Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

No Greater Love

First Reading
Romans 8:31B-39
Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?
Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us.
Who will condemn?
It is Christ Jesus who died, rather, was raised,
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
As it is written:

For your sake we are being slain all the day;
we are looked upon as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 109: 21-22, 26-27, 30-31
R. (26b) Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Do you, O GOD, my Lord, deal kindly with me for your name’s sake;
in your generous mercy rescue me;
For I am wretched and poor,
and my heart is pierced within me.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
Help me, O LORD, my God;
save me, in your mercy,
And let them know that this is your hand;
that you, O LORD, have done this.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.
I will speak my thanks earnestly to the LORD,
and in the midst of the throng I will praise him,
For he stood at the right hand of the poor man,
to save him from those who would condemn his soul.
R. Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.

Gospel
Luke 13:31-35
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said,
“Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go and tell that fox,
‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow,
and on the third day I accomplish my purpose.
Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day,
for it is impossible that a prophet should die
outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem,
you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how many times I yearned to gather your children together
as a hen gathers her brood under her wings,
but you were unwilling!
Behold, your house will be abandoned.
But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say,
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”


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No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

REFLECTION
We all have our share of problems and tragedies in life, no matter how big or small.

When I was younger, I used to question the things that made living difficult. Why did my school’s morning ceremony start as early as 6:45 in the morning? Why was I getting low grades when I spent more time studying compared to my classmates? Why wasn’t I understood by the people around me? All of these experiences, I considered as hardships.

Now on my second year in college and having been brought closer to the Lord more than ever through the youth ministry, I have understood that sacrifice and suffering cannot be avoided.

Problems are part of life, and God only wants us to learn from these. He has made me realize that He would not give me anything I could not solve. I am reassured that He will be with me through every trial as He encourages me to completely submit and surrender my all to Him.

Today’s Word reminds us that our Jesus Christ has already won the victory for us for He is bigger than all our struggles and worries. He is with us amidst adversity and difficulty, and by His grace we can overcome them. In the end, nothing could ever separate us from His great love.

Reflection Song

Higher + Wider + Deeper by Citipointe Worship

Author

wc-nina

Click on the bubble to find out more about Nina!

Photo by: Caleb Woods (@caleb_woods at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

At Your Service

First Reading
Nehemiah 8:1-4A, 5-6, 7B-12
The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate,
and they called upon Ezra the scribe
to bring forth the book of the law of Moses
which the LORD prescribed for Israel.
On the first day of the seventh month, therefore,
Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly,
which consisted of men, women,
and those children old enough to understand.
Standing at one end of the open place that was before the Water Gate,
he read out of the book from daybreak until midday,
in the presence of the men, the women,
and those children old enough to understand;
and all the people listened attentively to the book of the law.
Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform
that had been made for the occasion.
He opened the scroll
so that all the people might see it
(for he was standing higher up than any of the people);
and, as he opened it, all the people rose.
Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God,
and all the people, their hands raised high, answered,
“Amen, amen!”
Then they bowed down and prostrated themselves before the LORD,
their faces to the ground.
As the people remained in their places,
Ezra read plainly from the book of the law of God,
interpreting it so that all could understand what was read.
Then Nehemiah, that is, His Excellency, and Ezra the priest-scribe
and the Levites who were instructing the people
said to all the people:
“Today is holy to the LORD your God.
Do not be sad, and do not weep”–
for all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law.
He said further:  “Go, eat rich foods and drink sweet drinks,
and allot portions to those who had nothing prepared;
for today is holy to our LORD.
Do not be saddened this day,
for rejoicing in the LORD must be your strength!”
And the Levites quieted all the people, saying,
“Hush, for today is holy, and you must not be saddened.”
Then all the people went to eat and drink,
to distribute portions, and to celebrate with great joy,
for they understood the words that had been expounded to them.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (9ab) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye;
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Gospel
Luke 10:1-12
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”


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“Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:3)

REFLECTION
I genuinely love helping people.

If you need a hand with homework, an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to ask a favor from—I would gladly be at your service! It brings me so much joy in seeing people smile, from the random or not so random acts of kindness I do. These things, in return, help me in discovering a sense of fulfillment towards my purpose in life.

Earlier this year, I was called to be one of the Intercessory Heads who would be serving the BLD Youth Ministry for the next three years. Shortly after, I had also been accepted into the Praise Ministry to serve by means of music. This semester, I had just recently finished serving under the Finance Team of a retreat I attended, and I am currently applying for a service organization that caters to children with chronic illnesses.

Looking into what I have been doing, I could liken myself to the disciples Jesus has appointed and sent out to go before Him. He has bestowed on me the privilege of carrying out His ministry. It may not always be easy, and there will always be trials and obstacles along the way, but with God’s power and grace, I know that I, together with those who have said yes to Him, will succeed.

Today, the Lord seeks us and calls us to be part of the mission of spreading His Good News; to be at His service. We must keep Him in mind in everything that we do, for He is working through us. We may not know for sure where He will lead us, but He has already equipped us with what we need to be part of His Kingdom.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, grant me wisdom, courage, and strength to follow and do Your will. Bless me, so that I may be an instrument of Your love and be of service to others. Amen.

Author

wc-nina

Click on the bubble to find out more about Nina!

Photo by: Josh Appel (@joshappel at unsplash.com)

 

 

Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

Sufficient Evidence

First Reading
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Beloved:
First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers,
petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone,
for kings and for all in authority,
that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life
in all devotion and dignity.
This is good and pleasing to God our savior,
who wills everyone to be saved
and to come to knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God.
There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as ransom for all.

This was the testimony at the proper time.
For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle
(I am speaking the truth, I am not lying),
teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray,
lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 28:2, 7, 8-9
R.(6) Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.

Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to you,
lifting up my hands toward your holy shrine.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is my strength and my shield.
In him my heart trusts, and I find help;
then my heart exults, and with my song I give him thanks.
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
the saving refuge of his anointed.
Save your people, and bless your inheritance;
feed them, and carry them forever!
R.Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard my prayer.

Gospel
Luke 7:1-10
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.


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“When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.'” (Luke 7:9)

REFLECTION
Growing up with religious parents and spending most of my years in Catholic schools, I have always been asked by others of why I believed in God, even if He can’t be seen. For years, I did not know whether there was only one correct answer to it or if there ever was an answer. Now that I’m older, I am aware that the answer lies in me and everything around me.

I was taught, and I accept the truth that the Lord created the universe, gave us life, and sent His Son Jesus Christ who performed many miracles when He was alive. One of them, was mentioned in today’s Gospel. When the centurion humbly requested the messengers to ask Jesus to heal one of his servants, He did so.

I suppose my faith in God came in knowing in my mind and heart that He is doing great things for me, healing me, and coming to me through His Word, despite me sometimes doing wrong. It is when we acknowledge and own up to our sinfulness, and believe in Jesus’ power that we can truly say we are faithful to Him. At the same time, our faith on its own does nothing; it must be based on God’s promises.

Faith may mean believing in difficult truths, but God never forced us to believe in Him though He could. Instead, He has given us enough proof of His existence for us to willingly respond to Him. And as we pray for people who may suffer from illnesses, or alternatively ask others to pray for us, the Lord asks us to remain faithful as the centurion was.

Reflection Song

Say the Word by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-nina

Click on the bubble to find out more about Nina!

Photo by: Joel Muniz (@jmuniz at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

Providence

First Reading
Colossians 1:15-20
Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the Body, the Church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the Blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 100: 1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Gospel
Luke 5:33-39
The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.'”


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“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

REFLECTION
I have always considered myself to be a person with high standards. Whenever I have assignments or outputs to be done, either for school or for organizations, I would give them my one hundred percent, putting in a lot of effort and time in finishing them. Normally, I’d even set aside sleep until I’m satisfied and fulfilled with my work. I don’t like settling for something short of best, when I know I’m capable of doing more.

Having this mindset, though, is my greatest weakness. With it, I have become more stressed and anxious because I fixate on the littlest of details. I set standards so high that I lose sight of my goals and the purpose embedded in what I do. I have developed the fear of not being able to achieve certain ideas or plans. Lastly, I easily get upset when things don’t go my way.

Recently, upon reflecting, I have been reminded by a friend that nothing is beyond God’s control. Indeed, today’s Word affirms that God holds power over all the things in our world. He may be the only one who knows of what will come our way in the future, still He will be guiding us in making it happen.

God calls us to place our trust in Him, to lift up everything to Him. We may not always get what we want, but our God is a God who provides. He equips us with what we need, in accordance with His will, and reassures us of His constant presence in our lives.

Reflection Song

Author

wc-nina

Click on the bubble to find out more about Nina!

Photo by: Carl Heyerdahl (@carlheyerdahl at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

Missed Calls

First Reading
Judges 2:11-19

The children of Israel offended the LORD by serving the Baals.
Abandoning the LORD, the God of their fathers,
who led them out of the land of Egypt,
they followed the other gods of the various nations around them,
and by their worship of these gods provoked the LORD.

Because they had thus abandoned him and served Baal and the Ashtaroth,
the anger of the LORD flared up against Israel,
and he delivered them over to plunderers who despoiled them.
He allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies round about
whom they were no longer able to withstand.
Whatever they undertook, the LORD turned into disaster for them,
as in his warning he had sworn he would do,
till they were in great distress.
Even when the LORD raised up judges to deliver them
from the power of their despoilers,
they did not listen to their judges,
but abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods.
They were quick to stray from the way their fathers had taken,
and did not follow their example of obedience
to the commandments of the LORD.
Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge
and save them from the power of their enemies
as long as the judge lived;
it was thus the LORD took pity on their distressful cries
of affliction under their oppressors.
But when the judge died,
they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors,
following other gods in service and worship,
relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 106:34-35, 36-37, 39-40, 43AB AND 44
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

They did not exterminate the peoples,
as the LORD had commanded them,
But mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They became defiled by their works,
and wanton in their crimes.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Many times did he rescue them,
but they embittered him with their counsels.
Yet he had regard for their affliction
when he heard their cry.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel
Matthew 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.


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“Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21)

REFLECTION
Growing up with strict parents, I subconsciously developed the fear of missing out, or FOMO. Transferring to a different school for Senior High meant dorming during weekdays, and doing so meant new people, new experiences, and more freedom. Invites to study hall, food trips, and gala excited me, but I always had to ask for permission from my parents whenever I wanted to go. I was required to advise them of my whereabouts and I obeyed all the time. However, as the social gatherings piled up, soon enough, I made up excuses that sometimes lead to lying about where I would go. I slowly avoided their messages and calls. One night, I eventually got caught by my mom when my dorm managers told her that I was not back yet after curfew.

By disobeying my parents and lying to them, I broke their trust. I was not proud of what I did.

Both of today’s readings talk about following the Lord; a simple yet difficult thing to, especially when there are so many things that hinder us from being His disciple. Everyday, we are faced with distractions, fears, and problems. Everyday, we become tempted to commit mistakes. Like the young man, my understanding was limited—him being more concerned about his possessions was me being blinded by my fear so I could get what I wanted. I believe Jesus looked past beyond the young man, and gazed upon his heart. I too have learned, and am still learning from my own faults.

To truly follow Jesus, He asks us to completely surrender everything to Him. It may sound like He is asking too much of us, but in reality, it just means that He is asking us to sacrifice for Him, the same way that He did for us. We can do this merely by doing good, and loving Him. After all, loving and serving the Him above all else is the greatest commandment. By becoming aware of our sins, leaving everything behind and answering His call, we will become worthy of salvation.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, I place my trust in You, and my life in Your hands. I pray for Your guidance, to help me avoid the temptations of this world, so that I may always seek You and be able to surrender my whole heart to You. Amen.

Author

wc-nina

Click on the bubble to find out more about Nina!

Photo by: Alex Samuels (@alexsamuels at unsplash.com)

 

 

 

Little Whispers, Nina Miranda

Believe

First Reading
WIS 7:22B–8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175
R. (89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Gospel
LK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”

 


school stress

“For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day.” – Luke 17:24

REFLECTION
I can remember my first day of high school four years ago. I was slightly nervous, more than usual, since I was enrolled in a special Science High School; nevertheless, I was still confident. Little did I know that many, if not all of us students, were well rounded and excelled in different aspects. This made me realize that I was going to have to do my best in everything.

Having to go to school at six o’clock in the morning and coming back home thirteen hours later is very tiring, but I got used to this schedule, eventually. Back then, my only goal was to graduate, even if it meant that I had to skip meals and sleep. There were times when I cried at night, felt lost, and had thoughts about giving up, but something kept pushing me to go on. It felt as if although everything was already crashing down at once, there will be that someone who will pull you back up.

I knew that that someone was God. He was and still is, always with me, helping and guiding me through obstacles and problems I encounter from day to day. It was because of Him that I became more hardworking and determined in finishing my homework and projects, little by little. At the same time, I also learned how to be patient and this is the reason why I ended up ranking second in my class for the past two years.

Just because something isn’t happening for you right now doesn’t mean that it will never happen. When you know you’ve done your best, God will continue the rest. All we need to do is have faith in ourselves and in Him.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the one and only source of everything. Teach me how to be patient and to love others as you love them. Amen.

Author

miranda-nina

Nina Miranda