Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

Controlled By…

First Reading
Acts 2:36-41
On the day of Pentecost, Peter said to the Jewish people,
“Let the whole house of Israel know for certain
that God has made him both Lord and Christ,
this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other Apostles,
“What are we to do, my brothers?”
Peter said to them,
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins;
and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
For the promise is made to you and to your children
and to all those far off,
whomever the Lord our God will call.”
He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them,
“Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
Those who accepted his message were baptized,
and about three thousand persons were added that day.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-19, 20 AND 22
R.    (5b)  The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:

R.    Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us
who have put our hope in you.
R.    The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

Gospel
John 20:11-18
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?”
She said to them, “They have taken my Lord,
and I don’t know where they laid him.”
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?”
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary!”
She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,”
which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
‘I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.’”
Mary went and announced to the disciples,
“I have seen the Lord,”
and then reported what he had told her.


photo-1521819342394-5f3dd1b43ba1

“Woman, why are you weeping?” (John 20:15)

REFLECTION
Who or what is controlling your life right now?

Is it the Enhanced Community Quarantine that limits you to do anything but just stay home? Is it the Covid-19 pandemic that scares you to create relationships again? Are there other things or people who control your life? In this time of uncertainty, most of us are losing hope if things will still get better. But here’s the good news – there is hope.

In today’s gospel, Mary Magdalene was weeping hard when Jesus was not found in his tomb. She would do anything to see Jesus again. When Jesus saw her, He asked, “Woman, why are you weeping?” When she realized that it was Jesus, Mary quickly did what Jesus asked her – to tell the good news that He is alive. 

Do we see ourselves in Mary Magdalene’s position where we sulk over things that we cannot control and struggles that seem hard to solve?  I’ve been in a position where I overthink everything. There is a constant struggle to please people so anything they say holds an impact on me. Slowly, I’ve realized that being controlled over what people would think or say doesn’t help me become a better person. Rather, it hinders me in seeing the beauty that God has created in me.

Friends, letting go and giving our full trust to the Lord is not easy. But, why weep when we can rejoice in the Lord’s goodness? Jesus has now resurrected and has saved our lives! “For the Son of man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Now is the time to share the news that He is alive, and He is here to save us from all our anxieties, uncertainties, and frustrations. All He wants is to allow Him to take over our lives.

Prayer
Afraid and confused, I come to you Lord. In this time of need, humble my heart so that I may see the fullness of Your love in me. Save me from this darkness and grant me peace in my heart. Amen.

Author

wc-tj-r

Click on the bubble to find out more about TJ!

Photo by: Kelly Sikkema (@kellysikkema at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

The Community

First Reading
1 Timothy 1:1-2, 12-14

Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our savior
and of Christ Jesus our hope,
to Timothy, my true child in faith:
grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father
and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord,
because he considered me trustworthy
in appointing me to the ministry.
I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and an arrogant man,
but I have been mercifully treated
because I acted out of ignorance in my unbelief.
Indeed, the grace of our Lord has been abundant,
along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 16:1B-2A AND 5, 7-8, 11
R.(see 5) You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R.You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Gospel
Luke 6:39-42

Jesus told his disciples a parable:
“Can a blind person guide a blind person?
Will not both fall into a pit?
No disciple is superior to the teacher;
but when fully trained,
every disciple will be like his teacher.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’
when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye.”


md-duran-NaTzgXieUlo-unsplash.jpg

“I am grateful to him who has strengthened me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he considered me trustworthy in appointing me to the ministry.” (1 Timothy 1: 12)

REFLECTION
I have been serving the Youth Ministry since 2010.

At first, attending Youth was all about making friends. Every Saturday, may dahilan ako para gumala (I have a reason to go out). My parents trusted my friends in Youth, so I took advantage of it. Prayer meetings started out as a way to hang out with friends, but it soon became a habit that I could not stop.

In our Youth community, everyone was assigned under a ministry where we learn the value of teamwork and commitment. My first ministries were the Service Ministry (where we did all the logistical work) and the Dance Ministry. I was excited to be a part of a community where everyone is connected to each other and to Jesus!

Soon after, I tried to audition for the Praise Ministry, our community’s musicians and singers. I did not make the cut because at that time I was not done with the Intercessory Ministry, a ministry everyone must go through. I was heartbroken because I thought I did not have what it takes to be a part of that ministry. Being rejected made me question myself, but it did not stop me from serving.

After serving in the Intercessory Ministry, I again tried to audition for the Praise Ministry. This time I got in! I was excited to sing every Saturday! As a newbie head, I didn’t know what to do, so instead of trusting my own will, I trusted His. With each passing year in my service to Him, He has allowed me to grow in strength and in wisdom. Jesus used me to reach out to His people; all the things I’ve done were not done by my own strength, but by His!

It is not easy to serve the Lord. You will face rejection, but never forget the love Jesus has for you! This is what Jesus wants you to know today—He sees the passion in Your heart, and He believes in you! Wherever you are in your service to Jesus, always believe that through Him, with Him, and in Him, anything will be possible!

Reflection Song

Commission My Soul by Citipointe

Author

wc-tj-r.jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tj!

Photo by: MD Duran (@mdesign85 at unsplash.com)

 

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

God’s Word

First Reading
JL 1:13-15; 2:1-2

Gird yourselves and weep, O priests!
wail, O ministers of the altar!
Come, spend the night in sackcloth,
O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived
of offering and libation.
Proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the elders,
all who dwell in the land,
Into the house of the LORD, your God,
and cry to the LORD!

Alas, the day!
for near is the day of the LORD,
and it comes as ruin from the Almighty.

Blow the trumpet in Zion,
sound the alarm on my holy mountain!
Let all who dwell in the land tremble,
for the day of the LORD is coming;
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom,
a day of clouds and somberness!
Like dawn spreading over the mountains,
a people numerous and mighty!
Their like has not been from of old,
nor will it be after them,
even to the years of distant generations.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 9:2-3, 6 AND 16, 8-9
R. (9) The Lord will judge the world with justice.

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart;
I will declare all your wondrous deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, Most High.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.
You rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
their name you blotted out forever and ever.
The nations are sunk in the pit they have made;
in the snare they set, their foot is caught.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.
But the LORD sits enthroned forever;
he has set up his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with justice;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord will judge the world with justice.

Gospel
LK 11:15-26

When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said:
“By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons,
he drives out demons.”
Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven.
But he knew their thoughts and said to them,
“Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste
and house will fall against house.
And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?
For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons.
If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul,
by whom do your own people drive them out?
Therefore they will be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons,
then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man fully armed guards his palace,
his possessions are safe.
But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him,
he takes away the armor on which he relied
and distributes the spoils.
Whoever is not with me is against me,
and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone,
it roams through arid regions searching for rest
but, finding none, it says,
‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’
But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order.
Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits
more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there,
and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”


autopilot

“Whoever is not with me is against, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23)

REFLECTION
Recently, I feel lost. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s going on with my life. I feel like I’m in auto-pilot and I do the same thing over and over again. Because of this, I get tired and worthless. I feel unmotivated, dry, and pessimistic. Many things have gone wrong–my studies, relationships, and even my prayer life. A part of me went missing, and I wander and search for what has been lost.

What helped me get back on track is prayer along with reading Little Whispers. I prayed and prayed as I asked for enlightenment. I pray because it helps me reconnect with God, and He knows that I’m with Him. My prayers are answered as I read the reflections of my fellow youth members. It is so inspiring how our writers could capture God’s message and interpret it in such a way that they bless other people’s lives. God is with them because they too, are with God. Not only are their reflections inspiring but their prayers make a big difference as well. These writers can heal and save lives for they have become God’s instrument in proclaiming His word. I can say, they have healed me.

My dear readers, let us find comfort in God’s words. When we are lost and cannot find our way, God’s words will always be our guide. It is our assurance that we are saved because He is all good and will never leave our side.

Prayer
Lord, thank you for the gift of your word. Thank you for sharing it to us so that we may share it to others. Father, bless those who have found comfort in your word for they have witnessed your mercy, grace, and unending love. Through them, we have been healed. They have changed our lives so that we may be with you in all the days of our lives. Amen.

Author

rodriguez-tj-wcClick on the image to find out more about Tj!

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

I Love You

First Reading
RU 1:1, 3-6, 14B-16, 22

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.

Naomi said, “See now!
Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god.
Go back after your sister-in-law!”
But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 146:5-6AB, 6C-7, 8-9A, 9BC-10
R. (1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!

Blessed is 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!
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
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!
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!

Gospel
MT 22:34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law, tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”


penguins

“He said to him,’You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)

REFLECTION
What does it mean to love? Is it more of an act, a feeling, or a state? For me, love is all three. Love starts first with feelings. When love is present, we feel happy and excited. Because of this, it drives us to move—to act out the love that we are experiencing. As we are continuously driven by love, we realize that we are in love. It becomes our state of mind, body, and soul. As this love grows, we become happier and more uplifted.

I experience this love everyday; a love that comes from God. I started to feel His love during my Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar (YLSS). I felt that I’ve become a part of something great for He has changed my life since then. He pats me on the back when I’ve done something great, and assures me that He will never leave my side no matter what. Thanks to Him, my life went from dull to bright. As I felt God’s love, I started to share it with others through my service in the Youth Ministry. By serving Him, I get to touch other people’s lives and let them also feel how God has moved me. Through service, I have made most of the gifts that He has given me, especially in singing. The love that He has given me has been overflowing. Now, I sing and shout praises to Him as I am in the know that God is good all the time.

God’s love is supreme. His love is perfect. His love is one of a kind. Being loved by God has been bringing happiness in my life. In return, I will love Him for the rest of my life.

Prayer
I love you Lord, and I lift my voice
To worship you
Oh my soul, rejoice
Take joy my king in what you hear
May it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear

Author

rodriguez-tj-wc

Click on the image to find out more about Tj!

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

In Denial

First Reading
ACTS 11:21B-26; 13:1-3

In those days a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.

Now there were in the Church at Antioch prophets and teachers:
Barnabas, Symeon who was called Niger,
Lucius of Cyrene,
Manaen who was a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said,
“Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul
for the work to which I have called them.”
Then, completing their fasting and prayer,
they laid hands on them and sent them off.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6
R. (see 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.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.

Gospel
MT 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”


 

“The hand of the Lord was with them and a great number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21)

REFLECTION

The main reason why I continuously turn to God is because I feel that His hand is with me.

Before, I was not used to praying. My prayer life was revolving around memorized prayers and those that were already formed. Prayer was just an obligation and not a way of life. I didn’t know who God is. All I know is He’s the Supreme Being up there.

Not until God revealed Himself to me.

During the middle of the year for our YE sponsorship, our YE shepherd told me that I’m the new coordinator. One of our coordinators cannot serve anymore which is why they had to find a new one. I was very happy and excited. I felt like that was my time to shine (HAHA). Also, that was the first time I had to lead for real. But of course, worries and fears came along the way. I didn’t know what to do or how to be a coordinator per se. At that time, God and I weren’t very close but he continuously revealed Himself to me by those around me. Many people started affirming me even if we didn’t know each other very well. It made me feel special and accepted. I had more confidence in me. But I was still in denial. Then, I realized that this is what He wants me to know—that there are people who believe in me. So I started giving my best until our sponsorship. By the end of the weekend, everything fell into place and all were happy to be part of the team!

Since then, we became very close. I felt like I had a new friend. A best friend. A person whom I can talk to without judgments and would always take my hand when I’m starting to fall.

My friends, sometimes we take for granted what God reveals to us. We always expect something big. But most of the time, it’s the simplest revelations that makes our relationship with Him becomes deeper and better. – Tj Rodriguez (thereserodriguez@gmail.com)

Prayer

Jesus, You are always there to guide me, protect me, to listen to my concerns, and to hold me close. I’m very grateful to know you and I can’t wait ‘til our next adventures. Amen. 

Reflection Question

Do I hold on to Jesus?

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

To Serve

First Reading
SIR 36:1, 4-5A, 10-17

Come to our aid, O God of the universe,
look upon us, show us the light of your mercies,
and put all the nations in dread of you!
Thus they will know, as we know,
that there is no God but you, O Lord.

Give new signs and work new wonders.

Gather all the tribes of Jacob,
that they may inherit the land as of old,
Show mercy to the people called by your name;
Israel, whom you named your firstborn.
Take pity on your holy city,
Jerusalem, your dwelling place.
Fill Zion with your majesty,
your temple with your glory.

Give evidence of your deeds of old;
fulfill the prophecies spoken in your name,
Reward those who have hoped in you,
and let your prophets be proved true.
Hear the prayer of your servants,
for you are ever gracious to your people;
and lead us in the way of justice.
Thus it will be known to the very ends of the earth
that you are the eternal God.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 79:8, 9, 11 AND 13
R. (Sirach 36:1b) Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.

Remember not against us the iniquities of the past;
may your compassion quickly come to us,
for we are brought very low.
R. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
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. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.
Let the prisoners’ sighing come before you;
with your great power free those doomed to death.
Then we, your people and the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
through all generations we will declare your praise.
R. Show us, O Lord, the light of your kindness.

Gospel
MK 10:32-45

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, ‘What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, ‘We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


Serve

“For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mk 10:45

REFLECTION

What does it mean to serve?

To serve (in a literal sense) is to comply with the commands or demands of someone or something, and these demands should be met. But on a deeper level, there’s more to service than we think.

In my five years in the Youth Ministry, “service” is not something new. However, on my first few years, to serve is just a means to make friends and pass the time. As I grow in the ministry, I’ve realized three things—that to be able to serve you have to (1) be humble, (2) be willing to serve, and (3) love those you serve.

  1. Humility

It’s hard to serve when we are arrogant and too proud of ourselves. It becomes harder to surrender to God because we focus our service to ourselves and not to Him. One thing I learned in service is to lower myself down in order to focus on God’s graces and not of the worldly things.

  1. Willingness to serve

Serving others is not to be forced. I realized that to serve, we should be willing to do it because our commitment is necessary. A lot of preparation and readiness is needed to be able to serve fully and at its best.

  1. Love to others

Alongside with the voluntary action of service is the love to those you serve. I start to serve willingly because I have come to love whom I serve—God. I loved everything that He has shown me even the people that He has introduced to me. Since then, I learned to be selfless. I serve others first before myself because this is what He commands me to do.

As we reflect on today’s gospel, we’ve come into the world to serve and not to be served. We’re created to give life again to others so that they may be able to find God through us. – Tj Rodriguez (theresejeanine@gmail.com)

Prayer

Father, it’s not easy to serve others. Help us as we continue to serve You in our ministry. Teach us Father to love the way that You have loved us in order to serve You and others fully. Also, may we be more selfless as we serve.  Amen.

Reflection Question

Have I met God’s demands when I serve others?

Little Whispers, TJ Rodriguez

Talent to Passion

First Reading
Acts 16:11-15

We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi,
a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony.
We spent some time in that city.
On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river
where we thought there would be a place of prayer.
We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there.
One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth,
from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened,
and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention
to what Paul was saying.
After she and her household had been baptized,
she offered us an invitation,
“If you consider me a believer in the Lord,
come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A and 9B
R. (see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R. The Lord takes delight in his people.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
John 15:26—16:4
Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.”


   
“Let the high praises of God be in their throats. This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.” Psalms 14: 6&9

REFLECTION
Singing is not just a talent. It’s a passion.

I remember back in grade 3 when I started singing. I was influenced by my best friend because she was part of the chorale. Her voice was amazing! A nine year old kid whose voice was pure and whole was unbelievable! Because of her, I started attending voice lessons and even tried to be part of the chorale.

As time passed, my voice developed. I started singing for the school, my friends, family, and relatives. I felt so happy sharing my talent.

Later, when I became part of the BLD Youth Ministry, the Youth discovered my talent. They encouraged me to join the Praise Vocals. My first try wasn’t a success not until the second one. Finally, I became part of the group. At first, I was very technical. I made sure that when I sing I should be in pitch, etc. It was a struggle to worship because I can’t seem to let go of these technicalities which would result to inhibitions. I wanted a perfect performance. But then I realized, it doesn’t matter if it’s perfect or not because I’m singing for the Lord. All I need to do is surrender and trust Him with the gift that He has given me. My talent became my passion. I sing not only for music but for the service of God.

After 2 years in the ministry, I still keep in mind the technicalities but one thing I will never forget is to let go and leave the rest to Him.

Just sing high praises to the Lord because He deserves to be praised! -Tj Rodriguez

Prayer

Lord, thank you for this gift. Thank you for the opportunity to share it with others. Father, as I share my talent, humbly I pray that this talent will be a reflection of your love to everyone. Amen.

Reflection

What other things can I do to show praises to God?