Jeff Alejandrino, Little Whispers

Long Weekend

First Reading
1 Thes 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters,
we earnestly ask and exhort you in the Lord Jesus that,
as you received from us
how you should conduct yourselves to please God–
and as you are conducting yourselves–
you do so even more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

This is the will of God, your holiness:
that you refrain from immorality,
that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself
in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion
as do the Gentiles who do not know God;
not to take advantage of or exploit a brother or sister in this matter,
for the Lord is an avenger in all these things,
as we told you before and solemnly affirmed.
For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness.
Therefore, whoever disregards this,
disregards not a human being but God,
who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 97:1 AND 2B, 5-6, 10, 11-12
R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful ones;
from the hand of the wicked he delivers them.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Gospel
Mt 25:1-13

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins
who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones, when taking their lamps,
brought no oil with them,
but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps.
Since the bridegroom was long delayed,
they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
At midnight, there was a cry,
‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise,
‘Give us some of your oil,
for our lamps are going out.’
But the wise ones replied,
‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’
While they went off to buy it,
the bridegroom came
and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him.
Then the door was locked.
Afterwards the other virgins came and said,
‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’
But he said in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’
Therefore, stay awake,
for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________

pack

REFLECTION

“…Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”-Mt 25:13

Recently our family decided to spend the long weekend out of town.  Mom told us to pack our things the night before because we will be leaving early the next day.  But being the stubborn and lazy packer that I am, I just told myself that I will just wake up early and pack by then.  About an hour before leaving the next day, was the only time I decided to actually pack, only to find out that the laundry that came in yesterday got mixed up with another house and that our actual clothes are still in the laundry shop and haven’t been started yet.  Naturally, we panicked, and told the laundry shop to have it rushed because we will need our clothes in less than an hour.  The clothes did arrive a few minutes before we left, and we managed to pack. We left at the agreed time, but during the whole road trip, I was bothered and kept thinking if I left something.  True enough, not only did I over pack on clothes, but I left some of my necessities like toiletries and pang-tulog.  I felt bothered most of the time during the weekend, thinking if there were still things that I left that I haven’t discovered yet.

Moral of the Story? Simply PREPARE!  If we fail to prepare for simple exams, family vacations or office presentations, we suffer corresponding consequences, what more if we fail to prepare for eternal life? The Lord has given us our entire lives in this world to prepare, let’s grab this once in a lifetime opportunity to be with Him for eternity. -Jeff Alejandrino (jeff_alejandrino@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Father God, until that day comes, allow me to put my faith and trust in you.  Prepare my heart and my soul for that day that I will finally meet you. Amen.

Reflection Question

Are you spiritually ready for your trip for eternity?

Photo Source: http://www.sleepout.com

Jeff Alejandrino, Little Whispers

The Receptionist

First Reading
Sir 4:11-19

Wisdom breathes life into her children
and admonishes those who seek her.
He who loves her loves life;
those who seek her will be embraced by the Lord.
He who holds her fast inherits glory;
wherever he dwells, the LORD bestows blessings.
Those who serve her serve the Holy One;
those who love her the LORD loves.
He who obeys her judges nations;
he who hearkens to her dwells in her inmost chambers.
If one trusts her, he will possess her;
his descendants too will inherit her.
She walks with him as a stranger
and at first she puts him to the test;
Fear and dread she brings upon him
and tries him with her discipline
until she try him by her laws and trust his soul.
Then she comes back to bring him happiness
and reveal her secrets to them
and she will heap upon him
treasures of knowledge and an understanding of justice.
But if he fails her, she will abandon him
and deliver him into the hands of despoilers.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175

R. (165a) O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Those who love your law have great peace,
and for them there is no stumbling block.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I keep your precepts and your decrees,
for all my ways are before you.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
My lips pour forth your praise,
because you teach me your statutes.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
May my tongue sing of your promise,
for all your commands are just.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
I long for your salvation, O LORD,
and your law is my delight.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. O Lord, great peace have they who love your law.

Gospel
Mk 9:38-40

John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.”

___________________________________________________________________________________________

images (1)

REFLECTION

“There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me…”

Back in college, we had a task to interview a company and work on a paper about it.  My group, being very enthusiastic about it, wanted to get a really big and known company to add plus points to the paper.  We then, decided to randomly approach this multinational company and try our luck.  When we got the receptionist, we talked to her and in a “snobbish” manner, she just told us to email her a proposal.  With the way she treated us, we knew right there and then that we wouldn’t get any feedback from her.  Disappointed, we left building and headed back to school.

A few days after, my block mate found out that his kinakapatid works for that same company.  He told us that we can come back and just look for him.  So that same day, we went back to that company, talked to the same receptionist and told her immediately: “We are here for Mr. Jacinto, we have an appointment with him.” Right away, she let us in and it became easy for us to go around the departments to get the information and data that we needed, with special treatment pa! And true enough, we got a really high grade for that paper, and it got us exempted from the midterm exam.

Same thing when praying or asking from God, if we claim “In Jesus’ Name”, whatever favor or request or intention, added with great faith, then the Lord will definitely grant it!  He is our ticket, our entrance to an everlasting life; all we have to do is cling to him, not just in times of grief and sorrow, but in times of triumph and success! – Jeff Alejadrino (jeffalejandrino@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Jesus, Your name is a powerful name.  In all my actions, may Your name be always glorified. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

Is Jesus’ name the first name that comes to our mind when we need help?

Photo source: careers.queensu.ca

Jeff Alejandrino, Little Whispers

It Runs In The Family

First Reading
Acts 8:1B-8

There broke out a severe persecution of the Church in Jerusalem,
and all were scattered
throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria,
except the Apostles.
Devout men buried Stephen and made a loud lament over him.
Saul, meanwhile, was trying to destroy the Church;
entering house after house and dragging out men and women,
he handed them over for imprisonment.

Now those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.
Thus Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed and crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 66:1-3A, 4-5, 6-7A

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Jn 6:35-40

Jesus said to the crowds,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst.
But I told you that although you have seen me,
you do not believe.
Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

buffet

REFLECTION

“I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst…”

 

The members of my family have different backgrounds and upbringing, different lifestyles and social status.  But one thing we have in common that keeps us bonded is our love for food.  We have this unique passion for food which, I think, we all got from my grandparents, and which I think is very evident with our size (not only in numbers, but also physically. Haha!). Whenever we have gatherings, one thing we really look forward to, aside from catching up, is the good food – whether we eat out or enjoy home cooked meals.

I remember one time, we all ate in a Chinese restaurant.  Dinner time was supposed to be at 7: 00 PM.  Some of us were late, the service wasn’t really that excellent, and a few more things added up to the delay in dinner time.  To cut the story short, we ended up eating at around 8:00 to 8:30 PM.  Our family has a tendency to unconsciously become hot headed and irritated whenever we are hungry.  Everyone was either just sitting there quietly or tinkering with their gadgets.  No one was minding each other that much.  But when eating time came, the private room we got suddenly got noisier and more alive, we started joking around and playing with our nieces and nephews.  The room was suddenly filled with laughter and stories, and of course happy tummies!

The Lord has the same effect on us. If we fill our spirits with the Lord, through prayer, service and the word, not only is it like feeding our bodies with food, but it will also come with vitamins and minerals that we need to sustain our everyday trials.  How much food our physical bodies need every meal of the day, is how much our spirit needs the Lord every single moment of our lives.  If we make it a habit, to feed our souls with the Lord’s “food,” it will surely manifest and become evident in how we handle trials and difficulties, and even triumphs and successes in our lives. – Jeff Alejandrino (jeffalejadrino@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord God, make me hunger and thirst for you every single day, so I may have a healthy and nourished spirit.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do we feed our souls “junk food” or “green leafy vegetables”?

Photo source: http://www.walkingforweightlose.co.uk

Jeff Alejandrino, Little Whispers

Cold Shower

First Reading
Hos 14:2-10

Thus says the LORD:
Return, O Israel, to the LORD, your God;
you have collapsed through your guilt.
Take with you words,
and return to the LORD;
Say to him, “Forgive all iniquity,
and receive what is good, that we may render
as offerings the bullocks from our stalls.
Assyria will not save us,
nor shall we have horses to mount;
We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”

I will heal their defection, says the LORD,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Ephraim! What more has he to do with idols?
I have humbled him, but I will prosper him.
“I am like a verdant cypress tree”–
Because of me you bear fruit!

Let him who is wise understand these things;
let him who is prudent know them.
Straight are the paths of the LORD,
in them the just walk,
but sinners stumble in them.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 81:6C-8A, 8BC-9, 10-11AB, 14 AND 17

R. (see 11 and 9a) I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
An unfamiliar speech I hear:
“I relieved his shoulder of the burden;
his hands were freed from the basket.
In distress you called, and I rescued you.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“Unseen, I answered you in thunder;
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.
Hear, my people, and I will admonish you;
O Israel, will you not hear me?”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“There shall be no strange god among you
nor shall you worship any alien god.
I, the LORD, am your God
who led you forth from the land of Egypt.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.
“If only my people would hear me,
and Israel walk in my ways,
I would feed them with the best of wheat,
and with honey from the rock I would fill them.”
R. I am the Lord your God: hear my voice.

Gospel
Mk 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him,
“You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

12441

REFLECTION

“…love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength!” – Mk 12:30

I was never a morning person.  I usually have a hard time waking up and taking a bath every morning.  I remember when we were young, our yayas would usually wake us up early in the morning for school, carry us to the bathroom and give us a bath while we continue our sleep in the shower.

Even when I grew up, I would spend precious time inside the bathroom just staring into space until I finally decide to take a bath.  And that’s just the first part.  When I get in the shower, I’d usually start wetting my toes first, and then my feet, my legs slowly, until I get to my hair.

This was what happened every single morning.  Things changed when I started working, where tardiness was never tolerated.  I learned to just hop in the shower and just pour water all over my body right away. That way, the “torture” of feeling the cold water early in morning was quick, because you get used to the temperature right away.  It was definitely better than prolonging the “agony” of wetting one body part at a time.

Giving our love for God is done the same way.  You can’t love God today, and then question him tomorrow.  You can’t praise Him now, and then doubt him the next.  You can’t be a Christian in front of your family and your community, and become the exact opposite when you’re with your friends in school.  Loving God doesn’t work that way.  If we love God, we love Him 101%.  No if’s, no but’s. We just do.  If we do this, it will surely manifest with the way we love the people around us. – Jeff Alejandrino (jeff_alejandrino@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Father, I love You with my whole being.  Allow me to manifest your love to all I meet today. Amen!

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do we reflect the kind of love that the Lord has for us?

Photo source:  thebabysitterswrites.blogspot.com

Jeff Alejandrino, Little Whispers

Taking Down Notes

First Reading
Heb 10:11-18

Every priest stands daily at his ministry,
offering frequently those same sacrifices
that can never take away sins.
But this one offered one sacrifice for sins,
and took his seat forever at the right hand of God;
now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
For by one offering he has made perfect forever
those who are being consecrated.
The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

This is the covenant I will establish with them
after those days, says the Lord:
“I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them upon their minds,”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

Gospel
Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that

they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

JEFF ALEJANDRINO 7des7iny.wordpress.com

REFLECTION

“…Hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and hundredfold.” Mark 4:20

I had a classmate in one of my law subjects who saw me rushing to get my notebook as the professor started her lecture. He laughed and told me to just listen and concentrate on what the professor was saying. Afterwards he asked me to flip through my notes from the previous days and asked if I still remembered any of the notes I took down. True enough, I had a hard time recalling everything I wrote down. He told me that the most effective way to grasp information was to listen attentively, and understanding will follow.

Whenever I took down notes while the professor was also discussing, I heard everything she said but didn’t comprehend. The result was that I forgot everything after each lecture.  When I tried my classmate’s style, the course became more interesting to me.

Reading through God’s word is very similar.  We may read the word every day, but do we live it?  We read and hear His word, but do we listen and understand his message?

Don’t treat it as a burden, but an opportunity. The word of God is not just a responsibility, not a task that we have to do every day, but also a gift, a chance for us to get to know our Savior more. Let’s grab it! It may take work and time for us to master, but if we back it up with prayer and service as our foundation, then it can be one of the greatest blessings in our lives. – Jeff Alejandrino (jeff_alejandrino@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Father, Thank You for Your word.  Allow me to be nourished by it, so I may live the life that you want me to live. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
When we read the word, do we hear or do we listen?

Photo source: 7des7iny.wordpress.com