Little Whispers, Tim Montales

GETTING UP AFTER BEING KNOCKED DOWN

First Reading
Ez 37:12-14

Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 130:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8

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.
More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
let Israel wait for the LORD.
R. With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

Second Reading
Rom 8:8-11

Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.

Gospel
Jn 11:1-45

Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
When Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
Jesus answered,
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”

When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”

So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”

Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

victory

REFLECTION

Just one thing: forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:8-14

“It’s not about how hard you hit. It’s all about how hard can you get hit and move forward. It’s about how much you are willing to take, and keep moving forward. That is victory!”

This is the gist of a memorable line from the movie, “Rocky Balboa,” where the protagonist tells his son of what true victory is all about.

I, for one, have been knocked down a couple of times – some of them are real hard – by a strong opponent called “adversity.”

I can still remember that time when I was deferred for my thesis proposal that caused the delay of my graduation for one term. And I admit that my cockiness and carelessness has brought me into that pit. Hence, during my second term, I made a firm resolve to make it up, big time.

But in order to pull it off, I had to do things slowly and surely. First is by doing my homework through research, reading, analysis, weekly meetings with my mentor, and by reading the Word of the Lord in order to give myself a daily dose of inspiration.

By doing these steps, I was able to redeem myself in two terms as I was able to acquire high grades in defending my thesis proposal and proper.

Indeed, I was able to rise up after getting knocked down, and scored my own knock-out win for me to finish college.

Friends, life can be a tough battle field, but we have a Lord that helps us to stand up after getting knocked down. We have a Lord that encourages us to forget about our defeats, and to focus on attaining those victories ahead of us.

And besides, the Lord will also use us – like Isaiah, St. Paul, and Jesus Christ –- to help our friends rise back and become stronger than before.

Let us not lay down and quit in the face of adversity, for He Himself rose up after being knocked down just to complete His greatest battle in Calvary. – Tim Montales (tm81288@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, we admit that life is a brutal and tough battle field. And we pray that You may sustain us as we face the toughest and meanest adversities that will come our way. May Your inspiration and example motivate us to rise up every time we get knocked down, because a real champion in life never quits. Amen!

REFLECTION QUESTION
Can you still see God in every difficulty?

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Little Whispers, Tim Montales

AN ASPIRING GOOD GUY’S EVERYDAY CHALLENGE

First Reading
Wis 2:1A, 12-22

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
“Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
He professes to have knowledge of God
and styles himself a child of the LORD.
To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;
he holds aloof from our paths as from things impure.
He calls blest the destiny of the just
and boasts that God is his Father.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.”
These were their thoughts, but they erred;
for their wickedness blinded them,
and they knew not the hidden counsels of God;
neither did they count on a recompense of holiness
nor discern the innocent souls’ reward.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 34:17-18, 19-20, 21 AND 23

R. (19a) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
Many are the troubles of the just man,
but out of them all the LORD delivers him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.
He watches over all his bones;
not one of them shall be broken.
The LORD redeems the lives of his servants;
no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

Gospel
Jn 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Jesus moved about within Galilee;
he did not wish to travel in Judea,
because the Jews were trying to kill him.
But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near.

But when his brothers had gone up to the feast,
he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said,
“Is he not the one they are trying to kill?
And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him.
Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ?
But we know where he is from.
When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.”
So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said,
“You know me and also know where I am from.
Yet I did not come on my own,
but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true.
I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
So they tried to arrest him,
but no one laid a hand upon him,
because his hour had not yet come.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

wordydrawingstumblr

REFLECTION

“Let us set a trap for the righteous, for he annoys us and opposes our way of life; he reproaches us for our breaches of the Law and accuses us of being false to our upbringing. Let us humble and torture him to prove his self-control and test his patience.” – Wisdom 2: 12, 20

Persecuted, hated, and ridiculed. These are some of the obstacles that you and I encounter just because we do what God has taught us in His Scriptures, and that we aspire to breathe life to those words with our lives. Generally speaking, we’re being bashed for being the good guys.

With that situation, I remembered the action-comedy flick, “Kung Fu Hustle.” Here, the protagonist recalled his childhood where He once studied martial arts in order to preserve peace. But after being humiliated for his failure to protect a mute girl (his love interest in the film), he believed that it’s better to be a villain than a hero.

I, for one, once lived a life of a villain (minus the goons, guns, cigars, and women – a common image in Philippine movies). I immersed myself to the “in” lifestyle where if you don’t do this, you’re not cool and that you’ll be bullied for not adjusting to what society establishes. But ever since I’ve joined the Youth Ministry, the Lord has been rebuilding me into a good guy once again. In fact, Jesus Christ is the ultimate epitome of a good guy because he is, patient, loving, and righteous.

Friends, it is always tough to be the good guy (may it be in television, movies, and even in real life), but we should never lose hope. Because in the end, the good guys always win. – Tim Montales (tm81288@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Lord, may Your life be our inspiration in living our roles as the good guys. With Your grace, may we be able to sustain all the pains and sufferings that this role offers. May we never cease to live a good guy’s lifestyle of being patient, loving, and righteous children. Amen!

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do I always allow myself to succumb to society’s pressure?

Photo source: wordydrawings.tumblr.com

Little Whispers, Tim Montales

The Lenten Alarm

First Reading

Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

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.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

TIM MONTALES abcnews.go.com

REFLECTION

“Every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.” – Jonah 3:8-9

Last week, we kicked off the Lenten Season through Ash Wednesday, and every year, we are called to “repent and believe in the Gospel.”

In the First Reading, Jonah drops by Nineveh to sound the alarm of repentance. As the alarm reaches the king, he declared that everyone should fast, and turn from their evil ways so that God will withhold his wrath upon them. The result was a success and Nineveh was spared.

However, it’s sometimes tough to respond quickly. How tough? It’s like dealing with our alarm clocks. Sometimes, we succeed in waking up on schedule, and sometimes, we switch it off and snooze for a couple of minutes. And then we realize that we’ve snoozed for an hour (or half an hour) and then rush because we’re behind schedule.

Friends, there’s no need to rush because it’s a lifetime journey, and it begins with you. Some may have started earlier than Lent (perhaps it’s their New Year’s Resolution), others are right on schedule (they’ve started it last Ash Wednesday), and some may begin this week (you and I can belong to this section). But nonetheless, the Lord will be very pleased and happy to see that us starting the journey. It will be tough but the rewards are satisfying. Bon voyage on our trip to repentance! – Tim Montales (tm81288@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for this message as it served as an alarm clock for us, Your children, to make a stand and begin our repentance trip. We admit that the road is tough, yet we’ve decided to push ourselves and do our best to “repent and believe in the Gospel.” Guide us, Oh Lord, for we cannot accomplish this journey without You. This we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!

REFLECTION QUESTION

Are you equipped by God for your trip to repentance?

Photo source: abcnews.go.com

Little Whispers, Tim Montales

Always Keep the Faith

FIRST READING
1 Kgs 11:4-13

When Solomon was old his wives had turned his heart to strange gods,
and his heart was not entirely with the LORD, his God,
as the heart of his father David had been.
By adoring Astarte, the goddess of the Sidonians,
and Milcom, the idol of the Ammonites,
Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD;
he did not follow him unreservedly as his father David had done.
Solomon then built a high place to Chemosh, the idol of Moab,
and to Molech, the idol of the Ammonites,
on the hill opposite Jerusalem.
He did the same for all his foreign wives
who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.
The LORD, therefore, became angry with Solomon,
because his heart was turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel,
who had appeared to him twice
(for though the LORD had forbidden him
this very act of following strange gods,
Solomon had not obeyed him).

So the LORD said to Solomon: “Since this is what you want,
and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes
which I enjoined on you,
I will deprive you of the kingdom and give it to your servant.
I will not do this during your lifetime, however,
for the sake of your father David;
it is your son whom I will deprive.
Nor will I take away the whole kingdom.
I will leave your son one tribe for the sake of my servant David
and of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 106:3-4, 35-36, 37 And 40
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Blessed are they who observe what is right,
who do always what is just.
Remember us, O LORD, as you favor your people;
visit us with your saving help.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
But they mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel
Mk 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre.
He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it,
but he could not escape notice.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him.
She came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth,
and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, “Let the children be fed first.
For it is not right to take the food of the children
and throw it to the dogs.”
She replied and said to him,
“Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”
Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go.
The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed
and the demon gone.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

REFLECTION
“Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” –Mark 7: 29

It was March of 2010 when I worked as a Management Trainee in a company in Ayala. The experience was tough because I had to convince busy, hungry, and difficult people to stop and give some of their minutes to listen to my spiel for a cause. A lot of times I got none, and it was only a rare opportunity when I was faced with people who willingly shared their time.

All of it changed when I received a text.

And this text came from one of the three media conglomerates inviting me for a preliminary exam. I grabbed the opportunity for it was my dream to work for one of the Big Three of Philippine Media. The opportunity came in timely because it was also my last week in the company. Truly, “The Lord closes a door and opens a window”. I prayed during those times that the Lord would become my hands, mind, and mouth as I go through the phases of application from the preliminary exam to the panel interview.

After the panel interview, they advised me that my acceptance to the company will be informed by a text containing pre-employment requirements. As the days go by, my patience and faith was tested until I receive a text containing pre-employment requirements (SSS, TIN, Medical Exams, etc.). When I informed my parents about it, they were happy for me as I was accepted to the company.

Interestingly, it all happened during my service in YLSS 29 and before our FE Sponsorship.

Faith produces a lot of miracles and this reflection is a testament to it. Comrades, let us follow the example of the Syrophoenician woman who exercised her faith in her encounter with Christ who seeks healing for her daughter. May we never stop believing until the Lord grants our prayers in due time. -Tim Montales. YLSS#24

Prayer:
Lord, may we always exercise our faith in Your Divine Providence. May we never surrender in the face of uncertainty for it is faith that makes us strong and believe that You are working in our prayers. May we always believe that You are always there and that You never forsake Your chosen people. Amen.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————–
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Little Whispers, Tim Montales

Tried and Tested

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 temple
the 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
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 24:7, 8, 9, 10
R. (8) 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.

Or

Lk 2:22-32
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.”
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REFLECTION
“Because he himself was tested through what he suffered he is able to help those who are being tested.” –Hebrews 2:18

July 10, 2011, I’ll definitely never forget that date.

It was the date when dad called us for a family meeting. He even had a laptop and a projector ready. High tech, isn’t it?

As the meeting began, dad asked if we notice a few changes that are happening such as leaving home late in the morning, being more relaxed, and being frequently at home. I did say that I’ve noticed it and after that observation, dad revealed one of the nastiest news I’ve heard, he was retrenched.

Retrenchment is a move of certain companies that reduces the numbers of its employees and dad was part of it. For all I know, there will come a time that dad and mom will no longer work, but this event came without notice. We were not prepared to say the least. Though dad was retrenched, he was not completely without a job thanks to his part time job as a professor in Adamson University. However, dad informs us that he will not earn that big so we need to adjust our lifestyle momentarily as he seeks to look for a new job. A month later, August 15, 2011, dad announces that he finally lands a new job in Calamba. I do remember his humorous way of saying it, “Pwede nang mag aircon ulit!”

True enough, the Lord does not give trials that we cannot overcome and trials are the Lord’s ways of training us, His servants, so that we can fortify our faith in Him. And this is “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered he is able to help those who are being tested.” The Lord seeks to make us tried and tested warriors who are well versed in facing the multitude of trials that come in every corner, aspect, shapes and sizes.

Like Mary in this Feast of the Presentation, let us exercise the culture of saying yes to the challenge as she exemplifies it when Simeon told her of the infant’s destiny to become the Messiah who will save His people through His death on the cross. -Tim Montales. YLSS#24

Prayer:
Lord, trials do come in our way, one way or another. Yet, may we welcome these trials for these are your ways of making us tried and tested Christians. Like Mary, may we exercise to say yes to these everyday trials and we claim that you are always there to help us survive. This we pray in Jesus’ name through the intercession of Mother Mary. Amen.
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