Kitkat Fernandez, Little Whispers

Reason for the Season

First Reading
Isaiah 11:1-10
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.
Not by appearance shall he judge,
nor by hearsay shall he decide,
but he shall judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the land’s afflicted.
He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth,
and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist,
and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb,
and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together,
with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors,
together their young shall rest;
the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra’s den,
and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD,
as water covers the sea.
On that day, the root of Jesse,
set up as a signal for the nations,
the Gentiles shall seek out,
for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17
R. (cf. 7)  Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
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. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

Second Reading
Romans 15:4-9
Brothers and sisters:
Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,
that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures
we might have hope.
May the God of endurance and encouragement
grant you to think in harmony with one another,
in keeping with Christ Jesus,
that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you,
for the glory of God.
For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised
to show God’s truthfulness,
to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,
but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles
and sing praises to your name.

Gospel
Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


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“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Matthew 3:3)

REFLECTION
When I was younger, I looked forward to December because it meant receiving gifts, escaping school, and munching on delicious food. It was that time of the year when roads, houses, and malls were full of lights and decors. There were also the mandatory parties that we had to attend to.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew all along that it was because of the birth of Jesus. However, it was only when I turned older that I realized the true essence of the Christmas season. More than the festivities, it is the time to prepare for the Lord’s coming. It is the time for us to repent and have a clean slate. 

In the Gospel, there were Pharisees who wanted to be baptized but John reminds them that asking for forgiveness means producing good fruit as evidence of one’s repentance. Just like the Pharisees, we continue to sin despite asking for forgiveness. The Gospel is teaching us to not only ask for forgiveness but to make sure that we do not repeat our sins and instead do random acts of kindness.

During this advent season, may we await with great expectation the coming of the Lord and prepare ourselves when He comes. – Kitkat Fernandez

Reflection Song

Now That You’re Near by Hillsong Worship

Photo by: Walter Chavez (@walterch at unsplash.com)

Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

Change

First Reading
Daniel 7:2-14
In a vision I, Daniel, saw during the night,
the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea,
from which emerged four immense beasts,
each different from the others.
The first was like a lion, but with eagle’s wings.
While I watched, the wings were plucked;
it was raised from the ground to stand on two feet
like a man, and given a human mind.
The second was like a bear; it was raised up on one side,
and among the teeth in its mouth were three tusks.
It was given the order, “Up, devour much flesh.”
After this I looked and saw another beast, like a leopard;
on its back were four wings like those of a bird,
and it had four heads.
To this beast dominion was given.
After this, in the visions of the night I saw the fourth beast,
different from all the others,
terrifying, horrible, and of extraordinary strength;
it had great iron teeth with which it devoured and crushed,
and what was left it trampled with its feet.
I was considering the ten horns it had,
when suddenly another, a little horn, sprang out of their midst,
and three of the previous horns were torn away to make room for it.
This horn had eyes like a man,
and a mouth that spoke arrogantly.
As I watched,

Thrones were set up
and the Ancient One took his throne.
His clothing was snow bright,
and the hair on his head as white as wool;
His throne was flames of fire,
with wheels of burning fire.
A surging stream of fire
flowed out from where he sat;
Thousands upon thousands were ministering to him,
and myriads upon myriads attended him.

The court was convened, and the books were opened.
I watched, then, from the first of the arrogant words
which the horn spoke, until the beast was slain
and its body thrown into the fire to be burnt up.
The other beasts, which also lost their dominion,
were granted a prolongation of life for a time and a season.
As the visions during the night continued, I saw

One like a son of man coming,
on the clouds of heaven;
When he reached the Ancient One
and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship;
nations and peoples of every language serve him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
that shall not be taken away,
his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Responsorial Psalm
Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!”
“You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

Gospel
Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable.
“Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
When their buds burst open,
you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near;
in the same way, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.
Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away
until all these things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.”


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“… ‘Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’” (Luke 21:32-33)

REFLECTION
I am one of the people who don’t really like change. I would rather stay in my comfort zone of the regular and usual things I do in my daily life. Being used to seeing things that I see everyday gives me that assurance that I will be alright and nothing else is going on.

Most of the time, we suddenly get bombarded with change that we never really wanted in the first place. You could get a new teacher for class, a new kind of food served at home, or a new friend that you end up not really liking. This reminds me that we have no control over everything that happens in our lives because change is inevitable.

Today’s gospel talks about how change leads to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. All of the events in our lives have already been planned by Him. Even though we go through many changes and challenges, He reassures us that He will remain with us until the end. Even the toughest hardships will eventually lead to a better future set for us.

Change may sometimes scare us, but when we go through them, it could blossom into blessings on blessings on blessings from the Lord.

Prayer
Dearest Lord, thank you for the life you have blessed us with. Thank you for giving us the life that we should live to the fullest and use to spread Your love to others. Guide us Lord as we continue this journey of life and may You always be by our side. Amen.

Author

wc-josh

Click on the bubble to find out more about Josh!

Photo by: Phil Henry (@philhenryproductions at unsplash.com)

 

CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Stand Up and Go

First Reading
Wisdom 7:22B-8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175

R.(89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Gospel
Luke 17:20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”


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“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:19)

REFLECTION
Do you ever have those days where you wake up with no energy to deal with anything, and have the greatest desire to just stay in bed? Some people call it their laziness acting up; for me, those are the kind of days (or moments) that I call purposeful.

Lately, I have been feeling bad at the work that I do. I am currently consumed with so much insecurity that I cannot even find the energy to function the most basic thought processes of my job. I was always making a mistake and I have this thought in my head that everyone is judging me for it. I was not concentrating anymore to the learning path I am taking, rather I was more focused on thinking that I was a failure and they did not need someone like me.

So, I ended up having that day where I just want to lay in bed and do nothing because I feel so bad about myself. I found myself thinking about the many things I have done in work, and not only did I make mistakes – I also had my small wins. Little achievements that help move a project further, things that I did to help my workmate get through her heavy load, small talks in the pantry that helped me create new friends inside our division. These were blessings that I never paid so much attention to, but it actually outdo the list of mistakes in my head. I also remembered the things I gave up to have this job, to be on this kind of learning pathway, one that I said I want to grow at.

I forgot that there was a purpose to why I asked for this and why it was given to me.

My dear friends, every day, Jesus is asking us to ‘Stand up and go’. But this message is nothing if we don’t understand the purpose of why He is asking this. It is okay to have a time out and reflect on what He has planned out for us – for us to find the common ground with He has planned out with us and where we are right now.

Take your time. He is willing to wait. When you are ready again, stand up and go.

Reflection Song

The Stand by Hillsong UNITED

Author

68264509_458642051650339_5095432230835060736_n

Click on the bubble to find out more about CJ!

Gileena Hernandez, Little Whispers

The Stage

First Reading
Wisdom 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
Psalm 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
Luke 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.”



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“Then he said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.'” (Luke 17:19)

REFLECTION
I have always enjoyed being part of a performance. I had one problem as a performer though, and that was my shyness. I had to overcome being shy before I could set foot on a stage to perform. I took workshops, I acted and I sang until I gained my confidence.

I got the courage to audition for chorus/ensemble in a play of a theater organization. Little did I know, I would be offered to play a different role in the play and that would be one of the supporting characters. After auditions, the org had a general assembly and revealed the results where I found out that I got the role. I was so excited but I doubted myself. I was so scared of forgetting my lines on stage or of making a mistake.

I did not have faith in myself then but I continued to attend rehearsals and shows despite doubting myself because I was surrounded by positive people who believed in me. Those positive people were my orgmates, directors and co-actors in the play. I told the director of the play that I felt that I wasn’t good enough as a performer and his words struck me. Our director told me “Don’t you ever doubt yourself, kayang-kaya mo yan.” (“You can do it.”) and so I thanked him for the encouraging words.

I saw Jesus in our director. It was like God was telling me through Him to have faith in myself. I learned to have faith in God because He is always there, whether it be at home, at rehearsals, and at performances. Friends, you may have your doubts in your life but remember God never doubted you. Learn to have faith in God and keep on praying. –Gilee Hernandez

Prayer
Father God, I lift up to you my doubts. I know that you are a great God, bigger than all my worries and fears and so I surrender to You alone. Let my faith grow more and more each day so that I may learn to trust in you. Amen.

Photo by: Kyle Head (@kyleunderscorehead at unsplash.com)

 

Little Whispers, Paul Habitan

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)

CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

34 Hours

First Reading
Romans 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 62:2-3, 6-7, 9
R.(13b) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
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. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Gospel
Luke 11:42-46

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”


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“He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.” (Psalm 62:6-7)

REFLECTION
One of the things that I battle with myself is image. I am very uncomfortable when people point out my physical imperfections and things that I do or say that may not be acceptable for then.

During my senior year in college, one that involved thesis and groupmates that are of different personalities from mine, that personal battle resurfaced. While busy finishing our research, I would often hear my groupmates talk behind my back — “Suot na naman niya yung top niya last week”, “Nag aya siya sa house nila. Eh ‘di ba maliit dun!”, “Sa’n ba tayo kakain na pwede budget niya?” and many more. 

Admittedly, this has poisoned my thinking. Not only did I felt bad about what they said, I also got disturbed by how they see me as a person. I was offended, mad, and confused as to why these things matter to them. It made me also think if how many others have or are still being objectified by these people. 

But despite that, I faced them head on and kept on a professional attitude. I fought through the days where I just want to walk out and put them in their place. And in those moments of weakness, I prayed harder than usual. I asked for understanding and healing. I prayed for kindness to take over. I repeatedly asked acceptance of myself — that I am a better person than what they describe me to be.

Eventually, I finished our thesis without any ugly confrontations that could have affected our work. I only focused on finishing my studies, graduating, and doing it all in all for my family, especially my parents. And through the help of Jesus, I was able to walk past that season in my life victoriously. 

My dear readers, Jesus’ message for us today asks us to continue the work of His hands, despite difficult circumstances where you might be judged or condemned by it. Remember that He does not forget to reward those who stand by that struggle. Be kind, understanding, loving and faithful to your neighbors; but do not forget to love yourself too. Love what you do, embrace the person that you are embodying as you do His missions. Walk past judgments, gossip and hearsay. Jesus loved you first, and it is due time that you do the same to yourself.

Reflection Song

Glimmer in the Dust by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-cj

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Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

The Prayer

First Reading
Jonah 4:1-11

Jonah was greatly displeased
and became angry that God did not carry out the evil
he threatened against Nineveh.
He prayed, “I beseech you, LORD,
is not this what I said while I was still in my own country?
This is why I fled at first to Tarshish.
I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God,
slow to anger, rich in clemency, loath to punish.
And now, LORD, please take my life from me;
for it is better for me to die than to live.”
But the LORD asked, “Have you reason to be angry?”

Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it,
where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade,
to see what would happen to the city.
And when the LORD God provided a gourd plant
that grew up over Jonah’s head,
giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,
Jonah was very happy over the plant.
But the next morning at dawn
God sent a worm that attacked the plant,
so that it withered.
And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind;
and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint.
Then Jonah asked for death, saying,
“I would be better off dead than alive.”

But God said to Jonah,
“Have you reason to be angry over the plant?”
“I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.”
Then the LORD said,
“You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor
and which you did not raise;
it came up in one night and in one night it perished.
And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city,
in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons
who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left,
not to mention the many cattle?”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 86:3-4, 5-6, 9-10
R.(15) Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.
All the nations you have made shall come
and worship you, O Lord,
and glorify your name.
For you are great, and you do wondrous deeds;
you alone are God.
R. Lord, you are merciful and gracious.

Gospel
Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”


amaury-gutierrez-rzmQOng8h8I-unsplash.jpg
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)

REFLECTION
When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to pray. I didn’t see the point in why I had to put so much effort in something that I didn’t really want to do.

We had a Christian Life Education or CLE class that taught me a lot about God. It taught me stories about the Bible, how to be more Christ-centered and how to be closer to God. It also taught me basic prayers and from there I just followed a certain format for praying. I always started my prayer with saying thank you, then saying sorry for my wrongdoings and then asking the Lord for guidance in the things I’m doing.

I prayed without realizing that I was actually talking to someone; I was just praying for the sake of it.

Eventually, I learned more and more about praying as I grew older. I realized that praying brought peace in my life because He is there, listening to every word I prayed. In times of stress, prayer has calmed my mind. Prayer became my comfort zone.

It’s not how you pray but how strong your faith in God is. There is no formula in praying. You can talk to Him in any time and anywhere. The Lord will hear you no matter where you are. It’s just a matter of believing in God’s will.

Prayer
Dearest Lord, Thank you for the gift of prayer. Thank you for making life easier through talking to you each day. When times are tough, you bring me to my happy place. I pray to become closer to you and for everyone to have a much more stronger faith in you.

Author

wc-josh.jpg

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Photo by: Amaury Gutierrez (@amaury_guti at unsplash.com)