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

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Reflection for Monday June 18, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
(Jesus said to his disciples) 38 "You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' 39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; 40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; 41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.

 42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
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What would we gain if we exact revenge to those who’ve aggrieved and injured us? Nothing except further enmity and injury then at the end there will be no winners only losers.

Take for example disagreements and quarrels, if a person will exact revenge for the injury that was caused her/him.  It would only become a vicious cycle of disagreements and quarrels that has no ending. This is the result of our unforgiveness but what if we take the high road of forgiveness and humility? Then things will be OK, there’s no hatred or any kind of bad feeling in our hearts.

It’s hard to be humble, it’s hard to forgive and it’s hard not to retaliate for the injury that was done to us. But let us look at Jesus on the cross and reflect on the wounds that we have carved on HIS body by our sinfulness. What if HE has not forgiven us, what if HE did not humble himself for us?

What Jesus gives us today are valuable lessons on humility and forgiveness that will help us build bridges instead of walls. The gospel reading for today is very easy to look at and read. But can we live it? If we abhor hostility, if we are humble and if we are truly passionately in love with Jesus we would be able to live these teachings. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reflection for Sunday June 17, Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 4:26-34

Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
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There's a story of a man who habitually shares inspirational and wisdom filled bible verses to his friends. He used every means available to share it such as through facebook and other social media platforms. Regardless if he would get a reply of appreciation or not he would always send it to them almost everyday.

One day, he met by chance one of those friends who regularly read his inspirational bible verses. His friend told him this: “Thank you for the daily inspirational bible verses that you’ve been tirelessly sending me, you’ve been planting the seeds of God’s kingdom in my heart. It gives me hope and it strengthens my faith in Jesus.”

In today’s gospel Jesus made use of two comparisons to describe the kingdom of God: the man who scattered seed and the mustard seed that became a great tree. Both seeds grew fruitfully and became useful, the scattered seed grew and was usefully harvested. The small mustard seed that was sown became big and had large branches where birds dwelt in its shade. 

Let us think about and ask ourselves if we have planted seeds of faith, goodness and humility in the hearts of our fellowmen. Let us think about and ask ourselves if we have planted the seed of Jesus in their hearts. So that it may also grow within them and become as big as the mustard seed where others could benefit from it.

Let us also think and reflect if we have already sown/scattered the seeds of forgiveness, mercy and love in the hearts of our fellowmen. So that it could grow and multiply in their hearts too so that they could also sow it to those around them.

We might have not have sown anything yet that will grow and bear much fruit in their hearts. Lest we forget that one of our foremost Baptismal mission as Christians is to scatter and plant the seeds of Jesus and our faith by sharing and living it.

Have you already done something to sow the seeds of Jesus words and teachings in the hearts of your fellowmen? – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reflection for Saturday June 16, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:33-37

Gospel: Matthew 5:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.”
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Do you stand by your word?

Our words are one of the essential showcase of our character. For example, if we are prone not to fulfill what we say we would eventually loss our credibility. No one will believe us anymore because the minds of those who know us have already been conditioned that we don’t stand up for what we say.

But the moment we start to value word of honor and once we only say what is true. Our moral value and credibility will never be questioned for the simple reason that we have word of honor and we always say the truth.

Many of us do not value anymore word of honor. Lying or to tell lies is just ordinary thing for many of us. We are not anymore bothered about its negative impact on our reputation. And the harm that it will create to our fellowmen, this is who some of us are today, very sad but very true also.  

To have integrity and word of honor is something that we have to imbibe and live. We have to discard any form of lying. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Friday June 15, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:27-32

Gospel: Matthew 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
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A husband without any qualms told his wife that it’s all over for them, that they can now go on their separate lives. This is the culture nowadays; the sacredness of marriage is not anymore being respected by married couples. Adultery and divorce is always a tempting easy way out for them.

Why do these two evil instruments exist? For the simple reason that we don’t value our faith in Jesus anymore. Yes, we worship Jesus at church but we purposely imprison Jesus inside the four walls of the church. 

We don’t bring Jesus with us and we don’t allow Him to live with us. If we live the teachings of Jesus we would be afraid to even think of these two evil instruments. Much less commit and plunge our very selves into it.

But all is not lost yet, there is still hope and He is no other than Jesus. Let us bring Jesus with us, let us live His teachings and let us make Him our armor. So that we can easily protect ourselves from the scheming of the devil who always seeks to destroy the sanctity of the Marriage Covenant. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday June 14, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:20-26

Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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What is the cure for anger? It’s humility.

Nobody of us are perfect once in a while we get angry but do we have the humility to make amends after we have injured someone with our arrogance? Only a  gentle person would have the courage to say I’m sorry or to apologize.

But to say I’m sorry is not easy to do, only a humble person would summon enough courage to say this magic words that have healed so many disputes and arguments. In our gospel for today, Jesus gives us teaching about anger.

Jesus tells us that we must be reconciled with those whom we have differences and had feelings of enmity. But why do we get angry in the first place? We get angry because we lack humility, we get angry because we have this superiority complex against our fellowmen.

It’s only humility that could deescalate and eventually eliminate our anger. Let us therefore pray for the grace of humility, let us ask God the Holy Spirit to give it to us. The best test of humility is our willingness to apologize and to admit our mistakes before those whom we have hurt.

Do you have the humility to apologize?  Apologize for it will set you free. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, June 11, 2018

Reflection for Wednesday June 13, Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 5:17-19

Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
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What is life without Jesus? It’s barren, chaotic and without peace. What is life without following the laws of God? It’s the same as well.  Jesus comes into our lives to make it meaningful and productive. Not meaningful and productive in the eyes of this world but meaningful and productive in His eyes.

When we break the laws of God we also distance ourselves from the love of Jesus. For example if a politician shows in his public image that he is a follower of Jesus. He will not break the law by stealing money from the coffers of the government, etc.

 He will not break the law of God by siding with those who are espousing anti poor laws such as death penalty. Otherwise he is only using Jesus to serve his own hidden agenda. Same goes for a spouse who professes to follow Jesus. He/she should not break the law by betraying the marriage covenant.

There’s always a reward that awaits those who follow the laws of God. And there’s always a reward that awaits those who follow Jesus and His commandments.

Do you always follow the laws of God and Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday June 12, Tenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:13-16

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
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How could we become salt and light in this materialistic world? We must become the extension of Jesus in this world. As Jesus became salt and light to this world for everyone of us so we too must become salt and light for our fellowmen.

But this is easier said than done, perhaps we would say; before I become salt and light for others I must become salt and light for myself first. The me first mentality and this is what this world dictates us, to be a person for ourselves first before being a person for others.

The teachings of Jesus are always in contrast to the teachings of this world and these teachings about salt and light is no exception. We know that salt preserves and it defines the taste of food. We know that light illumines a dark environment, light gives hope to a seemingly hopeless surroundings. 

As Jesus challenged HIS disciples to become living salt and light to their world. So we too are challenged by Jesus to become living salt and light to our own world today. How would we proceed from this challenge of Jesus?

Let us forget ourselves and let us start to live and teach Jesus’ teachings. For this is the only way that we could become living salt and light of this world.

Can you measure up to this challenge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Reflection for Monday June 11, Saint Barnabas, Apostle: Matthew 5:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
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A mentally challenged boy was always made fun of by his friends and relatives. For He finds it hard to follow simple instructions and he finds it hard to read and write. His relatives told him not to study anymore because it was just a waste of time and money. Thus, he was forced to stop and he wasn’t able to finish his elementary studies.

At that tender age he knew that he was being looked down by those around him. However, he took their insults calmly and without any ill will against them. What they didn’t know was the boy had enormous faith in Jesus. Every night he would always pray and ask the Lord to guide and strengthen him for he had nothing except Him.

After a few years this boy perseveringly continued his studies and was able to finish high school and he lived a modest life.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives us the Beatitudes and one of the Beatitude is: Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land. That blessing is for this mentally Challenged boy who grew-up with nothing except his rock solid faith in the Lord.

That meekness blessing is also for those who meekly take insults and verbal abuse.  And for those whose faith in the Lord is unwavering. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Reflection for Sunday June 10, Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:20-35

Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
Jesus came home with his disciples. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebul," and "By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, "How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder the house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit."

His mother and his brothers arrived. Standing outside they sent word to him and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
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Do you want to be a relative of Jesus? If your answer is yes, then Jesus has a requirement for you. And this is His requirement: You have to do the will of God. (Mark 3:35) If you may ask: What is the will of God for me? You have to follow the Servanthood life of Jesus.

Life of Servanthood which is perhaps outdated already for many of the modern people of this technology driven world today. The modern people of today generally subscribe to a life of modernity  which is to have what this modern world offers us.

For example, to have the newest gadget available which actually boils down to self-centeredness and the me first mindset. Therefore the life of Servanthood of Jesus is eased out for a self-centeredness life.

At the start of today’s gospel we read about Jesus living His Servanthood lifestyle. He is just through His healing ministry that’s why many were still following Him to have His healing. And by not focusing anymore on Himself Jesus was labeled as someone who is out of His mind by His relatives who was trying to control Him. 

However Jesus’ relatives did not understand His Servanthood lifestyle. Perhaps they were also eaten up already by the self-centered lifestyle or the me first mindset: My comfort first, my needs and wants first.

If we really want to follow Jesus we have to embrace His Servanthood mindset, lifestyle and way of life. We have to prioritize first the welfare of our fellowmen before our own. And if we do so we are now eligible to be called a true relative of Jesus.

Do you want to become a true relative of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Monday, June 4, 2018

Reflection for Saturday June 9, the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Luke 2:41-51

Gospel: Luke 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
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Mario was a good son and the sole provider to his siblings and parents. One day he said to his parents that he will get married, both parents were speechless and in shock. Being both retired they were full of trepidation they were silently asking themselves: Who will provide for us now?      

Just like in that short story, sometimes we make arbitrary actions that hurt and give apprehension to our relatives. They may not directly say their apprehensions because they deeply respect our independence but deep in their hearts they are anxious.  

This must be the feeling of both Joseph and Mary when Jesus purposely remained behind in Jerusalem. So they went back to Jerusalem full of anxiety and many thoughts were already running in their minds. After three days they found Jesus safe and sound in the temple intently listening to the lectures and asking questions.

At a young age of twelve Jesus already had that need to hear the words of God in the temple. It was a non issue for him if he was left behind by His parents and other companions so long as he could be in the house of God.

Don’t we feel also in our lives this urgency to hear God’s words in the celebration of the Holy Mass? The boy Jesus points us to the fact that we too must have this great need to hear the words of God and share it afterwards.

We must find time to listen to the words of God, being busy with our earthly concerns is not an excuse we must find time for God. If we can’t go to church for Holy Mass we can open the bible and read it solemnly for God speaks through us by His words in the bible.

Do you find time for God amidst your busy schedule? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday June 8, Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: John 19:31-37

Gospel: John 19:31-37
Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.

But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken. And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.
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Let us imagine seeing the lifeless Jesus on the cross. How does it move us? Imagine seeing the lifeless Jesus on the cross being brutally pierced by a lance that reached deep into his Sacred Heart. How does it move us? Let us never forget the sacrifice of Jesus for us, let us never forget that He gave His very life for us. 

Many have forgotten and mocked the supreme sacrifice of Jesus on the cross in exchange of this world. Where are they now? What happened to their lives? Many are despising Jesus now as irrelevant and fit to be relegated into the dustbin of history. What is presently happening in their lives now?

We must never forget that Jesus gave His life for us, we must never forget that God gave His only begotten Son so that we may live and have life. Those who never forget Jesus are constantly being blessed by Him and His Sacred Heart. Are we one of those who never forget the many sacrifices of Jesus? – Marino  J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Reflection for Thursday June 7, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 12:28-34

Gospel: Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him,  “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God. And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
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Do you love God? Surely you do. How about your unlovable neighbor?  It’s easy to say I love God but to live this love of God is a different story altogether. Because if we would live this love of God. Then we would be willing to love even our unlovable neighbor.

Who is this unlovable neighbor? He/she could be anyone that you know who’ve hurt you. He/she could be your spouse, your relative, your friend or your literal house neighbor. The supreme test of our love for God is when we are willing to love our unlovable neighbor.

If we say we love God yet we hold a deep resentment toward somebody who has hurt us badly. Then our love of God is not authentic! It becomes authentic when we hold no bitterness toward those who’ve hurt us.

If we say we do offerings and other forms of sacrifices as an expression of our faith and love for God. Yet we hold a grudge against someone we are still wanting in our profession of our love for God. True love for God is when we are capable of forgetting and forgiving those who've hurt us.

Often times it’s very hard to forget, to forgive and to love once again those who’ve hurt us. However, we are being challenged by Jesus to love even those who have deeply hurt us for that is how Jesus loves us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, June 1, 2018

Reflection for Wednesday June 6, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 12:18-27

Gospel: Mark 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants. So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants and the third likewise. And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died.

At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
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What is your idea of the afterlife? Jesus gives us a glimpse of what life is in the afterlife. He tells us that there’s no more human activity in heaven such as marriage for we all will be like angels there (Mark 12:25). But are we going to heaven after our lives are over and done with in this world?  Nobody is sure about this, only God knows where we would end up after we cease breathing.

But on hindsight even if we don’t hold our destiny after our life is over we also have to do our part. We have to live our life pleasing to the eyes of the Lord and not pleasing to our own eyes.  What does it mean to make our lives pleasing to the eyes of God? We have to live the teachings of God and not the teachings of this world.

If we decide to follow Jesus let us follow Him until the end of our lives. We should not allow sin or anything that contradicts the teachings of God to momentarily derail us. It must be authentic discipleship for Jesus all the way until we stop breathing!

Let us therefore make it a part of our prayers to ask Jesus to bring us to heaven when our time comes. Let us ask Him to shower us His infinite mercy for we all have fell short of His expectations. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday June 5, Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr: Mark 12:13-17

Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech. They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 

Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at. They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this? They replied to him, “Caesar’s. So Jesus said to them “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. They were utterly amazed at him.
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What is your obligation to Jesus? Your obligation is to follow His teachings. And as stated by Jesus in the gospel paying the rightful tax to the government is one of them. We disobey Jesus when we don’t pay the taxes due to the government.

The question of paying the census tax had a deeper meaning for it was created to trap Jesus. Yet Jesus was able to wiggle out of this seemingly complicated situation. This is the reason why at the end of the gospel the emissaries of Jesus’ opponents were utterly amazed at Him (Mark 12:17).

As shown in our gospel, Jesus always makes a way out when there seems to be no way. Thus, He will always make things possible for us. And He will always be there to help us solve our problems no matter how complicated it may seem.

Where are you in your life right now? Are you in a predicament where you think that you’re about to surrender to your problems? Call on Jesus and pray to Him. He is there just a prayer away, ever ready to help you extricate yourself out of your problem. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday June 4, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time: 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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Do you know that all the things that you have right now is not yours?  All the things that you have right now are owned by God. God gave it to you, you may have worked very hard for it but at the end of the day it’s God who allowed you to prosper.

 It’s not through your own effort alone that you’ve achieved success its God who allowed you to have success and be where you are right now.  What have you given back to the Lord in return?

Jesus in our gospel shares a story about a man (owner) who prepared his vineyard for it to be leased. The tenants had no problem of achieving growth and financial success in that vineyard for the owner had prepared it for them.

The vineyard represents Israel, the tenant farmers are the religious leaders of Israel. The Lord God is the owner of the vineyard the servants are His messengers which represents the prophets. The beloved son is no other than Jesus.

Harvest time came the owner was naturally asking for his share but the tenants were so greedy that they gave nothing to His messengers they all killed them including the very son of the owner of the vineyard.

Transplanting that parable to our present time we find that the man who owned the vineyard is God and we are the tenants. And as such we are expected to give back to God a certain part of what we have right now.

Life is short; let us therefore give back to God while we are still alive. Let us payback the generosity of God or let us move it forward by helping the poor. For example by adopting a poor relative and taking care of his/her education. And there are a hundred more ways on how we can give back to God.

What have we given God in return? Have we given Him some of our talent, time and treasure? When we give back to the Lord we allow Him to bless us more. – Marino J. Dasmarinas