Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

The Magician

First Reading
Wisdom 13:1-9
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5AB
R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Gospel
Luke 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”


karl-fredrickson-JRsZWmRd_Ws-unsplash.jpg

“All men, by nature, are foolish who are in ignorance of God.” (Wisdom 13:1)

REFLECTION
Believing in Jesus was somehow a ridiculous thought to me when I was young. I’ve always viewed Him as a magician every time I hear a story of His miracles. I see His teachings as a tool to lure people in giving their money to their respective church. I’ve seen Him as a figure of hope as well, thinking that He was worshiped because people need to be given a sense of hope. I thought that the Church was just using a protagonist of some book to manipulate people for their agendas.

This perspective clouded my thoughts which closed my mind to the idea of God. Afterwards, a day came where a simple decision of my family would crash our world as we know it. We struggled in every possible way and lost everything that we owned. The problems that we encountered exhausted us physically and mentally to a point that it made us bitter.

Then one Sunday came and we decided to go to mass. Little did I know that an enthusiastic priest would change my views. He opened his statement with a simple quote from proverbs, “Follow the word of God, all things shall succeed well.”

With his charm and heartfelt speech revolving around that passage, I asked myself, if success is what I want how can I follow Him? This simple question led me to prayer meetings and teachings from different church related communities. Then slowly I see hope within and realize that God is not a superficial idea rather, a living thought that teaches us how to live in a manner where we can manage our personal obstacles by giving us opportunities that leads to our success in life.

Prayer
Father, open the eyes of Your people to their ignorance of You. Give then the opportunity to see Your goodness; for them to know Your wonderful plans for them. Amen!

Author

wc-tam (1).jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tam!

Photo by: Karl Fredrickson (@kfred at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

Don’t Talk to Strangers!

First Reading
2 Timothy 4:10-17B

Beloved:
Demas, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Thessalonica,
Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
Luke is the only one with me.
Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments.

Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm;
the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
You too be on guard against him,
for he has strongly resisted our preaching.

At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf,
but everyone deserted me.
May it not be held against them!
But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 145:10-11, 12-13, 17-18
R.(12) Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. Your friends make known, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.

Gospel
Luke 10:1-9

The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter,
first say, ‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.'”


janis-oppliger-dRHE-XF7wls-unsplash.jpg

“If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.” (Luke 10:6)

REFLECTION
My mom is your typical overprotective parent.

She used to emphasize to me that talking to a random person won’t do you any good. She told me once that if a tall guy offered me a candy and a trip to Star City—two things I loved the most—I would become a beggar.  I’d do anything for a sweet treat and a ride to a merry-go-round. As my curiosity would have it, I’d always wonder, “What if my mom was wrong? Maybe Santa would send an elf disguised as a tall guy from North Pole and give my early Christmas present!” I was a stubborn kid then.

Years passed, I was riding a jeep on my way to school. Then, I heard someone say, “Bayad po.” (Here’s my payment.) What caught my attention was the accent of the girl speaking. I laughed a little because I was judging her way of speaking, and then after a few stops, she approached me in an awkward manner. She asked me for directions on where to find a nearby historical Church. She spoke to me in crooked English which gave me a hint that she was a foreigner. I gave her directions, but she couldn’t seem to keep up. I offered to give her a tour around Intramuros and show her some churches that I know. Surprisingly, she agreed. I ditched my class and become a tour guide for a day. It turned out to be a great experience. I never knew that I would be the tall elf who would give a treat to someone.

My dear friends, the Gospel is encouraging us to give peace to our neighbors, regardless of who they are. It may be a simple gesture, but it can impact the persons around us. Be kind to everyone you meet, and surely there will be peace, not only around us, but in our hearts!

Prayer
Father, may you open my heart to give out more joy and peace to the people who need it. Amen.

Author

wc-tam.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tam!

Photo by: Janis Oppliger (@capturethemoment at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

The Protagonist

First Reading
JL 4:12-21

Thus says the LORD:
Let the nations bestir themselves and come up
to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there will I sit in judgment
upon all the neighboring nations.

Apply the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe;
Come and tread,
for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow,
for great is their malice.
Crowd upon crowd
in the valley of decision;
For near is the day of the LORD
in the valley of decision.
Sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars withhold their brightness.
The LORD roars from Zion,
and from Jerusalem raises his voice;
The heavens and the earth quake,
but the LORD is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the children of Israel.

Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God,
dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain;
Jerusalem shall be holy,
and strangers shall pass through her no more.
And then, on that day,
the mountains shall drip new wine,
and the hills shall flow with milk;
And the channels of Judah
shall flow with water:
A fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD,
to water the Valley of Shittim.
Egypt shall be a waste,
and Edom a desert waste,
Because of violence done to the people of Judah,
because they shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall abide forever,
and Jerusalem for all generations.
I will avenge their blood,
and not leave it unpunished.
The LORD dwells in Zion.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the LORD of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Light dawns for the just;
and gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
and give thanks to his holy name.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Gospel
LK 11:27-28

While Jesus was speaking,
a woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”


imagine

“Light dawns for the just; gladness, for the honest of heart.”( Psalms 97: 11)

REFLECTION
Back when I was a kid, the world around me was like a fantasy land where I was the protagonist in a magical journey.

It all started when I was 7 years old, when my aunt gave me a sword that was as big as my body and a gun that was as heavy as myself.  I was so happy that it felt like I was the Red Ranger in the Power Rangers series and everyday after school was a beginning of a new adventure. There were times when I grabbed some of my friends outside and made them join me in my epic quests. Our usual setting would be the abandoned lot in our old neighborhood where there were different kinds of trees and wild life and that is where our imagination took hold of our time. We used to climb the tallest tree and scout the area, and underneath it was our base camp where we would set up our gear before we attacked our enemies. Our usual encounters were The Lioness Cat, The Rabid Dog, and the Soaring Chicken. We were filled with this overwhelming joy every time we would set to go on a quest. At the end of the day, a whole new story happened.

Sadly, every fantasy must come to an end. The inevitable truth will always creep up on us but that doesn’t mean it should rule us. But don’t worry for God has a solution. He wants us to have a persona like a child who has an honest heart and a mind that is just.

Prayer
Father God I pray that you give me the sense of responsibility of an adult, and fantasy of a child. Amen.

Author

rodriguez-tam-wcClick on the image to find out more about Tam!

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

Optimism

First Reading
1 THES 4:13-18
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters,
about those who have fallen asleep,
so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose,
so too will God, through Jesus,
bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord,
will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.
For the Lord himself, with a word of command,
with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God,
will come down from heaven,
and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left,
will be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air.
Thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Therefore, console one another with these words.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 96:1 AND 3, 4-5, 11-12, 13
R. (13b) The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
For great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
awesome is he, beyond all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are things of nought,
but the LORD made the heavens.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them!
Then shall all the trees of the forest exult.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.
Before the LORD, for he comes;
for he comes to rule the earth.
He shall rule the world with justice
and the peoples with his constancy.
R. The Lord comes to judge the earth.

Gospel
LK 4:16-30
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up,
and went according to his custom
into the synagogue on the sabbath day.
He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring glad tidings to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll,
he handed it back to the attendant and sat down,
and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him.
He said to them,
“Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
And all spoke highly of him
and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.
They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?”
He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb,
‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place
the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’”
And he said,
“Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you,
there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.


A young man dunking a basketball. Focus on the basketball.

Let the havens be glad and the earth rejoice, let the sea and what fill it resound.” (Psalm 96: 11)

REFLECTION
All I can hear at that time were the squeaking shoes, the dribbling of the ball, and the beating of my heart. Fear and nervousness dominated my emotions and made me unstable, but I didn’t show this to my team because this was my last chance to prove that I was capable. The first possession had occurred and we ran our defense very well. We got the ball but failed to score, and a counter was given by the opposing team; a field goal was made, again and again. I saw my team gradually losing morale because of the run but my mind was optimistic and I knew I could do something.

Our shooter had missed a shot and I saw an opening. I grabbed the missed ball and muscled my way to get a lay-up. I continued a steady pace, scored consistently, getting rebounds and handing out assists until we got the lead. Then I heard the crowd chanting my name over and over again. Suddenly, adrenaline burst from my body and I used this to maximize my game. I was so overwhelmed with joy that time, I hardly made any mistakes.

The quarter had ended and my captain saw my fatigue, so he benched me for a while. As I sat there recovering, my teammates started praising me for my performance. When the final buzzer was heard, we won and ended it with a great margin. Even though our bodies were sore, we still managed to jump around and celebrate our success. I can’t imagine how happy I was seeing my teammates rejoice because of what I did.

Optimism is the best gift that God gave to me. I never knew that this trait would make a difference in my life. So if you’re having troubles right now, use optimism as a tool to help you. You never know, it just might give you the winning shot.

Reflection Song

Authorrodriguez-tam-wcClick on the image to find out more about Tam!

 

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

Doubt

First Reading
GN 18:1-15
The LORD appeared to Abraham by the Terebinth of Mamre,
as Abraham sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, he saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
“Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.”
The men replied, “Very well, do as you have said.”

Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
“Quick, three measures of fine flour!
Knead it and make rolls.”
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before them;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.

They asked him, “Where is your wife Sarah?”
He replied, “There in the tent.”
One of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”
Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent, just behind him.
Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years,
and Sarah had stopped having her womanly periods.
So Sarah laughed to herself and said,
“Now that I am so withered and my husband is so old,
am I still to have sexual pleasure?”
But the LORD said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say,
‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’
Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do?
At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you,
and Sarah will have a son.”
Because she was afraid, Sarah dissembled, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”
But he replied, “Yes you did.”

Responsorial Psalm
LUKE 1:46-47, 48-49, 50 AND 53, 54-55
R. (see 54b) The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“For he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.
“He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”
R. The Lord has remembered his mercy.

Gospel
MT 8:5-17
When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion,
“You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.”
And at that very hour his servant was healed.Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.

But the Lord said to Abraham: “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I really bear a child, old as I am?’ Is anything too marvelous for the Lord to do?” (Genesis 18:13-14)

REFLECTION

I always felt faith was an obligation that was employed by my parents. I go to church every Sunday because I know there is something special after every mass. I learned His ways and teachings in school, but still, I failed to apply it in my own ways. Then I started questioning myself, why do people worship a God? I gathered information to feed my hunger of knowing Him and the answer is always the same, He Loves You and he will give you everlasting happiness. This answer did not satisfy me well because the words were superficial.

As days went by, I wore out my willingness to find the answer. Suddenly, an opportunity presented itself. My mom pushed me and my sister to join a Catholic community where I slowly developed my answer by attending prayer meetings and serving there. My answer is still a work in progress, but I was able to develop a metaphor that could simplify who God is for me. He is like energy that is neither created nor destroyed. An energy that lifts you up when you’re down. An energy that is present in your every moment and will not let you down. And lastly, an energy that will give you everlasting love and happiness.

If you’re having doubts or even if you don’t know him yet, you don’t even have to seek Him. He will come to you just as He did to Sarah and Abraham. He knows that she had doubts because of her physical condition and old age but He still gave her what she prayed for in faith.

My dear friends if you’re still seeking God, do not worry. He is a free and flowing energy that will always be in your heart. – Tam Rodriguez (rodriguezthomas777@gmail.com)

Reflection Question

When have you experienced God finding you, even when you didn’t seek Him?

Prayer
Father God, You have created us to be wonderful and perfect, but our doubts have been an obstacle to us. Help us to overcome these so we may know You more. Amen.

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

Ease The Pain

First Reading
2 COR 8:1-9

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you this gracious act also.
Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 146:2, 5-6AB, 6C- 7, 8-9A
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Praise the LORD, my soul!
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
MT 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


fight

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44)

REFLECTION

Have you ever been hurt by someone? If your answer is yes, then you’re thinking about the pain that you’ve felt. What have you done to ease that pain? Now if you’re a “Fighter” the first thing you would’ve thought was to reciprocate the pain that you’ve received but if you’re a “Coward”, you’ll always try to find a way to dodge that feeling again. Who are you? In everything that God wants us to do, this is one of the most challenging mission. It is a daunting task for us to love our enemies because of the pain that they’ve caused to us.

Growing up wasn’t so easy for me because I had a hard time adjusting to my surroundings. I was shy and timid that’s why I was bullied and teased around by my peers, and for that I had a hard time making friends. I was a “coward” back then, and I’ve always let others step on me. Until one time, there was a time that I got fed up. I learned how to “fight” back by changing parts of my personalities and by letting myself put others in my former shoes. There was this incident where I was playing basketball with a stranger and I trash talked him because of his dirty plays, and from out of nowhere he punched me in the face and one thing led to another. I was not proud of what I’ve done, I realized that my actions caused more pain to me than to others.

Easing the pain is the most difficult time for us. It’s so hard when you recall the way how people have caused you pain and the way it felt. My dear friends, don’t run away with it like a “Coward” or find a way to avenge the pain like a “Fighter” because it will grow onto you and will slowly change you. God has given us the Ultimate Hack to relieve the pain and that is, to love your enemy. I know it is so hard and nearly impossible, but if you just let your heart dissolve the pain by forgiving and letting love take over it. I’m telling you, that no matter how painful, how tragic, or how disastrous the feeling is, you’ll smile over it. -Tam Rodriguez (rodriguezthomas777@gmail.com)

Prayer

Father God, I pray for the healing of my heart, remove all the pain that I am enduring right now so that love can fill my heart. Give me the strength to forgive all the people that caused me harm

Reflection Question

Do I still love those who hurt me?

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

Guilty Pleasure

First Reading
Acts 5:17-26

The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report,
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.”
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 3:16-21

God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.


    

 

“And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil.” (John 3:19)

REFLECTION
Doing something wrong is fun, isn’t it? You feel excited yet at the same time guilty, like ditching a class for a party or gossiping about a person to converse with someone. There is a satisfying feeling we get when we do these things. It’s fun but at the same time it’s wrong.

One time, my friends invited me to play basketball but my mom won’t allow me to go because it is far away from home. Instead of following her decision, I lied to her and told her that I had a special exam that will take 5 hours. In reality, my exam only took 1 and a half hours. Surprisingly, she believed me! Because she thought I would be at school the whole time, my mom only gave me enough money for my usual commute and lunch. I took it because I really wanted to play.

I got home safely. I had a huge laugh about it but soon enough, I felt guilty about lying to my mom.

We often feel guilty after we have done our mistakes. We regret it and think that we shouldn’t have done it. Don’t worry, because it is part of being human. The only thing that we must do is to learn from it.

To see the light of God is no easy task. Darkness surrounds us. But remember, darkness is just the absence of light. Once you find your way, God is there waiting for you. – Tam Rodriguez (rodriguezthomas777@gmail.com)

Prayer

Father God, I have displeased you with my imperfections and I let it take over me. I pray that you give me strength so that I may see the light that you gave upon me.

Reflection Question

Are you still in darkness or have you already seen the light of God?

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