Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday January 30, Third Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 4:21-25

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Gospel: Mark 4:21-25
Jesus said to his disciples, “Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.” He also told them, “Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
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My Reflection:
Generosity always breeds abundant blessings. For example if we are always generous we are always assured that whatever we give will come back to us a hundredfold more. Let us observe those who are generous or those who always lend a helping hand.  Are they in want of anything or are they lacking in blessings from the Lord? No, they are not in want the flow of God’s blessings to them flows like a stream or a river.

On the other hand notice also those who are miser, those who seldom give help or those who are tightfisted. The blessings of the Lord come into them in trickle.  Jesus in our gospel reading for today tells us that the measure with which we measure will be measured out to us also (Mark 4:24). Translating this in plain and simple language, this simply tells us that what we give will come back to us abundantly.

But do we always give? Often times we do not, we keep to ourselves our blessings. There are even times that we say that we’ve worked hard for every penny that we have that’s why we are very careful in dispensing our money or wealth. If we are like this we trust more ourselves more than we trust the generosity of the Lord. We also constrict the flow of blessings from the Lord.  

If we live generosity we will receive more generosity from the Lord.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Reflection for January 26, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Matthew 4:12-23


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Gospel: Matthew 4:12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
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My Reflection:
Many of us have our own stories of conversion. For example, to many of us Jesus is only a figure that we used to know until somebody shared Him to us and this facilitated a much intimate friendship with Jesus. Or let us say that we have read something about Jesus and thereafter we felt that He was already directly speaking to us. Calling us to renew our lives and become His faithful followers. 

Perhaps the four apostles (Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John) have already heard about Jesus. They might have heard about His baptism in the river Jordan by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17). And they might have heard also about Jesus’ temptation by the devil in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11).

Most probably, Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John have heard bits and pieces of information about Jesus already. Until they saw and heard Jesus up close and personal, calling them to follow Him. The four of them had a whirlwind encounter with Jesus that resulted to a lifetime discipleship.

The four apostles were veteran fishermen but deep in their hearts there was still that void. They were yearning for something that would fulfill their lives. Until their yearning for fulfillment was addressed by their personal encounter with Jesus. After which their lives were never the same again and from thereon they lived their lives with deeper meaning and purpose.

Many of us are yearning for something meaningful in our lives. Yes, we may be financially secure already, but deep inside us something us still lacking.  Deep inside us we are in search for that higher being that would finally complete and secure us spiritually.

This higher being is no other than Jesus, the same Jesus who called Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John. Let us respond to His call to deeply and faithfully follow Him. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Reflection for Friday January 24 Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor; Matthew 3:13-19


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Gospel: Mark 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
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My Reflection:
We wonder why Jesus did not call the powerful and educated to be His apostles. He instead chose to call ordinary men. The core of His apostles were fishermen and the others were like us ordinary people. Perhaps the message for all of us is this: We will hear the powerful voice of Jesus in our lives if we live simple lives.  

Often times we don’t anymore hear the voice of Jesus calling us to follow Him because we have very complicated lives. We are very busy with this world, we allow this world to possess us as if we could bring to our graves the riches of this world.

When we become overly preoccupied with this world we also distance ourselves from Jesus. So because of this we are not able anymore to feel and hear the voice of Jesus in our hearts. Thus we become prone to commit sin and we are easily snatched by evil temptations.

The best lifestyle for us so that we would be able to hear the voice of Jesus who always knocks in our hearts. Is simple lifestyle this doesn’t mean that we wouldn’t anymore be aspiring to improve our wellbeing. We will still aspire but in the midst of our aspirations we will remain humble and simple.

Just like the apostles who were humble and simple we too must be humble and simple. So that we would be able to hear the voice of Jesus who always knocks in the doors of our hearts. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

My Reflection for Thursday January 23 Second Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 3:7-12


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Gospel: Mark 3:7-12
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 Reflection:
 Everyone from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, Tyre and Sidon want to have a glimpse of Jesus. During this gospel episode Jesus was like a magnetic celebrity who attracts people from different places. What was the moving force of their attraction to Jesus; it was Jesus’ miracles and healings. But  when Jesus stopped doing miracles. And was already being tortured, made fun of and then killed by the roman soldiers. Only a few dared to follow Him until the end majority of them evaporated like the a morning dew.

Such is life, almost everyone wants to be attached to us and to know us if we are powerful and popular. But notice also that when we do not have power anymore, when we grow old and get sick. Only a few will then remember us, those who would stay by our side will be the few true relatives and friends.

But Jesus was not concerned as to who will be staying by His side. What was primordial in His mind was to help. Never mind if that person whom He had helped would be with Him until the end of His life or not.  In like manner we too are being urged to help without any discrimination. No matter who they are no matter if they would be loyal to us until the end or not. What is always important is we do good and we live the teachings of Jesus.

Do we always do good or do we have a selective attitude in doing good? - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Reflection for Sunday, January 12, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Matthew 3:13-17



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Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17
Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. after Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
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My Reflection:
Why does Jesus have to be baptized when He could go on with His salvific mission without it? Why did He choose John to baptize Him when there were many others whom Jesus could choose from? Jesus underwent baptism in the river Jordan courtesy of John, for the reason that it was what God wanted Him to do. Jesus is without sin but He had to fulfill first the plan of God before He could commence with His mission.   

Therefore Jesus’ Baptism is a symbolic and important Sacrament. Which equipped Him with all the necessary power that He needs so that He could fulfill His mission of Salvation. That’s why after Jesus’ baptism the heavens were opened for Him and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Him. And then the clincher, they heard the mighty voice of God the Father affirming Him.

Unlike Jesus who is without sin, we are sinful, we carry the burden of original sin passed onto us by Adam of Eve. That’s why we have to be baptized first for us to become members of the church and in the process we are cleansed from the mark of original sin.  

Having been baptized and being of age already we partake of Jesus’ mission to spread the good news of the faith, that’s why we have to live our faith. We have to bring people to God, we have to do acts of mercy. And last but certainly not the least is we have to live the life of Jesus. These are our own Baptismal mission that we have to live. 

By celebrating the Baptism of Jesus today we don’t only recall and remember Jesus baptism. We are also reminded that we have our very own baptismal mission which we have to live and fulfill.

Are we able to live and fulfill our own Baptismal mission? - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Ang Aking Repleksyon para sa Linggo, January 12, Kapistahan ng Pagbibinyag ng Panginoon, Mateo 3:13-17


Thursday, January 9, 2014

My Reflection for January 11, Saturday after Epiphany; John 3:22-30


http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011114.cfm
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Gospel: John 3:22-30
Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing. John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned. Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings.

So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John answered and said, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him. The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.”
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My Reflection:
The followers of John and a Jew went to him to say that somebody was also baptizing. And He was attracting crowd more than that of John. As if they were urging John to go to that man (who was actually Jesus) and rebuke Him. But John told them that the man (Jesus) who was also baptizing was far more greater than himself. John knew where his place was in the plan of God, he perfectly knew that he was not the anointed one.

By John’s acceptance of his role in the plan of God, he unwittingly accelerated Jesus’ mission of evangelization and salvation. He gave way to Jesus for the common good of the people that they swore to serve.

Rivalry is an ever present issue among church workers, among siblings and even married couples. But come to think of it, instead of having rivalry, why don’t we learn to accept our roles?

But to swallow one’s ego is not easy to do and here we learn from John’s humility. John was humble enough to accept his role in the plan of God. That’s why the spread of the faith during that time was further accelerated.

In the advancement of any noble relationship or mission two heads are always better than one. If only the  other head will mirror the humility of John. 

My Reflection for January 10, Friday after Epiphany; Luke 5:12-16


http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011014.cfm
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Gospel:Luke 5:12-16
It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.
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My Reflection:
During the time of Jesus leprosy was seen as a condemnable sickness. To be sick with leprosy was perceived by many as punishment from God. That’s why those who were sick with leprosy keep their distance from the crowd because they were perceived to be sinful.

But let us look at the behavior of the man in our gospel who was sick with leprosy. Upon seeing Jesus he did not run away from Him, he instead went towards Jesus. Pleaded Jesus to cure him with his dreaded disease, And of course Jesus did not refuse the sick man he cured him immediately.

A few years ago I had a relative who was sick and was given a few months to live by her doctor. She asked me if I could give her Holy Communion, I first told her to go to a priest for Confession, Holy Communion and anointment of the sick. Then I asked her, when was your last Confession? She told me more than twenty years ago.

To make a long story short, she went to Confession and I asked her again, how did you feel after your Confession? She told me this; I felt that a very big burden has been taken off from myself. Then she lived for a few more years.

The modern leprosy that enslaves us now is our sins, this makes us gravely sick spiritually. Why don’t we go to a priest and confess our sins to him. We may not have been to confession for so long already. It’s about time that we are healed from this grave spiritual leprosy. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Reflection for January 8, Wednesday after Epiphany; Mark 6:45-52

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010814.cfm
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Gospel: Mark 6:45-52
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.
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My Reflection:
Each one of us encounters storms in our lives, some of us are able to survive these life storms and bounce back. Some unfortunately are not able to get-up again they wallow in self-pity and they live problematic lives for so long as they live.

What is the secret of those who are able to survive and bounce back? It’s not their money; it’s not their friends not even their strong family support. They’re able to survive and bounce back because of their faith that is strongly anchored on Jesus.

All of the possessions and power that we see and grasp will eventually pass us by. But there’s one that will be with us until eternity and that is Jesus. In this modern world of internet that we are in right now, Jesus seems to be irrelevant already to many. Let us not make this mistake of consigning Jesus to irrelevancy because we need Jesus today more than ever.  

Get to know Him deeply, try reading the first four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible (New Testament). And be a constant presence in the celebration of the Holy Mass for Jesus is also there. So that you’ll survive whatever storms that you may encounter in your life. …

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Reflection for January 7, Tuesday after Epiphany; Mark 6:34-44

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010714.cfm
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Gospel: Mark 6:34-44
When Jesus saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late. Dismiss them so that they can go to the surrounding farms and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” He said to them in reply, “Give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Are we to buy two hundred days’ wages worth of food and give it to them to eat?” He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out they said, “Five loaves and two fish.”

So he gave orders to have them sit down in groups on the green grass. The people took their places in rows by hundreds and by fifties. Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; he also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve wicker baskets full of fragments and what was left of the fish. Those who ate of the loaves were five thousand men.
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My Reflection:
The love of Jesus for us is like no other love because it’s the greatest of all love.

When Jesus saw the vast crowd insistently following Him, He was moved with compassion for them. That compassion was born out of His infinite love for the vast crowd.   Then after the compassion or pity comes the actual action of Jesus’ love for them. He feed them all with five loaves and two fish and there was plenty more to spare.

This is how Jesus loves us, full with compassion and love in action. But are we mindful of this love that He has been giving us all these years? Do we ever acknowledge these great love and compassion that Jesus gives us everyday? Jesus feed the more than five thousand not only to fill their empty stomachs. He feed them because He loved them.  

There are times or perhaps often times we tend to forget this infinite love of Jesus. But even if we forget Him, His infinite love and compassion is always there for us. It’s ours for the taking and it’s ours to claim, there’s no ransom for Jesus love.

Let us therefore claim this infinite gift of love of Jesus by our presence in the Eucharistic Celebration/Holy Mass. Jesus is there ever willing to fill our empty and sometimes wondering souls. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Reflection for January 6, Monday after Epiphany; Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010614.cfm
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Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17, 23-25
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
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My Reflection:
In the midst of darkness light gives hope, it gives us something to hold-on and to look forward. This is how the prophet Isaiah depicted Jesus in his prophecy in the Old Testament. In the New Testament the light became a reality in the person of Jesus.

Jesus called for repentance among the people. He proclaimed the gospel and healed the people with their spiritual and physical sickness.  Jesus is still the same yesterday, today and in the future. He is still the light of our lives today, He still cures us with our many sickness. And He still calls us all to repent from all of our sins.

Let us not make the mistake of finding our light and hope in this world. For this world will certainly not give us true light and hope. This world may give us temporal happiness but to say that we rest our hope and happiness in this world is a big mistake that we must not commit.

Let us discern the voice of Jesus who always calls us to follow Him. Let us make Him the hope and light of our lives today and onwards. We will never go wrong if we choose to hear the voice of Jesus who always calls us to repent and permanently walk away from all of our sins.

My Reflection for Sunday, January 5, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord; Matthew 2:1-12

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010514.cfm
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Gospel: 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 Reflection:
The Magi from the East had their gifts for the baby Jesus and these were not ordinary gifts for they consist of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Gold foretells Jesus kingship, Frankincense predicts that the child Jesus is to be worshipped. And Myrrh which was used for anointing the dead predicts His death on the cross.     

What is the best gift that we could give Jesus this year (2014)? Is it our time and strength for the furtherance of the gospel? Is it our treasure and knowledge? Whatever it is let us give Jesus nothing less but our very best. Let us not mind what it will cost us; let us give Jesus what He truly deserves for He is our Lord and Savior.

Sometimes it is very hard to give especially if we will not immediately receive something in return. It’s very hard for many of us to give to Jesus because Jesus does not physically reciprocate our generosity. But where could we find Jesus in this era of internet and modern gadgets?
  
Jesus is in the poor that we always see, Jesus is with the hungry and homeless. And Jesus is with anyone who badly needs our help, love and care but we don’t mind them. We don’t see Jesus in them because we are always very busy with our many selfish undertakings. If only we would not be selfish we would be able to see Jesus in them. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Repleksyon para sa Linggo, January 5, Kapistahan ng pag papakita ng Panginoon: Mateo 2:1-12


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday January 2, Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen, Bishops and Doctors of the Church; John 1:19-28

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/010214.cfm
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Gospel: John 1:19-28
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.
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My Reflection:
If only we are all like John, the catholic church would have remained the sole Christian church in the world. But we are not because we are not as humble as John. And we are not like John because many of us are not also ready to die for the sake of upholding what is moral and right.

John is a paradox for many of us because he was at the threshold of attaining instant fame. But he refused it, he instead choose to remain humble and not fool around with fleeting fame. Around that time John had all the opportunities not to stand for the teachings of Jesus yet he chose to stand for Jesus even at the cost of his very own life.  Such is John, humble to the core of his bones and loyal to Jesus and His teachings.

Many of us Catholics love to be in the limelight, we hunger for attention and adulation. We love it when we are praised to high heavens. Our ears even flap in acknowledgment of the honor that is not ours. Let us be like John at all times so that we could attract others to join our faith.

It’s not anymore the faith that we carry that attracts others to join us. It’s how we live in humility the faith that we carry. Marino J. Dasmarinas1