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

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Reflection for June 30, Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in OT; Matthew 9:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? 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 then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
+ + + +  + + +
Reflection:
Can we obtain the same forgiveness of sins that Jesus gave to the paralytic?

 Yes we can! The same forgiveness is given to us by the priest who acts in Persona Christi (In the Person of Christ) the moment we humbly submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. However, the sad part is this: Not everyone is aware of this grace of forgiveness!

If only they have an awareness of the grace that is given to us by Jesus when we submit ourselves to this sacrament we would not think twice to humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Confession.

A large part of the blame why not everyone is educated about this sacrament lies on us who know the enormous gift of the Sacrament of Confession. Because we don’t bother to share what we know and we don’t live and pay forward the grace that we receive from Jesus through this sacrament.

It’s never too late to repent, it’s never too late to ask God to heal us of our many sickness caused by our sinfulness. Let us go and humbly submit ourselves to this healing sacrament and let us not also forget to share the grace that we have received from this healing Sacrament.

Will you humbly submit yourself to this healing Sacrament today or perhaps in the coming days? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reflection for June 29, Wednesday; Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul; Matthew 16:13-19

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
+ + + +  + + +
Reflection:
If somebody would ask us this question: “Who is Jesus to you?” I am sure that our answer will depend on how well we know Jesus. Some of us may answer that Jesus is a friend who’s always there for us. Others may say that Jesus is a brother who is always ready to help us.

Today the church celebrates the Solemnity of Apostle Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Saint Peter is the most prominent apostle; Jesus built and founded the church thru him, he is also the leader of the twelve. Saint Paul was tasked to spread the gospel to the gentiles. Both Saints unwaveringly shared with the ministry of Jesus in spreading the good news at the cost of their lives.

In the gospel Jesus posed this question to His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is (Matthew 16:13)?” the disciples were not able to answer. Then Jesus asked the apostles: “But who do you say that I am (Matthew 16:15)?”

 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. Peter knew Jesus well because more than any other apostles he was always prominently with Jesus. (Mat. 10:2; 14:28; 15:15; 17:24; 19:27; Luke 8:51; 12:41).

Peter also initially did not want Jesus to wash his feet, (John 13:7-9). When Jesus was about to arrested by the roman soldiers it was Peter who drew his sword and cut off the ear of the soldier, (John 18:10) Peter was the first apostles to enter the empty tomb of Jesus, (Luke 24:12), Peter was the first apostles to whom Jesus appeared after His resurrection, (Luke 24:34)

Like Peter, are we always prominently with Jesus through the Sacraments and by always being present during Holy Mass? Like Peter, do we have that desire to know Jesus fully well by regularly reading the Bible specially the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

On the other hand, Paul had a lesser close encounter with Jesus (Acts 9). But his zeal to advance the gospel of Christ is unmatched until now. Saint Paul allowed Jesus to work in his life for the advancement of the gospel.

Saint Paul also courageously advanced of the teachings of Jesus to those who don’t know Jesus yet. He was also educated and he used it to write some books in the New Testament. Do we allow Jesus to move in our lives so that others may know more about Jesus?

If Jesus would ask you this question today: “Who do you say that I am?” Would you be able to satisfactorily reply? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for June 28, Tuesday; Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr; Matthew 8:23-27

Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
+ + + +  + +
Reflection:
A young man was on the verge of giving-up on his life so he thought of hanging himself. But before doing it he said this silent prayer, Jesus if you are really alive let somebody come in to my house and I will not push through anymore with my desperate plan. Lo and behold, after a few seconds a neighbor was knocking on his door inviting him to join their bible study.

We must always remember that God is alive. He is always a prayer away but often times we forget about this. Because of our worldliness we always focus on our struggles thus we forget that there’s a God who is ever ready to listen to us. Who is always there to lift us up whenever we are feeling down and weary.     

In our gospel for today the disciples encountered a violent storm and in that desperate moment they had nothing to hold on but God. So they said, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” After which there was great calm because Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea.

Whatever that you’re going through right now always remember that Jesus is just a prayer away. Seek Him, pray to Him and He surely will help and save you.

Do you always pray to the Lord Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Monday, June 27, 2016

Reflection for June 27, Monday; Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:18-22

Gospel: Matthew 8:18-22
When Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other shore. A scribe approached and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” Another of his disciples said to him, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But Jesus answered him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.”
 + + + +  + +
Reflection:
There’s an old adage that says: “To follow Christ is always right but it is not always easy.”

In the gospel passage a scribe approached Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

In fact Jesus was telling the scribe who signified his intention to follow Him that it’s never easy to follow me. You have to think a hundred times before you decide to follow me.

Indeed, it’s not always a bed of roses when we decide to follow Jesus. Oftentimes Jesus will tell us that if you really want to follow me, you need to forget yourself and you need to be selfless. Amidst the hardship that we may encounter in following Him, we can also rest assure that Jesus will always be there for us to guide and inspire us.

Be not afraid therefore to follow Jesus no matter how hard it is. For the reason that every second that you invest in following Him will pay you great reward someday. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Reflection for Sunday June 26, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 9:51-62

Gospel: Luke 9:51-62
When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?" Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus answered him, "Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

And to another he said, "Follow me." But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father." But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." And another said, "I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home." To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."
+ + + + + + +
Reflection:
A man who was newly transplanted to his new community heard the announcement of the church’s need for Catechist. So he went to the parish office to signify his intention.

The parish priest asked him: Why do you want to become a Catechist?   The man replied: I want to have new friends in the parish community.  The priest said to him: is that the sole reason why you want to become a Catechist? The man replied: no, I also want to serve the church based on my own schedule.

While going to Jerusalem Jesus met three men who want to follow Him. The two men signified their intention to follow Him and one He personally called. Jesus emphasized to each of them that it’s not easy to follow Him because they have to sacrifice and persevere.

Many of us have this mistaken notion that to follow Jesus is easy but it’s not. Many of us think that the moment we follow Jesus our life will now become a bed of roses, but it will not.

 To follow Jesus is to carry our cross and others cross too! To follow Jesus is to be ready to embrace suffering and even humiliation for this is really how it is when we decide to sincerely become Jesus’ follower.

Will you still follow Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas