little Whispers

Finders Keepers

First Reading
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11
Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
“We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R.    (1)  Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.    Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 17:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”


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“I made known to them your name and I will make it known, that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (John 17:26)

REFLECTION
I didn’t exactly have the best childhood. There was a lot of fighting between my sister and I. The arguments would be very one-sided, and she would get away with hurting me more often than not.

This ran for most of my life. The cycle created the darkest version of myself, an Anti-Giosue if you will. Anti-Giosue would talk to me and tell me how sorry of a person I was. He would tell me how worthless I was and how I wasn’t good enough for anything. And I believed him. For years, my actions aligned with what he was saying. I hurt people without realizing it. I lost myself. God in His all knowingness saw this happening to me, and He acted swiftly.

He first led me to BLD Youth. He taught me how He loved and gave me a path to get to know His love through the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar, a seminar in which teens like me get to feel and be blessed by the Holy Spirit. I learned how He used all this hurt in my heart to mold me into becoming a stronger person and a firm believer in His plan. He then taught me my purpose through the Youth Encounter, a retreat for teens which introduces the intricacies of Christian life and God. He showed me that I was very skilled at showing my love to others, even if it wasn’t shown back.

See, God taught me that loving people won’t always go both ways. God has given, is giving, and will give us everything He has. We sometimes take this for granted. I know I did. I shunned His help because of Anti-Giosue. But He still loved me enough to take me back with open arms. Through the ups and downs, God showed me glimpses of who I truly am. I am caring. I am empathetic. I am a fun-loving guy. More importantly, I am a child of God. Although Anti-Giosue shows up sometimes and taunts me, I know in my heart I have received the love I needed. I just have to look at where He is.

Reflection Song

Touch of Heaven by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-giosue

Click on the bubble to find out more about Giosh!

Photo by: Samuel Martins (@samuelmartins7 at unsplash.com)

Giosh de la Fuente, Little Whispers

Holes

First Reading
1 Thessalonians 3:7-13

We have been reassured about you, brothers and sisters,
in our every distress and affliction, through your faith.
For we now live, if you stand firm in the Lord.

What thanksgiving, then, can we render to God for you,
for all the joy we feel on your account before our God?
Night and day we pray beyond measure to see you in person
and to remedy the deficiencies of your faith.
Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus
direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase
and abound in love for one another and for all,
just as we have for you,
so as to strengthen your hearts,
to be blameless in holiness before our God and Father
at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 90:3-5A, 12-13, 14 AND 17
R. (14) Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

You turn man back to dust,
saying, “Return, O children of men.”
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
And may the gracious care of the LORD our God be ours;
prosper the work of our hands for us!
Prosper the work of our hands!
R. Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy!

Gospel
Mark 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
“It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias’ own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.”
He even swore many things to her,
“I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom.”
She went out and said to her mother,
“What shall I ask for?”
She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.”
The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request,
“I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.


photo-1458014854819-1a40aa70211c

“Now may God himself, our Father, and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all just as we have for you…” (1 Thessalonians 3:11-12)

REFLECTION
Before I learned about God, my parents taught me to love everyone. Up to now, I still try my hardest to follow what I was taught and be a good person to everyone I meet, whether I know them or not. I was good at loving everyone. I was happy loving everyone. That was until my Lolo Romy passed away.

My Lolo Romy was my best friend. We did everything together. He was my hero. At the time, I thought I couldn’t live without him. Around early 2008, our family found out that he had lung cancer. He went through chemotherapy for a year and got very frail. He passed away on June 15, 2009. His departure left a huge hole in my heart. I was sad for a long time, and I didn’t know what to do or where to go.

Fast forward to 2016, my dad introduced me to the youth ministry of his community, Bukas Loob sa Diyos. I attended the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar, which is where kids like me got to know the love and power of the Holy Spirit. With the help of the seminar, I began to learn how to love everyone again. Yet, the most important part of me learning how to love again is learning how much He loves us.

Through time and God’s grace, I realized that, yes, my Lolo may have left me, but God took his place in my life and became my guide. With each hole in our life, God wants us to put His love in everyone. Over time, His love will grow and keep growing into blessings our minds could never even imagine. The healing process might hurt a bit, but God promises He will complete us eventually.

Reflection Song

Author

wc-giosue

Click on the bubble to find out more about Giosh!

Photo by: Jeremy Bishop (@jeremybishop at unsplash.com)