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

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Reflection for Saturday July 29, Saint Martha: John 11:19-27

Gospel: John 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise." Martha said to him, "I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world."
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Reflection:
A young man was living his life without any clear direction It was all boozing for him. His mother told the young man, “If you will not change you will depart this world early.” The young man said to his mother, “help me live a new life mama.” His mother told him:  Be with me as I go to Holy Mass daily.” The man did so and slowly but surely he lived a renewed life.   

When Lazarus died both Martha and Mary were forlorn as if their world had ended with the death of their brother Lazarus. Until Jesus came to pay them a visit and from there on the sister’s hopeless life suddenly had hope and life once again.

This is for the reason that Jesus went to visit them, that visit culminated with the raising of their brother Lazarus. Do you feel that you are without hope for the reason of the many problems that you’ve been going through?

There is hope and you can find it in Jesus, in the midst of this problem filled world. Jesus is offering you not only hope but a new lease on life.  Believe, have hope and faith in Him and you’ll have a new life. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday July 28, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:18-23

Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23   
Jesus said to his disciples: "Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
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Reflection:
Would you allow Jesus to bear fruit in your life so that you would become the seed sown on rich soil?

Four seeds were sown on four different surfaces: On the path, rocky ground, sown among thorns and rich soil. The seeds are the word of God and the disciples represent the four environments.

Jesus’ wanted the disciples to be the rich soil at all times (to hear the word, understand it and live it). But God has also given them the freedom of choice to choose what surface they would be.

The parable of the sower is a parable that depicts our individual response to Jesus’ call for us to follow Him.  Many of us don’t give this call serious thought. Quite a few embrace this call; they let it grow in their hearts by means of sharing their faith through their words and actions. Jesus obviously wants us all to become the rich soil so that we could be fruitful and useful followers.

We all have the freedom of choice to choose where we would be among the four environments. However, as far as Jesus is concerned He always wants us to be the rich soil. You may ask for what reason? The answer here is very simple: God wants us to be at His bosom in heaven when our earthly journey is over.

Start to become fruitful by sharing and living your faith and the words of Jesus. Take courage and don’t be afraid of the obstacles. Simply follow Jesus desire for your life for He will take care of everything. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday July 27, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:10-17

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven    has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.

Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
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Reflection:
Do you discern the intervention of Jesus in your life through real life stories that you go through?

The disciples were discerning of these stories coursed through parables.  However, the fickle crowd were not discerning. Why? This is for the reason that they only follow because of their need of Jesus. After they’ve gotten what they want they once again detach themselves from Jesus in other words the fickle crowd were followers in need only.

There are still many nowadays who are like the fickle crowd they go to Jesus because they are in need. For instance, those who are carrying many burdens. After they’ve been relieved of their burdens they distance themselves once again until their next need comes around.

We must follow Jesus the way the disciples followed Him they were not followers in need only, they were always there for Him; in good times and in bad. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday July 26, Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Matthew 13:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.

Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection:
Where do you take refuge when life’s troubles hit you? You certainly don’t take refuge in this world you instead take refuge in Jesus, in Him you find solace and strength. After doing so you are again ready to face your life’s trials and challenges.

When we take refuge in Jesus we do one of these or we even do all of these:  we pray we go to Holy Mass, we visit HIM in the Adoration Chapel and we read the bible. We must not be satisfied with simply doing these acts of worship and devotion. We must also allow it to transform us so that others may see not our transformed selves but Jesus in ourselves thus we bring them closer to Jesus.

How would they see Jesus in us and how could we bring them closer to Jesus? We must allow ourselves to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. And we can only do this if we will allow Jesus to transform us for this is HIS desire for all of us: To become the seeds that fell on the rich soil.

At the end of the day it’s still in our hands if we would allow Jesus to transform us to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. We have nothing to lose and everything is ours to gain if we become docile to the desire of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday July 25, Saint James, Apostle: Matthew 12:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom." Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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Reflection:
Do you love to be in the limelight when you do something for God and your fellowmen?

The mother and the two sons obviously loved to be in the limelight, they do not know the virtue of humility. Otherwise they would have not requested to sit beside Jesus. If they know something about the virtue of humility they would have not asked Jesus that self-serving request.

How is it to be a true servant of the Lord? To be a true servant is to be humble at all times to be self-effacing and not to seek recognition at all times.  Therefore, Jesus will be recognized and not you.

 We have our different motivations in serving in the different ministries in our church or in helping our fellowmen. Some use it as a spring board to enter politics. Some use it for them to be known in their community and as a badge of honor for them to be respected.

It’s none of the above actually.

True service in the church and with our fellowmen must always be accompanied by the virtue of humility. Our motivation is to serve without thinking of the gains and accolades that we will reap in return and this is how Jesus served us, His church. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reflection for Monday July 24, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."
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Reflection:
A single lady who was in her early thirties was eyeing a man to be her boyfriend but she was not sure if he was the right one for her. So she said, I need a sign I need to see a white butterfly right now so that I will say yes to him.

Lo and behold she saw a white butterfly passing by her, consequently she took it as a sign and she said yes to the man. Unfortunately after a few years they separated, what do this mean? Affirmative signs are not manifestation of truth thus we should not rely upon it.

Some of us may demand a sign from Jesus to confirm something but no sign is needed anymore. No sign is bigger than Jesus, for as long as our faith in Jesus is strong and for as long as we have that personal friendship  with Him. Jesus is more than enough for us to carry us through our life’s journey.

Let us always trust on Jesus for he will never fail us, we may experience humps and bumps in our lives every now and then. However, let us not make the mistake of using these humps and bumps as an excuse to separate ourselves from Jesus. 

For those who will not separate, those who will continue to have faith and those who will continue to work in the vineyard of the good Lord will be rewarded someday. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, July 23; Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection: 
What is a parable? It’s a short story that imparts moral lessons about life which we can use for us to become more effective followers of God. 

Jesus spoke in parables because He wants to convey moral teaching to His disciples. These parables are not only for the disciples to reflect on. This is also for us to ponder and contemplate.

The first parable is about a man who sowed good seeds, and then while all were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds. The owner just let both the good seeds and weeds grow side by side. However, during harvest time the weeds were pulled first, after that they were tied in bundles and were burned. After which they carefully gathered the wheat and they put it into the owner’s barn.

If our lives will end now, where will we end up? Would it be in hell to burn like the weeds? Or would it be in heaven like the wheat that ended up in the owner’s barn.

The second parable is about the tiny mustard seeds that were sowed in the field. It rose like a big tree where birds find rest. When we were baptized the seed of our catholic faith was also sowed by Jesus into us. Has it risen as big as a mustard seed? Have we become instrument of Jesus’ compassion and mercy in words and in deeds? Have we been a safe refuge for those who are in distress?

The third parable is about the yeast that influenced a mass of dough to rise. Have we become yeast for those who are not properly acquainted with Jesus? For example we introduce Jesus to them in that process we become the yeast that influenced the growth of their faith in Jesus.

These three parables invite you to self-reflection. How are you as followers of Jesus? Are you like the weeds or the wheat?

Is your faith now as big as the mustard seed where your brothers and sisters in faith can take refuge and solace?

Have you already become yeast to your family and friends by way of helping them know Jesus in a much deeper sense? – Marino J. Dasmarinas