Little Whispers, Rizza Villanueva

A Fairytale

First Reading
IS 45:6C-8, 18, 21C-25

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.

For thus says the LORD,
The creator of the heavens,
who is God,
The designer and maker of the earth
who established it,
Not creating it to be a waste,
but designing it be lived in:
I am the LORD, and there is no other.

Who announced this from the beginning
and foretold it from of old?
Was it not I, the LORD,
besides whom there is no other God?
There is no just and saving God but me.

Turn to me and be safe,
all you ends of the earth,
for I am God; there is no other!
By myself I swear,
uttering my just decree
and my unalterable word:
To me every knee shall bend;
by me every tongue shall swear,
Saying, “Only in the LORD
are just deeds and power.
Before him in shame shall come
all who vent their anger against him.
In the LORD shall be the vindication and the glory
of all the descendants of Israel.”

Responsorial Psalm
PS 85:9AB AND 10, 11-12, 13-14
R. (Isaiah 45:8) Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and salvation, along the way of his steps.
R. Let the clouds rain down the Just One, and the earth bring forth a Savior.

Gospel
LK 7:18B-23

At that time,
John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord to ask,
“Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?”
When the men came to the Lord, they said,
“John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask,
‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.
And Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”


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And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Luke 7:22-23)

REFLECTION
Writing this reflection makes me want to cry. I still remember like it was just yesterday. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I’m still in that moment. Ever since I was a child, we had everything we needed in life. Whatever me and my brother asked or needed for, we usually got it. They never failed to provide us a good life. Being with them was like a fairytale and I never wanted that to end. Until one day, something happened to our main source of income. I do not want to get into details but in short, it was taken from us. It happened so fast that all of my questions were never answered. And in the blink of an eye, the fairytale we were living in came to an end. It struck us so hard that my brother had to transfer schools. My family was in a bad shape that my parents decided to separate which made me and my brother more devastated. After their separation, we haven’t heard from him. We don’t even know where he is anymore.

But as time went by, we got used to the fact that our father was never with us anymore. Yes it’s hard, but we didn’t lose faith that everything happened for a reason and we never questioned God why it happened to our family. Yet, God is indeed amazing because He never left us and helped us to start over again. Eventually, my mother got a job and she became regular. We slowly regained our old life. It may not be as good as before but the important thing is we experienced God’s salvation. Even though our dad never returned, we know that God has a plan and we trust Him. We are truly blessed with everything that we have right now and I couldn’t ask for more. We are also thankful to our relatives for helping us out. I’ve learned that we should cherish every moment and consider everything a milestone.

No matter how many times you fall, God will always pick you right back up

Reflection Song

Might To Save By Hillsong UNITED

Author

villanueva-rizza-wcClick on the image to find out Rizza!

Eva Villoria, Little Whispers

God’s Pushers

First Reading
2 COR 3:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God.
Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit
for anything as coming from us;
rather, our qualification comes from God,
who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant,
not of letter but of spirit;
for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious
that the children of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses
because of its glory that was going to fade,
how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious?
For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious,
the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory.
Indeed, what was endowed with glory
has come to have no glory in this respect
because of the glory that surpasses it.
For if what was going to fade was glorious,
how much more will what endures be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 99:5, 6, 7, 8, 9
R. (see 9c) Holy is the Lord our God.

Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his footstool;
holy is he!
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
and Samuel, among those who called upon his name;
they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them;
they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
O LORD, our God, you answered them;
a forgiving God you were to them,
though requiting their misdeeds.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the LORD, our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for holy is the LORD, our God.
R. Holy is the Lord our God.

Gospel
MT 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”


thankfulness

“Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God” (2 Corinthians 3: 5)

REFLECTION

As a leader, I could say that there was a time in my life when I felt that I pushed people to be better. I saw their strengths and skills and used those for serving an organization. As the end of our term approached, I encouraged these student leaders to apply for an award that would recognize their hardwork. Fortunately, they were able to receive the award they deserve.

Honestly, I felt bad as their names were flashed in a screen not because I did not get an award, but because they did not even thank me. It sounds shallow, but I felt I deserved a bit of gratitude. Then I realized, maybe I missed to thank some people who pushed me to be a better person too.

There are people who push us to be better. Some exert a lot of effort to make us feel great, while some do not. Still, they deserve our gratitude. God also encourages us to push others to be better. At the same time, He encourages others to push us to be better so that at the end of it all, we may all be like Him and be with Him in paradise. Let us not forget to thank the One because everything comes from Him. -Eva Villoria (edvilloria@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord God, I thank You for Your messengers who pushed me to be a better person.  Help me to be one of Your effective messengers so that we may be more like You.

Reflection Question

How will I push people to become better and closer to God? Who are the people I have forgotten to thank for making me a better person?

Eva Villoria, Little Whispers

The Tree

First Reading
SIR 44:1, 9-13

Now will I praise those godly men,
our ancestors, each in his own time.
But of others there is no memory,
for when they ceased, they ceased.
And they are as though they had not lived,
they and their children after them.
Yet these also were godly men
whose virtues have not been forgotten;
Their wealth remains in their families,
their heritage with their descendants;
Through God’s covenant with them their family endures,
their posterity, for their sake.

And for all time their progeny will endure,
their glory will never be blotted out.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 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
MK 11:11-26

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area.
He looked around at everything and, since it was already late,
went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry.
Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf,
he went over to see if he could find anything on it.
When he reached it he found nothing but leaves;
it was not the time for figs.
And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!”
And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem,
and on entering the temple area
he began to drive out those selling and buying there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers
and the seats of those who were selling doves.
He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area.
Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written:

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples?
But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it
and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him
because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along,
they saw the fig tree withered to its roots.
Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look!
The fig tree that you cursed has withered.”
Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God.
Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain,
‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’
and does not doubt in his heart
but believes that what he says will happen,
it shall be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer,
believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours.
When you stand to pray,
forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance,
so that your heavenly Father may in turn
forgive you your transgressions.”


  

“Their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants;” (Sirach 44: 9)

REFLECTION
During the last semester of college, we had a course on sociology entitled, Marriage and Family. From our lectures, there was one quote that struck me: “The fruit gives quality to the tree.”

I just graduated college with honors. Not to brag, but my parents said that I was the first in their family to achieve such. They were very proud of me! With this achievement, I can say that I have brought quality to my family, my tree. However, there is a question that remains… have I also brought quality to God, the main tree that gave me life?

My dear friends, we are not only fruits of our respective families, but we are all fruits of God. We are His descendants. As we carry the name of our family, we also carry the image of God with us. We should be the “apple that does not fall far from the tree”. Each of us is called to be like God, and to do well for His glory. In everything that we do, God is always watching us. We may not be given credit for the good we’ve done, but our God sees and rewards us secretly. – Eva Villoria (edvilloria@gmail.com)

Prayer
Father God, I ask for Your guidance in everything I do. I pray that in all of my words and actions, others may see Your image through me. Amen.

Reflection Question
Have you brought quality to our tree lately?

Geoann Yang, Little Whispers

Survivor

First Reading
IS 25:6-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6
R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
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. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.

Gospel
MT 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
“My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way.”
The disciples said to him,
“Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?”
Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?”
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.”
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.


 

REFLECTION 

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“Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the LORD for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!”

More than three weeks ago, Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever recorded in world history hit the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. As a government worker, I’ve been deployed to the affected areas to participate in the relief and rehabilitation efforts.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of the survivors from Palo, Leyte. The storm surge conquered his entire home in a matter of seconds. From the second floor, he swam to the first floor and reached for the door. Water filled the inside and outside of his home, so he had to muster all his strength to push the door open and free himself from being trapped inside his home.

He described the raging waters outside his home as a washing machine with cars, wood, steel bars, and debris from washed out homes. He told me that even if he was a good swimmer, his chances of survival were small. I asked him what he was thinking of at that moment, and he said, “Lord, give me another chance.” In a few seconds, a huge log came his way and it carried him through the waters from 6am to 3pm that day. It protected him from being hit by debris, and it brought him to safety.

In the face of this massive disaster, it is challenging to see the face of God, but the stories of survivors are like candles that light the darkness of this town. I’ve been here for quite some time, and it is difficult for my eyes to see God in the rubbles of washed out communities, but my heart knows that He continues to be the savior, provider and rebuilder in the aftermath of this storm. – Geoanne Hernandez (geoann.hernandez@gmail.com)

Prayer

Lord, please continue to light my path with candles of faith, hope and love to conquer the darkness in me and around me.

Reflection Question

When was the last time you encountered a life crisis that challenged your belief in God as Savior?

Geoann Yang, Little Whispers

Good Morning

First Reading
Col 1:15-20

Brothers and sisters:
Christ Jesus is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of all creation.
For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers;
all things were created through him and for him.
He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together.
He is the head of the Body, the Church.
He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in all things he himself might be preeminent.
For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell,
and through him to reconcile all things for him,
making peace by the Blood of his cross
through him, whether those on earth or those in heaven.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5
R. (2b) Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.
For he is good,
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.

Gospel
Lk 5:33-39

The scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“The disciples of John the Baptist fast often and offer prayers,
and the disciples of the Pharisees do the same;
but yours eat and drink.”
Jesus answered them, “Can you make the wedding guests fast
while the bridegroom is with them?
But the days will come, and when the bridegroom is taken away from them,
then they will fast in those days.”
And he also told them a parable.
“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”


wake

“Come with joy into the presence of the Lord.” -Ps 100: 1B

REFLECTION

I’m not a morning person. The alarm clock on my cellphone is set to ring at 5:30 am on weekdays. Everyday, I press the snooze button whenever I hear the sound of my alarm clock until I finally get out of bed at 6:30 am. That requires me to press the snooze button 10 times before I actually decide to start my day. Then, I rush myself in taking a bath and dressing up so that I will not be late for work.

My weekday morning routine is something that I would like to change. Waking up late pushes me to rush everything that I need to do, which sets my pace for the entire day. It’s a cycle of procrastinating and catching up.

As I try my best to change my bad habit of waking up late, I remind myself that breathing in to a new day is always an act of entering into the presence of the Lord. Each day is a chance to meet God differently – to see Him through all the people that I will encounter, and to experience Him through all the activities that I will undergo. Each day is also a privilege to make God felt in the world through me. So every time I feel tempted to press the snooze button of my alarm clock, I pause and smile because I know that I have just received another gift – a new day. –Geoann Hernandez (geoann.hernandez@gmail.com)

Prayer

My Great Restorer, energize and rejuvenate me so that I may joyfully enter into your presence every morning. May your steadfast love fill my entire being as I breathe into a new day.

Reflection Question

When you woke up today, were you able to slow down and thank the Lord for the gift of a new day?

Photo Source: www.saidaonline.com

Geoann Yang, Little Whispers

Never Too Fast

First Reading
Dt 31:1-8

When Moses had finished speaking to all Israel, he said to them,
“I am now one hundred and twenty years old
and am no longer able to move about freely;
besides, the LORD has told me that I shall not cross this Jordan.
It is the LORD, your God, who will cross before you;
he will destroy these nations before you,
that you may supplant them.
It is Joshua who will cross before you, as the LORD promised.
The LORD will deal with them just as he dealt with Sihon and Og,
the kings of the Amorites whom he destroyed,
and with their country.
When, therefore, the LORD delivers them up to you,
you must deal with them exactly as I have ordered you.
Be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them,
for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you;
he will never fail you or forsake you.”

Then Moses summoned Joshua and in the presence of all Israel
said to him, “Be brave and steadfast,
for you must bring this people into the land
which the LORD swore to their fathers he would give them;
you must put them in possession of their heritage.
It is the LORD who marches before you;
he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you.
So do not fear or be dismayed.”

Responsorial Psalm
Dt 32:3-4AB, 7, 8, 9 AND 12
R. (9a) The portion of the Lord is his people.

For I will sing the LORD’s renown.
Oh, proclaim the greatness of our God!
The Rock–how faultless are his deeds,
how right all his ways!
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
Think back on the days of old,
reflect on the years of age upon age.
Ask your father and he will inform you,
ask your elders and they will tell you.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
When the Most High assigned the nations their heritage,
when he parceled out the descendants of Adam,
He set up the boundaries of the peoples
after the number of the sons of Israel.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.
While the LORD’s own portion was Jacob,
his hereditary share was Israel.
The LORD alone was their leader,
no strange god was with him.
R. The portion of the Lord is his people.

Gospel
Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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REFLECTION

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?” -Mt. 18: 12

Imagine that you’re walking in an unfamiliar place with your friends. You’re walking ahead of everyone else thinking that they’re right behind you. You didn’t know you were walking too fast until you looked behind you and couldn’t find them anymore. Then you realize that you are lost.

The scenario above speaks of the way I have lived my life so far. I’m always the girl with the plan. I was chasing one goal after another, moving from one task to the next. Then I felt burnt out. My tank was empty as I got lost trying to pursue my plans. It was then that I realized I was moving too fast. I took my valuable relationships for granted, including my relationship with God. In being too goal-oriented, I strayed away from the flock that was supposed to nurture and guide me.

My experience made me realize that no matter how fast and how far I go, God will always find a way to slow me down and bring me back to the right path. The road blocks and the dead ends that I encountered in the past were reminders that His plans are higher than mine. -Geoann Hernandez (geoann.hernandez@gmail.com)

Prayer
Lord, grant me the wisdom to discern whenever I am lost and the humility to accept that Your plans for me are far greater than what I can ever imagine for myself.

Reflection Question
When was the last time God found you when you unknowingly ran away from Him by chasing your own plans?

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

Little Whispers, Muriel Villafranca

5K

First Reading
Ex 20:1-17

In those days:
God delivered all these commandments:

“I, the LORD, am your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves
in the shape of anything in the sky above
or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
you shall not bow down before them or worship them.
For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God,
inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness
on the children of those who hate me,
down to the third and fourth generation;
but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation
on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
For the LORD will not leave unpunished
him who takes his name in vain.

“Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Six days you may labor and do all your work,
but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD, your God.
No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter,
or your male or female slave, or your beast,
or by the alien who lives with you.
In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,
the sea and all that is in them;
but on the seventh day he rested.
That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother,
that you may have a long life in the land
which the LORD, your God, is giving you.

“You shall not kill.

“You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,
nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass,
nor anything else that belongs to him.”

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (John 6:68c) Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.
They are more precious than gold,
than a heap of purest gold;
Sweeter also than syrup
or honey from the comb.
R. Lord, you have the words of everlasting life.

Gospel
Mt 13:18-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
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July 26

REFLECTION

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”  Mt 13:23

 

Back then, I never considered jogging or running as a form of exercise. I ran maybe a few times for 30 or 40 minutes, and then I would not feel like doing it again.

When I was in college, our final exam in my PE class was to run 5 kilometers. I did not train for it as I figured I was in good enough shape to handle it. I started out running faster than I have ever run in my life! But I lost steam along the way, and went slower and slower. I took walking breaks, but once I got my heart rate down, I kept jogging again. When I reached the finish line, water bottles and softdrinks were handed to us. I was just dying to quench my thirst! And was reminded of the Sprite ad, “Obey your thirst.”

In the readings, Jesus touches on obedience—planting on good soil and following the Ten Commandments. Just like the Sprite ad, He is telling us to obey our thirst… obey our thirst to love God and follow His commandments. We know for sure that being obedient to His will and commandments are not easy tasks. Thus, the challenge for us is how to hold on to such commitment as unswerving as Jesus did. Through steadfast faith and prayer, we can do it. So let us thirst for God’s Word, and increase our faith in Him. That way, we can be true runners for Christ—run around the world spreading His good news to each and all. – Muriel Bautista (murielbautista@yahoo.com)

 

Prayer:

Father God, grant me the grace to till the good soil in my heart, that You may harvest good fruit on me. Amen.

 

Reflection Question:

Are the words of God growing in good soil in your heart?

 

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