Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

Even When It Hurts

First Reading
RV 7:2-4, 9-14

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6
R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Second Reading
1 JN 3:1-3

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Gospel
MT 5:1-12A

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”


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“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

REFLECTION

I believe that losing someone is one of the hardest things you can go through. Especially when you’ve always looked forward to all your dreams happening with him/her in the picture.

It’s been three years since my dad passed away. I’ve been mourning since then and I’m still mourning now. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him and just wish that he was still around. I don’t think mourning will ever go away but one thing I realized, so does the love of God.

Looking back these past three years, and even beyond that, God has always been there to love and comfort our family in times of need. And even in the times when I felt I couldn’t pray, He answered the deepest cries of my heart. Up to this day, He continues to embrace me through the gift of the people around me. He continues to comfort me regardless of how hurt I still feel towards Him.

At some point, I felt in my heart that if my God could continue to do so much for me despite my hurt, then I shouldn’t have any reason to ever stop praising Him for His goodness.

As we remember and mourn for our dear departed today, let us not forget that God the Father also mourned for His son, Jesus Christ. This is why I believe He understands our hurts more than anyone in this world. And this is why His comfort breaks through the lowest and darkest points in our lives.

Prayer

Author

salanguit-andrew-wc

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

A New You

First Reading
GN 27:1-5, 15-29

When Isaac was so old that his eyesight had failed him,
he called his older son Esau and said to him, “Son!”
“Yes father!” he replied.
Isaac then said, “As you can see, I am so old
that I may now die at any time.
Take your gear, therefore–your quiver and bow–
and go out into the country to hunt some game for me.
With your catch prepare an appetizing dish for me, such as I like,
and bring it to me to eat,
so that I may give you my special blessing before I die.”

Rebekah had been listening
while Isaac was speaking to his son Esau.
So, when Esau went out into the country
to hunt some game for his father,
Rebekah [then] took the best clothes of her older son Esau
that she had in the house,
and gave them to her younger son Jacob to wear;
and with the skins of the kids she covered up his hands
and the hairless parts of his neck.
Then she handed her son Jacob the appetizing dish
and the bread she had prepared.

Bringing them to his father, Jacob said, “Father!”
“Yes?” replied Isaac. “Which of my sons are you?”
Jacob answered his father: “I am Esau, your first-born.
I did as you told me.
Please sit up and eat some of my game,
so that you may give me your special blessing.”
But Isaac asked, “How did you succeed so quickly, son?”
He answered,
“The LORD, your God, let things turn out well with me.”
Isaac then said to Jacob,
“Come closer, son, that I may feel you,
to learn whether you really are my son Esau or not.”
So Jacob moved up closer to his father.
When Isaac felt him, he said,
“Although the voice is Jacob’s, the hands are Esau’s.”
(He failed to identify him because his hands were hairy,
like those of his brother Esau;
so in the end he gave him his blessing.)
Again he asked Jacob, “Are you really my son Esau?”
“Certainly,” Jacob replied.
Then Isaac said, “Serve me your game, son, that I may eat of it
and then give you my blessing.”
Jacob served it to him, and Isaac ate;
he brought him wine, and he drank.
Finally his father Isaac said to Jacob,
“Come closer, son, and kiss me.”
As Jacob went up and kissed him,
Isaac smelled the fragrance of his clothes.
With that, he blessed him saying,

“Ah, the fragrance of my son
is like the fragrance of a field
that the LORD has blessed!

“May God give to you
of the dew of the heavens
And of the fertility of the earth
abundance of grain and wine.

“Let peoples serve you,
and nations pay you homage;
Be master of your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be those who curse you,
and blessed be those who bless you.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 135:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6
R. (3a) Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD;
Praise, you servants of the LORD
Who stand in the house of the LORD,
in the courts of the house of our God.
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good;
sing praise to his name, which we love;
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself,
Israel for his own possession.
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.
For I know that the LORD is great;
our LORD is greater than all gods.
All that the LORD wills he does
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and in all the deeps.
R. Praise the Lord for the Lord is good!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
MT 9:14-17

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said,
“Why do we and the Pharisees fast much,
but your disciples do not fast?”
Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
and then they will fast.
No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,
for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse.
People do not put new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined.
Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”


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“People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17)

REFLECTION

I believe that God loves good change. He’s into change that nurtures growth within us. You see, He loves blessing us with new things, opportunities, relationships, for as long as it goes with our new selves.

I remember praying so hard for my dream guitar. Back then, it was an Ovation CC24. I was in college during this time and I had low self-esteem. I had little confidence in the things that I can do. I then received a text from a friend who quoted John 14:13: “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the son can bring glory to the Father.” Right then and there I decided that I wanted to serve through music. I decided to overcome my insecurities and just focus on the one thing I knew I wanted to do: Serve Him. He answered my prayer 2 months after. I’ve been using that guitar ever since, blessing me with amazing relationships, experiences, and growth in character as well.

6 years later, He blessed me with my new dream guitar, a Martin DX1AE. Alongside it, a calling that I never imagined I could do: to lead worship with it. This time, it wasn’t just about my insecurities. I couldn’t help but be saddened by the thought that my dad won’t see me lead worship anymore. It was his dream to do so but he has joined our Creator already. Through the grace of God and the love of the people around me, I am slowly being healed today as I’ve said yes to Him once more. I now lead worship with my girlfriend Kirae as a way of giving back to Him. He’s blessed me with so much more than new guitars.

Friends, just as wine is poured unto new wineskins for it to not go to waste – the same goes for His new blessings unto our new selves. I invite you to grow and change for the better today. It won’t be easy but remember that God has something new in store for you each time you bring out a new and better you. Each new day holds new surprises from the Father. Don’t let it go to waste. – Andrew Salanguit (andrewsalanguit@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord grant me the strength to overcome my weaknesses. Help me to change for the better as I seize Your new blessings for me today. Amen.

Reflection Question

How am I responding to the new things/blessings that God has for me?

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

Groceries

First Reading
Acts 9:1-20

Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest and asked him
for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that,
if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way,
he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains.
On his journey, as he was nearing Damascus,
a light from the sky suddenly flashed around him.
He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him,
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
He said, “Who are you, sir?”
The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
Now get up and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.”
The men who were traveling with him stood speechless,
for they heard the voice but could see no one.
Saul got up from the ground,
but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing;
so they led him by the hand and brought him to Damascus.
For three days he was unable to see, and he neither ate nor drank.

There was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias,
and the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.”
He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight
and ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul.
He is there praying,
and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias
come in and lay his hands on him,
that he may regain his sight.”
But Ananias replied,
“Lord, I have heard from many sources about this man,
what evil things he has done to your holy ones in Jerusalem.
And here he has authority from the chief priests
to imprison all who call upon your name.”
But the Lord said to him,
“Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of mine
to carry my name before Gentiles, kings, and children of Israel,
and I will show him what he will have to suffer for my name.”
So Ananias went and entered the house;
laying his hands on him, he said,
“Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me,
Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came,
that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Immediately things like scales fell from his eyes
and he regained his sight.
He got up and was baptized,
and when he had eaten, he recovered his strength.

He stayed some days with the disciples in Damascus,
and he began at once to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues,
that he is the Son of God.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 117:1, 2
R. (Mark 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD, all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 6:52-59

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.


 

“Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” (Acts 9:6)

REFLECTION
Isn’t it weird to be asked to do something you know you’re not meant to do? Imagine Saul being called to go to the city, blind and unqualified for the task before him.

I remember the time when my mom, out of nowhere, asked me to do something that I never thought she’d ask me to do – Do groceries.

This was crazy. Why? I seldom come with her to the grocery store so I would probably need Waze to find my way from one isle to another. I also disliked the long lines and looking for the items tested my patience. Plus I had a 5 second memory span for remembering items on shopping chores which may very well be the one reason why I’m never tasked for this. As much as I am a helpful guy, grocery shopping just isn’t my strong suit. But I had no choice. And out of so much love for the woman who does everything for our convenience, I followed.

As consolation, she gave me a list with just 5 items written on it, of which took an hour for me to complete (fist bump!).

After which I realized that God wanted me to go out of my way and out of what I thought I couldn’t do to strengthen my character. He wanted me to help my family because my dad wasn’t around anymore. He called for me to step up as a son, as a brother, and as a servant. He was preparing me for the things to come.

In life, God constantly calls us out into the city; Out of our comfort zones and out of what we think our qualifications are because He wants us to invest in our character for us to live better, serve better, and to love better. – Andrew Salanguit (andrewsalanguit@gmail.com)

Prayer
Father lead me to where you want me to be. Teach me to live, serve and love better in my journey so that you may be glorified in my life. I place my trust in You. Amen.

Reflection Question
Where does He want me to go? What does He want me to do? What’s holding me back?

Photo source: researchaccess.com

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

Strong And Brave

First Reading
2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14

It happened that seven brothers with their mother were arrested
and tortured with whips and scourges by the king,
to force them to eat pork in violation of God’s law.
One of the brothers, speaking for the others, said:
“What do you expect to achieve by questioning us?
We are ready to die rather than transgress the laws of our ancestors.”

At the point of death he said:
“You accursed fiend, you are depriving us of this present life,
but the King of the world will raise us up to live again forever.
It is for his laws that we are dying.”

After him the third suffered their cruel sport.
He put out his tongue at once when told to do so,
and bravely held out his hands, as he spoke these noble words:
“It was from Heaven that I received these;
for the sake of his laws I disdain them;
from him I hope to receive them again.”
Even the king and his attendants marveled at the young man’s courage,
because he regarded his sufferings as nothing.

After he had died,
they tortured and maltreated the fourth brother in the same way.
When he was near death, he said,
“It is my choice to die at the hands of men
with the hope God gives of being raised up by him;
but for you, there will be no resurrection to life.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15
R. (15b) Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.
Keep me as the apple of your eye,
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking I shall be content in your presence.
R. Lord, when your glory appears, my joy will be full.

Second Reading
2 Thes 2:16-3:5

Brothers and sisters:
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement
and good hope through his grace,
encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed
and word.

Finally, brothers and sisters, pray for us,
so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified,
as it did among you,
and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people,
for not all have faith.
But the Lord is faithful;
he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
We are confident of you in the Lord that what we instruct you,
you are doing and will continue to do.
May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God
and to the endurance of Christ.

Gospel
Lk 20:27-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers;
the first married a woman but died childless.
Then the second and the third married her,
and likewise all the seven died childless.
Finally the woman also died.
Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Or
Lk 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward.

Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”
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REFLECTION

“May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your word and enliven your speech.” -2 Thes 2:16-17 

It’s about a year now since my dad passed away and it was only recently that I had the chance (and courage) to rummage through stuff that would remind me of him. It was a holiday when mom, Pao and I decided to open up some boxes for cleaning. Knowing that I’d just feel sad and miss dad more, I just chose to clean up things that aren’t his. But then out comes my mother and hands out to me something I’ve never seen. Mom found my baby album in one of the boxes, and I was speechless at what I saw when I opened it.

It was a few days back when I was still asking God about His plans for me. I had a lot of doubts about myself; about my purpose; about my future. I was regretful about a lot of things and I felt so weak for feeling so.

That very day, God surprised me.

I opened the album and found baby pictures and my info sheet, from how my name was dreamt about by my dad, to my mom’s and his message for me.

My dad’s letter went like this:

“You are strong, Andrew. You are brave. Pogi. And you will grow up to be a fine man. You will be successful in a lot of things! You are faithful and will overcome life’s trials. I will always be here for you. You are my son and I love you so much.”

Guess what? It was dated days before I was even born.

That letter refreshed me and made me feel the love of my dad and what he saw in me before I even existed. I was just in awe of how God reached out to me through dad’s message.

And I believe that God has His own baby album with your name on it. Written on it are His wonderful plans for you, and how great, beautiful and full of positivity His creation in you is.

May our Father in Heaven put a fresh heart in you today the same way He did mine. Let Him surprise you. –Andrew Salanguit

Prayer

Lord God, surprise me today. Refresh and uplift me. I am made strong and brave in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Reflection Question

Am I focusing too much on the negative that it clouds the beauty of God’s creation in me?

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

No Other Name

First Reading

Ex 1:8-14, 22

A new king, who knew nothing of Joseph, came to power in Egypt.

He said to his subjects, “Look how numerous and powerful
the people of the children of Israel are growing, more so than we ourselves!
Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;
otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies
to fight against us, and so leave our country.”

Accordingly, taskmasters were set over the children of Israel
to oppress them with forced labor.
Thus they had to build for Pharaoh
the supply cities of Pithom and Raamses.
Yet the more they were oppressed,
the more they multiplied and spread.
The Egyptians, then, dreaded the children of Israel
and reduced them to cruel slavery,
making life bitter for them with hard work in mortar and brick
and all kinds of field work—the whole cruel fate of slaves.

Pharaoh then commanded all his subjects,
“Throw into the river every boy that is born to the Hebrews,
but you may let all the girls live.”

Responsorial Psalm 

Ps 12:4:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8

R. (8a) Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Had not the LORD been with us–
let Israel say, had not the LORD been with us–
When men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive,
When their fury was inflamed against us.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Then would the waters have overwhelmed us;
The torrent would have swept over us;
over us then would have swept
the raging waters.
Blessed be the LORD, who did not leave us
a prey to their teeth.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

We were rescued like a bird
from the fowlers’ snare;
Broken was the snare,
and we were freed.
Our help is in the name of the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

R. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Gospel

Mt 10:34-11:1

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth.
I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set
a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me,
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever finds his life will lose it,
and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet
will receive a prophet’s reward,
and whoever receives a righteous man
because he is righteous
will receive a righteous man’s reward.
And whoever gives only a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones to drink
because he is a disciple–
amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.

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July 15

REFLECTION 

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”  Psalm 124:8

I recall that I’d always call my dad whenever I got hurt as a child. There was this time when I skinned my knee trying to do a drifting move with my bicycle in our street. My knee was bleeding and I screamed in so much pain! I was alone, and my parents were inside our house but I still called out, “Daddyyyyy!!”. He heard, and it was him who ran to me first. He helped me up, carried me across the street and applied medicine on my wounds.

I believe that our God is like that. Jesus is like that. When you call upon His name in your time of need, He’s going to be there! He will rush to your side, lift you back up and even carry you home with the eagerness to heal your brokenness.

Jesus — the Name above all names, the King above all kings, the Alpha and the Omega, the source of all life, the God Almighty, Savior, Healer, Deliverer, Strength, Restorer, Rebuilder, the Creator of heaven and earth, and all that is in existence! He is all these things and more, He is always ready to rush to you in your time of need. He is always ready to listen to that tiny, small, little voice — no matter how far away you are, no matter how small or big your prayer is, no matter what.

Let us always remember that there is no other name and no sweeter name, than the name of Jesus. Call upon His name today and be filled with His grace, with His mercy, with His love. – Andrew Salanguit (andrewsalanguit@gmail.com)

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, thank you for being my very present help in time of need. I call upon your name today to ask and pray for (your personal prayer here). I trust in Your name my Jesus. May I feel Your embrace for me today. In Your name I pray, Amen.

Reflection Question

Do you trust His name enough?

Photos source:  br.olhares.com

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

Love Enough

First Reading Tb 6: 10 – 11, 7: 1, 9 – 17, 8: 4 – 9

When the angel Raphael and Tobiah had entered Media
and were getting close to Ecbatana,
Raphael said to the boy,
“Tobiah, my brother!”
He replied: “Here I am!”
He said: “Tonight we must stay with Raguel, who is a relative of yours.
He has a daughter named Sarah.”

So he brought him to the house of Raguel,
whom they found seated by his courtyard gate.
They greeted him first.
He said to them, “Greetings to you too, brothers!
Good health to you, and welcome!”
And he brought them into his home.

Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat, Tobiah said to Raphael,
“Brother Azariah, ask Raguel to let me marry
my kinswoman Sarah.”
Raguel overheard the words; so he said to the boy:
“Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
for no man is more entitled
to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very frankly.
I have given her in marriage to seven men,
all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”
Tobiah answered,
“I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me.”

Raguel said to him: “I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman;
from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
“Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses
she is your wife.
Take her and bring her back safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”
Raguel then called Sarah’s mother and told her to bring a scroll,
so that he might draw up a marriage contract
stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
and Raguel drew up the contract, to which they affixed their seals.

Afterward they began to eat and drink.
Later Raguel called his wife Edna and said,
“My love, prepare the other bedroom and bring the girl there.”
She went and made the bed in the room, as she was told,
and brought the girl there.
After she had cried over her, she wiped away the tears and said:
“Be brave, my daughter.
May the Lord grant you joy in place of your grief.
Courage, my daughter.”
Then she left.

When the girl’s parents left the bedroom
and closed the door behind them,
Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
“My love, get up.
Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us
and to grant us deliverance.”
She got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
And they began to say:

“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”

They said together, “Amen, amen,” and went to bed for the night.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 128: 1 – 5

R. (see 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
Blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel Mk 12: 28 – 34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.

The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,

and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

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histreasureseekers

REFLECTION

“And when Jesus saw that he answered w/ understanding, he said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God.” -Mark12:34

Understanding is very crucial in my line of work.

I work as an IT consultant and more often than not, my clients tend to be Indians or Malaysians. Not to discriminate in any way, but misunderstandings work both ways for us; either their English is too muffled and alien for me to understand, or my grammar and soft tone of voice is. Two years ago, I had an encounter with a Malaysian named Yee.  He wanted me to train and teach him the basics of the tool we were using for our project. Not face to face, not personally, but over the phone as his trip to the Philippines got cancelled. Training day came and I had a super hard time with everything!

My Team leader happened to be around and was surprised that I wasn’t using something that would help me bigtime (and I mean BIGTIME!) in my over-the-phone training: the Tool Manual.

Everything else went smooth once Yee got a copy of that manual. If only I knew that it existed in the first place.

Friends, you’ve always had life’s manual, the Ten Commandments. And Jesus provides to you the greatest of these today: To love Him with all that you are, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Simply put? He asks you to LOVE.

You may be having a super hard time with something right now but don’t worry, love will get you through.

May you loveimmensely today. For it is in love that you’re drawn nearer to the Kingdom and the embrace of your God. – Andrew Salanguit (andrewsalanguit@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER

Lord, teach me to love more and more each day. May I grow to love you more, so that I may be filled with the love that I need to love others more. Amen.

REFLECTION

Am I loving myself enough? Am I loving others enough? Am I loving my God enough?

Photo source: http://www.histreasureseekers.com

Andrew Salanguit, Little Whispers

The Voice

First Reading
Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 87:1B-3, 4-5, 6-7


R. All you nations, praise the Lord.

His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
I tell of Egypt and Babylon
among those who know the LORD;
Of Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia:
“This man was born there.”
And of Zion they shall say:
“One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.
They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
“This man was born there.”
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
“My home is within you.”
R. All you nations, praise the Lord.

Gospel
Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

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flashlight

REFLECTION 

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10: 27 – 28

 

Did you know that the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear is your name? It’s true. Don’t you appreciate it when you’re called by your name? I remember back when I was little that whenever a blackout happens, I’d always anticipate the voice of my mom, flashlight in hand, as she calls me.

What could be sweeter to a frightened child than a mother calling his name in the darkness right

In contrast, I remember this professor who out of nowhere, just decided to call me “Jojo” when everyone knew my name was “Andrew.” I never did respond to that delightfully.

Basically, we respond favorably when someone addresses us by our name. And in the Gospel today Jesus states that He knows us. He knows you. And when He calls you, you shall hear His voice and follow.

Now, why us as sheep? Because sheep are prone to wander off. They do not have good eyesight, and are easily confused. They are defenseless when left alone, and they have that natural tendency to get lost. But! They are very sensitive to the voice of their shepherd.

As humans we do tend to be similar. We easily get sidetracked when trials come; we get confused and sin, drift away, and wander in the opposite direction. These things will happen unless we become steadfast at the command of our Shepherd’s voice.

Friends, you may feel lost, unsure, or confused about something at the moment, but be still, your Shepherd will never ever abandon you. The light that He shines as your Savior is brighter than any flashlight in the world, His voice clearer than any noise.

In the darkness, He will call out your name, “(your name here) !!” and He will rescue you.

Trust in Him.

Be keen to His voice today.  – Andrew Salanguit (andrewsalanguit@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER

Lord, call out to me today. I want to hear your voice, your message, your direction for me. I am listening.

REFLECTION QUESTION

What are the things in my life that make me stray away from the voice of my Shepherd?

 

 

Photo source: http://www.roxanesalonen.blogspot.com