Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Heart to Serve

First Reading
Exodus 32:7-11, 13-14

The LORD said to Moses,
“Go down at once to your people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt,
for they have become depraved.
They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them,
making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it,
sacrificing to it and crying out,
‘This is your God, O Israel,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt!’
“I see how stiff-necked this people is, ” continued the LORD to Moses.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses implored the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.'”
So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 17, 19
R. (Lk 15:18) I will rise and go to my father.

Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. I will rise and go to my father.
O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. I will rise and go to my father.

Second Reading
1 Timothy 1:12-17

Beloved:
I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and arrogant,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Of these I am the foremost.
But for that reason I was mercifully treated,
so that in me, as the foremost,
Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example
for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

Gospel
Luke 15:1-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”

Then he said,
“A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
‘Father give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
‘How many of my father’s hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him,
and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.’
But his father ordered his servants,
‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.’
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
‘Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.’
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
‘Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns,
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’
He said to him,
‘My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.’”

Or
Luke 15:1-10

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So to them he addressed this parable.
“What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
and go after the lost one until he finds it?
And when he does find it,
he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
and, upon his arrival home,
he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you, in just the same way
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous people
who have no need of repentance.

“Or what woman having ten coins and losing one
would not light a lamp and sweep the house,
searching carefully until she finds it?
And when she does find it,
she calls together her friends and neighbors
and says to them,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’
In just the same way, I tell you,
there will be rejoicing among the angels of God
over one sinner who repents.”


bart-larue-jMd3WS9LBcc-unsplash.jpg

“But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life. To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God,
honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:16-17)

REFLECTION
I believe I was called to serve and help others. I want to make people happy in my own little ways. I always want to care for others rather than myself. However, there were days where I’ve lost my patience to continue being a blessing to them. I felt that I’m not appreciated, I became tired of giving. I questioned God why am I struggling and felt broken. 

I asked the Lord to give me strength again to be patient, loving and understanding just as how Jesus is to us. As I felt His love, I realized to put God first above all things. Oftentimes, we feel unworthy of what God has called us to do. But God qualifies the called. He will enable us and provide for us. Our life may not be a smooth journey but when we trust Him, everything will fall into place. 

We live in a world full of distractions, temptations and sins. Let us fix our eyes on God and the eternal life He has promised us. It will be difficult day and night but be still and know that He is God. 

Sometimes, I doubt God’s power but I was reminded that God is an omnipotent God. He knows and can do everything. He knows our hearts. God is willing to reach out and connect with us to have a personal relationship with Him. 

God is patiently waiting for us, He wants us. Today, we are reminded that God’s forgiveness and mercy is always available and ready for us. God has so much in store for us, if we will just let Him.

Prayer
Father God, thank You for showing me the value of patience. Lead me to a life that will always honor and glorify You. Help me to have a heart to serve You always and put You first above everything. Strengthen me to continue what You called me to do. Amen.

Author
wc-gillian.jpg

Photo by: Bart LaRue (@bartlarueepler at unsplash.com)

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

50 Pesos

First Reading
IS 25:6-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Gospel
MT 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.


outfits

“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” (Matthew 15:33)

REFLECTION
During my high school years, I would always ask my sister if I could borrow clothes from her. I thought that her clothes were better than mine. I was never satisfied with what I had. I felt that I don’t look good with what I wear. Whenever I ask if I could borrow, she would not give it to me easily. “Pahiram naman ako nito.” (May I borrow this?) , I asked. “Sige, 50 pesos tapos balik mo rin.”(Yeah sure, after you give me 50 pesos.) , she answered.

Hearing that response makes me feel sad, annoyed and confused. I asked myself why does she have to do that. However, I agreed with the condition she gave me because I really wanted to be satisfied. There are also times when she borrows from me and I said only if I could borrow from her without any condition. Eventually, we learned to share clothes without any hesitation. My sister and I may have a lot of arguments but now that we care about each other, we had a better relationship.

This story in my life reminds us to be content in life and share to others the things we have. When we give and share to others, you will receive more than what you give. God showers us blessings everyday. He is a generous God and always provides for us. There is no cost for receiving His love for us in our life. Friends, just as Jesus sacrificed for us, may we always be selfless and reach out to others. No matter how big or small, it will bring joy to people.

Prayer
Lord Jesus, thank You for all the blessings You have given us. Teach me to be generous like You. May I always be grateful for everything You give me. Forgive me for my selfishness and cleanse my heart to be like You. Amen.

Author

Gillian Hernandez, YLSS # 27, gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Leap of Faith

First Reading
EX 12:37-42
The children of Israel set out from Rameses for Succoth,
about six hundred thousand men on foot,
not counting the little ones.
A crowd of mixed ancestry also went up with them,
besides their livestock, very numerous flocks and herds.
Since the dough they had brought out of Egypt was not leavened,
they baked it into unleavened loaves.
They had rushed out of Egypt and had no opportunity
even to prepare food for the journey.

The time the children of Israel had stayed in Egypt
was four hundred and thirty years.
At the end of four hundred and thirty years,
all the hosts of the LORD left the land of Egypt on this very date.
This was a night of vigil for the LORD,
as he led them out of the land of Egypt;
so on this same night
all the children of Israel must keep a vigil for the LORD
throughout their generations.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 136:1 AND 23-24, 10-12, 13-15
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who remembered us in our abjection,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Who smote the Egyptians in their first-born,
for his mercy endures forever;
And brought out Israel from their midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
With a mighty hand and an outstretched arm,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Who split the Red Sea in twain,
for his mercy endures forever;
And led Israel through its midst,
for his mercy endures forever;
But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
MT 12:14-21
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus
to put him to death.

When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place.
Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
but he warned them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
And in his name the Gentiles will hope.


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“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight.” (Matthew 12:18)

REFLECTION

I have been in the BLD Youth Ministry for more or less than 7 years.

To start my journey with God and the community, I joined the Registration Team. After just a few years, I was surprised to find myself being asked to be no longer just a member, but to become the head of that same team! I prayed and asked His guidance with this calling, but I said yes. I rarely missed our Saturday prayer meetings because I was always excited with my new responsibility. It was not always so easy and exciting, though. I enjoyed being with my members, organizing our materials and, most importantly, bringing joy to others. However, I realized that service wasn’t always easy because of all the pressure, failure, misunderstanding and stress. There came a time when I was really tired of my service and I doubted my growth in the community.

I found out that God isn’t someone who would give up on me. Just a few months ago, I was asked to become the Finance Head! I usually say yes to His calling, but at that moment it was difficult for me to let go of the registration ministry that was really close to my heart. Still, I understand that God knows best and so I took that leap of faith.

I thank the Lord for giving me a heart of service. Truly, I was blessed with the chance to serve God with the other youth members and I could not ask for more. At times, we may not know our purpose in life, but we are always reminded that God calls us to serve in many different ways. We just have to surrender everything and allow His love to remain in us. Keep on holding on! Just have faith in Him and overflowing blessings will fill your heart! – Gillian Hernandez (gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me chance to serve in our youth community. Thank you for helping me to always have faith in you in whatever trial I may face. May you continue to guide me throughout my service and teach me Your ways. I offer up everything to you as my heart be filled once again with your most perfect love. Amen.

Reflection Question

Do you surrender to Him and take a leap of faith?

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Wedding Day #ForeverYang

First Reading
WIS 1:13-15; 2:23-24
God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.
For he fashioned all things that they might have being;
and the creatures of the world are wholesome,
and there is not a destructive drug among them
nor any domain of the netherworld on earth,
for justice is undying.
For God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him.
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13
R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

Second Reading
2 COR 8:7, 9, 13-15
Brothers and sisters:
As you excel in every respect, in faith, discourse,
knowledge, all earnestness, and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
As it is written:
Whoever had much did not have more,
and whoever had little did not have less.

Gospel
MK 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.
She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors
and had spent all that she had.
Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.
She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd
and touched his cloak.
She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”
Immediately her flow of blood dried up.
She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him,
turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”
But his disciples said to Jesus,
“You see how the crowd is pressing upon you,
and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
And he looked around to see who had done it.
The woman, realizing what had happened to her,
approached in fear and trembling.
She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you.
Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”While he was still speaking,
people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.

Or MK 5:21-24, 35B-43
When Jesus had crossed again the boat
to the other side,
a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.
One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward.
Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying,
“My daughter is at the point of death.
Please, come lay your hands on her
that she may get well and live.”
He went off with him,
and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said,
“Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”
Disregarding the message that was reported,
Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”
He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside
except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.
When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official,
he caught sight of a commotion,
people weeping and wailing loudly.
So he went in and said to them,
“Why this commotion and weeping?
The child is not dead but asleep.”
And they ridiculed him.
Then he put them all out.
He took along the child’s father and mother
and those who were with him
and entered the room where the child was.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,”
which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
At that they were utterly astounded.
He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.


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“He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)

REFLECTION

There are times in our life when our faith is tested in many ways. Last week was really memorable for our family. It was the time when my eldest sister got married. Since my mom and my little sister stay in Australia, few weeks before the wedding day, we were informed that they won’t be able to come. I was worried and sad about it. I hoped and prayed that my mom could witness the wonderful wedding of her first child.

To our surprise, two days before the wedding day, we got a call from my mom and she told us that she could already come together with my little sister. During the wedding day, I felt really happy for we were once complete as a family. It was a blessing for my whole family to be there. I’m grateful to see my sister enjoy her special day and see the wedding become a very beautiful one.

There will be times when we really don’t know what to do and lack faith. Just when I got miserable knowing that I won’t see my family complete again on the wedding day, God turned things around. He cured me from my suffering. No matter how small faith I had, He used it to give me hope and true enough, God never fails to give us sweet surprises. We just need to cling to Him. – Gillian Hernandez (gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com)

Reflection Question

When was the time you felt that God saved you from all your doubts and worries?

Prayer

Lord God, thank You for Your saving grace. Truly, Father You never fail to turn all my struggles into blessings. I pray that I may have faith in You alone in every day of my life. Amen.

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Greater and Bigger

First Reading
Acts 19:1-8

While Apollos was in Corinth,
Paul traveled through the interior of the country
and down to Ephesus where he found some disciples.
He said to them,
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him,
“We have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
He said, “How were you baptized?”
They replied, “With the baptism of John.”
Paul then said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance,
telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him,
that is, in Jesus.”
When they heard this,
they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
And when Paul laid his hands on them,
the Holy Spirit came upon them,
and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.
Altogether there were about twelve men.

He entered the synagogue, and for three months debated boldly
with persuasive arguments about the Kingdom of God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:2-3AB, 4-5ACD, 6-7AB
R. (33a) Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

God arises; his enemies are scattered,
and those who hate him flee before him.
As smoke is driven away, so are they driven;
as wax melts before the fire.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

But the just rejoice and exult before God;
they are glad and rejoice.
Sing to God, chant praise to his name;
whose name is the LORD.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The father of orphans and the defender of widows
is God in his holy dwelling.
God gives a home to the forsaken;
he leads forth prisoners to prosperity.
R. Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 16:29-33

The disciples said to Jesus,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything
and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home
and you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble,
but take courage, I have conquered the world.”


 

depressed

“In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)

REFLECTION

“Di ko kaya.”

You can always hear this line from me. I always doubt, worry and have fear about things. Everytime I’m asked to do a big task or face challenges, I’m afraid of it. Back in 2011, when our family got broken, I was really at my darkest moment and it was difficult for me to accept everything. I had a hard time to adjust. I questioned my faith in God, slowly I felt weak until I told myself “di ko na kaya”. From then on, my heart was filled with unworthiness and when being asked to do a task, I would respond that I cannot do it. I would always say that other people are better than me. I wanted to be strong and happy all the time but still I cannot handle it all by myself.

Even though I faced problems, I did not stop praying and serving the Lord. I continued to say yes to Him despite everything. I became more active in our community and really felt God’s love because even when I doubted, He was still there for me. He helped me to turn all my sorrows into joy.

Our God is GREATER and BIGGER than all our problems. No matter how we feel weak, He is strong enough to conquer anything for us. The Lord will always be there to take care of you, of your worries and of all your doubts. Take courage and have faith.  – Gillian Hernandez (gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for all the trials in my life that turned into blessings. Thank You for being my strength and my savior. I pray that I may continue to believe in You, to trust in You alone that I can go through every battle that will come into my life. May You guide me always to face each day with joy, peace and love. Amen.

Reflection Question

How did you see Jesus in your problems or challenges?

