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

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

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

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

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reflection for Monday September 1, Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 4:16-30

Gospel: Luke 4:16-30
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.

It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
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Homecoming is always an event that we look forward to because of the warmth of the reception that we receive from our relatives and friends. Take for example if you’ve not been to your childhood place for a number of years. Just imagine the warm welcome that you’ll receive from your relatives and childhood friends. But not all homecoming are filled with warmth and welcoming people there are sad homecomings also.

Jesus was initially admired and was warmly received by His town mates for He spoke with brilliance. But when He spoke of something that His town mates did not like to hear the admiration turned to derision and the warm reception became cold as ice.  This led His town mates to drive Him away with dangerous intentions going to a hill. What a sad ending of His coming home, Jesus certainly did not expect this kind of sad homecoming.

But this is the reality of life, people will like us for as long as they like what we say even if what we say is already false for as long as its music to their ears. But when we talk about the truth they will not like us anymore. They will also drive us away as if we are carrying a contagious disease.  And the worst part is they may attempt to harm us.  

Nevertheless we must not be cowed from speaking the truth even if it will hurt those who will hear it. This is for the reason that by speaking the truth we correct what is wrong. And by speaking the truth we create awareness that good will always triumph over evil. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Cardinal Tagle Leads Lectio Divina at St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne August 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reflection for Sunday August 31, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:21-27

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Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “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 will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
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When do we have a true encounter with Jesus? It’s when we are burdened by the worries and suffering/s of this world this is where we have a personal encounter with Jesus. Never would we have a personal encounter with Jesus if we are enjoying the fruits of this world. It’s always through our worries and suffering that we have a true discernment of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

When Jesus told the disciples that he will go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed. Peter was adamant with his protestation, Peter even told Jesus, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Why did Peter oppose this suffering statement of Jesus? Was he concerned of the welfare of Jesus? Or Peter was afraid that if Jesus would suffer and eventually die, they too would experience suffering/s because Jesus will not be with them anymore to protect them.   

Nonetheless, Jesus told them that if they really want to follow Him they must be ready to suffer and embrace suffering as well! For its only through suffering that they would be able to develop deep intimacy with Jesus. We would never develop a personal encounter with our Lord if we are averse with suffering and if we are enjoying life’s hedonism.

But reality bites! We would rather enjoy life than suffer or face hardship and we would rather enjoy life than truthfully follow Jesus. There are even some rich and even famous celebrities who chose to commit suicide than face their suffering/s.

It’s only through our suffering/s and trial/s that Jesus comes to our lives. It’s through our moments of defeat and persecution that the abiding presence of Jesus is clearer to us.  It’s when we carry our own cross that we feel that Jesus is walking with us and helping us to carry it. Let us never be afraid to face our sufferings and to carry our cross no matter how heavy and difficult. For we will be able to hurdle all of these trials if we invite Jesus to help us.

Are you going through some difficult moments in your life right now? Invite Jesus to come into your life and ask Jesus to heal you. He will never refuse you. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa Agosto 31, Ika-22 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 16:21-27

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Mabuting Balita: Mateo 16:21-27
Mula noon ay ipinaalam na ni Jesus sa kanyang mga alagad ang mangyayari sa kanya. Sinabi niya, "Dapat akong magtungo sa Jerusalem at magdanas ng maraming hirap sa kamay ng mga pinuno ng bayan, mga punong pari at mga tagapagturo ng Kautusan. Ako'y papatayin, ngunit sa ikatlong araw ako'y muling mabubuhay."

