Little Whispers, Martina De Guzman

Second Chances

First Reading
Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.

Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews.
When they had gathered he said to them, “My brothers,
although I had done nothing against our people
or our ancestral customs,
I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.
After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me,
because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty.
But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar,
even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation.
This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you
and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel
that I wear these chains.”

He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance
and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 11:4, 5 AND 7
R.    (see 7b)  The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is in his holy temple;
the LORD’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold,
his searching glance is on mankind.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD searches the just and the wicked;
the lover of violence he hates.
For the LORD is just, he loves just deeds;
the upright shall see his face.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?
You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,
just “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?”

It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written.


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REFLECTION
Today’s gospel made me remember one of the biggest lessons I have learned in my life so far, which is that everyone deserves a chance. I’m not sure, but while I was reading the gospel over and over again that is what popped up first in my mind—that even there is someone who may betray Him, He still chose to give him a chance.

I remember all the times I gave chances to people, not just second chances, but third and sometimes even more. It is hard for most to give chances to people especially when they get hurt so badly, but for me? I choose to give them the chance they deserve because we are all human beings and we all make mistakes. I do my best to always see the best in people even if it may seem hard. I will always do my best to do so just like how He does.

Jesus chose to give the disciple a chance. He decided to keep leading all His disciples to the right path with someone who may betray Him. He decided to tell the others that he will not die. He told them “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?” This only shows that “he may be a speedbump for me, but it doesn’t mean the same for you.” It shows that there is hope for everyone, just like Paul.

Reflection Song

With Everything by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-martie

Click on the bubble to find out more about Martie!

Photo by: Iva Rajovic (@eklektikum at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Martina De Guzman

Are You Busy?

First Reading
Acts 13:44-52
On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R.    (3cd)  All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 14:7-14
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to Jesus,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”


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“If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)

REFLECTION
“Hey, are you busy..? I need someone to talk to.” “Uy pwede mo ba kong tulungan?” (“Hi, can you help me?”) “Tina, ano pwede kong gawin?” (“Tina, what can I do?”)

Call me, message me, and I’ll be there. I’ve always been that one call away friend. If you need help with something, as long as I can do it, I will. 

I grew up as one of those kids who had a tough experience with life. My mental illness, the anxiety of asking help from others, and the fear of rejection grew on me. That is why I’ve always put other people first before myself, because I don’t want them to feel the pain that I personally went through; I believe helping others is one of the best ways to spread the love to others (which is a good thing to spread to everyone–your friends, family, and community especially during this pandemic). 

Asking for help may be hard for some, I have learned through out the years that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Whether it’s for advice, a project, or anything else, asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak or useless. It just means that you are strong enough to ask for a helping hand.

With reading the gospel for today, the given guiding verse really did struck me. I remembered the times I pray to Him for my dreams and desires, some came true (which took a while to) while some didn’t, but that’s okay because I saw the reasons behind them not coming true. I was also reminded by a verse from Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find.” All you have to do is ask for help, pray and He will be there for you hearing your cries. 

Reflection Song

Desert Song by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-martie

Click on the bubble to find out more about Martie!

Photo by: Akshay Paatil (@akshaypaatil at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Martina De Guzman

You Before Me

First Reading
Wisdom 2:23-3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
R.(2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Gospel
Luke 17:7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'”


edgar-castrejon-bG5rhvRH0JM-unsplash.jpg“‘Would he not rather say to him, Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished?'” (Luke 17:8)

REFLECTION
Ever since I was young, I knew that cooking was my passion I fell in love with it the same way a kid falls in love with candies or like a teenager falling in love for the first time!

We all start dreaming of what we wanted to be, and for most, their dreams change as the grow up, but for me, my dream of cooking is still alive and well! Whenever I cook or bake, my first instinct is to give it to my family and friends first because seeing them happy and full brings a smile to my face! Seeing the satisfaction from their faces and hearing the compliments they give to my food always gives me a boost for my self esteem and ignites my passion a bit more.

In the Bukas Loob sa Diyos community, I was accepted to serve in the food ministry! I got so excited because I was finally going to do 2 things I love together, which is to serve the Lord and to provide food to people. Being in the food ministry meant that I had to serve the food to others before I get the chance to serve myself; this wasn’t new to me! I wholeheartedly loved being in the food ministry because I got to be myself and I got to help others!

Some people think that when it comes to this ministry you get to be blessed first and all that, but no, we sacrifice for others in a way that we put God first, then His other servants then ourselves last. I never did think that it was hard because I knew my duty as a servant, I knew what I had to do, that’s why I was thankful that when I had downfalls when I was serving, I was thankful that God was there and He was making me feel that I can do it, that I’m not alone in this battle. When you put God first, He will surely bless you beyond measure!

Prayer
Lord, teach me to put others before myself so that I may be able to see the glory in serving You and Your servants! Amen.

Author
wc-martie

Click on the bubble to find out more about Martie!

Photo by: Edgar Castrejon (@edgarraw at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Martina De Guzman

The Value

First Reading
Haggai 1:1-8

On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius,
The word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai
to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
This people says:
“The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”
(Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:)
Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,
while this house lies in ruins?

Now thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
You have sown much, but have brought in little;
you have eaten, but have not been satisfied;
You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated;
have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed;
And whoever earned wages
earned them for a bag with holes in it.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
Go up into the hill country;
bring timber, and build the house
That I may take pleasure in it
and receive my glory, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B
R.(see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.

Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.

Gospel
Luke 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.


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“Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Reflect on your experience! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not become intoxicated; you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed; And the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.” (Haggai 1: 5-6)

REFLECTION
“Uy, gusto ko nun!” (I want that!)
“Ma, pwedeng pabili please? Hehe” (Mom, can you buy this for me? Hehe)

These are the words I would always say when I want something, mostly when I don’t have enough money!

I learned the long and hard way on how to save money. I usually spend too much on stuff I don’t need without regard for the things I really need. One day, my mom just snapped and got really mad at me for buying too many things. This is when I started to tell myself that I have to learn how to be happy with the things I already have. It was such a struggle for me to contain my impulsive side; it was hard for me not to buy the things I see and want. I decided to sell baked goodies so I can have money on my own. However, I still didn’t see the value of money. I spent some of it on school things or my expenses with my hang outs and when I go to church, but most of it on things that were just my wants like food, some make up or whatever. After graduation, I decided to take a break from school because I just got tired and the spark of my passion wasn’t there anymore, so I decided to go and explore. I tried working. I tried working. I applied at Concentrix, a call center, thinking that while I was earning, I will learn the value of money. I tried it out and now I currently work and earn my own money.

Through this learning experience, God made me see how valuable things are. He used my mom to inspire me to work hard for the things I want and need. Now that I earn my own money, I have learned how to be content with what I have. It took me a while to be content, but He never gave up on me. Earning and having money is not a bad thing, but when we allow it to control our lives, then it becomes a problem. We must place our value not in material wealth, but in the treasure He has in store for us!

I may not have the best make-up or the yummiest food, as long as I have God by my side, everything will be alright!

Prayer
Father God, thank you for blessing me with a happy heart mind and soul, thank you for giving me a satisfied heart.

Author

wc-martie

Click on the bubble to find out more about Martie!

Photo by: Jacek Dylag (@dylu at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Martina De Guzman

Why? Because.

First Reading
Colossians 1:24–2:3

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his Body, which is the Church,
of which I am a minister
in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me
to bring to completion for you the word of God,
the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past.
But now it has been manifested to his holy ones,
to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles;
it is Christ in you, the hope for glory.
It is he whom we proclaim,
admonishing everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
For this I labor and struggle,
in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.

For I want you to know how great a struggle I am having for you
and for those in Laodicea
and all who have not seen me face to face,
that their hearts may be encouraged
as they are brought together in love,
to have all the richness of assured understanding,
for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,
in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 62:6-7, 9
R.(8) In God is my safety and my glory.

Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. In God is my safety and my glory.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. In God is my safety and my glory.

Gospel
Luke 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.


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“For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me.” (Colossians 1:29)

REFLECTION
I grew up having a wall between me and the world. I show the people around me that I am okay, but little did my family and friends know that I was depressed. I say “I’m okay”, but I mean the opposite.

I never had the guts to tell anyone because of the fear of judgement and rejection. I felt that they would never understand what I am going through. But it felt lonely to fight depression by myself, so I tried to open up somewhat to my family. It didn’t go well because my family and I just misunderstood each other. We all said words that made my situation worse. I started to question Him, to the point of asking, “Bakit, Lord? Ano nagawa ko para mangyari ‘tong mga nangyayari sa akin?” (Why, Lord? What did I do to deserve all these horrible things?)

After a few months, my cousin, Mik, invited me to join her in a prayer meeting with BLD Youth Manila! I said yes and this was where it all changed for me. My first year in BLD was spent in experiencing the Youth Life In The Spirit Seminar, Youth Camp and the Youth Encounter — these helped me see that all along, Jesus was beside me. All the things I learned in BLD helped me build up the courage to seek professional help, and I did. I was able to go to a therapist, and for my last session, I felt the need to have my family there. This helped them see the situation I am in, and for me to understand them as well.

God was preparing me for the ending of a sad chapter in my life, as He open a new one. Before I turned to God, I was hurting because I believed I was alone, but Jesus showed me that I never was; that He was always with me. The pains of my past weren’t there to hurt me, rather they helped me see that Jesus is the only person that can save me.

All the obstacles and trials I had to go through made me stronger, made me who I am today, and I could never have done it without Him.

Reflection Song

Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace) by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-martie.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Martie!

Photo by: Yuris Alhumaydy (@yrss at unsplash.com)