Didoy Lubaton, Little Whispers

Unmistakable

First Reading
Acts 3: 11 – 26

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people. 

“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 8: 2, 5 – 9

R.O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Gospel
Luke 24: 34 – 48

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

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The Hands of Jesus

REFLECTION

Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself” Luke 24: 39

A crisis came when I was going to 4th year of Medical School. I had a P100,000 on my hand to enroll for the next semester. But I hesitated. Why? I thought of investing it, or do business so I could start helping the finances at home. I badly wanted to work and help my family. But before I decided, I sought the Lord for direction. It was during a Lentern Retreat of Bro. Bo Sanchez where the Lord found me. In between the sessions, Bro. Bo invited me for a walk. And I started telling him about my crisis, my fears, my search for peace. Lovingly, he affirmed me for being disturbed, it means I’m on the right track. And then he said to me, “Didoy, you never know how much the Lord can use you when you become a doctor.” Then he goes on telling me that he has his eyes on me. I was speechless. I got the encouragement that I was looking for. Unmistakably, I felt Jesus was there walking with us.

I went on to finish as Doctor of Medicine and passed the Medical Licensure examination. AND I was able to establish my own vaccine business. AND I’m already helping with the expenses at home. Truly, it’s amazing when we begin to recognize His presence in our lives. All glory to God! – Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, may you walk with me in every step of the way.

REFLECTION QUESTION
When God calls you, are you ready to recognize him and answer His call?

Photo source: sothl.com

Didoy Lubaton, Little Whispers

He Listens

First Reading
EX 32:7-14

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!’
The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
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?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
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
Ps 106:19-20, 21-22, 23

R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Our fathers made a calf in Horeb
and adored a molten image;
They exchanged their glory
for the image of a grass-eating bullock.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They forgot the God who had saved them,
who had done great deeds in Egypt,
Wondrous deeds in the land of Ham,
terrible things at the Red Sea.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Then he spoke of exterminating them,
but Moses, his chosen one,
Withstood him in the breach
to turn back his destructive wrath.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel
Jn 5:31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

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shamymaniacwordpress

REFLECTION

Then the Lord relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.” Exodus 32:14

This verse always gives me a blessed assurance whenever I read it. After all, in the context of this passage, God has all the right to be angry and destroy his people. But as we know it, the God of all universe listened to the plea of  his beloved Moses and the people of Israel were saved.

When I was in school, I was known to be the tardy one – reporting to class after my teacher has arrived, or submitting requirements beyond the deadline. A time came when I was threatened to fail one of my subjects because of my tardiness. My teacher warned me already, but I did not change my ways. I know I deserved it, but I pleaded for a chance. And I pleaded hard. For the next two weeks I had to come to school 30 mins early, do additional projects, and be active in class discussions. Eventually my teacher saw my resolve and gave me a good grade. Whew! It was a close call.

I realized then that truly God listens to our prayers. He is merciful and just. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us be destroyed. He listens and gives us never ending chances to love Him back. So should we listen like the Lord to those who call on us, to those who we think we have all the right to destroy.  – Didoy Lubaton (christianlubation@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, may I listen more and be merciful like you, and do what is just.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Who are the people in my life that I need to relent and to listen to more?

Photo source: shamymaniac.wordpress.com

Didoy Lubaton, Little Whispers

All The Way

First Reading
Mal 3:1-4

Thus says the Lord God:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the templethe LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver

Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24: 7 – 10

R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Second Reading
Heb 2: 14 – 18

Since the children share in blood and flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

Gospel
Lk 2: 22 – 40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s 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.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

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REFLECTION

And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.” Lk 2:22-40

I was invited to audition for the music ministry as a pianist. I was 14 years old then, and I just met the Lord a year before. I didn’t know much, and I was just starting to learn the piano. But there was a need to fill up the vacancy for the ministry. I felt God that was urging me to go so I went through the auditions. I was a disaster! I wasn’t even able to play the piano piece they handed in front of me. And the all music heads were just smiling. They told me to pratice harder and to get to know the Lord more. I was ready to accept failure and learn from it. Within the week I received the news that I will play on the next prayer meeting. Wow. There must be something they saw in me. From that week on, I never stopped serving the Lord. Baby steps became long strides as I grew in serving the Lord. Serving the Lord brought me to greater heights, and to greater service. When I look back, I am grateful to be called to serve at an early age. I am grateful for my leaders who saw my potential rather than my letdown. Most of all, I am grateful that God’s hand is still with me in every step, in every moment. His grace is with me all the way. – Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, fill me with your grace everyday, that I may become strong and wise.

REFLECTION QUESTION
In what areas of my life is God leading me to grow further?

Photo source: http://www.123rf.net

Didoy Lubaton, Little Whispers

My Label

First Reading
1 Jn 3:7-10

Children, let no one deceive you.
The person who acts in righteousness is righteous,
just as he is righteous.
Whoever sins belongs to the Devil,
because the Devil has sinned from the beginning.
Indeed, the Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the Devil.
No one who is begotten by God commits sin,
because God’s seed remains in him;
he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.
In this way,
the children of God and the children of the Devil are made plain;
no one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God,
nor anyone who does not love his brother.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 98:1,7-9

R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy before the LORD.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
The LORD comes;
he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

Gospel
Jn 1:35-42

John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher),
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter.

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Hello__My_Name_Is____by_Floofeh_Bunneh

REFLECTION

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him.” 1 Jn 3:9

Stupid. Sinful. Hopeless.

These have been my self-imposed labels for years.  When I make a mistake, I recite these labels in my mind and declare them to myself.  They showed in my habitual sins, my strained family ties and my complicated relationships. My labels slowly became my identity.

But God always has His ways to remind me that He remains in me, no matter what. It comes in different forms: an advice from a friend,  a talk from a preacher, a line from a book or a magazine, or even the sunshine on a cloudy day. God makes sure that I feel Him with me,  especially in the stillness and quietness of my prayer time with the him. I realized that I only have to recognize that He is by my side all the time and that I am made to grow and bear fruit.

Chosen. Forgiven. Blessed.

This is our identity in Christ. Always was and always will be. – Didoy Lubaton (christianlubaton@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, thank you for remaining in me. I pray that I may experience you in all things, that I become more like you in every moment everyday.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do you I see the fruits of my relationship with the Lord?

Photo source: floofeh-bunneh.deviantart.com