Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Favor

First Reading
GN 3:9-15, 20

After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree,
the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with meC
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R. (1) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

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. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
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. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
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. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Second Reading
EPH 1:3-6, 11-12

Brothers and sisters:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,
as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world,
to be holy and without blemish before him.
In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,
in accord with the favor of his will,
for the praise of the glory of his grace
that he granted us in the beloved.

In him we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.

Gospel
LK 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.


pentachord

“‘… Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.'” (Luke 1:30)

REFLECTION
Three years ago, I was one of the lucky five BLD Youth members who were discerned to take on a leadership role for the community – I was called to be one of the Youth Pentacords. I was so afraid for it meant giving up a huge amount of my personal time and effort for three years. It meant endless meetings, late night discussions to plan for every Saturday’s regular prayer meeting, aside from the big spiritual activities. Then as I was about to be officially introduced to to the whole community, I remember recalling the exact Bible verse in today’s Gospel. I felt comfort and assurance, knowing that the task I was about to fulfill was a task given by the Lord and I was one of the chosen few to be used as an instrument to fulfill His wonderful plans. I knew the Lord was going to reward me for my service.

Lo and behold, just last Sunday, the five of us officially ended our term as the Youth Pentacord through a Planning weekend with the new set of Youth leaders for the BLD Youth. Three years done! And as we were saying our closing prayer for the day, I remembered what one of my co-pentacords, Tal said in one of our Word Sharing Circles; that when she took on the role of being a Pentacord, she also thought she was doing the Lord a favor, but she realized, it was the Lord “doing her a favor.” I completely agree. Our entire three-year term was filled with challenges, hardships and difficulties but even more with blessings, laughter, new friendships, renewed relationships, laughter and victories. I could look at all the photos that were taken during our entire term and see how each youth member that we met have grown and transformed, how each of us in the Pentacord have been pruned to blossom and become the better people we are today. And the Lord indeed did us a favor by choosing us and I couldn’t thank Him enough for this opportunity to let me become the person that I ought to be through this experience. I look forward to the awesome future and more great memories that will be made in my life. I don’t see the blessings that have been arriving as rewards but as gifts from a God who loves me unconditionally.

I am even more excited to see how He will work through the new set of Pentacords He has called for His BLD Youth and the fantastic future He has in store for them. 

Just like in today’s Gospel, when Mary said Yes to the Lord’s call, she really didn’t just do God a favor by bearing His Son, our Savior; the Lord also did her a favor as she gave her the chance to be a blessing to the world, and now we look up to her as our mother who we can also turn to in times of need. May we also remember that as the Lord calls us to be His servant, He is also allowing us to grow in Him, be the good person He has created us to be and be on our way to fulfilling that wonderful plan He has for us.

Prayer
Dear Lord, may we allow You to work through us as we become instruments to make Your wonderful plans unfold. Amen.

Author

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Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Share Jesus

First Reading
COL 1:1-8

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Timothy our brother,
to the holy ones and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you,
for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus
and the love that you have for all the holy ones
because of the hope reserved for you in heaven.
Of this you have already heard
through the word of truth, the Gospel, that has come to you.
Just as in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing,
so also among you,
from the day you heard it and came to know the grace of God in truth,
as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow slave,
who is a trustworthy minister of Christ on your behalf
and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 52:10, 11
R. (10) I trust in the mercy of God for ever.

I, like a green olive tree
in the house of God,
Trust in the mercy of God
forever and ever.
R. I trust in the mercy of God for ever.
I will thank you always for what you have done,
and proclaim the goodness of your name
before your faithful ones.
R. I trust in the mercy of God for ever.

Gospel
LK 4:38-44

After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.

At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.”
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, “To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.


MaagaAngPasko

“…when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” (Luke 4:42-43)

REFLECTION
I remember watching a TVC from Jollibee when I was kid. It really touched my heart and at a young age taught me to give, give, give. The TVC was themed for the upcoming season, it was one of Jollibee’s yearly campaign’s for Christmas entitled MaAga ang Pasko (Start Christmas Early). It starts with a kid hugging her teddy bear, then passing by an empty box that was ready to receive any toy or gift that can be given to the less fortunate. Her parents loaded the box with all the other toys they brought, leaving just the teddy bear that the kid was holding. It was her favorite toy and she was always happy with it so she didn’t want to donate it. But a few moments later, she finally drops it into the box, holds her mom’s hand and smiles. The teddy bear reaches another girl, who is ecstatic and very happy to get this particular teddy bear.

The crowds in today’s gospel experienced Jesus’ miracles and heard his teachings, and they wanted Him to stay and heal more people. However, Jesus knew that He was called for a purpose and that is to proclaim the same Good News that the crowds heard and saw, to others as well, to others who probably need it more. Just as how the crowds didn’t want to share Jesus to others, and how the kid in Jollibee’s TVC didn’t want to donate her teddy bear, sometimes we want to keep the nice things we have to ourselves. And this happens not only with our material things, but also in the talents that the Lord blessed us with. We tend to become selfish for fear of losing something we were happy to have or for fear of being judged on what we can only give. But Jesus is telling us to give and share. Give and share what we have and who we are. Share your material blessings. Share yourself. Share Jesus. Share the blessing of having personally experienced Christ by being Jesus-like to others as well.

Prayer
Dear Jesus, bless me to be like you that I may be an instrument of showing your love and mercy to others. Amen.

Author

pangilinan-maja-wc

Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Take A Break!

First Reading
EX 3:13-20

Moses, hearing the voice of the LORD from the burning bush, said to him,
“When I go to the children of Israel and say to them,
‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’
if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”
God replied, “I am who am.”
Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the children of Israel:
I AM sent me to you.”

God spoke further to Moses, “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob,
has sent me to you.

“This is my name forever;
this my title for all generations.

“Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and tell them:
The LORD, the God of your fathers,
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
has appeared to me and said:
I am concerned about you
and about the way you are being treated in Egypt;
so I have decided to lead you up out of the misery of Egypt
into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites,
Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites,
a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Thus they will heed your message.
Then you and the elders of Israel
shall go to the king of Egypt and say to him:
“The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent us word.
Permit us, then, to go a three-days’ journey in the desert,
that we may offer sacrifice to the LORD, our God.

“Yet I know that the king of Egypt will not allow you to go
unless he is forced.
I will stretch out my hand, therefore,
and smite Egypt by doing all kinds of wondrous deeds there.
After that he will send you away.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 105:1 AND 5, 8-9, 24-25, 26-27
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, invoke his name;
make known among the nations his deeds.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

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. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He greatly increased his people
and made them stronger than their foes,
Whose hearts he changed, so that they hated his people,
and dealt deceitfully with his servants.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

He sent Moses his servant;
Aaron, whom he had chosen.
They wrought his signs among them,
and wonders in the land of Ham.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Matthew 28:30

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”


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Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 28:30)

REFLECTION
It’s 8PM, my phone suddenly vibrates, and I see a message from Diego, asking me to send my Godspeaks reflection for tomorrow. I was not yet at home and busy attending to a prior commitment, so I made a mental note to remind myself to send it as I get home, before midnight.

It’s now 10:44PM and I just got home from a jampacked day. Here I am already tired and yearning for rest, but now scrambling to write coherently, cohesively, pressuring myself to look for the perfect words to craft a reflection that will go straight to the heart, and thinking of the most meaningful metaphor I can use to relate to today’s readings.

Then, I realize, what I’m going through right now is exactly what the Lord wants to tell me; what the Lord wants to tell His children: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. I find comfort in this message and now am writing this reflection without any doubt or second thoughts that this is what the Lord wants to tell you, who are reading this reflection. 🙂

Oftentimes, we are caught up in our daily routine – the pressure to exceed expectations and perform with great results. And as this happens, oftentimes, too, we find ourselves tired and looking for a break, for comfort, refuge and peace that we think we can get from somewhere far from our where we currently stand. But today, the Lord is telling us that the comfort, refuge and peace we are looking for is just here, it is in Him who is in us. We do not need to go far, we only need to be still and turn to the Lord through prayer and listen to Him through reading His word. The Lord is speaking to you in your heart now and He is inviting you to be still, set aside a short amount of time to rest in His presence and just listen to His special message to you, and I guarantee, you will find that peace, that comfort, and maybe even that answer you are looking for. -Maja Pangilinan (majapangilinan@gmail.com)

Prayer
Dear Lord, teach me to come to you especially in times when I feel weary and burdened. Open my ears and touch my heart that I may be able to listen and hear Your message for me everyday. Amen.

Reflection Question
Do I rely on the Lord for strength and comfort especially when I feel weak?

Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

No Matter What

First Reading
TB 6:10-11; 7:1BCDE, 9-17; 8:4-9A

When the angel Raphael and Tobiah had entered Media
and were getting close to Ecbatana,
Raphael said to the boy,
“Tobiah, my brother!”
He replied: “Here I am!”
He said: “Tonight we must stay with Raguel, who is a relative of yours.
He has a daughter named Sarah.”

So he brought him to the house of Raguel,
whom they found seated by his courtyard gate.
They greeted him first.
He said to them, “Greetings to you too, brothers!
Good health to you, and welcome!”
And he brought them into his home.

Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat, Tobiah said to Raphael,
“Brother Azariah, ask Raguel to let me marry
my kinswoman Sarah.”
Raguel overheard the words; so he said to the boy:
“Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
for no man is more entitled
to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very frankly.
I have given her in marriage to seven men,
all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both.”
Tobiah answered,
“I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me.”

Raguel said to him: “I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman;
from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
“Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses
she is your wife.
Take her and bring her back safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity.”
Raguel then called Sarah’s mother and told her to bring a scroll,
so that he might draw up a marriage contract
stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
and Raguel drew up the contract, to which they affixed their seals.

Afterward they began to eat and drink.
Later Raguel called his wife Edna and said,
“My love, prepare the other bedroom and bring the girl there.”
She went and made the bed in the room, as she was told,
and brought the girl there.
After she had cried over her, she wiped away the tears and said:
“Be brave, my daughter.
May the Lord grant you joy in place of your grief.
Courage, my daughter.”
Then she left.

When the girl’s parents left the bedroom
and closed the door behind them,
Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
“My love, get up.
Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us
and to grant us deliverance.”
She got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
And they began to say:

“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”

They said together, “Amen, amen,” and went to bed for the night.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (see 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
Blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Gospel
MK 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,
“Which is the first of all the commandments?”
Jesus replied, “The first is this:
Hear, O Israel!
The Lord our God is Lord alone!
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher.
You are right in saying,
He is One and there is no other than he.
And to love him with all your heart,
with all your understanding,
with all your strength,
and to love your neighbor as yourself
is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding,
he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
And no one dared to ask him any more questions.


fighting

“Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, will all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30)

REFLECTION

It’s been a tough week for me and my mom’s relationship. We didn’t have a huge fight but she said something that hurt me. My mom is great at words, she would say only one sentence but it pierces straight through my heart. I am not one to answer back when my parents call me out on something I did that they are not happy about, instead I just remain silent, for as long as I can.

Every time my mom and I would get into a cold war, I always try to remember God’s unfailing love that has been constantly present in my life. I go back to the basic truth of how He has always loved us over and over again even when we sin over and over again. This softens my hardened heart and I begin to understand my mom more and forgive her for the hurtful words. From love arises forgiveness. This is what Jesus teaches us in today’s Gospel. We must love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Coupled with our love for God is our love for our neighbors. We can only be truly loving God if we love others, most especially our family. Just as how Jesus has loved us and died for us when we were sinners, we must love and forgive others no matter what they say or do. It’s a tough challenge but if we remain in God’s love, we will be able to obey His commandments.

You may be having a difficult time loving others, going through a rocky part of your relationship with someone, or even with the Lord. No matter what you are going through, just have faith in His relentless love! And let that love flow through you so that you may be able share it to others. Open your heart to His abundance and mercy and little by little, you will learn how to love others just as how God has been loving you. – Maja Pangilinan (majapangilinan@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, thank you for your great love for me. Bless my heart, mind, soul and body that I may love you above all. Use me to show your unconditional love to others. That I may be able to love my neighbor just as how you love me. Amen

Reflection Question

How have I been showing my love for God through my family and friends?

Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Pendong Peace!

First Reading
Acts 3:13-15, 17-19

Peter said to the people:
“The God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus,
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
Now I know, brothers,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 4:2, 4, 7-8, 9
R. (7a) Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

When I call, answer me, O my just God,
you who relieve me when I am in distress;
have pity on me, and hear my prayer!
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Know that the LORD does wonders for his faithful one;
the LORD will hear me when I call upon him.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

O LORD, let the light of your countenance shine upon us!
You put gladness into my heart.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

As soon as I lie down, I fall peacefully asleep,
for you alone, O LORD,
bring security to my dwelling.
R. Lord, let your face shine on us.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 John 2:1-5A

My children, I am writing this to you
so that you may not commit sin.
But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous one.
He is expiation for our sins,
and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world.
The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep
his commandments.
Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments
are liars, and the truth is not in them.
But whoever keeps his word,
the love of God is truly perfected in him.

Gospel
Luke 24:35-48

The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”


 

Pendong

“While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'” (Luke 24: 36)

REFLECTION

“Pendong peace!” ,said my little brother as a yellow Volkswagen passed by.

Do you know this game or have ever played it with your friends? Here’s how it’s played: whoever gets tapped by someone who spotted a beetle car and said Pendong Peace, needs to keep quiet until someone calls him/her by name. My brothers like playing this silly game. Weird and shallow but when I come to think of it, i can relate it to today’s readings.

Since Easter, we have been hearing about the Lord greeting people with “peace be with you.” and even during Holy Mass, we greet strangers with this phrase. It’s been a usual statement for us, but there is much more meaning to it if we reflect deeper. The Lord has been saying “peace be with you” to us, and just like in the Pendong Peace game,  He has tapped each one of us, calling us by name for us to be His servants who will call upon others as well to be. The Lord sends us His peace – peace of mind, heart and soul – so that we are can also inspire others and share this peace, calling them by name. There is power in calling one by name, as said in His word. We call upon the name of Jesus when we pray, knowing that He listend to us. In the same way,  we are called by the Lord by our name, to follow Him and His ways.

Today, we are reminded of that challenge, that call. Will you be game enough to answer and call upon others as well? -Maja Pangilinan (majapangilinan@gmail.com)

Prayer

Dear Jesus, open my ears thst I may hear Your call. Bless my hands and feet that I may have strength to go out and be your servant. Bless my heart and mouth that i may call on others, bring you praise and spread your peace . Amen!

Reflection Question

Have I let the Lord inspire others through me?

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Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Faith Over Fear

First Reading
DN 2:31-45

Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar:
“In your vision, O king, you saw a statue,
very large and exceedingly bright,
terrifying in appearance as it stood before you.
The head of the statue was pure gold,
its chest and arms were silver,
its belly and thighs bronze, the legs iron,
its feet partly iron and partly tile.
While you looked at the statue,
a stone which was hewn from a mountain
without a hand being put to it,
struck its iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces.
The iron, tile, bronze, silver, and gold all crumbled at once,
fine as the chaff on the threshing floor in summer,
and the wind blew them away without leaving a trace.
But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain
and filled the whole earth.

“This was the dream;
the interpretation we shall also give in the king’s presence.
You, O king, are the king of kings;
to you the God of heaven
has given dominion and strength, power and glory;
men, wild beasts, and birds of the air, wherever they may dwell,
he has handed over to you, making you ruler over them all;
you are the head of gold.
Another kingdom shall take your place, inferior to yours,
then a third kingdom, of bronze,
which shall rule over the whole earth.
There shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron;
it shall break in pieces and subdue all these others,
just as iron breaks in pieces and crushes everything else.
The feet and toes you saw, partly of potter’s tile and partly of iron,
mean that it shall be a divided kingdom,
but yet have some of the hardness of iron.
As you saw the iron mixed with clay tile,
and the toes partly iron and partly tile,
the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.
The iron mixed with clay tile
means that they shall seal their alliances by intermarriage,
but they shall not stay united, any more than iron mixes with clay.
In the lifetime of those kings
the God of heaven will set up a kingdom
that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people;
rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms
and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever.
That is the meaning of the stone you saw hewn from the mountain
without a hand being put to it,
which broke in pieces the tile, iron, bronze, silver, and gold.
The great God has revealed to the king what shall be in the future;
this is exactly what you dreamed, and its meaning is sure.”

Responsorial Psalm
DN 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
R. (59b) Give glory and eternal praise to him.

“Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“You heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord,
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.
“All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.”
R. Give glory and eternal praise to him.

Gospel
LK 21:5-11

While some people were speaking about
how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings,
Jesus said, “All that you see here–
the days will come when there will not be left
a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him,
“Teacher, when will this happen?
And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?”
He answered,
“See that you not be deceived,
for many will come in my name, saying,
‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’
Do not follow them!
When you hear of wars and insurrections,
do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,
but it will not immediately be the end.”
Then he said to them,
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues
from place to place;
and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
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REFLECTION

Nov 26

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.” Lk 21:10-11

How did you feel after reading the gospel? Surprised, scared and terrified because it’s very much like the devastation that has happened in our country, right? You have probably asked yourself if the world was indeed ending, if not yet now, very soon; and that thought makes you fearful all the more. However, is this really what the gospel wants to tell us?

I would like to disagree and instead, look at the gospel in a positive light, and I encourage you to do the same. I think the gospel is reminding us of trusting amidst fear; of trusting goodness even if all the signs tell you not to.

You may be going through some personal struggles in your life right now, and have thought of giving up, but remember the Lord will never give up on you and He loves you unconditionally. When you fear failure, keep in mind that you have a victorious God. When all your plans are not unfolding, know that the Lord has a wonderful future for you. And if you feel like you are alone, know that the Lord has promised to be with you until the end. The signs may be telling you that the end of the world is at hand, but behold the Lord has conquered the world. The gospel is telling us to trust in God’s great plan as a source of hope even if all worldly temptations are convincing you otherwise.

Why? Because He is King. Let us allow Him to be the King of our lives, especially as Christmas draws closer. May we be reminded of Jesus’ unfailing love and mercy for us and may we, in turn, also share this to our brothers and sisters. – Maja Pangilinan (majapangilinan@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord may I continue to trust in You amidst struggles, problems and temptation. May I let you rule over my life as my King. Inspire me to share this truth to others every day. Amen.

Reflection Question

What recent events in my life have brought me fear of trusting the Lord?

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Little Whispers, Maja Pangilinan

Hide And Seek

First Reading
Bar 4:5-12, 27-29

Fear not, my people!
Remember, Israel,
You were sold to the nations
not for your destruction;
It was because you angered God
that you were handed over to your foes.
For you provoked your Maker
with sacrifices to demons, to no-gods;
You forsook the Eternal God who nourished you,
and you grieved Jerusalem who fostered you.
She indeed saw coming upon you
the anger of God; and she said:

“Hear, you neighbors of Zion!
God has brought great mourning upon me,
For I have seen the captivity
that the Eternal God has brought
upon my sons and daughters.
With joy I fostered them;
but with mourning and lament I let them go.
Let no one gloat over me, a widow,
bereft of many:
For the sins of my children I am left desolate,
because they turned from the law of God.

Fear not, my children; call out to God!
He who brought this upon you will remember you.
As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God,
turn now ten times the more to seek him;
For he who has brought disaster upon you
will, in saving you, bring you back enduring joy.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 69:33-35, 36-37
R. (34) The Lord listens to the poor.

“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.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him,
the seas and whatever moves in them!”
R. The Lord listens to the poor.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
They shall dwell in the land and own it,
and the descendants of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall inhabit it.
R. The Lord listens to the poor.

Gospel
Lk 10:17-24

The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power
‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy
and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
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hide

REFLECTION

“As your hearts have been disposed to stray from God, turn now ten times the more to seek him;” -Bar 4:28

Tagu-taguan, maliwanag ang buwan.

Pagbilang ko’ng sampu, nakatago na kayo.

Isa, dalawa, tatlo…

I’m sure you’re familiar with this game and must have played it at least once when you were a child. I especially like playing this game when I’m one of the many who will try to hide. I find hiding easier than being the one to search for those who are hiding. I like hiding because it meant just looking for a place and then resting and waiting there until I am found, whereas if you’re “it” or the one who will search for everyone, you have to exert effort in searching, which can be tiring and sometimes frustrating.

The same happens even in our relationship with the Lord. We seem to have this innate tendency to choose the easy way to doing things. We would prefer just sitting down and waiting for things to happen, for people to find us, for trials to just go away. When things get tough, we hibernate, retreat or sometimes even give up. But let me tell you this, the Lord will search for you and seek you no matter how many times you turn away and hide from His great love and mercy. He will not get tired and frustrated. His grace and love is so abundant that even the deepest, darkest, ugliest secrets, hurts and pains we have in hearts He can touch and transform into something lovely, wonderful and beautiful, because He wants us to be with Him and He loves us very much. Friends, as the Lord is always seeking us, I invite you to also seek the Lord in your lives. In even the littlest things, try to search for Him and rest assured that when You see Him, you will realize that there is nothing to hide or run away from. You will want to open your heart to His love and blessings more and more. -Maja Pangilinan (majapangilinan@gmail.com)

Prayer

Dear Lord, search me and find me. I want my heart to be Your home that I may be truly happy and be Jesus to others too.

Reflection Question

Am I hiding from the Lord? In what aspects of my life do I wish to find Him and feel His love?

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