Carl Ortega, Little Whispers

The Catholic Responsibility

First Reading
Romans 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 130:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6AB
R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.
I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.
R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Gospel
Luke 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.


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“When he left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.” (Luke 11:53-54)

REFLECTION
There are times when we go to church because we are fulfilling our obligation, but for some, it has become a routine. I am guilty of this. I sometimes forget the real meaning of going to church. The problems in my daily life even distract me from listening to and paying attention to the priest.

Sometimes, I even judge others attending the church. “Why is s/he attending church?” is often a question I ask myself when I see people I think are sinners when they go to church.

But, Jesus is warning us today of the dangers of being complacent in our faith. Before judging other people, we must ask ourselves first—am I here to experience God’s love or am I here to judge other people’s faith in Him?

We must build bridges, not barriers, in order for us to know God more in our lives! Attending church is not a one-time Sunday thing, it is a lifestyle of allowing the Holy Spirit to move in our lives! A true Catholic is someone with a faith that extends beyond the walls of the church—a true Catholic lifts up the brokenness of his heart and the people around him to God, knowing full well that He alone can heal all the pain in the world.

Reflection Song

Author

wc-carl-o

Click on the bubble to find out more about Carl!

 

 

Carl Ortega, Little Whispers

El Dorado

First Reading
Colossians 3:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Think of what is above, not of what is on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.
Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.
By these you too once conducted yourselves, when you lived in that way.
But now you must put them all away:
anger, fury, malice, slander,
and obscene language out of your mouths.
Stop lying to one another,
since you have taken off the old self with its practices
and have put on the new self,
which is being renewed, for knowledge,
in the image of its creator.
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 145:2-3, 10-11, 12-13AB

R. (9) The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works.

Gospel
Luke 6:20-26

Raising his eyes toward his disciples Jesus said:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
for the Kingdom of God is yours.
Blessed are you who are now hungry,
for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who are now weeping,
for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.

“Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets
in the same way.
But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
But woe to you who are filled now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will grieve and weep.
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”


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“… Blessed are you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.” (Luke 6: 20)

REFLECTION
I live in the slums of Villa Paraiso in Parañaque City. I see how tough life is in every person I encounter. Different stories in the faces of children–stories that inspire and melt my heart. As a child, I desired more in my life and I knew it won’t be easy until Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD) came to our community. They sponsored a block of houses (including my house) in the housing project called Gawad Kalinga. BLD’s support did not end there, however, because they also allowed us to learn more about God.

To help us in our journey towards God, BLD established the Scholarship of Hope. It was a project intended to help us grow in our faith. They would conduct tutorial classes every Saturday to sustain our knowledge and bring us to different seminars where we learned about Jesus and His love. We definitely felt that God was using BLD as a vessel for His love.

God gave me more than what I desired for myself; God gave so much so that He blessed my entire community! Up to this day, God’s blessing to my once poor community is overflowing. Now, a lot of young and old people who were once lost have found their way back to Jesus.

It doesn’t matter who you are and where you are from, God will still look for your heart. He will seek your heart until all you feel is His great embrace. He will never give up on you. He will give you hope and, most especially, He has prepared His Kingdom for you. Now, don’t hesitate to come in.

Reflection Song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=138VxrRSpmc
Came to my Rescue by Hillsong United

Author

wc-carl-o.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Carl!

Photo by: Ben White (@benwhitephotography at unsplash.com)