Little Whispers, Yeye Rodriguez

Strength in Love

First Reading
Ruth 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
Psalm 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
Matthew 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.”


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“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.”  (Matthew 22:35-40)

REFLECTION
What do you think of when you hear the word love? If you ask me, my family and friends usually come to mind first. For me, love is one of, if not the strongest foundations of our relationships with the people we care about. Lately, I realized how important love is in our lives; that without it, we are nothing but merely people striving to survive. Love is what makes us human. Aside from that, there is more meaning to love than what we already know of. There exists Jesus’ love for us that is endless in depth and most powerful of all.

I share this because back when I was at my lowest point, I thought that Jesus did not love me anymore. I called out to Him many times, asking why He would let me be miserable in my life if He truly loved me. Before, I would easily get annoyed at anyone since I found it difficult to try being composed all the time. Eventually, some of my friends asked me if I was doing alright. When they tried to help me with my problems, that was when I felt loved.

I may not have known it then, but now I understand that the Lord sent my friends as His vessels to make me feel His love once again. He made me go through all of those things because of the same love. Without them, I wouldn‘t be where I am today. I probably would not be able to enjoy and appreciate everything around me and be more grateful to Him.

My friends and family made me realize that love is something that cannot be seen but felt, like God. We may not see Him, but His presence can be felt through the people around us who love us as He does.

Prayer
Father God, thank You for loving us despite our shortcomings, and for giving us a fresh start every day to be more than what we are and to choose to love the people around us. We pray that we may be able to continue sharing this love, Your love, to others, so that it may spread and create a positive difference in this world. Amen.

Author

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Photo by: Priscilla Du Preez (@priscilladupreez at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Yeye Rodriguez

The Choice to Forgive

First Reading
NM 21:4B-9

With their patience worn out by the journey,
the people complained against God and Moses,
“Why have you brought us up from Egypt to die in this desert,
where there is no food or water?
We are disgusted with this wretched food!”

In punishment the LORD sent among the people saraph serpents,
which bit the people so that many of them died.
Then the people came to Moses and said,
“We have sinned in complaining against the LORD and you.
Pray the LORD to take the serpents from us.”
So Moses prayed for the people, and the LORD said to Moses,
“Make a saraph and mount it on a pole,
and if any who have been bitten look at it, they will live.”
Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole,
and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent
looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 78:1BC-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Hearken, my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable,
I will utter mysteries from of old.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
While he slew them they sought him
and inquired after God again,
Remembering that God was their rock
and the Most High God, their redeemer.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But they flattered him with their mouths
and lied to him with their tongues,
Though their hearts were not steadfast toward him,
nor were they faithful to his covenant.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
But he, being merciful, forgave their sin
and destroyed them not;
Often he turned back his anger
and let none of his wrath be roused.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Second Reading
PHIL 2:6-11

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel
JN 3:13-17

Jesus said to Nicodemus:
“No one has gone up to heaven
except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.
And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert,
so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only 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.


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REFLECTION

“But he, being merciful, forgave their sin and destroyed them not;” ( Psalm 78:38)

I had a friend who made me feel that she was all I needed. Whenever I needed to laugh or be comforted, she would always be there for me. She even inspired me to do well because of her support. She was a really good friend to have. I used to get confused whenever I heard people say that she’s a ‘backstabber’, ‘traitor’, or even ‘fake’. I didn’t understand that because when we first became friends, she was kind and thoughtful.

Slowly, we started to drift apart. She got mad at me for no reason at all and made fun of my insecurities. Most of all, she backstabbed me and I felt this mix of unexplainable anger and disappointment because of the things she said about me that weren’t even true. I tried to be mature enough to do the right thing, to try my best to be a good friend.

I tried to talk to her but she refused. I really wanted to fix it and then she finally had the urge to talk. Time took care of everything, and trust is really all that’s needed to restore broken relationships. Every wound eventually heals into a scar. The pain goes away, and all that’s left is a reminder that even though there are bad chapters, they could still make good stories. God gives us the power to forgive – the choice to build each other up in our imperfections, in His perfect timing.

Prayer

Author

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