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

Forgive my many grammatical and punctuation mistakes :). - mjdasma

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Reflections for Saturday February 2, Luke 2:22-40 (Presentation of the Lord)

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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My Reflections:
An absentee parent was wondering how come her children have no proper values and no love for God. Many parents are perhaps in the same boat, they are puzzled how their children grew up in such manner. Parents are the basic formators of their children since who they are now is largely influenced by them.  If they reared them with love for God they will mature as lovers of God.

The Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph ensured that the young Jesus would grow-up to become someone who will love God dearly. That is why they always took time to present Jesus to the Lord.

Even if you are very busy, never forget to find time to bring your children to the Lord. To introduce Jesus to them and to teach them about your faith for it will surely bear fruit in the future.

Do you always bring your children to Mass? Have you introduced Jesus to them? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Reflections for Wednesday of the Third Week in OT, January 30, Mark 4:1-20 (Saint Martina of Rome)

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed 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 and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no roots; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
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My Reflections:
As we continue with our temporary journey in this fleeting world we may become like the unproductive seeds that feel on three different barren environments. This is brought about by our sinfulness and by following our own sinful desires instead of listening to the will of Jesus for us.  

But all is not lost yet because Jesus’ redemptive love is always there for us ever ready to renew us for us to become the seed that fell on rich soil that produced hundredfold fruits.

Let us therefore be docile to this will of Jesus for us, let us always listen to His redemptive voice.  …   

My Reflections for Tuesday January 29, Mark 3:31-35 (Saint Gildas the wise)

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.” But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
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My Reflections:
Jesus asked: Who are my mother and brothers?  Then He subsequently answered: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” 

What does this say to you and me? Perhaps this tells us that if we want to get close and intimate with Jesus we must be like Him: His humility, His acts of kindness and His countless selfless actions.  

These are the challenges that we must ponder if we want to get closer to Jesus.

Can we measure-up to these challenges... ? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Reflections for Monday January 28, Mark 3:22-30 (Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor)

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him.

But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies   that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
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My Reflections:
We are capable of saying disparaging words when envy rules us. We say it because we just want to destroy the good reputation of the person before our fellowmen. What happens next after we’re able to destroy the reputation? Would we feel triumphant because we’re able to destroy that person’s reputation? We will not gain anything from it except to allow hatred to rule our hearts.

Jesus was accused by the scribes as being possessed by Beelzebul because they were envious of growing popularity and power. They’ve tried to destroy His reputation but were not able to do so.

Let us not be envious with anyone let us close our hearts to this destructive emotion. …

Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Reflections for January 27, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Since many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news of him spread throughout the whole region. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by all. He came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord. Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
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My Reflections:
A father was having problems with his family; his wife was often out of their house with her friends. His children were not different; often they were out of their house also.  Naturally the father was thinking of how he can bring back peace and stability to their household.

Many ideas floated in his mind until he remembered the advice given to him by his brother years ago.  The advice was for him to have a regular habit of leading his family to read and reflect about the words of God in the bible. So he did, initially by himself then after a few weeks he asked his wife and children to join him then after a short period of time they lived happily ever after.

The words of God in the bible are living spirit that gives life, it unites us, it enlightens us and refreshes us. We must fully take advantage of this gift by giving it regular time for reading and meditation. But sad to say many Catholics seldom open their bibles to read, reflect and thereafter partake of its wisdom.

In our gospel, Jesus was in the synagogue for the day of Sabbath. He read aloud the words of the prophet Isaiah that was meant for Him. Jesus never kept it to himself He shared it with those who were present. We must not only be content also with reading our bible we must have the courage to share it.

Many are afraid to venture into sharing the words of God; they only keep it to themselves. If we do this we restrict God’s wondrous power within us but this is not the will of God. God wills us to share what we know about Him so that many lives will be enlightened in that process many souls will be saved.

As Jesus shared the wisdom of the bible so we must also. Let us not be afraid with the obstacles and with our personal limitations for God will always be with us. …   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Reflections for Friday January 25, Mark 16:15-18 (Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle)

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
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My Reflections:
Conversion is something that we desire for all of us for we are all flawed children of God. Some of us perhaps have tried every effort to walk away from our sinfulness only to backslide once again. Why is this so? Because we selfishly desire conversion we don’t invite the help of Jesus to walk us through our conversion process.

In the same breath, we will not become effective evangelizers of the teachings of Jesus if we will not invoke His help, if we will not ask Him to empower us and if we will not live His teachings.

Do you always ask Jesus to walk you through as you face the many challenges of your life? 

My Reflections for Thursday January 24, Mark 3:7-12 (Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor)

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd,  so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.
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My Reflections:
Many were pressing themselves towards Jesus because of His healing touch. But it’s not all the time that Jesus will heal us, there will be times that we will still be sick no matter how hard we push ourselves towards Jesus.

Let us not lose faith in Jesus even if He doesn’t heal us physically He has His own reasons. Perhaps it’s a test of our faith; perhaps Jesus wants us to journey with Him in His suffering towards Calvary.

The more that healing seems elusive that more that we must intensely follow Jesus. …

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Reflections for Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time January 23, Mark 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
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My Reflections:
To help those who are in need is for all season; it is not strictly confined nor enclosed to certain days or hours. As long as there are those who are in need of our help, then we must help by all means for this is what God wants us all to do. 

We see it in the gospel today; there is this man with a withered hand but it so happen that it was a Sabbath day. Did Jesus thought for a while of helping the man because it was Sabbath day and His usual critics were closely monitoring Him?

No He did not! He instead called the man and said: Come up here before us and He said again: Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

WE must not be afraid to help regardless of who the person is and immaterial of the circumstances that we are in. If we have the capacity to help by all means we must help. But the reality of it all is this: Some of us help selectively, we choose the person that we would help. We specially help those who can reciprocate the help that we’ve done; perhaps this is human nature.

But Jesus is challenging us through our gospel that we must transcend it and not be selective on extending our help.

Do you discriminate when you help?  

Friday, January 18, 2013

My Reflections for January 20, Sunday Feast of the Sto. Nino, Luke 2:41-52

Each year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety."

And he said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.
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My Reflections:
As we celebrate today the feast of Sto. Nino we will obviously be seeing many processions, motorcades and parades in honor of the baby Jesus. But some of those who will be joining this celebration will not be in the church for Mass. Some will be giving more importance to the parades than to their worship for Jesus at Holy Mass.

Joseph and Mary absolutely knew the importance of worshiping God as a family. That is why they brought along the twelve years old Jesus to worship God during the yearly celebration of the feast of Passover. Joseph and Mary completely knew also that their worship for God will help form the young mind of Jesus. By doing so Jesus will learn to love and honor God more than anything else in this world.

The primary duty of parents is to teach their children to love and honor God. For the reason that once we do this everything that is good and Godly is inculcated in their young minds. This will become therefore their guiding light as they grow-up and become responsible and God loving citizens of this world.

Let us bring our children to church for Mass, let us teach them to love and honor God, let us teach them about our faith.  And lest we forget let us teach them to love and honor their family most especially their parents.

My Reflections for January 20, 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.”

So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from — although the servers who had drawn the water knew —, the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.
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My Reflections:
How influential is your mother to you? Do you always listen to her whenever she speaks to you?  Influence is something that Mary has over her son Jesus not only that she exercised influence over Jesus. She also has the listening ear of Jesus.

The backdrop of Jesus’ first miracle is the wedding at Cana that run out of wine. The wedding feast could have already been over in that instance but Mary was there to save the day. She went to Jesus for the reason that she knows that she exercised influence over her son. Mary also knows that she has the listening ear of Jesus.  

Whether we admit it or not our mothers always have influence over us, we carefully listen to them. Why do we listen to them?  Where is their influence over us coming from? These questions are no brainer; we are very close with our mothers because we came from them. If not for them we would not be here in this world. They also nurtured us for nine months in their wombs then when we were born they took care of us and formed us to become who we are right now.

This is the reason why Jesus listened to the request of her mother Mary. Let us therefore always ask the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Let us ask her to gently whisper to Jesus all our prayers and request.

Let us have a devotion to the Blessed Mother. Let us always ask her to bring our prayers to the listening ear of Jesus. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Reflections for Sunday January 13, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ. John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
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My Reflections:
A newly deputized Eucharistic Lay Minister was so proud of his new found parish ministry that he invited everyone in there place to announce to them that he is now a Eucharistic Minister. He was not content with that kind of publicity so he told those who were gathered that he became a Lay Minister because he wanted it for so long. And according to him, no one influenced him to join the ministry but himself. After two months the Lay Minister was not anymore in the ministry.

What separates John from this Lay Minister? John is humble and this Lay Minister is not, John pointed to Jesus as the greater power in his ministry while the Lay Minister pointed to himself as the power behind his short-lived church involvement.

We celebrate today the feast of the baptism of the Lord. What does it tells us?  It reminds us of our own baptismal mission; it reminds us that we have a responsibility to do as baptized Christians. Our baptismal mission is to share our faith and in sharing our faith we also have a responsibility to do, none other than to share our faith with humility. And to let the virtue of humility become an integral part of our lives, this simply means that we must be humble at all times. 

What if we do not have the virtue of humility? We will not become effective bearers and sharers of the teachings of Jesus. We will not also become successful in our mission to bring others to Jesus. 

We can convince others to follow Christ if we would always be humble. We could develop the curiosity of our fellowmen to be interested with our faith if we live it with humility. As Jesus and John were humble evangelizers of the faith during their time, so must we. For the reason that it is only through our humility that we could effectively live our baptismal mission.

There is no other way but the way of humility. …    

Friday, January 4, 2013

My Reflections for Sunday January 6, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord: Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
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My Reflections:
During Christmas time a mother with twelve grown-up children was always alone in her big house.  When she was asked by her neighbor why she was alone she paused while a little bit teary eyed and she replied: “My children have their own families already.”

She further said: I used to be lonely during this time but I’m okay now because a holy man introduced me to Jesus: Jesus is in my life now. I go to Mass everyday, read my bible when I’m home and reflect on the readings then I’m all right: I submit my life to Jesus.”

The mother who was abandoned by her children was obviously melancholy, who would not be? It was good that she found a holy man who would guide her to Jesus, the very same Jesus who would cure her loneliness and emptiness.

The Magi were in search for Jesus to give Him homage and to offer Jesus their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But come to think of it, was it the sole purpose why they were in desperate search of the baby Jesus? There might have been loneliness and emptiness also in their hearts that is why they were frantically searching for Jesus for they knew that it was only Jesus who would cure their inward loneliness and emptiness.

In our fast moving world today many of our family members and friends are lonely and empty deep inside them. Yes they may have the riches of the world such as flashy cars, fat bank accounts, beautiful houses and the like.

But they may be longing for something that would inwardly cure their loneliness and emptiness. That something that they are longing for is no other than Jesus. Let us guide and bring them to Jesus, let us introduce Jesus to them through our words and actions.

Let us therefore be like the guiding star in the gospel and let us put on the shoes of the holy man in our story. …