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

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday October 25, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:18-21

Luke 13:18-21
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.
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Can we suppress the growth of the kingdom of God in our lives? Yes, we can suppress it that’s why many of us do not grow in faith. But as far as Jesus is concerned He surely wants us to allow the kingdom of God to grow and blossom in us so that through us others would benefit from it.

How wonderful it is if we only take time to share whatever knowledge that we have about Jesus. If we do so we surely can make a big impact in others life. By sharing Jesus we can give hope to the hopeless and we can give life to the lifeless in spirit.  

Through our baptism God plants the seed of our faith. As we grow-up we start to have an awareness of our spiritual identity. Some of us nurture this spiritual identity by thirsting for Jesus until it blossoms in our lives. Others would simply ignore this tiny seed of faith that Jesus had planted; this is perhaps the reason why some of us do not grow in faith.

If you will not nurture this seed of faith, how will it grow and how will others know through you that there’s a God who saves, a God who loves them so dearly?  - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday October 24, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:10-17

Luke 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
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Was the woman crippled by a spirit listening to Jesus in the synagogue?  

Perhaps the woman who was cured by Jesus on the Sabbath day was there listening to Him. Perhaps the woman was also a follower and she has faith otherwise he would have not been cured from her sickness that has been making life very difficult for her for eighteen years.

Do we still have time to listen to Jesus as well? Many of us have no more time to follow and listen to Jesus for the simple reason that we are so busy following and listening to the dictates of this material and temporary world.

So what do they get from following the dictates of this material world? Nothing but stress and emptiness! Material riches no matter how huge will never give us contentment much less peace. Let us not be misled into following this world for it’s just like chasing the wind! We would not get anything out of it.

Like the sick woman in the gospel, let us rather choose to follow Jesus and let us choose to listen more to Jesus. This is for the simple reason that if you have the presence Jesus in your life He would always be there for you even on a Sabbath day. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reflection for Sunday October 23, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 18:9-14

Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
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Have you tried practicing the virtue of humility? When you practice humility all things will be alright with you. For example, you will not anymore harbor resentment and anger towards anyone and your day will be free from any form of stress.

You will have a positive disposition, you will be able to humbly accept whatever that may come to you even humiliation and trials no matter how severe. Your fellowmen will silently look-up to you and admire you without you noticing it.

Humility therefore is like an effective medicine that cures us: it cures us of our arrogance, our need for attention and most importantly it brings us an awareness of our own sinfulness and our need to get close to God.

In our gospel, Jesus gives us the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. The tax collector obviously wants to live a new life, and he wants to be reconciled with God. Moreover, he obviously wants to be cured of his sinfulness that’s why he humbly submitted himself to God and God did not disappoint the tax collector.

We have everything to gain and nothing to lose if we decide to imbibe and live humility. We will have a positive disposition, we will have peace and contentment and most importantly we will gain the forgiveness of our merciful God.

Are we ready to abandon ourselves to God by humbly acknowledging our own sinfulness? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reflection for Saturday October 22, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:1-9

Luke 13:1-9
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
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What does sin do to us? It makes our life miserable and problematic but sin in any form does not immediately show its true color. It sugarcoats itself first as pleasure or something that would make life enjoyable for us. Then when we are deep into it already it shows its hideous identity.

Jesus through our gospel calls us to change our ways and repent from our sinfulness. Jesus has been very patient with us even if we have been offending Him for so many times. He patiently calls us everyday to permanently walk away from our sinfulness while there is still time. Let us listen to His call of repentance.

When are we going to listen? Should we wait until such time that we are already incapacitated or when we are already on our deathbeds? It might be too late already, let us listen to Him while there is still time, let us listen to Him while we are still in the pink of health. Jesus loves us so dearly that He wants us to be liberated from the enslavement of sin. This liberation will only happen if we would listen to His call of repentance. 

What if we don’t listen to Jesus call of repentance? What would happen to us? We allow ourselves to be continuously enslaved by the devil and we all know that the devil will bring us nothing but misery. Do we want our lives to be miserable? Of course not! Nobody wants to live a miserable life. Let us therefore listen to the call of Jesus for us to repent and walk away from our sinfulness.  

The Lord is always kind and merciful, the Lord is always forgiving. Let us therefore humble ourselves before Him by submitting ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday October 21, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:54-59

Luke 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
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A philandering and irresponsible husband was always being advised by his mother to change his ways and focus his sole attention to his family. But the lure of temptation was too attractive to let go for the man so he did not listen to his mother.  After some time the limits of his wife’s patience has finally reached its boiling point.  So she and her children left Him, being alone he finally realized how irresponsible he was.

This is who many of us are we keep on sinning and hurting the feelings of those that we love. We are numb to well meaning advice because by its earthly nature sin is attractive. And the devil will keep pushing sin to us (disguised as pleasures) until it destroys us completely.

However, Jesus has a message for us in the gospel. It’s for us to completely walk away from our sinfulness before it destroys us. For the reason that the moment we allow sin to take hold of us it will destroy not only us but even those that we love dearly.

In our gospel Jesus denounced the crowd for their hypocrisy, they could predict the clouds and the weather. However they were purposely deaf to His call of repentance, aren’t many of us like them? We only listen to the dictates of this world but we shut our ears when it comes to Jesus!

 Let us listen to Jesus who always call upon us to repent because this is the right course of action to take. Jesus teachings may be unacceptable to us initially because it will entail painful purification and a change of lifestyle. But purification with Jesus always involves temporal difficulties that will eventually translate to a life of tranquillity and contentment.

Would you care to listen to Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas