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?

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