Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Spoiler Alert

First Reading
Acts 2:1-11
When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34
R. (cf. 30) Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD, my God, you are great indeed!
How manifold are your works, O Lord!
the earth is full of your creatures;
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD be glad in his works!
Pleasing to him be my theme;
I will be glad in the LORD.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.
If you take away their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
R. Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 12:3B-7, 12-13
Brothers and sisters:
No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.

As a body is one though it has many parts,
and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body,
so also Christ.
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons,
and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.

Gospel
John 20:19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”


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“On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”” (John 20:19)

REFLECTION
I love looking up spoilers. I’m the person who reads the last chapter of a book before I flick to the first, looks up movie endings when I’m halfway through them, and searches Korean drama episode recaps on Google. I feel better when I know what will happen, what comes next, and how a story will end. Why? Because knowing how everything will unfold means being prepared for whatever happens.

But in life, I’ve come to realize that this is not the case. I cannot search the Internet for answers to my questions, read the recap for what will happen tomorrow, nor ask God to tell me what the future holds. Everyday means living with uncertainty and being in the unknown of what comes next, and uncertainty means questions, doubts, and fear of what may and may not happen. Especially now, we’re all living with the uncertainty of what comes next, anxiety about our plans, questions of the future, and fear of acquiring the virus.

As Jesus came to the disciples at the time of their great fears although the doors were locked, He comes to us, too, wherever we are locked in by fear, and he gives us His peace, His joy, and His promise of hope. Jesus takes away all of our uncertainties, overcomes our fears, and brings us peace.

Today, Jesus is reminding us that His peace will carry us through any fear, any problem, and any uncertainty in life because spoiler alert: Jesus wins and His peace overcomes fear.

Reflection Song

See A Victory by Elevation Worship

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Photo from https://umaine.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/08/Spoiler-alert-news-feature.jpg

Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Seven Sundays

First Reading
Acts 8:26-40
The angel of the Lord spoke to Philip,
“Get up and head south on the road
that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza, the desert route.”
So he got up and set out.
Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch,
a court official of the Candace,
that is, the queen of the Ethiopians,
in charge of her entire treasury,
who had come to Jerusalem to worship, and was returning home.
Seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.
The Spirit said to Philip,
“Go and join up with that chariot.”
Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and said,
“Do you understand what you are reading?”
He replied,
“How can I, unless someone instructs me?”
So he invited Philip to get in and sit with him.
This was the Scripture passage he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,
and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who will tell of his posterity?
For his life is taken from the earth.

Then the eunuch said to Philip in reply,
“I beg you, about whom is the prophet saying this?
About himself, or about someone else?”
Then Philip opened his mouth and, beginning with this Scripture passage,
he proclaimed Jesus to him.
As they traveled along the road
they came to some water,
and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water.
What is to prevent my being baptized?”
Then he ordered the chariot to stop,
and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water,
and he baptized him.
When they came out of the water,
the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away,
and the eunuch saw him no more,
but continued on his way rejoicing.
Philip came to Azotus, and went about proclaiming the good news
to all the towns until he reached Caesarea.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 66:8-9, 16-17, 20
R.    (1)  Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Bless our God, you peoples,
loudly sound his praise;
He has given life to our souls,
and has not let our feet slip.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
When I appealed to him in words,
praise was on the tip of my tongue.
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R.    Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowds:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him,
and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets:

They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father
except the one who is from God;
he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven
so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven;
whoever eats this bread will live forever;
and the bread that I will give
is my Flesh for the life of the world.”


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“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

REFLECTION
Growing up, Sunday has always meant going to Church and attending mass. Until religious mass gatherings were barred due to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19. It has been seven Sundays of attending online mass and seven weeks of praying the rosary everyday. And with every week that goes by, I realize more than ever how much I miss it.

I miss going to church. I miss being in the presence of Jesus inside the church. I miss listening to the word of God and to the Homily. I miss celebrating the Eucharist. I miss kneeling before God and talking to Him. I miss the gathering of people who believe in Christ. I miss being in the same room, worshiping, singing, serving, laughing, praying, and receiving communion together.

But today, I am reminded that we are the Church. For without the people, a building cannot be considered a Church. The people created and called by God to be His: His children, His disciples, and His messengers.

As Jesus is the living bread whose flesh is given for the life of the world, we are called to fulfill our duties as the Church of Christ in our own ways. As we turn our own homes into Churches, we can pray, worship, extend help, reach out, and care for each other as we continue the works of the Church. As each of us has been given skills, abilities and opportunities to serve, Jesus will continue to strengthen, protect, and sustain us.

Friends, today’s readings are telling us that wherever we are, Jesus is there. He is there in our homes, in our families, in our lives, and He will always be there. We may not be able to go to church and celebrate the Eucharist, but Jesus is reminding us that we are the Church and the Church is at its best when the people inside the building take His message outside the building and serve those they meet.

Reflection Song

Here Again by Elevation Worship

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Photo by: Mateus Campos Felipe (@matfelipe at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

On The Frontline

First Reading
Jeremiah 11:18-20
I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
“Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more.”

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12
R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion’s prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Gospel
John 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”

Then each went to his own house.


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Does our law condemn a person before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?(John 7:51)

REFLECTION
When people ask children what they want to become when they grow up, most of them answer engineers, lawyers, businessmen, or doctors, which are actually high-paying occupations that people look up to. On the other hand, when children answer cashiers, janitors, or drivers, they are told to dream bigger and aim for a higher job. I always wondered, why do we condition our children to view different jobs unequally in terms of salary, position, and educational attainment? I’ve asked myself, “How is one job “
better” than the other?” It is sad but this is the society that we live in today where we look at occupations differently and this is our reality.

Just like in the Gospel, we are doubtful and full of prejudice towards the janitors, helpers, cashiers, vendors, delivery men, and gasoline station attendants, the same way the crowd treated Jesus with uncertainty and prejudice. Yet, these occupations that we consider as low-paying or we do not look up to as much as doctors and engineers, are the same people who wake up everyday to serve their countrymen. They face each day with bravery, courage, and faith amidst the health risks and scarcity of transportation just to provide for their families and be of service to other people. The same way doctors and medical personnel save the lives of people with illnesses, these people also save and protect each of us in their own ways.

Jesus is telling us today to treat one another with love, compassion, understanding, generosity, humility, patience, and respect regardless of one’s background and occupation. With a grateful and trusting heart, let us all be Jesus to one another as we face each day with faith and hold onto His promise of salvation. As we are all one in Christ Jesus, may this season remind us to work together with peace, kindness, and equality.

To all the frontliners, thank you for your service.

Prayer
Father God, may You remind us to trust in Your power, grace, and love as You are greater and far more powerful than what we are currently facing. We lift up to you each and every individual who has committed their lives to serve and protect the people. Grant each of them the strength and courage as they fulfill their duties everyday. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Photo by Philstar News (https://www.facebook.com/philstarnews/photos/a.271016240712/10163866256535713/?type=3&theater&_rdc=1&_rdr)

Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

What do you want to be when you grow up?

First Reading
Romans 4:20-25
Brothers and sisters:
Abraham did not doubt God’s promise in unbelief;
rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced that what God had promised
he was also able to do.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
But it was not for him alone that it was written
that it was credited to him;
it was also for us, to whom it will be credited,
who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
who was handed over for our transgressions
and was raised for our justification.

Responsorial Psalm
Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
R.(see 68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

Gospel
Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.”
He replied to him,
“Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
Then he said to the crowd,
“Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable.
“There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!”‘
But God said to him,
‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God.”


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“Then he said to the crowd, ‘Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.'” (Luke 12:15)

REFLECTION
When I was in grade school, our teacher asked us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. While my classmates answered they wanted to be engineers, doctors, scientists, and presidents, I said, “Gusto ko maging masaya.” (I want to be happy.) They all laughed at me, telling me that my answer was wrong. So, I grew up thinking that for me to be happy, I have to be rich, famous, and successful in everything that I do. I have to be the best, the smartest, and the brightest one in the room. I became competitive and saw everyone as competitors as I grew older. I measured my worth through the awards and recognitions that I received. I thought that the more achievements I have, the better I would become.

I only set my eyes on becoming the best, on reaching the top, and on finishing first. I was so focused on winning that I became very self-centered. Everything became about me, what I have and have achieved, what I could do and what I knew. Until I realized I was not happy at all. I asked myself, “I already have everything that I want, but why do I feel empty? I thought happiness comes with the rewards and achievements I get.”

When God redirected my plans, I realized I was so focused on making myself the best instead of helping others become better. I was so focused on reaching the end instead of enjoying the journey. I realized I was not wrong when I said I wanted to be happy when I grow up. Jesus reminded me of my simple dream. He reminded me that His love, grace, and peace is greater and more fulfilling than all the awards, recognitions, and possessions that the world can offer. I was reminded of His promise that true joy can be found in knowing Him. 

Jesus is telling us today that success is not the key to happiness but rather happiness is the key to success. When we begin to fill our minds with the Word of God, the promises of God, and the presence of God, we will be filled with joy – true and everlasting joy.

Reflection Song

Joy by Planetshakers

Author

wc-ryan

Click on the bubble to find out more about Ryan!

Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Best Friends

First Reading
Baruch 1:15-22
During the Babylonian captivity, the exiles prayed:
“Justice is with the Lord, our God;
and we today are flushed with shame,
we men of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem,
that we, with our kings and rulers
and priests and prophets, and with our ancestors,
have sinned in the Lord’s sight and disobeyed him.
We have neither heeded the voice of the Lord, our God,
nor followed the precepts which the Lord set before us.
From the time the Lord led our ancestors out of the land of Egypt
until the present day,
we have been disobedient to the Lord, our God,
and only too ready to disregard his voice.
And the evils and the curse that the Lord enjoined upon Moses, his servant,
at the time he led our ancestors forth from the land of Egypt
to give us the land flowing with milk and honey,
cling to us even today.
For we did not heed the voice of the Lord, our God,
in all the words of the prophets whom he sent us,
but each one of us went off
after the devices of his own wicked heart,
served other gods,
and did evil in the sight of the Lord, our God.”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 79:1B-2, 3-5, 8, 9
R.(9) For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple,
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the corpses of your servants
as food to the birds of heaven,
the flesh of your faithful ones to the beasts of the earth.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
They have poured out their blood like water
round about Jerusalem,
and there is no one to bury them.
We have become the reproach of our neighbors,
the scorn and derision of those around us.
O LORD, how long? Will you be angry forever?
Will your jealousy burn like fire?
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.
Help us, O God our savior,
because of the glory of your name;
Deliver us and pardon our sins
for your name’s sake.
R. For the glory of your name, O Lord, deliver us.

Gospel
Luke 10:13-16
Jesus said to them,
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!
For if the mighty deeds done in your midst
had been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would long ago have repented,
sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon
at the judgment than for you.
And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven?
You will go down to the netherworld.’
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”


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“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)

REFLECTION
Growing up, I did not have a best friend. For me, a best friend is someone who accepts me for who I am, someone who is always there for me when no one else is, and someone who loves me unconditionally. I never went to sleepovers, nor did I have anyone who knows everything about me, and I never experienced hanging out with a best friend. Only to realize that I have not just one but two best friends.

I consider papa and mama as my best friends because they know everything about me. They believe in me when I don’t believe in myself. They never judge me, and they never fail to remind me that I am always loved and cared for. They always tell me the truth, and they are always there for me no matter the circumstances.

As I look for more reasons why my parents are my best friends, Jesus reminds me of their purpose in my life. My parents are my own Jesus as they exhibit God’s unconditional love, everlasting goodness, and true wisdom. When I listen to my parents, I also listen to God. When I respect my parents, I also respect God. When I love my parents, I also love God. Whatever I do towards my parents, my actions also extend towards God who sent them and placed them in my life.

Just like Jesus, our parents want nothing but the best for us. Jesus has entrusted them with the lifelong duty of raising us, teaching us, guiding us, disciplining us, forgiving us, and loving us the same way Jesus does. And today, we are reminded to live a life of obedience and faith towards our parents and towards Jesus.

Prayer
Thank You, Jesus, for my parents. I am grateful for their love, time, protection, help, understanding, and wisdom. Make me a blessing to my parents as I obey, love, respect, and honor them. Continue to use them as Your instruments of love, peace, and joy. May Your peace reign in their hearts and Your love always encompass them. Amen.

Authorwc-ryan

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Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Say Yes

First Reading
Judges 9:6-15

All the citizens of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together
and proceeded to make Abimelech king
by the terebinth at the memorial pillar in Shechem.

When this was reported to him,
Jotham went to the top of Mount Gerizim and, standing there,
cried out to them in a loud voice:
“Hear me, citizens of Shechem, that God may then hear you!
Once the trees went to anoint a king over themselves.
So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’
But the olive tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my rich oil,
whereby men and gods are honored,
and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come; you reign over us!’
But the fig tree answered them,
‘Must I give up my sweetness and my good fruit,
and go to wave over the trees?’
Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, and reign over us.’
But the vine answered them,
‘Must I give up my wine that cheers gods and men,
and go to wave over the trees?’
Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, ‘Come; you reign over us!’
But the buckthorn replied to the trees,
‘If you wish to anoint me king over you in good faith,
come and take refuge in my shadow.
Otherwise, let fire come from the buckthorn
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'”

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 21:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R.(2a) Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

O LORD, in your strength the king is glad;
in your victory how greatly he rejoices!
You have granted him his heart’s desire;
you refused not the wish of his lips.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
For you welcomed him with goodly blessings,
you placed on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked life of you: you gave him
length of days forever and ever.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.
Great is his glory in your victory;
majesty and splendor you conferred upon him.
You made him a blessing forever,
you gladdened him with the joy of your face.
R. Lord, in your strength the king is glad.

Gospel
Matthew 20:1-16

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
he found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”


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“… and He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.'” (Matthew 20:4)

REFLECTION
As a part of the sponsoring class of Youth Encounter #27, I was tapped by our shepherds to be the piety head and my first and only response was “Why?”.

There were a lot of reasons why I felt unworthy to handle piety. I was still a new member of BLD Youth. I did not know yet how to lead in the vigil room. I did not think that I was good in praying. The list went on as I looked for more reasons why. It was during our preparations when I was so full of doubt and frustration. I felt that my service was not enough as I continued to ask “Why me, Lord?”.

It was when I started to lay down my whys before Jesus when I realized that my service is not about me. I was not called to shine my own light but to reflect His. Jesus reminded me that it was never about how capable I was of accomplishing tasks but it was about how faithful and obedient I was by saying Yes to Him without expecting anything in return. It was through my yes that I was able to do what was asked of me, including the things I never thought I could do. It was through my yes to Jesus where I found peace in praying for other people. And today, I was reminded of my growth all because of saying yes to the Lord.

Today, Jesus is telling us that all we have to do is to answer His call by saying YES to Him. Just like how the men in the parable accepted the invitation of the landowner to work in his vineyard, it is not the work that is rewarded but rather it’s the choice to accept the invitation—His invitation.

Reflection Song

Author

wc-ryan

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Little Whispers, Ryan Rivera

Worth It

First Reading
WIS 3:1-9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
or:
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Second Reading
ROM 5:5-11

Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Or
ROM 6:3-9

Brothers and sisters:
Are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death,
so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead
by the glory of the Father,
we too might live in newness of life.

For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his,
we shall also be united with him in the resurrection.
We know that our old self was crucified with him,
so that our sinful body might be done away with,
that we might no longer be in slavery to sin.
For a dead person has been absolved from sin.
If, then, we have died with Christ,
we believe that we shall also live with him.
We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more;
death no longer has power over him.

Gospel
JN 6:37-40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”


notgood

“But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

REFLECTION
I grew up thinking that I am never good enough. There will always be someone who is smarter than me, more talented than me, more beautiful than me, and better than me in all that I can do. I grew up keeping it all to myself, I did not share about how I did in school, and I cannot express how I feel fearing that people will judge and misunderstand me. I learned how to cope up with failures and disappointments with myself. I kept on doing these things all alone not knowing that I was self-destructing.

It was in that process of self-destruction when Jesus saved me from myself. I was so undeserving, so unworthy, and yet, Jesus was so relentless. I pushed, He pulled. I wept, He embraced. I bled, He repaired. I destroyed, He restored. I hesitated, He stayed. I shattered, He healed. I stopped, He smiled. I was a disaster, the worst of its kind, and yet, Jesus still had the audacity to let me know that I am beautiful in my own way and I am His.

We may be damaged, broken, and hurt, but Jesus was more brokenhearted, betrayed and scarred than anyone in this world. Yet, He did not shut Himself off from us. Instead, He calls us unto Him. Stop building walls and start placing your trust in Him. His scars are enough proof that you are loved more than you know. He will direct you through this pain, He will sit with you when you are weak, and He will carry you until you can walk again. Jesus wants to see you run in victory again. He wants to see you live in His glory. You just have to take His hand and walk with Him; it will take all of you, but you will gain all of Him. He is worth it and you are too.

Prayer
Thank You, Jesus, for loving me unconditionally every day. Please continue showering us with your unending grace and mercy. May You remind us every single day of how much You love us and how special each one of us is. Amen.

Author

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