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

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday September 26, Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:19-21

Gospel: Luke 8:19-21
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
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Who would not want to become a relative of Jesus? Of course we all want to become His relatives. But Jesus has one important requirement for all of us so that we could become His relatives: Hear His word/s and act on it (Luke 8:21).

Do we hear the word of God and act upon it? For example the commandment of Jesus to love our enemies and to do good to those who hurt us (Matthew 5:44). Do we love our enemies and do good to them?  Or we immediately follow our natural instinct not to love those who don’t love us and hurt those who hurt us.

But what would happen if we follow our selfish human instinct? There would be more hatred and hurt, more walls than bridges. Mahatma Gandhi once said: An Eye for an eye would only make the whole world blind.

It’s not easy to become a relative of Jesus if we put so much value to ourselves. If we look at ourselves so highly and we immediately despise those who’ve hurt and disrespected us. But Jesus himself has forgiven those who’ve hurt, persecuted and killed Him.  

Though it’s difficult to become a relative of Jesus for it requires humility and forgetting of ourselves. Nevertheless, we must aspire to become a relative of Jesus and not aspire to become a lover of our ego and pride. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday September 25, Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:16-18

Gospel: Luke 8:16-18
Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.
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A long dormant lighthouse was revived and brightly lighted by the community around it.  The voyagers and fishermen were very happy to see its light once again. For it gave them direction and it made their life easier at sea.

By virtue of our faith and what we know about Jesus we also have the potential to become a bright lighthouse. That gives direction, inspiration and hope to our fellowmen. This could happen provided we have the courage to live and share Jesus through our words and actions.

But how many of us have become the living light of Jesus to our fellowmen? How many of us have dared to live and share the teachings of Jesus? If we don’t dare live and share Jesus we simply become a useless unlighted lighthouse. A lighthouse that is eaten by the darkness of night it doesn’t give hope, inspiration and direction.

Never forget to remember that you could always become the lighted lamp that is placed on a lampstand that Jesus mentions in the gospel. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Friday, September 15, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, September 24; Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 20:1-16a

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16a
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise.

Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’  When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
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Do you every once in a while question the decision/s of God in your life?

God thinks differently from how we think and God decides not based on how we think. It seems that the landowner which represents the Lord is unfair. This is for the reason that He paid the workers the same amount regardless of the time they’ve labored in his vineyard. Was he really unfair to the other workers who worked for longer hours or he was simply generous?

The landowner was simply generous and fair for he paid everyone based on what they’ve agreed upon.   It did not matter to him who worked early in the day and who worked late in the day. What was important for him was he paid everyone based on what they’ve agreed upon.

We can’t help but compare God’s generosity compared to ours if at all we are generous. If God doesn’t count the cost, we count, and if God is generous we are often times not generous. If we discriminate God doesn’t discriminate whomever we are, what is important for God is we respond to His invitation. 

God doesn’t look at how sinful we are, God doesn’t look at how early and late we respond to His call of repentance. What is important for God is we respond to His call of renewal no matter how late.

Would you respond to God’s call? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday September 23, Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest: Luke 8:4-15

Gospel: Luke 8:4-15
4 When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to him, he spoke in a parable. 5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. 6 Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. 7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. 8 And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.

9 Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. 10 He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that ‘they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.’ 11 “This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. 12 Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. 14 As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. 15 But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.
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How do you receive the word of God? For example when you read the words of Jesus in  the bible, do you reflect upon it, discern it and then share it? Or you just read it and then it ends there nothing eventful happened with your reading of the words of God.

How do you react when you hear the words of God proclaimed during Holy Mass? Do you allow yourself to be moved by it? That it immediately stirs you to do good and live your faith so that you could make a positive Impact on the lives of your fellowmen?

Jesus words is the seeds that He plants in our hearts and Jesus expectation is always for us to be fruit bearing followers. Where others could learn about Jesus and our faith from us. We must not allow ourselves to become followers in name only who simply absorb the words of God and do nothing.

Therefore, we have to share the words of Jesus. Never mind the time and money that we would be using for doing it. For Jesus will give back to us a hundredfold whatever time and treasure that we invest for the propagation of His teachings. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Reflection for Friday September 22, Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:1-3

Gospel: Luke 8:1-3
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
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How could you discern an authentic preacher from a fake preacher?

The best guide is to look at his lifestyle. Does he conform with the life of Jesus? Is he not a lover of money and affluence? Does he live a simple life?  If he conforms with the life of Jesus, if he is not a lover of money and if he lives simply it is safe to say that he is a true preacher.

Jesus is not only the Son of God; He is also the preacher of all preachers. He lived simply and he is not a lover of money. What is important for Jesus is to impart the salvific message of God. This He did through His preaching, healings and through His sacrificial death on the cross.

On His last preaching mission Jesus hardly spoke, aside from his seven last words. It was through His actions going to the cross and on the cross itself that He preached. Preaching therefore is not only about verbosity. Preaching is also living your life in harmony with the life of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday September 21, Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist: Matthew 9:9-13

Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
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Do you feel that Jesus is calling you to live a new life, a new life free of any form of sinfulness?

Aside from Matthew whom Jesus called to follow Him we too are being called by Jesus to follow Him. We may say that we are not worthy to follow Jesus but who amongst us are worthy? No one for we are all sinful creatures of this world.

Matthew was called by Jesus to follow Him for the precise reason that he was a sinner. This is the character and mission of Jesus to call every sinner to follow Him. But why is it that even if we know that we are called to repentance we still continue to sin? We refuse to leave behind us our sinful ways.

This is indeed very puzzling, why is it that many of us ignore Jesus call for us to follow Him? Does this mean that we love this world more than we love Jesus? Does this mean that Jesus is losing influence over us and the devil is slowly but surely  gaining control of our lives that is why we refuse to heed Jesus’ call to a life of renewal and repentance?

Why did Matthew follow Jesus call? Perhaps somebody had shared to him the love and unfathomable mercy of Jesus. Somebody had lived his faith in Jesus and Matthew heard and saw it, that’s why it was not anymore difficult for Matthew to recognize and follow Jesus.

The challenge before us is to share and live our faith in Jesus to the many Matthews (Sinners) of our time. They may not have heard yet anything about Jesus that is why they keep on sinning until this very day. Why not share the mercy and love of Jesus?

Would you share Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Wednesday September 20, Saints Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn, Priest, and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs: Luke 7:31-35

Gospel: Luke 7:31-35
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
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There was a true story about a Priest who was newly installed in his new parish of jurisdiction. Unlike his predecessor he was strict and conservative in his views and actions.

One of the many reforms that he instituted was during Mass he required the parishioners to neatly fall in line according to their seat location during Communion. He instituted other reforms that shocked the rebellious minds of some of the parishioners.

They called him names that was very painful to hear, they even wrote a petition letter to their bishop asking him to replace the said priest. All of their actions failed to deter the priest from instituting further reforms.

When he was about to end his six-year tenure, all of the parishioners were asking him to stay longer for they saw the beautiful fruits of his labors: the orderly communion lines during Mass, the elegant church that he helped build and the many other positive transformations in the parish.

Jesus and John were unfairly labeled by the people of their time. Jesus was labelled as a glutton for food and wine, friend of tax collectors and sinners even evil. John was called possessed by a demon both of them were called names not fit for their stature. Yet, at the end they were vindicated by their steadfast commitment to their mission of salvation.

Often times we too are guilty of being presumptuous and judgmental because we often prejudge our fellowmen by how they look and act. But these simply are the external seen by the naked eye. It hides the beautiful, gentle and selfless interior. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas