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)