Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

Listening Or Hearing

First Reading
ROM 10:9-18

Brothers and sisters:
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
The Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone to preach?
And how can people preach unless they are sent?
As it is written,
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!
But not everyone has heeded the good news;
for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?
Thus faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
But I ask, did they not hear?
Certainly they did; for

Their voice has gone forth to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (10) The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. (John 6:63) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. The judgments of the Lord are true, and all of them are just.
or:
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Gospel
Mt 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along from there and saw two other brothers,
James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father
and followed him.

_____________________________

REFLECTION 

” But I ask, did they not hear?” Romans 10:18

Have you encountered people who preach the word of the Lord in buses or at the streets? I am usually annoyed whenever I encounter these preachers. Before, I felt that they just waste their time and effort because no one really listens to them. For me, they are not really being able to succeed in bringing the good news to others.

But all of this thinking was changed when I decided to listen with an open mind and heart. The preacher that time was saying a very simple message, “The Lord is always here for us”. During that moment I already knew that message but I appreciated it more because I was reminded that I am not alone and how truly unconditonal the love of the Lord is. Just because i decided to LISTEN to that preacher. Then I realized that if everyday they touch a person’s heart sooner or later everyone will appreciate and listen to His word more.

Brothers and sisters the Lord is reminding us not to just HEAR His word but rather LISTEN to it with an open mind and open heart for us to truly understand and appreciate His message to us.  – Avegail Soriano (avegail20@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Father remind us to always have an open heart and mind in listening to your word. Amen

Reflection Question

Do you just HEAR or do you really LISTEN to His word?

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

The Righteous Servant

First Reading
Dt 30:10-14

Moses said to the people:
“If only you would heed the voice of the LORD, your God,
and keep his commandments and statutes
that are written in this book of the law,
when you return to the LORD, your God,
with all your heart and all your soul.

“For this command that I enjoin on you today
is not too mysterious and remote for you.
It is not up in the sky, that you should say,
‘Who will go up in the sky to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
Nor is it across the sea, that you should say,
‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us
and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’
No, it is something very near to you,
already in your mouths and in your hearts;
you have only to carry it out.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 69:14, 17, 30-31, 33-34, 36, 37
R. (cf. 33) Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

I pray to you, O LORD,
for the time of your favor, O God!
In your great kindness answer me
with your constant help.
Answer me, O LORD, for bounteous is your kindness:
in your great mercy turn toward me.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
I am afflicted and in pain;
let your saving help, O God, protect me.
I will praise the name of God in song,
and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
“See, you lowly ones, and be glad;
you who seek God, may your hearts revive!
For the LORD hears the poor,
and his own who are in bonds he spurns not.”
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
The descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. Turn to the Lord in your need, and you will live.

Or
Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R.(9a) Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Second Reading
Col 1:15-20

Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the body, the church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Gospel
Lk 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”
He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

_________________________________________________

July 14

REFLECTION

“He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy” Jesus said to him, “go and do likewise”  Lk 10:37

Being in a community is one of the great blessings I ‘ve received. It made me more open to God’s word, appreciate the sacraments and desire to serve Him in any way I can. But the greatest blessing that I got from it is the lesson of being humble.

Since I started to serve at a young age and had been called to lead several times, I developed an attitude of being so righteous. I act like I know better than anyone else. I always oppose people around me or correct them immediately whenever I see them doing something wrong.

An experience with our younger youth members reminded me to have a merciful heart to the people around me. It was during a simple birthday celebration. As the night passed, things got way out of hand that me and my co-leader decided to gather them and tell that what they are doing is wrong.  Not being mindful with my words, I just scolded them without knowing the whole story. I even argued with some people my age. All I know is that they are all wrong and I’m right. When I got home, I felt that the way I handled the situation was wrong. I forgot that I have done the same mistakes when I was younger but the Lord never condemned me instead He corrected me with love. I acted like the priest and the levite in the Gospel who passed by and neglected the feelings of the wounded person. The next day, I apologized to everyone on how I treated them and explained why was I corrective with their actions. It took some time for all of us to be okay but took the experience as one big lesson.

Brothers and sisters, the Lord is challenging us today to do like what the Samaritan did. Act with mercy and compassion; love like Jesus. When we see wounded people, physically or spiritually, we give them 100% pampering and healing through our words and actions. Let us not be like the priest or levite who neglected the feelings of the people around them. – Avegail Soriano (avegail20@yahoo.com) 

PRAYER

Father, may I have the humble heart of the Samaritan who loves like you. Amen

Reflection

Are you serving like the samaritan or the priest/levite?

Photo source: http://engage.synecoretech.com/

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

The Best 3 Years

First Reading
Sir 2: 1 – 11

My son, when you come to serve the LORD,
stand in justice and fear,
prepare yourself for trials.
Be sincere of heart and steadfast,
incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,
undisturbed in time of adversity.
Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;
thus will you be wise in all your ways.
Accept whatever befalls you,
when sorrowful, be steadfast,
and in crushing misfortune be patient;
For in fire gold and silver are tested,
and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.
Trust God and God will help you;
trust in him, and he will direct your way;
keep his fear and grow old therein.

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy,
turn not away lest you fall.
You who fear the LORD, trust him,
and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the LORD, hope for good things,
for lasting joy and mercy.
You who fear the LORD, love him,
and your hearts will be enlightened.
Study the generations long past and understand;
has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed?
Has anyone persevered in his commandments and been forsaken?
has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?
Compassionate and merciful is the LORD;
he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble
and he is a protector to all who seek him in truth.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 37: 3 – 4, 18 – 19, 27 – 28, 39 – 40

R. (see 5) Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart’s requests.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you.

Gospel
Mk 9: 30 – 37

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Never-alone

REFLECTION

“My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself with trials.” Sir 2:1

I started serving the Lord when I was 16 years old through the Bukas Loob sa Diyos Community – Youth Ministry. I enjoyed serving the Lord through the different ministries that I was part of but the most memorable service for me was the time when I served the Lord as one of the Youth Leaders in our community.

My 3 years as a leader was never an easy journey. I was tested as a leader and as a person. I faced difficult people that almost crushed my spirit. A lot of times I wanted to quit and just leave our community but the Lord never failed to inspire me to hold on  to His calling.

As our term ended, the difficult people that I encountered are now the people that are pushing me to do my best in everything that I do. The challenges that I encountered with them helped me to strive to give my all in serving my God and let not this hardships crushed me.

It was definitely the best 3 years of my life not because everything was going the way we planned but I have learned a lot from it. I have learned to love, to be patient, to be strong, to be more open and just trust my God.

Serving the Lord will never be an easy path but the Lord assures us that He is with us whenever we encounter this trials. Be prepared with this battles but always keep in mind that you will never fight this alone. – Ave Soriano (avegailsoriano20@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Lord, help me to prepare myself with the trials that will come my way. Help me to see You in this difficult situations and appreciate the lessons that I will learn from it. Amen 

REFLECTION QUESTION
Are you focusing on the trials of service or your service for the Lord?

Photo source: savedsister7.blogspot.com

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

Recognized By Heart

First Reading
Acts 3: 1 – 10

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate” every day
to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one
who used to sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 105: 1 – 4, 6 – 9

R. (3b) Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord.
Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD!
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generationsB
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. Rejoice, O hearts that seek the Lord. 

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 the bread.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

illustration_of_girls_and_kewpie_dolls_hugging_poster-r5e59f1240df74fe183acd970bd6de5f2_wv3_400

REFLECTION

“But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.” Lk 24:16

One night, a lady came to our door and rushed towards me and hugged me. I was shocked and I immediately resisted her hug and ran towards my mom. I asked my mom who she was and my mom told me that she was my sister. It was the first time I saw her in person. I was six years old back then.

My sister during that time was living in USA together with her husband. She left the country when I was one year old. I grew up knowing that I have a sister but I had no idea who she was. Mama always showed me pictures of her but since I was a kid I didn’t give full attention to it. If people ask me to describe my ate I will just tell them to ask mama or my kuya.

My sister approached me again and smiled at me, “Hi Cheenee! I’m your ate Jing”. With those simple words, I smiled back at her and hugged her. I felt comforted with her presence and her words just came to my heart. I knew for the fact that she is my sister not because I have seen her in the pictures before but because my heart felt her love and that helped me to recognize her.

My dear friends, just like my experience with my sister we often don’t recognize our God because we have drifted apart from Him for a long time but our hearts will always lead us back to Him and help us see His love for us. So let us not just open our eyes but open our hearts to see the Lord in our life. – Ave Soriano (avegailsoriano20@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Father, help me to see through my heart and not just with my eyes. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Are you having a hard time seeing the Lord in your life? Close your eyes and open your heart.

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

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

Double Life

First Reading
Hos 6:1-6

“Come, let us return to the LORD,
it is he who has rent, but he will heal us;
he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
He will revive us after two days;
on the third day he will raise us up,
to live in his presence.
Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD;
as certain as the dawn is his coming,
and his judgment shines forth like the light of day!
He will come to us like the rain,
like spring rain that waters the earth.”

What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your piety is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that early passes away.
For this reason I smote them through the prophets,
I slew them by the words of my mouth;
For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21AB

R.It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
Be bountiful, O LORD, to Zion in your kindness
by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem;
Then shall you be pleased with due sacrifices,
burnt offerings and holocausts.
R. It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

Gospel
Lk 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

Surreal Photography Inspiration

 

REFLECTION

“For it is love that I desire , not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocaust” Hosea 6:6

I was so high in spirit when I took my Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar that I promised to serve in my community in every way I can. Every week, I attended the youth prayer meetings and I always said yes to every assignment given to me. I felt I was so close to the Lord and I was a living a life of service.

However, I didn’t realize that I was living a double life. Every weekend, I went to prayer meetings and served there but once I stepped out of it, I went back to the real world and sinned again. The girl who attended the prayer meetings was not the same with the girl who was outside of it. I only reflected the love of the Lord in my community and to the people surrounding me, even my family.

It took me months to realize that I was not serving truly for the Lord. That I was just serving in my own basis and not in the way the Lord wants. Yes the Lord appreciates my gestures in serving in my community but He also wants me to serve outside of it. By spreading the love He gave to me not just with the Youth Ministry but also with my family, with my classmates, with my friends and with myself. He wants the girl who attends in prayer meetings be the same girl seen by her friends and her family.

Our service for the Lord doesn’t need to be done only in a community or a church but He wants us to serve Him by loving all the people surrounding us and loving ourselves more by following His ways. True worship is done when we are reflecting God’s love for us in the real world. – Ave Soriano (avegailsoriano20@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Lord God, may I always reflect Your love for me through my actions not only in a church or community but outside of it as well. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Do you define your way of service or do you let the Lord be define in your service?

Photo source: downgraf.com

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

Spoiled

First Reading
Est C:12, 14-16, 23-25

Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish,
had recourse to the LORD.
She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids,
from morning until evening, and said:
“God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you.
Help me, who am alone and have no help but you,
for I am taking my life in my hand.
As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers
that you, O LORD, always free those who are pleasing to you.
Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you,
O LORD, my God.

“And now, come to help me, an orphan.
Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion
and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy,
so that he and those who are in league with him may perish.
Save us from the hand of our enemies;
turn our mourning into gladness
and our sorrows into wholeness.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8

R. (3a) Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Because of your kindness and your truth;
for 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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
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. Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.

Gospel
Mt 7:7-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which one of you would hand his son a stone
when he asked for a loaf of bread,
or a snake when he asked for a fish?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give good things
to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.
This is the law and the prophets.”

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REFLECTION

“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him”  Mt. 7: 11

I grew up being the baby of all, namely, my mom, my lolas, my siblings and my titos and titas. Everyone treated me as if I’m the only kid living on earth. With this environment I guess I was sort of spoiled. As a kid, I feel like I have everything. Toys, candies, clothes and parties. I felt like I was a princess who can just have everything she asks for. I feel loved and special and nothing can destroy my happiness.

This environment never changed as I grew up but I realized that my family is not the only who spoils me. I realized that someone who is greater is willing to give all for me. All I have to do is ask Him.

He is willing to give all the love, the riches and all the things that can make you happy. He is willing to be a Father, a friend, a brother and a best friend to you. Name it and He will give it because He is just so in love with you. He just can’t stop spoiling you with all His blessings.

Whatever your desires are right now, be reminded that our God is willing to give everything to me, to you, to all of us. He is just waiting for you to ask Him. – Ave Soriano (avegailsoriano20@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Father, thank You for giving me everything that my heart desires. I’m excited for the blessings You have prepared for me today. Amen

REFLECTION QUESTION
What are the desires of your heart?

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

Ave Soriano, Little Whispers

Simple Actions

FIRST READING
Acts 22:3-16

Paul addressed the people in these words:
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia,
but brought up in this city.
At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated strictly in our ancestral law
and was zealous for God, just as all of you are today.
I persecuted this Way to death,
binding both men and women and delivering them to prison.
Even the high priest and the whole council of elders
can testify on my behalf.
For from them I even received letters to the brothers
and set out for Damascus to bring back to Jerusalem
in chains for punishment those there as well.

“On that journey as I drew near to Damascus,
about noon a great light from the sky suddenly shone around me.
I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me,
‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
I replied, ‘Who are you, sir?’
And he said to me,
‘I am Jesus the Nazorean whom you are persecuting.’
My companions saw the light
but did not hear the voice of the one who spoke to me.
I asked, ‘What shall I do, sir?’
The Lord answered me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus,
and there you will be told about everything
appointed for you to do.’
Since I could see nothing because of the brightness of that light,
I was led by hand by my companions and entered Damascus.

“A certain Ananias, a devout observer of the law,
and highly spoken of by all the Jews who lived there,
came to me and stood there and said,
‘Saul, my brother, regain your sight.’
And at that very moment I regained my sight and saw him.
Then he said,
‘The God of our ancestors designated you to know his will,
to see the Righteous One, and to hear the sound of his voice;
for you will be his witness before all
to what you have seen and heard.
Now, why delay?
Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away,
calling upon his name.'”

Or

Acts 9:1-22
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.
All who heard him were astounded and said,
“Is not this the man who in Jerusalem
ravaged those who call upon this name,
and came here expressly to take them back in chains
to the chief priests?”
But Saul grew all the stronger
and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus,
proving that this is the Christ.

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

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

Gospel
Mk 16:15-18

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
“Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
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REFLECTION
“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”

Three years ago, I was chosen to be one of the youth leaders in our community. I was assigned to be the head for Missions. During our first year, I was so eager to involve our community in different outreaches. My dream is to see the youth members reach out to others. It was not that easy though. I didn’t know where to start, whom to go to, or simply where would I share the love of the Lord first. I felt that I was ineffective. Months passed and I still had no project or outreach activities for the youth. My confidence was lessened each month and I felt so lost and useless. I envied my co-leaders for the accomplishments they had for the community that time. I questioned the Lord, “how come it so hard to spread your love to the people who needs it?”

One night, I was having a conversation with one of my co-leaders and it felt like the Lord sent her to deliver His message to me. I was deeply sharing with her my frustrations as a leader and told her that I felt ineffective. She told me, “alam mo di mo naman kailangan ng sobrang grand na outreach para masabi na effective kang head for Missions. Everyday of your life is a mission for the Lord. For example, being an ate to the youth is one of your best roles and I think it’s the simplest way of spreading the Lord’s love and fulfilling His mission”. My friend’s words woke me up and helped me to understand what the Lord wants me to do.

Today, my brothers and sisters, the Lord is telling us to go into the world and proclaim His Gospel to every creature. He is not telling us to do something grand but something simple. Just a simple action that shows His love to others to fulfill this mission He entrusts us. You don’t have to be a saint or do a religious act to accomplish this. Just being yourself and letting the Lord use you is the grandest way you can serve Him. -Ave Soriano. YLSS#25

Prayer:
Lord may I always remember that spreading your love to others can be simple. May I always strive to do my best in the mission that you have entrusted to me. Amen.
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Looking for love? Be part of BLD Youth’s Concert Project for a cause. Now is the time to go straight to the source of all the love in the world. LOVE IS: A Worship Concert, 3.3.12!
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