CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Puhon

First Reading
Acts 1:1-11
In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
R. (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
is the great king over all the earth.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
God sits upon his holy throne.
R. God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
Ephesians 1:17-23
Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Gospel
Matthew 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee,
to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them.
When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.
Then Jesus approached and said to them,
“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”


Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 3.02.58 PM
“May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call…” (Ephesians 1:18)

REFLECTION
Have you heard of the Marshmallow Experiment? In a room, a teacher invited a young boy to sit in front of a bowl of marshmallows. He can eat it all but he has to wait first for the teacher to come back. For about 10 minutes of being alone, he was able to resist, but he got excited (or hungry) that he started eating! Funny as how it was done, the purpose of it was to test patience starting at a young age. Even with older people best believe, not a lot of them can wait that long!

All of us may have waited or are still waiting for something. It could be an acceptance letter from a desired school. Maybe a couple out there is waiting when they will be blessed with their first kid. A family for sure is still saving up for their dream house. Even frontliners right now continue to work 24/7 in the hopes of getting this crisis over soon.

Waiting could be frustrating. It gives us anxiety and makes us doubt. At some point we will get tired of it all and just give up.

But the first reading tells us that “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority” – Acts 1:7. Believe that God’s delay always has a purpose. You may not understand it now but it will all make sense because of “puhon” which means “in God’s perfect timing”.

At a young age, Jesus already knew that He is the Son of God, but He waited before revealing His identity and purpose – and that is to save us all through the Cross. He was scared but His faith was unshaken by the end of it all. And today, as we celebrate Jesus’ Ascencion to heaven, He watches as we celebrate His love and sacrifice with a community that we call “home”. All of this happened just because He waited and trusted God’s plans for Him.

It is also beautifully said in the second reading “May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call” – Eph 1:18. So just hold on. God’s perfect timing is almost here.

Reflection Song

Stay and Wait by Hillsong UNITED

Author

68264509_458642051650339_5095432230835060736_n

Click on the bubble to find out more about CJ!

Photo from https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/hand-with-wristwatch_5596543.htm#page=1&query=checks%20time&position=43

Elianah Habitan, Little Whispers

Hesitations

First Reading
Acts 1:15-17, 20-26
Peter stood up in the midst of the brothers and sisters
(there was a group of about one hundred and twenty persons
in the one place).
He said, “My brothers and sisters,
the Scripture had to be fulfilled
which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand
through the mouth of David, concerning Judas,
who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was numbered among us
and was allotted a share in this ministry.
For it is written in the Book of Psalms:

Let his encampment become desolate,
and may no one dwell in it.

and:
May another take his office.

Therefore, it is necessary that one of the men
who accompanied us the whole time
the Lord Jesus came and went among us,
beginning from the baptism of John
until the day on which he was taken up from us,
become with us a witness to his resurrection.”
So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas,
who was also known as Justus, and Matthias.
Then they prayed,
“You, Lord, who know the hearts of all,
show which one of these two you have chosen
to take the place in this apostolic ministry
from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.”
Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias,
and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8
R.    (8)  The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
He raises up the lowly from the dust;
from the dunghill he lifts up the poor
To seat them with princes,
with the princes of his own people.
R.    The Lord will give him a seat with the leaders of his people.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you
and your joy might be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you:  love one another.”


Screen Shot 2020-05-14 at 3.33.33 AM

“It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16)

REFLECTION
To be quite honest, there are times when I am asked to pray in front of my whole family and I would dread it. Even writing my own article for Little Whisperers is quite scary to me. However, it’s not because of something despicable. It’s mostly due to my lack of confidence. 

Seeing all these wonderfully written words below my own and hearing my dad and Kuya pray effortlessly without any practice or copy on hand sometimes messes my mind. How could I, an adequate teenager with only a few stories to tell, possibly produce something so earnest and bless others with it?

After reading the gospel for today, I had a different narrative in mind. I tried writing about it for hours but it wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to be. Like a flash, doubt instantly creeped within me. I became aware that I was trying so hard to make it seem smart enough to mask my insecurities. 

But God had a plan for me. He knew of my doubts and wanted to wash it all away. It was just quick but a very meaningful moment. It was abrupt yet everything that I needed so I can pour out all my uncertainties. 

He wanted me to know that a simple confession of my insecurity is a chance for me to create something that can bless others. Believe me, I still had a hard time writing this, but I knew that whatever happens, everything would fall into place. After all, it was Him who gave me this opportunity to be His voice. 

So, I don’t know if anybody needs this, but if you are ever overthinking about your skills and talents, worrying about the path you chose, or questioning about your current disposition, remember that God is always ahead of us. He has already planned out everything, all we need to do is to keep on praying and trust in His Mighty Power.

Prayer
Lord, thank You for gracing me a wonderful life, giving me bountiful blessings, and letting me enjoy the fruits of Your labor. May I never forget that in times of qualms and difficulties, You are always behind me, pushing and proving that I am more than my apprehensions and limitations. May You give me strength and courage as I continuously strive to be the person You want me to be. Amen.

Author

wc-elianah

Click on the bubble to find out more about Elianah!

Gileena Hernandez, Little Whispers

Come Home

First Reading
Acts 6:1-7
As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19
R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Peter 2:4-9
Beloved:
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings
but chosen and precious in the sight of God,
and, like living stones,
let yourselves be built into a spiritual house
to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
For it says in Scripture:
Behold, I am laying a stone in Zion,
a cornerstone, chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in it shall not be put to shame.

Therefore, its value is for you who have faith, but for those without faith:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,

and
A stone that will make people stumble,
and a rock that will make them fall.

They stumble by disobeying the word, as is their destiny.

You are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, a people of his own,
so that you may announce the praises” of him
who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Gospel
John 14:1-12
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way.”
Thomas said to him,
“Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
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 him,
“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.”


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““Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”” (John 14:5-6)

REFLECTION
These days, I feel like I don’t have the motivation to get up in the morning, exercise or do anything at all. I try to escape reality by just sleeping and watching movies. I have been feeling so lost because I started to ignore God in my life. I could not understand where my life is going because of uncertainty of the future.

I have no idea on what to do and how to go about my life but I do know one thing. I know that I can always come back home to God and turn to Him whenever I feel lost.

I realized this when I stumbled upon the quote on a Facebook post, which I put as today’s photo. The quote reminded me that I can always turn to God even if I feel unworthy. I may not know where my life is going right now and that is okay because God is here to guide me.

When all else fails, I trust in God because I know that He has a plan for me. It is said in Psalms for today’s readings, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.” and this also reminds me how we should trust in the Lord when we don’t know where we are going in life. We should place our trust in Him most especially in times when we feel lost.

When you feel lost in life, let God be your map. Let Him lead the way in Your life. We may all have obstacles or problems but God will always lead us to the right direction and where he wants us to be.

Reflection Song

Captain by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-gilee

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gilee!

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/BraveThoughtsPH/photos/a.101399554721653/150872696441005/?type=3&theater

Kitkat Fernandez, Little Whispers

Prayer Warriors

First Reading
Acts 11:19-26
Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7
R.    (117:1a)  All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R.    All you nations, praise the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 10:22-30
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”


photo_2020-05-05 03.36.18

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

REFLECTION
Today marks the fiftieth day since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was declared in Metro Manila. Since all of this is new to everyone, we have been trying our best to cope with the situation. We think of different ways to keep ourselves sane and entertained. Adjustments had to be made with how we were used to do things before. For one, people are requested to stay at home unless there is an important reason for them to go out.

Since my parents are already senior citizens, my siblings and I make sure that they never leave the house. Although they are still strong and are insistent that they are still capable of doing things outside, we choose not to risk their health by being the household’s ‘tributes.’ While they miss going out and the freedom that comes with it, they have already created a routine this ECQ period. They would bond over movies & series and exercise six times a week together. These activities keep them happy and healthy but what I noticed is that they also never forget to start their day by hearing online mass at 10:00 AM and praying the rosary before they sleep.

With everything that has been happening, there is a line in the Gospel wherein the Jews gathered around Jesus and asked him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?” Likewise, this has also been on my mind. There are a lot of things we see on our newsfeed that we tend to focus on the world’s negativity. 

My parents are God’s instruments in this time of uncertainty and confusion. It is amazing how they are being used by God as Shepherds to us with the way they choose to live a life of prayer each day. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is reminding us to focus on His light and to have faith in Him in these trying times.

Reflection Song

Glimmer in the Dust by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-kitkat

Click on the bubble to find out more about Kitkat!

 

Little Whispers, Paul Habitan

Healthy Living

First Reading
Acts 2:14A, 36-41
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 23:1-3A, 3B4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.
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.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Peter 2:20B-25
Beloved:
If you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Gospel
John 10:1-10
Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”


photo-1559531717-8fdbe29ae8b3

REFLECTION
Cooking for the family was never an option for me. Sure, I can cook rice, egg, or other food that only beginners cook for themselves, but I have never tried to cook vegetables or meat. When I get hungry and I’m alone at home, I try to cook whatever there is. Pancit canton, canned tuna, or bags of chips are my usual go-to food.

I have always been a fan of eating instant food. Minutes before a show starts, you prepare instant noodles. During commercial breaks, you look for chips so that when the show is back, you are munching on those junk foods. In the middle of the day, you look for instant food just so your cravings stop.

However, eating instant food is bad for our health when we do it more than often.

Sometimes in our life, we look for instants. Instant food becomes equivalent to instant happiness. They can make us happy, but they are not really fulfilling. Sins and worldly things are examples of these instants in life. They may be fun and convenient, but as time goes on, they leave you feeling empty while you look for something else.

Eating healthy food like fruits and vegetables nourishes us and would have a greater impact in the long run. Same as in our spiritual life, avoiding sins and following Jesus may be difficult, but doing so would lead us to a better path.

Friends, Jesus is calling you by your name, telling you to walk with Him through every storm or rainbow in your life. We are human and we may get tired of not seeing the end of the road so we end up choosing instants, but Jesus wants us to trust in Him even in the midst of uncertainty. In this trying time, most of us are worried and afraid with each day that passes, but Jesus assures us that in the same way He carried the cross having faith in His Father, He turns suffering into grace.

Reflection Song

Build My Life by Peyton Allen

Author

WC-paul

Click on the bubble to find out more about Paul!

Photo by: Matt & Chris Pua (@yo_puaaa at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Robby Fernandez

Away From Keyboard

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.


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“For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.” (John 3: 34)

REFLECTION
In the many times that I’ve started, stopped, created, and abandoned my many blogs, my Facebook feed, or my tweets, I always reach the point where I get tired of publishing my thoughts for followers to see. Recently though, my fingers were able to cooperate in such a way that my thoughts would see whatever eyes find their way on my Twitter feed. Twice!

There is a love-hate relationship that I personally have with social media, and I think we all find ourselves on that rollercoaster every now and then. We constantly have our names tied to words that you can never take back, which is why we take social media breaks, create Finstas (I know!), and just choose to stay further away from the web. 

It’s not always easy to stand behind the messages we post, because all forms of judgment can follow us online. Some people can take that kind of experience though, so we retweet, like, or share their words instead. In fact, there was One who did not hold anything back and He literally died for His message. 

We might be humans who hesitate, get embarrassed, and hide in the face of a world that does not always agree with us, and that’s okay! There is already One who gave it all, so that we can fully believe in the truth of His message. It’s Jesus’ complete conviction that allows us to embrace our own humanity, and move forward despite of our weaknesses.

Prayer
Dearest Lord, in these trying times, help me to live your message, in full humility, when I cannot find the words to speak my own. I offer myself as a light, no matter how simple the ways I can help may be. Amen.

Author

wc-robby

Click on the bubble to find out more about Robby!

Photo by: Claudio Schwarz (@purzlbaum at unsplash.com)

Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

The Wait

First Reading
Acts 4:13-21
Observing the boldness of Peter and John
and perceiving them to be uneducated, ordinary men,
the leaders, elders, and scribes were amazed,
and they recognized them as the companions of Jesus.
Then when they saw the man who had been cured standing there with them,
they could say nothing in reply.
So they ordered them to leave the Sanhedrin,
and conferred with one another, saying,
“What are we to do with these men?
Everyone living in Jerusalem knows that a remarkable sign
was done through them, and we cannot deny it.
But so that it may not be spread any further among the people,
let us give them a stern warning
never again to speak to anyone in this name.”

So they called them back
and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
Peter and John, however, said to them in reply,
“Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”
After threatening them further,
they released them,
finding no way to punish them,
on account of the people who were all praising God
for what had happened.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 118:1 AND 14-15AB, 16-18, 19-21
R.    (21a) I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just.
R.    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
“The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
the right hand of the LORD has struck with power.”
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
Though the LORD has indeed chastised me,
yet he has not delivered me to death.
R.    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Open to me the gates of justice;
I will enter them and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD;
the just shall enter it.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
R.    I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
Mark 16:9-15
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.

After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”


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I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Though the LORD has indeed chastised me, yet he has not delivered me to death.” (Psalm 118:17-18)

REFLECTION
We are all in the same situation right now – stuck in the everyday cycle of staying inside our homes, doing the same activities we did not really plan on doing. We are given the opportunity to do whatever it is we can think of, to entertain ourselves, or distract us from everything happening in the outside world.

Some of us should have already graduated, enjoyed prom, or have went on vacation with our friends and family. The possibilities of what could have been are endless, and it may sadden some, looking at we are now. We can hardly stand this dreadful crisis we never wanted. Some even keep complaining about the current situation.

I was like this throughout the start of this lockdown. Although, I managed to change my perception of things and look more into things I am grateful for, such as food, shelter, and all the time in the world to focus on myself and regain a healthier and better lifestyle. I also get to bond more with my family. Most importantly, I could rest, which was something I have been longing for and am now blessed with. When I look at it, it does not even seem that I am in the worst situation.

I want to encourage everyone to continue praying for those people struggling to meet their needs, the medical workers, along with all the frontliners. There is hope for a better tomorrow. It states in one of today’s verses that we are not dead, but currently living. Although the Lord has chastised us with this crisis, He has not ended our lives. This is just a minor setback. We should see that we will get through this altogether and that life will go on no matter what. We should only place our faith and trust in the Lord, as He works and delivers His plans for us.

Prayer
Dearest Lord, thank You for this day, for giving us time to rest and focus on ourselves. Thank you for bringing us closer to our families and keeping us safe in our homes. We pray that You may give strength to all our frontliners, and competence for our government leaders to make better decisions. Guide each and everyone of us throughout this pandemic. Amen.

Author

wc-josh

Click on the bubble to find out more about Josh!

Photo by Chris Barbalis (@cbarbalis at unsplash.com)