Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

Change

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

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

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

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

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

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


photo-1521127307357-3701b855583c

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author

wc-josh

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

 

Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

The Prayer

First Reading
Jonah 4:1-11

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

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

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

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

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

Gospel
Luke 11:1-4

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author

wc-josh.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Josh!

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

Joshua Hernandez, Little Whispers

A True Mother

First Reading
1 TM 3:1-13

Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil’s punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil’s trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 101:1B-2AB, 2CD-3AB, 5, 6
R. (2) I will walk with blameless heart.

Of mercy and judgment I will sing;
to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.
I will persevere in the way of integrity;
when will you come to me?
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
I will walk with blameless heart,
within my house;
I will not set before my eyes
any base thing.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret,
him will I destroy.
The man of haughty eyes and puffed up heart
I will not endure.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.
My eyes are upon the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in the way of integrity
shall be in my service.
R. I will walk with blameless heart.

Gospel
JN 19:25-27

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary Magdalene.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved
he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”
Then he said to the disciple,
“Behold, your mother.”
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Or
LK 2:33-35

Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
and you yourself a sword will pierce
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”


 

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“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.'” (John 19:26)

REFLECTION
My mom is currently working abroad and doing her best to support my siblings and I. Even though we are physically apart, she always tries her best to contact me through video chat through the internet. She also shares stories with me about her life with my youngest sister in Australia. She also loves to ask me questions. Her most frequent question is the one I fear the most, which is “How are your grades?” This just shows how much she cares, because she always wants to be updated about my life.

My mother is one of the most loving and significant persons in my life. You may all have your opinions about your mothers, but for me a mother is not just someone who gave birth to you. She is someone who would do anything for you to make you feel happy and safe no matter what. She would prioritize your problems first before her own problems. Mothers will always be there for you in every aspect of life. Sometimes we feel angry at them for being a little annoying because they keep on asking about your day or other details. But to them that simple answer of yours is enough to relieve them of all their problems, because they know that you are safe or that you feel alright.

In today’s gospel, Mother Mary was standing right next to Jesus at the verge of his crucifixion. She did not leave or feel ashamed of having a son who was accused as a criminal. She stood right by His side until the very end, and that makes Mother Mary a perfect example of a mother. God has blessed us with a mother who we should learn to love and respect as much as they love us – a true mother, who will always show acts of unconditional love to each and every one of us.

Prayer
Dear God, Thank you for all our mothers who will love us forever. Thank you for giving us someone who will be there for us no matter what challenge in life we go through. I hope all the mothers out there would be loved as much as they do for their families.

Lord, bless all the mothers around the world to be strengthened by your Holy Spirit and be guided always. May You guide us children that we may not give our mothers a hard time in taking care of us. Amen.

Author

hernandez-josh-wc

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