China Reyes, Little Whispers

Compliments of the Chef

First Reading
1 KGS 19:4-8

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert,
until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.
He prayed for death saying:
“This is enough, O LORD!
Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree,
but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat.
Elijah looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.
After he ate and drank, he lay down again,
but the angel of the LORD came back a second time,
touched him, and ordered,
“Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”
He got up, ate, and drank;
then strengthened by that food,
he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
Let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
And from all his distress he saved him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Second Reading
EPH 4:30—5:2

Brothers and sisters:
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling
must be removed from you, along with all malice.
And be kind to one another, compassionate,
forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love,
as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us
as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

Gospel
JN 6:41-51

The Jews murmured about Jesus because he said,
“I am the bread that came down from heaven, ”
and they said,
“Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph?
Do we not know his father and mother?
Then how can he say,
‘I have come down from heaven’?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“Stop murmuring among yourselves.
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.”


chef

“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
My line of work involves 6 working days (including weekends and holidays), 8 hours a day, no breaks, sweat and body pain included. I am very prone to cuts and burns as I deal with sharp knives, 450 degree ovens, hot pans and open flames. But I never complain, because I love to cook. Yes, I am a chef.

Every day, I send out food to hundreds of people, praying that they enjoy what I have prepared for them. In my mind, people come to our restaurant because they are hungry, and want to experience the best that their budget can afford. I put my blood, sweat and tears into every dish to create good food to delight my customers.

In life, God is our own personal chef. When we were hungry, He made sure to send us the best He could offer: an eat-all-you-can buffet of His love. He experienced working 7 days a week, had major cuts and burns, for us to fully enjoy the life this world has to offer. All I can say is, “Thank you Chef, for a wonderful meal!”

Prayer

Father, thank you for loving me tirelessly and endlessly all throughout my days. You are truly a loving God that will never ever leave my side. Amen.

Author

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China Reyes, Little Whispers

Always In Control

First Reading
GN 49:29-32; 50:15-26A
Jacob gave his sons this charge:
“Since I am about to be taken to my people,
bury me with my fathers in the cave that lies
in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
the cave in the field of Machpelah,
facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan,
the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite
for a burial ground.
There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried,
and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah,
and there, too, I buried Leah–
the field and the cave in it
that had been purchased from the Hittites.”

Now that their father was dead,
Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought,
“Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us
and now plans to pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!”
So they approached Joseph and said:
“Before your father died, he gave us these instructions:
‘You shall say to Joseph, Jacob begs you
to forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers,
who treated you so cruelly.’
Please, therefore, forgive the crime that we,
the servants of your father’s God, committed.”
When they spoke these words to him, Joseph broke into tears.
Then his brothers proceeded to fling themselves down before him
and said, “Let us be your slaves!”
But Joseph replied to them:
“Have no fear. Can I take the place of God?
Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good,
to achieve his present end, the survival of many people.
Therefore have no fear.
I will provide for you and for your children.”
By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.

Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s family.
He lived a hundred and ten years.
He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation,
and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir
were also born on Joseph’s knees.

Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die.
God will surely take care of you and lead you out of this land to the land
that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued,
“When God thus takes care of you,
you must bring my bones up with you from this place.”
Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7
R. (see Psalm 69:33) Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
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. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
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. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!
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. Be glad you lowly ones; may your hearts be glad!

Gospel
MT 10:24-33
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
“Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”


6858040-hd-clock (1)

“Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve his present end, the survival of many people.” (Genesis 50:20)

REFLECTION

Joseph was the “favorite” of their father, Jacob, which made his 10 older brothers jealous of him, to an extent that they sold him as a slave. Fast forward to a few decades and Joseph rises up to become the Pharaoh’s right hand, being second in command in all Egypt. A famine struck the land forcing his brothers to beg him for mercy and forgiveness in order to survive. He was gracious enough to accept them with open arms saying, “You meant it for bad, God meant it for good.”

Let’s focus on three things: the past, the present and the future. “God meant it for good” tell us to:

Accept the past. No sin, no action can be greater than God’s plan to make it work for the good. “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called to His purpose.” –Romans 8:28

Be in the now. The past is forgiven and done, and the future is only in God’s hands. We involve ourselves in yesterday and tomorrow that we forget about today. Now is learning to be wherever we are. Now is to focus on the current moment. Now is to listen to the silence. Now is to inhale every moment as it becomes a part of who we are.

Look forward to the future. Mistakes are inevitable, but God will always be in control. Walk in the spirit so you may live life to the fullest without the fear of making mistakes or misjudgments. Trust in God’s divine plan that is still working in your life. Worry less, live more. – China Reyes (chinadreyes@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Dear God, open my heart to experiencing your plans for me. Let me live without regret, but with full understanding of what is yet to come. Amen.

Reflection Question

Am I still stuck in yesterday and tomorrow?

Phoro Source: http://7-themes.com/data_images/out/26/6858040-hd-clock.jpg

China Reyes, Little Whispers

Wishful Thinking

First Reading
Acts 22:30; 23:6-11

Wishing to determine the truth
about why Paul was being accused by the Jews,
the commander freed him
and ordered the chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin to convene.
Then he brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul was aware that some were Sadducees and some Pharisees,
so he called out before the Sanhedrin,
“My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees;
I am on trial for hope in the resurrection of the dead.”
When he said this,
a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and Sadducees,
and the group became divided.
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection
or angels or spirits,
while the Pharisees acknowledge all three.
A great uproar occurred,
and some scribes belonging to the Pharisee party
stood up and sharply argued,
“We find nothing wrong with this man.
Suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
The dispute was so serious that the commander,
afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them,
ordered his troops to go down and rescue Paul from their midst
and take him into the compound.
The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage.
For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem,
so you must also bear witness in Rome.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 16:1-2A and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11
R. (1) Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
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. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
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. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
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 nether world,
nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. Keep me safe, O God; you are my hope.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 17:20-26

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying:
“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one,
as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.”


LeftHome

“Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17: 24)

REFLECTION

Living on my own for a whole year was probably the biggest challenge I had to face. I had to leave behind the place I called home. I had to pack up my whole life into a luggage that could only fit 50 lbs. I had to leave almost everything, my favorite pillows, my favorite clothes, my friends, and my family.

The first few weeks (even months) were difficult. I envied my friends who kept on hanging out at our favorite places, envied my family for discovering new restaurants and enjoying their weekends together. I wanted everything they were having together. And because of that, I felt very sick… homesick that is. I kept on wishing that someone would come knocking on my door and would surprise me on days that I was off from work. I daydreamed about having my family over and showing them the hotel where I worked. Technology was God’s answer to my prayers. Simple, but very helpful.

There are days we fall deep into the world of loneliness, that we could only throw to God all our wishes and prayers. Be not afraid to ask for the silly things. God will always have a simple answer. Isang dasal, isang sagot. Even Jesus prayed to God, so why won’t you? –China Reyes (chinadreyes@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord, I lift up to you all my wishes and dreams concealed in the deepest part of my lonely heart. I may be lost, I may feel lonely, but Father, I know You are always there guiding me.

Reflection Question

Have I talked to God today?

China Reyes, Little Whispers

It Takes One To Know One

First Reading
Rom 2:1-11

You, O man, are without excuse, every one of you who passes judgment.
For by the standard by which you judge another you condemn yourself,
since you, the judge, do the very same things.
We know that the judgment of God on those who do such things is true.
Do you suppose, then, you who judge those who engage in such things
and yet do them yourself,
that you will escape the judgment of God?
Or do you hold his priceless kindness, forbearance, and patience
in low esteem, unaware that the kindness of God
would lead you to repentance?
By your stubbornness and impenitent heart,
you are storing up wrath for yourself
for the day of wrath and revelation
of the just judgment of God,
who will repay everyone according to his works,
eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality
through perseverance in good works,
but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth
and obey wickedness.
Yes, affliction and distress will come upon everyone
who does evil, Jew first and then Greek.
But there will be glory, honor, and peace for everyone
who does good, Jew first and then Greek.
There is no partiality with God.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 62:2-3, 6-7, 9
R. (13b) Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Only in God is my soul at rest;
from him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed at all.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Only in God be at rest, my soul,
for from him comes my hope.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I shall not be disturbed.
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.
Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!
R. Lord, you give back to everyone according to his works.

Gospel
Lk 11:42-46

The Lord said:
“Woe to you Pharisees!
You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb,
but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God.
These you should have done, without overlooking the others.
Woe to you Pharisees!
You love the seat of honor in synagogues
and greetings in marketplaces.
Woe to you!
You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply,
“Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.”
And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law!
You impose on people burdens hard to carry,
but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
_________________________________________________________________

judge

Reflection

DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. Sadly, these are words I DO NOT live by. If you know me, I may be one of the most judgemental people you have ever met. I am the type of person who loves to “people watch” especially when I’m alone and have no one to talk to. I tend to observe passers-by and judge them by their physical appearance. It has been in my nature to look at people and critic their actions or their sense of style. And with those small details I see, I assume what their personalities would be like.

As I read the readings for today, I was struck by the Lord’s message that by pointing a finger at others (or by judging others), it is the same as pointing out my own misdemeanours and weaknesses. What I see wrong in others is the same wrong things I see in myself. I have to get past negative judgement and look at the good things, the better things.

This shows us how the Lord sees past our own imperfections and insecurities, and sees what is inside the book, what is truly inside our hearts. Who we are is who God sees. Today, I declare that I will look at other people in a more positive note. I will see what God sees. -China Reyes (chinadreyes@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord Jesus, fill me with Your love that I may see people with true goodness and appreciation. Amen.

Reflection Question

Have I judged other people intentionally? Do I see only their weaknesses and imperfections? Do I see what God sees?

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China Reyes, Little Whispers

Sacrifice

First Reading
Jgs 2:11-19

The children of Israel offended the LORD by serving the Baals.
Abandoning the LORD, the God of their fathers,
who led them out of the land of Egypt,
they followed the other gods of the various nations around them,
and by their worship of these gods provoked the LORD.

Because they had thus abandoned him and served Baal and the Ashtaroth,
the anger of the LORD flared up against Israel,
and he delivered them over to plunderers who despoiled them.
He allowed them to fall into the power of their enemies round about
whom they were no longer able to withstand.
Whatever they undertook, the LORD turned into disaster for them,
as in his warning he had sworn he would do,
till they were in great distress.
Even when the LORD raised up judges to deliver them
from the power of their despoilers,
they did not listen to their judges,
but abandoned themselves to the worship of other gods.
They were quick to stray from the way their fathers had taken,
and did not follow their example of obedience
to the commandments of the LORD.
Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, he would be with the judge
and save them from the power of their enemies
as long as the judge lived;
it was thus the LORD took pity on their distressful cries
of affliction under their oppressors.
But when the judge died,
they would relapse and do worse than their ancestors,
following other gods in service and worship,
relinquishing none of their evil practices or stubborn conduct.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 106:34-35, 36-37, 39-40, 43AB AND 44
R. (4a) Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

They did not exterminate the peoples,
as the LORD had commanded them,
But mingled with the nations
and learned their works.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They served their idols,
which became a snare for them.
They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
They became defiled by their works,
and wanton in their crimes.
And the LORD grew angry with his people,
and abhorred his inheritance.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.
Many times did he rescue them,
but they embittered him with their counsels.
Yet he had regard for their affliction
when he heard their cry.
R. Remember us, O Lord, as you favor your people.

Gospel
Mt 19:16-22

A young man approached Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”
He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?
There is only One who is good.
If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He asked him, “Which ones?”
And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;
you shall not commit adultery;
you shall not steal;
you shall not bear false witness;
honor your father and your mother;
and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

images

 

“Sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”-Mk 10: 21

REFLECTION

I am a Culinary Arts student, and I am currently taking my on-the-job (OJT) training at a hotel here in Manila. My job requires me to work 6 times a week (including holidays and weekends), 8 hours a day, only 3 absences allowed for 3 months. I rarely get days-off on weekends, which is why I spend them alone at home, in bed. Challenging? Yes.

Because of my OJT, I had to miss going to family get-togethers, hanging out with my friends, attending prayer meetings and the simplest of all these things, having lunch and dinner with my family. My OJT became my life. It was all I could think about. But it taught me something wonderful, something I always thought I’ll learn somewhere else. It taught me the value of sacrifice. Because of my dream to become a chef, I have learned to sacrifice things to achieve my dream.

The gospel tells us a story of a young man who wanted to gain eternal life. In line with this, Jesus tells the young man to let go of all his possessions and follow Him. Just like us, Jesus tells each one of us to sacrifice our earthly wealth to (in the future) gain our heavenly reward. He’s not asking us to sell all that we have right now, I believe it’s the Lord’s way of telling us that He wants us to follow Him with a whole heart. -China Reyes (chinadreyes@yahoo.com)

Prayer

Lord, teach me the way so that I may follow You whole-heartedly. Amen.

Reflection Question

Do I sacrifice myself for the Lord?

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China Reyes, Little Whispers

Safeguard

First Reading
Gn 28:10-22A

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and proceeded toward Haran.
When he came upon a certain shrine, as the sun had already set,
he stopped there for the night.
Taking one of the stones at the shrine, he put it under his head
and lay down to sleep at that spot.
Then he had a dream: a stairway rested on the ground,
with its top reaching to the heavens;
and God’s messengers were going up and down on it.
And there was the LORD standing beside him and saying:
“I, the LORD, am the God of your forefather Abraham
and the God of Isaac;
the land on which you are lying
I will give to you and your descendants.
These shall be as plentiful as the dust of the earth,
and through them you shall spread out east and west, north and south.
In you and your descendants
all the nations of the earth shall find blessing.
Know that I am with you;
I will protect you wherever you go,
and bring you back to this land.
I will never leave you until I have done what I promised you.”

