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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Reflection for Friday October 3, Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 10:13-16

Gospel: Luke 10:13-16
Jesus said to them, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum, ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
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Reflection:
Why is Jesus angry with the people of Chozarin and Bethsaida? Because they did not hear His call of repentance, they refused His offer of love and renewal for them.

It’s sometimes puzzling why we refuse to heed this call of Jesus when we have nothing to lose but everything to gain. For example, if we are living in sin right now and we decide to hear this call for renewal of Jesus. A big burden would be taken off from us but so many of us still refuse to walk away from sin, why?

 What does sin offer us that we can’t walk away from it? Does sin offer us heaven? Does sin offer us a quiet and contentment filled life? Why do many of us cling to sin when it doesn’t offer us anything good?    

Let us all have a fresh start in our lives by refusing to commit any form of sin even for a few days or even a week. And we compare our lives previously lived in sin and a life lived already lived with the guiding light of Jesus. We surely would love this new life with Jesus than the old life with the   burden of sin. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reflection for Thursday October 2, The Holy Guardian Angels; Matthew 18:1-5, 10

Gospel: Matthew 18:1-5, 10
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”
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Reflection:
Why did the disciples asked Jesus about who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Were they expecting that Jesus would tell them that they would be one of the greatest in the kingdom of heaven because they are close to Him? From all indication this question of the disciples was asked to serve their own egos and Jesus knew about this.

 Therefore to straighten out things and to tell the disciples that self-seeking individuals will not be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus told the disciples; “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).

The Kingdom of Heaven is reserved for the humble only for we cannot ascend heaven by our own effort. And we cannot ascend heaven without dependence on the good Lord. Therefore children are not only perfect models of humility they are also perfect examples for their reliance on their parents.  Could children exist by themselves? No they could not exist by themselves they need their parents to be with them to survive.

In like manner the disciples did not rely on themselves they humbly relied on God rather than in themselves. This was perhaps one of the salient point of Jesus when He called the child to their midst (Matthew 18:2).

This also applies to all of us, we cannot rely on our riches (If ever we have riches) no matter how presently rich we are. We cannot rely on our power as well no matter how presently powerful we are for all of these are creation of this world that could evaporate from our hands anytime. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday October 1, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church; Luke 9:57-62

Gospel: Luke 9:57-62
As Jesus and his disciples 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.” Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
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Reflection:
What does it require to follow Jesus? It requires us to leave everything behind that could hamper our faithful and enduring discipleship. Is it not possible to follow Jesus and then remain attached to the things that we used to have? No, it’s never possible to follow and remain with what we used to have.

Can we follow and at the same time continue to sin? Can we follow and at the same time be attached with material things? Can we follow yet still love the lifestyle of this world? No we can’t, when we decide to follow Jesus this simply means that we are ready to leave everything behind us most especially our own sinfulness for the sake of our discipleship for Jesus.

To follow Jesus is initially difficult no question about it for it requires a radical change of our lifestyles! But fear not to follow because as we decide we will learn also to depend not on ourselves but on Jesus alone.  We will have the enlightenment to bring and trust our everything  including our very lives to Jesus. It’s like you have somebody who is always there for you when you decide to follow Him.

What if we are very much sinful? Would Jesus still call us to follow Him? Yes absolutely, the more sinful we are the more that Jesus calls us to follow Him. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday September 30, Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Luke 9:51-56

Gospel: Luke 9:51-56
When the days for Jesus to be 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.
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Reflection:
Why did Jesus decided to enter a Samaritan village when He knew that He would not be welcomed there? He could just have passed by and not went there, He could have chosen another way to avoid passing through the Samaritan territory. But He chose to go to a place where He was not welcome.   

This we attribute with the deep desire of Jesus to build friendship and to reach-out even to those who are hostile to Him. The Samaritans knew that Jesus was a Jew going to Jerusalem an area that the Samaritans dislike.

What does Jesus teach us in this gospel episode? We need to reach-out also even to those who are not welcoming of us. We need to do this so that we could offer the olive branch of peace and friendship to them. If they would not accept our offer it’s up to them what is important is we do what we have to do as followers of Jesus.

It’s not easy to offer peace and friendship to those who do not want our friendship. And it’s not easy to humble ourselves before others most especially before those who dislike us. But this is the way of Jesus, Her did not only made Himself available to those who like Him. He also offered Himself even to those who despised Him.

Are we willing to offer the olive branch of peace and friendship to those who dislike us? Are we willing to reach-out and humble ourselves before them? – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Reflection for Monday September 29, Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels; John 1:47-51


Gospel: John 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
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Reflection:
Do you believe in angels? In the bible there are many passages that tell us of the reality of angels. For example Hebrews 1:13-14 tells us; 13 God never said to any of his angels: Sit here at my right side until I put your enemies as a footstool under your feet. 14 For all these spirits are only servants, and God sends them to help those who shall be saved. Psalm 91:11 tells us this as well; 11 For he will command his angels to guard you in all your ways.

 Angels are real and God sends them to us to direct our ways toward Him. But many of us refuse to listen to the voice of angels we instead listen to what this world dictates upon us. Notice for example the aggressive advertising being employed by companies to announce their new product/s. These advertisers dictate upon us to buy their new hi-tech gadget/s and so forth. But come to think about it, do we really need it? Often times we don’t actually need it we simply listen to the aggressive advertisement.

We must be careful because this is the reality of our world right now. This world uses many devious methods for us to be enslaved by it. Let us not be discouraged nonetheless because God sends us His angels to point our ways to Him and to let us know that the infinite love of God is always there for us.

In hindsight, is it also possible for us to become an angel to somebody in need of spiritual direction? To somebody in need of encouragement, motivation or even material help? Yes it is very much possible that we could become God’s living and walking angel in this world today!

Do you want to become an angel of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday September 28, Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Matthew 21:28-32


Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: "What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.' He said in reply, 'I will not, ' but afterwards changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, 'Yes, sir, ‘but did not go. Which of the two did his father's will?" They answered, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him."
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Reflection:
What do we do when we hear the voice of God calling us to walk away from all of our sinfulness? Do we simply hear without acting on it? Or we hear and then we act and live our life once again worthy in the eyes of God. Many of us might be dismissive of this call of God to repentance, we might simply brush it aside and dismiss it as nothing or insignificant to our lives in this world.

But God did not only create us for this world alone there is something higher that lies beyond this world. There is something that follows after our existence in this world; and this is no other than heaven.

In our gospel for this Sunday there is this son who was asked by his father to work in his vineyard (Matthew 21:28). The son initially said that he will not go to his father’s vineyard but upon pondering about the order of his father. The son had a change of heart and went to the vineyard to work there (Matthew 21:29).   

God in our readings and our gospel for this Sunday is inviting us to have a conversion. We who are all sinners are being encouraged by God to have a change of heart so that we could walk away from our sinfulness.  Let us not worry if for so many times we said no to His offer of conversion. For He will not count the many times that we refused Him what is important for the Lord is the here and now and our yes to Him!

Are we all not tired yet of committing sin? Are we not tired yet of a noisy life, life without peace and serenity? The reality is sin has not brought us anything good except more problems and disturbance in our lives. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Why not have a change of heart and completely walk away from sin? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa September 28, Ika-26 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 21:28-32