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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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday January 1, Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God; Luke 2:16-21

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Gospel: Luke 2:16-21
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them. When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
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My Reflection:
On this first day of the year the church honor’s Mary as the Holy Mother of God. Perhaps this is so because the church wants to remind us of the important role of Mary in salvation history. In our gospel, the Blessed Mother quietly kept everything that was told them by the shepherd. No complaint whatsoever, she humbly submitted herself to the will of God for her.

The Blessed Mother quietly fulfilled her role as the Holy Mother of Jesus. She did not complain, she simply submitted herself to God’s will for her. She taught Jesus everything that He needs to know about life. And she also stayed with Jesus until the very end of His life. In return, Jesus greatly recognized her humble submission to the will of God by asking John the apostle to take care of His mother ( John 19:27).

All of us have our own mothers, I am very sure that we are all aware of the great sacrifices that they did for us. Like the Blessed Mother, they never complained they instead quietly assumed their motherly roles. For that was what God wanted them to become but how are we treating them right now that they are in twilight of their years? Are we giving them the best comfort and care that they could ever have?

Now that we are of age and we now can stand and survive on our own. Let us give our mothers the best that we could ever give them. Let us express to them our love and gratitude for all of the things that they’ve done for us. And if there will come a time that they commit mistakes caused by their advancing age let us remain patient and gentle with them. The good Lord will bless us abundantly this 2014 if we will take good care of our mothers.       
How are you taking care of your mother? - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday December 25, Solemnity of the Lord’s Birth, Luke 2:1-14

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Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
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My Reflection:
The gospel intimates to us the very simple birth of Jesus, bereft of any sign of affluence. This must also be our guide when we celebrate our Christmas; let us make it as simple as possible. Let us also see to it that we make others happy most especially the poor by sharing what we have with them. If we do this they will see the person of Christ in us; the true meaning of Christmas will become a living reality for them through us.  

Let us also see to it that we attend Holy Mass for this is the best way to usher the birth of Jesus. The true reason of the season which is the birth of our savior is often times overcrowded by our many Christmas undertakings/celebrations. Thus our celebration becomes the center of our Christmas; Jesus is now put aside in favor of these many celebrations.

Our Responsorial Psalm which says: Today is born our savior Christ the Lord. Typifies that we must put more premium first on the birth of Jesus and not on our many celebrations. In our first reading the prophet Isaiah signified the importance of Jesus’ birth by saying that those who walked in darkness have seen a great light and those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone (Isaiah 9:1).

How can we see the true light of Jesus that will brighten our lives if we put first our celebrations in lieu of our presence in the Holy Mass? How can we discover the true essence of Christ simple birth if we will waste food and not share what we have with the poor which Jesus always love to be identified with?

My Reflection for Tuesday December 24, Fourth Week of Advent; Luke 1:67-79

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Gospel: Luke 1:67-79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
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My Reflection:
Are we cognizant of the many blessings that God has bestowed upon us? For example the blessing of new life every morning: do we remember to thank God for this new life? The food on the table; do we say a prayer of thanks before we eat?  Or we are already used of getting-up in the morning, already used of the food on the table that it becomes ordinary already. So we immediately hop-in with our busy schedules thus we forget God.

Let us be mindful that the evil one through this world is slowly swaying us away from God thru its various enticements. It keeps us busy until such time that God becomes a simple unknown figure in our minds. Thus we sin without fear of the consequences for the reason that God is not part of our lives anymore. Zechariah was well aware of the many blessings that God has showered him and his family that’s why he praised Him.

In good times and in bad he never walked away from God he remained faithful to Him.   

Monday, December 23, 2013

My Reflection for Monday December 23, Fourth Week of Advent; Luke 1:57-66

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Gospel: Luke 1:57-66
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. hen they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”
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My Reflection:
In the Sacrament of Matrimony there are vows that is said by the Groom and the Bride. The language is like this: For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. There is always a gift from God once we remain faithful to this vows such as harmony in the family, successful and well-bred children, less problems and there are many more blessings attached to our faithfuness. These blessings are God’s gift for those couples who remain faithful until the very end of their lives.

In our gospel the relatives of Elizabeth and Zechariah were supposed to name the newly born baby after his father because it was the tradition. But when Elizabeth heard about it she opposed it and she said, he will be called John. Then they made signs to ask Zechariah who was mute at that time and he wrote in a tablet: John is his name.

Why John? Because it was the name that the Lord wanted for him (Luke 1:13), the Lord knew beforehand how faithful and docile the hearts of  Zechariah and Elizabeth. That’s why even if they were both old  and already barren they were blessed by the Lord with a child that will have a very significant role in the life of Jesus. Zechariah’s faithfulness was further rewarded by the Lord when he regained his faculty to speak once again.    

We must at all times be faithful to the Lord no matter how big or small the temptations are. Because it’s only through our faithfulness to Him that we will further receive unfathomable blessings from Him.

Do we always faithfully follow the commands of the Lord for us?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Reflection for December 22, Fourth Sunday of Advent; Matthew 1:18-24

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Gospel: Matthew 1:18-24
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
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My Reflection:
Sin separate us from the love of God but this sin is temporary. For as long as we humbly obey the command of God to ask for forgiveness from Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. So the secret for us to reconcile with God and to remain always in His love is to humbly obey His commands.

Humility and obedience were the virtues that embodied Saint Joseph. For he humbly obeyed the angel’s command to take the Blessed Mother into his home even if she was already pregnant courtesy of the Holy Spirit. By his humility and obedience he spared the Blessed Mother from condemnation and severe punishment.

Humility and obedience are virtues that will save us from many troubles if we embody it also. Just imagine if every couple would be obedient and humble to each other. And just imagine also if every couple would be humble and obedient before God. There would be no problematic marriages and there would be no separation.

The Emmanuel which means God is with us will indeed always be with us. If only we will learn to embrace humility and obedience. Let us therefore humbly ask Jesus to gift us with these two very important virtues this Christmas. …        

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Reflection for Saturday December 21, Third Week of Advent; Luke 1:39-45

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Gospel: Luke 1:39-45
Mary set out in those days and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.  Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
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My Reflection:
Aside from the birth of our savior, one of the many beautiful and relevant messages of Christmas is self-emptying of ourselves. To look less on our personal needs and focus it to the needs of those who are materially and spiritually poor.

Considering that she was also pregnant at that time. The Blessed Mother did not focus on her own needs and safety. She looked outside of herself to make a difference in the life of someone else: That is her cousin Elizabeth. This is what we must always emulate every Christmas time even everyday, to empty and make ourselves available for others.

When we were children the usual focus of our Christmas celebrations and expectations were for ourselves. That's why during christmas eve we put socks in our houses in anticipation of the gifts that Santa Clause would give us. Then as we mature with time we slowly capture the true essence of Christmas.  That  Christmas is not about gifts and certainly not about ourselves.

Christmas is actually the gift of life of Christ Jesus, the self-emptying of God’s only begotten son for our sake. Therefore, let us focus our Christmas on making others happy, let us remember those who are poor. Those who were ravaged by calamities like typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. Let us also remember our relatives whom we’ve not been in touch for so long especially the poor ones and let us make a positive difference in their lives this Christmas.     

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday December 18, Third Week of Advent; Matthew 1:18-25

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Gospel: Matthew I:18-25
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.
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My Reflection:
Upon learning that Mary was already pregnant Joseph decided to quietly divorce her. But an Angel of the Lord appeared through his dream. And intervened and told him not to divorce Mary for the reason that the child that she was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit. After waking up Joseph obeyed what the angel told him. He stayed with Mary, He protected her and saw to it that she will receive the best love and care that she could ever have.

Such is Saint Joseph, righteous, humble, docile and obedient to the will of the Lord. In this time wherein the Sacrament of Marriage is not given much worth anymore. And is treated as a simple paper contract we have Saint Joseph reminding us about the sacredness of the Sacrament of Marriage. We have Saint Joseph reminding us that Marriage is for men and women only. We have Saint Joseph reminding us that Marriage is not only a paper contract. It is in fact a forever covenant between the couple and Jesus.