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he exclaimed,
“Truly, the LORD is in this spot, although I did not know it!”
In solemn wonder he cried out: “How awesome is this shrine!
This is nothing else but an abode of God,
and that is the gateway to heaven!”
Early the next morning Jacob took the stone
that he had put under his head,
set it up as a memorial stone, and poured oil on top of it.
He called the site Bethel,
whereas the former name of the town had been Luz.

Jacob then made this vow: “If God remains with me,
to protect me on this journey I am making
and to give me enough bread to eat and clothing to wear,
and I come back safe to my father’s house, the LORD shall be my God.
This stone that I have set up as a memorial stone shall be God’s abode.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 91:1-2, 3-4, 14-15AB
R. (see 2b) In you, my God, I place my trust.

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
Say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
For he will rescue you from the snare of the fowler,
from the destroying pestilence.
With his pinions he will cover you,
and under his wings you shall take refuge.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.
Because he clings to me, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high because he acknowledges my name.
He shall call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in distress.
R. In you, my God, I place my trust.

Gospel
Mt 9:18-26

While Jesus was speaking, an official came forward,
knelt down before him, and said,
“My daughter has just died.
But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him
and touched the tassel on his cloak.
She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
Jesus turned around and saw her, and said,
“Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”
And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house
and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion,
he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”
And they ridiculed him.
When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand,
and the little girl arose.
And news of this spread throughout all that land.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

image

REFLECTION

“Know that I am with you, I will protect you wherever you go.” Gn 28: 15

Let me tell you two things why I think my dad is very protective.

One. I will always remember how my mom would feel so unsafe whenever my dad goes out of the country for days or weeks. She will ask us to sleep in one room, and double lock all the doors to make sure it’s safe. And you can feel how worried she is about the safety of the whole household. But whenever he is around, we couldn’t care less about the doors being locked. That’s how safe we felt whenever he’s around.

Two. My sister and I usually go out with our friends late at night. Every time my dad notices that we’re not home, he would usually text us these three letters: “WRU” which means “where are you”. When he says this, we already know that it’s time to go home or that he’s already worried. And when we get home, he’s the only one awake, waiting for us to get home. That’s his way of showing us that he wants us all to be safe and sound before he goes to sleep.

In today’s reading, the Lord speaks to Jacob and tells him that He will protect Him wherever he goes. Like my dad, he protects me and makes me feel protected wherever I am. I can feel his presence and protectiveness wherever I am or whenever he’s away. There will always be moments when we feel unsafe, but we have to remember that the Lord always puts us first, our safety first. He wants what is best for us. All we need to do is see it and appreciate the kindness and sweetness of His love for us. –China Reyes (chinadreyes@yahoo.com)

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, thank you for your shield of grace and love that I feel is protecting me day by day. Amen.

Reflection Question

Do I appreciate and trust in Jesus’  love for me?

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China Reyes, Little Whispers

You Are Blessed!

First Reading
2 Cor 1:1-7

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the Church of God that is at Corinth,
with all the holy ones throughout Achaia:
grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of compassion and the God of all encouragement,
who encourages us in our every affliction,
so that we may be able to encourage
those who are in any affliction
with the encouragement with which we ourselves are encouraged by God.
For as Christ’s sufferings overflow to us,
so through Christ does our encouragement also overflow.
If we are afflicted,
it is for your encouragement and salvation;
if we are encouraged,
it is for your encouragement,
which enables you to endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
Our hope for you is firm,
for we know that as you share in the sufferings,
you also share in the encouragement.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (9a) Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel
Mt 5:1-12

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.
Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

 

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REFLECTION

“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” -Mt. 5:11

As a student, I haven’t always been the richest. I would go to school with just the right amount of money for my food and transportation. I do not have the extra cash to buy a tall frappucino or a hot fudge sundae. On weekends, I would go out with friends and of course, spend money. Embarassed to ask money from my parents (sometimes), I would usually save the money I am to spend on food and transporation and sacrifice a bunch of things.

There have been times that I chose to walk long distances to save money from riding jeepneys and tricycles, or not buy juice and ask for the house water instead just so I can save even the smallest amount. And because of the sacrifices I made, I have received a great blessing of spending good quality time with my friends and buying the things I need and want. Also, I received the greater blessing of knowing how rewarding it is to buy my own things without having to depend on my parents too much.

I read the gospel from another version of the bible and it kept on repeating this phrase: “YOU ARE BLESSED…” In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us repeatedly that we are blessed especially when we are going through a lot of frustrations and sacrifices. We only have to look at the good it brings us. With every frustration, you are blessed. With every suffering, you are blessed. With every pain, you are blessed. With every weakness, you are blessed. We are blessed. – China Reyes (chinareyes@gmail.com)

 

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I thank you for opening my eyes to the gift of sufferings because it is during these times that I am blessed by You more. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION

Do you consider yourself blessed despite having problems?

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