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

Monday, April 23, 2018

Reflection for Wednesday April 25; Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist: Mark 16:15-20


Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons,they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
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Reflection:
Do you take time to share in whatever way possible what you know about Jesus?

It’s so easy to remain in our comfort zones and just live the lifestyle that we want. WE do everything for ourselves and we do nothing to propagate the teachings of Jesus.  Then when we are at the sunset of our lives God we will find out that nothing really matters except God.  

As we look back we would find out that we’ve been so selfish with our time, energy and treasures. It’s always been me and for myself undertaking no undertaking for God and His people.  As followers of Jesus this is not what He wants us to do.

God wants us to spread the good news in our own little way. He wants us to proclaim our faith not necessarily by words alone but through our actions as well.  If we can proclaim our faith thru our actions that would be much better since actions speaks volumes than words.

We therefore have to discard theme and myself mentality and replace it with God, my fellowmen and me. What does this mean? God and His people must be first in our lives not us. Therefore if God and our fellowmen are first we would have time to share the teachings of Jesus through our words and actions. Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reflection for Tuesday April 24; Fourth Week of Easter: John 10:22-30

Gospel: John 10:22-30
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
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Reflection:
How can we make others believe in Jesus as our Messiah/Savior? We have to share our faith in Jesus and we have to live His teachings. For example, if we say that we follow Jesus what comes after that is an honest to goodness self-examination about ourselves. Are we humble? Are we forgiving? Are we simple?

In our gospel for this Tuesday, the Jews gathered around Jesus and they said to HIM, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly (John 10:24)." They’re obviously unbelievers/non-followers, yes they know Jesus but they don’t believe in Jesus.

From the time of Jesus let us fast forward today; our present technology driven times. Many are still unbelievers today, yes they know Jesus but it ends there. There’s no personal encounter and relationship with Jesus and there’s no living faith in Jesus. What are we going to do about this?

The challenge before us all is so plain and so simple, we have to learn to share and live our faith in Jesus. So that those who don’t believe may now believe and those who don’t have faith will now have faith.

Will you share your faith in Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday April 23; Fourth Week of Easter: John 10:1-10

Gospel: John 10:1-10
Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
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Reflection:
Are you a good shepherd to your children?

Parents are shepherds to their children as such they are expected not only to provide for the material and spiritual needs of their children. They are also expected to mold their children’s character and values. So that when the time comes for their children to become parents themselves. It’s also expected that they too will become good shepherds to their own children someday.

Jesus is the best example of a good shepherd for He gave His very own life for us. Being a shepherd, He led by example, He gave up His own comfort and He embraced His passion and death on the cross. He could have easily avoided dying on the cross but He chose to give His life because that is what is expected from a good shepherd.

Regardless of who we are, we too are shepherds in our own way. Thus, it’s expected from us that we must also model our lives after Jesus. We listen to His voice as He listened to the voice of God. We must be ready to sacrifice for our flock even if this sacrifice would require us to give up our own comforts even if it leads us to give up our very own life.

Come to think of it, it’s not actually easy to become a good shepherd. We just need to look at the path that Jesus went through. Nonetheless, to be a good shepherd is very much worth it. You may not see the reward now but someday you will that is if you are a good shepherd.

Are you a good shepherd? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Reflection for April 22, Fourth Sunday of Easter; John 10:11-18

Gospel: John 10:11-18
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
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Reflection:
There is a story of a husband who was left behind by his wife for another man. The uncouple had six young children that was left by the wife in the care of her husband. One morning the husband gathered his children looked each of them in the eye and told them: I will take care of you come regardless of whatever difficulties that we may face and I will see you through and I will be with you until the end.

Jesus in our gospel tells us that He is our good shepherd that will give His very life for us so that he could find and save us. What have we done to merit this infinite love from Jesus? Nothing, we have even offended Jesus for countless times that we think that we are not anymore deserving of His infinite love. But Jesus our good shepherd loves us so dearly that He would always be there for us regardless of our many sins.

We will sin for as long as we live in this world but the infinite love of Jesus our good shepherd will always be there for us. Let us therefore not be deaf to His search and longing for us. He wants us back to His fold and He wants us back to His loving and unconditional embrace.  Thus, Jesus is continuously searching for us.  

Many of us continuously loiter in the abyss if sinfulness, we purposely turn a blind eye for Jesus’ search for us. However, for what cost would it be? For the cost of our own life in this world? We would sin and continuously sin until it cost us our life?

Jesus your good shepherd is knocking at your heart, bare and open your heart to Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday April 21; Third Week of Easter: John 6:60-69

Gospel: John 6:60-69
Many of the disciples of Jesus who were listening said, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, “Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.”

As a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?” Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
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Reflection:
How is your faith in Jesus right now? Is it as solid as a rock or weak as a sand castle?

After extensively telling His followers that He is the Bread of Life and anyone that drinks His blood and eats His bread would never anymore thirst or hunger. It was now time to weigh up their faith on Jesus. Unfortunately many did not believe the Bread of Life discourse of Jesus. So they went back to their old life, therefore they disconnected themselves from actively following Jesus.

If we are made to choose between Jesus and the frills of this world. Many of us would also choose to be with this world rather than to be with Jesus. Why? What does this world offer us that we love it more than we love our God? This world offers us temporal power, wealth, influence and the like.

Why is it that many of us have chosen to embrace worldliness? Perhaps we have not yet experienced the power of Jesus in our lives. Otherwise if we have already felt the power of God in our lives. We would surely leave behind all forms of worldliness and sin for God.

Would it be possible to have the best of both sides (We follow God and we follow also this world). No, we have to choose which one we want to embrace. It’s either we embrace this  temporal world or we embrace our everlasting God. The righteous choice is always to be with God and never to be with this world.

What would it benefit you if you gain all the power and riches of this temporal world yet you don’t have the love of God?  Nothing except emptiness which surely will eventually lead you only to nothingness and depression. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday April 20; Third Week of Easter: John 6:52-59

Gospel: John 6:52-59
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
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Reflection:
Are you a regular Sunday Mass goer or even a daily Mass goer? How do you feel if you fail to be at Holy Mass? Do you feel that something is lacking in your system of being? If your answer is yes, you have this feeling not because you miss a routinary activity.

Truth be told, you have this feeling because you miss to be with Jesus. And you miss to partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus which (you may not know) is the source of your every Sunday or daily nourishment. 

How many times have you been to Holy Mass without paying attention to what’s going on during the celebration? Perhaps countless times already, what do you do after noticing that your attention was not in the Mass? Do you say sorry to Jesus and then make it a point to be attentive the next time?

In every Holy Mass that you attend you should see to it that your full attention is in the celebration. So that when the part comes that you are about to partake of His body your focus is centered on what you are about to receive. Which is no other than the most precious bread in the entire world because you receive the life giver, Jesus Himself.

Perhaps you may not believe this now because you are still young, healthy and perhaps you have money and power. And these temporal things serve as your security blanket right now. However when the time comes that you are already old and sickly. You will know that nothing matters anymore except the Bread of life, Jesus Himself. You will not desire anything except to partake of His Body which will become the source of your daily nourishment. 

Why wait for that time to come in the future? When you can already desire to be close to Jesus by faithfully partaking of His Body and Blood now and onwards?  Why make the temporal things of this world your security blanket? When you can make the Body of Christ your security blanket now? Yes now! – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Thursday April 19; Third Week of Easter: John 6:44-51

Gospel: John 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
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Reflection:
Are you afraid to die?

 There are many reasons why many are afraid to die; foremost amongst these reasons is we are not prepared yet. We still have our own worldly preoccupation that we must take care of first. But we all know that at a time that we don’t expect, we have to go and leave this world permanently.

In today’s gospel Jesus gives us an iron clad protection against our fear of death. He enjoins us to regularly partake of the living bread that is available to us during Holy Communion no other than Himself. This is the same bread that is given to those who are sick and not anymore able to go to church for Holy Mass.     

Why don’t we try to regularly partake of His Body during Holy Communion? And see how it will form, change and make us fearless of mortal death. We will not die anymore if we are with Jesus and we will not fear death anymore if we reverently partake of Him at Holy Mass during Holy Communion.  

Our marching order therefore is to bring others to Holy Mass. So that they will also be blessed, nourished and enlightened by the enormous blessing of the Body of Jesus Christ.

Have you been able to bring someone to church for Holy Mass so that they too could partake of the Body of Christ during Holy Communion? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday April 18; Third Week of Easter: John 6:35-40

Gospel: John 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
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Reflection:
Is Jesus the bread of your life?  When you make Jesus the bread of your life you will never go wrong with Him. But how are you going to make Jesus the Bread of your life? You have to receive Him at Holy Communion whenever you attend Holy Mass.

You have to read the life story of Jesus in the Holy Bible and you have to allow Jesus to transform you. You also have to have a daily quality and quite time with Jesus every day of your life. In your daily quite and quality with Jesus you have to allow Him to talk to you.      

In our gospel for today Jesus tells us this, I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. Jesus further tells us, I will not reject anyone who comes to me.

This bread of life discourse of Jesus invites us also to reflect on our own life in this world. Have we already touched lives? Have we given hope to the hopeless? Are our hearts always open to help those who come to us? Are our hearts open to those who ask for our forgiveness? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Reflection for Tuesday April 17; Third Week of Easter: John 6:30-35

Gospel: John 6:30-35
The crowd said to Jesus: “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

So they said to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
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Reflection:
Would you be willing to give your very life for Jesus?

In our first reading Stephen was killed because of his unending profession of faith in Jesus. He could have saved his life if he did not proclaim his love for Jesus but he chose to boldly say it, thus he was stoned to death.

What a price to pay for professing his faith and love for his God. But this is the reality with our discipleship with Jesus. If we really are true and faithful followers we will not hesitate to give a certain part of our life or even our own life for our love for Jesus.

Every now and then there would be instances wherein the steadfastness of our faith in Jesus will be tested. It may not cost our life anymore; perhaps the test of our commitment to Jesus may come through many forms of temptations and trials. Would we still be faithful to Jesus amidst our temptations and trials?

It’s really not easy to follow Jesus, some of us may have already given up on Jesus and we instead chose to follow the many temptations of this world.

But if we would not follow Jesus and if we will not sacrifice a part of ourselves for the kingdom of God, who are we going to follow? We follow the evil one and master manipulator which is no other than Satan? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday April 16; Third Week of Easter: John 6:22-29

Gospel: John 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God,  that you believe in the one he sent.”
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Reflection:
Why do you go to church for Mass or why do you pray? Is it for your love of Jesus or for your need of Jesus? Some of us go to church for Holy Mass because of our need for Jesus, some of us pray for the same reason as well.

 After our need for Jesus has been address already we now slacken and go back to our old ways. Until such time that we once again encounter humps and bumps in our lives then we again have our need for Jesus.

The people who were following Jesus were looking for Him because they saw how He feed them in the miracle of the loaves and fish. It was not for the love of Jesus that they were looking for Him neither for their desire to join Jesus disciples in their mission of evangelization.

If we look for Jesus let us not look for Him because of our need for Him alone. We look for Him because we love and miss Him. We look for Him because we want to partake of His mission.

 It’s always better to look for Jesus rooted in our love for Him.  Since this love that we have for Him is always comprehensively rewarded by Jesus in multifarious ways. Such as good health, peace of mind, peace in the family. feeling of contentment and the like. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Reflection for April 15, Third Sunday of Easter; Luke 24:35-48

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” they gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.”
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Reflection:
A nun with a merciful, compassionate and loving heart would always go to a nearby  poor community to give bread to those who are hungry. The poor whom she had helped would ask her; “Why are you doing this to us?” The nun would humbly reply: “I want to share the love and compassion of Jesus to you.”

How would you know that you are witnessing for the risen Christ? You hunger to do the things that Jesus did when He walked for three years in this world. For example, you saw a poor man begging for food. And you felt pity for that man which led you to give him food to alleviate his hunger. Or whenever you see a person in need you always feel the drive to help.

If you feel these emotions in your heart you are already witnessing for the Risen Christ. He is manifesting Himself through you and you become a living and breathing witness that Jesus has indeed risen!

Why are you witnessing for Jesus? You witness for Jesus because you want others to know  Jesus as well. You witness for Him  because you want Jesus to make a positive impact in their lives as what Jesus did for your own life. By your witness others will know Jesus and They will feel Jesus presence and love through you.

In the gospel, the two disciples recalled to their fellow disciples Jesus’ manifestation to them in the breaking of the bread. When you break bread or share your food with the hungry, you do acts of mercy and compassion. 

When you break bread or share your food with the hungry you witness for Jesus and you become the face of Jesus for them. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Reflection for Saturday April 14; Second Week of Easter: John 6:16-21

Gospel: John 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.
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Reflection:
Do you fear the unknown? Do you fear darkness? The  disciples in the gospel were fearful  of both the unknown and darkness. They were at sea in pitch darkness and being tossed by the waves, perhaps it was just fair for them to be fearful.

In total darkness and coupled with stormy seas. The disciples in the gospel were afraid when they saw Jesus walking towards their boat. Why were they afraid considering that they know Jesus? Perhaps they did not recognize Jesus at sea walking towards them and mistaken labelled Jesus as a ghost.  

There would be trials and problems that we will encounter for as long as we exist in this world. But in the midst of our trials, problems and fears we are also always assured of Jesus abiding presence in our lives. He is always with us notwithstanding the waves of trials and problems that we’re going through or we will go through.

All we need to do is to call upon Him and we will be alright. We will not anymore fear the unknown and even the darkness we will not fear either. For the simple reason that we have Jesus who is ever ready to help and save us whenever we pass though the many trials, darkness and trepidations of life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, April 6, 2018

Reflection for Friday April 13; Second Week of Easter: John 6:1-15

Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
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Reflection:
Do you believe that Jesus can do miracles in your life?

The precursor to Jesus’ miracle of the loaves and fish was a boy who had five barley loaves and two fish; we cannot speak of this miracle without him. The boy was generous enough to give what was for him alone, he did not mind if he would be hungry; he simply shared his food for others to eat.

Out of the selfless heart of the boy, Jesus miraculously multiplied the five barley loaves and two fish and they were able to feed the more than five thousand followers. And they still had some more to gather and filled twelve wicker baskets.

We see here the enormous benefit of selfless sharing; sometimes we don’t share because we think that what we have is only enough for us. However, if we would learn to share we will also notice that what we share comes back to us a hundredfold. It is already immaterial how big or small the food that we share what is important is we are very much willing to share whatever blessing that we have.

There are similarities in the institution of the Eucharist and this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. Jesus instituted the Eucharist in remembrance of the Passover meal and coincidentally Jesus did this miracle of the loaves when the Passover feast was near. Jesus also took the loaves and gave thanks and distributed it to them. These are actions that He did during the Institution of the Eucharist.

Why did Jesus tested Philip? Because Philip had a shaky faith, he was with Jesus all along witnessing His miracles and all. Yet he was still doubtful that’s why Jesus tested him. Are we not like Philip once in a while? We are impatient sometimes and we doubt if Jesus would grant our dreams.

If only we know that Jesus will never abandon us, yes there would be testing of our faith. For as long as we hold on He will always be there for us in His own time of choosing.  Let us be patient and wait, let us pursue and not give up on our life’s aspirations, ambitions and visions. He will eventually help us achieve what we want.

After doing the miracles of the loaves and after having so much fragments leftover. Naturally the crowds were amazed. Who would not be? So it’s time now to hail and exalt Jesus with praises. But Jesus would have none of it. True to his humility and self-effacing character He simply walked away to the mountain to be alone perhaps to pray and thank God for the blessing of the miracle of the loaves.

In this occurrence we see how different is Jesus from us, we love it when we are being honored, praised for the things that we do. We are tickled pink by it and our ears flap in agreement, often times we don’t do things without people noticing us. We want people to see what we do and we want them to praise us (like politicians and public officials). Let us all wake up from this egotism and selfish attitude. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday April 12; Second Week of Easter: John 3:31-36

Gospel: John 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
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Reflection:
Why can’t we convince our fellowmen to go to church for Holy Mass and why can’t we share Jesus with them? This is for the reason that many of us don’t live the teachings of Jesus. We are not humble, we are not loving and forgiving we don’t live our faith in other words.

What must we do if we are in this kind of predicament?  Should we easily give up or should we change our ways. The wise choice is to change our ways and not give up. Because if we would give up, who will evangelize them? We leave them to be evangelized by those from other faiths?

We must teach our faith but we must do it with humility, patience and love. We have to employ humility, patience and love so that we could impart to them the teachings of Jesus and our faith. For example our gospel for today tells us about the love of God the Father for His Son. How would they know about this if we will not teach them?

We will always become effective evangelizers of our faith if we are humble, loving and forgiving. For these are the qualities of Jesus when He walked on this earth more than two thousand years ago. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday April 11; Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr: John 3:16-21

Gospel: John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
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Reflection:
What would happen to us if we will not embrace the teachings of God? We will have miserable lives in this world. Almost all of humanity knows that there is God yet we don’t embrace the teachings of God. We prefer to embrace the teachings of this world rather than God.

 We prefer to enjoy life without God rather than life with God. Why? Is this because God creates rules and limits on how we live our lives? Many of us don’t want our freedom to be curtailed. But since freedom is not absolute there are limits to freedom.

God always wants us not to commit sin. This is for the reason that the moment we commit sin we envelope ourselves in darkness and darkness is the absence of the light of God.  Just imagine a life in darkness, it’s a life without hope and this is precisely what the devil gives to us: Life without hope sugar coated with worldly pleasures.

But no sinner is beyond reach of the love of God for God always offer to us His hand of forgiveness and love. This forgiveness and love is for our benefit but do we take advantage of this great forgiveness and love of God?   

God loves us dearly that He gave us Jesus to save us from all of our sinfulness yet we don’t embrace God we put aside Jesus in favor of this world. Let us not put Jesus aside and tell Him that we will first enjoy life in this world before we go to Him. For it may be too late already.

Let’s embrace God now let us open our life to Him now and let us start to walk away from our sinfulness now. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday April 10; the Second Week of Easter: John 3:7b-15

Gospel: John 3:7b-15
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
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Reflection:
Do you seek Jesus in your life? Do you thirst and hunger for Him? Nicodemus is a Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin a Jewish judicial body. Why did he follow Jesus? He must have discovered something in Jesus that made him follow Him even until Jesus death on the cross. Nicodemus followership of Jesus did not stop on His death on the cross, Nicodemus also took care of the body of Jesus after His death (John 19:39).   

What would it take for you to become a follower of Jesus? Do you still need to see a miracle before you become a faithful follower? It may be too late already, why not follow Jesus now? Try looking at Jesus on the cross, that man on the cross died for you! Will you not take a second look at that man on the cross? Will you not thank Him for giving His life for you?

We don’t know the life of Nicodemus before he became a secret follower of Jesus. I also don’t know what your present life right now, if you are a big time sinner or not. Nevertheless decide to follow Jesus now for He is ready to give you peace and serenity in your life. It’s no problem for Jesus if you will become a secret follower like Nicodemus what is important for Jesus is you will follow Him.

Would you faithfully follow Jesus starting today? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday April 9; Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord: 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:
A seventeen years old teenager suddenly had an unwanted pregnancy she was in a quandary on how she would take care with this sudden gift from God. Her parents intervened and chose the criminal way to avoid the responsibility. They brought the teen to an abortion clinic and there they aborted the baby against the will of their child.

When the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would conceive in her womb. Aborting the child Jesus was never an option for her it never crossed her mind. Instead she humbly accepted the will of God for her. Mary humbly said: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

By her docility and humility Mary showed to us that she values very much the gift of life. She shows to us that life is precious and every life that comes out of a mother’s womb is a gift from God that we must protect with utmost love and care.

There are those who consider abortion for the flimsy reason that they are not yet prepared for the new responsibility. But if they would only carefully reflect on it they could actually handle the new responsibility. They are just afraid to handle the new responsibility.

Let us think about the thousands of aborted babies. What could have happened to them if they have not been aborted? They could have been productive citizens of this world citizens. That will care and nurture us when the time comes when we become gray and old.   

As we remember the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. We are also being reminded by God that every life is precious. We have no right to decide to arbitrarily end the new gift of life that He gives us. 

Let us never ever consider abortion when unwanted pregnancy suddenly comes-up. For it’s against the will of God let us always be like Mary who accepted the gift of responsibility that God had given her. – Marino J. Dasmarinas