 

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Lost Sheep

First Reading
Acts 4:8-12

Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said:
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
I will give thanks to you, for you have answered me
and have been my savior.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his kindness endures forever.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 John 3:1-2

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

Gospel
John 10:11-18

Jesus said:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and I know mine and mine know me,
just as the Father knows me and I know the Father;
and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”


  

 
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)

REFLECTION
Last year, I was really grateful and excited after graduating college. But then, I had that question in mind, what’s next? I don’t know if I should start working at once or put up my own business or just rest. I was stuck in that moment where I don’t know what to do, where to go, and how to fulfill my dreams. In short, I was lost. I was a lost sheep last year. I had a lot of failures with my family and relationships. I felt that I was alone in facing every problem. I’m a kind of person who always wants to show others that I’m strong and happy. I just enjoyed my break and forgot about my health, my family, relationships and my career path. I also lost my deep relationship with my God. Unfortunately, I found myself miserable, worthless and lonely.

With His grace, Jesus did not give up on me. I just continued to pray what I need to do and where He wants me to go. I surrendered to Him all my worries, doubts and fears until that time came when Jesus saved me from being that lost sheep. I believe that when we call His name, He will help us through every trial because He loved us so much and died on the cross to save us all.

In our journey with God, we may find ourselves as the sheep who longs for His love. The good shepherd has come to save you, fill your broken hearts and give you strength. Believe that Jesus will always be there for you no matter what. He laid down his life to raise you up. – Gillian Hernandez (gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com)

Prayer
Lord Jesus, Thank you for being a good shepherd to save me from all my weaknesses and failures. Thank you for your amazing grace! I pray today that I may have the courage to follow Your ways and be like You. Guide me to lead others to the right path. Amen.

Reflection Question
When was the time you found yourself lost? How did Jesus save you?

Gillian Hernandez, Little Whispers

Rainbow

First Reading
1 MC 4:36-37, 52-59

Judas and his brothers said,
“Now that our enemies have been crushed,
let us go up to purify the sanctuary and rededicate it.”
So the whole army assembled, and went up to Mount Zion.

Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month,
that is, the month of Chislev,
in the year one hundred and forty-eight,
they arose and offered sacrifice according to the law
on the new altar of burnt offerings that they had made.
On the anniversary of the day on which the Gentiles had defiled it,
on that very day it was reconsecrated
with songs, harps, flutes, and cymbals.
All the people prostrated themselves and adored and praised Heaven,
who had given them success.

For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar
and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices
of deliverance and praise.
They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields;
they repaired the gates and the priests’ chambers
and furnished them with doors.
There was great joy among the people
now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed.
Then Judas and his brothers and the entire congregation of Israel
decreed that the days of the dedication of the altar
should be observed with joy and gladness
on the anniversary every year for eight days,
from the twenty-fifth day of the month Chislev.

Responsorial Psalm
1 CHR 29:10BCD, 11ABC, 11D-12A, 12BCD
R. (13b) We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.

“Blessed may you be, O LORD,
God of Israel our father,
from eternity to eternity.”
R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
“Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power,
majesty, splendor, and glory.
For all in heaven and on earth is yours.”
R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
“Yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty;
you are exalted as head over all.
Riches and honor are from you.”
R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.
“You have dominion over all,
In your hand are power and might;
it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.”
R. We praise your glorious name, O mighty God.

Gospel
LK 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

________________________________________

rainbow

REFLECTION

“My house shall be a house of prayer.” –Lk 19:46

During the first week of this month, super typhoon Yolanda hit the Visayas region. This heartbreaking disaster unexpectedly happened in the Philippines. People died, lost their homes, lost their loved ones, have nothing to eat, nothing to drink. Families were separated, they don’t know where to go, they are depressed, broken, hurt and in pain.

We heard different depressing and sad stories that made us question our faith and made us worry why does it have to happen to our brothers and sisters. We do not know what we can do to help them recover from the typhoon. But the Lordgives trials to the strongest people and He knows that this storm will help the country come together as one and pray. All that we can do after the calamity not to blame the Lord for everything but to take time to seek God. After all, there are good and wonderful stories, from children who made letters of hope, from international countries who reached out to our country, different organizations and big companies who donated so much, and for everyone in our country who helps in their own little ways. There is hope. There is a rainbow after all the tears. It’s just amazing because on the 7th day of hope, literally, a rainbow appeared in Leyte. That’s how great our God is!

Prayer is the way to align us with God’s will. To every question, He will answer it. To every problem, He listens and saves us from it. To every prayer we have, God truly heals our hearts. -Gillian Hernandez (gilliaanhernandez@yahoo.com)

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of hope. Thank you for saving Your people. I come to you and seek You with all my heart, my mind and my soul. With you, nothing is impossible. Let Your will be done. Amen.

Reflection Question

Do I take time to seek God and pray unceasingly?