Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

#Woke With Love

First Reading
Numbers 21:4-9
From Mount Hor the children of Israel set out on the Red Sea road,
to bypass the land of Edom.
But 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 away from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and whoever looks at it after being bitten 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 102:2-3, 16-18, 19-21
R.    (2)  O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
O LORD, hear my prayer,
and let my cry come to you.
Hide not your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
in the day when I call, answer me speedily.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer.
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.”
R.    O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come to you.

Gospel
John 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.


photo-1515378960530-7c0da6231fb1
“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me.” (John 8:28)

REFLECTION
Typing at a hundred words per minute, skipping heartbeats, and meeting eyebrows, knowing no chill, I type away to rebut a friend’s Facebook post. “How could you say such things when we are in the middle of a global crisis?” I thought to myself at the news of Community Quarantine for COVID-19 in Manila. Maybe a thousand more “friends” thinking the same of each other, even if they are on opposing arguments. After a million deep breaths, I thought, “If I post this, what makes me different from this person?” Backspace. Funny thing about humility. If I demand from my friend to give caution to his words, I must first exercise it by taking a moment to see where he is coming from. If I want to correct those who act unlovingly, I must first be loving to them. 

Scrolling through, I felt upset at the amount of hate on my feed. Doesn’t this remind us of today’s first reading—patience worn out, people complaining about everything? It is necessary to call out things that concern us especially if they are wrong. But if we do it without love, we are depriving those we correct of the very things we require from them. Are we so obsessed with being right or appearing woke that we forget that we discuss these issues to help others? This spirit of fury, as Pope Francis called, is destroying us – a (worse) pandemic in itself! It’s not enough to be #woke. Above all, we need to love. 

Today, we are called to stop and look to God first as the Israelites in the desert looked to the saraph and lived. Like Jesus, who did not do anything on His own, who only said what the Father told Him, let us rely on God and let Him lead us in all that we do. For many of us, our best (and only) weapons are to stay home, pray, donate and post online (or not). In all these, we are called to lift up the Son of Man. We lift Him up when we lift each other up.

Reflection Questions
Have I taken the time to stop and listen to God? What does God want me to do during this quarantine? How does He want me to respond?

Prayer
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace to fight against the evil spirit, to dialogue when we need to dialogue, but, in the face of the spirit of fury, to have the courage to remain silent, and allow others to speak.” – Pope Francis

Author

wc-ali

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ali!

Photo by Christin Hume (@christinhumephoto at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

I See You

First Reading
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.
The mind of a sage appreciates proverbs,
and an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
Water quenches a flaming fire,
and alms atone for sins.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
R. (cf. 11b) God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

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. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
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. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R. God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor.

Second Reading
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24A

Brothers and sisters:
You have not approached that which could be touched
and a blazing fire and gloomy darkness
and storm and a trumpet blast
and a voice speaking words such that those who heard
begged that no message be further addressed to them.
No, you have approached Mount Zion
and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,
and countless angels in festal gathering,
and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven,
and God the judge of all,
and the spirits of the just made perfect,
and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant,
and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel.

Gospel
Luke 14:1, 7-14

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited,
noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table.
“When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet,
do not recline at table in the place of honor.
A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him,
and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say,
‘Give your place to this man,’
and then you would proceed with embarrassment
to take the lowest place.
Rather, when you are invited,
go and take the lowest place
so that when the host comes to you he may say,
‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’
Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table.
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Then he said to the host who invited him,
“When you hold a lunch or a dinner,
do not invite your friends or your brothers
or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors,
in case they may invite you back and you have repayment.
Rather, when you hold a banquet,
invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind;
blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you.
For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”


photo-1527192491265-7e15c55b1ed2

“Go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you, he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’” (Luke 14:10)

REFLECTION
One day, I was at a meeting for work. An argument arose wherein my company was being held responsible for a certain issue. Somewhere in my mind, I knew the allegation was true. I felt humiliated and I instantly became defensive, angrily spouting out the first excuse that I could think of. Awkward silence. I felt all the more ashamed as I saw how childish and unprofessional I was being, and imagined how the people around must have been thinking the same of me. I found myself in a worse situation.

Like some people, when I’m insecure and don’t feel good about myself, feel ignored, unknown and unseen, I feel tempted to prove myself and overcompensate. But as I read today’s readings, I felt God saying there is no longer a need to fight for a place at the table, to prove anything, for He already saw me for who I am. I felt the Lord looking at me, seeing me as I enter His dining place. I am recognized, known, seen, liked and loved.

When we find ourselves in a low place, God reminds us that He sees us. And He calls us to be still and just be where we are – to let Him come for us and bring us to a place of honor.

Reflection Questions
When do I feel insecure, that I need to prove myself or assert my worth? In those times, do I trust God and give Him room to be God? How do I think God sees me?

Prayer
Jesus, please give me an extra portion of Your love today, that my insecurities might fall away and see myself as You see me. Give me the humility to be still and let You meet me where I am to bring me to where You meant me to be. Amen.

Author

wc-ali

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ali!

Photo by: Shridhar Gupta (@shridhar at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Surprise

First Reading
EPH 2:19-22

Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:2-3, 4-5
R. (5a) Their message goes out through all the earth.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Gospel
LK 6:12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew,
Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.


surprise

“in him you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”(Ephesians 2:22)

REFLECTION
I have this friend who likes making surprises for her family and friends, especially on their birthdays. After a while she was sad to notice that she was always the surprise giver, never the recipient. One time she decided that she will tell her family and friends that she wants a surprise for her birthday. She plainly said it and she got the surprise!

She told me this story when i was confiding to her how alone i felt when my loved ones failed to accept me, comfort me and support me when I needed them to. She told me that at first, she wanted a surprise only if it came from her family and friends’ initiative because she thought that was the only way to make it meaningful. But then she realized that sometimes we need to lower our pride and not be too hard on the people who constantly want to show us support. Sometimes we need to be vulnerable enough to let them know how we feel, what we need. We’re not only doing ourselves a favor but doing them a greater favor by helping them know how to love us better. Just because they love us, doesn’t mean they always know how to. And just because they don’t always know how to love, doesn’t mean they don’t love us. Equally true roles reversed. Wouldn’t you want to know how you could treat those dear to you better?

For me, though there were times I opened up only to be disappointed, there were also times that opening up my life to others was what I needed to be consoled, to be healed, to move on, including this time I shared with my friend. For God meant us to be together. Today, God didn’t say “I’m building you individually.” Rather He said, “You are being built together.”

What if God’s way of being there for us is through this gift of companionship? Then to shut other people out is also to shut God out. Sayang.

Come, Friend. Let’s trust God’s way. Let’s let God be God- the God of healing, the God of relationships, the God of love. Let Him surprise you. 🙂

Prayer
Lord, heal my hurts that hinder me from being open to love. Help me include myself in the “together” that you intended to build. Amen.

Author

jalandoni-talClick on the image to find out more about Tal!

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Pray It Forward

First Reading
COL 1:9-14

Brothers and sisters:
From the day we heard about you, we do not cease praying for you
and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit
and growing in the knowledge of God,
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience,
with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6
R. (2) The Lord has made known his salvation.

The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel
LK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”
Simon said in reply,
“Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets.”
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
“Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men.”
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.


clearlungs

“We do not cease praying for you.” (Colossians 1:9)

REFLECTION
A few years back, I had Dengue Fever. When I was about to be discharged from the hospital, the doctors said there were complications. X-rays showed that water had partially filled my lungs. The doctors weren’t too sure then but they said it could be Leukemia or Tuberculosis.

To be honest, hearing that didn’t really affect me. For me, it was like hearing I just had the common cold. I can’t say the same for my parents though. Distraught would be the word to describe them. And so, they prayed hard for my healing.

After I was discharged, we visited a doctor who is also a co-member of our community. She prescribed a list of medicines that unfortunately has some toxic side effects such as vomiting and dizziness. That was the first time I felt distress only because I was scared of the pain the meds might cause. Then, Dad asked permission from Doc if I could have another X-Ray to have a second look at my lungs before I take any meds. He told her God has been telling him something in prayer and he wanted to confirm it first through the X-Ray. Doc reluctantly consented. X-ray no. 2 was accomplished and when we got the results, the water in my lungs was gone! Dad later explained to me that God told him in prayer, “My blood co-mingles with her blood.” God joined His blood with mine to heal me. That just blows my mind and sends shivers down my spine every time I recall that. He healed me even before the reality of having a deadly sickness had sunk in me, even before I had asked for Him to heal me.

I can’t even begin to express how many times prayers have brought miracles into my life. As I recall the times He has been good to me, I am filled with shame for being forgetful and unappreciative and at the same time awe for how He is constant in His love and mercy for me despite being undeserving, ignorant and ungrateful.

Prayers are powerful, my friend. And that is an understatement. Pray unceasingly. And if you find that hard to do, boldly ask others to pray for you. And pray for others.

You may not always feel blessed, but I am 100% sure you are. Take it from someone with cleared lungs. And she’s praying for you today.

Prayer
Dear Lord, soften my heart and open my eyes to the good things you are constantly doing in my life. In a special way I pray for (name person you want to pray for). Please bless him/her today. Thank you. Amen.

Author

jalandoni-talClick on the image to find out more about Tal!

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Brace To Be Embraced

First Reading
2 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9
R. (5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

Gospel
JN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”


braces

“But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

REFLECTION

I had crooked teeth when I was little. I smiled a lot and I couldn’t help but feel embarrassed. I wanted so bad to have braces but we could not afford it then. I wanted to have braces but we couldn’t afford it. Finally, after 3 years of working, I have saved enough money to get them installed!

YES, ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED! I was excited about my soon-to-be-awesome pearly whites…until the pain kicked in. It hurt so bad – the tugging and pulling, unforgivingly making sores in my mouth. The pain was so real it made me question why I did this to myself, and paid for it too! I wondered if the pain would be worth it. But later over three months into it, I started to see progress – crookedness started to straighten and there was hardly any pain at all. I couldn’t believe it, my teeth are actually getting fixed! It was a good decision after all.

It’s easy to have faith when we see good fruits all around; as easy as it is to get discouraged when life throws hurtful curveballs at you.

Today, Jesus counters with a curveball of His own. He says, “But if it dies, it produces much fruit.” Just like having braces, following Jesus may not always be a breeze. In fact for me, my most trying times happened after I chose to follow Him. And I doubted midway if my decision to follow Him was a good idea, if it would be worth it. But now I can say that those trials were me, dying to myself, was God working in my life, pulling out the crookedness in me and straightening it. Of course it was painful to have your crookedness show. But God says it does not stop there. It’s just part of something bigger.

Dying to ourselves means letting Him expose the bad in us and letting Him turn it into something good, and trusting that He knows what He’s doing. That’s not always comfortable to be in but friend, do not be afraid and take courage for “God is able to make every grace abundant for you.” “There will be much fruit.” And it’ll be worth it.

Prayer

Lord, give me the courage to surrender my sins and weaknesses to you and the gift of faith to trust that you’re with me every step of the way to make it all worth it and more. Amen.

Author

jalandoni-tal

Click on the image to find out more about Tal!

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Free to Respond

First Reading
GN 44:18-21, 23B-29; 45:1-5
Judah approached Joseph and said: “I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one’s full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.’
Then you told your servants,
‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.’
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
Then your servant our father said to us,
‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’“

Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!”
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers.
“Is my father still in good health?”
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
“I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21
R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
MT 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”


Do It Anyway

“As you enter a house, wish it peace. If the house is worthy let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you. Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words- go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.” Mt 10:12-14

REFLECTION

Have you ever done something good and in return people failed to appreciate your efforts? That’s a tale too common. Today’s readings prove that even ages ago, unrequited deeds are a normal case, even for His disciples.

In my ten years of service in a religious community, I could say the same thing. One time, the members of the ministry that I belonged to and I had a fight. I was very hurt by my co-members because I felt the loss of unity and they proved absent when I expected all to be there as a team to do our work. Hurtful words were said and it was ugly. After the silent treatment, calming down and prayers, God granted us the time, place and right condition of our hearts to talk openly to one another and receive healing in our relationship. As I said my piece and they theirs, I realized that they too were hurt by the actions of others and even mine which led us to hurt one another. We, who were serving God, people who had good intentions, were all caught in the vicious cycle of rejection.

Too many times, one moment of rejection gets the best years of good people. But today God tells us that He has long ago given us the freedom and power to break the cycle and choose another response. So if you find yourself cut by a car out of the blue, or treated poorly by a sales clerk, or giving money and told it’s not enough, STOP… and remember that while you do not have to deny your feelings, you also do not have to let rejection and your emotions get the best of you. And in this critical moment of decision, you can take your feelings and turn to Jesus and let Him cover your injustice. He says, “Ako na’ng bahala dito. Pahinga ka na.”

Today, may peace return to you, my friend! Let your goodness surpass your intentions and let it reach your responses. Everyday, God says you can. Because Jesus made you free to do so. – Tal Jalandoni (tacos.jalandoni@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Dear God, during times when temptation to retaliate is strong, strengthen in me the grace to stop and turn to You and remember that it’s between You and me and never between me and them anyway. Amen.

Reflection Question

Have I participated in the cycle of rejection lately?

Little Whispers, Tal Jalandoni

Fierce Love

First Reading
Acts 17:15, 22—18:1

After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.

Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”

When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
praise him, all you his hosts.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
old men and boys.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the name of the LORD,
for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
from the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Alleluia.
R. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”


 

 sick

“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” (John 16:12-13)

REFLECTION

When I was a kid, I dreaded going to school. Sometimes I’d fake being sick just so my parents would let me stay home. My little act would work on Dad, but nothing gets past Mom. So I often preferred Dad over her because she was stern and wouldn’t give in to my requests no matter how much I cried. It hurt me when she wouldn’t give me what I wanted and I hated her for her “indifference”.

Grabe, was I a drama queen! Hahaha. Boy, am I glad those drama days have passed!

But thinking about it, I relate with God similarly. When I’m in a situation where I need answers to my prayers and questions in life and God seems to ignore me, I feel deeply hurt. And I couldn’t understand why He won’t talk to me, no matter how many times I cry or even beg Him. I wanted Him to let me know what was going on because that’s how I would know that He acknowledges me and loves me. I hated my God for His “indifference”.

Wait… This sounds all too familiar. I am no different than the child I was before towards my mom, constantly seeking attention and favor. I never really saw myself as a spoiled kid. But looking back, man, was I spoiled!

I know my mom understood that I did not understand. So she remained firm in her quiet love for me and fiercely protected what was best for me, even against my own ignorance. In the same way, God longs to reveal more of Himself to us, but knows what we can or cannot bear now. So He promised to send the Spirit of Truth to us at the right time. And He is fiercely faithful because He has brought me now to this place of clarity. And just as He revealed His Spirit of Truth to me, something tells me that the God who “fixed the ordered seasons” will do just the same to you in record timing.  – Tal Jalandoni (tacos.jalandoni@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord, I forgive you for the times that you’ve hurt me by remaining silent. Please forgive me for my self-centeredness and lack of trust in you. Thank you for letting me know that in silence, you love me too.

Reflection Question

What are the things that hinder me from seeing God’s fierce love for me?