Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

Let’s Get Personal

First Reading
EZ 17:22-24

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar,
from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot,
and plant it on a high and lofty mountain;
on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.
It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
And all the trees of the field shall know
that I, the LORD,
bring low the high tree,
lift high the lowly tree,
wither up the green tree,
and make the withered tree bloom.
As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
R. (cf. 2a) Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

Second Reading
2 COR 5:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

Gospel
MK 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.


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“He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.” (Mark 4:34)

REFLECTION

Have you ever been in one of those situations when you have a very important story to tell but one of your friends in your group doesn’t know the backstory and so instead of being able to dive head first into the specifics you actually have to tell it from the very beginning? It’s frustrating but highly necessary.

In today’s gospel, Jesus’ patience was shown in full display with how He conversed with those who did not know His backstory. He spoke to them in parables to make sure that they had good foundation for what would be revealed to them later on: that He is the Saviour of the world. But once He’s in His intimate circle, He has more freedom to talk about more confronting stuff. And if you read back you’ll see that the disciples even had Q&A privileges people in large crowds don’t. An intimate relationship is not one where Jesus just talks to you. You have the opportunity to talk to and hear from Him too. How awesome is that?

The more amazing thing is that God already knows every detail about you. Do you know God half as much as He knows you or do you only know of Him? All of us are at different intimacy levels with Him. Today He is inviting you deeper into His inner circle. Go for it. Get personal with Jesus. –Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

Prayer

Jesus, I long to have a real and personal relationship with You. I want to know You more. I pray for a unique revelation today that would take me deeper into our relationship. Amen.

Reflection Question

Are you one of the bystanders in the crowd who need to be talked to in figures of speech in order to have a revelation of who God is or are you one of the disciples who has the privilege of having direct conversations with the Saviour?

Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

The Making of a Spiritual Leader

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.”


walk

“And now compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. however, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” –Acts 20:22-24

REFLECTION

Two years ago I got to attend the Hillsong Conference. Pastor Craig Groeschel, the pastor of the church who developed the Bible app, gave a teaching based on those verses.

He said that there are 4 phases in our process of becoming a Spiritual Leader. The first is called “Spirit’s Prompting” when His Spirit convicts you to pursue something He has placed in your heart. The second is called “Certain Uncertainty.” Here, His instruction doesn’t fully make sense but when you obediently pursue a God-anointed path He reveals to you what you need to know exactly when you need it. The third phase is “Practicable Resistance.” It’s when the spiritual battle starts to get intense because when you commit to pursue this purpose the enemy will always be there to contradict your every move. The last phase is called “Uncommon Clarity.” You know you’re in this phase when despite everything that’s happening you have peace in your heart and you know you’re right where you need to be.

We’re all in different places with our spiritual walk with God. You may be in the process of discovering His purpose for you. You may be right in the thick of things and nothing makes sense. But wherever you are know that you’re exactly where God wants you to be. Lose yourself to His purpose for you. Give your all to pursue it. –Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, will You convict my spirit right this very moment to consciously place myself under the protection of Your will so that I may lead this generation back into Your kingdom. May Your will reign over my life. Amen.

Reflection Question

Am I pursuing God’s will for my life? Do I long to have a revelation of my God-given purpose?

Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

Heaven’s Paradox

First Reading
2 Kgs 5:14-17

Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of Elisha, the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child,
and he was clean of his leprosy.

Naaman returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before Elisha and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel.
Please accept a gift from your servant.”

Elisha replied, “As the LORD lives whom I serve, I will not take it;”
and despite Naaman’s urging, he still refused.
Naaman said: “If you will not accept,
please let me, your servant, have two mule-loads of earth,
for I will no longer offer holocaust or sacrifice
to any other god except to the LORD.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
R. (cf. 2b) The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

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 revealed to the nations his saving power.
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 revealed to the nations his saving power.
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 revealed to the nations his saving power.

Second Reading
2 Tm 2:8-13

Beloved:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David:
such is my gospel, for which I am suffering,
even to the point of chains, like a criminal.
But the word of God is not chained.
Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen,
so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus,
together with eternal glory.
This saying is trustworthy:
If we have died with him
we shall also live with him;
if we persevere
we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him
he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful
he remains faithful,
for he cannot deny himself.

Gospel
Lk 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”
_______________________________________________________________________________

Oct 13

REFLECTION

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” -2 Timothy 2:13

I love logic. I’m a very “if it’s not A it’s B” type of person. I like how it gives structure to my way of thinking and doing things. It guides me to know the differences between certain things and it sets apart basically what is ideal for me and what I should avoid.

However, when I encountered God, He totally challenged that! He literally turned my world upside down with all His weird lines of reasoning. Owning the kingdom of heaven when you’re poor, being strong while being weak, offering the other cheek when someone slaps your other cheek, and now this: He will be faithful even though we are faithless.

That to me is the ultimate display of His unconditional love for us. That He will never turn away from us even though we deserve to be separated from Him for all eternity.

Being in a relationship with God will not always make sense. Most of the time you will find that when you are most poised to do good, crap things will start to happen in your life. But you may have this comfort that God is not man (Hosea 11:9) and that His thoughts and ways are not ours (Isaiah 55:8). That even though we don’t understand and we end up making mistakes, His love, grace, and mercy will always be there because that’s just who He is.

And if you are at this point in your life when you feel like there’s no way out, that you have fallen so far behind, take heart! God knows exactly where you are right now and He is there with you. Remember, He will never turn His back on you! –Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

Prayer

God, thank you for who you are. Thank you that you love us so much and that you will never abandon us. May I reflect this love and be a manifestation of it for those who have not encountered you yet. Amen.

Reflection Question

Where are you right now in terms of your relationship with God?

 

Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

What’s In It For Me?

First Reading
Jgs 6:11-24A

The angel of the LORD came and sat under the terebinth in Ophrah
that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite.
While his son Gideon was beating out wheat in the wine press
to save it from the Midianites,
the angel of the LORD appeared to him and said,
“The LORD is with you, O champion!”
Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us,
why has all this happened to us?
Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers
told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’
For now the LORD has abandoned us
and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have
and save Israel from the power of Midian.
It is I who send you.”
But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel?
My family is the lowliest in Manasseh,
and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”
“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him,
“and you will cut down Midian to the last man.”
Gideon answered him, “If I find favor with you,
give me a sign that you are speaking with me.
Do not depart from here, I pray you, until I come back to you
and bring out my offering and set it before you.”
He answered, “I will await your return.”

So Gideon went off and prepared a kid and a measure of flour
in the form of unleavened cakes.
Putting the meat in a basket and the broth in a pot,
he brought them out to him under the terebinth
and presented them.
The angel of God said to him, “Take the meat and unleavened cakes
and lay them on this rock; then pour out the broth.”
When he had done so,
the angel of the LORD stretched out the tip of the staff he held,
and touched the meat and unleavened cakes.
Thereupon a fire came up from the rock
that consumed the meat and unleavened cakes,
and the angel of the LORD disappeared from sight.
Gideon, now aware that it had been the angel of the LORD,
said, “Alas, Lord GOD,
that I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!”
The LORD answered him,
“Be calm, do not fear. You shall not die.”
So Gideon built there an altar to the LORD
and called it Yahweh-shalom.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 85:9, 11-12, 13-14
R. (see 9b) The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD–for he proclaims peace
To his people, and to his faithful ones,
and to those who put in him their hope.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. The Lord speaks of peace to his people.

Gospel
Mt 19:23-30

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich
to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Again I say to you,
it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle
than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”
When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said,
“Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said,
“For men this is impossible,
but for God all things are possible.”
Then Peter said to him in reply,
“We have given up everything and followed you.
What will there be for us?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you
that you who have followed me, in the new age,
when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory,
will yourselves sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters
or father or mother or children or lands
for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more,
and will inherit eternal life.
But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________

August 20

REFLECTION

“Peter answered him, ‘ We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’” Matthew 19:27

I like playing games. I love getting other people involved in the game too! I love it when it gets too intense and the atmosphere becomes so hardcore and everyone just wants to win. Sometimes we go to extreme lengths to make sure we gain competitive advantage against everyone else that are playing. More than playing, I like winning. Before I get in the zone for something I always ask, “What’s in it for me?” or “What’s the prize?” or “What will I win?” Those are all valid questions right? To have enough motivation you have to know what you’re playing for. So that nothing and no one could faze you and keep you from winning.

In today’s Gospel, Peter asked Jesus what he’s playing for. He has left his livelihood and family to be with this strange man who claims to be the Messiah. This man isn’t rich. In fact, he travels from town to town looking for free lodging to be with this guy’s call to preach and build the kingdom. Peter has paid probably one of the highest sacrifices a person in society could do today. It’s so scary, not knowing how your needs will be met in the next couple of weeks. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming when you know, or at least think you know, that you know where you’re going and you refuse to live right by what is expected from you.

Peter asked not because he doubted God and His promises. He asked God because He wanted to be reminded of whose race he had to finish and how he should finish it. He wanted to be reminded that he has to continue looking on to the prize that has been set for everyone who finishes the race. Since our God is the God who restores and rebuilds, He will give us anything and everything that we lost or had to forego when we chose to serve here full time. All we need to do is ask and be faithful in finishing the task expected of us. – Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

 

Prayer

Jesus, would You give me the grace to leave behind everything that is hindering me from running faster towards You. I pray that I would always keep my eyes focused on You so that I may have a bigger heart for Your kingdom. Help me realize that the best gift is being with You in your kingdom forever. Amen.

Reflection

What is God asking you to give up so that you can start building His kingdom on earth?

Photo source: 4.bp.blogspot.com/

Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

Deep Cries Out

First Reading
Ex 24:3-8

When Moses came to the people
and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD,
they all answered with one voice,
“We will do everything that the LORD has told us.”
Moses then wrote down all the words of the LORD and,
rising early the next day,
he erected at the foot of the mountain an altar
and twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
Then, having sent certain young men of the children of Israel
to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice young bulls
as peace offerings to the LORD,
Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls;
the other half he splashed on the altar.
Taking the book of the covenant, he read it aloud to the people,
who answered, “All that the LORD has said, we will heed and do.”
Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying,
“This is the blood of the covenant
that the LORD has made with you
in accordance with all these words of his.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 50:1B-2, 5-6, 14-15
R. (14a) Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

God the LORD has spoken and summoned the earth,
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.
“Offer to God praise as your sacrifice
and fulfill your vows to the Most High;
Then call upon me in time of distress;
I will rescue you, and you shall glorify me.”
R. Offer to God a sacrifice of praise.

Gospel
Mt 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man
who sowed good seed in his field.
While everyone was asleep his enemy came
and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.
When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well.
The slaves of the householder came to him and said,
‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
“First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
______________________________________________________________________________

rbby_92

REFLECTION

“Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” –Psalm 50:15

My cousin has a 1-year old son. She wasn’t really immature when she got pregnant but she wasn’t exactly ready either to have her own family yet. She and her husband had no idea how to raise a kid and the first few months were a struggle. She had to get used to the baby’s endless crying. She’d get so frustrated that sometimes she would call us to go to their house to help her take care of the baby.

But no matter how many children are around or no matter how tired and fed up she is, she’d immediately recognize the sound of her own baby’s cry and would come running to him to attend to his needs.

That’s how God is with us. He cares about even the smallest and most irrelevant cries of our hearts. He hears us regardless of whether we make sense or not. And we can find comfort in that knowing that God knows the deepest cries of our hearts. He recognizes our voice when we cry in desperation for Him and for things that matter to Him. Whenever we call on Him to give us strength to persevere, He runs towards us to make sure that we have enough grace to get by. Regardless of the fact that we do not deserve His love and mercy, He still comes to our rescue and saves us from whatever is troubling us so that we can keep running the race the He has set for us.

He does that not just so that we can “survive” and eventually find ourselves in another ditch again. He doesn’t tirelessly save us just for nothing. As His children, we are expected to step out and reach out to the ones who are lost by sharing to them the saving power He continuously displays in our lives. He exhibits His grace so that all praise and honor goes back to Him. Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

Prayer

God I pray that you would stir in my heart an urgency to direct everyone and everything back to You. May my new resurrection life be a testimony of Your honor to everyone I will encounter everyday. Amen.

Reflection

What are the deepest cries of your heart and how do you think those things reflect God’s power?

Photo Source: http://www.kcconfidential.com

Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

An Attitude of Gratitude

First Reading
Gn 15:1-12, 17-18

The word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:

“Fear not, Abram!
I am your shield;
I will make your reward very great.”

But Abram said,
“O Lord GOD, what good will your gifts be,
if I keep on being childless
and have as my heir the steward of my house, Eliezer?”
Abram continued,
“See, you have given me no offspring,
and so one of my servants will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him:
“No, that one shall not be your heir;
your own issue shall be your heir.”
He took him outside and said:
“Look up at the sky and count the stars, if you can.
Just so,” he added, “shall your descendants be.”
Abram put his faith in the LORD,
who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.

He then said to him,
“I am the LORD who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans
to give you this land as a possession.”
“O Lord GOD,” he asked,
“how am I to know that I shall possess it?”
He answered him,
“Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old she-goat,
a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
Abram brought him all these, split them in two,
and placed each half opposite the other;
but the birds he did not cut up.
Birds of prey swooped down on the carcasses,
but Abram stayed with them.
As the sun was about to set, a trance fell upon Abram,
and a deep, terrifying darkness enveloped him.

When the sun had set and it was dark,
there appeared a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch,
which passed between those pieces.
It was on that occasion that the LORD made a covenant with Abram,
saying: “To your descendants I give this land,
from the Wadi of Egypt to the Great River the Euphrates.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

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. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
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. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations—
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Gospel
Mt 7:15-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but underneath are ravenous wolves.
By their fruits you will know them.
Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit,
and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down
and thrown into the fire.
So by their fruits you will know them.”

________________________________________________________________________________________

funnewzealandtravel

REFLECTION

“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.”

I have been thinking of interesting experiences that I can share that relate to the readings for today but I couldn’t think of any. Just when I was getting ready to give up, that’s when I realized that I have been going about this whole reflection thing the wrong way.

Every waking moment is a chance to honor God, a chance to praise the Lord, the Great King (Tobit 13:15). It’s when we see God in the smallest of things that we are truly able to worship Him. We sometimes forget that God is in everything and everyone we encounter. We always look for grand gestures and miracles that we forget to appreciate the little things.

Thinking about what to write reminded me that the biggest worship is being thankful no matter, especially when I am tempted to complain, whine, and compare myself to other people.

You may not be as smart or as pretty or as popular as others, and the reason for that is you are His masterpiece! You were created with so much love and thought by the same God who made the universe. And when you start seeing yourself through His eyes, that is when you truly magnify God’s glory and majesty.

Like a true masterpiece, there is nobody else in the world exactly like you. Worship Him in the unique way you were created to do so! – Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Father, I pray that You help me see myself through Your eyes. I pray that I may be able to thank You regardless of the circumstance I will find myself in today and in the coming days.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What are some things about myself that are special?
Now that I know that I am His masterpiece, what should I do when I am tempted to be ungrateful towards God?

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Little Whispers, Paola Rondario

All I Have

First Reading
Acts 5:34-42

A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel,
a teacher of the law, respected by all the people,
stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time,
and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel,
be careful what you are about to do to these men.
Some time ago, Theudas appeared, claiming to be someone important,
and about four hundred men joined him, but he was killed,
and all those who were loyal to him
were disbanded and came to nothing.
After him came Judas the Galilean at the time of the census.
He also drew people after him,
but he too perished and all who were loyal to him were scattered.
So now I tell you,
have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.
For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin,
it will destroy itself.
But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them;
you may even find yourselves fighting against God.”
They were persuaded by him.
After recalling the Apostles, they had them flogged,
ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus,
and dismissed them.
So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin,
rejoicing that they had been found worthy
to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
And all day long, both at the temple and in their homes,
they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the Christ, Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 27:1, 4, 13-14

R. (see 4abc) One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.
R. One thing I seek: to dwell in the house of the Lord.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Jn 6:1-15

Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him,
because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain,
and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him,
he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him,
because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him,
“Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough
for each of them to have a little.”
One of his disciples,
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish;
but what good are these for so many?”
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.”
Now there was a great deal of grass in that place.
So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks,
and distributed them to those who were reclining,
and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples,
“Gather the fragments left over,
so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them,
and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments
from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said,
“This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off
to make him king,
he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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REFLECTION 

“Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:9

 

The Lorax is about a boy named Ted who wanted to plant a real tree in his town. He set out to see The Once-ler to ask what needs to be done for trees to exist again. The Once-ler gave Ted a tiny seed and told him to plant it where everyone can see. Ted looked at the Once-ler funny and the Once-ler told him, “It’s not about what it is, it’s what it can become.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus fed thousands with what little a simple boy brought with him. Imagine how the boy felt when Jesus’ apostle came up to him and asked for his baon so that they can feed everyone with it. It probably didn’t make sense to him either. But despite that, in humility and obedience, he gave all that he had to Jesus, who accepted it without question and judgment, thanked the Father for it, and turned it into something that thousands benefited from.

Sometimes, we reduce our value to what little we have. We always focus on what we lack and forget to thank God for what we have. The Gospel reminds us that no matter how poor or how invaluable or how untalented we think we are, Jesus will always be there, ready to increase us so that we may be able to bless others and so that people may see how God works miraculously in our lives. – Paola Rondario (paolarondario@gmail.com)

PRAYER
Jesus, thank you for reminding me today that You have given me so much to bless others with. Help me to offer up to You everything that I have so that you can multiply it and bring more people closer to your grace. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What can you offer Jesus today?
How can you use these things for the benefit of those around you?

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