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

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

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reflection for April 27, Monday of the 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 he 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, they 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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Do you consider yourself a good shepherd? Each and every one of us is a shepherd in our own little way. For example, if you are a parent, you have your own children to shepherd or guide. What kind of shepherd are you to your children?

Are you a good shepherd to them? Have you taught them already about our faith? Do you bring them to church for Holy Mass? Have you opened the bible to them and taught them about the life of Jesus? The model shepherd is Jesus, he is the one whom we should imitate.

Jesus tells us in the gospel: I am the gate for the sheep (John 10:7). Do we shepherd our own respective families going to Jesus? Or we instead lead them away from Jesus by exposing them to materialism?  

Who is the gate that Jesus mentions to us in the gospel? The gate is Jesus Himself! He is the good shepherd for He gave His very life for us. He established the church for us and He instituted the Eucharist for us His sheep.

Let us reflect on how we have been shepherding those who are under our care and guidance.  Are we good shepherds to them like Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reflection for April 26, 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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Who is a good shepherd? A good shepherd is someone who desires nothing but the good of his sheep. A good shepherd is also someone who would be willing to sacrifice his own life for the sake of his sheep.

 In modern times right now a shepherd could also be an object of our attention or even obsession. That seeks to control and dictate upon us.  For example, greed for money could be our shepherd if we allow it to control us. But if we allow money to be our shepherd it will not only control us it may even possess us. It may even destroy not only us even our family as well. 

Our Job could also be our shepherd, in what manner could this be? This could happen once we allow our job to enslave us. For instance, we focus more on our jobs rather than our family that we hardly have time for our family. So what would happen to the family? It may be destroyed and eventually disintegrate.  Our ambition to be wealthy could also be our false shepherd and there are many more false shepherd wannabes.

In the midst of all these false shepherd wannabes. Jesus wants to offer Himself to us for He is the good shepherd. He tells us in the gospel: I am the good shepherd (John 10:11) and I will lay down my life for you (John 10:15). Why don’t we consider this offer of Jesus and allow Him to shepherd our lives?  

Perhaps we could start by reading the life story and the life changing words of Jesus in the bible. We can also begin to take seriously the celebration of the Holy Mass by paying more attention to this sacred celebration. Where we can receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

You might have already allowed money and other worldly ambitions to shepherd or control  you. But did it truly give you what you want? Did it give you peace and contentment in your life? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for April 25, Saturday 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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Have you done something to share the good news about Jesus? For example, you shared the life of  Jesus to a friend or a relative. Or you’ve brought someone to church for Holy Mass and while at Mass he/she had a renewal of his/her faith in Jesus.  

One of your foremost mission as follower of Jesus is to share Him. If you have no idea on how you would share Him you could even simply live His life. Evangelization is not only confined to sharing with your vocal words for you could also evangelize by the way you live.

When the disciples were sent by Jesus through their mission one of the unwritten commands of Jesus for them was to live His way of life. For they wouldn’t be successful missioners for Jesus without immersing their very lives on Jesus way of life.

The challenge for you therefore is to share Jesus like how the disciples shared Him. You also have to live the way of life of Jesus. For without living the life of Jesus you will not become His true follower and evangelizer. 

Many in the church or outside of the church profess to follow Jesus but they do not live His life. Thus their evangelization is superficial it doesn’t take root in the hearts of those who listen to them. Therefore, an effective evangelizer is one who shares and live the life of Jesus.   

Do you share Jesus and do you live the life of Jesus most especially Jesus' life of humility and simplicity? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reflection for April 24, Friday of the 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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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? You have this feeling not because you miss a routinary activity.

On the contrary 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 April 23, Thursday of the 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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How could you have eternal life?  You have to regularly receive the Body of Christ at Holy Mass. Always receive it with reverence and piety never think of it as a simple bread. Because what you receive is Jesus Himself.

Just imagine the enlightenment and unfathomable blessing that it will bring you if you would always partake of the body of Christ. Just imagine the countless spiritual blessing that it would bring you if you would believe that Jesus is the Consecrated Host that you receive during Holy Communion.

Your belief and faith in the bread of life will open your mind to the many truths about Jesus. Things that are hard to explain but is real and felt by the heart, all you have to do is to believe and have faith.

For without faith and belief you will not fully comprehend how this small bread becomes the body of Jesus after it is consecrated by the priest. How this small bread becomes your life and your reason for existing in this world.

Don’t wait for a Eucharistic miracle to happen before you believe for it may not happen in your lifetime. Believe now and have faith now in the bread of life. Which is Jesus Himself and you yourself will become a living and breathing miracle for those who know you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for April 22, Wednesday of the 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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Is Jesus the center of your life?  Well and good if yes for this is how it should be; Jesus should be the center of your life. Not money, not power or anything that is worldly it should be Jesus! Why Jesus and not anything that belongs to this world? Because when you have Jesus in your life you already have the bread of life that gives eternal life.

Life in this world is fleeting, you may leave this ephemeral life anytime, what would happen to you if Jesus is not the center of your life? For example if your motivation of living in this world is all about material things, power and enjoyment. What’s next after material things, power and enjoyment? Nothing for it’s already the dead end for a person without God.. This is the danger of not having Jesus in your life and not making Jesus the center of your life. 

In our gospel, 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 (John 6:35). If you deeply believe in this statement of Jesus you will indeed not experience hunger and thirst anymore. Hunger and thirst for what? Hunger and thirst for whatever this world could offer you.

Is Jesus the center of your life right now?   – Marino J. Dasmarinas