I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reflection for March 26; Monday of Holy Week: John 12:1-11

Gospel: John 12:1-12
Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages and given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.
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Do you allow hatred, greed and envy to sometimes rule over you? What normally is the product when you allow these evils to take control of you?

The chief priests allowed these evil intentions to rule over them that’s why they plotted to kill Jesus and Lazarus. They saw in Jesus someone who could overthrow them from their seat of power, so they must kill Him whatever it takes. This they did successfully but what was the bargain for their successful plot against Jesus? They allowed the devil to take control of them that’s why they were able to do the unthinkable.

Hatred, greed and envy are methods of the devil to slowly trap someone to do the unthinkable. Take for example corrupt politicians who would do everything to perpetuate themselves in power. Take for example spouses who allowed hatred and unforgiveness to rule over their love for their spouse.

We all know where these evil emotions brought the chief priests. It brought them to plot the killing of Jesus. And so they thought that they were finally able to rid Jesus out of their system.

But they were all wrong; by His resurrection Jesus was able to defeat their evil intentions. By His resurrection Jesus was able to impress upon the minds of the chief priests that their hatred, greed and envy has brought them nothing except further misery.  

The same is true with us all, if we allow the devil to sow hatred, greed and envy in our hearts. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

I provide Talks, Retreats and Recollections for private and public organizations

My email adds:

mjdasma@yahoo.com    mjdasma@gmail.com

Reflection for March 25, Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord: Mark 15:1-39

Gospel: Mark 15:1-39
As soon as morning came, the chief priests with the elders and the scribes, that is, the whole Sanhedrin held a council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate questioned him, "Are you the king of the Jews?" He said to him in reply, "You say so." The chief priests accused him of many things. Again Pilate questioned him, "Have you no answer? See how many things they accuse you of." Jesus gave him no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now on the occasion of the feast he used to release to them one prisoner whom they requested. A man called Barabbas was then in prison along with the rebels who had committed murder in a rebellion. The crowd came forward and began to ask him to do for them as he was accustomed. Pilate answered, "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" For he knew that it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate again said to them in reply, "Then what do you want me to do with the man you call the king of the Jews?" They shouted again, "Crucify him." Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil has he done?" They only shouted the louder, "Crucify him." So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them and, after he had Jesus scourged, handed him over to be crucified.

The soldiers led him away inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and kept striking his head with a reed and spitting upon him. They knelt before him in homage. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him.

They pressed into service a passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.

They brought him to the place of Golgotha —which is translated Place of the Skull —They gave him wine drugged with myrrh, but he did not take it. Then they crucified him and divided his garments by casting lots for them to see what each should take. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." With him they crucified two revolutionaries, one on his right and one on his left. Those passing by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross." Likewise the chief priests, with the scribes, mocked him among themselves and said, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.

Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also kept abusing him. At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which is translated, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Some of the bystanders who heard it said, "Look, he is calling Elijah." One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink saying, "Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down." Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

The veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. When the centurion who stood facing him saw how he breathed his last he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
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Have you done something to help Jesus advance His mission of salvation?

Today is Palm Sunday; we remember the triumphant entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. People were rejoicing and shouting hosanna to high heavens the atmosphere was very loud and festive. But as we journey into Holy Week the festivity and loudness will slowly be replaced by solemnity for we will remember the supreme sacrifice of Jesus for our salvation.

It was the destiny of Jesus to die on the cross for that was the plan of God for Him. But along the way towards His destiny there was also a feeling of trepidation on His part. Which is normal for aside from His divine nature He is human like us.

In His humanity Jesus feared the uncertainty of His coming passion and death. However, after the feeling of anxiety He courageously faced the passion and pain that would come His way until He dies on the cross. Deep in Jesus’ heart of hearts He knew that He had a mission to accomplish.

The people who were shouting hosanna upon His entry to Jerusalem were the very people who loudly shouted. Crucify Him! Crucify Him! They were also the same who told Him while He was hanging on the cross : "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself by coming down from the cross."

The chief priest and the scribes also mocked Him: "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe." On the cross Jesus was helpless He was at the mercy of His persecutors. And in desperation before His last gasp of breath He cried out loudly: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus endured all these punishments for our sake. He did not go through this agonizing experience with the hope that He would be exalted. His exaltation was never in His mind what was in His mind was our salvation. It was for our welfare and liberation from sin that He gave His life on the cross.

As we go through this holiest of weeks what have we done for Jesus in return? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, March 12, 2018

Reflection for March 24; Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 11:45-56

Gospel: John 11:45-56
45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him; 46 but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, "What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. 48 If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation." 49 But one of them, Ca'iaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all; 50 you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish." 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus should die for the nation, 52 and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. 53 So from that day on they took counsel how to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore no longer went about openly among the Jews, but went from there to the country near the wilderness, to a town called  E'phraim; and there he stayed with the disciples. 55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think? That he will not come to the feast?"
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There’s a saying that, Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

During the time of Jesus the Pharisees were the ruling class they were very powerful yet they were also afraid to lose power. Why were they afraid to lose power? For the reason that they were afraid to lose their influence in their territory.

 After years of being in power the powerful Pharisees were suddenly being threatened by the powerful and charismatic personality of Jesus. So they must do everything to hold on to their power which include the plot to kill Jesus.

But why were the Pharisees afraid to lose power? They were afraid that people would discover the many skeletons in their closets. That’s why they plotted to kill Jesus because they saw in Jesus someone who would finally unseat and expose them.

What is the lesson for us here? 1. We should not be threatened by anyone who does good, instead of being threatened we should help that person who does good. 2. Our hands must always be clean and free from any form of sin otherwise there would come a time that we will be exposed eventually. 3. We must not use and manipulate our fellowmen to advance our own corrupt and selfish agenda/s. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for March 23; Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 10:31-42

Gospel: John 10:31-42
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me? The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.

Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.
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Do you sometimes feel unrewarded for the effort/s that you do? For example, you did something good to someone and then the person did not care to compliment or recognize your good deed. 

How would you feel? Perhaps you would be disheartened or even feel bad. On second thought instead of feeling disheartened or bad I think you should still feel good for the reason that you’ve done something worthy to someone. 

Jesus did everything for the Jews yet they never thanked Him. He instead was persecuted for doing good. Did He feel bad for not being given due recognition? Perhaps yes, because He was human like us. However Jesus never allowed their ingratitude to bring Him down and distract Him from His focus with His mission of salvation.  

This is the reality of life, there are those who will not compliment us for the good that we’ve done for them. Nevertheless let us continue to do good and not be disheartened for God knows everything and God will always reward those who do good. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for March 22; Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:51-59

Gospel: John 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.  So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham? Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM. So they picked up stones to throw at him. but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
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How would you feel if a religious leader would tell you this, “If you follow me you will never die.” You will not believe this leader for the simple reason that this is not true. Jesus in the gospel tells us that anyone of us who would keep His word will never see death.  

What is this death that the Lord is speaking about?  Obviously this doesn’t pertain to physical death for we all will die. The death that Jesus is alluding to is the death in the spirit. We are taught by our faith that when we die our mortal remains will decay. And we are also taught that if we have a close and personal relationship with Jesus our spirit will continue to live for it does not die along with our mortal death. 

No one of us has been to the afterlife but this one is true: We will not be afraid to pass through physical death if we are close to Jesus. And if we have a personal relationship with Him. For the reason that we know that everlasting life would only come after our mortal death, mortal death is our launching pad to eternal life. But we have to believe first in Jesus and we have to have a personal relationship with Him for us not to experience spiritual death.  

The Jews in our gospel were critics of Jesus and as such they do not believe in Jesus much less have a personal relationship with Him.

Do you strive to have a personal relationship with Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Reflection for March 21; Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:31-42

Gospel: John 8:31-42
31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." 33 They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?" 34 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father." 39 They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41 You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God." 42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
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What will happen to us if we give space for the words of Jesus in our hearts? Of course we will start to build a special relationship with Jesus. We will start to trust Jesus more than we trust ourselves and we will also become averse to sin.

In our first reading, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted more on their faith in God than  obey the command of the king. They were being forced by king Nebuchadnezzar to worship his own God. But until the end the three did not follow the king’s order so they were thrown into the fiery furnace yet they were not hurt because God was with them.

This is what will happen to us also if we faithfully follow Jesus, yes there would be instances of persecution. But if we remain faithful then our being persecuted is nothing compared to the glory that awaits us. If there’s glory for those who would remain faithful, why are we not faithful to Jesus? Why do we easily betray Him for the fleeting and sinful pleasures of this world?  

This is so for the simple reason that we allow ourselves to succumb to the inducement of the devil. That’s how plain and simple it is, we give up Jesus for this world because we love this world more than we love Jesus.

As we approach the holiest of weeks let us reflect on how many times have we given up Jesus for the sinful pleasures of this world. And what have we gained for giving up Jesus for this world? Nothing except the continuous pilling up of emptiness and problems disguised as hedonistic pleasures. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for March 20; Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent: John 8:21-30

Gospel: John 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.
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What does sin do to us? It separates us from the infinite love of God, the more we sin the more that we widen the distance between us and God.  Why do we sin? We sin because we succumb to the devil’s temptation. But we are not beyond redemption for the reason that we have someone who is always there for us to save us from the bondage of sin and He’s no other than Jesus.

The moment we submit ourselves to the sacrament of Confession we allow Jesus to extricate us from the bondage of sin.  We allow Jesus to exterminate whatever evil particle that we have in our system.

As we get closer to the holiest of weeks we are slowly but surely being brought by the church closer to Jesus. For what reason is this? To make us realize about the great love and sacrifice that Jesus did on the cross. Jesus died for us on the cross, He need not die on the cross but He gave His life for His love for us.

At the end of the day it’s still upon us if we want to permanently separate ourselves from the love of Jesus. Or if we go to Jesus and accept His offer of salvation Jesus is always there waiting for us ever ready to forgive and love us once again.

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose if surrender everything to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday, March 19; Solemnity of Saint Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Gospel: Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
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An egotistical husband discovered that his wife was having an adulterous affair. The visibly angry husband told his wife that she should immediately leave their house. The man eventually decided to file a petition in for the nullity of their marriage. So they parted ways and it happened because the husband allowed his ego and anger to control him.

Today is the Solemnity of Saint Joseph the Humble, Righteous and Godly husband of Mary. When Joseph discovered that Mary was carrying a child prior to their living together, Joseph decided to quietly divorce Mary.

However, an angel of the Lord spoke to him in his dream and through the angel Joseph humbly listened to the Lord. Thus, it averted their divorce and the punishing predicament that Mary would have undergone.   

In our modern and high-tech times right now many marriages are falling apart. This is for the reason that we easily judge, we allow our inflated egos and anger to get the better of us. For the reason of our ego, unforgiveness and judgmental mindset we have no time to listen to the voice of God. 

The voice of God who always tells us to be forgiving as He has forgiven us and not to be judgmental for He does not judge us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Reflection for Sunday March 18, Fifth Sunday of Lent; John 12:20-33

Gospel: John 12:20-33
Some Greeks who had come to worship at the Passover Feast came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we would like to see Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.

"I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it and will glorify it again." The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, "An angel has spoken to him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.
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A middle-aged man presented himself to the parish priest and asked him if he could join the ministry of extra-ordinary ministers of the Holy Communion.  When the priest asked why he desires to become an extra-ordinary minister of the Holy Communion, he said that he wants to serve the people of God. To make a long story short he was eventually allowed to join the ministry.

What the priest did not know was this: the middle-aged man lied when he answered that he wants to serve the people of God. For he only wants to become popular in their community. He loves influence, respect and attention. After six months of serving the he was told by the parish priest not to serve anymore. For the reason that he cannot measure up to the discipline and rigors of the ministry.

We sometimes seek Jesus with the thought in mind that once we are with Him life would be blissful already. We seek Jesus because we think that the moment we are with Him there would be no more problems and difficulties to overcome. We seek Jesus because we think that He is the panacea for our personal and emotional difficulties.

In the beginning of our gospel there were some Greeks who came to worship at the Passover Feast and they wanted to personally see Jesus. For what reason did they want to see Jesus? Were they expecting to witness more miracles from Jesus? Were they expecting to be healed?  Were they expecting to hear more life changing preaching?

Yet, Jesus mysteriously tells us in the gospel as He told Andrew and Philip that if we want to have a full comprehension of His Lordship. We must be ready to die from our own selfish desires.

We must be ready to lose our worldly lives in order to have eternal life with Him. And if we really want to truly serve Him we must be ready to bear our own cross as He carried and bore His own cross on His way to Calvary.  

A life with Jesus is never easy but it’s only through Him that you will discover the true meaning of your life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for March 17; Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 7:40-53

Gospel: John 7:40-53
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said, “This is truly the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he? Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them even wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?” The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.” So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.” Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them, “Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him and finds out what he is doing?” They answered and said to him, “You are not from Galilee also, are you? Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.” Then each went to his own house.
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What happens when we engage in useless self-centered debates or conversation? The protagonist would try very hard to upstage each other. And then it will turn ugly by trying to destroy each other’s reputation. No worthy outcome comes out of it, only mudslinging and character assassination.

The crowd were debating about Jesus’ origin that it created division within their ranks. They were trying to outdo each other in terms of their knowledge about the origin of Jesus. Thoughts were running in their minds, such as if Jesus was a prophet and the promised messiah. They were like little children in a contest of arguments as to who amongst them had the best idea about Jesus.    

This scenario still exists today, many of us argue about Jesus to prove that one has a superior knowledge about Him over the other. However, what would we get if we argue? If we try to show that we know more than anyone else? Nothing except a showcase of our arrogance, feeling of superiority and bloated egos which results to more division and alienation.

Instead of arguing let us show through our works the love, humility, mercy and compassion of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for March 16; Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30

Gospel: John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30
Jesus moved about within Galilee; he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. But the Jewish feast of Tabernacles was near. But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, he himself also went up, not openly but as it were in secret.

Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem said, “Is he not the one they are trying to kill? And look, he is speaking openly and they say nothing to him. Could the authorities have realized that he is the Christ? But we know where he is from. When the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” So Jesus cried out in the temple area as he was teaching and said, “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” So they tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come.
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How courageous are you in your desire to spread your faith?

In the gospel for today, even if there was a threat on His life Jesus still secretly went to Judea to attend the Feast of the Tabernacle. He courageously spoke in the temple area at the risk of His life. Where does His courage comes from? It originates from His deep oneness and intimacy with God.

Let us also aspire to have the same intimacy with God. So that we would also have the courage to express what we want to say on how God has made a big difference in our life. So that we would be able to face and overcome whatever problems and trials that may come our way.  

A good way to start is to have a regular time for God through our daily readings of his words in the bible. Through our presence at Holy Mass and through our prayers.

If we do these acts of worship and piety we surely would develop an intimacy with Jesus. And the result is we would have the courage to live His teachings, share it and even preach it.

A faithful follower should live and preach the teachings of Jesus. If he/she can't preach it because not everyone has the gift of preaching he/she must live it. For this is one of the many marks of a faithful follower of Jesus. 

What kind of follower are you? Are you a follower in name only or follower in name and in deed? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Reflection for March 15; Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 5:31-47

Gospel: John5:31-47
Jesus said to the Jews: “If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true. But there is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true. You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth. I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf. But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you, because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures, because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf. But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise; moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
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How do you testify your life as a follower of Jesus? The best testimony of a follower is how he lives his life. Does he live his life with forgiveness, humility, simplicity, sacrifice, unconditional love and the like?  Many of us call ourselves follower of Jesus but when it comes to forgiving those who’ve hurt us we cannot forgive.

If we cannot forgive those who’ve hurt us we then are followers in name only and sad to say many of us are like that: Followers in name only. On the aspect of humility; we can best testify that we are followers of Jesus when we don’t seek prominence and we silently do our work for the lord without any fanfare or publicity.

On the aspect of simplicity, Jesus is the supreme model of simplicity. He is content with whatever that He possesses Jesus did not desire expensive things and other appendages. Many of us live complicated lives for the simple reason that we live the life of this world rather than live the life of Jesus.

Therefore, you can always become the best witness for Jesus by simply following His humility, gentleness, unconditional love and forgiveness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for March 14; Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 5:17-30

Gospel: John 5:17-30
Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own father, making himself equal to God.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation.

“I cannot do anything on my own;I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
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Do you believe that Jesus and the Father are one? The critics of Jesus did not believe this oneness of the father and the son. The critics of Jesus did not believe because their mindset is based on their human understanding which is always subject to limitations.

What separates us from the critics of Jesus in our gospel? We believe in the oneness of the father and the son, we believe because we have faith. Faith that is not subject to what our eyes and ears can see and hear.

If our faith is confined to what we could only see and hear this is actually not faith because true faith or deep faith requires believing even without seeing.  Through our faith in both the father and the son we are able to further discover the many truths about our catholic faith.  And we are also able to grow more in faith and knowledge about our universal church.

Perhaps some of us may ask, Why am I not growing in faith? The answer to this is we lack something, perhaps this something is our lack of faithful adherence to the teachings of our universal church.

Say for example our lack of adherence to the insolubility of the Sacrament of Matrimony, the Sanctity of human life, the healing and cleansing value of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the many more teachings of our catholic faith. We would not grow in faith if we don’t believe these teachings.  

Do you believe in the oneness of the Son and the Father and do you also believe and practice the teachings of our catholic faith? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for March 13; Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 5:1-16

Gospel: John 5:1-16
There was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem at the Sheep Gate a pool called in Hebrew Bethesda, with five porticoes. In these lay a large number of ill, blind, lame, and crippled. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am on my way, someone else gets down there before me. Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your mat, and walk. Immediately the man became well, took up his mat, and walked.

Now that day was a sabbath. So the Jews said to the man who was cured, “It is the sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat. He answered them, “The man who made me well told me, ‘Take up your mat and walk. They asked him, “Who is the man who told you, ‘Take it up and walk’? The man who was healed did not know who it was for Jesus had slipped away, since there was a crowd there. After this Jesus found him in the temple area and said to him “Look, you are well; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you.” The man went and told the Jews that Jesus was the one who had made him well. Therefore, the Jews began to persecute Jesus because he did this on a sabbath.
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How does it feel to be sick? Those who got sick already would answer that it doesn’t feel good to be sick for you feel weak and can’t function properly. Absurd as it may sound but sickness is sometimes God’s gift to us for it’s through our sickness that we get to know God more deeply. It’s through our getting sick that we become aware of the majestic healing power of God.

The blind man in our gospel had this kind of experience. He was beside the pool waiting for someone to help him immerse in the pool. He didn’t know Jesus thus he did not ask Jesus to heal him.  Jesus by Himself desired to appear to this man and heal him right there. If the man was not sick Jesus would not have appeared to him.  

It’s through our sickness often times that Jesus strongly manifest Himself to us. Through our getting sick we get a clearer picture of who Jesus is. If Jesus healed the man in our gospel without asking for it, would He not heal us as well? We who know Him and we who always pray to Him.   

There's always a silver lining when we get sick, we may not know it immediately but there's certainly silver lining. And one of this is to get to know more Jesus deeply and to have this up close and personal encounter with Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Reflection for March 12; Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent: John 4:43-54

Gospel: John 4:43-54
43 After the two days he departed to Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast, for they too had gone to the feast. 46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Caper'na-um there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe." 49 The official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 50 Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was living. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to mend, and they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live"; and he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
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How profound is your faith in Jesus?

To have faith is to believe in something that you don’t see yet. The official in the gospel who begged Jesus to heal his sick son has this kind of faith. He wanted Jesus to go and personally heal his son who at that time was near death.

But Jesus did not gave in to his request, Jesus simply told the official, “Go; your son will live.” So he went home without Jesus but with faith in the words of Jesus in his heart. And when he arrived home his son was already recovering.

To believe in something that we don’t see yet is very difficult to do most especially for those who have feeble faith. But for those who have faith, they will believe no matter the odds against them. If the official in our gospel did not believe in Jesus his son would surely not been healed. But he believed with faith!

We all have our own petitions before Jesus. He asks us nothing but to believe with faith, to believe with faith on something that we don’t see yet. And to believe and have faith even if others would not believe us.

What are your petitions before Jesus? Simply believe, have faith and work for it also for He will never fail you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reflection for Sunday March 11, Fourth Sunday of Lent; John 3:14-21

Gospel: John 3:14-21
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
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There is a story of a woman who was actively sharing her life activities on social media. She would always document all her daily undertakings and post it on her many social media accounts. By doing so her life was like a reality show already. However, she noticed that in spite of her social media interactions with her friends there was still a deep void within her.

As far as self expression is concerned Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like are the in thing right now for many of us and we have our own way of expressing ourselves there. We express to the internet what is in our minds and we show to the world our best activities, best photos and best videos.

Yet, we seldom see post about Jesus or self-expression that relates with God. We seldom see also pictures and activities that reveal the nature of God. Is this sign that our love for God is slowly being eased out by our love for ourselves and the things of this world? Where would we go if our life is centered on ourselves and on our worldly activities?

The gospel for this Sunday directs us to refocus our life once again to the one who is the creator of this world and that is God. We must look to Jesus once again and make Him the center of our lives. Let us not focus our lives on worldly things and possessions for these are passing, and temporary.

We may have the best luxuries in this world but if we don’t have God in our lives it would all be for naught and worthless. We may have all the wealth in our family but if we don’t have Jesus it amounts to nothing.  Our possessions will not grant us salvation it’s only God who can give us salvation and eternal life.

Are you willing to once again refocus your life on Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas