Julia Paguio, Little Whispers

In Service

First Reading
Romans 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh,
but established as Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 98:1BCDE, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R.(2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Luke 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

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“Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,” (Romans 1:5)

As a Christian, I have always witnessed people serving others in church and in communities. May it be through feeding the poor, going to prison to celebrate mass with the inmates, or something as simple as reading the word of God and feeding church goers the body of Christ during communion. In the past, I never understood the reason behind their deeds. I knew they weren’t obligated because it’s not their real job. They have work in actual companies. Sometimes I even doubted their intentions for doing such acts for other people for I knew their vices and lifestyle (ones that I know Jesus wouldn’t like). What’s even funny is I know a priest who drinks beer and talks, well, in an unfiltered manner.

Ironically, as I grew older, I found myself in the same position as those who I questioned. Despite my flaws and vices, I was serving others in church and in my community. Only then did I realize that these good deeds were coming from a place unforced, but gracefully given. Yes, serving others is a responsibility, one I did not ask for, yet I wholeheartedly accepted. Why? Because I love my God. I am faithful to Him.

To love God means to obey Him. Everything I do, I do it for Jesus. With that I know now that I am blessed to be His servant. I am blessed to be the one serving others—to be His instrument of love so that others may feel His presence. 

Loving Father, I pray that many more of Your people accept the grace of servanthood so that those who are lost and in need may find their way to You through Your servants. Fill our hearts with Your love, Father so that we may share it to others as well. Amen.



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Julia Paguio, Little Whispers

Who Are You?

First Reading
Ezra 6:7-8, 12B, 14-20
King Darius issued an order to the officials
of West-of-Euphrates:
“Let the governor and the elders of the Jews
continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.
I also issue this decree
concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews
in the rebuilding of that house of God:
From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.
I, Darius, have issued this decree;
let it be carefully executed.”

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building,
supported by the message of the prophets,
Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo.
They finished the building according to the command
of the God of Israel
and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius
and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar,
in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The children of Israel–priests, Levites,
and the other returned exiles–
celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God,
they offered one hundred bulls,
two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs,
together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel,
in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel.
Finally, they set up the priests in their classes
and the Levites in their divisions
for the service of God in Jerusalem,
as is prescribed in the book of Moses.

The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion,
sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles,
for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5
R.(1)  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

Luke 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you.”
He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”


“He said to them in reply, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.‘” (Luke 8:21)

Jesus gave us the holy commandments to follow. These commandments are not only rules to live by, but a lifestyle in the path of Catholicism. He ensured us that the lives we choose are with free will, but are we doing it as He hoped His children would?

Growing up in a Catholic community I was taught to do things as how God would. Constantly reminded of the Ten Commandments, I found them boring at some point. Neglecting and ignoring the teachings, life went havoc. I closed myself not knowing the severity of the consequences. At such a young age I was lost and I couldn’t recognize who I was. Questions started popping up. Confused with where I went wrong, I found myself serving at Family Encounter #99 (a seminar for families towards a more loving and God-filled relationship).

Then the same reminders were thrown at me. This time my heart happily embraced them. I was finally happy even when the things I was doing seemed boring at that time. Through service I slowly found my way back to a life with Christ. I saw who I was meant to be—His daughter and disciple. Why was I not doing anything right when all I needed to do was obey and follow? Whole-heartedly listening to His word and acting on it was (and still is) my purpose.

I am a follower of Christ. To listen and act on His word is what I must do… and so should you.

Reflection Song

Who Am I by Casting Crowns



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Photo by: John Price (@johnprice at unsplash.com)