Bea Borromeo, Little Whispers

Self-care

First Reading
2 Maccabees 6:18-31

Eleazar, one of the foremost scribes,
a man of advanced age and noble appearance,
was being forced to open his mouth to eat pork.
But preferring a glorious death to a life of defilement,
he spat out the meat,
and went forward of his own accord to the instrument of torture,
as people ought to do who have the courage to reject the food
which it is unlawful to taste even for love of life.
Those in charge of that unlawful ritual meal took the man aside privately,
because of their long acquaintance with him,
and urged him to bring meat of his own providing,
such as he could legitimately eat,
and to pretend to be eating some of the meat of the sacrifice
prescribed by the king;
in this way he would escape the death penalty,
and be treated kindly because of their old friendship with him.
But Eleazar made up his mind in a noble manner,
worthy of his years, the dignity of his advanced age,
the merited distinction of his gray hair,
and of the admirable life he had lived from childhood;
and so he declared that above all
he would be loyal to the holy laws given by God.

He told them to send him at once
to the abode of the dead, explaining:
“At our age it would be unbecoming to make such a pretense;
many young people would think the ninety-year-old Eleazar
had gone over to an alien religion.
Should I thus pretend for the sake of a brief moment of life,
they would be led astray by me,
while I would bring shame and dishonor on my old age.
Even if, for the time being, I avoid the punishment of men,
I shall never, whether alive or dead,
escape the hands of the Almighty.
Therefore, by manfully giving up my life now,
I will prove myself worthy of my old age,
and I will leave to the young a noble example
of how to die willingly and generously
for the revered and holy laws.”

Eleazar spoke thus,
and went immediately to the instrument of torture.
Those who shortly before had been kindly disposed,
now became hostile toward him because what he had said
seemed to them utter madness.
When he was about to die under the blows,
he groaned and said:
“The Lord in his holy knowledge knows full well that,
although I could have escaped death,
I am not only enduring terrible pain in my body from this scourging,
but also suffering it with joy in my soul
because of my devotion to him.”
This is how he died,
leaving in his death a model of courage
and an unforgettable example of virtue
not only for the young but for the whole nation.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 3:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R. (6b) The Lord upholds me.
O LORD, how many are my adversaries!
Many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
R. The Lord upholds me.
But you, O LORD, are my shield;
my glory, you lift up my head!
When I call out to the LORD,
he answers me from his holy mountain.
R. The Lord upholds me.
When I lie down in sleep,
I wake again, for the LORD sustains me.
I fear not the myriads of people
arrayed against me on every side.
R. The Lord upholds me.

Gospel
Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”


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“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.’” (Luke 19:9-10)

REFLECTION
Just last week, I attended a training entitled “Presentation Skills Workshop”. As participants, we were required to think of a topic and present it to the whole class. The first thing that came to my mind was to share something personal so that I can discuss it well. 

Self-care — that’s what I presented. I shared my journey on how I learned to love myself just the way I am. From my physical, emotional and spiritual self. 

Almost everyone knew how low my self-esteem was before despite being a happy person and not just because of my physical appearance but how I see myself as a whole and my capabilities. But with the help of the people around me, I learned not to marginalize myself from others. Experiencing all the struggles, judgements and feeling of rejection from others gave me an opportunity to love myself more. 

Just like Zacchaeus, once in this lifetime, we were or we will be socially marginalized. But at the end of the day, it is how we will humble ourselves and believe that we are created in God’s own image and likeness. In that way, Jesus will choose to look into our hearts over and over again. He will choose to look beyond our sins and see us perfectly the way He planned us to be.

Reflection Song

So Will I (100 Billion X) by Hillsong Worship

Author

wc-beab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Bea!

Photo by: Allef Vinicius (@seteales at unsplash.com)

Gab Sanchez, Little Whispers

Dean’s Lister

First Reading
1 Maccabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63
[From the descendants of Alexander’s officers]
there sprang a sinful offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes,
son of King Antiochus, once a hostage at Rome.
He became king in the year one hundred and thirty seven
of the kingdom of the Greeks.

In those days there appeared in Israel
men who were breakers of the law,
and they seduced many people, saying:
“Let us go and make an alliance with the Gentiles all around us;
since we separated from them, many evils have come upon us.”
The proposal was agreeable;
some from among the people promptly went to the king,
and he authorized them to introduce the way of living
of the Gentiles.
Thereupon they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem
according to the Gentile custom.
They covered over the mark of their circumcision
and abandoned the holy covenant;
they allied themselves with the Gentiles
and sold themselves to wrongdoing.

Then the king wrote to his whole kingdom that all should be one people,
each abandoning his particular customs.
All the Gentiles conformed to the command of the king,
and many children of Israel were in favor of his religion;
they sacrificed to idols and profaned the sabbath.

On the fifteenth day of the month Chislev,
in the year one hundred and forty-five,
the king erected the horrible abomination
upon the altar of burnt offerings
and in the surrounding cities of Judah they built pagan altars.
They also burned incense at the doors of the houses and in the streets.
Any scrolls of the law which they found they tore up and burnt.
Whoever was found with a scroll of the covenant,
and whoever observed the law,
was condemned to death by royal decree.
But many in Israel were determined
and resolved in their hearts not to eat anything unclean;
they preferred to die rather than to be defiled with unclean food
or to profane the holy covenant; and they did die.
Terrible affliction was upon Israel.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 119:53, 61, 134, 150, 155, 158

R.  (see 88) Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Indignation seizes me because of the wicked
who forsake your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Though the snares of the wicked are twined about me,
your law I have not forgotten.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Redeem me from the oppression of men,
that I may keep your precepts.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I am attacked by malicious persecutors
who are far from your law.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
Far from sinners is salvation,
because they seek not your statutes.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.
I beheld the apostates with loathing,
because they kept not to your promise.
R. Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.

Gospel
Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho
a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging,
and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening.
They told him,
“Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him,
telling him to be silent,
but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him;
and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight
and followed him, giving glory to God.
When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.


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“Have sight; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 18:42)

REFLECTION
I remember back in college, I would always get simple grades, while my friends and colleagues would all get high grades and make the dean’s list consistently. I felt like I did not belong with them. I faced many temptations to simply accept what I was experiencing, as if there was nothing else I could achieve. But I decided to not give up. I decided to work even harder despite all the difficulties, all the times I would struggle during seat works, all the times I failed to raise my hand for recitations. When I’d get home, I would go straight to work because I knew what the right thing to do was.

This is what God is trying to tell us today. In the readings, it tells of a time wherein faith was being misplaced. It told of a time when people were choosing a false way of living over the love of God. But some people still chose to serve Him, even if it meant risking their lives and being put in temporary struggle. The Lord is telling us today to stay strong despite all that is against you. He is telling you that you must just trust in Him, and you will be able to stand against any adversary.

Anyone can look at my grades and say that I did not have the highest of grades or the best start. But because of the faith I put in myself, and more because of the faith I put in Him, I am proud to say that I ended strong. I did not graduate with any big awards, but I am proud because of how He helped me be better than I ever thought I could be.

Reflection Song

Where the Love Lasts Forever by Hillsong UNITED

Author

wc-gab

Click on the bubble to find out more about Gab!

Photo by: Ben Mullins (@benmullins at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Tam Rodriguez

The Magician

First Reading
Wisdom 13:1-9
All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,
and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,
and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;
But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,
or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,
or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.
Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,
let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;
for the original source of beauty fashioned them.
Or if they were struck by their might and energy,
let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.
For from the greatness and the beauty of created things
their original author, by analogy, is seen.
But yet, for these the blame is less;
For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,
though they seek God and wish to find him.
For they search busily among his works,
but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.
But again, not even these are pardonable.
For if they so far succeeded in knowledge
that they could speculate about the world,
how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 19:2-3, 4-5AB
R.(2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day,
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
Through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Gospel
Luke 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As it was in the days of Noah,
so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage up to the day
that Noah entered the ark,
and the flood came and destroyed them all.
Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:
they were eating, drinking, buying,
selling, planting, building;
on the day when Lot left Sodom,
fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.
So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.
On that day, someone who is on the housetop
and whose belongings are in the house
must not go down to get them,
and likewise one in the field
must not return to what was left behind.
Remember the wife of Lot.
Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,
but whoever loses it will save it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;
one will be taken, the other left.
And there will be two women grinding meal together;
one will be taken, the other left.”
They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”
He said to them, “Where the body is,
there also the vultures will gather.”


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“All men, by nature, are foolish who are in ignorance of God.” (Wisdom 13:1)

REFLECTION
Believing in Jesus was somehow a ridiculous thought to me when I was young. I’ve always viewed Him as a magician every time I hear a story of His miracles. I see His teachings as a tool to lure people in giving their money to their respective church. I’ve seen Him as a figure of hope as well, thinking that He was worshiped because people need to be given a sense of hope. I thought that the Church was just using a protagonist of some book to manipulate people for their agendas.

This perspective clouded my thoughts which closed my mind to the idea of God. Afterwards, a day came where a simple decision of my family would crash our world as we know it. We struggled in every possible way and lost everything that we owned. The problems that we encountered exhausted us physically and mentally to a point that it made us bitter.

Then one Sunday came and we decided to go to mass. Little did I know that an enthusiastic priest would change my views. He opened his statement with a simple quote from proverbs, “Follow the word of God, all things shall succeed well.”

With his charm and heartfelt speech revolving around that passage, I asked myself, if success is what I want how can I follow Him? This simple question led me to prayer meetings and teachings from different church related communities. Then slowly I see hope within and realize that God is not a superficial idea rather, a living thought that teaches us how to live in a manner where we can manage our personal obstacles by giving us opportunities that leads to our success in life.

Prayer
Father, open the eyes of Your people to their ignorance of You. Give then the opportunity to see Your goodness; for them to know Your wonderful plans for them. Amen!

Author

wc-tam (1).jpg

Click on the bubble to find out more about Tam!

Photo by: Karl Fredrickson (@kfred at unsplash.com)

CJ Goronio, Little Whispers

Stand Up and Go

First Reading
Wisdom 7:22B-8:1

In Wisdom is a spirit
intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
clear, unstained, certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
all-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
and she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
and a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
therefore nought that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
the spotless mirror of the power of God,
the image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
and renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
she produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is nought God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
and surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
for that, indeed, night supplants,
but wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Indeed, she reaches from end to end mightily
and governs all things well.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 119:89, 90, 91, 130, 135, 175

R.(89a) Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Your word, O LORD, endures forever;
it is firm as the heavens.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Through all generations your truth endures;
you have established the earth, and it stands firm.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
According to your ordinances they still stand firm:
all things serve you.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
giving understanding to the simple.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.
Let my soul live to praise you,
and may your ordinances help me.
R. Your word is for ever, O Lord.

Gospel
Luke 17:20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”


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“Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” (Luke 17:19)

REFLECTION
Do you ever have those days where you wake up with no energy to deal with anything, and have the greatest desire to just stay in bed? Some people call it their laziness acting up; for me, those are the kind of days (or moments) that I call purposeful.

Lately, I have been feeling bad at the work that I do. I am currently consumed with so much insecurity that I cannot even find the energy to function the most basic thought processes of my job. I was always making a mistake and I have this thought in my head that everyone is judging me for it. I was not concentrating anymore to the learning path I am taking, rather I was more focused on thinking that I was a failure and they did not need someone like me.

So, I ended up having that day where I just want to lay in bed and do nothing because I feel so bad about myself. I found myself thinking about the many things I have done in work, and not only did I make mistakes – I also had my small wins. Little achievements that help move a project further, things that I did to help my workmate get through her heavy load, small talks in the pantry that helped me create new friends inside our division. These were blessings that I never paid so much attention to, but it actually outdo the list of mistakes in my head. I also remembered the things I gave up to have this job, to be on this kind of learning pathway, one that I said I want to grow at.

I forgot that there was a purpose to why I asked for this and why it was given to me.

My dear friends, every day, Jesus is asking us to ‘Stand up and go’. But this message is nothing if we don’t understand the purpose of why He is asking this. It is okay to have a time out and reflect on what He has planned out for us – for us to find the common ground with He has planned out with us and where we are right now.

Take your time. He is willing to wait. When you are ready again, stand up and go.

Reflection Song

The Stand by Hillsong UNITED

Author

68264509_458642051650339_5095432230835060736_n

Click on the bubble to find out more about CJ!

Gileena Hernandez, Little Whispers

The Stage

First Reading
Wisdom 6:1-11
Hear, O kings, and understand;
learn, you magistrates of the earth’s expanse!
Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude
and lord it over throngs of peoples!
Because authority was given you by the Lord
and sovereignty by the Most High,
who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels.
Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly,
and did not keep the law,
nor walk according to the will of God,
Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you,
because judgment is stern for the exalted–
For the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy
but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test.
For the Lord of all shows no partiality,
nor does he fear greatness,
Because he himself made the great as well as the small,
and he provides for all alike;
but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends.
To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed
that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin.
For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy,
and those learned in them will have ready a response.
Desire therefore my words;
long for them and you shall be instructed.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 82:3-4, 6-7
R. (8a) Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
from the hand of the wicked deliver them.
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.
I said: “You are gods,
all of you sons of the Most High;
yet like men you shall die,
and fall like any prince.”
R. Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth.

Gospel
Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem,
he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.
As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him.
They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying,
“Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!”
And when he saw them, he said,
“Go show yourselves to the priests.”
As they were going they were cleansed.
And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
He was a Samaritan.
Jesus said in reply,
“Ten were cleansed, were they not?
Where are the other nine?
Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”
Then he said to him, “Stand up and go;
your faith has saved you.”



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“Then he said to him, ‘Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.'” (Luke 17:19)

REFLECTION
I have always enjoyed being part of a performance. I had one problem as a performer though, and that was my shyness. I had to overcome being shy before I could set foot on a stage to perform. I took workshops, I acted and I sang until I gained my confidence.

I got the courage to audition for chorus/ensemble in a play of a theater organization. Little did I know, I would be offered to play a different role in the play and that would be one of the supporting characters. After auditions, the org had a general assembly and revealed the results where I found out that I got the role. I was so excited but I doubted myself. I was so scared of forgetting my lines on stage or of making a mistake.

I did not have faith in myself then but I continued to attend rehearsals and shows despite doubting myself because I was surrounded by positive people who believed in me. Those positive people were my orgmates, directors and co-actors in the play. I told the director of the play that I felt that I wasn’t good enough as a performer and his words struck me. Our director told me “Don’t you ever doubt yourself, kayang-kaya mo yan.” (“You can do it.”) and so I thanked him for the encouraging words.

I saw Jesus in our director. It was like God was telling me through Him to have faith in myself. I learned to have faith in God because He is always there, whether it be at home, at rehearsals, and at performances. Friends, you may have your doubts in your life but remember God never doubted you. Learn to have faith in God and keep on praying. –Gilee Hernandez

Prayer
Father God, I lift up to you my doubts. I know that you are a great God, bigger than all my worries and fears and so I surrender to You alone. Let my faith grow more and more each day so that I may learn to trust in you. Amen.

Photo by: Kyle Head (@kyleunderscorehead at unsplash.com)

 

Little Whispers, Paul Habitan

You Before Me

First Reading
Wisdom 2:23-3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19
R.(2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

Gospel
Luke 17:7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles:
“Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
Would he not rather say to him,
‘Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
‘We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'”


edgar-castrejon-bG5rhvRH0JM-unsplash.jpg“‘Would he not rather say to him, Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished?'” (Luke 17:8)

REFLECTION
Ever since I was young, I knew that cooking was my passion I fell in love with it the same way a kid falls in love with candies or like a teenager falling in love for the first time!

We all start dreaming of what we wanted to be, and for most, their dreams change as the grow up, but for me, my dream of cooking is still alive and well! Whenever I cook or bake, my first instinct is to give it to my family and friends first because seeing them happy and full brings a smile to my face! Seeing the satisfaction from their faces and hearing the compliments they give to my food always gives me a boost for my self esteem and ignites my passion a bit more.

In the Bukas Loob sa Diyos community, I was accepted to serve in the food ministry! I got so excited because I was finally going to do 2 things I love together, which is to serve the Lord and to provide food to people. Being in the food ministry meant that I had to serve the food to others before I get the chance to serve myself; this wasn’t new to me! I wholeheartedly loved being in the food ministry because I got to be myself and I got to help others!

Some people think that when it comes to this ministry you get to be blessed first and all that, but no, we sacrifice for others in a way that we put God first, then His other servants then ourselves last. I never did think that it was hard because I knew my duty as a servant, I knew what I had to do, that’s why I was thankful that when I had downfalls when I was serving, I was thankful that God was there and He was making me feel that I can do it, that I’m not alone in this battle. When you put God first, He will surely bless you beyond measure!

Prayer
Lord, teach me to put others before myself so that I may be able to see the glory in serving You and Your servants! Amen.

Author
wc-martie

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Photo by: Edgar Castrejon (@edgarraw at unsplash.com)

Little Whispers, Luke Miranda

Forgive, Forget, Move On

First Reading
Wisdom 1:1-7

Love justice, you who judge the earth;
think of the Lord in goodness,
and seek him in integrity of heart;
Because he is found by those who test him not,
and he manifests himself to those who do not disbelieve him.
For perverse counsels separate a man from God,
and his power, put to the proof, rebukes the foolhardy;
Because into a soul that plots evil, wisdom enters not,
nor dwells she in a body under debt of sin.
For the holy Spirit of discipline flees deceit
and withdraws from senseless counsels;
and when injustice occurs it is rebuked.
For wisdom is a kindly spirit,
yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips;
Because God is the witness of his inmost self
and the sure observer of his heart
and the listener to his tongue.
For the Spirit of the Lord fills the world,
is all-embracing, and knows what man says.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 139:1B-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-10
R. (24b) Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
O LORD, you have probed me and you know me;
you know when I sit and when I stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My journeys and my rest you scrutinize,
with all my ways you are familiar.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know the whole of it.
Behind me and before, you hem me in
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
too lofty for me to attain.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
Where can I go from your spirit?
From your presence where can I flee?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I sink to the nether world, you are present there.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
if I settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
Even there your hand shall guide me,
and your right hand hold me fast.
R. Guide me, Lord, along the everlasting way.

Gospel
Luke 17:1-6
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”

And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”


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“If he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying ‘I am sorry’ you should forgive him.” (Luke 17:4)

REFLECTION
Do you ever have those fights with your family that just makes you question your relationship towards them, to the point where you think, “Why am I related to this person?”

I remember it vividly on my sister’s birthday last year. We were staying at a hotel at the time, and as I was getting ready to sleep while washing my face, I hit my chin on the lock of the faucet drain without noticing. When my mother went in the bathroom after me, she noticed what I did and scolded me for it. I tried to explain what happened, that it was an accident, but she only replied with “Hindi, ginawa mo yan ng sadya.” (“No, you did it on purpose.”) I felt hurt, so I walked out and I started crying by myself.

I have never been one to open up about my problems even to my family because I feel like it will just bother them, but that night, my mother approached me on the sofa and tried to talk to me. There, I opened up all my problems, worries, and doubts about everything. I probably shouldn’t have because the reply I got haunts me to this day. All she said was “Luke, you don’t have a reason to feel depressed. If anything, I should be depressed.” I was silent as she asked me to come back into the room. I refused and said “Maybe later.” I didn’t sleep that night because of what she said. I felt so lost, like no one would ever listen to me because even my own mom said things that hurt and scarred me.

That night, I thought about doing things that would hurt me more. However, they ended up being just that, thoughts. I am glad that I am still alive today, because things got better with my mom, and I learned to forgive her because I knew that she just didn’t know how much I was hurting.

Brothers and sisters, God wants us to know that forgiveness may be a hard thing to do but we should always forgive those who have wronged us and not hold a grudge against them. Sometimes in a blind rage, they do not know what they are saying and how much it can hurt us. He wants to tell us no matter how great the hurt, we should not retaliate with the same hatred but instead love, accept and forgive. -Luke Miranda

Prayer
Almighty Father, teach me how to forgive all those who have hurt me no matter how hard it may be. Please give me the gift of acceptance so that I may overlook the wrong they have done and focus on the good memories we have with each other. Amen.

Author

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