Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Spoiler Alert

First Reading
Acts 2:1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 12:3B-7, 12-13
Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

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.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel
John 20:19-23
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.”


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“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.”” (John 20:19)

REFLECTION
I love looking up spoilers. I’m the person who reads the last chapter of a book before I flick to the first, looks up movie endings when I’m halfway through them, and searches Korean drama episode recaps on Google. I feel better when I know what will happen, what comes next, and how a story will end. Why? Because knowing how everything will unfold means being prepared for whatever happens.

But in life, I’ve come to realize that this is not the case. I cannot search the Internet for answers to my questions, read the recap for what will happen tomorrow, nor ask God to tell me what the future holds. Everyday means living with uncertainty and being in the unknown of what comes next, and uncertainty means questions, doubts, and fear of what may and may not happen. Especially now, we’re all living with the uncertainty of what comes next, anxiety about our plans, questions of the future, and fear of acquiring the virus.

As Jesus came to the disciples at the time of their great fears although the doors were locked, He comes to us, too, wherever we are locked in by fear, and he gives us His peace, His joy, and His promise of hope. Jesus takes away all of our uncertainties, overcomes our fears, and brings us peace.

Today, Jesus is reminding us that His peace will carry us through any fear, any problem, and any uncertainty in life because spoiler alert: Jesus wins and His peace overcomes fear.

Reflection Song

See A Victory by Elevation Worship

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Photo from https://umaine.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/08/Spoiler-alert-news-feature.jpg

Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Frontliner of Faith

First Reading
Acts 20:17-27
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned.
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.

“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21
R.    (33a)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 17:1-11A
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”


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“I served the Lord with all humility and with the tears and trials that came to me…” (Acts 20:19)

REFLECTION
I’ve always been scared of what life had to offer. But if there was something I was always told, it was to stay true to the Lord, especially in the hardest of times. Before, it was something I could not mentally grasp, but it all made a bit more sense when I was able to join the Bukas Loob Sa Diyos community. It was there where I felt a different kind of love, and it was something I would never want to lose. 

The people in the community would let me feel a genuine sense of joy and belonging, and they would always lead me to activities and places that were gentle, yet fun. It was in the time that I would really come to know and appreciate what they stand for and what they believe in, which is what God wants us to reenact in the gospel. They let me feel what the Lord wants all of us to feel. And because of that sense of belonging, I knew that it was all real. I knew that they were truly there for the Lord. And it was because of them that I decided to join and to stay. Together with them, also taking up the responsibility of bringing people closer, so they may feel the same.

But when you get to feel that sense of love and happiness, you also see those who do not get to feel the same way. When you accept God’s love, you also accept His mission of bringing everyone to Him. This is something taught in the first reading, where Paul exclaims that despite all the uncertainty and possible struggles and trails, he will still push himself through all of the pain to spread the word of God.

Today, I believe that Lord wants to remind us that, in all the love and joy that we feel in our service, we have also taken up the duty to let people feel that same love we get from the Lord.

Reflection Song

One Desire by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

Photo by: William White (@wrwhite3 at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tisha Tayag

Surrender & Surprise

First Reading
Acts 16:22-34
The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8
R.    (7c)  Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”


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“But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.” (John 16:7)

REFLECTION
Unexpectedly, this is not a “hugot” (emotional) verse or reflection. Rather, it is of hope.

It is normal for us to feel hurt especially when it feels that we have been left behind. I am pretty sure there are multiple ways for one to feel this emotion. We all feel a sting when we outgrow people that we hold dear and there’s an extra pang when others outgrow and leave us. We are never made ready for moments wherein we must let go. We would rather stay with what is familiar but I ask you, what if there is something phenomenal coming your way? You may not feel it right now, but believe me, there is.

Just like what Jesus assures His disciples, the Advocate can only come if Jesus goes. Who is this Advocate? Well, it’s the Holy Spirit and we can find the comfort of this Spirit in people who make us feel supported, people who empower us and journey with us to make us stronger.

Trust me, I am no expert when it comes to letting go but I am always proud to share of how the Heavenly Father makes things better by sending an Advocate. I am grateful to have found my Advocates and some of them have come into my life in unique and unexpected ways!

My point here, dearest friends, is we all have things we need to detach ourselves from. God is reminding you today to let go of whatever that is that is holding you back or hurting you because in case you have forgotten – He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the beginning and the end which only means He has everything planned out for you. So, smile! The God who made the universe is waiting for you to surrender so He can surprise you today.

Prayer
God Almighty, in my most solitary moments that is when I realize that I am not okay. There are many things around me and inside me that are tearing me apart but today, I acknowledge and accept that in my letting go, I am letting You in and I welcome You into my life. Please send Your Most Holy Spirit to turn my silent tears into laughter and my madness into serenity. I love You and I thank You for how You will change my life for the better. Amen.

Author

wc-tisha

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tisha!

Photo by: Paul Green (@pgreen1983 at unsplash.com)

Diego Reyes, Little Whispers

(Not) A Rulebreaker

First Reading
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Peter 3:15-18
Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Gospel
John 14:15-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”


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“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.” (John 14:21)

REFLECTION
Like any other kid, I grew up with an affinity for video games. Up to this day, playing video games is my favorite hobby and I would stay up all night to play my favorite video game! 

My video game journey started with the PSP—it was the first console I ever owned, and I was addicted to it. I got it as a gift when I passed fourth grade and I would play it whenever I got the chance. I even snuck it into school and would play it during my break. My parents soon took notice that I was getting more and more addicted to my PSP; every waking hour was spent playing it. They did not want to take away my PSP, but they instructed me that I can play it with one condition, that being I can only play it for 2 hours and 30 minutes each day.

It is weird that as a 10-year-old boy who had a reputation of being makulit (naughty), I was able to follow my parents’ rules. I would often remember begging them to extend my playtime if I already consumed my playtime for the day! For me, I loved my parents so much that I was afraid to defy their word even if they were not looking at me.

This is what Jesus is telling us today—to love Him so much that breaking His rules is not in the picture. It must come naturally to us to be obedient to the will of the Father in order to let His Spirit, His Word and His Love to overflow our lives! Love must be in the center of our lives for Jesus to be in the center of everything!

Prayer
Lord, let love take over all aspects of my life. Let it invade and take control today. Amen!

Author

img_2972

Click on the bubble to find out more about Diego!

Photo by: Batu Gezer (@gezerbatu at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Trisha Rodriguez

In Time

First Reading
Acts 9:31-42
The Church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria
was at peace.
She was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord,
and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit she grew in numbers.

As Peter was passing through every region,
he went down to the holy ones living in Lydda.
There he found a man named Aeneas,
who had been confined to bed for eight years, for he was paralyzed.
Peter said to him,
“Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.”
He got up at once.
And all the inhabitants of Lydda and Sharon saw him,
and they turned to the Lord.

Now in Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha
(which translated is Dorcas).
She was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving.
Now during those days she fell sick and died,
so after washing her, they laid her out in a room upstairs.
Since Lydda was near Joppa,
the disciples, hearing that Peter was there,
sent two men to him with the request,
“Please come to us without delay.”
So Peter got up and went with them.
When he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs
where all the widows came to him weeping
and showing him the tunics and cloaks
that Dorcas had made while she was with them.
Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed.
Then he turned to her body and said, “Tabitha, rise up.”
She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
He gave her his hand and raised her up,
and when he had called the holy ones and the widows,
he presented her alive.
This became known all over Joppa,
and many came to believe in the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 116:12-13, 14-15, 16-17
R.    (12) How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.    Alleluia.
How shall I make a return to the LORD
for all the good he has done for me?
The cup of salvation I will take up,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.    Alleluia.
My vows to the LORD I will pay
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the eyes of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.    Alleluia.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your handmaid;
you have loosed my bonds.
To you will I offer sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and I will call upon the name of the LORD.
R.    How shall I make a return to the Lord for all the good he has done for me?
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 6:60-69
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said,
“This saying is hard; who can accept it?”
Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this,
he said to them, “Does this shock you?
What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail.
The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.
But there are some of you who do not believe.”
Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe
and the one who would betray him.
And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me
unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this,
many of his disciples returned to their former way of life
and no longer walked with him.
Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life.
We have come to believe
and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”


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““Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed.” He got up at once.” (Acts 9:34)

REFLECTION
These past few weeks have not been easy. The longer I keep myself updated on the world, the more that I am constantly reminded of life’s uncertainties.

A little over a year ago, I was asking God to make time stand still. Now that the world is on halt, I would give anything to have time to move again so that I’ll be able to hug my friends or even go to a place without any fear or barricades once more.

In a time where anxiousness and restlessness overwhelms us, I see more of Jesus’ face in the kindness of others. He heals us in the simplest of things. He heals us as we wake from our sleep. He heals us with laughter that fills our homes. He heals us with love. He heals us in our time.

This is how I know that we will get up. We will recover, and we will do it all in His perfect time.

Prayer
Jesus, I thank You for holding our hands through this battle. Open our hearts to You as we receive Your healing. Guide us through the days of this uncertain time and lead us with patience and hope in our hearts. Amen.

Author

wc-trisha

Click on the bubble to find out more about Trisha!

Photo by: Tim Mossholder (@timmossholder at unsplash.com)

 

Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Seven Sundays

First Reading
Acts 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.”
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?”
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20
R.    (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”


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“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

REFLECTION
Growing up, Sunday has always meant going to Church and attending mass. Until religious mass gatherings were barred due to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19. It has been seven Sundays of attending online mass and seven weeks of praying the rosary everyday. And with every week that goes by, I realize more than ever how much I miss it.

I miss going to church. I miss being in the presence of Jesus inside the church. I miss listening to the word of God and to the Homily. I miss celebrating the Eucharist. I miss kneeling before God and talking to Him. I miss the gathering of people who believe in Christ. I miss being in the same room, worshiping, singing, serving, laughing, praying, and receiving communion together.

But today, I am reminded that we are the Church. For without the people, a building cannot be considered a Church. The people created and called by God to be His: His children, His disciples, and His messengers.

As Jesus is the living bread whose flesh is given for the life of the world, we are called to fulfill our duties as the Church of Christ in our own ways. As we turn our own homes into Churches, we can pray, worship, extend help, reach out, and care for each other as we continue the works of the Church. As each of us has been given skills, abilities and opportunities to serve, Jesus will continue to strengthen, protect, and sustain us.

Friends, today’s readings are telling us that wherever we are, Jesus is there. He is there in our homes, in our families, in our lives, and He will always be there. We may not be able to go to church and celebrate the Eucharist, but Jesus is reminding us that we are the Church and the Church is at its best when the people inside the building take His message outside the building and serve those they meet.

Reflection Song

Here Again by Elevation Worship

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Photo by: Mateus Campos Felipe (@matfelipe at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Renzo Sy

My Lifeline

First Reading
Acts 2:14, 22-33
Then Peter stood up with the Eleven,
raised his voice, and proclaimed:
“You who are Jews, indeed all of you staying in Jerusalem.
Let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
You who are Israelites, hear these words.
Jesus the Nazarene was a man commended to you by God
with mighty deeds, wonders, and signs,
which God worked through him in your midst, as you yourselves know.
This man, delivered up by the set plan and foreknowledge of God,
you killed, using lawless men to crucify him.
But God raised him up, releasing him from the throes of death,
because it was impossible for him to be held by it.
For David says of him:
I saw the Lord ever before me,
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted;
my flesh, too, will dwell in hope,
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your holy one to see corruption.
You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.

“My brothers, one can confidently say to you
about the patriarch David that he died and was buried,
and his tomb is in our midst to this day.
But since he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn an oath to him
that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne,
he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ,
that neither was he abandoned to the netherworld
nor did his flesh see corruption.
God raised this Jesus;
of this we are all witnesses.
Exalted at the right hand of God,
he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father
and poured him forth, as you see and hear.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. (11a) Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
my body, too, abides in confidence;
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Lord, you will show us the path of life.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Peter 1:17-21
Beloved:
If you invoke as Father him who judges impartially
according to each one’s works,
conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning,
realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct,
handed on by your ancestors,
not with perishable things like silver or gold
but with the precious blood of Christ
as of a spotless unblemished lamb.

He was known before the foundation of the world
but revealed in the final time for you,
who through him believe in God
who raised him from the dead and gave him glory,
so that your faith and hope are in God.

Gospel
Luke 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week,
two of Jesus’ disciples were going
to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus,
and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred.
And it happened that while they were conversing and debating,
Jesus himself drew near and walked with them,
but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.
He asked them,
“What are you discussing as you walk along?”
They stopped, looking downcast.
One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply,
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem
who does not know of the things
that have taken place there in these days?”
And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”
They said to him,
“The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word
before God and all the people,
how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over
to a sentence of death and crucified him.
But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel;
and besides all this,
it is now the third day since this took place.
Some women from our group, however, have astounded us:
they were at the tomb early in the morning
and did not find his body;
they came back and reported
that they had indeed seen a vision of angels
who announced that he was alive.
Then some of those with us went to the tomb
and found things just as the women had described,
but him they did not see.”
And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are!
How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!
Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things
and enter into his glory?”
Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets,
he interpreted to them what referred to him
in all the Scriptures.
As they approached the village to which they were going,
he gave the impression that he was going on farther.
But they urged him, “Stay with us,
for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”
So he went in to stay with them.
And it happened that, while he was with them at table,
he took bread, said the blessing,
broke it, and gave it to them.
With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him,
but he vanished from their sight.
Then they said to each other,
“Were not our hearts burning within us
while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem
where they found gathered together
the eleven and those with them who were saying,
“The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!”
Then the two recounted
what had taken place on the way
and how he was made known to them in the breaking of bread.


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“I saw the Lord ever before me, with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. Therefore my heart has been glad and my tongue has exulted; my flesh, too, will dwell in hope…” (Acts 2:25-26)

REFLECTION
My sister is one of my greatest blessings in life right now. I never expected that the person who would know me 100% from top to bottom was just next door. She knows how my mind works and how I handle my thoughts and emotions. She knows how my mind tends to always dwell in the future and how I project the worst scenario that a situation will bring. She was there with me during my most anxious of times. She knows that all about my paranoia in terms of health, work, being stressed, and the future in general. She knows what to say, what to do, and how to comfort me during my breakdowns.

Being called for a greater purpose and mission, she had to leave the country for greener pastures. I have always had regrets not being more open to her during the days when she was still near. Now that she is saving more lives, being a front liner, and a superhero to many, she has given me a greater sense of optimism and a greater outlook of things. She reminds me that I am not alone with my insecurities and my anxious thoughts. She makes me feel whole and accepts me for who I am like no other person can. I found my peace in her. I saw Christ in her. 

Dear friends, Jesus will always find a way to crash through the walls of your heart. He manifests His love in the most unexpected way, for no one can know you better and love you stronger than Christ Himself.

Prayer
Dear Jesus, I thank you for every person who has made me into who I am today. I’m sorry for sometimes failing to see the most obvious blessings you give me. I am Yours. You are mine. Amen.

Author

wc-renzo

Click on the bubble to find out more about Renzo!

Photo by: Luis Melendez (@lcma1028 at unsplash.com)