Little Whispers, Mike Viñas

Babbling

First Reading
2 Cor 11:1-11

Brothers and sisters:
If only you would put up with a little foolishness from me!
Please put up with me.
For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God,
since I betrothed you to one husband
to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.

Did I make a mistake when I humbled myself so that you might be exalted,
because I preached the Gospel of God to you without charge?
I plundered other churches by accepting from them
in order to minister to you.
And when I was with you and in need, I did not burden anyone,
for the brothers who came from Macedonia
supplied my needs.
So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
By the truth of Christ in me,
this boast of mine shall not be silenced
in the regions of Achaia.
And why? Because I do not love you?
God knows I do!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 111:1B-2, 3-4, 7-8
R. (7a) Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Majesty and glory are his work,
and his justice endures forever.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

The works of his hands are faithful and just;
sure are all his precepts,
Reliable forever and ever,
wrought in truth and equity.
R. Your works, O Lord, are justice and truth.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

 

____________________________________________________________________________________

blessedandassured

REFLECTION

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.”            Matthew 6:7

 

In my service for the Lord as a Worship Leader, I often find myself praying publicly, leading people in God’s presence. But I have confession to make.

During my younger days, whenever I lead people in worship or in prayer, I would always use highfaluting and complex words to make me appear very spiritual and knowledgeable in the faith. Although some people would affirm me for my deep prayers, I knew I wasn’t as effective and that I was only pleasing myself, not God.

Today, I still lead worship regularly, but now it’s different.

Having truly matured in my walk with Christ, instead of praying to draw attention to myself, I now pray to draw attention to the One most worthy of our affection and devotion – God.

With this, I’m glad to be simply used by God, for Him to bless His people in worship.

I know now that it’s not about me, it’s ALL ABOUT HIM.

Underneath it all, God sees what’s in our hearts.

Our intentions will determine whether our words and actions are worship or indulgence.

Let’s worship God with our lives, in spirit and in truth. – Mike Viñas (mikemichaelfcv@yahoo.com)

 

PRAYER

Lord, teach me to be sincere in my service and worship of You.

REFLECTION

“I coming back to the heart of worship and it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.” – Matt Redman

Photo source: blessedandassured.blogspot.com

Little Whispers, Mike Viñas

Journey With Jesus

First Reading
Acts 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
“It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word.”
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
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. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
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. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Jn 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.”
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

MIKE VIÑAS trekearth.com

REFLECTION

 “…but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.” John 6:21

Back in 2011, my friends and I went to Coron for a vacation. Part of our stay was a tour package that brought us to the various lakes, beaches, and sites in the area. To get to these places we would ride a small-motorized boat and it would take us 1 to 1 ½ hours to get to our destination. Now, if you’re not much of a boat person like me, that’s a long time. But what made the journey exciting, worthwhile, and seemingly short was the beauty of the scenery – crystal clear waters, powdery white sand, interesting rock formations, and sensational scenic views. It was like God was showing-off His glory through the beauty of His creation. So because of the picturesque panoramic view of Coron through the boat ride, the travel time passed so quickly and we arrived at our destination amazed and excited. The journey was as exciting as the destination.  Thus, it made our destination closer than we thought.

In our Gospel today, we catch up with our Apostles right after the multiplication of loaves – a miracle they witnessed first hand, leaving them astonished and confident in Jesus. Here, they board the boat at night to travel to Capernaum, and we read that they were met at sea (not lake, sea! Imagine) by two things – rough seas caused by strong winds and Jesus walking on water.

Now, if you read on the following verses, they chose to focus on just one. If they focused on the rough seas and the strong winds, I’m sure they would’ve grown anxious, afraid, and the travel would’ve felt so long and stressful. Good thing they chose to focus on Jesus walking on water (as if showing them and saying that I am above the water, so trust me and everything will be okay). So when they focused on the miracle of Jesus, they forgot about the rough seas and the strong winds. It gave them hope, kept them moving forward to their destination, and made the travel time pass so quickly as seen in the 21st verse: “the boat immediately arrived at the shore.”

Friends, when we journey with Jesus, our destination is closer than we think.

We all have destinations – dreams, desires, plans, goals, visions, aspirations, etc. If we look through the stretch of the journey with all its trails and troubles (just like the rough seas and strong winds) it may seem daunting, overwhelming, long, and scary. But when we fix our eyes, our hearts, and our lives to Jesus – to His grace, His love, His Word, we are empowered; we are given hope, and guidance for our journey.

Thus, receiving all this along the way, blesses us and propels us towards to our target. It brings us closer to our destination, and it makes the journey seem short and sweet (exciting, fun)! Plus, just like Jesus did in the verse, miracles are made during the journey. Hence, making the journey as exciting as the destination!

So let’s journey with Jesus, be blessed along the way, and arrive at our destination faster and better-off than we could ever imagine! – Mike Viñas (mikemichaelfcv@yahoo.com)

PRAYER
Jesus, take a joyride with me, in this journey towards my destination. Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
What’s the miracle you want Jesus to perform during the journey to get you “faster” to your destination? Dare to ask God for the impossible. “If you have the audacity to ask, God has the ability to perform” – Steven Furtick

Photo source: trekearth.com

Little Whispers, Mike Viñas

You Are Your Father’s Child

First Reading
Gn 1:20—2:4a

God said,
“Let the water teem with an abundance of living creatures,
and on the earth let birds fly beneath the dome of the sky.”
And so it happened:
God created the great sea monsters
and all kinds of swimming creatures with which the water teems,
and all kinds of winged birds.
God saw how good it was, and God blessed them, saying,
“Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas;
and let the birds multiply on the earth.”
Evening came, and morning followed–the fifth day.

Then God said,
“Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures:
cattle, creeping things, and wild animals of all kinds.”
And so it happened:
God made all kinds of wild animals, all kinds of cattle,
and all kinds of creeping things of the earth.
God saw how good it was.
Then God said:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.
Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air, and the cattle,
and over all the wild animals
and all the creatures that crawl on the ground.”

God created man in his image;
in the divine image he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them, saying:
“Be fertile and multiply;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air,
and all the living things that move on the earth.”
God also said:
“See, I give you every seed-bearing plant all over the earth
and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food;
and to all the animals of the land, all the birds of the air,
and all the living creatures that crawl on the ground,
I give all the green plants for food.”
And so it happened.
God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.
Evening came, and morning followed–the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed.
Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing,
he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,
because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation.

Such is the story of the heavens and the earth at their creation.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (2ab) O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!
All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas.
R. O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

Gospel
Mk 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

MIKE VINAS 9gag.com

REFLECTION

 “God created mankind in his image; in the image of God he created them…”      Genesis 1:26

Look at the mirror. Chances are, the image you see resembles a family member or a number of relatives, or a combination. Your eyes, nose, cheekbones, dimples might look identical to your parents’. Look into yourself further. You might also notice that some of your character traits may also be similar to your mom’s or dad’s.

This is because of DNA. DNA is that thing in our cells that carries our genes, that which allows the attributes of our parents, grandparents, and ancestors to be passed on to us. And this genetic code determines a big part of who we are. No wonder we may look, sound and think the same way as our parents.

Because you were made “in God’s image and likeness” by God Himself, He put a part of Himself into you. Therefore, you can say that along with the natural DNA that you have from your parents, you also have the Spiritual DNA of the Almighty Creator. Because He is your Father, you too have His traits, attributes, and characteristics.

In your genes right now are His power, wisdom, talent, creativity, ability and strength. His winnings ways are in you. You are built with Supernatural DNA! That’s why you can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you (Phil. 4:13), because He lives in you! The strength, the power, the anointing already lives in you, and believe it or not, the supernatural and spiritual always overrides the natural. That means that God’s DNA will override any negative DNA, or negative experience you may have received or gone through. God breathed His life into you.  Mike Viñas (mikemichaelfcv@yahoo.com)

 

PRAYER
Father, by Your grace help me unleash the great potential inside of me.

REFLECTION QUESTION
Have you been preprogrammed to live a victorious life?

Photo source: 9gag.com

Little Whispers, Mike Viñas

God Rewards A Giver

First Reading
Heb 6:10-20

Brothers and sisters:
God is not unjust so as to overlook your work
and the love you have demonstrated for his name
by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.
We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness
for the fulfillment of hope until the end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who,
through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.

When God made the promise to Abraham,
since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
and said, I will indeed bless you and multiply you.
And so, after patient waiting, Abraham obtained the promise.
Now, men swear by someone greater than themselves;
for them an oath serves as a guarantee
and puts an end to all argument.
So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise
an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose,
he intervened with an oath,
so that by two immutable things,
in which it was impossible for God to lie,
we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged
to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.
This we have as an anchor of the soul,
sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,
where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner,
becoming high priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 111:1-2, 4-5, 9 and 10C

R. (5) The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart
in the company and assembly of the just.
Great are the works of the LORD,
exquisite in all their delights.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has won renown for his wondrous deeds;
gracious and merciful is the LORD.
He has given food to those who fear him;
he will forever be mindful of his covenant.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has sent deliverance to his people;
he has ratified his covenant forever;
holy and awesome is his name.
His praise endures forever.
R. The Lord will remember his covenant for ever.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel
Mk 2:23-28

As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath,
his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him,
“Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?”
He said to them,
“Have you never read what David did
when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest
and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat,
and shared it with his companions?”
Then he said to them,
“The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

MIKE VINAS LucyArt.deviantart.com

REFLECTION

 “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones.” – Heb 6:10

 

My parents have always had a heart for the poor.

Growing up, I was a witness to their immense generosity, giving time, talent, and treasure freely for the sole purpose of helping those in need. I remember as a kid, we would go to Jala-jala (a depressed area at the farthest end of Rizal) every Sunday and I would see them conduct prayer meetings and Bible studies with those from that area. They would bring donations, facilitate livelihood programs, and even organize optical missions so that more people could read the Bible clearly. Talk about helping people see Jesus, literally.

They remain steadfast in their service for the poor and the church until today, involved in various charitable organizations, social justice initiatives, dioceses and congregations. They serve and give in every way they can, from giving relief goods during typhoons and calamities to managing their finances. They also continue to tithe faithfully.

Because of all their service and giving throughout the years, they have been blessed abundantly. Whatever they have given and shared has been rewarded back to them ten, twenty times over in every area of their lives.

Friend, God is a faithful and generous rewarder. He sees your service and generosity no matter how big or small. So continue giving, continue serving, and continue being faithful because they all count for great things here on earth and in heaven. In fact, your rewards await you, here on Earth and in heaven! – Mike Viñas (mikemichaelfcv@yahoo.com)

 

PRAYER
Empower me Lord, that I may serve You more, in Jesus name, Amen.

REFLECTION QUESTION
In my serving and giving, how can I give my total–time, talent, and treasure?

Photo source: LucyArt.deviantart.com