Little Whispers, Sophia Dedace

From Zero To Hero

First Reading
Sir 36:1, 4-5A, 10-17

Come to our aid, O God of the universe,
look upon us, show us the light of your mercies,
and put all the nations in dread of you!
Thus they will know, as we know,
that there is no God but you, O Lord.

Give new signs and work new wonders.

Gather all the tribes of Jacob,
that they may inherit the land as of old,
Show mercy to the people called by your name;
Israel, whom you named your firstborn.
Take pity on your holy city,
Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
Fill Zion with your majesty,
your temple with your glory.

Give evidence of your deeds of old;
fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
Reward those who have hoped in you,
and let your prophets be proved true.
Hear the prayer of your servants,
for you are ever gracious to your people;
and lead us in the way of justice.
Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth
that you are the eternal God.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13

R. (Sirach 36:1b) Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.

Gospel
Mk 10:32-45

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, ‘What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, ‘We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

_____________________________________________________________________

car-donation12

REFLECTION

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give is life as a ransom for many.” Mk 10:45

Service is a big word that is manifested in little works.

When we trade pleasantries with the taho vendor who has been up before sunrise to earn a day’s keep;

When, in the middle of our busy schedule, we go out of our way to listen to a friend who needs a companion;

When we donate a sizeable portion of our allowance or salary without any recognition;

Then we can, in our little works, tell our neighbour that we have a God of love, justice, and service.

It is human tendency to recognize the best –the best film of all time, the best pizza in the world, the best university among centers of learning. But in God’s eyes, if you want to be Number One, you have to be Number Zero. Sometimes, it is not about how much you give, but how much love you put into giving.

It takes a great deal of self-emptying love to live a life devoted to serving others. What makes a true disciple? Certainly, it is not easy to rewrite or even shelve our dreams so that we may be more other-oriented.

There is an African proverb which captures well the meaning of service: If you want to go fast, walk alone. If you want to far, walk with each other. – Sophia Dedace (sophiadedace@gmail.com) 

PRAYER
Dearest Lord, when I tend to focus too much on myself, help me shift my gaze to your sacrifice and your call for discipleship.

REFLECTION QUESTION
How can I make myself of better service to others?

Photo source: cardonationeeds.wordpress.com 

Little Whispers, Sophia Dedace

No Fear, No Harm

First Reading
1 Pt 5:1-4

Beloved:
I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel
Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

____________________________________________________________________________________________

SOPHIA DEDACE Mandymtt.deviantart.com

REFLECTION

“Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life.” Ps 23:6

My aunt’s two-and-a-half foot Doberman named Rocky first growled at me. And then the inevitable happened: Rocky’s determination to go after me was so strong that my aunt lost her grip of his leash.  The next thing I know, I was running down the street with an angry black dog chasing after me. While running for dear life, I could picture Rocky pouncing on me, biting me, and tearing me to shreds! I ran as fast as my tired legs could carry me. Good thing I emerged as the faster runner and I managed to find higher ground where this fierce creature could not reach me.

That incident happened when I was five and I still remember it vividly 20 years later.

Have you ever experienced moments when fear seemed to cripple you and eat you up that you could no longer move? Have you ever been so filled with anxiety that you could not function well? Whenever I am in distress, I always recall that incident with Rocky. Yes, the fear may be strong, but God’s promise of “no harm” is stronger.

In today’s Word, the psalmist David speaks a message of hope and the certainty of God’s rescue in the darkest of times. In the dark valleys of our lives, in times we lose our strength, or when troubles chase us as fast as the fiercest dog, we could count on God as our best defense. – Sophia Dedace (sophiadedace@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER
Dear Lord, grant me your comfort whenever I am overcome by fear and worry.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What do I do during situations where I am in distress and lose faith?

 

Photo source: Mandymtt.deviantart.com

Little Whispers, Sophia Dedace

All That Glitters

First Reading
Is 60:1-6

Rise up in splendor, Jerusalem! Your light has come,
the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth,
and thick clouds cover the peoples;
but upon you the LORD shines,
and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light,
and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about;
they all gather and come to you:
your sons come from afar,
and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.

Then you shall be radiant at what you see,
your heart shall throb and overflow,
for the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you,
the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you,
dromedaries from Midian and Ephah;
all from Sheba shall come
bearing gold and frankincense,
and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 72:1-2,7-8,10-13

R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king’s son;
He shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
The kings of Tarshish and the Isles shall offer gifts;
the kings of Arabia and Seba shall bring tribute.
All kings shall pay him homage,
all nations shall serve him.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.
For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.
R. Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.

Second Reading
Eph 3:2-3,5-6

Brothers and sisters:
You have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace
that was given to me for your benefit,
namely, that the mystery was made known to me by revelation.
It was not made known to people in other generations
as it has now been revealed
to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:
that the Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body,
and copartners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Gospel
Mt 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”

Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

SOPHIA DEDACE gothessa-d4tefca.deviantart.com

REFLECTION

“And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.” Mt 2:9

Whenever our closest friends and relatives would celebrate their birthdays, we spend days or even weeks contemplating the perfect presents to give them. On the day of their birthday, we spend a good amount of time composing a message to show them how much they are appreciated and cared for.

Such are our ways of showing loved ones how important they are to us.

If you could give Jesus a gift, what would it be? Just how could you select a gift for the King of Kings, the Lord who rules over the universe, the heavens, and the oceans?

The highly-esteemed three magi were men of wealth, power, and influence. But when they came face to face with an infant Christ, they “prostrated themselves and worshipped him.” (Mt. 2:11)

Like the bright star that led the three wise men to where Jesus was, today’s Gospel invites us to embrace God’s humility, generosity, and self-giving love. This is probably one of the perfect gifts we can give to our Lord.

Give Jesus the gift of yourself: a heart renewed, a heart surrendered and made clean. As you see yourself approaching this fragile, vulnerable child asleep in a manger, remember that He is your Savior; He loves you and He has come to liberate you. Oh come, let us adore Him.  – Sophia Dedace (sophiadedace@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Dearest Lord, help us to resolutely step into the light so that we may never lose sight of You.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Is there anything that keeps you from following the star that guides you to our Lord?

Photo source: gothessa-d4tefca.deviantart.com