Little Whispers, Mikhaila Manalastas

Choosy Masyado

First Reading
1 JN 2:18-21

Children, it is the last hour;
and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming,
so now many antichrists have appeared.
Thus we know this is the last hour.
They went out from us, but they were not really of our number;
if they had been, they would have remained with us.
Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number.
But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One,
and you all have knowledge.
I write to you not because you do not know the truth
but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:1-2, 11-12, 13
R. (11a) Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name;
announce his salvation, day after day.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult before the LORD.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!
The LORD comes,
he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!

Gospel
JN 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.

And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son,
full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.


imaginary friend

“Everything was created through him nothing—not one thing came into being without him.” (John 1:3)

REFLECTION
We all have that one enemy. That one person we hate so much. That person we loathe for some reason we can’t even elaborate. That one person who makes us cringe with their presence. Admit it, we all have that one person we simply hate.

When I was a child, I would always bully my playmates whenever they don’t follow my rules. I was the dominant kind of playmate. I would always choose people who can play with me and often push away people I don’t feel like hanging out with. I had that attitude for a while until my Mother reprimanded me that I cannot just choose people in my life. Since then, I opened myself to all kinds of people. I did not choose them anymore.

God made us all equally. No matter how much you hate a person, he is still made by God. We are all created by the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we all have a heart despite of all the hatred. In this world full of cruelty, we should always remember that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we should love one another as God has loved us.

Prayer
Lord, you have taught us to love one another as you have loved us. May you guide each and every one of us to love, appreciate and embrace one another as brothers and sisters. It has been a wonderful journey with you, Lord, and we pray for another blessed year as the New Year comes.

Author

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Little Whispers, Mikhaila Manalastas

Little Ways

First Reading
ROM 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh,
but established as Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:1BCDE, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.

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. 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.

Gospel
LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”


praying-with-children

“Because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”  (Luke 11:32)

REFLECTION

When I was a kid, I used to be active in all our neighborhood’s spiritual events. I would always pray the rosary with my playmates every night. Every holy week, I would always drop my video games and join the stations of the cross. These are traditions that never get old. But now, if you will observe, kids these days hardly do these things anymore.

I stopped praying the rosary and participating in the stations of the cross when I got preoccupied with school and other stuff. It actually felt like a corny thing to do because I was scared that  people would judge me. I admit that this generation has taken these traditions as an “old thing”. But when I stopped praying, I felt incomplete. I have realized that there are a lot of ways to prove your faith to God; it’s not just praying the rosary and such. It can be in your own little ways.

This world can be a little harsh at times, and praying is my only escape. He is the only one who can comfort me when I feel miserable. And I believe as long as you are praying, no one can ever bring you down. As a way of giving back to all his blessings, I try my best to spread His word to the new generation.

Prayer

Lord, I pray that you would guide our generation.

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Little Whispers, Mikhaila Manalastas

My Supermom

First Reading
RU 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17

Naomi had a prominent kinsman named Boaz,
of the clan of her husband Elimelech.
Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi,
“Let me go and glean ears of grain in the field
of anyone who will allow me that favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go, my daughter,” and she went.
The field she entered to glean after the harvesters
happened to be the section belonging to Boaz
of the clan of Elimelech.

Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter!
Do not go to glean in anyone else’s field;
you are not to leave here.
Stay here with my women servants.
Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them;
I have commanded the young men to do you no harm.
When you are thirsty, you may go and drink from the vessels
the young men have filled.”
Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, Ruth said to him,
“Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?”
Boaz answered her:
“I have had a complete account of what you have done
for your mother-in-law after your husband’s death;
you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth,
and have come to a people whom you did not know previously.”

Boaz took Ruth.
When they came together as man and wife,
the LORD enabled her to conceive and she bore a son.
Then the women said to Naomi,
“Blessed is the LORD who has not failed
to provide you today with an heir!
May he become famous in Israel!
He will be your comfort and the support of your old age,
for his mother is the daughter-in-law who loves you.
She is worth more to you than seven sons!”
Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became his nurse.
And the neighbor women gave him his name,
at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi.
They called him Obed.
He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 128:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (4) See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
You wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. See how the Lord blesses those who fear him.

Gospel
MT 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”


  

“Boaz then spoke to Ruth, ‘Listen, my daughter. Do not go to glean in anyone else’s field; you are not to leave here. Stay here with my young women.'” (Ruth 2:8)

REFLECTION
Not everyone knows that I grew up without a father. My parents separated when I was still a baby. I never felt and longed for his presence because I have the best mom. There was never a reason for me to seek for a father because my mom is more than enough. God is so great that he gave me the best mother I could ever have. 

You see, it was just my mom who supported me all the way. Imagine this, a single mom who works so hard to provide a good life to 3 kids. I cannot even picture how she manages to pay for our tuition fees alone. My mother is a singer, a Marketing manager, and an events’ organizer. She is a superwoman. She is my superwoman. She is the only person I look up to. She is my only love and I cannot imagine my life without her. She is my inspiration. I owe her everything.

God never fails to give us our own miracles, and for me, it is my mom. My mother is my own miracle.

Prayer
Lord, I cannot thank you enough for blessing me with the best Mother I could ever have. I pray that you may always guide her.

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Little Whispers, Mikhaila Manalastas

Eventually

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 117:1BC, 2

R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness for us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

Gospel
JN 20:24-29

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”


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“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (John 20:29)

REFLECTION

I love planning my life to the extent of having life plans every year. Once in a while, I write my long and short term goals in my journal and keep track of them. Whenever I fail to accomplish one, I easily get frustrated and hopeless. I remember when I graduated from High School, I had already set my mind that I will enroll in UP. I already imagined myself strolling around the campus, meeting different kinds of people and pursuing the course I really love. I was very giddy when the results came out, but when I found out the results, I just cried. I did not pass in the University I dreamed of.

I enrolled in Miriam College and decided to transfer in UP after my freshman year. Everything was planned, everything was already settled, but then, it did not push through. It was only then when I realized that UP is really not for me. I was really devastated that time and I lost the drive to study hard. But then came to me that if you don’t have faith in something, you will not succeed.

Since then, whenever my plans fail, I just pray and have faith that everything will eventually fall into the right place. Right now, I am currently happy where I am studying. I am exultant with the course I am taking. I gained true friends. I discovered what I really want in life. Everything will fall into the right place if you just place your faith in it and pray for it. – Mikhaila Manalastas (mikhailamanalastas@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I know that you have the best plans for me. I just surrender everything to you because I have faith that you will never let me down. Amen.

Reflection Question

Am I planning my life too much?