Little Whispers, Mayi Aguila

Producer

First Reading
Tb 2:9-14

On the night of Pentecost, after I had buried the dead,
I, Tobit, went into my courtyard
to sleep next to the courtyard wall.
My face was uncovered because of the heat.
I did not know there were birds perched on the wall above me,
till their warm droppings settled in my eyes, causing cataracts.
I went to see some doctors for a cure
but the more they anointed my eyes with various salves,
the worse the cataracts became,
until I could see no more.
For four years I was deprived of eyesight, and
all my kinsmen were grieved at my condition.
Ahiqar, however, took care of me for two years,
until he left for Elymais.

At that time, my wife Anna worked for hire
at weaving cloth, the kind of work women do.
When she sent back the goods to their owners, they would pay her.
Late in winter on the seventh of Dystrus,
she finished the cloth and sent it back to the owners.
They paid her the full salary
and also gave her a young goat for the table.
On entering my house the goat began to bleat.

I called to my wife and said: “Where did this goat come from?
Perhaps it was stolen! Give it back to its owners;
we have no right to eat stolen food!”
She said to me, “It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages.”
Yet I would not believe her,
and told her to give it back to its owners.
I became very angry with her over this.
So she retorted: “Where are your charitable deeds now?
Where are your virtuous acts?
See! Your true character is finally showing itself!”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 112:1-2, 7-8, 9
R. (see 7c) The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. The heart of the just one is firm, trusting in the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Mk 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
“Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.
You do not regard a person’s status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?”
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
“Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at.”
They brought one to him and he said to them,
“Whose image and inscription is this?”
They replied to him, “Caesar’s.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God.”
They were utterly amazed at him.
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math problems on board
REFLECTION

“Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark 12:17

Algebra.
Geometry.
Trigonometry.
Calculus.
Statistics.
Differentials and Integrals.

Oh I love Math. Weird huh?

Who I am now as a Math lover, I owe to my Dad. If there is a game show about Math, Dad would be the producer! He would play around numbers from drawings to challenging computations he would randomly think of. I am proud to have a Dad like him. But for sure he is proud of me too for learning and loving Math like a superstar.

There is someone up there who loves producing more promotions, upgrades, highlights and shining moments for you. And who we are now, we owe to the Master Producer of our lives. He is happy to see everything that you have achieved. Today is an opportunity to shine for Him. Go and make Him proud. – Mayi Aguila (mayi.aguila@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Lord, I owe my whole self to You. I offer my life to the Master Creator of my past, present and future. Make me an instrument of Your unconditional love and peace to others. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do you acknowledge that your life belongs to God and not to yourself?  And do you give to God what rightfully belongs to Him?

Little Whispers, Mayi Aguila

Healthy Break-Up

First Reading
Acts 25:13B-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea
on a visit to Festus.
Since they spent several days there,
Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying,
“There is a man here left in custody by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews
brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation.
I answered them that it was not Roman practice
to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers
and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge.
So when they came together here, I made no delay;
the next day I took my seat on the tribunal
and ordered the man to be brought in.
His accusers stood around him,
but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion
and about a certain Jesus who had died
but who Paul claimed was alive.
Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy,
I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem
and there stand trial on these charges.
And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody
for the Emperor’s decision,
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB
R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.

Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.

Gospel
Jn 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

 

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REFLECTION

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:12

 

“It’s not you. It’s me. I have been thinking about it for quite a long time already. And I realized that it’s not healthy for me to stay in this longtime relationship of ours. I know we have been through a lot – good and bad, but there is something in me that will be hard to reconcile with your way of life. I am sorry. I really am sorry but we have to end this.”

That was my break-up speech when I finally broke up with drinking softdrinks.

It was hard for me to stop. I used to call it my happy drink whenever I feel stressed. But I had to break-up with it to be able to achieve my goal of having a healthy body. I am not getting any younger and I think it’s best to separate myself from it permanently. Now, I feel a lot better and I owe it to myself for doing that smart move.

Jesus assists us each day to break-up with our unhealthy habits and sins. It may be hard but He believes in us and shows us the end of our goal – the abundant life we deserve. Because of His great love for us, He makes sure that we won’t be able to remember our sins again that He throws it on the other side of the fence. Don’t give up! We can do it if we let go and let God do the rest. It’s time to move on. – Mayi Aguila (mayi.aguila@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER

Lord, challenge me to break-up with my sins and make me a brand new person each day. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

Are you still clingy with your sins?

Photo source: premiumkangen.com

Little Whispers, Mayi Aguila

Good or Bad

First Reading
Acts 2: 14, 22 – 33

On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.

“You who are children of Israel, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:

I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he poured forth the promise of the Holy Spirit
that he received from the Father, as you both see and hear.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 16: 1 – 2, 5, 7 – 11

R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
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. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
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. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
Because you will not abandon my soul to the nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.

Gospel
Mt 28: 8 -15

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb,
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce the news to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city
and told the chief priests all that had happened.
The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel;
then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
telling them, “You are to say,
‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep.’
And if this gets to the ears of the governor,
we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”
The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed.
And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.

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MAYI AGUILA en.wikipedia.com

REFLECTION

“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Matthew 28:8

“WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!?!?!? She’s pregnant?” I exclaimed.

I hurriedly opened my laptop to check her profile page to see if it was true. My sister told me that my good friend got pregnant before marriage. True enough, she’s in her 3rd month. I was disappointed and sad. How could this happen to her? Paranoia ate me like I was a big lechon ready to be consumed. All bad things about her went into my mind until I realized that I should be thankful that she did not abort the baby. And what she needs now is my bucket of hope for her and her baby.

I wonder why bad news always come in faster than the good ones. Gossip looks more enticing than the happy news we rarely hear. I stand guilty at times when I tend to entertain more of the gossips than the good things about a person. When the women learned about Jesus being alive, they did not bother to focus on the loss but were excited to share the good news to all.

Today, Jesus happily brags all the good things about you – how much He loves you; how you can make a big difference; how beautiful or handsome you are; how skillful and talented you are; etc. He always looks forward to see the awesome things you are to do and hurries to spread the good news to all the angels around Him.  Make your life a living good news to all. – Mayi Aguila (mayi.aguila@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Dearest Lord, may I share more of the blessings and miracles in my life and attract goodness in all things. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What good news can you share about today?

Photo source: en.wikipedia.com

Little Whispers, Mayi Aguila

To Follow or Not

First Reading
Heb 7:25—8:6

Jesus is always able to save those who approach God through him,
since he lives forever to make intercession for them.

It was fitting that we should have such a high priest:
holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners,
higher than the heavens.
He has no need, as did the high priests,
to offer sacrifice day after day,
first for his own sins and then for those of the people;
he did that once for all when he offered himself.
For the law appoints men subject to weakness to be high priests,
but the word of the oath, which was taken after the law,
appoints a son, who has been made perfect forever.

The main point of what has been said is this:
we have such a high priest,
who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne
of the Majesty in heaven, a minister of the sanctuary
and of the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up.
Now every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices;
thus the necessity for this one also to have something to offer.
If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest,
since there are those who offer gifts according to the law.
They worship in a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary,
as Moses was warned when he was about to erect the tabernacle.
For God says, “See that you make everything
according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Now he has obtained so much more excellent a ministry
as he is mediator of a better covenant,
enacted on better promises.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 40:7-8A, 8B-9, 10, 17

R. (8a and 9a)  Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
May all who seek you
exult and be glad in you,
And may those who love your salvation
say ever, “The LORD be glorified.”
R. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Gospel
Mk 3:7-12

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples.
A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.
Hearing what he was doing,
a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem,
from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan,
and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.
He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,
so that they would not crush him.
He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases
were pressing upon him to touch him.
And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him
and shout, “You are the Son of God.”
He warned them sternly not to make him known.

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MAYI AGUILA metalogicdesign.com

REFLECTION

“..and a large crowd from Galilee followed” Mark 3:7

Why do I follow thee? Let me count the ways.
You’re interesting.
You have a picture.
You’re an opinion leader.
You are retweeted.
I know you or we’ve met.
You reply back.
You don’t spam.
You make news.
You follow interesting people.
You interact with others.

I came across this blog entry stating the top 10 reasons why someone is worth following on Twitter. Wow. Ever wondered how it feels to be followed by gazillions of people? Every tweet you post can disturb or uplift the cyber world. What a big influence you can have!

If Jesus had Twitter, we can be sure that a large crowd will still follow Him. He might even need to create multiple accounts for Himself.

Guess what? Many follow you too. Maybe not in social networking sites but through your living words and deeds. Let’s make our lives worth following after. – Mayi Aguila (mayi.aguila@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER
May I be more like You in thoughts, words and deeds that people may follow the Jesus in me every single day. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Are you someone worth following?

Photo source: metalogicdesign.com