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, January 21, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 23: Matthew 4:12-23

My Reflections:
During the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday the environs of the church is in darkness until the start of Mass ceremony wherein the Pascal candle is lighted with a fire from a bonfire. Then as the faithful enters the church the Paschal candle is put in the Sanctuary after which the faithful light their candles from the fire of the Paschal candle.

The fire of the Paschal candle symbolizes Jesus as our light, the light that is always in the midst of His believers.

After the arrest of John his followers was in darkness as to who will lead them until Jesus took the mantle of leadership. Then John’s followers who were in darkness suddenly had seen a great light on Jesus. The prophet Isaiah in the first reading prophesied this when he said:  The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone (Isaiah 9:1).

Then afterwards Jesus called the first four disciples who were all fishermen.

There will be moments of darkness too in our lives regardless whoever we are, no one is exempt from this darkness moment. We may be rich, we may be poor but we will still be passing thru this darkness moment.

In the middle of this darkness there’s always Jesus who’s always ready to step into our lives to give us light. The light that He gives will give us hope, will give us strength to pick-up the shattered pieces of our lives. …

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Cab Ride...

I arrived at the address and honked the horn.
after waiting a few minutes I walked to the
door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a
frail, elderly voice. I could hear something
being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in
her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress
and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody
out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment
looked as if no one had lived in it for years.
All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks
or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a
cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.

'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said.
I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned
to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked
slowly toward the curb.

She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing',
I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way
I would want my mother to be treated.'
'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we
got in the cab, she gave me an address and then
asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..

'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry.
I'm on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were
glistening. 'I don't have any family left,'she
continued in a soft voice.. 'The doctor says I
don't have a very long time to live.' I quietly reached over
and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city.
She showed me the building where she had once
worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she
and her husband had lived when they were
newlyweds She had me pull up in front
of a furniture warehouse that had once been
a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a
particular building or corner and would sit
staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon,
she suddenly said, 'I'm tired. Let's go now'.

We drove in silence to the address she had given me.
It was a low building, like a small convalescent home,
with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon
as we pulled up. They were Solicitous and intent,
watching her every move.
They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to
the door. The woman was already seated in a
'How much do I owe you?'
She asked, reaching into her purse.

'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.
She held onto me tightly.

'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,'
she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into
the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.
It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift.
I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that
day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had
gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient
to end his shift?
What if I had refused to take the run,
or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have
done anything more important in my life.

We're conditioned to think that our lives
revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us
unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others
may consider a small one.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My Gospel Reflections The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord Sunday January 9: Matthew 3:13-17

My Reflections:
A deeply spiritual or religious person would always seek the blessing of a priest or simply visit their church to pray before he embarks on a major journey in his life. For example a soldier who will be assigned to a dangerous assignment would first visit his church to seek the blessing of their priest/pastor or attend the celebration of Holy Mass or to spend time in the Adoration chapel. A person who is set to travel to the other side of the globe will do the same. In other words a deeply religious/spiritual person would always find time for God first before doing that important decision in his life.

Are we like that? Do we ask the blessing of God first before doing important decisions in our lives?

Jesus just did that! Before starting his three years public ministry he first went to John the Baptist to be baptized by him. At first John was not inclined to do it for he knew who Jesus was but Jesus insisted. After His baptism the Holy Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove to affirm and say to Jesus that you can now go and start your salvific mission.

Nowadays before doing or making important decisions in our lives many of us are not anymore conscious of the importance of a priest’s blessing. Of having that heart to heart talk with Jesus who is in the tabernacle of our church and of visiting Jesus who is exposed in our church’s Adoration chapel.    

This baptism of the Lord reminds us also of our own baptism, we were not just baptized because our parents want us to be or for the sake of us being baptized. There’s an important responsibility attached with our baptism: Like Jesus we must also spread the good news of our salvation, like Jesus we must also teach and live our faith.  

Now that we are old enough we must know that our baptism in the church is not just a ritual that we must go through. It is a Sacrament that we must live and share. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Friday January 7: Luke 5:12-16

My Reflections:
Remember the thief who was on the cross with Jesus that got an instant salvation? He had a conversion that’s why he said: “remember me when you come into your kingdom” afterwards Jesus said: “Today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:42-43).

In today’s gospel we have a man sick with leprosy; he humbled himself before Jesus and said: “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately.

The man on the cross and the man sick with leprosy both got what they wanted from Jesus for they both humbled themselves before Him. 

A humble heart and a meek personality is the key to obtain blessings from Jesus.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Tuesday January 4: Mark 6:34-44

My Reflections:
Generosity always pays, the more that we are generous the more that God will bless us. Just try to be generous and you’ll see that blessings will be plowed back to you a hundred fold.

Oftentimes we don’t dare to give because we are afraid that there will be nothing left for us to keep. But why not try to be generous and see for yourself the wonderful blessing that will be brought back to you. The blessing of good health, the blessing of a wonderful family, the blessings of true friendship and a lot more blessing that is anchored on our being generous.

If Jesus was not generous or if Jesus was not moved with pity for those who were following Him. He would have not been able to feed the vast crowd (More than five thousand) and there would have not been twelve wicker baskets full of fragments.

Are you a generous person?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Gospel Reflections for Monday January 3: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

My Reflections:
Every once in a while it’s good to withdraw/retreat from the hustle and bustle of life so that we’ll have time for ourselves and for our God.

Withdrawal from this busy life means that we have time to reflect as to where are we in our relationship with Jesus. We must always be watchful that we are not carried away or eaten-up by the cycle of busy life. Otherwise we will be like zombies who mechanically walk to a single direction that directs us to always to be busy.

Then at the end we forget God, and then we easily sin without any guilt of conscience for the simple reason that we allowed ourselves to be eaten-up by this busy life.

Take time once in a while to withdrew/retreat from this busy life and get connected with God for it will further strengthen you spiritually as you face the challenges of your busy life.

Remember that Jesus withdrew after which He proceeded to do His mission with vigor and determination.