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

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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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CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Year On Year

First Reading
Baruch 4:5-12, 27-29

Fear not, my people!
Remember, Israel,
You were sold to the nations
not for your destruction;
It was because you angered God
that you were handed over to your foes.
For you provoked your Maker
with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods;
You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you,
and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.
She indeed saw coming upon you
the anger of God; and she said:

“Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
God has brought great mourning upon me,
For I have seen the captivity
that the Eternal God has brought
upon my sons and daughters.
With joy I fostered them;
but with mourning and lament I let them go.
Let no one gloat over me, a widow,
bereft of many:
For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
because they turned from the law of God.

Fear not, my children; call out to God!
He who brought this upon you will remember you.
As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
turn now ten times the more to seek him;
For he who has brought disaster upon you
will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 69:33-35, 36-37
R.(34) The Lord listens to the poor.

“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
the seas and whatever moves in them!”
R. The Lord listens to the poor.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
They shall dwell in the land and own it,
and the descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. The Lord listens to the poor.

Gospel
Luke 10:17-24

The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power
‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy
and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”


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“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:23-24)

REFLECTION
Have you noticed how different your prayers change, year on year as you get older?

I remember when I was around 10 years old, I was crying while in prayer because I feel bad towards my mom. She wouldn’t let me buy ice cream after a trip at the supermarket, so I prayed to Jesus that she’d allow me to get one on the next. As young as I was, my prayers were centered about my sake; puro tungkol sa akin (My prayers were all about me). But that was because my view in life was very limited before.

Jump to when I was 16, I was praying for a good future because I was already entering college. I prayed to get in a well-recognized school, because I believe this is how I can give tribute to the hard work of my parents for sustaining me. My prayers involved the closest people to my heart; I had no other care in the world but to just focus on my family.

Now, I am 23 and praying for a community – the BLD Youth Ministry. I am already on my 7th year of service and currently working with different ministries so we can get to the vision we want for the youth. I realized that I am finally praying for something that has Jesus in the center of it; I am now praying with a purpose.

My dear friends, today’s readings remind us that our prayers and actions are very powerful. Jesus asks us to be of childlike nature for when we finally receive the blessings that come with it, we must allow it to serve the purpose it was given for. And when we see the fruits of our labor as we work on His mission, we must receive it with humility in our hearts. Leave no room for individual honor, for humility should always be our guiding light, just like what Jesus taught us.

Reflection Song

See A Victory by Elevation Worship

Author

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CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Delayed Gratification

First Reading
Numbers 21:4B-9
With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Second Reading
Philippians 2:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel
John 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.


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“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3: 17)

REFLECTION
Last May, I finally found the courage to file my resignation in the first company that I worked for. I realized that it was time to pursue the dreams I have been delaying — working in a career in marketing, studying in graduate school and saving enough to get a place of my own. I was sure of my decision, but it was still hard to leave a job I learned to love. It did not help that I was leaving behind workmates who were like family. It was a heavy cross to bear.

I was jobless for a while after that. I slept in most days; I did not have to wake up early and I did not have anything to do. However, not every day was a happy day. After every interview I go to, I found myself going to the church, sitting there and just crying my heart out. I was confused, and started to lose hope. I even questioned myself.

“Was it even worth it to let go of everything just for my dreams? Did I deserve this? Am I not good enough?”

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the Gospel, God our Father gave His only Son to save us from our sins. Jesus was scared, and doubted Himself if He was worthy of the mission given to Him, and confused as to why He had to bear a cross all for this. He did not back out, though. Instead, He carried the cross with all His strength. In His final breath, He declared that “it is done.”

Just this August, I finally got accepted to my dream position with a company that recognizes my potential. I also passed to a graduate program that will help me further in my track. And now, I am working to save up for a place of my own.

Friends, we all have a cross to bear and it is not something that we can just drop. But remember, that in those moments where we feel like that ‘cross’ is burying our feet to the ground, Jesus is beside us carrying it too. There will be days where it is heavier than usual, or maybe you feel like you are not getting to where you want to be because of it. Find it in your heart to believe that Jesus is working it out with you. Trust His timing, strength, and love.

It might take a while for your cross to get light, but hey, that is why we call it delayed gratification.

Reflection Song

Trust in You by Lauren Daigle

Author

wc-cj

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Photo by: Cj Goronio

CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

The Influencer

First Reading
Deuteronomy 10:12-22
Moses said to the people:
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord, your God, ask of you
but to fear the Lord, your God, and follow his ways exactly,
to love and serve the Lord, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul,
to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord
which I enjoin on you today for your own good?
Think! The heavens, even the highest heavens,
belong to the Lord, your God,
as well as the earth and everything on it.
Yet in his love for your fathers the LORD was so attached to them
as to choose you, their descendants,
in preference to all other peoples, as indeed he has now done.
Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and be no longer stiff-necked.
For the Lord, your God, is the God of gods,
the Lord of Lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,
who has no favorites, accepts no bribes;
who executes justice for the orphan and the widow,
and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him.
So you too must befriend the alien,
for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.
The Lord, your God, shall you fear, and him shall you serve;
hold fast to him and swear by his name.
He is your glory, he, your God,
who has done for you those great and terrible things
which your own eyes have seen.
Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy strong,
and now the Lord, your God,
has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20
R. (12a) Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem;
praise your God, O Zion.
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has granted peace in your borders;
with the best of wheat he fills you.
He sends forth his command to the earth;
swiftly runs his word!
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.
He has proclaimed his word to Jacob,
his statutes and his ordinances to Israel.
He has not done thus for any other nation;
his ordinances he has not made known to them. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.

Gospel
Matthew 17:22-27
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee,
Jesus said to them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men,
and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.”
And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum,
the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said,
“Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?”
“Yes,” he said.
When he came into the house, before he had time to speak,
Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon?
From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax?
From their subjects or from foreigners?”
When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him,
“Then the subjects are exempt.
But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook,
and take the first fish that comes up.
Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax.
Give that to them for me and for you.”


“.. now the Lord, your God, has made you as numerous as the stars of the sky.” (Deuteronomy 10:22)

Mobile

REFLECTION
I grew up in a time when the concept of social media was just starting. I had accounts from the ones you use today like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but I was also active in those that are non-existent already like Plurk, Multiply and Friendster. You can only imagine the time I spent in these platforms–customizing backgrounds, putting music, and even changing the cursor for when you visit my profile. I put in the effort simply because I wanted to do the same things that my friends were doing. They were my “influencers” back then.

Eventually, my set of influencers changed. I now follow people who I look up to for recommendations on things, like clothes and food. There was also a person who does boxing, and actually inspired me to do the same. Being an influencer now bears a deeper meaning, because people who hold this prestige can actually change our mindset; from lifestyle decisions up to how we form opinions on things.

And this, my friends, is the message of today’s readings. It gives us an image that resembles greatly how Jesus lived His life – kind, humble, and accepting of differences. But this is given to us with a purpose. When we become Jesus-like to our neighbors, we become agents of His word and love. We give others the chance to be like Him, and believe that they can help others to do the same. Then, like stars in the sky (as promised by God our Father), the goodness we show multiply with the people we influence. Today, we are being tapped as modern-day Jesus-influencers, so let us bear this title well!

Reflection Song

Author

wc-cj

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CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Time Travel

First Reading
1 JN 2:12-17

I am writing to you, children,
because your sins have been forgiven for his name’s sake.

I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the Evil One.

I write to you, children,
because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world.
If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life,
is not from the Father but is from the world.
Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.
But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:7-8A, 8B-9, 10
R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Bring gifts, and enter his courts;
worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel
LK 2:36-40

There was a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.


bubbles

“Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.”  (John 2:17)

REFLECTION
I have this favorite movie to watch entitled “About Time.” It’s about a guy who has the ability to time travel and change his fate. The ability was passed on to each boy in their clan, so his father had the same abilities. They had such a loving relationship with one another that the guy would do anything for his dad.

But then the dad was dying because of cancer and going back in time couldn’t save him anymore. So during their last father-and-son conversation, the father asked him to live a day without changing anything then go back in time and live it again.

And so, he did his usual routine: wake up, prepare breakfast, be stressed in work, be annoyed by the commute home, and go back to bed. Then he lived the same day again. This time, he was able to appreciate and notice more of the little things: the greetings of his co-workers, the band playing on the street, and the hugs of his kids.

And that my friends, is where I connect today’s readings: sometimes we become so tired of our daily routine or on the things that we already have, that we pray and request for something new or something more to happen. We forget to realize that everyday, God has already been blessing us little by little through the people we are with and to the things that we already have.

We don’t have the ability to go back in time, so for this coming New Year, let us not waste our wishes into asking for new relationships, new materials and new experiences but rather continuation of the great things that Has blessed us this year. Let us open our hearts and allow Him to reveal to us His amazing plans, because no relationship, no material, and no experience is compared to His everlasting love.

PS: Watch the movie if you can! 🙂

Reflection Song

Your Grace Is Enough By Chris Tomlin

Author

goronio-cj-wcClick on the image to find out more about Cj!

CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

The Man Who Stood Out

First Reading
DT 31:1-8
When Moses had finished speaking to all Israel, he said to them,
“I am now one hundred and twenty years old
and am no longer able to move about freely;
besides, the LORD has told me that I shall not cross this Jordan.
It is the LORD, your God, who will cross before you;
he will destroy these nations before you,
that you may supplant them.
It is Joshua who will cross before you, as the LORD promised.
The LORD will deal with them just as he dealt with Sihon and Og,
the kings of the Amorites whom he destroyed,
and with their country.
When, therefore, the LORD delivers them up to you,
you must deal with them exactly as I have ordered you.
Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them,
for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you;
he will never fail you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel
said to him, “Be brave and steadfast,
for you must bring this people into the land
which the LORD swore to their fathers he would give them;
you must put them in possession of their heritage.
It is the LORD who marches before you;
he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.
So do not fear or be dismayed.”

Responsorial Psalm
DEUTERONOMY 32:3-4AB, 7, 8, 9 AND 12
R. (9a) The portion of the Lord is his people.

For I will sing the LORD’s renown.
Oh, proclaim the greatness of our God!
The Rock–how faultless are his deeds,
how right all his ways!
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
Think back on the days of old,
reflect on the years of age upon age.
Ask your father and he will inform you,
ask your elders and they will tell you.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
When the Most High assigned the nations their heritage,
when he parceled out the descendants of Adam,
He set up the boundaries of the peoples
after the number of the sons of Israel.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
While the LORD’s own portion was Jacob,
his hereditary share was Israel.
The LORD alone was their leader,
no strange god was with him.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

Gospel
MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”


Standing out from the crowd concept

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” (Matthew 18:12)

REFLECTION
I have a bestfriend in college, named Jo. I still remember the first day we met and how he stood out from everyone: he’s funny, rowdy and spontaneous but not everyone liked him (at first). I felt bad for him so I befriended him. It turns out we had a lot in common, from being bad at math to being competitive in cooking. We’ve been through a lot, being friends for 4 years and because of this, we have some rough patches.

There was a time in 2nd year where he started to drift away. He wouldn’t answer my calls and if he did, he would often say he’s busy. He started hanging out with a different crowd, doing all sorts of stuff and it worried us. My friends told me that I’m the only one who can talk some sense out of him but I would hesitate to talk because it hurts to see him hangout with other people, making me feel like he’s disregarding our friendship. But out of worry and care, I talked to him and told him how he’s making us all feel. I told him that despite his actions, he would always find a friend in me; that with just one call, I will be there.

Eventually, he made peace with our friends and me. We were all happy to see him hang out with us again, making our group of friends complete once more.

It’s also the same with God. We would often share things with Him like our dreams, the amazing friends we met, or even the homework we’re going to do. Simply anything! We are so personal with Him that He becomes our bestfriend and He always rejoices because of that. But like any friendship, we sometimes forget God. We find ourselves astray, distracted by our realities and pain that we find it hard to converse with Him.

But do you know what’s so great about Him? Despite us leaving from time to time, He always looks for us and reminds us everyday that He’s our bestfriend. All we have to do is stop and let Him find His way into our hearts.

Reflection Song

Ninenty-Nine By Citipointe Live

Author

goronio-cj-wc

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