Let us examine ourselves on how we put value on the Sacrament of Marriage. And let us follow the example of Saint Joseph on how he deeply loved the Blessed Mother. And on how he obeyed the will of God for him. … 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Reflection for December 17, Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent; Matthew 1:1-17

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Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah,  whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of  Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
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My Reflection:
Our gospel for today traces the genealogy of Jesus. From Abraham to David to Solomon just to name a few. As we look at the blood lines of Jesus we will find out that some of them are sinners. But God in His infinite wisdom choose them to become the ancestors of Jesus. We may think that this is bizarre or strange, some of the members of Jesus family tree are sinners?   Isn’t this inappropriate for the Son of God to originate from their bloodlines? But this is how God works, very mysterious and very unexpected.

All of us are sinners also, let us not think that because of our being sinful we are already beyond redemption and beyond the reach of the love of God. Everything is possible with our God, if we judge others or if we think of ourselves as incorrigible sinners. God doesn’t think that way, God can change a sinners to become a saint. God can bestow unexpected blessings to us sinners.

If others have already judged us as sinners and beyond redemption already, remember that God will never judge us. And who knows, He might just surprise us with unexpected blessing/s. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My Reflection for December 8, Second Sunday of Advent; Matthew 3:1-12

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Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.  John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
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My Reflection:
A group of siblings had a bitter dispute about inheritance from their parents. Since there was no last will and testament everyone was trying to outdo each other as to who would get the biggest chunk of wealth. Since there was no settlement it led to filling of cases in court. So the once happy siblings were now angry with each other.

The youngest amongst them had the wisdom to think about the unity of their family. So he humbly told his sibling, let us not quarrel over money and property. He further said that money come and go but family relationship once it’s broken is very hard to build again. Therefore the bitter dispute over money and property was healed by the family’s desire to be unified once again.

In our first reading for today the prophet Isaiah talks about the eventual reign of God. Where there is harmony and no disputes, everyone could peacefully co-exist with each other. The same is true with our second reading from Saint Pau’s letter to the Romans. It calls for unity and harmony with one another and their unifying factor is no other than God. They forget their own selves (Ego, pride and high regard for ones self) and allow the power of God through Jesus to unify them.     

In our gospel John the Baptist is preaching repentance for the kingdom of God is at hand. He specifically addressed this to the Pharisees and Sadducees. John the Baptist wanted them to produce concrete evidence of their repentance by their good deeds. This call to repentance of John is also addressed to us all to make us worthy for the forthcoming birth of Jesus.

Many families and siblings of today are not in harmony with one another there’s no sign of unity whatsoever. This is so for the reason that there is no visible sign of repentance in their hearts. Some are quarrelling over properties, some do not have peace in their family for the reason that they don’t want to admit their mistakes.

This second Sunday of advent let us ponder on this message of unity of our first and second readings. Let us also take courage to repent from all of our sinfulness as what John the Baptist tells us in our gospel.      

This is perhaps the best gift that we could give our family and Jesus this Christmas. … 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Reflection for Wednesday December 4, the First Week of Advent, Matthew 15:29-37

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Gospel: Matthew 15:29-37  
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
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My Reflection:
What do we do when we are sick? Of course we go to the doctor, but have we thought of going to Jesus first? To go to Him in deep prayer to ask Him to cure us with His mighty healing power. Many of us perhaps have forgotten already that Jesus is the greatest healer who ever walked on this earth. That’s why we sometimes forget to go to Him first in deep prayer before we go to our doctors. 

I know of someone who was sick, yes she went to her doctor for her healing. Whenever I go to the Blessed Sacrament I always see her there in deep prayer. Communing with Jesus asking Jesus to heal her, I now see her cured going about with her normal life.

In our gospel, great crowds went to Jesus, with them were the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many more sick people. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Whenever we are sick (Whatever it may be and no matter how grave it may be) let us always remember to go to Jesus first. And let us deeply pray to Him to heal us.

Do you always pray to Jesus?