Jojo Jalandoni, Little Whispers

Pass

First Reading
DN 7:2-14

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

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

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

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

Responsorial Psalm
DANIEL 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81

R.Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!
“All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him!

Gospel
LK 21:29-33

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


end

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away.” (Luke 22:33)

REFLECTION

The readings are the 2nd to the last for this liturgical year. Scary and distressing illustrations of what to expect before the end times are enumerated. Wars, violence, corruption, poverty, climate change, broken relationships in the family, and what have you are cited as examples. And everyone will experience in one form or another these challenges.

Our response is key. How open, trusting and obedient we are of God’s ways will determine how receptive we are to His blessings. Do we easily become disheartened, disappointed and discouraged as we go through our daily challenges in life? Or do we continue to pray, go to mass regularly, exercise the Sacraments despite the situation we find ourselves in – surrendering to God all our trials and troubles?

But the Lord, in His infinite love for all of us, continues to teach us to keep the faith, obey His Word, and persevere with patient endurance.  He asks us to keep our eyes on Him and on Him alone, guided by His Word – which does not return to Him void. He wants us to be open and sensitive to the enabling gifts and fruit of His Holy Spirit for this is the only we may be able to hurdle our tests and challenges in life.

Thus, it can be said that the Lord continues to remind us that no matter what happens, His promise to redeem us through and by His Word will come to pass because He cannot deny Himself.

Prayer
Lord, Your word says… Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away! You also have given us dominion over all Your creation. By these assurances, we now use Your Words to expel anything and everything that hinders us from knowing, serving and loving You. Cause us to stand firm and persevere in our faith, hope and love of You. Amen.

Author

Jojo Jalandoni (jojojalandoni@yahoo.com)

Jojo Jalandoni, Little Whispers

Persistent Prayer

First Reading
Gn 18:20-32

In those days, the LORD said: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great,
and their sin so grave,
that I must go down and see whether or not their actions
fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.
I mean to find out.”

While Abraham’s visitors walked on farther toward Sodom,
the LORD remained standing before Abraham.
Then Abraham drew nearer and said:
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The LORD replied,
“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom,
I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham spoke up again:
“See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord,
though I am but dust and ashes!
What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”
But Abraham persisted, saying “What if only forty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it for the sake of the forty.”
Then Abraham said, “Let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on.
What if only thirty are found there?”
He replied, “I will forbear doing it if I can find but thirty there.”
Still Abraham went on,
“Since I have thus dared to speak to my Lord,
what if there are no more than twenty?”
The LORD answered, “I will not destroy it, for the sake of the twenty.”
But he still persisted:
“Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.
What if there are at least ten there?”
He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8
R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple
and give thanks to your name.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees,
and the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk amid distress, you preserve me;
against the anger of my enemies you raise your hand.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Second Reading
Col 2:12-14

Brothers and sisters:
You were buried with him in baptism,
in which you were also raised with him
through faith in the power of God,
who raised him from the dead.
And even when you were dead
in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh,
he brought you to life along with him,
having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.

Gospel
Lk 11:1-13

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,’
and he says in reply from within,
‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.’
I tell you,
if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
______________________________________________________________________________

July 20

REFLECTION

“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” – Lk 11: 1

Do I know how to pray? Yes, indeed, I know how to pray! But the question is, am I persistent in my prayers? Or do I just pray whenever I find the need for it? One thing I have learned about praying to God is that I have to be persistent in my prayers to Him. I have to regularly communicate with Him because in prayer, God is at His weakest and I become strong!

The past year has been very challenging for me – my business partner stole a substantial amount of money from me, I went through an angioplasty procedure and do not know where to get the money to retire the bills, the business I put up is floundering and I might just close shop altogether by the end of this month. And yet, I find myself going down on my knees daily and hear mass. The challenges are still there, but the peace, solace and love I experience every after I pray makes me to completely rely on God, knowing fully well that my God is just around the corner doing something about my situation. And God does not only answer my prayer, He also gives me the heart & character of Jesus so that I may live in Him. Persistent prayer to me then is: the most powerful weapon against trials, the most effective medicine against sickness and the most valuable gift to someone you love. – Jojo Jalandoni (jojojalandoni@yahoo.com)

Prayer:

Lord, grant me a fresh anointing as I pray, so that I may get to know you more, love you more despite the situation I find myself in. Amen.

Reflection question:

How is my prayer life?