Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Process of Growth

First Reading
Acts 15:1-6

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
R. (see 1) Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”


   
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 6)

REFLECTION

I have been attending BLD since I was a kid.

 After Mark 10, a ministry for kids, I attended BLD Youth with my sister. I didn’t understand what they were doing and why they were saying things that don’t make sense. 

As I grew older, I was invited to be a lamb and attend the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar. Since my very own YLSS, I began to serve the Lord through the community. As time passed, I saw how people grew in service, and soon I began doubting myself., but it didn’t hinder me from serving the Lord. I did not stop from wanting to serve the Lord. It gave me the reason to find my passion and I used it to grow. Now, I can finally say that I bore much fruit. The Lord has used me to be an instrument, to share my story on how he used me to inspire other people.  His message of complete faith in Him alone. 

The process of growth might be slow, slower than what you expect it to be, but in the end, it will be worth it.  – Mara Dato

Prayer

Father, teach me to be patient. Let me find you in the things that i love to do, to serve you more. 

Reflection Question
What can i do to enhance my gifts?

Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Stop, Look, Listen

First Reading
Acts 5:27-33

When the court officers had brought the Apostles in
and made them stand before the Sanhedrin,
the high priest questioned them,
“We gave you strict orders did we not,
to stop teaching in that name.
Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching
and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.”
But Peter and the Apostles said in reply,
“We must obey God rather than men.
The God of our ancestors raised Jesus,
though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.
God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior
to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We are witnesses of these things,
as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

When they heard this,
they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2 and 9, 17-18, 19-20
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 3:31-36

The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.


 

down

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves. Many are the troubles of the just man, but out of them all the LORD delivers him.” (Psalm 34: 18-19)

Have you ever felt bad, so bad that you don’t know what to do anymore? Left, right, All you can see are mistakes, problems and failures. You blame other people for being miserable. You look for someone to talk to or something that can take your mind off the things that make you fell dry, but no one is available and you can do nothing but stare at the wall and cry.

In life you have to STOP, LOOK and LISTEN. Stop feeling you deserve all of those things. Look at yourself in the mirror and reflect. Listen to the ONE voice that you have forgotten and pray. The Lord wants you to slow down once in a while to listen to his promise that you are not alone and be reminded that you are only human.  He got your back no matter what. When you reach your rock bottom, you got no place to go but UP. You start your way climbing that stony path and create a new YOU, to face those hindrances in life. He will help you every step of the way. –Mara Dato (maryelizabethdato@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, save me from this feeling of brokenness. Fill my heart with your unending love.  Amen

Reflection Question

What can I do to help other people feel that God is with them and that they are never alone?

Photo Source: thecuriousdentist.com

Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Motherly Love

First Reading
2 Mc 7:1, 20-31

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.

Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother,
who saw her seven sons perish in a single day,
yet bore it courageously because of her hope in the Lord.
Filled with a noble spirit that stirred her womanly heart with manly courage,
she exhorted each of them
in the language of their ancestors with these words:
“I do not know how you came into existence in my womb;
it was not I who gave you the breath of life,
nor was it I who set in order
the elements of which each of you is composed.
Therefore, since it is the Creator of the universe
who shapes each man’s beginning,
as he brings about the origin of everything,
he, in his mercy,
will give you back both breath and life,
because you now disregard yourselves for the sake of his law.”

Antiochus, suspecting insult in her words,
thought he was being ridiculed.
As the youngest brother was still alive, the king appealed to him,
not with mere words, but with promises on oath,
to make him rich and happy if he would abandon his ancestral customs:
he would make him his Friend
and entrust him with high office.
When the youth paid no attention to him at all,
the king appealed to the mother,
urging her to advise her boy to save his life.
After he had urged her for a long time,
she went through the motions of persuading her son.
In derision of the cruel tyrant,
she leaned over close to her son and said in their native language:
“Son, have pity on me, who carried you in my womb for nine months,
nursed you for three years, brought you up,
educated and supported you to your present age.
I beg you, child, to look at the heavens and the earth
and see all that is in them;
then you will know that God did not make them out of existing things;
and in the same way the human race came into existence.
Do not be afraid of this executioner,
but be worthy of your brothers and accept death,
so that in the time of mercy I may receive you again with them.”

She had scarcely finished speaking when the youth said:
“What are you waiting for?
I will not obey the king’s command.
I obey the command of the law given to our fathers through Moses.
But you, who have contrived every kind of affliction for the Hebrews,
will not escape the hands of God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 17:1BCD, 5-6, 8B AND 15

R. (15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Gospel
Lk 19:11-28

While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
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REFLECTION

“Most admirable and worthy of everlasting remembrance was the mother” 2 Mc 7: 20

My mom gave birth to me when i was only 7 months old, super excited lang daw ako lumabas. My dad used to take care of me than my mom after giving birth to me. So, Hirap ako makipag-usap at gumawa ng topic pag si mama kausap ko, parang may barrier. Super strict at taray kaya takot ako lumapit.

After our Family Encounter, i fixed my relationship with my mom. We began to bond again and talk to each other. As years passed we gained distance again, but i am reminded that she is the one who sacrificed her life just to give me life.

Now i cherish her kahit mainitin ang ulo niya because she’s worried  that something might happen to me. I try to be malambing and chat with her every single day. I am thankful for my mom for not giving up on me in spite of my stubbornness.

The Lord is like our mothers, strict with rules and very demanding at times. He wants what’s best for us. He don’t want us to be a stray lamb and be eaten by the wolves, but prepare us for the battle in the real world. -Mara Dato (datomaryel@gmail.com)

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for my mother because without her i am lost.

Reflection Question

How will you appreciate your mom?

Photo source: ourladydanger.com

Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Confident

First Reading
1 Thes 5:1-6, 9-11

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well
that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security,”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.
For God did not destine us for wrath,
but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep
we may live together with him.
Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up,
as indeed you do.

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

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

Gospel
Lk 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon,
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

distraction

REFLECTION

 “When people are saying, “peace and security,” then sudden disaster comes upon them , like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape -1 Thes 5:3
A friend in the community messaged me and asked if I can lead worship. I checked the readings and immediately replied “YES, game ako!”. It was the sign I’ve been waiting for weeks. The readings made me feel confident and excited. I felt a sudden rush of adrenaline that I told my friends, office mates and family to come.
As I prepared a week before, I, instead of focusing and fasting, was distracted by secular music, movies, books and friends. I felt like I was going back to my old self and that I did not care about anything. Days passed with the same routine, then suddenly I felt that something was wrong that I was incomplete.  I started seeking for help and advise on how will I start. The day I said, “ito na talaga, seryoso na ako.” The Lord gave me guidance, I went to confession, saw a friend and asked for advice and met with my mentor. The Lord instantly gave me what I needed, clarity with myself.
When you are at peace, the devil will shake you up until you hit rock bottom and feel like you are not worthy. He will give you burdens and oppressions, BUT the Lord will never abandon you. When you are ready to receive him, he will come and rescue you from distress. You will feel that peace and security with him for he is our rock and refuge. -Mara Dato (mdato66@yahoo.com)
Prayer
Father, may you ready us with what life may offer to us and know that we are never alone. Amen.
 
Reflection Question
 How will you find God with all the distractions?
Photo Source: v6.mlgrto.com
Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Simple Blessing

First Reading
Ex 16:1-5, 9-15

The children of Israel set out from Elim,
and came into the desert of Sin,
which is between Elim and Sinai,
on the fifteenth day of the second month
after their departure from the land of Egypt.
Here in the desert the whole assembly of the children of Israel
grumbled against Moses and Aaron.
The children of Israel said to them,
“Would that we had died at the LORD’s hand in the land of Egypt,
as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread!
But you had to lead us into this desert
to make the whole community die of famine!”

Then the LORD said to Moses,
“I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.
Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion;
thus will I test them,
to see whether they follow my instructions or not.
On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in,
let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Tell the whole congregation
of the children of Israel:
Present yourselves before the LORD,
for he has heard your grumbling.”
When Aaron announced this to the whole assembly of the children of Israel,
they turned toward the desert, and lo,
the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud!
The LORD spoke to Moses and said,
“I have heard the grumbling of the children of Israel.
Tell them: In the evening twilight you shall eat flesh,
and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread,
so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God.”

In the evening quail came up and covered the camp.
In the morning a dew lay all about the camp,
and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the desert
were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground.
On seeing it, the children of Israel asked one another, “What is this?”
for they did not know what it was.
But Moses told them,
“This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
R. (24b) The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

They tempted God in their hearts
by demanding the food they craved.
Yes, they spoke against God, saying,
“Can God spread a table in the desert?”
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Yet he commanded the skies above
and the doors of heaven he opened;
He rained manna upon them for food
and gave them heavenly bread.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
Man ate the bread of angels,
food he sent them in abundance.
He stirred up the east wind in the heavens,
and by his power brought on the south wind.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
And he rained meat upon them like dust,
and, like the sand of the sea, winged fowl,
Which fell in the midst of their camp
round about their tents.
R. The Lord gave them bread from heaven.

Gospel
Mt 13:1-9

On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some 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.
But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
____________________________________________________________________________rain2

REFLECTION


I will now rain down bread from heaven for you.” Exodus 16:4

Have you ever tried playing in the rain? Or, have you tried just stopping and appreciating the beauty of sunny days? Try it sometime and you’ll enjoy it.

Rain or shine, we usually use an umbrella or run towards a near shelter to keep us from getting wet or being burned by the heat of the sun. What we don’t know is that God is the heaven.

Here’s a simple analogy: Rain and sunlight may represent as blessings. On the other hand, the umbrella may represent as the oppression or burden. The umbrella blocks the blessings the Lord is pouring on us. Yet even though the devil is hindering us to see God’s love for us, we still receive from Him.

Today, the Lord reminds us to let go of that umbrella. He’s reminding us that even before we ask Him our needs and wants, He already had it planned. He will provide. We just have to open up ourselves to His wonderful plan with overflowing blessings and limitless possibilities. – Mara Dato (mdato66@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I thank You for the blessings I receive everyday. I pray that You be with me in letting go of my umbrella, as I receive You today. Amen.

Reflection Question

At the end of each day, do you thank the Lord for the blessings you receive?

 Photo source: onepassiononedevotions.wordpress.com

Little Whispers, Mara Dato

I Believe

First Reading
Eph 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 117:1BC, 2
R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Gospel
Jn 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
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July 3

 

 

REFLECTION

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29

Have you ever believed in something without any proof? We sometimes tend to say “Weh?” or “Di nga?” when this happens.

It’s like love. Maraming kailangan gawin para mapatunayan na mahal mo ang isang tao bago siya maniwala. At times, we are like this; we ask the Lord to give us signs before we claim and believe in His plans. During  times like this, we lose our faith and begin to go back to our old ways — lack of prayer time, vices and things that are not of Him. When we hit rock bottom, that’s the only time we realize that our faith is being consumed by our trials and pain in life. We forget to believe and trust God first.

The Gospel tells us that we need to set aside our doubts and worries, and believe in the Lord. Proclaim that He is our Lord and Savior!  He will never abandon us in time of need. Just believe and pray and you’ll be amazed on how he will bless you. – Mara Dato (mdato66@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Father, you are the God of everything. I trust in the work of Your hands and I surrender all my worries in life. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

How can I believe in God without doubting Him?

Photo source: ryanderek.deviantart.com

Little Whispers, Mara Dato

Faith

FIRST READING
Jb 7:1-4, 6-7

Job spoke, saying:
Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?
Are not his days those of hirelings?
He is a slave who longs for the shade,
a hireling who waits for his wages.
So I have been assigned months of misery,
and troubled nights have been allotted to me.
If in bed I say, “When shall I arise?”
then the night drags on;
I am filled with restlessness until the dawn.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.
Remember that my life is like the wind;
I shall not see happiness again.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 147:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (cf. 3a) Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.

Praise the LORD, for he is good;
sing praise to our God, for he is gracious;
it is fitting to praise him.
The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem;
the dispersed of Israel he gathers.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He tells the number of the stars;
he calls each by name.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
to his wisdom there is no limit.
The LORD sustains the lowly;
the wicked he casts to the ground.
R. Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.

SECOND READING
1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-23

Brothers and sisters:
If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!
If I do so willingly, I have a recompense,
but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship.
What then is my recompense?
That, when I preach,
I offer the gospel free of charge
so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all,
I have made myself a slave to all
so as to win over as many as possible.
To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak.
I have become all things to all, to save at least some.
All this I do for the sake of the gospel,
so that I too may have a share in it.

Gospel
Mk 1:29-39

On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left
and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
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REFLECTION
“He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.” -Mark 1:31

Have you ever felt that your trust and faith in God is running out? I once did. I didn’t feel His love and I felt like He was punishing me for the wrong things I’ve done.

During one of my terms in college, I was bullied and criticized by different people. It felt like high school again, but more intense. They called me names, looked at me with malice, gossiped about me, and bashed me online. I felt like the Lord tested my patience on how I will hold on and defend myself against the things that they were saying. It was hard to fight, because I didn’t know how it even started. I kept on asking why me? What’s the reason for doing this to me? Even after attending the weekly prayer meetings I found myself dry and weary. In my curiosity I started stalking them for months and then realized that I’ve become one of them.
I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me for letting them get to me, for falling for the trap. I asked for more guidance and strength. With the help of my friends and family, I’ve learned to let go of the anger and I decided to just ignore them until they stopped. Eventually, months and terms passed by and they left me alone.

The Lord sometimes seems too far away. But remember, HE is just waiting for you to ask Him for help. All we need to do is to ask and let the passion of serving the Lord consume us instead of anger and bitterness. Whatever trials, oppression, burden, pain, and sadness we feel; the Lord is just waiting for us to reach for His hand. He wants us to long for him like how we long for water. –Mara Dato. YLSS#26

Prayer:
Lord, I pray that we may live in a peaceful world and be reminded that you are always with us, mostly in our darkest moments. Amen.
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