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).

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

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

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reflection for May 30, Monday of the Ninth Week in OT; Mark 12:1-12

Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?”

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
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Reflection:
There is a story of a high and mighty government official who was asked to resign from his post. For the reason that he engaged in high stakes corruption and abuse of authority. Instead of voluntarily resigning he clung to his post because according to him there is still much more money to be stolen in the coffers of his government office.

Since he was not willing to resign he was investigated and was found guilty it resulted in the forfeiture of all his government benefits. This high government official was so greedy that it became the instrument for his disgrace.

In our gospel the tenant farmers are the greedy characters, they were the religious leaders of Israel, they were not willing to give what was due to God which was represented by the owner of the vineyard. They killed all of the messengers (prophets) even the only begotten son of the owner they killed as well. At the end, because of their greed the tenant farmers were severely punished by the owner.  

It doesn’t pay to greedily amass immoral wealth. For whatever we have now that is borne out of our greed will eventually be taken away from us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday May 29, Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ; Luke 9:11b-17

Gospel: Luke 9:11b-17
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, "Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves." They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.
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Reflection:
On Christmas day of 2013 in Legnica Poland a Consecrated Host fell to the floor. It was subsequently picked up and placed in a container with water. Immediately after immersing it in water red stains appeared on the Consecrated Host.

Then-Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, created a group to monitor the host. In February 2014, a small fragment was placed on a corporal and underwent testing by various research institutes.

the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of a muscle. Likely similar to the heart muscle.” Tests also determined the tissue to be of human origin, and found that it bore signs of distress.

Saying that the Host “has the manifestation of a Eucharistic miracle, the current bishop. This past January Bishop Kiernikowski presented the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Last April the Holy See recommended that it should be venerated by the people.

Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, the same Body and Blood of Christ in the appearance of the Holy Host that fell to the floor On Christmas day of 2013 in Legnica Poland.

The same Body and Blood of Christ that we partake during Holy Communion at Holy Mass. The same Body and Blood of Christ that the sick receive in their house.  When it is brought to them by a priest or by an extra ordinary minister of the Holy Communion.   

Do we give the Body and Blood of Christ the proper respect and veneration when we partake of it? Do we see to it that we are worthy to receive it by humbly submitting ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession at least once a year? 

In the gospel, the crowd of about five thousand were hungry but there was no food to fill their empty stomachs. Except for the five loaves and two fish no other food was available and the disciples knew that it would not be enough to feed the hungry crowd.

However, Jesus asked for the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. And all of them were able to eat with many more to spare.

The miracle of the feeding of the crowd happened because Jesus desired it. Every time we make ourselves available for Holy Mass and we partake of His Body and Blood at Holy Communion, Jesus desires it for us as well. Why? This is for the reason of the infinite love and mercy of Jesus for all of us.

What have you done so far to reciprocate the infinite love and mercy of Jesus?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Reflection for May 28, Saturday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 11:27-33

Gospel: Mark 11:27-33
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Reflection:
Who are the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders?

They are persons of authority they are all highly valued and listened by their community. Jesus was actually no match to them in stature for He just an ordinary Jew and a carpenter. That’s why they’ve asked Him: “By what authority are you doing these things?

What was their motivation in asking Jesus about His authority? Of course their motivation was envy and greed for power because they were slowly being threatened by the growing popularity of Jesus.  Otherwise if they were not envious and greedy they would have not asked Jesus about His authority.

This same envy and greed for power drove them to plot the killing of Jesus.

We too are often times envious of those who succeed, those who are more popular than us. Why do we allow ourselves to be eaten-up by this negative emotion called envy?

Instead of feeling envious why not just be happy for those people who succeed? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reflection for May 27, Friday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 11:11-26

Gospel: Mark 11:11-26
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area. He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area. Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples? But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”
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Reflection:
Why did Jesus cursed the powerless and innocent fig tree? Because it was not bearing fruit. What is our responsibility as followers of Jesus? We should not become barren followers. We should instead become fruit bearing followers of Jesus.

This means that we have to share our faith thus we don’t become a fig tree that does not bear fruit. Have you already shared your faith in Jesus? If yes you are already a fruitful follower of the Lord.  

The cursing of the fig tree was a symbolic show of Jesus’ power that was unfortunately not properly discerned by His followers. It was a silent message for them that they have to be productive followers and not followers in name only.

To become a productive or fruit bearing follower of Jesus is to be engaged in the ministry of evangelization of Jesus. Have you tried to evangelize anyone? Say for example a member of your immediate family, friend or a neighbor?   

Are you a productive follower of Jesus or a follower in name only? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reflection for May 26, Thursday Saint Philip Neri, Priest; Mark 10:46-52

Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
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Reflection:
A middle-aged wife was left by her husband for a younger woman. The wife dearly loved her husband so instead of easily giving-up on him she prayed persistently to Jesus to enlighten her wayward husband. For almost five years this was her morning and evening prayer to Jesus: “Please Jesus have pity on me I love my husband dearly enlighten him, bring him back home to me.”

One day she heard somebody softly knocking on the door, she opened it, lo and behold her remorseful husband was in front of her asking for a second chance and forgiveness. This story is a beautiful story of persistence in prayer and a story of not giving up.

We have in the gospel a blind man named Bartimaeus, because of his blindness there was no way for him to go to Jesus to ask for His healing touch. Therefore, upon hearing that Jesus was passing by he prayerfully shouted, “Jesus, son of David have pity on me.”

 He was told to keep quite by those around him but he never obeyed them he instead prayerfully shouted once again: “Son of David have pity on me.” His persistence immediately bore fruit because Jesus called him and after a short conversation with Jesus the blind man was able to regain his sight and he became His follower.

What if Bartimaeus easily gave-up? He could not have been healed and he could not have become a follower of Jesus. Just imagine also if the wife in our story easily gave up on her husband? If she did not pray to Jesus to enlighten and bring back home her wayward husband? They could have separated permanently, but she prayed and she never gave-up. Our prayers can move mountains so long as we never give-up.

How about you do you easily give up when you want something from Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas