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).

Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38).

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

Friday, August 26, 2016

Reflection for Sunday August 28, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 14:1, 7-14

Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Then he said to the host who inited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
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What is the advantage of a humble person over an egotistical person? The humble person never competes with anyone he is always peaceful. He does things quietly without trumpeting it to anyone. The humble one can calmly walk away from anyone without resentment even those who’ve hurt him.

 If the person that he loves has betrayed his love for her. The humble person can also quietly muster enough strength to silently leave behind his beloved and evaporate with the sunset to permanently fade away from her sight.

In the gospel for this Sunday Jesus talks about humility. Jesus tells us that if we are invited into a wedding banquet or any banquet for that matter. We should choose to seat at the back and not in the place of honor, not because we feel inferior or we have an inferiority complex.  We seat at the back for this is the right action to do, afterwards if the host would call our attention to be seated elsewhere then we should humbly follow.

What if for example a person is egotistical could he/she be converted to have the virtue of humility? Yes absolutely! He/she could be converted provided that he would be ready to follow the leadings of Jesus in his life.

This is for the reason that Jesus would always want us to be humble. And the virtue of humility if this is present in a person’s life could become his/her walkway towards Jesus.    

Strive to be humble and ask Jesus to make you humble for nothing is impossible for Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Reflection for Saturday August 27, Saint Monica; Matthew 25:14-30

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
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Do you recognize that Jesus has given you talent/s to help Him advance His teachings in this world?

Whether we like it or not our day of reckoning will eventually come. There He will ask us this question: What have you done to the talent/s that I have given you? Did you properly use it to help those who are in need? Did you use it to advance my teachings?

Some of us will answer in the affirmative. Others will be on the negative for the reason that we only used our God given talents for our own self interest: to earn a living and so forth. 

Others would even have excuses like: How can I use my talents for the church when I don’t know anybody there? How can I give my talents for the church when I don’t even have enough time for my family? These are valid excuses, right?

However, if there’s a will to be of service in our local churches there would be a way. God will find it for us.

The big question mark is, are you selfless enough to share the talent/s that God has only loaned to you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday August 26, Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 25:1-13

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
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What is the advantage of being prepared? You are always ready for what may happen during any time of the day.

In the gospel, Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come (John 25:13). Indeed, nobody knows the moment of His coming, that’s why it is a must that we always do good. As much as possible we must avoid doing things that would hurt us (sin) and the feelings of others especially to those who are close to us.

It is very easy to say that we will always be prepared for His coming but sometimes it is only lip service without real conviction to do so. We are easily tempted to sin again, to hurt people again, to ignore those who are in need most specially the poor.

To be egoistic and have that superiority attitude again. We are like that we are only good for a short period of time then we wrap ourselves again with sin. Why is this so and what must we do to avoid backsliding to our sinful behavior again?

We must have a continuous encounter with Jesus through our attendance at Mass, through the Sacrament of Confession, through our prayers, through reading the Bible and through our visits to the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. For this is the only way for us to keep ourselves from backsliding into sinfulness again. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday August 25, Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 24:42-51

Gospel: Matthew 24:42-51
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
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Are you afraid to die?

Death is like a thief in the night it comes when we least expect it. There are even people who are healthy who suddenly die without any apparent reason. That’s life it can be taken from us anytime for we don’t own it we simply are stewards of this life that we have.

 In the gospel Jesus oddly compared the Lord to a thief who comes unexpectedly. Maybe He did this to inculcate into the stubborn minds of some of His followers the value of always doing good so that if they unexpectedly die they can still be with Him in heaven.

This is a wake-up call to all of us to change our ways for the better. Let us always remember that we too are walking on this earth on borrowed time. Our life can be taken from us anytime. If our eventual appointed time will come, it is a must that we are always ready.

God has given us this temporary life and eventually at His appointed time He will take it away from us. We therefore have to always be prepared for we really do not know our time of departure from this world. Only God knows, God gives and God takes.

What are you doing with your life right now? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday August 24, Saint Bartholomew, Apostle; John 1:45-51

Gospel: John 1:45-51
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” But Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
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Have you shared your faith and friendship with Jesus with your family members and friends?  If yes, well and good continue sharing Jesus and continue reforming and saving lives through Jesus. You may not see worldly rewards with what you do for Jesus but you surely will receive a reward from Jesus  

Time and again we've heard personal testimonies about how Jesus restored back their wayward lives. From a pointless life to a life of purpose and meaning, all because of Jesus. From a life of addiction to a life free from any form of addiction.

In our gospel, Philip was on fire for Jesus, he wanted to share the miracle of Jesus to his friend Nathanael. That is why Philip said to Nathanael: “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth (John 1:45).”

Our faith and intimacy in Jesus becomes more alive, meaningful and productive when we share it. For example, we become a beacon of light for Jesus once we share our personal relationship with HIM. Then, by doing so we save wayward lives, thus we once again create meaning and purpose in a person’s life.

You may not have shared Jesus yet, be not afraid to share HIM now. Will you share your personal relationship with Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas