Compassion to the crowd     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

February 11, Saturday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time [In those days when there was again a great crowd without anything to eat, he called his disciples and said to them, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way - and some of them have come from a great distance." Mark 8:1-10] Jesus, the face of the compassionate God. From the Gospel, Jesus is full of compassion to those who have left their homes – followed him into the desert – and remained with him for days: he is very conscious and aware of their tiredness and pangs of hunger and so He made a miracle, feeding them out of 5 loaves and 2 fish! ‘I have compassion on the crowd’ – is this true for me? What is my attitude whenever there is a stranger knocking on our door, asking for alms (food, clothes, money)? Do I care that many people are tired, anxious, unsure of the future, uncertain about what life is meant to be about? My heart is moved to pity, and sorrow whenever I hear or read the news about the many sufferings happening around the country especially at this trying time of pandemic. Many times I caught myself getting angry at what is happening and tend to blame the corruption and ‘bulok-sistema’ in the government. It is beyond words how I actually feel right now. But the Gospel gives me hope that God is with us in our suffering. He will definitely feed our hungry heart for he is full of mercy and compassion.

Be Opened!     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

February 10, Friday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time [Jesus took him off by himself, cried out “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” Mk 7:31-37] Lord Jesus, open my ears to hear all that You wish to say to me and loosen my tongue so that I will be able to bring your Words to others. Amen

Mother's Love     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

February 9, Thursday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time [Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. Mark 7:24–30] A parent’s love is powerful. And the woman in this story clearly loves her daughter. It is that love that drives this mother to seek out Jesus in the hope that He will free her daughter from the demon who possessed her. Take note, this woman was not of the Jewish faith. She was a gentile, a foreigner, but her faith was very real and very deep. This story reminds me of my mother. There was a time in our family when my younger brother (in his teens to college years) became very problematic that we, his siblings (older sisters) made a decision not to send him to school anymore to give him a lesson. But it was my mother who interceded for my brother. To cut the story short, my mother appealed to us to give our brother a second chance and of course we gave in to our mother’s request… (past forward) At the present time, my younger brother now is the most responsible brother I’ve ever known. Not only did he have a flourishing career, but most of all, I heard that he has been a great help for my mother and my siblings especially in times of financial difficulties. He has been providing for the family from time to time. Indeed, it was my mothers’s love that saved my brother! If mothers’ love saves children, how much more of God!

Awareness of Sin     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

February 8, Wednesday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time [Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” Mark 7:14–23] What is within me? What is in my heart? When I make an examination of conscience, I can find a lot of evil tendencies within me. If I am to be honest with myself and my God, I am prone to self-righteousness (pride), thinking that I am better than the others. And when I fall into these thoughts, I look down on other people. I can be sarcastic, giving negative side comments etc, etc. Merciful Lord, help me to realize my sins and grant me the graces I need to reject it and to turn to You with all my heart so that I can become a new creation in Your grace and mercy. Amen.

The Storm     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 28, Saturday, 3rd week in Ordinary Time. [He (Jesus) woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" Mark 4:35-41] The Storm. Going through the storm of life is draining and frightening but what keeps me going is the thought that every storm is passing by and God is merciful, He never abandons his children… Lord, calm my heart from fears, panic, and anxieties. Fill me with faith, hope and courage so that I can go through with the storms of life. Amen.

Growing Maturely     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 27, Friday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time [ "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." Mark 4:26-34] In religious life, I also go through growing. The formation process, especially my initial formation has helped me discover and identify the aspect of myself that needs to grow. But how should I know if I am growing maturely? Some practical questions that I should honestly answer… Can I hold my words when I get angry at people around me? Can I be quiet, be silenced when I am bothered by something/ someone so I can reflect what is going on inside me? Can I listen and be in touch with my negative feelings and thoughts? Can I acknowledge and be at peace with them? If I can answer all these questions with resounding ‘YES’ (to some degree), then I am on my way to growing maturely. So help me God.

God's Generosity     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 26, Thursday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time [“To those who have, more will be given.” Mark 4:21-25] Almighty God, help me to see how much you give me. Open my eyes to see you as a lavish God who never holds back anything when giving me your grace. Help me to be as generous as you are so that I can serve you with all my heart, and to go beyond my moments of laziness and discouragement. Amen.

Conversion of St. Paul     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 25, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul [‘Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation. The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15-18] Conversion of the heart is ‘two-way-process’; God’s grace coupled with personal cooperation and willingness to change. Lord, grant me the grace to answer your call for a greater cause. Amen. St. Paul, pray for us!

Discerning Heart     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 24, Tuesday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time. “Whoever does the will of God is brother and sister and mother to me.” [Mk 3:35] What makes it difficult to follow God’s will? Over-certitude, self-doubt, fears, stubbornness of heart, and many more you can add to the list. From my personal experience, it takes a lot of discernment to be able to know God’s will in my life. The discernment itself requires humility and courage to bend my will to His and be open to His promptings. Thus, I continuously pray to the Lord to have a discerning heart and the grace of courage to do His will in my daily life. Amen.

Openness to God's Spirit     by:   Sr. Leizle, SSS

January 23, Monday, 3rd Week in Ordinary Time ["Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin" - for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit." Mark 3:22-30] Lord, I pray for the grace of openness to God’s Spirit. Help me distinguish the promptings of the good Spirit from the voices of evil. Amen.

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