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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 31 Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas; John 1:1-18

Gospel: John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 

He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
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Reflection:
What is the best New Year’s resolution that you could ever do? The best resolution is for you to be like John who humbly prepared the way for Jesus. John brought people to Jesus, John never told the people of his time to stay with him. He pointed to Jesus as the one that they must follow and not himself. Are you capable of doing this?

Are you up to the task of guiding others to Jesus and do you have the motivation to gently speak about Jesus to your fellowmen? If we have the fear of speaking we could also simply live the life of Jesus and that is more than enough already to point others to Jesus. There are people who cannot read and there are some also who cannot hear therefore it’s how we live that we could best bring them to Jesus.

Some of us may say that to share Jesus is not my job it’s for the exclusive domain of deacons, priest, bishops and nuns. But no, by virtue of our baptism we have already been empowered to share whatever we could share about Jesus and our Catholic faith. But have you shared Jesus and your Catholic faith?

This New Year make it your resolution to share and live Jesus. Be not afraid to share Him for He will be with you and the Holy Spirit who makes everything possible will be with you also.

Therefore be like John who shared Jesus and who pointed to Jesus as the Anointed one. Use facebook, instagram, twitter and many other means of communication to advance the teaching of the greatest teacher who ever walked this earth.    

Don’t you want to become an agent of change for Jesus this 2015? Of course you want! -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflection for Monday December 29, Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas; Luke 2:22-35

Gospel: Luke 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him 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: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of 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.”
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Reflection:
Do you know how it feels to hope on nobody but the Lord Jesus? Simeon the man from Jerusalem certainly knew this unique feeling, he was already ready to go out if this world upon seeing the young Jesus. His hope and salvation rested on nobody but Jesus, is Jesus the Hope and Salvation of your life?

Simeon was searching for Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit he was able to find Jesus in the temple being offered to God by his parents. Do you search for Jesus in your life and do you thirst for Him? You will certainly find Jesus when you search and thirst for Him. This may sound impossible to you but this is certainly true as true as the rising of the sun in the morning.

But many of us don’t even bother to search for Jesus and we hardly have time for Jesus. So what happens to our life? We have so many fears in life; the fear of dying, the fear of sickness and so forth. Simeon in our gospel reading was not fearful of anything even death! He was even ready to die already for he already found Jesus. 

As you continue your journey in this world you will be going after so many worldly things such as riches, power, higher learning and so forth. All of these worldly things will not give you peace of mind these things may even disturb your mind. 

For a change, why not stop going after these worldly things and thereafter begin your search for Jesus? He’s just around the bend waiting for you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 28, Feast of The Holy Family; Luke 2:22-40

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him 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 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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Reflection:
What is the status of many modern families today? They are always wired to their gadgets that connect them to the World Wide Web. What was the status of the family twenty five years ago? They were strongly connected with each other for they often communicate. They were wired also not by any means of high-tech gadgets but they were wired to each and every member of their family. For life then was so simple, there was no internet or any kind of high-tech gadgets.

The modern family of today seldom talks with each other; they have more time with their gadgets than with their fellow human being. What a sad fact of modern life! But this is the reality of the modernity of life: We have more time with gadgets and internet yet less time for person to person interaction.

Twenty five years ago life was very simple and serene; children were more respectful to their parents. And the parents of yesterday had more time for their children than the modern and high-tech parents of today. We need not go far to prove this sad fact of modern family life we simply have to look at our own respective families today.

Today we celebrate in a very special way the feast of the Holy Family of Joseph, Jesus and Mary. The simple and humble model family that we must all emulate, they had no means of material wealth yet they were happy and they had contentment. Why? For the simple reason that God was at the center of their lives.

They worship God as a family and they faithfully observe the teachings of their Jewish faith. How many of us worship God as a family? How many of our modern family faithfully observes the discipline of the Catholic Church?

Many parents today are disheartened by the actuations of their grown-up children. Many parents would say, “I never brought you up to become so arrogant and so disrespectful to me. But on hindsight, did these parents invest time on their children? Did they bring them to church for Holy Mass? Did they teach them our Catholic faith? Did they open to them the life of Jesus which is always available in the bible?

The Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary is telling us to go back to the basics of family life. Keep family life simple and pure, communicate more often have more time for face to face family interaction. Listen more to your spouse and your children for they have so many personal stories to tell you.  And last but certainly not the least is to bring your entire family to church for Holy Mass.

How’s your modern family today? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 26, 2014

Reflection for Saturday December 27, Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist; John 20:1a, 2-8

Gospel: John 20:1a, 2-8
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him. So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
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Reflection:
What does the empty tomb of Jesus signify? It signifies that Jesus has risen after dying on the cross at Calvary. Simon Peter perhaps did not immediately believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Unlike the other disciples which is John who immediately believed after seeing the empty tomb and the burial cloths.

In this gospel episode it may seem that Peter and John are followers with contrasting intensity of faith. John with his rock solid faith and Peter who seem to be reluctant to immediately believe for it was not mentioned that Peter immediately believed.

But was Peter’s faith in the resurrection of Jesus really inadequate during that moment? Perhaps no, perhaps Peter chose to keep in his heart his faith in Jesus. In the silence of his heart Peter perhaps was also an instantaneous believer of the resurrection of Jesus.

Faith is a gift as well as conversion, like Peter many of us carries these two in our hearts silently. We may not immediately notice this in our fellowmen but it’s within them deeply rooted courtesy of Jesus.

Let us therefore pray to Jesus that He also give us this gift of faith and conversion. Let us also not forget to pray for our loved ones and friends so that they too may receive the same gift of faith and conversion. Amen. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflection for Friday December 26, Saint Stephen, First Martyr; Matthew 10:17-22

Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
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Reflection:
What fuels a person to give his/her life for Jesus? It’s their fidelity to the mission of Jesus and it’s their love until the end of their lives for Jesus. For many of us it’s hard to think that there are people who are willing to give their life for Jesus. But this is the reality; there really are unsung heroes who will willingly give their life for the mission of Jesus.

Another reality of life is this, those who humbly continue the mission of Jesus are often times persecuted also. Let us think about the many martyrs of the church who shed their blood for Jesus’ mission. There are many of them some became saints and some silently went to heaven. They never wavered in their fidelity to the mission of Jesus they continued amidst the persecution/s.

Let us say for example, what if you will also be called to witness for Jesus inside your family? Will you take the risk to speak about the teachings of Jesus even if its  unpopular to the majority of your family members?

A faithful follower will never be afraid to humbly speak for Jesus, for to speak for Jesus teachings is always right. But we must also do it in such a way that we will not condemn others in the name of Jesus for He doesn’t condemn.

We must always see to it that we always show the gentleness of Jesus. And not our own personalities which often times are judgmental and self-righteous. Amen. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday December 25, Christmas Day Mass; John 1:1-18

Gospel: John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory,the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
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Reflection:
Do you perceive the presence Jesus in your life? Do you feel His abiding love and care? Jesus was born into this world for you. God so love you that He became human like you. He walked in this world and mingled with the ordinary people of His time. For what reason did God do this? The reason is no other than love, God so love us dearly that He willingly gave His only begotten son for us.  

Jesus descended into this world through Mary to let us know that He is not a distant God. To let us know that He is a God amongst us, a God who walks with us and a God who is always there for us.

If through His birth Jesus humbled Himself for us so that we may live and have life, in what way do we humble ourselves for God? Are we silently doing our share to help Jesus advance His mission in this world? Do we invite our fellowmen to go to church for Holy Mass so that they too would feel the love of God?       

In this day of the birth of Jesus the church is teeming with people for Holy Mass. However some or many of them don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus yet. They are there because they’ve grown with this holy tradition. If we know someone who is like them it would be noble therefore if we would gently teach them about the life of Jesus and the reason why He was born into this world.

Have you done something to gently share the real reason for this season? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday December 25, Christmas Midnight Mass; Luke 2:1-14

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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Reflection:
What is a manger? It’s a box where feeds for farm animals are placed, where is a manger located? It’s located in a barn, what is a barn? It’s a small place where farm animals are located or housed. God chose Jesus to be born in that lowly location for a reason and that reason is for us to appreciate that Jesus comes to our life in the humblest and simplest occurrence.

God could have chosen Jesus to be born in a palace befitting his status but God chose Jesus to be born in a humble location so that he would be accessible to all of us. If God chose Jesus to be born in a palace he would be distancing Himself from many of us for palaces befit only royalties’ and kings.

Jesus was born in a barn because no other place was available for them or no one was willing to let them in. They went knocking from door to door but to no avail. Perhaps they were all busy that’s why they have no time to open their house for the birth of Jesus.

On this night of the birth of Jesus, He is knocking on the doors of our hearts as well. Let us open our hearts to Jesus let us let Him dwell there for there is no greater gift that we could ever receive in this season of Christmas than Jesus Himself.

Would you open your heart for Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, December 22, 2014

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

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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Reflection:
When do you feel that you are full of the Holy Spirit? It’s when you make prayer part of your daily life. You pray not once a day, not twice a day, not thrice a day, not four times a day, not even five times a day. You pray more than the sum total of the numbers that was mentioned.

Many of us do not pray often everyday because we think that it takes time to pray, no it doesn’t take time to pray. We can even pray even for a few seconds because the efficacy of our prayer is not measured by its length it’s measured by our focus and intensity.  

In our gospel we have the father of John named Zechariah. He is not only a priest he is also a holy man and as such he is a prayerful man; he prays with focus and passion. Because of his prayerful life it was already automatic for Zechariah to be filled with God the Holy Spirit.

The canticle of Zechariah was not only his own making it was also largely influenced by God the Holy Spirit whom he was always in-touch with thru his prayerful life. It was the Holy Spirit who empowered Zechariah to compose his canticle or song of praise for God.

Do you have an effective and passion filled prayer life? Do you feel in a very special way the presence of God the Holy Spirit in your life? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

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

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. When 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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Reflection:
What can our fidelity to the desire of God do to us? It could bring us blessings, it could free us from the bondage of sin, and it could heal us from any form of sickness and the like.

Initially the new born baby was supposed to be named after his father Zechariah for it was the tradition during that time. But his mother Elizabeth intervened she told them that he is to be named John. Perhaps Zechariah had told his wife Elizabeth about his encounter with an angel in the sanctuary who told Zechariah that the boy should be named John.

The relatives were not fully convinced with the desire of Elizabeth to name her child John. So they asked Zechariah and on a tablet he wrote the name John. And immediately Zechariah was freed from the bondage of not being able to speak.

God has always a reward for those who are faithful to His desire and this desire is to follow at all times His will for us. You may ask, what is the will of God for myself? God’s will  is for us to  observe faithfully His ten commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and to follow Jesus’ two greatest commandments of love (Matthew 22:36-40).

You may not become rich and powerful in the measurement of this world if you will follow His desire. But you will certainly have peace in your life, peace that this world would not be able to give you no matter how rich and powerful you become.

Do you always strive to follow the desire of God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 21, Fourth Sunday of Advent; Luke 1:26-38

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and of his Kingdom there will be no end.

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative has also conceived a son in her old age and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel departed from her.
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Reflection:
How deep is your love for God or how profound is your love for God? Are you willing to sacrifice something of yourself for God? For example if somehow through your conscience you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you to do something, would you be willing to do it?

Christmas is just around the bend four more days to be exact, what does the Holy Spirit telling you to do this Christmas? Surely it’s not to buy things for yourself! Surely it’s not actions that will make you personally happy! For there’s no real happiness in doing something for oneself, real and profound happiness comes out from our hearts when we do something for others. Most especially to those who cannot give back the good that we do for them.

When the Blessed Mother obeyed the will of God for her to be the mother of Jesus she sacrificed her own happiness for the will of God. The Blessed Mother put aside her own safety and honor so that she could honor the will of God for her. So that she could bring joy and salvation to all of humanity.     

When the Blessed Mother said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). There was already profound happiness in her heart for she knew that she would be doing something not for herself but for God and humanity.

For this Christmas why not try doing something different? Instead of doing it all for yourself why not do something for the people that He loved dearly? The poor and the unwanted those people who cannot give back the goodness that you will be doing for them. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 19, 2014

Reflection for Saturday December 20, Third week of Advent; Luke 1:26-38

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever and of his Kingdom there will be no end.

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative has also conceived a son in her old age and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren for nothing will be impossible for God.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word. Then the angel departed from her.
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Reflection:
Do you bow in humility to the will of the Lord? For example, you want to focus on something that you want to become your lifelong career. Yet in your heart you also feel that the Holy Spirit is leading you to something which is meaningful. Do you listen to this leading of the Holy Spirit in your life or you listen only to what you want for yourself?