Dinala siya ni Pedro sa isang tabi at sinimulang pagalitan, "Panginoon, huwag nawang itulot ng Diyos! Kailanma'y hindi iyan mangyayari sa inyo." Ngunit hinarap siya ni Jesus at sinabihan, "Umalis ka sa harapan ko, Satanas! Hadlang ka sa aking landas. Ang iniisip mo'y hindi sa Diyos kundi sa tao." Sinabi ni Jesus sa kanyang mga alagad, "Ang sinumang nagnanais sumunod sa akin ay kinakailangang itakwil niya ang kanyang sarili, pasanin ang kanyang krus, at sumunod sa akin. Ang naghahangad na magligtas ng kanyang buhay ay mawawalan nito; ngunit ang mawalan ng kanyang buhay alang-alang sa akin ay magkakamit nito. Sapagkat ano ba ang mapapala ng isang tao makamtan man niya ang buong daigdig, ngunit mapapahamak naman ang kanyang sarili? Ano ba ang maibabayad ng isang tao para mabawi niya ang kanyang buhay? Sapagkat darating ang Anak ng Tao na kasama ang kanyang mga anghel, at taglay ang dakilang kapangyarihan ng kanyang Ama. Sa panahong iyo'y gagantimpalaan niya ang bawat tao ayon sa ginawa nito.
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Kailan po ba tayo nag kakaroon ng totoong ugnayan kay Jesus? Ito ay pag tayo ay pinahihirapan ng ating mga problema at pasakit sa buhay. Dito tayo nag kakaroon ng personal at mas malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus.  Hindi tayo mag kakaroon ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus pag tayo ay nag e enjoy sa mga kasaganahan ng mundo. Palaging sa pamamagitan ng ating mga problema at pasakit lamang mas lilinaw ang presenya ni Jesus sa ating mga buhay.    

Nang sinabi ni Jesus na siya ay magtutungo sa Jerusalem at magdadanas ng maraming hirap. Sa kamay ng mga pinuno ng bayan, mga punong pari mga tagapagturo ng Kautusan at papatayin. Ay nagalit sa kanya si Pedro at sinabi pa ni Pedro kay Jesus "Panginoon, huwag nawang itulot ng Diyos! Kailanma'y hindi iyan mangyayari sa inyo." Bakit nga ba ayaw ni Pedro sa mga pananalitang ito ni Jesus? Siya ba ay nag aalala sa kaligtasan ni Jesus? O baka naman nag aalala si Pedro na pag pinahirapan si Jesus at pinatay sila rin ay makakaranas ng pag hihirap?

Pero ganun paman ay sinabi ni Jesus sa kanila na kung talagang gusto nilang sumunod sa kanya.  Kailagan handa rin silang kalimutan ang kanilang mga sarili at mag pasan ng kanilang sariling krus. Dahil sa pamamagitan lamang nito sila makakasumpong ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus. Hindi tayo magkakaroon ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus kung ayaw nating yumakap sa ating mga pagsubok sa buhay at panay lang tayo sa pag papasarap dito sa mundo.

Pero mahirap layuan ang katotohanan na mas gusto pa natin na mag enjoy tayo sa mundong ito kaysa mag pasan ng ating krus at harapin ang ating mga pagsubok at sumunod kay Jesus. Meroon pa nga diyan na mga mayayaman at kilalang mga personalidad na dahil sa ayaw nilang mag pasan ng kanilang krus at harapin ang kanilang mga pagsubok sa buhay ay mas ginusto pa nila na tapusin nalang ang kanilang buhay sa pamamagitan ng pag su suicide.   

Sa pamamagitan lamang po ng ating pagdaan at pagharap sa ating mga pagsubok mas makikilala natin si Jesus. Sa pamamagitan lamang po nito mas magiging malinaw sa atin na kasama pala natin si Jesus sa pag pasan ng ating krus at hindi niya pala tayo iniiwan.

Huwag tayong matakot na harapin ang ating mga pagsubok at mag pasan ng ating krus gaano man ito kahirap at kabigat. Sa dahilan na malalampasan din natin ito pag humingi tayo ng tulong kay Jesus.   

Ikaw ba ay dumadaan sa mabigat na pag subok ngayon? Manalagin ka kay Jesus at hingin mo sa kanya ang kanyang tulong dahil  hindi ka niya pababayaan. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday August 30, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 25:14-30

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Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
(Jesus told his disciples this parable) “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
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I’ve been blogging for several years now, I have no formal training in writing. When I was just starting doing this blog I could hardly write. And there were times I said to myself, why not simply stop writing this reflections because I felt that I was not made to write. I also often commit grammatical and punctuation mistakes which continues up to this very moment. A few weeks ago I also resumed posting the audio of my reflections on youtube. I did this even if I have difficulty with proper pronunciation. 

Nevertheless I also said to myself, this is the talent that God has entrusted me, I have to do something with this talent. So I continued even if I could hardly write sentences and paragraphs and even if there were many mistakes on punctuation, grammar and pronunciation.

As I struggle to write these reflections I also noticed improvements. I can now write several paragraphs. My grammatical and punctuation mistakes had been reduced although up to know I still commit mistakes but not as severe as before.

The shortcoming of the third servant in our gospel is he kept to himself what was given to him by his Lord. He could have invested it, he could have done something to make it grow but he never did because of his fear for his Lord. If we allow our fears to conquer us it will eventually paralyze us and it will prevent us from becoming fruitful children of God.

Each and everyone of us was given by the Good Lord talents according to our abilities. Let us make the most of this talent/s that He has given us by using it for His greater glory. Let us not be discouraged by our limitations and struggles for God is always there to guide and help us.   

What is the talent that the Good Lord entrusted you? Use it not only for your own advancement, use it also to advance His kingdom in this world. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday August 29, the Passion of Saint John the Baptist; Mark 6:17-29

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Gospel: Mark 6:17-29
Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so. Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. Herodias’ own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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Would we have the courage to denounce the immorality of the rich and powerful? I think that we will think hard and ponder about the consequence of our action. Or perhaps we will not have the courage to speak against it for fear of being rebuked or killed.

John the Baptist is a man of courage for he did not fear speaking against the immorality of King Herod and  Herodias. John told them that it was wrong for them to have a relationship because Herodias was married to his brother Philip. And by speaking about what was moral and true John was imprisoned and eventually beheaded.

There comes a time in our lives that we need to make a stand or speak against what is wrong and immoral. This is for the reason that it is only through this that we will let others know what is wrong with what they are doing.  To remain silent against wrongdoing is never an option because how could we correct a wrong if we will just be silent? How would others know that what they are doing is wrong if we will remain silent? It’s like we are consenting to what is wrong if we will pretend to hear no evil  and see no evil.

We therefore have to speak-out this does not necessarily mean that we will be angry and there would be shouting and cursing. We can speak-out in a civil manner to those whom we perceive to be at fault. What is important is we speak-out and we let others know that we are not consenting to their actions.

Like John the Baptist, let us also have the courage to denounce anything that is wrong. We can do this by speaking to the concerned individual/s with civility and without trying to imply that we are more powerful and superior than them. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reflection for Thursday August 28, Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; Matthew 24:42-51

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Gospel: Matthew 24:42-51
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Stay awake! For you do not know on which day your Lord will come. Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour of night when the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and not let his house be broken into. So too, you also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come. “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent servant, whom the master has put in charge of his household to distribute to them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on his arrival finds doing so. Amen, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is long delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, the servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
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What are we going to do if we’re assigned a responsibility? We will do whatever it takes to properly accomplish the responsibility immediately.  There will be no dilly dally we will immediately do what we have to do because this is the responsibility given to us.

In our gospel for today Jesus tells the disciples: Be prepared for the son of man will come at an hour you do not expect. What kind of preparation did Jesus wants from His disciples? Of course it is to live their lives the way Jesus lived His life, this they could achieve through their humility, their concern for the poor and by living their lives in the service of others.

How should we prepare for the coming of Jesus? Should we prepare by making ourselves busy on how to increase our material wealth? Of course not! The preparation that Jesus speaks about is the same preparation that He required from His disciples. So that when He knocks we would be able to let Him enter our lives.

Therefore, we must not always busy ourselves on how to increase our wealth. For material wealth is not the be all and end all of life.  The best preparation for the coming of Jesus into our lives is to create time for Him no matter how busy we are for this is the only way we could prepare for His coming.    

How are we preparing for the coming of Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday August 27, Saint Monica; Matthew 23:27-32

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Gospel: Matthew 23:27-32
(Jesus said) “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the memorials of the righteous, and you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have joined them in shedding the prophets’ blood.’ Thus you bear witness against yourselves that you are the children of those who murdered the prophets; now fill up what your ancestors measured out!”
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There is a story of a woman who was swept off her feet by her handsome and rich suitor. To make a long story short she married this handsome and rich man. After a few months the many irresponsible behaviors of this man started to unravel before her. Then she said to herself, if only I did not allow myself to be smitten by his external appearance I would have been able to avoid this man.

Like in yesterday’s gospel Jesus is again criticizing the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees because they are only good at what others see on them. They neglect the most important requirement of Jesus none other than interior transformation.

Jesus would not have minded if the scribes and Pharisees were not able to measure-up to their self-created external standards. For as long as they go through interior cleansing and do away with whatever that would make them sin. But they refused to acknowledge the constructive criticism of Jesus, they even have the temerity to take it against Jesus that’s why they plotted to kill Him.

Somehow many of us are not alien to this self-seeking behavior of the scribes and Pharisees. Be presentable outside but neglect the more important aspect of life which is interior cleansing and transformation. All is not lost nevertheless, we still have time to hear and act to this call of Jesus.- Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday August 26, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 23:23-26

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Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26
Jesus said: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier things of the law: judgment and mercy and fidelity. But these you should have done, without neglecting the others. Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside also may be clean.”
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Why do we follow Jesus? Do we follow Him because we are obliged by our faith or we follow Him because of our deep love for Him? When we follow Jesus because we see it as our obligation; it does not create a deep transformation within us. We simply follow for the reason that it creates a positive self-image for us and it ends with the positive self-image: No interior cleansing and transformation.

When we follow Jesus because we love Him, we allow the love of Jesus to deeply transform us. For example if we follow Jesus because we love Him, we will be forgiving, we will not store hatred in our hearts. And we will abhor anything that is bad and evil because we give Jesus the freehand to transform us.

Our discipleship with Jesus must always be rooted in our love for Him and not because this is dictated by our faith. For this is what true discipleship is all about, a discipleship that creates a very deep transformation within our being.

Let us therefore examine ourselves and reflect for we may be only following Jesus because we are obliged by our faith or even by our position in the church and community. If this is so it’s about time that we allow Jesus to interiorly renew us. 

This would only commence when we forgive those who’ve hurt us. When we are willing to build bridges than walls and when we humble ourselves before those whom we've hurt by asking for their forgiveness. - Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Monday August 25, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 23:13-22

Gospel: Matthew  23:13-22
Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.’ Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.’ You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it.”
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Do we allow our faith to transform us the way Jesus wants it? For example the teaching of Jesus on how many times we must forgive (Matthew 18:21). Do we follow this teaching that says that we must always be forgiving or do we put limitations and conditions before we forgive? Or we appear to forgive but deep in our hearts we still keep this deep seated hatred toward others?

Jesus in our gospel condemns in strongest terms the scribes and Pharisees because they teach but they themselves don’t follow what they teach. They do mission to convert people to their faith. But when they are already converted they condition and indoctrinate their minds for them to follow whatever they say even if it is already against the morals of God and society. By doing so the followers don’t anymore follow the teachings of God but the self-created teachings of their leaders.

What Jesus wants for us is to lead by example; we mean what we say and do what we say. We must not only put lip service to what we say and profess. For example if we say we follow Jesus it is incumbent upon us to be humble, to be forgiving and not to be judgmental. To always lead others to the teachings of Jesus and not to manipulate them by using Jesus.  

Do we truly follow Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Repleksyon para sa Agosto 24, Ika-21 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 16:13-20

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Mabuting Balita: Mateo 16:13-20
Nang dumating si Jesus sa bayan ng Cesarea ng Filipos, tinanong niya ang kanyang mga alagad, "Ano ang sinasabi ng mga tao patungkol sa Anak ng Tao?" At sumagot sila, "Ang sabi po ng ilan kayo si Juan na Tagapagbautismo. Sabi po naman ng iba, kayo si Elias. At may nagsasabi pong kayo si Jeremias, o isa sa mga propeta." Tinanong ulit sila ni Jesus, "Ngunit para sa inyo, sino ako?" Sumagot si Simon Pedro, "Kayo po ang Cristo, ang Anak ng Diyos na buhay." Sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus, "Mapalad ka, Simon na anak ni Jonas! Sapagkat ang katotohanang ito'y hindi inihayag sa iyo ng sinumang tao kundi ng aking Ama na nasa langit. At sinasabi ko sa iyo, ikaw ay Pedro, at sa ibabaw ng batong ito ay itatayo ko ang aking iglesya at ang pintuan ng daigdig ng mga patay ay hindi magtatagumpay laban sa kanya. Ibibigay ko sa iyo ang mga susi ng kaharian ng langit. Ang ipagbawal mo sa lupa ay ipagbabawal sa langit, at ang ipahintulot mo sa lupa ay ipahihintulot din sa langit." At mahigpit niyang iniutos sa kanyang mga alagad na huwag sabihin kaninuman na siya nga ang Cristo.
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Ipinagmamalaki po ba natin ang mga bagay na ginagawa natin at ang mga kayamanan natin? Halimbawa po ay inilalagay natin ito sa facebook hindi para ipakita lamang kundi para ipagmalaki natin at para malaman ng mga kaibigan natin kung sino tayo at kung ano ang ating mga ginagawa. Ipinagmamalaki din po ba natin kung gaano tayo katalino at kung gaano kalalim ang ating kaalaman kay Jesus at sa ating simbahan?

