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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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday October 30, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:22-30

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.Someone asked him, Lord, will only a few people be saved? He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us. He will say to you in reply ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!

And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.
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My Reflection:
What is the narrow gate that Jesus is telling us to enter before it’s too late? The narrow gate is the pathway that will lead us to Jesus. Jesus is always calling us to renew our lives and follow Him through that narrow gate.

We all know that there’s no certainty in this world. What we own could be taken from us anytime of the day, even our lives could abruptly end at any moment. But before all these happens, Jesus wants us to live our lives worthy in His eyes so that if it ends we can pass thru that narrow door and be permanently with Him in heaven.

What are we waiting for now? Let us renew our lives and let us walk away from our sinfulness for this is what Jesus wants us to do. This will not be easy to do for we already got used with the temptations and sins of this world. But where did these many worldly things has led us so far? It led us to commit many sinful things and it slowly leads us away from Jesus. Be wary therefore if you’re losing your connection with Jesus.

Reconnect and follow Him through the narrow gate now. … 

Monday, October 28, 2013

My Reflection for Tuesday October 29, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:18-21

Gospel: 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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My Reflection:
Humility is a virtue that is disregarded by many of us. Why? Because humility for many of us is a display of our meekness, simplicity and littleness. On the otherhand many love arrogance and egotism for this shows power and might. But come to think of it, many great personalities of our time are revered for their humility.

Think for example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope Francis and of course Jesus, to name a few. From their humility sprouted greatness and reverence by millions of people. Their words are carefully listened and serves as a refuge of wisdom.

On the other side of the fence is arrogance and egotism. Many dictators became giants by instilling fear in the hearts of their people. They imposed martial rule to manipulate and oppress and there is no doubt that this was brought about by their arrogance and egotism. But where are they now? Are they revered? Are they remembered with fondness and love? No! they are forgotten, despised and confined in the dustbin of history.   

Jesus mentions in the gospel the kingdom of God as a little mustard seed that eventually became big whereby birds took comfort in its shade. He also compared the kingdom of God to a little yeast that was mixed with three measures of wheat flour. After it was cooked it grew big and many ate from it.  

Plant in your heart the seemingly insignificant virtue of Humility. Don’t bother if you will be belittled and be perceived as nobody. In God’s own perfect time you will be admired, revered and your wisdom will be sought by many. …    

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Reflection for Monday October 28, Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles, Luke 6:12-16

Gospel: Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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My Reflection:
Before making the crucial decision to appoint the twelve apostles Jesus prayed first for guidance from God. Perhaps Jesus also asked the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this is how it must always be for us also. Whenever we will make a crucial decision or any decision in our lives we must pray first and ask guidance from God.

After praying Jesus went on to choose the twelve apostles. They were ordinary people like us, some were fishermen who became fishers of men and they were sinners like us. What does this gospel tells us? It tells us that everyone of us could be a partner of Jesus in His desire to evangelize the whole world. 

During this time of internet, evangelization is not anymore limited to actual or physical evangelization. We can evangelize using the cyberspace:  write about Jesus, post on your facebook anything about Jesus and your Christian faith. 

 If you can’t be a physical missionary be a cyber missionary. The avenues for effective evangelization in cyberspace is unlimited. Let us therefore take advantage of the technology that is available in the palms of our hands.

Be not afraid to respond to this call of Jesus, He will empower you and He will be there for you. …

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday October 26, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 13:1-9

Gospel: 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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My Reflection:
Repentance is something that we all need to do for we are all sinners. But why is it that many of us are not willing to obey this call of Jesus? The reason behind is we don’t have the virtue of humility, this is the sole reason why we refuse God’s call for us to repent. Otherwise we would have easily followed this call of Jesus.

The moment we repent a huge burden would immediately be removed from our hearts. We will feel light and peaceful and our seamless connection with Jesus will immediately be restored. But we refuse to repent we instead prefer to be burdened by sin. This is the paradox of our times we prefer to embrace the devil rather than God.  

Jesus in our gospel for today is calling for a wholesale repentance not selective repentance but wholesale repentance. This simply means that we would be willing to walk away from any sinful actions and thoughts. We completely walk away from any actions that would only make us sin.

But if we will not repent now, when will we repent? Should we wait for a critical point in our lives to happen before we humbly embrace Jesus call of repentance?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Reflection for Thursday October 24, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 12:49-53

Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
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My Reflection:
Every now and then the church speaks it mind. It makes a stand on vital issues and when it does the church will fight for it until the end even if it creates division in society and government. For example the issue against the Reproductive Health bill (RH bill). Even if the church was lacking in resources it fought the government against the passage of this immoral bill in congress.

The church voiced out its displeasure against this immoral bill which was vigorously pushed forward by the government. In the process there was disagreement and division with the government and those who were in favor of this bill. By making a stand against the forces of evil and immorality the church was able to defeat the passage of this bill.

What if the church did not oppose this immoral bill? It could have been a law now and we would now be seeing the prevalence of condoms and anti life pills. But thankfully the church stood its ground even to the point of creating divisions and enemies with the government and its supporters.

In the gospel we hear Jesus telling us to loudly speak out whenever we observe immorality and wrongdoings within families and the society at large. If by speaking-out we create walls that might temporarily divide us, so be it. For example if we see immorality within the family (The husband is playing around in the field with a younger woman) should the wife just ignore this and pretend to see and hear no evil with this blatant show of disrespect to her? Of course not! The wife must speak-out!

The problem with some of us is we sometimes have a passive or no concern attitude even if there’s already wrongdoing in the family. We have this attitude because we are afraid that it will create division and enmity. This is terribly wrong! For the reason that we become a party to the scheming of the evil one. What Jesus wants us to do whenever we see a wrongdoing is to denounce the evil inside that wrongdoing. Even if our denouncement will create temporary divisions and enmity.

Are you capable of denouncing a wrongdoing or perhaps an immorality?  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Reflection for October 20, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 18:1-8

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, "There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, 'Render a just decision for me against my adversary.' For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, 'While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.

The Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
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My Reflection:
Are you prayerful? Is prayer an essential part of your everyday life? What do you do after you pray? Do you just lie down and wait for the answers to your prayers to fall from heaven? 

The readings and gospel for this Sunday is replete with persistent prayers coupled with corresponding actions. For example in our first reading Moses prayed while his people led by Joshua battled the Amalekites.

Moses did not stop praying until they achieved victory. In our gospel there is a parable told by Jesus about a persistent widow who ask again and again from a judge for a just decision she never gave up until she got what she wanted from the judge.

When we pray we humble ourselves before God, we humbly open ourselves to the unlimited blessings that God could shower to us. When we pray we get to know Jesus more deeply. We become not only friends with Jesus but very close friends with Him, thus Jesus now becomes an essential part of our life.

But are we prayerful? Is prayer already part our of everyday lives? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As we see now the devastation brought about by the 7.2 quake which hit Bohol, Cebu and nearby towns yesterday October 15, is beyond human comprehension. Let us continue to include them in our PRAYERS AND MASS INTENTIONS. Let us also extend whatever HELP we can give them.

As we see now the devastation brought about by the 7.2 quake which hit Bohol, Cebu and nearby towns yesterday October 15, is beyond human comprehension. Let us continue to include them in our PRAYERS AND MASS INTENTIONS. Let us also extend whatever HELP we can give them.

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday October 16, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, Luke 11:42-46

Gospel: Luke 11:42-46
“Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too. And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.
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My Reflection:
Seldom do we see Jesus angry and this gospel episode is one of the rare ones. What made Jesus angry? He was angry with the Pharisees, (the learned ruling class during that time) for the reason that they imposed so much religious requirements to their people. But unfortunately they were only good at imposing these requirements. They were not actually willing to live what they wanted their people to do.

Some if not many of us are like the Pharisees. We love to give orders: do this and to that but it ends there. We don’t lift a finger to do it ourselves, we want others to do things for us while we watch and relax. How could we become good examples or good leaders if we are not willing to walk our talk? How could we make Jesus happy if we are not willing to live what we learn from Him?

Effective faith in Jesus is faith that is alive and kicking and faith that is leading and working. This is the most effective faith, let us therefore live our faith. Not because we want others to see us living it. We live our faith because this is our moral obligation as true followers of Jesus. …       

Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Reflection for October 13, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 17:11-19

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master! Have pity on us! And when he saw them, he said, "Go show yourselves to the priests. As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, "Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God? Then he said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."
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My Reflection:
After healing the ten leapers only one returned (a Samaritan). That’s why Jesus said, Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Indeed, what happened to the other nine who were members of Jesus faith? Jesus was looking for them perhaps being one in faith with Him Jesus was expecting them to also return back and signify also their gratitude to Him.  But the nine were missing in action, they were good only in soliciting favors from Jesus. After they got what they wanted they evaporated from His sight.

Such is the behavior of many of us, we earnestly pray when we need something from Jesus. Burt after getting what we want, Jesus is sometimes forgotten or Jesus is not given importance once again. Actually it’s not only through Jesus that we show our ingratitude. Even with our family members or friends we are sometimes full of ingratitude.

Think of your spouse, children, parents and friends, have you acknowledge their goodness to you?   Have you said a word of gratitude to them, for the little and big favors that they’ve done for you? Or you haven’t done anything to acknowledge their goodness. Such is our behavior sometimes very forgetful or even ungrateful.

Let us think of Jesus, have we thanked Him for the many blessings that He has been giving us? The blessing of life, the blessing of sunlight every morning, have we thanked Him through our morning prayers?

We have in our first reading and gospel two individuals who never forgot to be grateful for the favors that were done to them by God. In our first reading there’s Naaman a Syrian soldier sick with leprosy. He was cured by the prophet Elisha even if he was not an Israelite. He went back in gratitude and offered a gift to the prophet. In our gospel there were ten lepers who were cured by Jesus. But only the Samaritan remembered to went back to Jesus to signify His gratitude.         

In everything let us be grateful to Jesus, for our life, for our health for the numerous healings. That we often times fail to recognize for the reason that we are always fixated on our problems. Thus, we miss out the goodness of Jesus to us. Even in the midst of our trials let us also be thankful because it purifies us and it makes us better individuals.

Do you always acknowledge the goodness of Jesus to  you? 

Monday, October 7, 2013

I conduct and facilitate Recollections and Retreats.

I conduct talks and facilitate Recollections. For more details please get in touch at: mjdasma@yahoo.com or mjdasma@gmail.com. 
Tel no. 046-4303668

Saturday, October 5, 2013

My Reflection for Monday October 7, Our Lady of the Rosary; Luke 10:25-37

Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it? He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? Jesus replied, A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight.

He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, take care of him.

If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back. Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers’ victim? He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.
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My Reflection:
We all desire eternal life with Jesus and we are given by Him the keys toward it. The first key is to love Him and the second one is to love our fellowmen as how we love ourselves. But how could we manifest our love for God if we hardly have time for Him? When we give so much time for our earthly undertaking thus we forget God.
  
To love Jesus is to give our time to Him. He doesn’t ask us all of our time He only ask us a little of our time. For example, how many hours do we have for the entire week? Jesus only ask us to give Him one hour of those many hours a week though our presence in the Holy Mass. Many of us are not able to fulfill this one hour meeting with Jesus for the reason that we are very busy.

To Love Jesus is to share Him with our fellowmen. How many of us are able to share Jesus through our words and actions. To love Jesus is to read the bible even for only two minutes a day. How many of us are able to read the bible daily even for two minutes a day?

And finally to love our fellowmen is to love them without preconditions, to love them by not imposing our will on them. And to love them no matter whom they are and no matter how sinful they may seem for we are all sinful children of God. …    

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Reflection for October 6, Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 17:5-10

Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

"Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here immediately and take your place at table'? Would he not rather say to him, 'Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished'? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.
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My Reflection:
Were the apostles lacking in faith, that’s why they asked Jesus to increase their faith? I think so,  perhaps, they were already being overwhelmed by the challenges and difficulties of their mission. That’s why they said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”

Diminishing faith I think is an ever present danger in our relationship with Jesus. Most especially today where our faith in God is severely being tested by our enormous problems. Does faith in God still matters today? Of course it still matters! Above all our problems and trials is a God who is in control and a God who is far more superior than any problems in this world.

Our life today is full of challenges and problems. There is always that danger that these challenges and problems might take us away from our faith in God. For example, We might question God, why are we encountering these trials. And it may seem that God is not hearing our prayers.  In the process we might be overwhelmed and might lose our faith in God.

That’s why it is a must also for all of us to always ask Jesus to increase our faith. We make this petition part of our daily prayer. Because faith is a gift from Jesus this is something that we cannot achieve by our own efforts. No matter how hard we try to increase our faith by ourselves, we would not be able to have it.

Therefore we pray again, increase our faith O Lord and continue to strengthen us as we pass through the many trials of our lives. …