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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe Secondary Patroness of the Philippines: Matthew 18:12-14

Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
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Can you measure God’s love for you? No for God’s love is not bound by any kind of measurement or limited by time and space. God will continue to love you even if you are the most sinful person in this world.

The Parable of the lost sheep in our gospel is a showcase of this infinite love of God. Who is the man who looked for the lost sheep? He is our loving and merciful God! Who is the lost sheep that went astray?  It’s us we who are sinful and we who love sin more than God.

Nevertheless, even if we love to sin and even if we run away from the love of God. He is always there looking for us. Ever ready to forgive and forget all the sins that we have committed. Let us all be cognizant of this infinite love of God and let us also not be quick to judge our brothers and sisters who sin.

Instead of judging those who sin let us rather emulate God who looked for and reached out to the lost sheep. Instead of judging let us help them get up on their feet so that they could free themselves from the bondage of sin. There are sinners because no one is willing to reach out to them, no one is willing to pay forward the infinite love of God.

Are you quick to judge those who sin? Do you care to reach out to them so that they could feel the infinite love of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 8, 2017

Reflection for Monday December 11, Second Week of Advent: Luke 5:17-26

Gospel: Luke 5:17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven."

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"– he said to the one who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."

He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, "We have seen incredible things today."
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Do you believe that Jesus would heal you whatever sickness that you may have today? The first that Jesus requires from you is faith and if you have faith healing would come subsequently. However, your faith would also require you not to sit idly and wait for the miracle to come to us.

This faith will often times require you to go the extra mile no matter how hard to reach that extra mile. The faith of the paralytic and those men who brought him to the foot of Jesus is a prime example of faith that go the extra mile.

Faith that is ever ready to endure whatever difficulties that it may encounter so long as it can achieve its goal of reaching Jesus. Do you want something from Jesus? Jesus requires you first to have faith. Faith that is persevering and faith that is ever ready to go through difficulties.

This same kind of faith was in the system of the paralytic and those who brought him to Jesus. Through this kind of faith, they were all healed of their spiritual, emotional and physical sickness. What sickness are you carrying right now? Simply have faith, faith that is persevering and faith that is willing to go the extra mile. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, December 10, Second Sunday of Advent; Mark 1:1-8

Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: "One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
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A humble man with a benevolent heart went on a mission to a place where no Christian missionary has been through. There he catechized the people, then he built a church and when the church was through. This good man went to the parish church and he inquired to the parish priest if he could visit and celebrate Mass even for once a month in the far flung community.  The priest agreed and everyone was converted to the faith. Thus, in his own little way the humble man prepared the way for the coming of the Lord for the people of the community.

On this second Sunday of Advent we reflect on how John the Baptist fulfilled with humility the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah. He preached repentance and forgiveness of sins; he prepared the way for Jesus with humility when he said: “One mightier than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John perfectly knew that his role was to be a herald for the coming of our savior Jesus.

As Christians, this is also our role; to be messengers for Jesus with humility. To help spread the good news. To preach about repentance, forgiveness and love which Jesus so generously gave us.

We should not keep to ourselves this beautiful call for repentance we must echo this call to our friends and most specially our family members. However, this is easier said than done, for the simple reason that it’s not easy to encourage them to humbly submit themselves to the Sacrament of Confession. But if we would be like John who embraced his discipleship with humility I think we would be effective heralds of Jesus.

On this second Sunday of Advent we are therefore being challenged by the gospel to help prepare the way of the Lord and to respond to John’s call for repentance.

Have you done something to prepare the way and are you prepared to respond? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Reflection for Saturday December 9, the First Week of Advent: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."
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Do you hear Jesus speaking to you through this gospel? Jesus commands His disciples to spread His good news this command is for you also. Have you already creatively shared the good news about the transforming words of Jesus by how you live your life? 

Could you share Jesus without uttering a single word? Yes! By the way you live you could share Jesus. This you could do through your humility, through serving others and by living your life according to the life of Jesus.

The most powerful method of witness for Jesus and for our faith are not words the most powerful witness are our actions. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is so revered by millions from different faiths because her selfless actions towards the poor speaks volumes about her faith. Let us therefore be conscious about how we live because through this we could convert others to become followers of Jesus.

How do you live? Do you live your life according to the teachings of Jesus? Or you live your life according to the teachings of this world? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Reflection for Friday December 8, The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemnity: Luke 1:26-38

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
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Why did Mary found favor with God? Among many women why was she chosen to be the mother of Jesus? This is for the reason that Mary was humble and compliant to the will of God. Mary did not say I will not submit to the will of God because I have my own will for myself Mary humbly said yes.

The Lord always chooses and uses the humble and the compliant for the realization of His plans in this world. Simply put Mary humbly submitted her own humanity to the wisdom of our all-knowing God. Like Mary do you always submit to the wisdom of God? Or you only submit when it suits you when it doesn’t suit you, you decline God’s wisdom and submit to your own will.

God’s wisdom is always for our own betterment. We may initially see it as something that is very hard to follow because we would be pulled out from our own comfort zone. But at the end we would realize that the plan of God is correct and for our own good.

Today being the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us reflect upon the Blessed Mother’s humility and compliance to the plan and will of God. That the plan of God is always designed for our own good. We may not understand it and it may be difficult to follow but God’s plan is always for our own good. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday December 7, Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Jesus said to his disciples: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."
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Is Jesus the rock foundation of your life? If you make Him your foundation nothing can defeat you in this world not even the biggest problem that you will encounter. This is the advantage of having Jesus in your life, He is an impregnable fortress that is always ever ready to protect and defend you.

The mistake of many of us is we allow worldliness to be our rock foundation. So what happens when we encounter problems? We crumble and we are soon destroyed by the dilemmas of this world which we could have easily avoided if Jesus is our foundation.

For example, if we make power and money our life’s foundation these two will not last. Sooner or later it will evaporate from our sight. So what would happen to us? We end up broken, helpless and miserable for the simple reason that we shunned Jesus in favor of this world.

Jesus is therefore offering Himself to you! For you to make Him the gravitational center of your life. No need to worry for He will not ask you anything about your sinful past. What is important for Jesus is the here and now and your future with Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday December 6, First Week of Advent: Matthew 15:29-37

Gospel: Matthew 15:29-37
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
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Do you want something from Jesus? If you would believe whatever you want from Jesus He would give you.  The crowd who were seeking Jesus with their sick in tow believed that Jesus would heal them all and so He did. After healing them Jesus saw that they were all hungry and He fed them all.

What kind of God is Jesus based on His actions in the Gospel? Jesus is a God of mercy and compassion, a God who heals the broken and hungry and a God who will never fail those who would decide to come to Him.

What is it that you are carrying in your heart right now? A huge problem? A relationship on the edge of being broken? An incurable sickness that the doctor told you? Bring it all to Jesus, ask Him to help you solve your problem.

Ask Him to restore your relationship and ask Him to heal the sickness that has been making life hard for you. The advent season is the most opportune time for you to go back to Jesus. To bare your wounded soul to Him for He surely will never fail you. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday December 5, First Week of Advent: Luke 10:21-24

Gospel: Luke 10:21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
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What do you need to do to fully grasp the grace of the Holy Spirit in your life? You need to be humble, you need to be childlike for such is the life of Jesus: full of humility and full of childlike trust.

The Holy Spirit would reveal itself to us once we become humble and childlike. Thus, the Holy Spirit will give us something that others don’t have and that is the enlightenment to discern the workings of God in our lives.

Notice the childlike excitement to be present at Mass. Observe the intense longing to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. Yet, not everyone has this gift of feeling the profound presence of God in their life. This is given free without any cost by the Holy Spirit to those who strive to dive deeper into our Catholic faith.

We impede the grace of the Holy Spirit into our lives when we trust more on our wealth instead of God. When we are self-righteous, when we are corrupt, when we curse, when we say profanities and swearwords. When we seek pornography and other forms of Sin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Reflection for Monday December 4, First Week of Advent: Matthew 8:5-11

Gospel: Matthew 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."
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Do you have deep faith in the Lord?

Jesus wanted to go to the house of the centurion to personally cure the centurion’s ailing servant. But the centurion said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” What a display of deep faith! It was already enough for the roman centurion that he talked to Jesus about his wish for his servant.

We can’t help but compare the faith of the centurion with our personal faith in Jesus. We can’t help also but compare our concern for the poor with the centurion’s concern for his servant. In both instances many of us pale in comparison for our faith in Jesus is not as strong as the centurion. And our concern for the poor is not as much as his concern for his servant.

Jesus would certainly want us to have more faith in Him and have more concern for the poor. But how can we increase of faith in Jesus? We must pray often and in our prayers we must include our desire to have an increase of faith.

Of course our desire for increase of faith must not end with our vocal prayers. We must concretely show it also through our actions of faith. For example if we desire to have something from Jesus we should show Jesus that we want it by doing something to have it. We must not lie idly and just pray, we must act, exert our best effort and let Jesus do the rest.

This is what the centurion did, he went to Jesus, he saw Jesus, he talked to Jesus and he told Jesus that he wants his ailing servant healed by Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, December 3, First Sunday of Advent; Mark 13:33-37

Gospel: Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'
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During the middle ages kingdoms and royalties were the ruling power. Whenever there is a threat of invasion the kingdom who is under threat would position soldiers’ miles away from its kingdom to spot the incoming enemy.

The moment they see the incoming enemy they would blow their horns or they would shout loudly to alert their kingdom’s soldiers about the coming invaders. Therefore, the soldiers would be able to prepare their war equipment to properly defend their kingdom.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent which means coming, this is a time of expectation for the coming birth of Jesus. Unlike the soldiers in the middle ages who prepared for the coming of their invaders.  Advent reminds us that we need to prepare for the coming of the savior who gave His life for our sake.

How are we preparing for His coming? Is it a preparation that involves material things? If this is so, then this is not the proper preparation.  Jesus wants us to dig deeper into our spiritual lives by focusing more our attention on Him and our relationship with Him.  

We need no material things to prepare we just need to be sacramentally prepared by humbly submitting ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. We need no material things we just need to do Corporal and Spiritual acts of mercy and this is already enough preparation for His coming.

The true meaning of Christmas is slowly being battered by materialism; try talking to children and ask them about Christmas. Chances are that they may talk about gifts and other material expectations. Try asking adults who are feeble in their faith they may not be able to identify the true meaning of Christmas. We must be watchful, alert and do something to highlight the coming birth of our savior which is slowly being eroded by commercialism and consumerism.

How are you preparing yourself for the coming birth of Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Repleksyon para sa Disyembre 3, Unang Linggo ng Adbiyento; Marcos 13:33-37

Mabuting Balita: Marcos 13:33-37
33 Mag-ingat kayo at magpuyat: hindi nga ninyo alam kung kailan ang oras. 34 Ipagpalagay natin na nangingibang bayan ang isang tao. Iniiwan niya ang kanyang bahay at ipinagkakatiwala ang lahat sa kanyang mga utusan. May kanya-kanya silang tungkulin at inutusan niyang magbantay ang bantay pinto. 35 Kaya magbantay kayo sapagkat hindi ninyo alam ang oras ng pagdating ng may-ari, kung hapon o hating-gabi o madaling araw. 36 At baka bigla siyang du-mating, at madatnan kayong natutulog. 37 Kaya sinasabi ko rin sa lahat ang sinasabi kong ito sa inyo: Magbantay.”
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Noong unang panahon kung saan ang mga kaharian at mga hari ang mga may kapangyarihan at namumuno. Pag mayroong banta ng pagsalakay ng kaaway ang mga sundalo ng kaharian ay pag babantayin sa malayong lugar mula sa kaharian para makita nila ang padating ng kaaway.

Pag nakita na nila ang padating na kaaway ay patutunugin na nila ang kanilang mga trumpeta. At sisigaw ng malakas para ito ay marinig ng mga nagtatanggol na mga sundalo ang padating na mga kaaway. Kaya makakapag handa ang mga nagtatangol na mga sundalo.

Ngayon po ay ang unang lingo ng adbiyento  na ang ibig sabihin ay pagdating. Ito po ay panahon ng paghahanda sa pagsilang ni Kristo Jesus. Ang panahon ng adbiyento ay nagpapaalala po sa atin na kailagan tayong mag handa  sa pag silang ng ating manunubos na nagbigay ng kanyang buhay para sa atin.

Paano po ba tayo naghahanda sa kanyang pagsilang? Ito po ba ay paghahanda ng mga material na bagay? Mas gusto ni Jesus na palalimin pa natin ang ating paghahanda sa pamamagitan ng pag sentro ng ating atensyon sa ating relasyon sa kanya.

Hindi po natin kailagan ang mga material na bagay mas kailagan natin ang pagpapailalim sa Sakramento ng Kumpisal. Kailagan lang natin na tumulong sa mga nangangailagan. Ang magpatawad sa mga nagkasala sa atin at ang humingi ng tawad sa mga taong nasaktan natin.

Ang tunay na kahulugan ng pasko ay ginagapi na ng materyalismo. Subukan po nating mag tanong sa mga bata at baka sabihin nila na ang pasko ay patungkol sa mga regalo. Mag tanong po tayo sa mga taong mahina ang pananampalataya baka hindi po nila masagot ang tunay na kahulugan ng pasko.

Dapat po tayo ay maging mapaghanda, alerto at gumawa ng mga bagay na mas mapapatingkad pa natin ang nalalapit na pagsilang ng ating tagapagligtas na unti unti ng tinatalo ng comersyalismo. 

Paano mo ba inihahanda ang iyong sarili sa nalalapit na pagsilang ni Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas