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Friday, January 31, 2014

Always remember that even the simplest good deed that you do can go a long way - Daily Bible Reflections January 31,2014

TO BE OF
SIGNIFICANCE
 
“But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” – Mark 4:32
 
Pay It Forwardis a movie based on a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde about Trevor, who tried to help three people in the hope that these people will help three others to make a difference in the world. At the end of the story, it showed how the good deeds of a few spread throughout the country.
       Significant change doesn’t start only from someone who is a president of a country or a famous celebrity. Like the mustard seed in today’s reading, no matter how small the acts that we make in the name of God, we should not take it for granted.Although it may seem insignificant to commend a colleague for a job well done, it may inspire that person to do better even in other aspects of her life. And that will affect the lives of the people around her, too.
       Let’s start the positive change within ourselves and with how we view things in our immediate surroundings. We can make our world an even better place. Mae Ignacio (maemi04@aim.com)
 
Reflection: Always remember that even the simplest good deed that you do can go a long way.
 
Lord, remind us that there is no such thing as an insignificant act when we do things in Your name.
 
St. John Bosco, priest, pray for us.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fear can cloud our judgment and obstruct our path to authenticity - Daily Bible Reflections January 30,2014


SECRET
 
“For there is nothing hidden, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.” – Mark 4:22
 
When I was younger, I had a secret — I was very shy. I didn’t know how to smile casually or make small talk. It was easier to be quiet in one corner than make an awkward effort to socialize. So many people thought I was snobbish. My lack of social skills embarrassed me but even if they thought I was aloof, I thought, so what?
       But we can’t live in the world without relating to others. The light of truth shone on me. I realized that I had to move my focus away from myself and start becoming interested in other people. More importantly, there is a bigger light that illumines all of us. That is the light of God’s Word.
       Sometimes, we fake our way through life with lies and facades. But we cannot pretend all the time. Sooner or later, our truths are revealed.
       Have you seen alas cuatro(mirabilis) flowers? The buds bloom in the late afternoon, showing their real, beautiful selves.  No matter what or who our true selves are, God’s love is always with us. Gina J. Verdolaga (mgjver@yahoo.com)
 
 
Reflection: Fear can cloud our judgment and obstruct our path to authenticity.
 
Lord, grant me the strength and courage to overcome my fears and insecurities.
 
St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti, pray for us.
 

Bite your tongue when you want to criticize but set it loose when it's time to praise others - God Whispers January 30,2014

 
Bite your tongue when you want to criticize but set it loose when it's time to praise others.
 
Blessing you,
God
 
P.S. Don't forget your tongue can be an instrument to curse and to bless. Use it to bless the world!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

In what ways has God been faithful to you in the past? - Daily Bible Reflections January 29,2014


COMPLETING
GRADUATE SCHOOL
 
“I have been with you wherever you have gone… Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth.” – 2 Samuel 7:9
 
I enrolled in graduate school five and a half years ago. I started very eager and gung-ho. But school became more difficult as my full-time job became more demanding. Research and papers took away personal time because of Saturday work. Our office location also changed, so travel to school was a marathon — a run to the train, a switch midway, a tricycle ride, and a sprint to class.
       I took a leave of absence for two years.
       I re-enrolled, determined to graduate even though I knew I was rusty. I wasn’t as confident and enthusiastic, and was always anxious about my requirements. I prayed fervently that God would pull me through, especially when I felt demotivated.
       I will defend my final paper in two days, and frankly, I’m still a bit anxious. What gives me hope is that, in the last five and a half years, God was with me through every paper, exam and presentation. He is the reason I have come this far. I know He will complete the work He has begun. Kitty D. Ferreria (kittydulay@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: In what ways has God been faithful to you in the past?
 
Lord, help me recognize how You have been with me in the past, how You carry me through the present, and how You guarantee my future.
 
Servant of God Brother Juniper, pray for us.
 

You can't do anything to stop time from slipping away but you can always redeem time - God Whispers January 29,2014

 

You can't do anything to stop time from slipping away but you can always redeem time.
 
Good morning,
God
 
P.S. Make every minute count by spending it on things that count for eternity.
 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love - Daily Bible Reflections January 28,2014


Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas,
Priest and Doctor of the Church
 
BOUGHT BY BLOOD
 
 
“For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” – Mark 3:35
 
Last year, the Philippines held its national elections. If you surveyed the list of candidates, you’d find people from the same family vying for the different posts in their provinces. These are political dynasties — so common in our country because we’re known to have tightly knit families. Blood is thicker than water, that’s why we protect our own. That shouldn’t be a problem if these people have a heart for service and are committed to doing what’s best for their constituents. What’s bad is when these dynasties safeguard their own interests instead of the people’s welfare.
       How different it is in God’s Kingdom. According to today’s readings, Jesus didn’t put much importance on being related by blood but He had a more important consideration to qualify as part of God’s family: obedience to God’s will.
       In short, you and I are part of God’s family — kapamilya, kapatid, kapuso — when we sincerely obey His will for our lives. It’s not always easy to do and the Gospel doesn’t hide the fact that it’s a narrow road (Matthew 7:14).
       Come to think of it, we too are “blood relatives” of Jesus — because He gave His life for us out of love. That alone should be motivation enough to obey Him. Joy Sosoban-Roa (jsosoban@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love. (St. Augustine)
 
Dearest Jesus, thank You for dying for me. Grant me the grace that I need to obey You every step of the way till we see each other face to face.
 
St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, pray for us.

When life is hard, it gives you the chance to toughen up your faith. So be thankful for the trials - God Whispers January 28,2014

 
When life is hard, it gives you the chance to toughen up your faith. So be thankful for the trials.
 
Training you,
God
 
P.S. Adversity allows you to grow like you'd never grow under comfortable circumstances

Monday, January 27, 2014

Not only should you live simply. You should enjoy living simply - God Whispers January 27,2014


Not only should you live simply. You should enjoy living simply.  
        
Listen,
God
 
P.S. Who wants complicated anyway?

Look for opportunities to bless others, especially those who cannot repay you - God Whispers January 26,2014

 
Look for opportunities to bless others, especially those who cannot repay you.
 
Get ready for your miracle,
God
 
P.S. I make it my obligation to repay you for what you generously and lovingly give to others.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me - Daily Bible Reflections January 27,2014


SURFING
 
And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. – 2 Samuel 5:10
 
I was very nervous when I first tried to surf. My instructor’s golden rule was, “Do as I tell you.” He also advised me not to panic. But when I saw a huge wave approaching, I got terrified. I couldn’t hear anything my instructor said. I just felt the wave slap my face hard. I fell off the board and relaxed only when I saw my instructor beside me. Then I swam back to my starting point, braver this time. When  another gigantic wave appeared, I focused on my instructor’s voice. I heard him clearly: “Bow down. Hold tight.” I did so, and when the wave passed by, it felt wonderful.
       His next commands were a series of “Ready… Up!”,  which was my cue to balance. I fell a few more times before I managed to stand.
        Did I mention that my instructor’s name is Lord? I’m not kidding.
       In life, I believe that as long as Jesus, my Lord, remains to be my guide, I can conquer even the strongest waves. I just have to bow down and trust Him. I can almost hear God cheering me on: “Surf well. Don’t worry. I am here.” Maymay Salvosa (cmaysalvosa@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
 
Loving Father, may I always remember that in everything, I need You.  Teach me how to surf through the waves, holding on to Your Word.  Amen.
 
St. Angela Merici, virgin, pray for us.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love - Daily Bible Reflections January 26,2014

AGING WITH GRACE
 
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing… – Isaiah 9:2
 
Today I celebrate my 45th birthday. I know. I don’t look my age. (Wink.) They say it’s rude to ask someone how old she is. But I don’t mind. I  know some people who will — under no condition, over their dead body and till hell freezes over — never divulge their real age.
       I figure many people hide their age because of the stigma that comes with growing old. When you listen to the message that media conveys, it’s saying that the world abhors everything related to aging. We have creams to remove wrinkles, dyes to color our greying hair, and numerous treatments and operations to lift, tuck or suck skin that is sagging or flailing.
       Even the way we treat the aged, especially in western countries, makes them seem like they’re a burden because of the difficulty of caring for them.
       How different the Bible looks at this issue of aging. Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Friend, do not be afraid of getting old. The Lord promises in Isaiah 46:4, “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you.” Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (justbreatherissa@gmail.com)
 
 
Reflection: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” (Sophia Loren)
 
Lord, I will trust in You till the end of my days. Amen.
 
Sts. Timothy and Titus, bishops, pray for us.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Find hope in Christ Jesus, and the moment you hear His voice, harden not your heart - Daily Bible Reflections January 25, 2014

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle
 
 
A CHANGED MAN
 
For you will be his witness before all to what you have seen and heard. – Acts 22:15
 
I have a friend who was a famous movie magazine reporter and TV host back in the 1980s. Back then, he was a mean movie reporter.
       Every time he gossiped about the lives of famous celebrities, he made sure that his readers and viewers believed every word that he wrote in the magazine or said in the talk shows. He built up people’s images but he also ruined some of them. That’s how he persecuted people during those days.
       But one day, God spoke to his heart and made him realize all the malicious things he had committed in the past. He made an amazing 180-degree turn.
       Today, he is a totally changed man. He gives spiritual talks in big prayer gatherings here and abroad. He spreads the Good News and the love of Jesus. He is now a preacher and a servant of God. He also hosts a weekly spiritual radio program at a Catholic radio network where he featured the story of how my wife and I were converted to the Lord. I was so amazed at how God had changed his life that I committed to help him in his crusade for the conversion of others by using my story.Monty Mendigoria (montymendigoria@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: Find hope in Christ Jesus, and the moment you hear His voice, harden not your heart.
 
Lord, let me be an instrument of Your love and mercy. May Your name be glorified in everything I do.
 
St. Peter Thomas, pray for us.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Have you ever been betrayed? It’s tempting to lose faith in people - Daily Bible Reflections January 24,2014


Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
 
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN
BETRAYED?
 
... and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. – Mark 3:19
 
I was once sexually assaulted by a friend while I was asleep. Betrayal. I later learned the full extent: he had abused me in my sleep multiple times over a span of several years. Deeper betrayal. To add insult to injury, my family had been hospitable to this person many times, and still he committed his crimes under our roof. I soon ran to a godly leader for help, but that leader belittled my plight. And so I was left feeling even more betrayed and alone.
       Years later, it hurts to recall how the people I had trusted with my life flushed that trust down the toilet. But what has helped me get by?
       A priest who listened. A wife who let me cry. Friends who didn’t judge my anger. My children who, by simply existing, remind me that humans are originally innocent, made in the image of God.
       Betrayal tempted me to lose faith in people, even godly ones. But God also used people to restore my faith. Betrayal tempted me to hate people. But God also used people to show me His love. Kiddo Cosio (twitter.com/kiddocosio)
 
Reflection: Have you ever been betrayed? It’s tempting to lose faith in people. Don’t. Trust that God can use the right people to help heal you.
 
Lord, help me forgive those who have hurt me. And help me heal.
 
St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor of the Church, pray for us.
 

When I bring you to a financial desert, I’m teaching you the most important lessons in life - God Whispers January 24,2014

 
When I bring you to a financial desert, I’m teaching you the most important lessons in life. Because the desert is My university.
 
 
Training you,
God
 
P.S. When you struggle through poverty with faith and leave the financial desert, you’ve learned lessons you will remember for the rest of your life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

When someone offends you, you can let the offense take root or you can let it go - God Whispers January 23,2014

 

When someone offends you, you can let the offense take root or you can let it go.
 
Cleansing you,
God
 
P.S. When you let go of the hurt, you do yourself a favor.

Understanding is deeper than knowledge. Many people know us but very few understand us - Daily Bible Reflections January 23,2014


LIFE-GIVING WORDS
 
Jonathan spoke well of david to saul his Father and said to him, “he has not wronged You and what he has done has benefitted you Greatly.” – 1 samuel 19:4
 
I’ve been judgmental about other people. I’d size up their actions, words and flaws, and pass judgment based on what I know. That’s my problem: I claim to “know” but fail to understand what I “know” about others. My biases muddle the truth and I end up focusing only on the negative rather than the positive traits of people. Instead of praise, I dish out criticism. Instead of encouragement, I pass a “death sentence.” Just like murder, negative talk is premeditated and lethal. You can actually “assassinate” a person’s character with only a few words.
       I want to learn from Jonathan, who valiantly defended David and upheld his innocence against Saul’s wrath. More than obedience to the king, Jonathan sought justice for David by attesting to his goodness and upright character. His words literally saved David from imminent death.
       I could no longer take back the negative words I’ve spoken, but by God’s grace I hope to correct the wrong I’ve done. Like what Jonathan did for David, may I only speak of what is encouraging and life-giving. Dina PecaƱa (dpecana@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: “Understanding is deeper than knowledge. Many people know us but very few understand us. It’s because understanding is more of the heart than the mind. The mind grows by taking in but the heart grows by giving out.” (Anonymous)
 
Holy Spirit, tame my tongue and let me say only what is good about my neighbor. Amen.
 
Blessed Mother Marianne Cope, pray for us.
 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Do you still doubt God’s power and love after all He’s done in the past? - Daily Bible Reflections January 22,2014

 
RELYING ON GOD
 
“The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” – 1 Samuel 17:37
 
I placed my then two-year-old daughter on top of a counter in the bathroom so I could change her diaper. When we were done, she stood up and suddenly leaped from the counter into my arms without any warning! She thought it was fun but my heart stopped. I asked her to please never do that again. What if I hadn’t caught her?
       So, did she ever try it again? Of course. She got a thrill out of it each time. Funny thing is, although I kept telling her it was dangerous, she never did get hurt. Why? Because she would only try it when I was near enough to catch her. She didn’t really
believe in her own ability to jump and land safely. She believed in her mother who would do anything to keep her from harm. She trusted me completely. She had faith.
       In our First Reading today, David did not rely on his own strength, but in the power of his faithful God. He had experienced God’s deliverance before, and he was sure God would do it again. Whenever we are faced with our own Goliaths in life, let us remember who our God is. We can trust in Him as we take our leaps of faith. Victory will surely be ours. Geraldine G. Catral (catral@beaconschool.ph)
 
Reflection: Do you still doubt God’s power and love after all He’s done in the past?
 
Lord, help me to recall the many times You’ve won the battles in my life. I trust in You completely for the help I need now.
 
St. Vincent, deacon and martyr, pray for us.
 

Being with Me doesn’t mean you’ll be exempted from hardships and difficulties. But it does mean you’ll never have to walk alone through any of them - God Whispers January 22,2014

 
Being with Me doesn’t mean you’ll be exempted from hardships and difficulties. But it does mean you’ll never have to walk alone through any of them.
 
Good morning,
God
 
P.S. I will always be with you till the end of time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Don’t let money be the source of your happiness. Instead, make money a servant of love - God Whispers January 21,2014

 
Don’t let money be the source of your happiness. Instead, make money a servant of love. Earn more money—so that you can use money to love more.
 
Blessing you,
God
 
P.S. Everything you need to be happy is within you

Are you still waiting for answers to your prayers? Don’t worry, they will come in His time - Daily Bible Reflections January 21, 2014


IN HIS TIME
 
“You are to anoint for me the one I point out to you.” – 1 Samuel 16:3
 
“George, when I look at you, I’m reminded of King David. He was anointed King of Israel when he was a very young boy, but it took him many years before he sat on the throne.”
       These were comforting words from an older Catholic leader at a leadership gathering I attended when I was still in my early twenties. We were sharing our dreams and I had just finished pouring my heart out about how I had been longing all my life to be a full-time servant but hadn’t found the right avenue yet. I was growing impatient.
       I met the Lord when I was 12 years old. Since then, all I wanted to do was to share His love through my talents. My ultimate prayer was that my job and my ministry would be one. It took many, many years before the Lord granted my wish. But at the age of 30, I finally became a full-time servant in the Light of Jesus Family under Bo Sanchez. Now, I’m being used by God in ways I never imagined — as a writer, creative director and preacher — and I’m humbled to be part of a ministry so large and with such a wide reach (www.lightfam.com).
       Although it took some time, God answered my prayer way beyond my expectations. I guess He was just preparing me all along. George Tolentino Gabriel (george.svp@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: Are you still waiting for answers to your prayers? Don’t worry, they will come in His time.
 
Lord, I wait on the fulfillment of Your promises to me.
 
St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, pray for us.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Do you find it hard to do the right thing because it means making a sacrifice? Close your eyes and pray the prayer of generosity - Daily Bible Reflections January 20,2014


LOVE AND OBEDIENCE
 
“Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice...” – 1 Samuel 15:22
 
When I was young, I was not the most obedient person in the world. I must have been a disappointment to the Lord, my parents, and other people.
       Now that I am in my 50s, I regret some of the things I had done. And I realize that a lot of my mistakes could have been avoided if I loved others more than myself.
       It was St. Ignatius who said, “It is not hard to obey when we love the one whom we obey.”
       I’m still not perfect, but now I try my best.
       To do the right thing especially in following what I believe God wants me to do... because I love God.
    To keep our home happy and healthy even if it means making sacrifices... because I love my husband.
       To fall in line at train and bus terminals even if I feel like I’m wasting my time but I know it’s the right thing to do... because I love my country.
   In the end, true obedience stems from love. Marisa Aguas (jojangaguas@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: Do you find it hard to do the right thing because it means making a sacrifice? Close your eyes and pray the prayer of generosity.
 
Dear Lord, teach me to be generous. To give and not to count the cost, save that of knowing that I do Your will.
 
St. Sebastian, martyr, pray for us.

Stop trying to be someone you’re not - God Whispers January 20,2014

 

Stop trying to be someone you’re not. I made you just the way you are to fulfill all I’ve called you to become.
 
Rise up,
God
 
P.S. I’ve put in you everything you need for your calling.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

You may not be able to control your circumstances but you can control how you will react to them. Always respond positively - God Whispers January 19,2014


You may not be able to control your circumstances but you can control how you will react to them. Always respond positively.

Count your blessings,
God

P.S. Master your emotions and your thoughts and you’ll always emerge the winner no matter what you face.

In confusion, do you desire to get the perfect answers or do you decide to trust in God? - Daily Bible Reflections January 19, 2014

UNANSWERED
QUESTIONS
 
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ... may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. – Ephesians 1:17
 
As a writer for an advice column for All Stars, a magazine for tweens, I am tasked to answer questions troubling girls nowadays. I take pleasure in this mission of being a big sister to young girls. Answering their questions about life, the universe, and everything in between excites me.
       But one particular question from a sender stood out from the rest. She asked: Why cannot God just save all of us from hell?
       Her question took me by surprise. It was straightforward, but I realized that I, too, wanted to know the answer to her query.
       This made me think about the many unanswered questions we have about God. In the Bible, Jesus spoke in parables, leaving many confused. I believe that God had a reason for this. And like Mary and Joseph in the Gospel today, we too can only treasure God’s puzzling answers in our hearts.
       I truly believe that God can perfectly answer all the questions we throw at Him. He just chooses not to answer them sometimes, not because He cannot give an explanation to the things we question, but maybe, just maybe... we are the ones who cannot fathom His wisdom yet. Erika Mendoza (epaulmendoza@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: In confusion, do you desire to get the perfect answers or do you decide to trust in God?
 
Lord, teach my heart to trust in You fully.
 
St. Fabian, pray for us.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do you feel sick in your spirit? Return to Jesus in the sacrament of confession. He is waiting to restore you to wholeness - Daily Bible Reflections January 18,2014

WHAT IS GREATER
THAN SIN?
 
“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” – Mark 2:17
 
Lisa felt a gnawing pain on the right side of her abdomen but she ignored it. When it became unbearable, she asked to be taken to the hospital. The doctor immediately operated on her appendix and she recuperated in a few days. The doctor said, “If you hadn’t come to the hospital, you could have died because a burst appendix would have poisoned your blood.”
       A lot of people die a little each day spiritually because of the weight of their sins. Some of us, for fear of God’s anger and shame for our failures, wait until the pain of our sins becomes unbearable before we turn to the Lord. We are afraid that He will not accept us because we have sinned greatly. On the contrary, Jesus assures us, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” His love for us is greater than all our sins combined. It is not His desire that the sinner should die but that he may live.
       Our Divine Physician lovingly calls us back to Him again and again, no matter how many times we fall and despite the grievousness of our sins. We can trust in His Divine Mercy, a love so great that Jesus died on the cross for us. “Because of His wounds, we are healed.” Marjorie Duterte (marjorie.travels@gmail.com)
 
Reflection: Do you feel sick in your spirit? Return to Jesus in the sacrament of confession. He is waiting to restore you to wholeness.
 
Lord, I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say Your Word and my soul shall be healed. Amen.
 
St. Charles of Sezze, pray for us.

Friday, January 17, 2014

When problems threaten to overwhelm you, look up, not down - God Whispers January 17, 2014

 

When problems threaten to overwhelm you, look up, not down. When you keep your eyes on Me, things will be in the right perspective.
 
Saving you,
God
 
P.S. Your problems may look big, but often they’re just out of proportion.

“What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” - Daily Bible Reflections January 17,2014


THE REJECTS
 
“Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king.” – 1 Samuel 8:7
 
Have you experienced rejection after obeying the voice of God in your heart? I have, not just once, but a number of times. I also know of other men and women in the Bible who said yes to God and because of this, they were rejected.
       God comforts Samuel in the verse above as the people of Israel rejected him even after warning them of the bad and painful things that could happen to them and their families.
       This story reminds me of a time when I stood before an assembly who chose to reject me as their leader after I decided to follow God’s voice in my heart. I praised God for the courage and strength He gave me to accept the rejection of the very people I had served and helped. I thanked God for speaking words of affirmation to me then and for inspiring me to recall and follow Jesus’ example when He, too, was rejected by a crowd. “It is not you they reject as their leader but Me.” Those were God’s words to me.
       Are you also a reject? Don’t be discouraged. We’re in good company. Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag (teregmps@yahoo.com)
 
Reflection: “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
 
Lord Jesus, may Your example of courage and strength to stand by the Father’s will and command, even in the face of rejection, inspire me to do the same when I am put in a similar situation.
 
St. Anthony, abbot, pray for us.

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