Justin Chong, Little Whispers

Can I Hear An Amen?

First Reading
Romans 1:16-25

Brothers and sisters:
I am not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes:
for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, “The one who is righteous by faith will live.”

The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven
against every impiety and wickedness
of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them,
because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world,
his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity
have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made.
As a result, they have no excuse;
for although they knew God
they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks.
Instead, they became vain in their reasoning,
and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God
for the likeness of an image of mortal man
or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.

Therefore, God handed them over to impurity
through the lusts of their hearts
for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie
and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,
who is blessed forever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5
R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Gospel
Luke 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”


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“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

REFLECTION
I was born into a very religious family wherein my parents were part of a charismatic community, Bukas Loob sa Diyos. When I grew up, I was being groomed to join the Youth Ministry. True enough, when I turned 13, they “strongly encouraged” me to attend prayer meetings which was held every Saturday. At the age where in I was developing a close knit barkada¹, there were times that I had to flake on our Saturday gimmicks.

They would always ask why I won’t be able to make it. I would shamefully say, “May family thing kami.” (I have a family matter to attend to.) Because of that, they never knew what I was really doing on Saturdays. As I kept attending prayer meetings, I learned to appreciate it. I realized that I was growing not only in my relationship with the Lord but also personally. In the community, my leadership, confidence and speech skills were built.

Growing up with these set of skills has greatly developed my career. One day, I was presenting a major business plan to executives of the company I was working for. I was so passionate in the moment I was presenting and in driving a major point, I accidentally blurted out, “AMEN?” As the word slipped out, the executives smiled and laughed. I apologized but one of them said, “Don’t ever be ashamed of being close to God.”

After that, they asked about my service in the community and as I told them all about it, I did not feel an inch of shame, but instead I felt pride in what I have been through. I then wondered, why was I ever ashamed?

Serving the Lord made me grow into the person I am today. The blessings of Jesus continues outside my community—it has seeped into the life I have outside the Church, in my family and in my career. Always be proud as a servant, for He has blessed you beyond measure. AMEN?

Prayer
Lord, thank you for the blessing of getting to know You. Always guide us to be proud of a God like You wherever we go in life. May we always uphold Your values as a Christian in all things we do. Amen!

Author
wc-justin

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Photo by: Campaign Creators (@campaign_creators at unsplash.com)

Justin Chong, Little Whispers

The Gift of Mourning

First Reading
1 Timothy 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil’s punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil’s trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 101:1B-2AB, 2CD-3AB, 5, 6
R.(2) I will walk with blameless heart.

Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Gospel
Luke 7:11-17

Jesus journeyed to a city called Nain,
and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him.
As he drew near to the gate of the city,
a man who had died was being carried out,
the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.
A large crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her,
he was moved with pity for her and said to her,
“Do not weep.”
He stepped forward and touched the coffin;
at this the bearers halted,
and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak,
and Jesus gave him to his mother.
Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming,
“A great prophet has arisen in our midst,”
and “God has visited his people.”
This report about him spread through the whole of Judea
and in all the surrounding region.


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“When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.'” (Luke 7: 13)

REFLECTION
The first time I have ever experienced death up close was way back in 2017. My lola (grandmother) has been fighting cancer for years and we all knew the battle was about to end. Seeing her so close to passing away on her hospital bed was devastating. It is never a good feeling when you know someone you love is in pain, but you can’t do anything to help even if you wanted to. Out of frustration, I asked the Lord, “Why do you allow these sufferings to happen to the people who love you?”

When my lola finally passed, we quickly began her wake. Surprisingly, the moment her wake began, the mood was different. Amid mourning for my lola, all I ever felt during the 5-day long wake was love. First, my family was complete daily, the whole time. This is one thing I know my lola wished for. Second, every day a different group of friends would visit and mourn with me. They would come to cheer me up, serve during mass and eat the food prepared. Lastly, I got to know my lola more through all the stories her friends and family would share.

I then came to realize. The Lord never takes, he only gives. He not only blessed my lola with eternal life but blessed my entire family by showing his love through everyone around us. Let us never forget that the Lord sees us, feels what we feel and will always bless us.

Prayer
Lord, we tha
nk you for the gift of life but moreover we thank you for the gift of family, community and friends in which you use as instruments to allow your love to be felt. Open my eyes and heart to see your love in everything and everyone. Amen.

Author

wc-justin

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Photo by: Rhodi Lopez (@20164rhodi at unsplash.com)

Justin Chong, Little Whispers

The Fresh Grad

First Reading
Revelation 11:19A; 12:1-6A, 10AB

God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns,
and on its heads were seven diadems.
Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky
and hurled them down to the earth.
Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth,
to devour her child when she gave birth.
She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod.
Her child was caught up to God and his throne.
The woman herself fled into the desert
where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed One.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 45:10, 11, 12, 16

R.(10bc) The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
The queen takes her place at your right hand in gold of Ophir.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
Hear, O daughter, and see; turn your ear,
forget your people and your father’s house.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
So shall the king desire your beauty;
for he is your lord.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.
They are borne in with gladness and joy;
they enter the palace of the king.
R. The queen stands at your right hand, arrayed in gold.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 15:20-27

Brothers and sisters:
Christ has been raised from the dead,
the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since death came through man,
the resurrection of the dead came also through man.
For just as in Adam all die,
so too in Christ shall all be brought to life,
but each one in proper order:
Christ the firstfruits;
then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ;
then comes the end,
when he hands over the Kingdom to his God and Father,
when he has destroyed every sovereignty
and every authority and power.
For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
The last enemy to be destroyed is death,
for “he subjected everything under his feet.”

Gospel
Luke 1:39-56

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.


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“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”(Luke 1: 45)

REFLECTION
After graduating as a marketing student, I was ready for what the world had to offer. I was then immediately humbled as no company would accept a fresh graduate to be a brand assistant as I dreamed to be a brand manager one day. Brand assistants were usually hired with experience—that’s when my doubts started pouring in. After being so confident that brand marketing was made for me, my logical self kicked in. Maybe I was so drawn to brand marketing that I failed to calculate the risks. How many vacant positions in the field could there be in Metro Manila?

After months of job searching, I was so hopeless that I accepted an internship position even though I already graduated. The internship taught me so much about being a brand marketing manager and more importantly taught me how to handle myself in the corporate world. Of course, the internship was not a permanent thing and when I was done, I was searching for a job again. After months of unemployment, I was so close to dropping my dreams to settle for something else. But I got a call from a big company I was eyeing; they want me to be one of their brand assistants. I still remember the exact call.

I even asked them, “Why a fresh grad?”

She answered, “Because of your confidence and humility to be an intern.”

There are times that the Lord would lead us to our dreams. Most of the time, he would pave the way for these things to come true.

Sometimes though, things will not go our way to remind us to be humble. When this happens, we must remember that our dreams come from the Lord—instead of letting our doubts consume us, let us allow our faith in Him to do the talking! Like what happened to Mary in the Gospel, let’s never forget that the Lord keeps His promises!

Prayer
Jesus, I know You are in control of my dreams! I know You have a wonderful plan for me, and I am ready to do everything for that plan. Amen.

Author

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Justin Chong, Little Whispers

Dream On!

First Reading
MI 5:1-4A

Thus says the LORD:
You, Bethlehem-Ephrathah
too small to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel;
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient times.
Therefore the Lord will give them up, until the time
when she who is to give birth has borne,
and the rest of his kindred shall return
to the children of Israel.
He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock
by the strength of the LORD,
in the majestic name of the LORD, his God;
and they shall remain, for now his greatness
shall reach to the ends of the earth;
he shall be peace.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 80:2-3, 15-16, 18-19
R. (4) Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name.
R. Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.

Second Reading
HEB 10:5-10

Brothers and sisters:
When Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
in holocausts and sin offerings you took no delight.
Then I said, ‘As is written of me in the scroll,
behold, I come to do your will, O God.’“

First he says, “Sacrifices and offerings,
holocausts and sin offerings,
you neither desired nor delighted in.”
These are offered according to the law.
Then he says, “Behold, I come to do your will.”
He takes away the first to establish the second.
By this “will,” we have been consecrated
through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Gospel
LK 1:39-45

Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled.”


Boy dressed as an astronaut
Boy dressed as an astronaut

“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:45)

REFLECTION
Do you remember, your dreams where you were a kid? I do, I remembered because I lived in a house with my cousin and we both drew portraits of what we would like to look like in the future and that part I still remember. I wanted to be a scientist, so I drew lots of cool lab equipment, my cousin on the other hand, wanted to be a president, so he drew himself on a suit.

People say kids are silly, their dreams aren’t feasible most of the time. How about our dreams right now, are we not limiting ourselves to what we deem “possible or “reachable”. If it’s neither of the two, we just scrap that dream.

One time, I was attending this financial seminar, the speaker asked me to give a life goal. I said that I would want to have my own firm when I reached the age of 60. That was my answer, being very dependent on probability of such success happening to me. The speaker asked, why such an old age? I replied saying how saturated the market was and that it was almost impossible to start up business to flourish at once. He then replied that when you make dreams or goals, you max it out. Because if you really want it to happen you do everything to make it happen, you don’t give a conservative number like age of 60, you should say, age 30. So even though you end up not reaching that goal in the age of 30, you would surely reach it sooner than 60.

Exactly why we should return to being child-like when it comes to dreaming. Because it is only kids that dream without borders. It is only children who can believe that impossible things can become possible. When the Lord, shows you his plans, believe and trust in him. Rather than just scrap that dream that the Lord has instore for you.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for giving us the freedom to choose what we want, to dream what we want. Lord guide us so that our aspirations will be for your greater glory.

Author

chong-justin-wcClick on the image to find out more about Justin!

Justin Chong, Little Whispers

Little Blessings

First Reading
WIS 6:1-11
Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 82:3-4, 6-7
R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: “You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

Gospel
LK 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”


 

“Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:18)

REFLECTION

By reading this verse I’ve come to realize one thing. Those who are given less have more gratitude than those who are abundantly blessed. I remember this moment when I was a kid. I was probably 6 years old then. My family and I were going to a mall to eat out and maybe watch a movie. We were on the way along Ortigas road going to Megamall. There are usually multiple stoplights on the way and when they are on stop there would lots of street children and beggars.

On that road there has always been this beggar who has been there for years, he is actually still there today. He goes around in crutches because he lost one of his legs. That day he went to our car window and like the others, he begged for spare change. My mom pulled down the window and gave the man 5 pesos. He immediately turned to the sky and prayed aloud shouting praises and thanksgiving to the Lord.

I encounter a lot of beggars along the roads since then yet never again have I encountered someone who would give thanks to the Lord before everything else like that. Sometimes, we are preoccupied with school or work and even most of the time we rant about our stressful moments. But like this Man, we are reminded that even the smallest things are blessings from the Lord. It could be a simple affirmation from a friend or even a safe and easy trip home from a long day of work. That is why we should always show gratitude to the Lord for the little things. Because if we develop that habit of being thankful for the little things, maybe your day might just be a little bit less stressful.

Prayer

Dear Lord, I just want to thank you for the little blessings that you have given me today. Continue to bless me and give me the humility to be thankful and positivity to be a blessing to others.

Writer

chong-justin-wc

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Justin Chong, Little Whispers

Emptiness

First Reading
EZR 9:5-9

At the time of the evening sacrifice, I, Ezra, rose in my wretchedness,
and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees,
stretching out my hands to the LORD, my God.

I said: “My God, I am too ashamed and confounded to raise my face to you,
O my God, for our wicked deeds are heaped up above our heads
and our guilt reaches up to heaven.
From the time of our fathers even to this day
great has been our guilt,
and for our wicked deeds we have been delivered up,
we and our kings and our priests,
to the will of the kings of foreign lands,
to the sword, to captivity, to pillage, and to disgrace,
as is the case today.

“And now, but a short time ago, mercy came to us from the LORD, our God,
who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his holy place;
thus our God has brightened our eyes
and given us relief in our servitude.
For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us;
rather, he has turned the good will
of the kings of Persia toward us.
Thus he has given us new life
to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins,
and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem.”

Responsorial Psalm
TOBIT 13:2, 3-4A, 4BEFGHN, 7-8
R. (1b) Blessed be God, who lives for ever.

He scourges and then has mercy;
he casts down to the depths of the nether world,
and he brings up from the great abyss.
No one can escape his hand.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Praise him, you children of Israel, before the Gentiles,
for though he has scattered you among them,
he has shown you his greatness even there.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
So now consider what he has done for you,
and praise him with full voice.
Bless the Lord of righteousness,
and exalt the King of ages.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
In the land of my exile I praise him
and show his power and majesty to a sinful nation.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.
Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones,
and may all of you praise his majesty.
Celebrate days of gladness, and give him praise.
R. Blessed be God, who lives for ever.

Gospel
LK 9:1-6

Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority
over all demons and to cure diseases,
and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God
and to heal the sick.
He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey,
neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money,
and let no one take a second tunic.
Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there.
And as for those who do not welcome you,
when you leave that town,
shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.”
Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.

_____________________________________________________________________________

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“He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic.” (Luke 9:5)
​​​
REFLECTION

​Back when I was 13, I joined the Bukas Loob sa Diyos Youth Ministry. I really didn’t appreciate prayer meetings then. But as time passed, I matured and I started to take prayer seriously. Since then on I started admiring my older brothers and sisters in the community. Mostly because of how they lead worship. Every time I worshipped, the feeling of refreshment made me new again and I couldn’t get enough of it.

​A few years later came the time for me to be called to lead worship. Much to my surprise once again, it is not an easy task. Before you can call yourself ready, there is so much preparation, the twist is that most of it is spiritual and not your actual content. I didn’t understand that time why I had to fast a week before and even go to confession, but I did it anyway.

​When it was finally time for me to lead, I brought out my prayers which was a big pile of paper. As I started leading, I didn’t notice that I was getting less and less dependent on my written prayers and started speaking on the spot. It was really a very fulfilling experience and later on I realized why. After leading for the first time I understood why so much spiritual preparations were required.

​Like what Jesus meant in the gospel when he said “take nothing for the Journey”, the spiritual preparations was important to empty myself in the journey to leading worship. To empty yourself means to rid yourself from sins, burdens and worries that might distract you. Don’t forget that being empty is not a bad thing because it is in emptying yourself that you allow the Lord’s blessings and guidance to work through you.

Prayer
Lord, I just want to take this time to thank you for all the little things, my problems, my worries and my mistakes. With that, I entrust all of these little things to you and let them go. Empty me and guide me as I fill myself today with you grace.

Author

chong-justin-wc

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Justin Chong, Little Whispers

The Old and The New

First Reading
COL 1:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the Body, the Church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the Blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Gospel
LK 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”


taking notes

“He told them a parable also: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it upon an old garment; if he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old.” (Luke 4: 36)

REFLECTION
My mom and I have always had this never-ending debate on which is more effective: the old ways or the new. We argued about almost everything but most of the time it was about studies. Of course I took the side of the new ways of education in which everything was done electronically: e-books, homework’s on the net and online chats between group mates. For me long gone are the days we used manila papers to present and met face-to-face to talk about those presentations. My mom, on the other hand, thinks of the complete opposite. According to her, the more you write (like with a pen and paper), the more you understand and memorize.

College came around for me and, like I said, almost everything was done electronically. It was going well for me, there were computers around campus so it was easy. I could literally just bring a pen and I would be covered. I thought I could survive like this until graduation, until one subject came that forced me to change perspective. Law. Once I took my law subjects everything changed. I was struggling because you not only needed to understand but also needed to memorize details. To pass, I had to buy a book — a real book — and a yellow pad. And when I got home, I had to read the articles from the book and rewrite them in simpler terms on the yellow pad. That was the only way it worked for me. I was able to get a high grade with a little hard work, old school style.

Thus ended the debate for me. I realized that the new ways are great, easier, and faster; but there are times in life that don’t have shortcuts which sometimes make the old ways better. This was what Jesus meant in the Gospel, there is a time for the new ways and there are times for the old as well.

Prayer
Dear Lord, Thank you for everything you have given us, all the shortcuts to make life easier for us. Lord, guide us also in life that we may do things the right way.

Author

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