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, February 26, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday March 1, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 10:13-16

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Gospel: Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
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Reflection:
According to an explanation there was a valid reason why the children were prevented by the disciples from going to Jesus. But Jesus saw how the children wanted to go to Him so He broke the barrier that separates Him and the children by letting them go to Him. Jesus did not only allowed the children to go to Him. He even embraced them, blessed them and placed His hands upon them.  

This is Jesus for you and me, ever willing to be disturbed by anyone. Ever willing to embrace, bless and lovingly place His guiding hand upon us. Jesus is not a distant God, He is a God that is with us; a God that is very sensitive to our needs and prayers.

Therefore let us always go to Him with reckless abandon like little children for He is always there for us. Sometimes we don’t feel the love of Jesus for the reason that we don’t go to Him with the trusting attitude of a child. We don’t go to Him with the humility of a child.

In the last sentence of the gospel Jesus embraced, blessed and placed His hands on them. If you’re not yet doing these acts of love to your children, why don’t you do it to them? It will surely give them a sense of security and assurance that they are always loved by you and that you're always there for them. The same feeling of security and love that Jesus always generously showers upon us.

Do you always pray for your children and do you always embrace them?   

My Reflection for Friday February 28, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 10:1-12

Gospel: Mark 10:1-12
Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again taught them. The Pharisees approached him and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” They replied, “Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
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Reflection:
What if there’s no divorce? Would there be many unhappy couples? If there’s no divorce there would be unhappy couples but it counts to nothing compared to many happy couples who chose to remain in their marriage no matter their difficulties are.

Married couples who separate are only concerned for their own welfare and for their own happiness. They don’t care what will happen to their child/children who are the main casualty the moment parents separate.

Beneath the opposition of Jesus to divorce is His command for couples to persevere in their marriage. His command to always remember their vows of marriage. To accept with humility the flaws of their spouse and to accept the fact that marriage is not always a bed of roses.

Because there is no perfect marriage, there would be thorny episodes in marriage. So the couples must stay no matter what their difficulties are. The couples must learn to adjust and sometimes bend in humility for their marriage to succeed.

Incompatibility is not the reason why couples separate, it’s rather the lack of humility and the lack of active prayer life inside the marriage. Just imagine if both husband and wife learns to imbibe humility. Just imagine if there is an active presence of prayer life inside the marriage. …   

My Reflection for Thursday February 27, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 9:41-50

Gospel: Mark 9:41-50
Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

“Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”
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Reflection:
What does sin bring to our lives? Injury, sin wounds our lives and our relationships. Sin also dims the light of Jesus in our lives and it pervades the influence of the evil one in our lives.

When Jesus told the disciples the severe punishments to sin He was in effect telling them that they must avoid sin at all cost because there’s always a price to pay for someone who sins. It served also as a warning and guide for the disciples as they face the many temptations of  their mission for Him.  

But why do we sin? Why do we allow sin to overcome us? We sin because we love this world more than we love Jesus. We sin because we purposely reserve a dwelling place for the devil in our lives. We sin because we love a problematic life more than a peaceful life with Jesus.

However, come to think of it; what if we try to avoid sin? There would be peace in our lives, we would have less human created problems and we would surely be closer to Jesus. Just try to avoid sin even for only a day and see the blessing that it would bring into your life. Then, try to avoid sin for a week, for a month and for the rest of your life.   

If we avoid sin we avoid contact with the evil one, if we avoid sin we invite Jesus to come into our lives. ..

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday February 26, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 9:38-40

Gospel: Mark 9:38-40
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”
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Reflection:
Arrogance and intolerance are often times what prevent us from becoming effective followers of Jesus. For example if we see a homosexual couple who are living together, should we avoid them? Or should we be friend them and live the teachings of Jesus through them. The best course of action to take is to be friends with them with the hope in mind that by doing so we would be able to eventually convert and enlighten them.

When John saw someone who was not in their group driving out demons in the name of Jesus he tried to prevent them. Perhaps, John thought that they only have the monopoly of holiness to drive out demons. So what did Jesus do when John told Him about this incident? He told John let him do what he was doing for whoever is not against them is for them also.

To be arrogant, intolerant and judgmental is not good. It prevents us from genuinely doing the mission of Jesus, it prevents us from bringing people to Jesus. We might forget that Jesus became man not only for the righteous. He became man to convert sinners to give them mercy and forgiveness. 

Let us avoid to be arrogant, to be intolerant and judgmental. Let us instead show the mercy and love of Jesus. Who knows by doing so we may be able to bring them closer to Jesus. …

Monday, February 24, 2014

My Reflection for Monday February 24, Seventh Week in Ordinary Time, Mark 9:14-29

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.

As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
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Reflection:
Is it possible for the disciples to lack faith? Yes, even if they were always with Jesus it was very possible for them to lack faith. Perhaps because they were with Jesus everyday it became ordinary for them already that they treated Jesus as one of them. The extra ordinary discipleship with Jesus became ordinary for them.

That’s why they did not have anymore that strong faith and add to this was their lack of prayerful life. The end result of their lack of faith and prayer was their failure to drive out the bad spirit from the boy. Therefore Jesus admonished them to strengthen their faith and give more fire to their prayer life.

Why are there marriage failures? It’s because both spouses often times forget to have faith on the sacredness of their marriage. By being together everyday they become very familiar with each other. That their treatment with each other becomes ordinary. There’s no more fervent unifying  prayer life in their marriage thus their marriage becomes the casualty.

Let us take personally the admonishment of Jesus to the disciples to have faith and to have a more blazing prayer life. Let us take it  as an advice also to us to have faith on our own marriages and to put more fire on our prayer life as a family.

If only we will have faith on our own marriages, if only we will not treat it as an ordinary union and if only we will integrate prayer life in our respective families. There would be no more failures in marriage. ...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday February 22, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle; Mark 16:13-19

Gospel: Mark 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
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Reflection:
When Jesus asked the disciples, Who do the people say that the son of Man is? No one was able to correctly answer except Simon Peter, who told Jesus: “You are the Christ the son of the living God. But Jesus immediately told Peter, it’s not by your own intelligence that you know me; it’s through the grace of my heavenly Father that you know who I am.

Why did Jesus told Simon Peter that it was not through his effort that he knows Him? Perhaps Jesus wanted to temper the behavior of Peter. Perhaps Jesus doesn’t want Simon Peter to boast about what he knew about Him.

In our continuing journey with Jesus there may be times also that we might be tempted to brag or boast concerning what we know about Him. This we must not do because everything is a gift, everything is a grace. What we know about Him is from Him alone, not from us; not from our own effort.

How many times have we boasted about our knowledge regarding Jesus and our faith? How many times have we acted as if we knew everything about God? Have many times have we acted as if we are the masters of the universe?

Let us pause and reflect about this. …   

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Reflection for Friday February 21, Sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:34-9:1

Gospel: Mark 8:34-9:1
Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the Gospel will save it.

What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? What could one give in exchange for his life? Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this faithless and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them, “Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”
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Reflection:
A very rich and worldly man had a serious sickness he thought that we would already die . Until he had a dream where he heard the voice of God who told him, if you want to regain your health you have to leave everything behind and follow me. And so he did and true enough after a few weeks he regained back his health and from then on he became a follower of Jesus.

There are times that we allow ourselves to be blinded by the glitters of this world. In the process we forget that the true essence of our lives is not to become the kings of this world but to become the soldiers of God in this world. But to become a soldier of God in this world entails great sacrifice and perseverance. So many of us are averse to take up our cross and carry it for the sake Jesus.

But what will happen to us if we become citizens of this world? Yes we gain riches, yes we gain prominence, power and many more worldly trappings. However, all of these will eventually reach an ending  and then we realize that we are nothing we have achieve nothing.

It’s only in following Jesus that we would be able to find the true meaning of our lives. And it’s only in following Jesus that we’ll have peace and contentment in our lives. Never in this world will we find peace and contentment.     

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday February 20, Sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:27-33

Gospel: Mark 8:27-33
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.” Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
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Reflection:
Are you afraid of sufferings? 

When Jesus told the disciples that He will have to go through severe sufferings and eventually be killed . Peter took Jesus aside and he rebuked Jesus. Perhaps Peter had this notion that Jesus was immune to sufferings because he is God. But to suffer severely was part of Jesus destiny, He had to go through it to achieve His salvific mission for us.

What happened after Jesus suffering and death on the cross? There was glorious resurrection, salvation and after a few days ascension into to heaven.  What could have happened if Jesus did not suffer, if Jesus did not die on the cross?

We being humans are also bound to suffer, there will be episodes of sufferings in our lives for so long as we exist. But let us not be afraid of these sufferings for these are part of our lives. Let us rather take these sufferings as our glorious opportunity to get closer to Jesus. For it’s in our sufferings that we’ll achieve personal relationship with Jesus.

If Jesus has to suffer who are we then not to go through sufferings?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday February 19, Sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:22-26

 Gospel: Mark 8:22-26
When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida, people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked, “Do you see anything?”Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”
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Reflection:
Our faith is useless unless we use it to bring others to Jesus.

When Jesus and His party arrived at Bethsaida people brought to Him a blind man and they asked Jesus to cure him. Who were those people who brought the blind man to Jesus? We don’t know who they were, but even if we don’t know them we know that they believed in Jesus. We also know that they lived their faith otherwise they would have not brought the blind man to Jesus.

Who does this blind man represent today? It’s us who are not living our faith, it’s us whose faith is exclusively for ourselves. Jesus wants to open our eyes to the fact that we are spiritually blind because we have not yet brought others to Him. Or we might have brought others to Him but we have our own selfish motivation in doing it.

Jesus wants us to know that there are many more blind men and women out there who badly need to be brought to Him. Look around your environment and you’ll find them, make friends with them and share the life changing words of Jesus to them. Our faith bears more fruits when we bring others to Jesus.

Have you already brought someone to Jesus?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday February 18, Sixth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:14-21

Gospel: Mark 8:14-21
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend?

Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered him, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
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Reflection:
Power corrupts people who don’t know how to handle it.

The Pharisees and King Herod were very powerful but they did not use their power responsibly. They instead used it to oppress and manipulate people. Eventually they allowed the same power that they have to corrupt them.

Opposed to the manipulative and arrogant power of the Pharisees and Herod is the power of Jesus that emanates from God. Power that is used to sincerely help and power that is used with humility and purity. This power was shown to them by Jesus when He feed twice the thousands of people.

Many of us handle power like how the Pharisees and Herod handled it. We use it to manipulate, we use it to advance our selfish agendas. Many politicians use their power to steal money from the government in the guise of helping the poor. The power of the Pharisees and King Herod is temporary it doesn’t last and this kind of power has a retribution factor in the end.

Of course we know the power of Jesus it forever leaves an imprint in the hearts of our fellowmen. Its power firmly rooted in humility and power that can bring us safely to God’s kingdom.

Whose power will you embrace?

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday February 15, Fifth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:1-10

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Gospel: Mark 8:1-10
In those days when there again was a great crowd without anything to eat, Jesus summoned the disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them away hungry to their homes, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a great distance.” His disciples answered him, “Where can anyone get enough bread to satisfy them here in this deserted place?”

Still he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They replied, “Seven.” He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then, taking the seven loaves he gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to distribute, and they distributed them to the crowd. They also had a few fish. He said the blessing over them and ordered them distributed also. They ate and were satisfied.They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets. There were about four thousand people. He dismissed the crowd and got into the boat with his disciples and came to the region of Dalmanutha.
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Reflection:
What happened to the crowd after they were fed by Jesus? Perhaps they went back to their respective houses satisfied and spiritually recharged. Did they lead transformed lives? Did they become fervent and true followers of Jesus? Obviously majority of them did not live transformed lives and they did not become full blooded followers. Otherwise they would have not deserted Jesus when He was being persecuted and tortured.

What happens to us after attending Holy Mass where we listen to the words of God and partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus? Do we allow Jesus to transform us every time we listen to His words and every time we receive Him during Holy Communion? His fervent desire is to transform us so that we could become His true followers. This is His desire for us.

But at the end of the day it’s still in our hands we still have the liberty to decide for ourselves. If we become His true followers or not, If we allow His Body and Blood to transform us or not. The choice is ours to take but the wise choice is to allow Jesus to transform us.

Look around and see the lives of those who did not allow Jesus to transform them. Look around and see those who followed in words only. They may be materially wealthy, they may be politically powerful. But do they have peace, do they have serenity in their lives?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Reflection for Friday February 14, Saints Cyril, Monk, and Methodius, Bishop; Mark 7:31-37

Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
Jesus left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis. And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
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Reflection:
Jesus could have refused to grant the wish of the deaf man but, how could Jesus refuse to do His mission of altruistic love and healing? How could Jesus refuse someone who was in dire need of His help and someone who humbly begged Him?

 We learn also about humility from the deaf man. He did not only ask Jesus to heal him; he begged Jesus to grant him his healing touch. What can we learn from the people who brought the deaf man to Jesus? We learn to help and we learn not to always focus on ourselves. But rather focus on someone who is in dire need of our help.

Today being Valentine’s day, let us emulate Jesus on how He gave His unconditional love. Let us not only limit our love to romantic love let us extend it further and deeper. So that it could transcend romantic love that it now become altruistic love.

Let us also begged Jesus to grant us the gift of understanding this altruistic love so that we could learn what real love is. For it’s only in learning altruistic love that we could learn how to love even those who are difficult to love.

Friday, February 7, 2014

My Reflection for Saturday February 8, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time Mark 6:30-34

Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

When Jesus disembarked and 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.
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My Reflection:
After working so hard to spread the good news of Jesus, the Apostles were invited by Jesus to go to a quiet and deserted place. Why in a quite and deserted place? Why not in a place with full of food and joyfulness? We all know the reason why in a quite place, Jesus wanted them to be fully charged spiritually and be connected with God.

This is what many of us seems to forget, we tend to forget to go to our own quite place where we can be alone with God. We talk in silence to God, we unburden to God all our worries and we let Him direct us not us directing ourselves.

 We Oftentimes allow ourselves to be eaten by the culture of work and busyness of this world.  But where will this lead us? It will lead us to nowhere; to an environment where there is no more God. To an environment where work and busyness is already our God and soon we become creatures of this world.

The danger of this modern world that we are presently in right now is it’s slowly taking us away from God. It tries very hard to substitute God with work and material things but this will never give us peace and contentment.

Only GOD will give us peace and contentment, only through GOD that we will discover a deeper and meaningful life. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My Reflection for Thursday February 6, Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs; Mark 6:7-13

Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick –no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
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My Reflection:
What was in the minds of the twelve apostles when they were sent to their mission by Jesus without bringing any provision? Perhaps they were worried and questions arose like, what are we going to eat, Will we be able to survive this daunting mission? But eventually their questioning minds were overwhelmed by their faith and trust in Jesus. And so they forged on and they became successful missioners of Jesus.

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how God would sustain us or how we could survive the difficulties of life. Until we learn to hold-on to our faith and give our full trust and faith to the almighty hand of Jesus. Many of us fail in our many endeavors because we don’t have faith and trust in Jesus. Instead of trusting God we tend to trust on ourselves more than God. So we fail and the main culprit is our feeble faith.

Trust and faith were the two main ingredients that made the twelve apostles successful in their mission. Trust and faith in Jesus must also be our guiding light as we move on to do our mission for Christ. Or as we move on to live our life for Jesus. Let us not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the challenges that may confront us. Let us take the first few steps with trust and faith in Jesus.

What have we done so far to the faith that God has given us? Have we already shared it? 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Reflection for Wednesday February 5, Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr Mark 6:1-6

Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
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My Reflection:
Rejection is very difficult to handle, just imagine going for a vacation to the place where you grew-up. Of course you expect nothing less than the best reception that you could ever have. You expect your relatives and friends to treat you affectionately and you expect everybody to be affectionate to you.  But you received a different reception, how would you feel? Of course you'll feel bad, just imagine being rejected in your own native land.

How did Jesus handle His own rejection from His townmates in Nazareth? He took it humbly He never raised His voice, He never got angry with anyone there. He could have done something sinister but He did not. He instead still did His ministry by curing a few sick people of course He could have done more miracles but He was being insulted.

The crux of the matter here is Jesus’ humility as opposed to our arrogance when somebody rejects us. Take for example in our respective houses, we feel bad when we don’t get what we want (whatever it is!).

Let us therefore take with humility every rejection that we will encounter in our lives. Let us never react with braggadocio for this is not proper to do.  Our fellowmen will respect and admire us more if we would become calm and humble in the midst of our rejections.

Could we be like Jesus who took with humility His rejection? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Reflection for Tuesday February 4, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 5:21-43

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” He went off with him and a large crowd followed him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhage for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”

But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, Who touched me?” And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this
and said that she should be given something to eat.
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My Reflection:
Who is Jesus to us? Jairus whose daughter was at the point of death and the woman who had been bleeding for twelve long years obviously knew that Jesus was a healer. This was primarily the reason why during their time of need they obviously went to Jesus. 

But did they know that Jesus was also the Son of God who was sent by God the Father to ransom us from original sin? Perhaps they did not know about the divine personality of Jesus. And perhaps they did not know also that Jesus was sent to this world so that we may live and have life.

Some of us know about the divine healing power of Jesus. Some of us also know that Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to this world so that we may live and have life.  Some of us also know that to live life without Jesus in our lives is pointless. We may have all the wealth and power in this world but it amounts to nothing if Jesus is not in our lives.

What will remain? It’s our faith in Jesus, the same faith that Jairus and the sick woman had. Let us therefore share this faith so that though us others may know Jesus.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Reflection for Monday February 3, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 5:1-20

Gospel: Mark 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?

I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
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My Reflection:
This gospel episode of Jesus encounter with the man possessed by the evil spirit can happen to anyone of us. The liberation from the possession of the evil spirit that Jesus did to this man can also happen to us. The conversion of this freed man who later became Jesus follower can also happen to us too!

But why are there possessions by an evil spirit? This happen because we distance ourselves from Jesus. Or we don’t distance ourselves from Jesus but we don’t take His teachings seriously! By doing so we give room for the evil one to operate and take control of ourselves.

For example, yes we pray and go to Holy Mass. But how come that it seems that we still don’t have peace and contentment? Yet in our own standards we think that we are close to Jesus. This happen because we don’t take Jesus seriously.

We are often times followers in name only. Therefore we open ourselves to the possession of the many evils of our times. What are these? Lust, lack of peace of mind, deep discontent unwarranted anger and so on and so forth.  

Take Jesus seriously, read and reflect on His words and live His teachings. If we do this the evil one will surely keep a safe distance from us.

But do we take Jesus seriously? 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

My Reflection for Sunday February 2, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord; Luke 2:22-40


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Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.  He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go  in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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My Reflection:
There is a story of a dying man who had one fervent wish before he dies. His fervent wish was to see Jesus in the flesh and to talk to Him even for a short while. Unfortunately his wish did not become a reality for he died without seeing Jesus. Is there a magic word for us to see Jesus? Or is there a secret for us to see Jesus?

When the baby Jesus was brought into the temple to present Him before the Lord, it was in fulfillment of their Jewish law… “That a child should be brought into the temple to present him before God forty days after its birth.”

We have in our gospel a Holy man named Simeon who had one wish before he dies and that is to see Jesus. And Simeon was very blessed to see and hold in his arms the baby Jesus. Was it pure luck that he was able to be with Jesus and His parents up close and personal? No, luck has nothing to do with Simeon’s meeting with the Holy family. Simeon as stated in our gospel was a righteous and devout man.

He was a good man; he was a man who wholeheartedly strived to follow the teachings of his faith. That’s why God through the Holy Spirit gifted Simeon the very rare opportunity to be with the Holy family in the temple before he dies. What a way to die! Isn’t this our wish also before we die? We would want to see Jesus and we would want to hold the hand of Jesus as we take our last gasp of breath.

When a person is near death, he/she would normally say that he is already seeing his departed relatives around him. Rarely would we hear a dying person say that he now see Jesus by his side.

By the life of Simeon we now know the secret as to how we would be able to hold the hand of Jesus as we fadeout of this world. We have to be righteous and we have to be devout.