Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Frontliner of Faith

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Reflection Song

One Desire by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

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

Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Faith, Trust, and Jesus’ Love

First Reading
Acts 4:32-37
The community of believers was of one heart and mind,
and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own,
but they had everything in common.
With great power the Apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus,
and great favor was accorded them all.
There was no needy person among them,
for those who owned property or houses would sell them,
bring the proceeds of the sale,
and put them at the feet of the Apostles,
and they were distributed to each according to need.

Thus Joseph, also named by the Apostles Barnabas
(which is translated Ason of encouragement”),
a Levite, a Cypriot by birth,
sold a piece of property that he owned,
then brought the money and put it at the feet of the Apostles.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 93:1AB, 1CD-2, 5
R.    (1a)  The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R.    The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 3:7B-15
Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“‘You must be born from above.’
The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes,
but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes;
so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus answered and said to him,
‘How can this happen?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen,
but you people do not accept our testimony.
If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe,
how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?
No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”


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If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? (John 3:12)

REFLECTION
When I was still in school, I always viewed life as a dog-eat-dog world, and I was terrified. When I got my first job, I put the mindset that I had to do my work to my best ability, even if it meant having to rely solely on myself. I then quickly realized that everyone relied on each other’s successes, and trust that everyone will succeed. I decided to learn more about everyone’s work, and was quickly able to put my trust in them, that they will be able to help the whole team. And with that bit of faith, I’ve come to find a love in what I once feared.

In the first reading, it talks about how a community of believers would give all that they could to the apostles. Nobody in their community needed anything else, as they have been living harmoniously, sharing all that they can provide for the needs of their neighbors.

The past weeks have been tough. People are sick, front liners are at risk, and we constantly live in fear. Hospitals need support, but nobody is asking you to sell your belongings so that you could give. Maybe a friend of yours could use a greeting. Sharing doesn’t have to be material. Your love can go a long way, and a lot of people could use it.

Today’s gospel talks about having the purest faith and trust in the Lord. We always say that we trust the Lord, but how far and how deep do we really put our faith in Him?

We need to remember that the virus is very real, but so is our God. We must remember that he will always be there for us. He was with us before the virus, He is with us now, and He will be with us after this is done. Waking up to the same stories is painful, but we must believe that this too shall pass. We must trust in God’s plan, and believe that he has greater intentions for our future.

Reflection Song

Cornerstone by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

Photo by: Edwin Andrade (@theunsteady5 at unsplash.com)

Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Dean’s Lister

First Reading
1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
[From the descendants of Alexander’s officers]
there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes,
son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome.
He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven
of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days there appeared in Israel
men who were breakers of the law,
and they seduced many people, saying:
“Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us;
since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.”
The proposal was agreeable;
some from among the people promptly went to the king,
and he authorized them to introduce the way of living
of the Gentiles.
Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem
according to the Gentile custom.
They covered over the mark of their circumcision
and abandoned the holy covenant;
they allied themselves with the Gentiles
and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
each abandoning his particular customs.
All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king,
and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion;
they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.

On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev,
in the year one hundred and forty-five,
the king erected the horrible abomination
upon the altar of burnt offerings
and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt.
Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
and whoever observed the law,
was condemned to death by royal decree.
But many in Israel were determined
and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158

R.  (see 88) Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Indignation seizes me because of the wicked
who forsake your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Though the snares of the wicked are twined about me,
your law I have not forgotten.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I am attacked by malicious persecutors
who are far from your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Far from sinners is salvation,
because they seek not your statutes.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I beheld the apostates with loathing,
because they kept not to your promise.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

Gospel
Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.


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“Have sight; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 18:42)

REFLECTION
I remember back in college, I would always get simple grades, while my friends and colleagues would all get high grades and make the dean’s list consistently. I felt like I did not belong with them. I faced many temptations to simply accept what I was experiencing, as if there was nothing else I could achieve. But I decided to not give up. I decided to work even harder despite all the difficulties, all the times I would struggle during seat works, all the times I failed to raise my hand for recitations. When I’d get home, I would go straight to work because I knew what the right thing to do was.

This is what God is trying to tell us today. In the readings, it tells of a time wherein faith was being misplaced. It told of a time when people were choosing a false way of living over the love of God. But some people still chose to serve Him, even if it meant risking their lives and being put in temporary struggle. The Lord is telling us today to stay strong despite all that is against you. He is telling you that you must just trust in Him, and you will be able to stand against any adversary.

Anyone can look at my grades and say that I did not have the highest of grades or the best start. But because of the faith I put in myself, and more because of the faith I put in Him, I am proud to say that I ended strong. I did not graduate with any big awards, but I am proud because of how He helped me be better than I ever thought I could be.

Reflection Song

Where the Love Lasts Forever by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

Photo by: Ben Mullins (@benmullins at unsplash.com)

Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Magnified

First Reading
Colossians 1:21-23
Brothers and sisters:
You once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds;
God has now reconciled you
in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death,
to present you holy, without blemish,
and irreproachable before him,
provided that you persevere in the faith,
firmly grounded, stable,
and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard,
which has been preached to every creature under heaven,
of which I, Paul, am a minister.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 54:3-4, 6 AND 8
R.(6) God himself is my help.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. God himself is my help.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. God himself is my help.

Gospel
Luke 6:1-5
While Jesus was going through a field of grain on a sabbath,
his disciples were picking the heads of grain,
rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.
Some Pharisees said,
“Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Have you not read what David did
when he and those who were with him were hungry?
How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering,
which only the priests could lawfully eat,
ate of it, and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”


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“God has now reconciled you in the fleshly Body of Christ through his death, to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him, provided that you persevere in the faith, firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the Gospel that you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven.” (Col 1: 22-23)

REFLECTION
Before joining the Youth Ministry, I was your typical skeptic, pasaway Catholic kid. I was never really a fan of opening myself up to exploring my faith. I’d pass on going to mass whenever I could, I’d dread the idea of having to pray outside of mass, and I wouldn’t listen to any faith-related story.

In our gospel today, the Pharisees saw Jesus as someone like me. They saw Him as someone neglectful of their idea of faith, as someone so lowly and disappointing. If you had met me then, you probably would have seen me the same way.

However, the Lord reminds us in the readings that we must always look beyond something before we judge. We can find light in anything around us; we only have to try and reach deeper. God did exactly that for me. He looked beyond my past and whoever I was and however I thought before. He sought after me because He believed I would give my heart for His name. He changed every track in my life and led me to the Youth Ministry. And after all I’ve experienced here, I am never turning back. I am genuinely happy, and I have nobody else to thank but the Lord.

I pray that we all look beyond the things and the people that we see. We must look beyond whom or what they are now, and simply pray that goodness will one day come from what was.

Reflection Song

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

Photo by: Paul Gilmore (@paulgilmore_ at unsplash.com)