Quotations:

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).

Preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary. - St. Francis of Asisi

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

Forgive my many grammatical and punctuation mistakes :). - mjdasma

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Reflection for Saturday August 23, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 23:1-12

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Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
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Reflection:
Should we aspire for greatness in our service for Jesus and our fellowmen? No, because the moment we aspire for greatness we are not anymore serving Jesus and our fellowmen. We are rather feeding our own egos and personal agendas, whatever our personal agendas are.

Many of us including church people as well as politicians fail in this aspect of true servanthood. For the reason that instead of giving true service we accompany it with our own personal motives. For example, why are we offering our free service to the church? Is it purely to serve, or we may have hidden motives in serving the church. Same with politicians during campaign they would always offer themselves as servants, but after they’ve won we could hardly see them anymore.

Jesus is teaching us that if we truly want to serve we must be ready to forget ourselves or forget who we are. We walk our talk without complaining whatsoever. We silently do what we have to do not minding if we would be rewarded for what we do for this is what servanthood is all about.

Let us not worry if we are not cited for whatever noble undertaking that we do. God is not sleeping He sees everything and knows everything. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday August 22, The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 1:26-38

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Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favor! The Lord is with you.' She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, 'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.'

Mary said to the angel, 'But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.'

Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
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Reflection:
Sometimes there are situation/s in life that will disturb our peace, for example a sudden diagnoses of ailment. But in the midst of this life disturbances let us not forget that the good Lord is always there for us. To comfort us, to give us hope and to assure us that everything will be OK for as long as we hold-on to Him.

When the angel Gabriel appeared and greeted the Blessed Mother she was naturally concerned about it, who would not be? Perhaps the Blessed Mother told herself, Why did this angel appeared to me? What would this angel bring me; a trial that is hard for me to bear?

But the angel told the Blessed Mother that she would bear a son and His name is Jesus. The angel further said that she has nothing to worry because the Lord will take care of her. And the Blessed Mother humbly accepted her fate and entrusted it to our merciful Lord.

Whatever we are going through right now or we might go through in the future. Be it sickness or severe trial that may test our fidelity to Jesus, let us hold-on to our deep faith in Jesus. For as long as we have faith there will be hope and deliverance from all of life’s challenges.

As the Blessed Mother entrusted her fate to the good Lord we too must learn to submit to God’s will for ourselves. Let us never worry for Jesus is always there for us and never will He abandon us.

Do we always submit to the wisdom of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, August 18, 2014

Reflection for Thursday August 21, Saint Pius X, Pope; Matthew 22:1-14

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Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.” Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
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Reflection:
Jesus compared The Kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. When it was the day of the wedding feast none of the invited guest arrived for they all had their preoccupations. How could they refuse the graciousness of the king?

The kingdom of heaven and the wedding feast that Jesus speaks about is within our midst which is the celebration of the Holy Mass.  And just like the king who invited guest, Jesus is inviting us also to be present at Holy Mass most especially during Sundays. But do we make time for Holy Mass to partake of the Body of Christ?

Like going to a wedding banquet where the invited guests prepare their most elegant clothes. Do we prepare ourselves before going to Holy Mass by having prior knowledge of the gospel and the other readings?

In our gospel, the expected guest refused the invitation of the king so the king was disheartened by their refusal. The king then instructed his servants to go out again and invite anyone (bad and good alike) they could find and many came to the wedding banquet and ate to their hearts content.     

Perhaps, many of us do not also honor this invitation of Jesus to be present at Holy Mass. Why? Is it because we are also busy like the invited guest in the gospel? We are missing heaven on earth when we refuse to honor this invitation of Jesus for us to go to His wedding banquet which is none other than the celebration of Holy Mass.

Do we always listen to this invitation of Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday August 20, Saint Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church; Matthew 20:1-16

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Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
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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Reflection:
God thinks differently from how we think and God decides not based on how we decide.

 It seems that the landowner is unfair this is for the reason that He payed the workers the same amount regardless of how much time they’ve labored in his vineyard. Was he really unfair to the other workers who worked for longer hours?

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 justly and generously to everyone who worked in his vineyard.

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 the cost 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. All of us whomever we are are being invited by God to walk away from our sins and follow Him.

How would we respond to this call of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday August 19, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 19:23-30

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Gospel: Matthew 19:23-30
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to him in reply, “We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you that you who have followed me, in the new age, when the Son of Man is seated on his throne of glory, will yourselves sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
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Reflection:
The recent suicide of Robin Williams tells us that fame and fortune is not a guaranty to have inner peace and serenity. We may have all the material wealth of this world but it amounts to nothing if we are without inner peace.

In our gospel Jesus said to the disciples, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of heaven. This was in reference to the rich man in our gospel yesterday (Matthew 19:16-22) who couldn’t give-up his treasures in favor of the poor and his discipleship with Jesus. That rich man was actually invited by Jesus to become his follower but he declined the glorious offer because he held-on to his wealth.

It’s not actually bad to be rich it becomes a hazard to our well-being when we make our riches our God. That we are not willing to let it go for anything even for the sake of the kingdom of God. Therefore, when we are so in-love with our fleeting wealth we become capable of doing anything that Jesus abhors.  

That’s why Jesus said in our gospel that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God. Because the more that we get richer the more that we distance ourselves from the love of Jesus yet the more that we give away our riches  the more that we become fit for the kingdom of God.

God created us to freely aspire for His kingdom in heaven and not to be permanently imprisoned by our riches in  this world. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Reflection for Monday August 18, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 19:16-22

Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
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Reflection:
So near and yet so far, perhaps this was the predicament of the man who asked Jesus on what must he do to have eternal life. He already did everything that was asked of him until Jesus told him to sell everything in his pessession and give the proceeds to the poor then follow Him. The man quietly walked away for the reason that he couldn’t let go of his many earthly possession.

Somehow this man represents all of us we who find it very hard to let go of our earthly possession in favor of helping others and the kingdom of God. What is with wealth that we cannot let go? We cannot bring it to our graves we cannot even possess it anymore when we are already old for someone will possess it for us or even hide it from us.

Saint Francis of Asisi was from a noble and rich family he gave-up everything to the poor so that he could follow God’s will for him.  God’s will for us also is to give-up our riches so that others may live from it. This is very hard to do that requires radical change of mindset for us to fully embrace it.

Perhaps if we are not willing to give-up everything because we also have our own family to feed and take care of. We can give something for the poor  because it’s only through giving-up of something that we treasure in this world that we could follow Jesus.    

Are we like the young man in our gospel who walked away from Jesus because he had many possessions? Or we are like Saint Francis of Asisi who gave-up everything to the poor so that he could follow God’s will for him. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday August 17, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 15:21-28

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.
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Reflection:
How do we define our faith in Jesus? It’s when we don’t give-up on what we want from Jesus. We continuously badger Him until He gives in to our prayer request for Him.

The Canaanite woman had this kind of faith, she never gave-up on her prayer request for Jesus to heal her daughter tormented by a demon. There were many obstacles against her foremost of this was her being not a Jew but it did not matter to her. She persisted and she even argued with Jesus until she passed Jesus’ examination of her faith on Him. After which her daughter was healed by Jesus.

This gospel relates with our own journey of faith in Jesus also. We could be that Canaanite woman who badgered Jesus no end until she got the healing that she wants for her daughter.

 However, unlike the woman from Canaan who persisted until the very end we may not have the will to badger Jesus. We may have quit already and said to ourselves, I give-up on my prayer for Jesus because He seems to be deaf. What we do not know is it's just a part of the testing of our faith.

Every trial that we go through is our own test of faith we may be going through some trials right now. We may be asking ourselves, why am I going through this difficulties? Let us not  give-up and let us continue to have faith in Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas