July 22, 2024

What voice did I hear? What calling did I hear? Did I respond?
From Jan. 14 to 20, the first reading of the Liturgy of the Word narrates the stories of Samuel, Eli, David, Saul, and Jonathan.
We can summarize the readings into themes: voice, values, virtues, value, vocation, vices, vanity, and victory – seven Vs.
Since he was not familiar with the voice of God, Samuel thought it was Eli’s so Eli advised Samuel to respond to the unknown voice.
At that time, Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet. Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth. So he said to Samuel, “Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, speak Lord for your servant is listening.” (Samuel 3: 3b-10)
The intimacy of Samuel and God developed into a beautiful relationship climaxed into the revelation of God to Samuel and his vocation.
The old dictum of St. Thomas rings a bell, “We cannot love what we do not know.” It is therefore the vocation of every believer to know God in order to love him.
In this generation what voice do we often hear and listen to? Is it the voice of God or the voice of the world and the worldly?
Hearing is different from listening. Hearing involves solely the ears but listening involves the heart.
We listen well in meditation, discernment, and prayer. We listen well when we have quality time for the soul to rest and sleep like Samuel.
I encourage everyone to experience retreat and recollection at least once a year. Take time to listen to the voice of God because He is calling you for an important reason.
Values are natural disposition of goodness and godliness. Samuel and David have their freedom and choices. But they prayed over their choices and decisions. Their values of humility and honesty enabled them to listen well and execute their vocation.
They were not called for their personal benefit. They were called for a mission. Living out their values turned to virtues and became their basic foundation to lead and to overcome their enemies. Triumph over vices and vanity was not their personal power but was through God’s intervention and grace.

Here is a personal testimony and encouragement for Bontoc tricycle drivers.
Agbalballasiwak diay pedestrian lane ti Bontoc to attend a meeting around 1:30 p.m., ken 3 p.m. idi sinagidnak ti tricycle nga kasla awan lang. Nabutnganak bassit ngem, inpadas ko nga mingmingan diay unit ken driver ngem nakapanawen.
Ada testigo nga karpintero nga agininana diay igid ti sidewalk. Kunada, “Toh yangke pirmi na ikanda ay inpataray, ay nasagid kas di padi?”
Malas ko lang ta saan nga touch screen selpon ko ta pinicturak koma.
Idi mapan ko alaen lugan ko mga 6 p.m. ket ada nakitak nga van nga nakaparada diay pedestrian lane ket napanko kinatungtung ti akinkukua, “Sir madi ti parkingyu?” Simmungbat met, “Apay?” Kunak, “Sir, pedestrian lane met ti nagparkan yo.” Kunana,“Saan nga bale ta rabii.” Kunak met, “Sir, apay suktan aya ti rabii ti ipasimudaag ti pedestrian lane?” Kunana manen,“Sir, saan nga bali ta mabiit lang.”
Pimanawak ngem buybuyaen mi diay van ket nabayag met nga nakaparada. Ay, ay, ay. Anyan ti mapaspasamak ti ili tayo nga Kalalaychan ngay?
Maysa pay nga nasken nga makorektar ket ti saan nga panagusar ti tricyle drivers ti head light ket nasipnget.
Adu nakasaritak diay gasolinaan nga adu gayamen ti nadungdungpar nga diay pedestrian lane ti Bontoc.
Anya ngata ti nasken nga aramiden tayo kakailyan? Urayen tayo ngata nga datayunto ti madungpar?
Blessed Feast of Santo Niño! Thank you again for all the love and support you shared to me generously last year and as I begin 2024.
In case you want to join my masses every month, first Sunday of the month is basic ecclesial community (BEC) in Chatol, Barlig, Mountain Province, second Thursday at the BJMP-MPDJ; third Sunday at Betwagan BEC Sadanga; fourth Sunday BJMP-MPDJ. There is an everyday mass in Teng-ab, Bontoc at 6:30 and 9 a.m. every Sunday.
Reach me at [email protected].