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).

Preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary. - St. Francis of Asisi

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

Forgive my many grammatical and punctuation mistakes :). - mjdasma

Friday, December 19, 2014

Reflection for Saturday December 20, Late Advent Weekdays; 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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Reflection:
Do you bow in humility to the will of the Lord? For example, you want to focus on something that you want to become your lifelong career. Yet in your heart you also feel that the Holy Spirit is leading you to something which is meaningful. Do you listen to this leading of the Holy Spirit in your life or you listen only to what you want for yourself?

Mary listened to the voice of the Lord God, Mary listened to the Holy Spirit who spoke to her heart. Mary had her own plans yet she subordinated her plan to God’s plan for her which is to become the mother of Jesus.

When you obey the voice of God who is continuously speaking to you, your life will change for the better. You may not gain the material wealth that this world will offer you but once you say yes to the voice of God. You will gain peace in your life; peace that you have never experienced before and peace that no material wealth could give you.

The Blessed Mother did this, she listened to the voice of God thru angel Gabriel and she listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit which was already speaking to her heart. Thus she gained peace and serenity in her life courtesy of God.

Do you still don’t have peace in your life right now? Listen to the voice of God and listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. It may be telling you to reconcile with someone close to you, it may be telling you to reach-out in humility to a friend? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reflection for Friday December 19, Late Advent Weekdays; Luke 1:5-25

Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time. Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home. After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”
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Reflection:
Do you have a prayer request before God? Do you believe that your prayer request will be granted by God? You must always believe that God will grant your prayer request. Because when you believe that you will have what you want from God what you want from Him is already within your reach.

In our gospel the couple Zechariah and Elizabeth was praying to God for the gift of a child. Yet when the angel of God appeared to Zechariah in the sanctuary and told him that his wife would be pregnant. Zechariah suddenly had doubts and the reason for his doubt was credible for the reason that both of them were already old.

It was so uncharacteristic for Zechariah to doubt considering that he is a priest serving God. Zechariah forgot that nothing is impossible for God, did he forget or he simply had weak and feeble faith? Perhaps Zechariah had weak faith during that moment when the angel appeared to him.

Perhaps Zechariah was overwhelmed by their personal circumstances (Old age and the like). Let us not doubt when we have prayer/s for God. Let us firmly believe and have faith that God will grant us what we want from Him.  

Do you have a prayer request for God? Believe and have faith that He will grant it to you for He will surely give it to you if you would only believe and have faith. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reflection for Thursday December 18, Late Advent Weekdays; Matthew 1:18-25

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.  When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son and he named him Jesus.
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Reflection:
What if Joseph did not listen to the angel of God? Mary could have died violently by way of stoning. For that was the punishment for those caught cheating on their betrothed husband. But Joseph listened to the voice of the angel of God who told him that the fruit of Mary’s womb was brought to her by the Holy Spirit.

We see humility in Joseph, we see obedience and love for God in Joseph and we also see the great love of Joseph for Mary. Deep in his heart Joseph loved Mary to the deepest core of his bones, Mary was his everything. Joseph loved Mary more than his life. If Joseph did not love Mary more than his life he could have easily left Mary and told the authorities about her out of wedlock pregnancy.

Aside from Joseph’s love for Mary, Joseph also loved God for if he did not love God he could have simply brushed aside the angel of God and move-on with his plan of divorcing Mary. But Joseph loved God this is the reason why he listened to the voice of God coursed through an Angel.

In the Sacrament of Matrimony/Marriage the voice of God is an ever present guiding light that couples must always follow. God tells the couples to stay with the Marriage covenant until mortal death breaks it. Of course no marriage is made in heaven, husbands and wives have their own behavioral shortcomings.

However, if couples would make the humility, the love of God and the holiness of both Joseph and Mary their role model in their married life. There would be no divorce; there would be no quarrels that sometimes become violent.

What would only exist is love, love that is humble, love that is truthful and love that is forgiving. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 17, Late Advent Weekdays; Matthew 1:1-17

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
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Reflection:
With the modernity of technology today wherein we are always busy with facebook and our many gadgets. Do we still have time to know our family tree or are we still willing to know our family tree? Say for example the names of our ancestors, are we still willing to know them?

Or we don’t have time to know them for the simple reason that they belong to the past already. And we are now here in this high-technology driven times where there is less people to people interaction. We now interact more with our internet friendly cell phones, ipads, laptops etc.

Nevertheless, we still need to know who our relatives are for the simple reason that we are humans, we are not high tech cell phones or other gadgets. And as such we need to know who our relatives are, so that we could also touch base and help them if they are in need of help.

We have in our gospel the ancestry of Jesus, it traces the family history of Jesus. From Abraham, King David up to Saint Joseph the designated father of Jesus. This ancestry shows the humanity of Jesus.

Even if He is God the Son Jesus is also human like all of us and being human this means that He is one with us. We can even adopt Him as our relative so that we could feel more closer to Him. For example we can treat Jesus as our brother or even our father that we could communicate with anytime.

God could have chosen Jesus to directly originate from heaven like a shooting star coming into earth. But God allowed Jesus to come from an ancestry of numerous people so that we can always be at home with Him. And so that we could treat Him as our close friend, our brother or even our father.

How’s your relationship with Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, December 15, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday December 16, First day of Misa de Gallo/Simbang Gabi; John 5:33-36

Gospel: John 5:33-36
(Jesus said to the Jews) You sent emissaries to John and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.    
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Reflection:
Today is the first day of Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. As we go through this nine days novena Mass let us try to prepare ourselves to be worthy to the coming birth of our savior. This we could do best by having an interior renewal of ourselves, by reconciling with our enemies. And by not focusing on the material side of Christmas focusing rather on the true essence of Christmas which is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Have you testified for Jesus by the way you talk and live? Have you humbly called for repentance and renewal? John humbly did all of these noble things, he was sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. Have we done something also to prepare the way for the coming birth of Jesus?

For example if you’re a parent, have you taught your children that the true essence of Christmas is not the material gifts that they would be receiving not either the appearance of Santa Clause? Have you pointed out to your children that the essence of Christmas is about Jesus?

Slowly but surely the true meaning of Christmas is being overpowered already by materialism and commercialism. In our own little way we could be like John also if we would try to highlight the true reason for this Christmas season no other than the birth of Jesus.   

Have you done something to humbly point out that the true  meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflection for Monday December 15, Third week of Advent; Matthew 21:23-27

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority? Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.  Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him? But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know. He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Reflection:
Where does Jesus’ authority comes from? We know that it comes from God, God gave Jesus the authority to preach, heal, exorcise those who are possessed by the devil and so forth.

The ruling class at that time (Pharisees, chief priest and elders of the people) was questioning Jesus’ authority because Jesus’ authority was more powerful than theirs. People were starting to flock more to Jesus than to them therefore they have to question His authority. Jesus never backed down with His authority He held-on to it until death.

Parent’s authority over their children is encompassing this means that for as long as parents live they have authority over their children until mortal death ends this authority. But why is it that many parents are being disrespected by their children?

This is for the reason that many parents failed to properly role model their authority over their children. They did not discipline their children; they spoiled their children by showering them material things. They failed to lead by example and they failed to introduce God to their children by teaching them about Jesus and by bringing them to church for Holy Mass.  Thus they end-up losing their authority over their children and the respect of their children.

If we want to have authority over our children and with other people under our care we must therefore be like Jesus. For Jesus exercised His authority by being a good role model, Jesus led by example until the end, even at the cost of His very own life.

How do you exercise your authority? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 14, Third Sunday of Advent; John 1:6-8, 19-28


Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No. So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself? He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said. Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. 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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Reflection:
Have you thought or counted the things that you’ve done for God? For example when you do something for the poor, do you claim it as credit for yourself? Or you  do it because it’s for the  greater glory of God? You don’t claim credit for what you do, you’re simply content to become a nameless and faceless instrument of God.  

John is silently speaking to our hearts through this third Sunday of Advent’s gospel reading. He tells us, when you do things for the poor  always do it for the greater glory of God and not for your own glory. Be content to become a nameless and faceless instrument of God. John could have owned to himself his ministry from God but he did not, he pointed to Jesus as the greater power behind him.

Many times we fall into the trap of self-glorification at the expense of God and the poor that we help. Many times over we fall into the trap of raising ourselves up to the altar of admiration and glorification instead of silently fading away in favor of God.      

Because of his life changing preaching and the miracles that he did, John was asked by the priest and Levites, who are you? He humbly said I am not the Christ not even Elijah or a prophet (John 1:20-21). John further said, one mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals (John 1:27).

Because of the things that we do for God, what if somebody would ask us, who are you? Would we trumpet our qualities and achievements or we simply fade away and become a nameless and faceless worker for God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas