Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Palabra De Honor

First Reading
Acts 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-35A, 35BC-36AB
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Show forth, O God, your power,
the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
let the kings bring you gifts.
R. Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
chant praise to the Lord
who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
“Confess the power of God!”
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Over Israel is his majesty;
his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 17:11B-19

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”


   

 “Your word is truth.”  (John 17:17b)

 REFLECTION

Whenever my father’s having a celebration at home, he tends to get a little tipsy. Then he’d approach us and starts saying “I love you” in a funny way, then asks the weirdest, most random, out-of-the-blue questions like:

“Oks pa ba yung sapatos mo?”

“May strings pa ba gitara mo?”

“May pita bread pa ba tayo sa ref?”

Then without hesitation (and letting us answer) he’d follow that up with: “Sige, bili tayo.”

Since he’s a little drunk, I thought that he’d forget about it the next day.

Days later after those promises, (usually during Sundays, after mass) he’d surprisingly fulfill those promises. It’s as if God’s reminding him or something. It’s just pretty amazing, knowing my dad’s a forgetful guy.

See it this way: God’s the same (except that He wasn’t drunk when He said promises in the Bible). He made many promises. Believe me: It’s hard to remember and it’s a little harder to believe. But one thing’s for sure: He will never fail.

My friend, I assume you’ve heard it a thousand times and I know it sounds cliché but, trust in the Lord.

Hope. The answer to your prayers might be a little late for your own schedule. But God is the god of order. His word is truth and promises are sure. He made and will always make things work together for your good. – Jorel Borromeo (jorel.borromeo@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, thank you for fulfilling your promises each day. Teach me to do the same for you and for others. Amen.

Reflection Question

Did I promise anything to someone? Have I kept it?

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Crush Crush Crush

First Reading
Acts 13:26-33

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
“My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11
R. (7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

“I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

“Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish.”
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.”


alone

“For even though they found no grounds for death sentence, they asked the Pilate to have him put to death…” (Acts 13:28)

REFLECTION

I once had a crush on a girl from our youth community back when I was 15. Everything went smooth until an old friend came in to the scene. They started talking more often, and grow closer to each other.

Long story short: They fell in love.

I grew mad towards what happened. I felt angry towards my friend. I started to hate everything about him. I started raising my voice whenever he asked something or simply when he opened up a conversation, then I would give him “monstrous” looks. I wanted to condemn him for what happened.

I know, it hurts (CAN YA FEEL IT). But then I remembered, Jesus suffered far worse than what I’ve been through. He’s been literally through hell and back.

And guess what: He still forgave. He talked to thieves at the cross, dined with the tax collectors, touched lepers, and gave his life for the unworthy.

In the end, through God’s grace, I realized that there was no point in hating. The three of us reconciled our friendship, and we still continue to serve the Lord with each other.  (Trust me: It’s not weird. It will be, but not for long.)

I believe you can do it too. Let go of your anger. Loosen your grip. Keep your palms open. Forgive someone today.  Love someone today. Just as how Christ loved you first. – Jorel Borromeo (jorel.borromeo@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, I extend my forgiveness to those who’ve hurt me. Teach me to love just like You.

Reflection Question

Do you have a grudge against someone? Are you willing to forgive them?

Photo source: memecrunch.com

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Good Enough!

First Reading
Isaiah 52:13—53:12

See, my servant shall prosper,
he shall be raised high and greatly exalted.
Even as many were amazed at him—
so marred was his look beyond human semblance
and his appearance beyond that of the sons of man—
so shall he startle many nations,
because of him kings shall stand speechless;
for those who have not been told shall see,
those who have not heard shall ponder it.

Who would believe what we have heard?
To whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
He grew up like a sapling before him,
like a shoot from the parched earth;
there was in him no stately bearing to make us look at him,
nor appearance that would attract us to him.
He was spurned and avoided by people,
a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity,
one of those from whom people hide their faces,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our infirmities that he bore,
our sufferings that he endured,
while we thought of him as stricken,
as one smitten by God and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins;
upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole,
by his stripes we were healed.
We had all gone astray like sheep,
each following his own way;
but the LORD laid upon him
the guilt of us all.

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people,
a grave was assigned him among the wicked
and a burial place with evildoers,
though he had done no wrong
nor spoken any falsehood.
But the LORD was pleased
to crush him in infirmity.

If he gives his life as an offering for sin,
he shall see his descendants in a long life,
and the will of the LORD shall be accomplished through him.

Because of his affliction
he shall see the light in fullness of days;
through his suffering, my servant shall justify many,
and their guilt he shall bear.
Therefore I will give him his portion among the great,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
because he surrendered himself to death
and was counted among the wicked;
and he shall take away the sins of many,
and win pardon for their offenses.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
R. (Lk 23:46) Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O LORD, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
For all my foes I am an object of reproach,
a laughingstock to my neighbors, and a dread to my friends;
they who see me abroad flee from me.
I am forgotten like the unremembered dead;
I am like a dish that is broken.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
I say, “You are my God.
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.”
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
Take courage and be stouthearted,
all you who hope in the LORD.
R. Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Second Reading
Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

Brothers and sisters:
Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.

In the days when Christ was in the flesh,
he offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears
to the one who was able to save him from death,
and he was heard because of his reverence.
Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
and when he was made perfect,
he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

Gospel
John 18:1—19:42

Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley
to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered.
Judas his betrayer also knew the place,
because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.
So Judas got a band of soldiers and guards
from the chief priests and the Pharisees
and went there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to him,
went out and said to them, “Whom are you looking for?”
They answered him, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
He said to them, “I AM.”
Judas his betrayer was also with them.
When he said to them, “I AM, “
they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them,
“Whom are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus the Nazorean.”
Jesus answered,
“I told you that I AM.
So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
This was to fulfill what he had said,
“I have not lost any of those you gave me.”
Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it,
struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.
The slave’s name was Malchus.
Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its scabbard.
Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”

So the band of soldiers, the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus,
bound him, and brought him to Annas first.
He was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,
who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews
that it was better that one man should die rather than the people.

Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high priest,
and he entered the courtyard of the high priest with Jesus.
But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high priest,
went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and brought Peter in.
Then the maid who was the gatekeeper said to Peter,
“You are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?”
He said, “I am not.”
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a charcoal fire
that they had made, because it was cold,
and were warming themselves.
Peter was also standing there keeping warm.

The high priest questioned Jesus
about his disciples and about his doctrine.
Jesus answered him,
“I have spoken publicly to the world.
I have always taught in a synagogue
or in the temple area where all the Jews gather,
and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me?
Ask those who heard me what I said to them.
They know what I said.”
When he had said this,
one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said,
“Is this the way you answer the high priest?”
Jesus answered him,
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong;
but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing there keeping warm.
And they said to him,
“You are not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it and said,
“I am not.”
One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said,
“Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
Again Peter denied it.
And immediately the cock crowed.

Then they brought Jesus from Caiaphas to the praetorium.
It was morning.
And they themselves did not enter the praetorium,
in order not to be defiled so that they could eat the Passover.
So Pilate came out to them and said,
“What charge do you bring against this man?”
They answered and said to him,
“If he were not a criminal,
we would not have handed him over to you.”
At this, Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law.”
The Jews answered him,
“We do not have the right to execute anyone, “
in order that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled
that he said indicating the kind of death he would die.
So Pilate went back into the praetorium
and summoned Jesus and said to him,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered,
“Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered,
“I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered,
“My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him,
“Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered,
“You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

When he had said this,
he again went out to the Jews and said to them,
“I find no guilt in him.
But you have a custom that I release one prisoner to you at Passover.
Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
They cried out again,
“Not this one but Barabbas!”
Now Barabbas was a revolutionary.

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.
And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head,
and clothed him in a purple cloak,
and they came to him and said,
“Hail, King of the Jews!”
And they struck him repeatedly.
Once more Pilate went out and said to them,
“Look, I am bringing him out to you,
so that you may know that I find no guilt in him.”
So Jesus came out,
wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak.
And he said to them, “Behold, the man!”
When the chief priests and the guards saw him they cried out,
“Crucify him, crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.
I find no guilt in him.”
The Jews answered,
“We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.”
Now when Pilate heard this statement,
he became even more afraid,
and went back into the praetorium and said to Jesus,
“Where are you from?”
Jesus did not answer him.
So Pilate said to him,
“Do you not speak to me?
Do you not know that I have power to release you
and I have power to crucify you?”
Jesus answered him,
“You would have no power over me
if it had not been given to you from above.
For this reason the one who handed me over to you
has the greater sin.”
Consequently, Pilate tried to release him; but the Jews cried out,
“If you release him, you are not a Friend of Caesar.
Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”

When Pilate heard these words he brought Jesus out
and seated him on the judge’s bench
in the place called Stone Pavement, in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
It was preparation day for Passover, and it was about noon.
And he said to the Jews,
“Behold, your king!”
They cried out,
“Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!”
Pilate said to them,
“Shall I crucify your king?”
The chief priests answered,
“We have no king but Caesar.”
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself,
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull,
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others,
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription,
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city;
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate,
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus,
they took his clothes and divided them into four shares,
a share for each soldier.
They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless,
woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another,
“Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be, “
in order that the passage of Scripture might be fulfilled that says:
They divided my garments among them,
and for my vesture they cast lots.
This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, “I thirst.”
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
“It is finished.”
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.

Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and that they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathea,
secretly a disciple of Jesus for fear of the Jews,
asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
And Pilate permitted it.
So he came and took his body.
Nicodemus, the one who had first come to him at night,
also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes
weighing about one hundred pounds.
They took the body of Jesus
and bound it with burial cloths along with the spices,
according to the Jewish burial custom.
Now in the place where he had been crucified there was a garden,
and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried.
So they laid Jesus there because of the Jewish preparation day;
for the tomb was close by.


Instruments

They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it, sacrificing to it and crying out, “’This is our God, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” (Exodus 32:8)

REFLECTION

Everyone has his/her own “idol”.

I (as a member of a church band) look up to musicians such as the John Mayer, Foo Fighters, The Smiths, Up Dharma Down, and more.

I think they’re good and there’s nothing wrong with listening to them.

But then, there came a point in my life where I started to idolize them so much and all I listened to was their music! I got confused whether this was still healthy, or if it was already wrong.

Then it just got worse! I stopped praying. I felt sad every time I listened to them because of the “feels” and #Hugot lyrics, and more even, I worshiped their music so much, that it felt that I can never be that good.

But then I remembered the practice of reading the word and listening to worship music. Slowly, God filled me again with His spirit and love through music that spoke of His love.

Through His word, I was reminded that it was Him who I was playing for and was reassured that I am good enough for Him.

And so are you.

Wherever you are in your life right now or whatever you’re listening to, or whoever you’re looking up to, I want you think of the God who looks up to you. He thinks that you’re good enough. – Jorel Borromeo (jorel.borromeo@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord God, thank You for Your love. I pray for my work, so that in everything I do, may You be glorified.

Reflection Question

Who are you looking up to, and why? Is he bringing you closer to God?

Photo Source: pixshark.com

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

That’s Faith!

First Reading
Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small,
put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth
and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive,
and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 130:1B-2, 3-4AB, 7-8
R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel
Lk 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”
____________________________________________________________

candle

REFLECTION

The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.” – Lk 10:41

Back in my old school, my section was chosen to join a parade. The activity was a march for a feast. We walked the school carrying candles at around 5 in the afternoon and it was a bit windy. All of us were getting worried about our candle lights being put out or hot wax being poured on our skin and uniforms, except for one friend.

I approached him and asked, “Aren’t you worried about your candle or your uniform?”

He answered no. And again, I asked, “Why?”. At the same time, my friends challenged him to a bet that if we get to the end of the march with his candle still lit, he gets free food, and if not, he treats the whole group.

The parade ended and his candle didn’t die even if the wind was a bit strong. I was sure of it because we watched him the whole time.

With a sarcastic yet confident smile, he came to us simply saying: “ That’s faith!”

When I looked back at this moment, I saw that it wasn’t just him speaking, but it was the Christ in him. He reminded me that I shouldn’t worry about my candle, or any burns, or wax splashes, but instead, carry on, walk relaxed, and keep my faith in Him.

My friends,  today, Christ is reminding you to stop worrying. Drop your anxieties and fears because God himself wants you to live happily. He wants you to live with joy. He wants you to live a life in grace. Focus on God and the good. Relax and enjoy life. – Jorel Borromeo (jorel.borromeo@gmail.com)

Prayer

Father God, I lift up to you all my fears and worries. Take them away. I humbly ask for your grace and love to fill my life. Amen.

Reflection Question

Is my faith still lit?

Photo Source: http://www.theguardian.com

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Kids

First Reading
Jos 24:14-29

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
and addressed them, saying:
“Fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely.
Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt,
and serve the LORD.
If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

But the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples
through whom we passed.
At our approach the LORD drove out all the peoples,
including the Amorites who dwelt in the land.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

Joshua in turn said to the people,
“You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God;
he is a jealous God who will not forgive
your transgressions or your sins.
If, after the good he has done for you,
you forsake the LORD and serve strange gods,
he will do evil to you and destroy you.”

But the people answered Joshua, “We will still serve the LORD.”
Joshua therefore said to the people,
“You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD.”
They replied, “We are, indeed!”
Joshua continued:
“Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you
and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
Then the people promised Joshua,
“We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice.”

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day
and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem,
which he recorded in the book of the law of God.
Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak
that was in the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, “This stone shall be our witness,
for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us.
It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God.”
Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own heritage.

After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the LORD,
died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 11
R. (see 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.

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. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
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. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Gospel
Mt 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

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child

REFLECTION

“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”-Matthew 19:14

Most people find it weird whenever I say that I am annoyed with kids. Yep, those cute little things. They’re noisy and they are always running. It’s like they’re powered up by caffeine and they never get tired! They could get dirty and stinky. They laugh at every single thing and sometimes, cry all day long!

But bright side is, kids are very obedient. They always believe and follow their parents without asking why. They are so innocent. They learn easily.

I was once like that. Each of us was. Playful. Curious. Pure. Innocent. I had the obedience and faith of a child. I knew that when my parents said that “Pag nag-behave ka, may pasalubong ka sakin.”  and “Wag ka na matakot, dito na si tatay/nanay”, they were true to their word. They never failed when it comes to pasalubong and gifts. I didn’t worry about things. I played all day long. And even if I come home messy, stinky, and covered up in dirt? They still welcomed me with a kiss and a hug.

Friends, the Lord is our Father. He is our tatay. And believe it or not, He loves kids.

And as we all know, we are His children. Whatever happens, even if we grow old, or cry, or get stinky and covered up by the dirt of sin, He will still call us by name, cleanse us, and give us a warm hug. All that He asks from us is our child-like obedience and faith. He will provide with the abundance of His kingdom and that is sure.

You will always be God’s child. He will love you forever and ever. – Jorel Borromeo (jorelonbass@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, I pray for a child-like faith. I surrender all my hopes, dreams, and even my fears up to you, knowing that you will always take care of me and love me. Lord, today, help me come back to you like a child running towards his father.  Amen.

Reflection Question

What or who prevents me from being child-like? What can I do to overcome them?

Photo Source: www.sonjababic.com

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Diet

First Reading
Ex 33:7-11; 34:5B-9, 28

The tent, which was called the meeting tent,
Moses used to pitch at some distance away, outside the camp.
Anyone who wished to consult the LORD
would go to this meeting tent outside the camp.
Whenever Moses went out to the tent, the people would all rise
and stand at the entrance of their own tents,
watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down
and stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses.
On seeing the column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent,
all the people would rise and worship
at the entrance of their own tents.
The LORD used to speak to Moses face to face,
as one man speaks to another.
Moses would then return to the camp,
but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent.

Moses stood there with the LORD and proclaimed his name, “LORD.”
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
“The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity,
continuing his kindness for a thousand generations,
and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin;
yet not declaring the guilty guiltless,
but punishing children and grandchildren
to the third and fourth generation for their fathers’ wickedness!”
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O LORD,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people;
yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own.”

So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights,
without eating any food or drinking any water,
and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant,
the ten commandments.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 103:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13
R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.

The LORD secures justice
and the rights of all the oppressed.
He has made known his ways to Moses,
and his deeds to the children of Israel.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Gospel
Mt 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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REFLECTION
“So Moses stayed there with the LORD for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” – Exodus 34:28

When I was young, I always asked old folks about this thing called “fasting”.

“para san yan?”

“bakit mo ginagawa yan, nagpapapayat ka ba?”

I didn’t understand what it was all about until I was the one who was doing it. Even at my first try, I didn’t understand what it was for. Was it some sort of a holy diet? An old ritual since the time of Moses to maintain healthy bodies? Or is it just their trip? But as I grew in community and journeyed through my spiritual life, I learned something about it through others.

One time, I asked my friend about fasting. She said, “It’s like losing yourself to attain something greater…” I didn’t understand at first but as she continued “… may iba na diet diet lang kaya ganon so parang anytime they want to “cheat” okay lang. Pero eto may higher purpose and that is to seek God and to focus on Him. To ask for His guidance and wisdom.” It became clearer for me. Everything finally made sense. I was fasting, not just for myself, but for the Lord.

Then I remembered that Moses did the same. He didn’t eat anything for 40 days and 40 nights. He was physically empty. But still, he managed to live and the Lord even used him to guide his people through His commandments.
In conclusion, it is about emptying yourself to allow God to fill you with his grace. Imagine that you are a jar. We all know that when a container is full, it can’t be filled anymore, right?
So today, my dear friends, I encourage you to empty yourself to the Lord. Allow him to fill you with His will and grace. – Jorel Borromeo (jorelonbass@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Father God, teach me how to empty myself so you could mightily use me today. Amen.

Reflection Question
What can I give up for the Lord?

Photo Source: www.hplusmagazine.com

Jorel Borromeo, Little Whispers

Stage Fright

First Reading
Ex 12:37-42

The children of Israel set out from Rameses for Succoth,
about six hundred thousand men on foot,
not counting the little ones.
A crowd of mixed ancestry also went up with them,
besides their livestock, very numerous flocks and herds.
Since the dough they had brought out of Egypt was not leavened,
they baked it into unleavened loaves.
They had rushed out of Egypt and had no opportunity
even to prepare food for the journey.

The time the children of Israel had stayed in Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years.
At the end of four hundred and thirty years,
all the hosts of the LORD left the land of Egypt on this very date.
This was a night of vigil for the LORD,
as he led them out of the land of Egypt;
so on this same night
all the children of Israel must keep a vigil for the LORD
throughout their generations.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 136:1 AND 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who remembered us in our abjection,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Who smote the Egyptians in their first-born,
for his mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from their midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Who split the Red Sea in twain,
for his mercy endures forever;
And led Israel through its midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Mt 12:14-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
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REFLECTION
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.” – Matthew 12:18

I am not a good public speaker.

I feel my hands shaking every time I stand in front of a big number of people. I can hear my own voice cracking as if I’ve had a sore throat for 5 long years. I can hear myself stuttering and choking on my own words and I can’t even pronounce the letters P and F properly! I just feel the fear and pressure when I am in front. That’s the reason why I hated being chosen as someone who’ll go first or lead or speak in front.

This is the reason why I hated my oral communications subject. I always looked for ways and excuses to skip speaking in front. I didn’t prepare. I was afraid of being ignored.

I realized that I need to give it a try because, obviously, I need good grades. I prayed to God for courage, for confidence.

The day of my speech came. I gave it a try and I was surprised: I heard no embarrassing laugh even if I was stuttering. I saw everyone looking at me, not with judging eyes even if my hands were shaking. I saw everyone listening to every word that came out. And the best part of ? I made everyone smile.

After that day, I was surprised because after the BLD Youth prayer meeting, I was asked to teach. Yes, I was afraid. I didn’t know anything about teaching or giving good speeches or as I have said, speaking in public. But surprisingly, beyond all fears and worries, everything went better than expected!

Friends, today, God is doing the same to you. He hand-picked you, the one He loves the most, and He is giving you His spirit, not only to speak, but to do great things. Open your heart for His gift. He has something BIG for you today! – Jorel Borromeo (jorelonbass@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Lord, I humbly ask for Your most Holy Spirit. Use me mightily to do your will. Amen.

Reflection Question
Have I been open to God’s Holy Spirit and His plans lately?

Photo Source: http://www.khoa-bui.com