Ang ating talino at kung ano mang bagay o kayaman na mayroon tayo ay hindi natin  naabot sa pamamagitan ng ating sarili lamang.  Ang Panginoon ay ang siyang nag bigay sa atin kung ano man ang mayroon tayo ngayon. Kahit na ang  ating mga tagumpay sa buhay ito ay hindi natin naabot sa pamamagitan lamang ng ating kakayahan ang Panginoon ang siyang nag bigay sa atin nito.

Nang mag tanong si Jesus sa mga alagad kung sino siya para sa kanila. Ito ay nasagot ni Pedro ng sinabi niya na kayo po ang Cristo, ang Anak ng Diyos na buhay. Ngunit kaagad sinabi ni Jesus kay Pedro, “Ang katotohanang ito'y hindi inihayag sa iyo ng sinumang tao kundi ng aking Ama na nasa langit.”

Marahil po ay makakarelate din tayo sa sinabing ito ni Jesus kay Perdo. Sa dahilan na may mga pagkakataon din na ipinag mamalaki din natin kung sino tayo, kung ano ang meron tayo at kung gaano tayo katalino. Ipinaaalala din sa atin ni Jesus na ang lahat ay regalo at grasya mula sa Diyos. Kung sino tayo ngayon at kung gaano tayo kamatagumpay ngayon, itong lahat ay galing din sa Diyos.

Ang simbahan na mayroon tayo ngayon ay itinatag ni Jesus sa pamamagitan ni Pedro. Hindi ito ginawa ni Jesus dahil malapit sa kanya si Pedro o dahil palaging nandoon si Pedro sa buhay ni Jesus. Pinili si Pedro sa dahilang ito ang gusto ng Panginoong Diyos at hindi dahil ito yung gustong mangyari ni Pedro.

Kaya dapat po tayo ay palaging nag papakumbaba at palagi nakaapak ang ating mga paa sa lupa. Kahit na gaano man tayo kamatagumpay sa buhay. Sa dahilan na ang lahat ay regalo at mula sa grasya ng Panginoong Diyos. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, August 18, 2014

Reflection for Thursday August 21, Saint Pius X, Pope; Matthew 22:1-14

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Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet, my calves and fattened cattle are killed, and everything is ready; come to the feast.” Some ignored the invitation and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. The rest laid hold of his servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy to come. Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.’ The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?’ But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’ Many are invited, but few are chosen.”
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Jesus compared The Kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son. When it was the day of the wedding feast none of the invited guest arrived for they all had their preoccupations. How could they refuse the graciousness of the king?

The kingdom of heaven and the wedding feast that Jesus speaks about is within our midst which is the celebration of the Holy Mass.  And just like the king who invited guest, Jesus is inviting us also to be present at Holy Mass most especially during Sundays. But do we make time for Holy Mass to partake of the Body of Christ?

Like going to a wedding banquet where the invited guests prepare their most elegant clothes. Do we prepare ourselves before going to Holy Mass by having prior knowledge of the gospel and the other readings?

In our gospel, the expected guest refused the invitation of the king so the king was disheartened by their refusal. The king then instructed his servants to go out again and invite anyone (bad and good alike) they could find and many came to the wedding banquet and ate to their hearts content.     

Perhaps, many of us do not also honor this invitation of Jesus to be present at Holy Mass. Why? Is it because we are also busy like the invited guest in the gospel? We are missing heaven on earth when we refuse to honor this invitation of Jesus for us to go to His wedding banquet which is none other than the celebration of Holy Mass.

Do we always listen to this invitation of Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Repleksyon para sa Agosto 17, Ika-20 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 15:21-28

Mabuting Balita: Mateo 15:21-28
Umalis doon si Jesus at nagpunta sa lupaing malapit sa Tiro at Sidon. Isang Cananea na nakatira doon ang lumapit sa kanya na sumisigaw, "Panginoon, Anak ni David, maawa po kayo sa akin! Ang anak kong babae ay sinasapian ng demonyo at labis na pinapahirapan nito."

Ngunit hindi sumagot si Jesus. Lumapit ang kanyang mga alagad at sinabi kay Jesus, "Paalisin na nga po ninyo siya. Napakaingay niya at sunod nang sunod sa atin." Sumagot si Jesus, "Sa mga naliligaw na tupa ng sambahayan ng Israel lamang ako isinugo."    Ngunit lumapit sa kanya ang babae, lumuhod ito at nagmakaawa, "Tulungan po ninyo ako, Panginoon."

Sumagot si Jesus, "Hindi dapat kunin ang pagkain ng mga bata at ibigay sa mga aso."

Totoo nga, Panginoon. Ngunit ang mga aso man po ay kumakain ng mumong nalalaglag sa hapag ng kanilang panginoon," tugon ng babae. At sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus, "Napakalaki ng iyong pananampalataya! Mangyayari ang hinihiling mo." At noon di'y gumaling ang kanyang anak.
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Paano po ba natin bibigyan ng kahulugan ang ating pananalig kay Jesus? Ito ay pag hindi tayo tumitigil sa pananalagin na ibigay sa atin ni Jesus ang ating hinihiling sa kanya.

Ang babaeng Cananea ay may ganitong pananalig kay Jesus. Sa dahilang hindi siya tumigil sa pagsusumamo kay Jesus na pagalingin ang kanyang anak na babae na sinapian ng demonyo. Marami ang mga hadlang sa sumubok sa kanyang pananalig una na dito ay ang kanyang hindi pagiging hudyo. 

Pero balewala yun sa kanya, patuloy siya sa kanyang pag hiling kay Jesus na pagalingin ang kanyang anak. Nakipag debate pa nga siya kay Jesus hangang sa malampasan niya ang mga pagsubok ni Jesus sa kanyang pananampalataya sa kanya. At pagkatapos ng lahat ng ito ay pinagaling na ni Jesus ang kanyang anak na babae.

Ang ating pong mabuting balita ay maaari rin nating sabihin na ito ay nagpapaalala din sa ating sariling pananampalataya kay Jesus. Maaring tayo ang babaeng Cananea na hindi nawalan ng pananalig na pagagalingin ni Jesus ang kanyang anak. Pero hindi katulad ng babaeng Cananea na matibay ang pananalig kay Jesus baka tayo ay hindi kasing tindi ang pananampalataya. Baka tayo po ay pinanghinaan na ng loob at sinabi nalang natin sa ating mga sarili na: Ayoko na kasi parang bingi naman si Jesus sa aking mga pag susumamo sa kanya. Pero ang hindi natin alam ay tayo ay sinusubukan lamang niya.

Bawat pagsubok na ating pinagdadaanan at pag dadaanan pa ay isang panukat kung gaano ba kalalim ang ating pananampalataya kay Jesus. Maaring tayo po ay dumadaan sa pagsubok o mga pagsubok ngayon ngayon at mamaring nagtatanong din tayo kung bakit ba tayo ay dumadaan sa mga ganitong pag subok.

Huwag lang po tayong bibitaw sa ating pananalig kay Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Reflection for Friday August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 1:39-56

Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:
“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This dogma was defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1 1950.

How does it feel to be visited by the Blessed Mother? Nobody of us knows about it for no one of us has been visited yet by the Blessed Mother.  However, in our gospel we read about the reaction of her cousin Elizabeth.  When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb (Luke 1:39-42).

Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and the baby in her womb leapt for joy, this was the blessing that the Blessed Mother brought to her cousin Elizabeth. The Blessed Mother did not only presented herself to her cousin she brought along with her the Holy Spirit.

When we pray the Holy Rosary with piety we feel the presence of the Blessed Mother in our midst. We somehow feel also how Elizabeth felt when she was visited by the Blessed Mother. Try praying the Holy Rosary with your eyes closed and you focus your mind to the Blessed Mother you somehow feel the she is also praying with you and the Holy Spirit is with you.

In praying the Holy Rosary it’s ok to read if we don’t memorize it yet, but during the repetitious praying of the Hail Mary…, Holy Mary… and Glory be... try closing your eyes and feel the presence of the Blessed Mother in your midst praying with you. It’s so relaxing to pray the Holy Rosary in this manner for we feel the peacefulness of our environment. This is the gift of the Holy Spirit that the Blessed Mother brings along with her the moment we pray the Holy Rosary.

Do you daily pray the Holy Rosary with piety? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In solidarity with the persecuted Christians in Iraq and in the Middle East...

Reflection for Wednesday August 13, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 18:15-20

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Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
(Jesus said to his disciples) “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
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What is the importance of having a one on one talk with someone who offended us or someone who is at fault? We signify our sincerity to help the person who is at fault and we send a message that we want to sincerely contain and solve the problem without compromising his/her honor. By doing so we create a sincere message that we are here to build bridges and not walls. 

Many of us commit the mistake of correcting a person in-front of a crowd but this will not help heal the person. This will only create a more deeper emotional injury to the person who is at fault. So, instead of bringing him/her closer to healing and reconciliation we further create a wedge that will permanently drive him/her away from the table of reconciliation.

This teaching of Jesus on how to privately correct a person is very useful for all of us. For the reason that there are times that we let ourselves be taken over by our arrogance rather than our kindness and gentleness. What is the use of power if it will only divide and create further emotional injury? What is the use of correcting a person in full view of the public if it will only create a deep seated feeling of hatred?

The way of Jesus in solving conflict is always the way of diplomacy and gentleness. Never through arrogance to propel ones power and influence. Let us reflect on this for we may have been using arrogance as a means of letting others know that they are at fault. - mjdasma

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reflection for Sunday August 10, Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 14:22-33

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Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
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Do you have this constant need for Jesus, wherein your day is not complete without you praying to Jesus? Many of us have this thirst for Jesus not only because we need Him to help us with our daily challenges. We have this need for Jesus for the reason that we simply want to connect with Him and our day is not complete without connecting with Him. 

Jesus in our gospel saw to it that Peter and the other disciples ride the boat going to the other side of the lake while He went to the mountain to pray. Unfortunately the boat encountered a severe storm that it was being battered by huge waves. During that scary ride they suddenly thought about Jesus to save them from that dangerous situation but He was not with them.

Early morning  came and they saw Jesus walking on water going toward them. Their need for their savior was addressed by Jesus. Why? Because in that dire situation Peter and the other disciples were already praying for Jesus’ help  and Jesus heard their prayers that’s why He walked on water going to them.

Peter on the other hand couldn’t wait anymore for Jesus to go and save them he had this urgent need to be with Jesus. So Peter loudly said, command me master to go to you and Jesus said to Peter, Come to me.  Peter went to Jesus by walking on water too but Peter began to sink because of his weak faith nevertheless Jesus was there to save him.

How many times have we faltered in life because of our weak faith? How many times have we faltered in life because we did not recognize our need for Jesus? Perhaps many times already. - mjdasma

Repleksyon para sa Agosto 10, Ika-19 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 14:22-33

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Mabuting Balita: Mateo 14:22-33
Agad pinasakay ni Jesus sa bangka ang mga alagad at pinauna sa kabilang ibayo. Samantala, pinauwi naman niya ang mga tao. Matapos niyang paalisin ang mga ito, mag-isa siyang umakyat sa bundok upang manalangin. Nag-iisa siyang inabutan doon ng gabi. Samantala, ang bangka ay nasa laot na ngunit sinasalpok ito ng mga alon dahil pasalungat ito sa hangin. Nang madaling-araw na'y sumunod sa kanila si Jesus na naglalakad sa ibabaw ng tubig.  Kinilabutan sa takot ang mga alagad nang makita nilang may lumalakad sa ibabaw ng tubig. "Multo!" sigaw nila. Ngunit nagsalita agad si Jesus at sinabi sa kanila, "Huwag kayong matakot, ako ito!" Sinabi ni Pedro, "Panginoon, kung talagang ikaw nga iyan, hayaan mong ako'y pumunta sa iyong kinaroroonan diyan sa ibabaw ng tubig." Sumagot siya, "Halika." Mula sa bangka ay lumakad si Pedro sa ibabaw ng tubig papunta kay Jesus. Ngunit nang mapansin niya na malakas ang hangin,  siya'y natakot at nagsimulang lumubog. "Panginoon, sagipin ninyo ako!" sigaw niya.

Agad siyang inabot ni Jesus. "Bakit ka nag-alinlangan? Napakaliit ng iyong pananampalataya!" sabi niya kay Pedro. Pagkasakay nila sa bangka, tumigil ang hangin at sinamba siya ng mga nasa bangka. "Tunay nga pong kayo ang Anak ng Diyos!" sabi nila.
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Nararamdaman mo ba ang iyong palagiang pangangailagan kay Jesus? Kung saan ang iyong araw ay hindi kumpleto kung hindi ka mananangalagin sa kanya. Marami sa atin ang may ganitong pag kauhaw  kay Jesus. Hindi lamang sa dahilan na kailagan natin siya para tulungan tayo sa pang araw-araw na hamon sa ating buhay. Nauuhaw tayo kay Jesus sa dahilan na gusto natin na makipag ugnay sa kanya at ang ating araw ay hindi bou kung hindi tayo nakikipag-ugnay sa kanya.

Sa ating mabuting balita ay pinasakay ni Jesus ng bangka sila Pedro at ang ibang mga alagad pa punta sa kabilang ibayo. Habang siya naman ay umahon sa bundok para manalangin. Ngunit habang nasa laot ang banka nila ito ay tinamaan ng malalakas na alon at hangin. At habang sila ay nasa ganitong pangyayari at bigla nilang naalala si Jesus para iligtas sila pero hindi nila kasama si Jesus.

Nang madaling araw na ay nakita nila si Jesus na naglalakad sa tubig papunta sa kanila at ang kanilang pangangailgan sa kanya ay tinugunan ni Jesus. Bakit? Dahil tinatawag nila si Jesus at sila ay nagdadasal kay Jesus para tulungan sila sa napakadilikadong sitwasyon na iyon,  kaya hindi sila binigo ni Jesus.

Si Pedro naman ay hindi nakapaghintay na makarating si Jesus sa kanilang banka. Kaya malakas niyang sinabi kay Jesus, Panginoon kung talagang kayo iyan papariyanin ninyo ako at sinabi ni Jesus kay Pedro, halika. Kaya naglakad si Perdo sa tubig pa punta kay Jesus. Ngunit, unti-unti siyang  lumubog sa tubig dahil sa kanyang mahinang pananalig pero siya ay iniligtas din ni Jesus.

Makailang beses na po ba tayong nabibigong abutin ang ating mga pangarap sa buhay dahil sa ating mahinang pananampalataya? At ilang beses narin po ba tayo nawawalan na ng pag-asa dahil hindi natin naiisip ang ating matinding pangangailagan kay Jesus? Marahil ay maraming beses na. - mjdasma

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Reflection for Thursday August 7, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:13-23

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and 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.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”
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There was an 84 years old sick Eucharistic minister that I regularly visit for his Sunday nourishment with the Body of Christ. He was frail and bed ridden already but whenever he noticed that I was in their house. He would muster enough strength so that he could sit down for Holy Communion. Until the time came that he was so weak already that he couldn’t anymore sit down.

One important thing that I noticed about him was he never complained why he was poor and suffering. As I go to him every Sunday never did I hear him complain about anything. He carried his suffering without questioning God until he eventually died. Perhaps he knew that to suffer was part of his discipleship with Jesus.

When Jesus told Peter and the disciples that He must undergo sufferings for the accomplishment of His mission. Peter reacted with indignation, perhaps Peter couldn’t accept the fact that this powerful and charismatic man would suffer. Perhaps because of the power of Jesus peter thought that Jesus was already immune to suffering/s. But Jesus was not exempted from suffering HE had to go through it for it was part of His  destiny and mission.

How about us, don’t we question Jesus why we have to go through sufferings?  Don’t we question Jesus, why me Lord considering that I am your follower? Perhaps Jesus would tell us this: Take courage my child, your suffering/s is a reminder that I am always here for you. - mjdasma

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday August 5, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14

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Gospel: Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14
Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.” He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
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Whom would you prefer a person who observes the tradition of washing of hands before eating a meal or a person who doesn’t observe this tradition? We would obviously prefer the one who observes the tradition.

But what if those who observe the tradition do it only for people to see them doing it and there’s no interior cleansing that happens to them? And those who don’t observe the tradition are the ones who are interiorly clean. We would now prefer those who do not observe the tradition but they are clean from within their hearts.     

Jesus is not against the washing of hands per se but what He is against is the external display of holiness. For example, what is the use of our religious devotions if there is no internal transformation that occurs in our hearts?

We continue to do bad things and we continue to cling to what is evil, so what is the use of our acts of holiness if it’s only for people to see? - mjdasma