Mary listened to the voice of the Lord God, Mary listened to the Holy Spirit who spoke to her heart. Mary had her own plans yet she subordinated her plan to God’s plan for her which is to become the mother of Jesus.

When you obey the voice of God who is continuously speaking to you, your life will change for the better. You may not gain the material wealth that this world will offer you but once you say yes to the voice of God. You will gain peace in your life; peace that you have never experienced before and peace that no material wealth could give you.

The Blessed Mother did this, she listened to the voice of God thru angel Gabriel and she listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit which was already speaking to her heart. Thus she gained peace and serenity in her life courtesy of God.

Do you still don’t have peace in your life right now? Listen to the voice of God and listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit. It may be telling you to reconcile with someone close to you, it may be telling you to reach-out in humility to a friend? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Reflection for Friday December 19,Third week of Advent; Luke 1:5-25

Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah of the priestly division of Abijah; his wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren and both were advanced in years.

Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God, according to the practice of the priestly service, he was chosen by lot to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to burn incense. Then, when the whole assembly of the people was praying outside at the hour of the incense offering, the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers toward children and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to prepare a people fit for the Lord.”

Then Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time. Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.

Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home. After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”
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Reflection:
Do you have a prayer request before God? Do you believe that your prayer request will be granted by God? You must always believe that God will grant your prayer request. Because when you believe that you will have what you want from God what you want from Him is already within your reach.

In our gospel the couple Zechariah and Elizabeth was praying to God for the gift of a child. Yet when the angel of God appeared to Zechariah in the sanctuary and told him that his wife would be pregnant. Zechariah suddenly had doubts and the reason for his doubt was credible for the reason that both of them were already old.

It was so uncharacteristic for Zechariah to doubt considering that he is a priest serving God. Zechariah forgot that nothing is impossible for God, did he forget or he simply had weak and feeble faith? Perhaps Zechariah had weak faith during that moment when the angel appeared to him.

Perhaps Zechariah was overwhelmed by their personal circumstances (Old age and the like). Let us not doubt when we have prayer/s for God. Let us firmly believe and have faith that God will grant us what we want from Him.  

Do you have a prayer request for God? Believe and have faith that He will grant it to you for He will surely give it to you if you would only believe and have faith. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reflection for Thursday December 18, Third week of Advent; Matthew 1:18-25

Gospel: Matthew 1:18-25
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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Reflection:
What if Joseph did not listen to the angel of God? Mary could have died violently by way of stoning. For that was the punishment for those caught cheating on their betrothed husband. But Joseph listened to the voice of the angel of God who told him that the fruit of Mary’s womb was brought to her by the Holy Spirit.

We see humility in Joseph, we see obedience and love for God in Joseph and we also see the great love of Joseph for Mary. Deep in his heart Joseph loved Mary to the deepest core of his bones, Mary was his everything. Joseph loved Mary more than his life. If Joseph did not love Mary more than his life he could have easily left Mary and told the authorities about her out of wedlock pregnancy.

Aside from Joseph’s love for Mary, Joseph also loved God for if he did not love God he could have simply brushed aside the angel of God and move-on with his plan of divorcing Mary. But Joseph loved God this is the reason why he listened to the voice of God coursed through an Angel.

In the Sacrament of Matrimony/Marriage the voice of God is an ever present guiding light that couples must always follow. God tells the couples to stay with the Marriage covenant until mortal death breaks it. Of course no marriage is made in heaven, husbands and wives have their own behavioral shortcomings.

However, if couples would make the humility, the love of God and the holiness of both Joseph and Mary their role model in their married life. There would be no divorce; there would be no quarrels that sometimes become violent.

What would only exist is love, love that is humble, love that is truthful and love that is forgiving. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 17,Third week of Advent; Matthew 1:1-17

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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Reflection:
With the modernity of technology today wherein we are always busy with facebook and our many gadgets. Do we still have time to know our family tree or are we still willing to know our family tree? Say for example the names of our ancestors, are we still willing to know them?

Or we don’t have time to know them for the simple reason that they belong to the past already. And we are now here in this high-technology driven times where there is less people to people interaction. We now interact more with our internet friendly cell phones, ipads, laptops etc.

Nevertheless, we still need to know who our relatives are for the simple reason that we are humans, we are not high tech cell phones or other gadgets. And as such we need to know who our relatives are, so that we could also touch base and help them if they are in need of help.

We have in our gospel the ancestry of Jesus, it traces the family history of Jesus. From Abraham, King David up to Saint Joseph the designated father of Jesus. This ancestry shows the humanity of Jesus.

Even if He is God the Son Jesus is also human like all of us and being human this means that He is one with us. We can even adopt Him as our relative so that we could feel more closer to Him. For example we can treat Jesus as our brother or even our father that we could communicate with anytime.

God could have chosen Jesus to directly originate from heaven like a shooting star coming into earth. But God allowed Jesus to come from an ancestry of numerous people so that we can always be at home with Him. And so that we could treat Him as our close friend, our brother or even our father.

How’s your relationship with Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, December 15, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday December 16, First day of Misa de Gallo/Simbang Gabi; John 5:33-36

Gospel: John 5:33-36
(Jesus said to the Jews) You sent emissaries to John and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.    
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Reflection:
Today is the first day of Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. As we go through this nine days novena Mass let us try to prepare ourselves to be worthy to the coming birth of our savior. This we could do best by having an interior renewal of ourselves, by reconciling with our enemies. And by not focusing on the material side of Christmas focusing rather on the true essence of Christmas which is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Have you testified for Jesus by the way you talk and live? Have you humbly called for repentance and renewal? John humbly did all of these noble things, he was sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. Have we done something also to prepare the way for the coming birth of Jesus?

For example if you’re a parent, have you taught your children that the true essence of Christmas is not the material gifts that they would be receiving not either the appearance of Santa Clause? Have you pointed out to your children that the essence of Christmas is about Jesus?

Slowly but surely the true meaning of Christmas is being overpowered already by materialism and commercialism. In our own little way we could be like John also if we would try to highlight the true reason for this Christmas season no other than the birth of Jesus.   

Have you done something to humbly point out that the true  meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflection for Monday December 15, Third week of Advent; Matthew 21:23-27

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority? Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.  Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him? But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know. He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Reflection:
Where does Jesus’ authority comes from? We know that it comes from God, God gave Jesus the authority to preach, heal, exorcise those who are possessed by the devil and so forth.

The ruling class at that time (Pharisees, chief priest and elders of the people) was questioning Jesus’ authority because Jesus’ authority was more powerful than theirs. People were starting to flock more to Jesus than to them therefore they have to question His authority. Jesus never backed down with His authority He held-on to it until death.

Parent’s authority over their children is encompassing this means that for as long as parents live they have authority over their children until mortal death ends this authority. But why is it that many parents are being disrespected by their children?

This is for the reason that many parents failed to properly role model their authority over their children. They did not discipline their children; they spoiled their children by showering them material things. They failed to lead by example and they failed to introduce God to their children by teaching them about Jesus and by bringing them to church for Holy Mass.  Thus they end-up losing their authority over their children and the respect of their children.

If we want to have authority over our children and with other people under our care we must therefore be like Jesus. For Jesus exercised His authority by being a good role model, Jesus led by example until the end, even at the cost of His very own life.

How do you exercise your authority? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 14, Third Sunday of Advent; John 1:6-8, 19-28


Gospel: John 1:6-8, 19-28
A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No. So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself? He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said. Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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Reflection:
Have you thought or counted the things that you’ve done for God? For example when you do something for the poor, do you claim it as credit for yourself? Or you  do it because it’s for the  greater glory of God? You don’t claim credit for what you do, you’re simply content to become a nameless and faceless instrument of God.  

John is silently speaking to our hearts through this third Sunday of Advent’s gospel reading. He tells us, when you do things for the poor  always do it for the greater glory of God and not for your own glory. Be content to become a nameless and faceless instrument of God. John could have owned to himself his ministry from God but he did not, he pointed to Jesus as the greater power behind him.

Many times we fall into the trap of self-glorification at the expense of God and the poor that we help. Many times over we fall into the trap of raising ourselves up to the altar of admiration and glorification instead of silently fading away in favor of God.      

Because of his life changing preaching and the miracles that he did, John was asked by the priest and Levites, who are you? He humbly said I am not the Christ not even Elijah or a prophet (John 1:20-21). John further said, one mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals (John 1:27).

Because of the things that we do for God, what if somebody would ask us, who are you? Would we trumpet our qualities and achievements or we simply fade away and become a nameless and faceless worker for God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas