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

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.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday January 28, St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church, Mark 3:31-35

Gospel: Mark 3:31-35
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 Reflection:
Jesus has a very simple requirement for us to become His brother, sister and mother and this is to do the will of God. What does this mean to you and me? We must feed the hungry, we must help those who need help, we must forgive and pray for those who’ve hurt us. And there are many more selfless actions that we can do so that we can be called relatives of Jesus.

It seems simple by reading through it but to live what Jesus wants us to do is another story. Do we really feed the hungry? Are we really quick to forgive? Are we really selfless? The challenge for all of us is to live our faith to the hilt. This means that we must at all times be like Jesus: through our actions and through our way of life.

However this is easier said than done, yet God in His infinite mercy gives us the opportunity  everyday for us to become part of Him. He presents us life situations wherein we could always live what we have learned from Him if at all we are leaning from Him.

The reality of life is it’s hard to be a relative of Jesus because we don’t undress ourselves with everything that makes us creatures of this world. Such as self-centeredness, arrogance, greed and a lot more negative attitudes. Which makes us relatives of the evil one rather than relative of Jesus.  

But all is not lost yet, we have every opportunity turn things around and become a true relative and follower of Jesus.

Monday, January 27, 2014

My Reflection for Monday January 27, Third Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 3:22-30

Gospel: Mark 3:22-30
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 Reflection:
Jesus talks about the importance of unity. He tells us; 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.

Unity indeed is very important, for example in a family. What will happen  If there’s no unity between the father and mother? Same as with friendship, how can friendship last if friends are not operating on the same wavelength?

The same is true if we are not united with Jesus in everyday of our lives. What will happen to you and me If we live our lives apart from Jesus? And if we stand by ourselves in this world? We end-up with nothing we get frustrated and we feel alone even if we have in our possession all the wealth in this world.

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 Saturday January 25, Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle Mark 16:15-18


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Gospel: Mark 16:15-18
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 Reflection:
Transmission of communication nowadays is very fast, for example if we post something on the internet. And if the content of what we post is good, we could be assured that it will go viral, it could reach the farthest corner of the world.

During the time of Jesus transmission of communication was on a word of mouth basis. No internet and other high-end form of communication. It was simple word of mouth only. And yet the gospel was able to spread until it reached us. The key element in the spread of the gospel were the committed  apostles and Saint Paul whose conversion we celebrate today.

The desire of Jesus today is for us to become the modern day apostles to whom he could entrust the mission of evangelization. He trusts us that we could also proclaim the gospel using the many forms of hi-tech communication today.  

There’s no more excuse for us not to help Jesus spread the gospel because we have in our fingertips the internet. Let us exploit the use of this technology to reach as many souls as possible. For example, if we’ve been posting updates about ourselves using facebook, twitter, instagram and other forms of internet vehicles. Why not post quotations from the bible instead? Why not post something that would inspire others to take seriously their faith?  By doing this we inspire people and we perpetuate the teachings of Jesus and our faith.  

Have we done something to spread Jesus and our faith using the internet?

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

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday January 22 Second Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 3:1-6


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Gospel: 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 Reflection:
Jesus had two choices when He saw a man with a withered hand in the synagogue. The first choice was to simply ignore the sick man because it was the Sabbath day. The other choice was to cure the man and in the process ignore the Sabbath day.

Jesus chose to heal the man and disregarded the Sabbath day. For Jesus it’s the welfare of the sickman first before the observance of the Sabbath law. In that instance Jesus chose to give priority to His mission rather than observe law.

As we continue to journey in this world, we too will be facing choices in our lives. Perhaps choices between good vs. evil, choices between faithfulness to the vows of marriage vs.  the fleeting temptation of the flesh. And there shall be more choices, let us always ensure that what we choose is always what is moral and right.

When we always choose what is moral and right, we are on the safe side of Jesus. However, if we choose what is immoral and wrong we are on the side of the evil one. But why is it that we still choose to embrace immorality and wrongdoings? Because we allow ourselves to be deceived by the attractive enticement of the evil one.

Let us never gamble with our choices in life, let us at all times choose to be on the right side of Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Friday, January 17, 2014

My Reflection for January 19, Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, John 1:29-34


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Gospel: John 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
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My Reflection:
When John was asked by the priest and Levites to confirm if he is the messiah he instead said: “I am not the messiah” (John 1:20). It never came to the thought of John to assume and pretend that he is the messiah. From the very start John knew his role, he knew that he was just the precursor. That’s why he said: “I must decrease and He must increase” (John 3:30).

Let us take a closer look at the life of John, he lived a simple life, he shunned publicity, he was humble, he never took credit of the things that was attributed to him. He instead always pointed to Jesus.

John is the epitome of a self-assured humble man who is content to do the role that was given to him by God. Fame, power even fortune was within his reach but he was never tempted to grab it. John is so unlike with many of us who will always take hold of every opportunity to gain credit.

By virtue of our baptism each and everyone of us especially those who know something about Christianity are called by God to be like John. To let God shine in our personality at all times, and never be tempted to up-end God for our own personal gains.

We must not use God for us to become popular and powerful. For true service for God and His people is not about popularity or about power. True service for God happens when we silently and humbly do our task. And we do it for the greater glory of God and not for our own glory!

John chose humility and simplicity; he chose to highlight Jesus more than himself.  Let us also choose humility and simplicity and let us also bring to light Jesus in our lives. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Reflection for January 18, Saturday, First Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 2:13-17

Gospel: Mark 2:13-17
Jesus went out along the sea. All the crowd came to him and he taught them. As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners sat with Jesus and his disciples; for there were many who followed him. Some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors and said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard this and said to them, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
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My Reflection:
How could we convert sinners to become followers of Jesus? Of course we must approach them and be friends with them. Then as we become friends with them we also show the light of Jesus to them. With the hope that they will eventually be converted, let us be patient with them. Let us show them our goodness and gentleness and then after doing what we have to do to change their lives. Let us pray and hope for their eventual conversion.

Jesus is a man of interactions He goes to sinners, interacts with them and even dines with them. Jesus always chose to interact with sinners for obvious reasons. How about us, do interact with sinners? Do we mingle with them?

There are people who prefer to stay in their ivory towers. They look down and despise sinners as if they are not sinners also. They quickly judge them as good for nothing and dangerous. But if we avoid sinners how could we convert them?

If Jesus avoided Levi and the other tax collectors, He could not have converted them. They would have kept on sinning until they die. But Jesus chose to interact with them for He knew that this was the only way to convert them. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

My Reflection for January 17, Friday, Memorial of Saint Anthony, Abbot; Mark 2:1-12

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him.

After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” –he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
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My Reflection:
The four men who helped the paralytic to be with Jesus were extraordinary men. They have merciful hearts, hearts that are not only concerned for their own wellbeing. Just imagine the hardship that they have to go through so that they could bring the paralytic to Jesus.

Surely, the four selfless men went home very happy with the thought in mind that they’ve done something noble and worthy.  How many of us now are like these four altruistic and selfless men? How many of us will take time to visit the sick and to bring the sick to Jesus or to the hospital?

Let us try to recall if we have been indifferent to the plight of the sick. Let us recall if we have let a golden opportunity to slip out our hands by not helping those who are in dire need of our help. It’s not yet late to reverse this cycle of indifference to the sick, poor and the underprivileged.

The greatest reward that we could ever receive in this world is not money for it will fly away. Not even self-serving honors for it will be forgotten. The greatest reward is to help someone who cannot pay us back, who will simply pray for us and who will silently thank God for the help that they’ve received from us. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Reflection for January 15, Wednesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 1:29-39

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011514.cfm
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My Reflection:
There was a family who had a bed ridden mother for years. Being in such situation her husband and children confined her in a room within their house. The sick mother was wondering why they isolated her with her caregiver. Deep in her heart she was wishing for a daily visit even a quick peek from her husband and children. But they rarely did.

When Jesus was told that Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever, He immediately approached her and grasp her hand. As if to say that I’m here for you and I’m concerned with your wellbeing.  Then she was healed by Jesus before they left her.

We must never underestimate the power of a visit or even a quick visit to a sick relative or friend. It could do wonders for their wellness of course we are not Jesus thus we will not be able to cure them physically. But it still can do wonders for them on the level of their emotions and morale.

Jesus is showing us the way on what to do when somebody is sick. Therefore we must follow, let us visit and give hope to the sick. It will do them good and on our part, of course it will do us good also for the reason that we are doing what Jesus wants us to do. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1 

Monday, January 13, 2014

My Reflection for January 14, Tuesday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 1:21-28

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011414.cfm
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My Reflection:
When Jesus went to the synagogue He encountered a man possessed by an evil spirit. Then after conversing with the evil spirit Jesus drove it away from the man.

There’s always the presence of evil within us if we are not faithful to Jesus. It hides deep in our being it only comes out when the environment is conducive for it to come out. For example, when there’s temptation for us to sin and do something immoral. When the opportunity presents itself the devil that hides within us will now suddenly take control of us until it accomplishes its evil will.

Why does the presence of the evil one hide within us? It hides for the reason that we give it space, in other words it hides within us because we consent with it most especially when the situation to do evil is favorable.

However, if we really desire to completely extricate ourselves from any form of evil possession. We actually could with the help of Jesus, how would we do it? We must get closer to Jesus we must always ask Jesus to weed out and to completely overpower the evil that resides within us.

The very same presence of evil that prompts us to commit sin. - Marino J. Dasmarinas1

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Reflection for January 13, Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 1:14-20

http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011314.cfm
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Gospel Mark 1:14-20
After John had been arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the Gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the Gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they left their nets and followed him. He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.
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My Reflection:
The gospel talks about the call of the first disciples: Simon, Andrew, James and John. These four men were very busy fishermen yet they left everything to respond to Jesus call to be with Him. What is it with Jesus that they left everything for Him? What they He promised them in exchange for following Him?

The four disciples knew something that we don’t know. That’s why they followed Jesus and left everything for the advancement of His mission. Jesus did not promise them anything verbally but perhaps Jesus was silently talking to them in their hearts. And He was telling them, come follow me. What is it that keeps us from following Jesus? Are we afraid to lose our financial security? Are we afraid to leave behind our family and friends?

Perhaps, Jesus is not asking us to leave our present environment and be with Him in another place. Perhaps Jesus is telling us this, If you are not willing to leave everything and follow me as what the four disciples had done. Please live my life and teachings where you are today, be a symbol and witness for me where you are today.

Many of us are afraid to live the life of Jesus today for the fear of being ostracize. But why be afraid of being ostracized for Jesus?  

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