Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

No Tongue

First Reading
IS 35:4-7A
Thus says the LORD:
Say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
with divine recompense
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.
Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The God of Jacob keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind;
the LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
The LORD loves the just;
the LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow the LORD sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
JAS 2:1-5
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please, ”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there, ” or “Sit at my feet, ”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?

Gospel
MK 7:31-37
Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” —
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


Toddler boy holding on to father's legs

“He has done all things well.  He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (Mark 7:37)

REFLECTION

I was an extremely shy child. Every time we had family reunions, I hid behind my mom and just kept my mouth shut most of the time. Words did not come easy to me. It takes a while for me to warm up especially when I am around people I am not yet comfortable to be with. My Lolo gave me a fitting nickname – “No Tongue.”

To make matters worse, family reunions also meant that the kids get to entertain the adults with endless song and dance numbers… to my horror! I dreaded those moments. As my cousins took center stage and performed to their hearts’ content, I clung to my mommy’s legs as if my dear life depended on it. Even the constant prodding of my titos and titas did not work. I would go home with swollen eyes.

Everything changed when I met the Lord during the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar (YLSS) back in 2002. It was as if Jesus looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to me “Ephphatha!” – that is, “Be opened!” during the Baptism of Fire, just as He had done to the man in the gospel. He opened my mouth and suddenly, I was not afraid to speak my mind anymore. He gave me the confidence that I needed and words began to flow.

Pretty soon, I was boldly proclaiming His word to the people around me. I was called to share my story of healing and transformation in succeeding YLSS’s in front of so many people and this time, I was not shaken. I was also chosen to be one of the leaders in the Youth Ministry. In our weekly gatherings and activities, I went in front without a tinge of fear in my heart because I know Jesus got my back. During worship, I sang and danced to my heart’s content and cried happy tears, all for the Lord. It was also during that time when I discovered that I had a heart for teaching, as I became one of the teachers in the ministry. I bravely spoke about God’s love every chance I got. It wasn’t long before I decided to pursue teaching as a profession, a job that entails constant talking in front of my students. Looking back, the Lord has a funny way of turning things around if only you let Him.

Indeed, Jesus has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. Give Him a chance today. Open your heart and He will give you what you need. He heals. He transforms. In your weakness, He is made strong.

Prayer

Author

matignas-trina-wc

Click on the writer’s card to read more of Trina’s reflections!

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Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

The Call

First Reading
GN 41:55-57; 42:5-7A, 17-24A
When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt
and the people cried to Pharaoh for bread,
Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph
and do whatever he told them.
When the famine had spread throughout the land,
Joseph opened all the cities that had grain
and rationed it to the Egyptians,
since the famine had gripped the land of Egypt.
In fact, all the world came to Joseph to obtain rations of grain,
for famine had gripped the whole world.

The sons of Israel were among those
who came to procure rations.

It was Joseph, as governor of the country,
who dispensed the rations to all the people.
When Joseph’s brothers came and knelt down before him
with their faces to the ground,
he recognized them as soon as he saw them.
But Joseph concealed his own identity from them
and spoke sternly to them.

With that, he locked them up in the guardhouse for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to his brothers:
“Do this, and you shall live; for I am a God-fearing man.
If you have been honest,
only one of your brothers need be confined in this prison,
while the rest of you may go
and take home provisions for your starving families.
But you must come back to me with your youngest brother.
Your words will thus be verified, and you will not die.”
To this they agreed.
To one another, however, they said:
“Alas, we are being punished because of our brother.
We saw the anguish of his heart when he pleaded with us,
yet we paid no heed;
that is why this anguish has now come upon us.”
Reuben broke in,
“Did I not tell you not to do wrong to the boy?
But you would not listen!
Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”
The brothers did not know, of course,
that Joseph understood what they said,
since he spoke with them through an interpreter.
But turning away from them, he wept.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 33:2-3, 10-11, 18-19
R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
Sing to him a new song;
pluck the strings skillfully, with shouts of gladness.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
The LORD brings to nought the plans of nations;
he foils the designs of peoples.
But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.

Gospel
MT 10:1-7
Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these:
first, Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew;
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John;
Philip and Bartholomew,
Thomas and Matthew the tax collector;
James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus;
Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot
who betrayed Jesus.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus,
“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town.
Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’”


phone

“Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.” (Matthew 10:1)

REFLECTION

I have been exposed to ministry work for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I would tag along my mom and dad to prayer meetings with no clue at all on what really goes on between prayers and songs, closed eyes and raised arms. Aside from prayer meetings, my parents would spend weekends serving in encounters and outreaches. At that time, I would feel bad whenever they were away. I did not understand what it meant to be summoned by the Lord to do good work until I got “the call.”

It came when I joined the Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar and became active in the Youth Ministry. I was on a high and all I wanted to do was devote my time in serving God through the youth ministry. It’s a call you cannot miss. It’s a call you cannot resist. Since being summoned by the Lord, I rarely missed a prayer meeting and grabbed any chance to be of service to my God. Each year that followed, we would have hundreds of youth surrendering their hearts to Jesus once again. But come yearend, only few of us were left standing. It is no wonder because such kind of service takes a great deal of your time, talent and treasure. It’s no easy feat but I came to love service through the God of my youth. I served the youth ministry for as long as I could!

Looking back, I thank the Lord for instilling a heart of service in me early on. I was blessed with the awesome chance to serve Jesus alongside other youth through the ministry and I could not ask for more. However, some are not built for that kind of service. But that doesn’t mean they do not receive the call to serve God in their own special ways. Sometimes, you may receive a special call depending on the season of your life.

At this point in my life, I am doing the Lord’s work as I serve my little family – my husband and our two-month old daughter, whom the Lord has given to me to love fully. I may not have the time to go to prayer meetings now, but serving in this ministry is a full-time job that I lovingly do for Him. I am also blessed to have a very generous husband who freely gives whatever he earns to God’s church and to those in need. That is his own special calling, service in a different form.

I now realize that service comes in all shapes and sizes but the call to serve the Lord stays the same. When it comes, you just have to answer. The important thing is, we remain in Him and continue sharing His love no matter what, in whatever way fit for us, for there is still so much to be done in the Lord’s vineyard. – Trina Matignas (makfmatignas@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord, give me a heart of service today. Let me heed your call to serve you and others. Bless the work of hands so I can help build your kingdom in my own special way. Amen.

Reflection Question

Have you heeded the Lord’s call to serve Him today?

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Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

Doubting Thomases

First Reading
Acts 4:32-35

The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 John 5:1-6

Beloved:
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten by God,
and everyone who loves the Father
loves also the one begotten by him.
In this way we know that we love the children of God
when we love God and obey his commandments.
For the love of God is this,
that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome,
for whoever is begotten by God conquers the world.
And the victory that conquers the world is our faith.
Who indeed is the victor over the world
but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ,
not by water alone, but by water and blood.
The Spirit is the one that testifies,
and the Spirit is truth.

Gospel
John 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

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 he 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.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.


  “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29)

REFLECTION
It’s so easy to believe in Jesus when we witness his miracles unfolding right in front of us. For me, that would be the day when we saw our first baby’s heartbeat flickering on the ultrasound screen. It was the concrete example of God’s perfect love. I felt God telling me “I make beautiful things come to life.” I have seen a miracle with my own eyes! I was on a high. That moment, I truly believed that there is a God.

My Doubting Thomas self emerged several weeks after in that same ultrasound room. The flicker on the screen was gone. Our baby was gone. My eyes no longer saw the miracle. My heart no longer saw Jesus. I was filled with pain, doubt and anger towards my God. Like Thomas, I racked my brains out for proof that He was there. That was me at my lowest. Without Jesus.

But even if I turned my back on God, He did not give up on me. For each day that passed, He strengthened my heart and opened my eyes again to the miracles around me. Slowly but surely, every tear was replaced with hope. Peace overcame me that I no longer needed proof that He is there because I felt Him comforting my heart. My husband and I have come to realize that we now have a direct line to heaven, an angel. We named him Gabriel, after Angel Gabriel, the Lord’s messenger. It also means “God is my strength.” Baby Gabriel brought good news to our lives and restored our faith in an extraordinary way.

In our roller coaster faith journey, we all have been Doubting Thomases at some point.
In our most difficult times, we often lose sight of Jesus, and tend to rely on outward signs and concrete miracles to be able to proclaim that He is real. But He is real, fireworks or no fireworks. You only have to look into your heart to believe this. –Trina Matignas, YLSS 21 (makfmatignas@yahoo.com)

Prayer
Lord, erase all my doubts and strengthen my heart so I can see you clearly each day. Amen.

Reflection Question
Have I ever been a Doubting Thomas? What did I do to restore my faith in Jesus?

Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

The Big Reward

First Reading
Sir 51:12 CD-20

I thank the LORD and I praise him;
I bless the name of the LORD.
When I was young and innocent,
I sought wisdom openly in my prayer
I prayed for her before the temple,
and I will seek her until the end,
and she flourished as a grape soon ripe.
My heart delighted in her,
My feet kept to the level path
because from earliest youth I was familiar with her.
In the short time I paid heed,
I met with great instruction.
Since in this way I have profited,
I will give my teacher grateful praise.
I became resolutely devoted to her—
the good I persistently strove for.
My soul was tormented in seeking her,
My hand opened her gate
and I came to know her secrets.
I directed my soul to her,
and in cleanness I attained to her.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 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
Mk 11:27-33

Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem.
As he was walking in the temple area,
the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders
approached him and said to him,
“By what authority are you doing these things?
Or who gave you this authority to do them?”
Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question.
Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.”
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’
But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”–
they feared the crowd,
for they all thought John really was a prophet.
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.”
Then Jesus said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

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webmd_photo_of_man_rewarding_dog

The Big Reward

“…By them your servant is warned; in keeping the ordinances of the Lord there is great reward.” –Psalm 19:11

The Choral Recitation Festival was drawing near. My class of 9 kids, all barely 3 years old, needed to recite a short poem and sing a song in front of their parents in 2 weeks time, which was a big feat for a child. The pressure was high. Desperate times called for desperate measures; so I shoved some chocolates into a brown paper bag as the ultimate bribe.

During class time, I told my students that I had a surprise waiting for them if they perform well. I shook the bag and it made an intriguing noise. Their tiny eyes turned into great big curious balls in an instant. That afternoon, we had the best practice ever! Their voices were loud and they all danced so well. Of course, they all got their big reward and the smiles on their faces were priceless.

In the same way, we should all strive to be our best for Jesus for He has promised a great prize in heaven for those who follow His ways. More so, if my kids were happy to receive their chocolates for a job well done, I, as their Teacher, was even happier and proud of their success. Yet, this is nothing compared to the Lord’s joy whenever we choose to remain in Him – and that is the greatest reward of all! –Trina Fernandez (makmfernandez@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, let my love for you strengthen my resolve to strive for righteousness all the days of my life. May I make you happy with everything I do each day. You are my greatest prize! Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

What motivates me to follow Jesus?

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Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

My “Bestest” Friend

First Reading
Sir 6:5-17

A kind mouth multiplies friends and appeases enemies,
and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.
Let your acquaintances be many,
but one in a thousand your confidant.
When you gain a friend, first test him,
and be not too ready to trust him.
For one sort is a friend when it suits him,
but he will not be with you in time of distress.
Another is a friend who becomes an enemy,
and tells of the quarrel to your shame.
Another is a friend, a boon companion,
who will not be with you when sorrow comes.
When things go well, he is your other self,
and lords it over your servants;
But if you are brought low, he turns against you
and avoids meeting you.
Keep away from your enemies;
be on your guard with your friends.
A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter;
he who finds one finds a treasure.
A faithful friend is beyond price,
no sum can balance his worth.
A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy,
such as he who fears God finds;
For he who fears God behaves accordingly,
and his friend will be like himself.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 119:12, 16, 18, 27, 34, 35
R. (35a) Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Blessed are you, O LORD;
teach me your statutes.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
In your statutes I will delight;
I will not forget your words.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Open my eyes, that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Give me discernment, that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.
Lead me in the path of your commands,
for in it I delight.
R. Guide me, Lord, in the way of your commands.

Gospel
Mk 10:1-12

Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan.
Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom,
he again taught them.
The Pharisees approached him and asked,
“Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?”
They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?”
They replied,
“Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.”
But Jesus told them,
“Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment.
But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female.
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh.
So they are no longer two but one flesh.
Therefore what God has joined together,
no human being must separate.”
In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this.
He said to them,
“Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her;
and if she divorces her husband and marries another,
she commits adultery.”

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REFLECTION

A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that has found one has found a treasure. –Sirach 6:14

I met my two best friends in the world 10 years ago. I can tell them everything and anything under the sun. They are always there when I need them – through the toughest times and in my shining moments. They have been my rock all these years, a sturdy shelter, especially when life’s storms come to pass. They do not tolerate my mistakes and correct me whenever I need correction, but I know they love me unconditionally and wholly for what I am. They make me happy each day and they are my treasures.

One of them is Rye, who I will be marrying in 2 months time (as I am writing this). The other one is Jesus, who I met in a more personally way when I joined the Youth Ministry back then. I am crazy about Him and He is crazy about me. My best bud on earth may falter at times, but I know my “bestest” friend in heaven, will never ever let me down.

Let Jesus be your friend today and every day of your life. Come to Him when you are happy, when you are down, when you are tired, when you are about to lose hope, when you feel like you’re down to nothing. He offers you friendship like no other. Open yourself to Him, for He is everything that you need Him to be. Place your trust in Him, for He is a faithful friend you can always count on. –Trina Fernandez (makmfernandez@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Prayer: Lord, may I turn to You in good times and in bad. I let you be my sturdy shelter and Rock, and I find rest in knowing I am Your friend. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

What have I done to deepen my friendship with Jesus?

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Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

Ultimate Purpose

First Reading
Jer 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Gospel
JN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.

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sheep

REFLECTION

“Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter, had not realized that they were hatching plots against me.”

Last summer, I went to New Zealand for a Group Study Exchange trip. New Zealand, a country almost the size of the Philippines, is home to almost 4 million people, and 60 million sheep! So imagine my delight to see these fluffy, gentle-looking creatures everywhere I looked. Our hosts brought us to several sheep farms and educated us about the life purpose of the sheep – to give wool and to provide meat.

It was my first time to witness a sheep being shorn and it was not a pleasant sight. To my horror, the sheep about to lose its thick coat is laid helplessly on the floor, getting bloody nicks from the sharp razor from time to time. I winced at the shearer’s every move but the sheep remained still and quiet throughout the process. Its wool may be gone to protect it through the cold but it will become a jacket that will keep someone else warm through the winter. In another part of the farm, innocent eyes peered at me as rows of sheep waited to be slaughtered and become someone’s feast the next day. Yes, it looked harsh from my vantage point. It did not deserve to be hurt, but the sheep’s got to do what it’s got to do and I now believe in my heart that it is happy to fulfill its ultimate purpose.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, has done nothing wrong to deserve punishment and death just like the sheep I met in New Zealand. But He endured every taunt and blow, and went through all the pain because that is God’s ultimate purpose for Him. He did it out of love and nothing else because He finds greatest joy in giving us life. Look at the cross, and be transformed. –Trina Fernandez (makmfernandez@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Dear Jesus, through Your death, I have life. Thank You for your unconditional love for me, my Savior. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What has Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross taught me?

Photo source: compassionjuli.wordpress.com

Little Whispers, Trina Matignas

The Best Wine

First Reading
Is 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken, “
or your land “Desolate, “
but you shall be called “My Delight, “
and your land “Espoused.”
For the LORD delights in you
and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10

R. (3) Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Give to the LORD, you families of nations,
give to the LORD glory and praise;
give to the LORD the glory due his name!
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Worship the LORD in holy attire.
Tremble before him, all the earth;
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.

Second Reading
1 Cor 12:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Gospel
Jn 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told the them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it.
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
— although the servers who had drawn the water knew —,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

TRINA FERNANDEZ nathanieljc.deviantart.com

REFLECTION

“When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’”  – Jn 2:3

As our family grew bigger in number, expenses also shot up by the minute. There were now 5 of us to provide for: 5 hungry tummies to feed each day, 5 growing children to send to school.  I knew our parents worked doubly hard to give us our daily needs, and to occasionally give in to our wants. But I also know for certain, until this very day, that there was never a time when we had none. Yes, there were days and months that were harder than the others, when I felt my parents struggled the most to make ends meet. But the Lord would always make a way to fill our cup to the brim once again whenever we were down to the last drop. A better job, a new opportunity, a helpful friend, a water-turning-into-wine miracle always came at the most perfect time.

Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana is the perfect reminder of how God is always there to fill whatever lack we might have in our lives. It may not just be the lack of money or material things, but more importantly, it may be the emotional and spiritual hole in our hearts brought about by our sin, pain, unforgiveness, doubt, and fear that drain the life out of us.

Whatever void you may have in your life right now, surrender it to Jesus and let him fill your heart to the brim with the best wine, His love. With the Lord in your life, you will never feel empty again for you have everything you need in Him. -Trina Fernandez (makmfernandez@yahoo.com)

 

PRAYER
Lord, remind me each day that I lack nothing when I have you. I place my hope and faith in you for You are the God of love who provides.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What is stopping me from enjoying the full life that God has promised?

Photo source: nathanieljc.deviantart.com