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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Reflection for Sunday November 2, Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls); John 14:1-6


Gospel: John 14:1-6
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. 2 In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 * And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. 4 Where [I] am going you know the way. 5 Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth* and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
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Reflection:
Today we remember all of our loved ones who've gone to the great beyond. We do this in many ways: By visiting them where they rest now, by offering prayers for the eternal repose of their souls and by recalling their countless acts of goodness.

It’s hard to forget the memories and we often get emotional when we remember them. But this is our life; someday somehow we would be also going through the process of sickness, hospitalization and eventually the inevitable which is our death.

Perhaps many of us may lose sleep by mere mention of death, we don’t want to die at this point because we are not yet prepared. But who is prepared to die? Nobody, we are not prepared to die or we are afraid to die because we are all sinners otherwise if we are clean we would not be afraid to die anytime.

Nevertheless, Jesus is telling us in our gospel not to be troubled. For as long as we have faith in Him we would be OK. Because our faith in Jesus is more than enough to conquer our fear of death.

In this day of remembrance for our departed love ones we are encouraged to continue to pray for their souls. We must also continue to strengthen our faith in Jesus because if we have faith we lack nothing and we fear nothing even death.

Jesus Himself assures us with these words: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places (John 14:1-2). - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa November 2, Paggunita sa lahat ng mga Pumanaw na Kristiyano; Juan 14:1-6


Mabuting Balita: Juan 14:1-6
1 Huwag mabagabag ang inyong mga puso. Manalig kayo sa Diyos, at manalig din kayo sa akin. 2 Mara¬ming silid sa bahay ng aking Ama. Kung hindi’y hindi ko sana sinabi sa inyong: “Pupunta ako upang ipag¬handa kayo ng lugar.” 3 At pag pumunta na ako at naipag¬handa kayo ng lugar, muli akong darating at dadalhin ko kayo sa akin upang kung saan ako naroon, gayon din naman kayo. 4 At alam n’yo ang daan sa pupun¬tahan ko.” 5 Sinabi sa kanya ni Tomas: “Pangi¬noon, hindi namin alam kung saan ka pu¬punta. Paano namin malalaman ang daan?” 6 Sinabi sa kanya ni Jesus: “Ako siyang daan, ang katotohanan, at ang buhay. Walang nakalalapit sa Ama kundi sa pamamagitan ko.
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Repleksyon:
Ngayong araw ay inaalala natin ang lahat ng ating mga mahal sa buhay na nauna na sa atin. Ginagawa po natin ito sa maraming pamamaraan: Sa pag bisita kung saan sila naka himlay, sa pamamagitan ng pag-aalay ng mga panalagin para sa kanilang kaluluwa, sa pag-alala ng kanilang kabutihan at iba.

Tunay na mahirap silang makalimutan at madalas ay nagiging emosyonal tayo pag naaalala natin sila. Pero talagang ganito ang buhay natin darating ang panahon na tayo rin ay dadaan sa proseso ng pagkakasakit, pagkaospital at yung hindi natin maiiwasan walang iba kundi ang ating kamatayan.

Marahil marami po sa atin pag nababangit ang katagang kamatayan ay hindi makatulog ng mahimbing. Sa dahilan na ayaw pa nating mamatay kasi hindi tayo handa, pero sino ba ang handa? Hindi tayo handa o takot tayong mamatay sa dahilang tayong lahat ay makasalanan. Dahil kung hindi tayo makasalanan ay hindi tayo matatakot sumakabilang buhay.
  
Ganon paman ay sinasabi sa atin ni Jesus sa ating mabuting balita na huwag mabagabag ang ating mga puso. At patuloy lang tayo na magkaroon ng pananampalataya sa kanya. Dahil ang ating pananampalataya kay Jesus ay higit na makapangyarihan sa kamatayan.

Sa araw na ito ng paggunita natin sa mga mahal natin sa buhay na pumanaw na ay patuloy po tayong mag alay ng panalagin sa kanilang mga kaluluwa. Patuloy din po nating palakasin ang ating pananampalataya kay Jesus. Dahil pag mayroon tayong pananampalataya ay wala na tayong kailagan pa at wala na tayong katatakutan pa kahit na ang kamatayan.

Ito mismo ang sinasabi sa atin ni Jesus sa ating mabuting balita: Huwag mabagabag ang inyong mga puso. Manalig kayo sa Diyos, at manalig din kayo sa akin. Mara¬ming silid sa bahay ng aking Ama (Juan 14:1-2). - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Reflection for Saturday November 1, Solemnity of All Saints; Matthew 5:1-12A

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12A
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
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Reflection:
How does one become a saint in his/her own little way? To be saint is to embody the character of Jesus to be saint is to embody the words of Jesus in our gospel today.

We can be saint in our own little way for as long as we aspire to follow the life of Jesus and for as long as we live the words of Jesus in the gospel. For example if you’re a parent and you try your very best to rear your children according to the teachings of Jesus you are already a saint for them. If you’re a son or daughter and you try your very best to take care of your retired parents you are already a saint for them.

In our gospel Jesus mentions nine blessed situations. The first is poor in spirit; how does one become poor in spirit? Does this mean that we are blessed because we lack the necessary spiritual vitality? No, to be poor in spirit means that we continuously hunger for the worlds of Jesus. 

Nobody can fill this hunger than the words of Jesus in the gospels, after we are filled with the words of Jesus. We once again are looking for our bible so that we could once again be filled by His words.  To become poor  in spirit is therefore a character that we must all aspire for as long as we continue to exist in this world. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday October 31, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 14:1-6

Gospel: Luke 14:1-6
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”

But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.
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Reflection:
What is the purpose of the Sabbath law? It’s to bring honor to God by resting and doing nothing for the world on that day. What if there’s somebody who is need of help on that same day? Should they (Jews) ignore the person for the reason that it was a day of rest?

In our gospel Jesus asked this question to the scholars of the law and the Pharisees: “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not (Luke 14:3)?” Not hearing any reply from them Jesus simply healed the man sick with dropsy. By doing so Jesus sent a clear message to the scholars of the law and the Pharisees that to bring healing or help to someone is more noble than the observance of the law. In other words the immediate need of somebody takes precedence over the observance of the Sabbath law.

How could we relate this with our own exercise of our faith life? In like manner say for example, if we have an obligation to our faith such our scheduled prayer meeting. Scheduled time for our prayers or our presence at Sunday Mass which is a day of obligation for us Catholics.

All of these exercise of worship for God must take a backseat over our acts of mercy. For example if we are in the process of fulfilling our obligation to our faith. And it so happen that there is a person who is in need of our immediate help. Our exercise of mercy must take precedence over our obligation to our faith.

Why is Pope Francis so admired, revered and respected? Is this because he is always shown presiding at Holy Mass or shown praying the Holy Rosary? No, it’s because of the Pope’s spontaneous acts of mercy and humility. Such as his non judgmental words, his action of embracing a badly disfigured man and countless more acts of compassion. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reflection for Thursday October 30, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:31-35

Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
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Reflection:
Would we be willing to die for our faith? I’m sure that many of us would say yes with an exclamation point! But when the actual time comes that we would be killed for standing up for our faith we may renounce our faith to save our life. Many of our saints died for our faith they could have renounced it to save themselves but they chose to be faithful until the very end.

When Jesus was told by the Pharisees to go away because King Herod wants to kill Him. Jesus did not budge a bit He courageously stared the challenge in the eye and faced it notwithstanding the threat to His life.

Do we recognize that to be a follower of Jesus is no joke? This is for the reason that like Jesus, the prophets before Him and the saints we are also called to stand-up for what is right. To face anyone and courageously stare them eyeball to eyeball so that we could advance the teachings of Jesus.

To be a follower in name only is easy but to be a committed follower until the very last gasp of our breath is never easy. For it will require us to get out of our own comfort zones or to even sacrifice our very own lives so as to preserve and advance the teachings of Jesus.   

Are we committed followers or followers in name only? - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday October 29, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:22-30

Gospel: Luke 13:22-30
Through towns and villages Jesus went teaching, making his way to Jerusalem. Someone said to him, 'Sir, will there be only a few saved?' He said to them, 'Try your hardest to enter by the narrow door, because, I tell you, many will try to enter and will not succeed. 'Once the master of the house has got up and locked the door, you may find yourself standing outside knocking on the door, saying, "Lord, open to us," but he will answer, "I do not know where you come from." Then you will start saying, "We once ate and drank in your company; you taught in our streets," but he will reply, "I do not know where you come from; away from me, all evil doers!" 'Then there will be weeping and grinding of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrown out. people And from east and west, from north and south, will come and sit down at the feast in the kingdom of God. 'Look, there are those now last who will be first, and those now first who will be last.'
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Reflection:
How are we living our lives today? Do we live it in pursuit of the many pleasures of this world which more often than not only brings us closer to the doorway of hell? There are many stories of destroyed lives for the simple reason that they immersed their lives in this world. Not knowing that they were actually being brought little by little by the devil to his kingdom.

The door to hell is wide, it’s full of revolting pleasures, for example, let us try going to a night club or a disco house in the dead of night. What would we find there? People who loves worldly pleasures, people who would readily commit sin if the opportunity presents itself most especially when they are already intoxicated.  

Jesus in our gospel talks about the narrow door, this is the door that leads to Himself. Indeed the door going to Jesus is narrow for this will require us to sacrifice and even leave behind many things that brings us nothing but fleeting pleasures.

We need to reflect and ponder at some point in our lives and ask ourselves this question, is my life all about pleasures? Is there something more deeply meaningful than this pleasures that I am presently going through? Yes there is something deeply more profound and meaningful than any other pleasure/s in this world. And this is the narrow door that leads to Jesus Himself.    

Are we now willing to take the steps going to that narrow door? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday October 28, Feast of Saints Simon and Jude; Luke 6:12-16

Gospel: Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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Reflection:
Among the many to be called, why did Jesus chose these twelve ordinary men to be His apostles? We never know the reason considering that before a man becomes a Priest or Deacon he needs to study for years. Same as when a woman desires to become a nun she also has to go through a formation process that takes years to complete.

So why did Jesus called these very ordinary men to become apostles? The reason perhaps that Jesus wants to convey is this: We need not become a priest or a nun to become a follower of Jesus. Anyone of us by virtue of our baptism could become a follower even if we have no education and even if we are not educated about our faith.

Some if not many of us may have this mistaken notion that the sole responsibility of spreading the faith lies in the hands of the priest. No for we are all called by Jesus to become his follower and to spread the faith. The less educated we are the more that He calls us to follow Him this is for the reason that Jesus does not call the qualified He qualifies the called.   

Therefore each and everyone of us has this special mission given to us by Jesus. Jesus wants us to become His missioners so that our faith could grow much further. So that through us Jesus could save and inspire more lives.

Do you find time to share Jesus through your words and actions? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Reflection for Monday October 27, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:10-17

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
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Reflection:
What made Jesus notice the woman crippled by a bad spirit considering that the woman did not even ask Jesus to heal her? Why did Jesus healed her on a Sabbath day when it was prohibited to do so?

The woman who never asked for healing from Jesus was in the synagogue to listen to Jesus. Yes she did not ask favor from Jesus but her desire to listen to Jesus speaks volumes about her trust and faith in Jesus. Therefore her trust and faith in Jesus was the channel for her to be noticed and healed by Jesus.

How can we listen to Jesus in this modern time? We listen to Jesus by reading His very words in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. We listen to Jesus when we have an audio file of the same gospels in our hi-tech and touch screen cell phones. How many of us have an audio file or even a video file of these gospels in our cell phones?  

In the process of listening to Jesus we are healed already even if we don’t ask Him to heal us. Jesus is a proactive God, He knows everything about us and He knows every sickness or illness that we have long before we ask Him to heal us.

We need not ask Him anymore for healing or for anything for that matter for as long as we have this hunger and thirst to listen to Him. Because it’s in listening to Jesus that we are healed, it’s in listening to Jesus that we acquire wisdom that He only could give us. It’s in listening to Jesus that we are strengthened and motivated to face our daily trials no matter how difficult.   

Do we still have time to listen to Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Reflection for Sunday October 26, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 22:34-40


Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and  one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
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Reflection:
How deep is God’s love for us? We will never know because God’s love for us is infinite. As a testament of God’s infinite love He even gave His only begotten son so that we could be freed from the curse of original sin.

How deep is our love for God? Is it enough to express our love for God by fulfilling our Sunday obligation? Certainly not for God requires that our love for Him should translate to our love for our neighbor. Therefore if we say we love God we also should learn to love our neighbor no matter how unlovable this neighbor.

Who is our neighbor? Our neighbor could be a relative, a friend, a literal neighbor or a complete stranger who needs our help. The big question here is what if this neighbor is unlovable or what if this neighbor is not good to us? Should we still give our love to this neighbor?  

Yes of course for we cannot separate our love for God with our love for our neighbor. If we say that we love God yet we don’t love our neighbor because they are not good to us, then how could this love of God that we profess be true?    

Therefore to love God is to unconditionally love our neighbor no matter if this neighbor has deeply hurt us. To love God is to forgive a spouse who is asking for a second chance, to love God is to forgive a friend who betrayed us and to love God is to help a stranger in need.

Do we truly love God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, October 24, 2014

Repleksyon para sa Oktubre 26, Ika-30 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 22:34-40


Mabuting Balita: Mateo 22:34-40
34 Narinig ng mga Pariseo na napatahimik ni Jesus ang mga Sadduseo, at sumang-ayon sila sa kanya. 35 Kaya sinu¬bukan siya ng isa sa kanila na isang guro ng Batas sa tanong na ito: 36 “Guro, ano ang pinakamahalagang utos ng Batas?” 37 Sumagot si Jesus: “Mahalin mo ang Panginoon mong Diyos nang buo mong puso, nang buo mong kaluluwa at nang buo mong pag-iisip. 38 Ito ang una at pina¬kamahalagang utos. 39 Ngunit may ika¬lawa pa na tulad nito: Mahalin mo ang iyong kapwa gaya ng iyong sarili. 40 Sa dalawang utos na ito nabubuod ang buong Batas at Mga Propeta.”
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Repleksyon:
Gaano po ba kalalim ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa atin? Hindi natin malalaman ito dahil walang sukatan ang pag-ibig ng Diyos. Isang pag papatunay nito ay ang pag bibigay ng Diyos sa kanyang bugtong na anak para tayo ay iligtas sa sumpa ng kasalanang orihinal.

Gaano naman kalalim ang ating pag-ibig sa Diyos? Sapat naba na ipahayag natin ang ating pagmamahal sa Diyos sa pamamagitan ng ating pagsisimba tuwing lingo? Hindi pa dahil gusto ng Diyos na ang ating pag-ibig sa kanya ay patunayan natin sa pamamagitan ng ating pagmamal sa ating kapwa. Kaya po pag sinasabi natin na mahal natin ang Diyos ay kailagan din po na mahalin natin ang ating kapwa kahit na siya ay hindi karapat dapat mahalin sa ating panigin.  

Sino po ba ang ating kapwa? Ang ating kapwa ay maaring kamag-anak, kaibigan, kapitbahay o kung sino man na nangangailagan ng ating tulong. Ang malaking katanungan po dito ay paano kung ang ating kapwang ito ay hindi kaibig-ibig? O paano po kaya kung ang kapwang ito ay hindi mabuti sa atin. Iibigin pa po rin ba natin sila?  

Dapat na sila ay atin paring ibigin sa dahilang hindi natin maihihiwalay ang ating pag-ibig sa Diyos sa ating kapwa. Kung sinasabi po natin na mahal natin ang Diyos pero hindi naman po tayo marunong mag mahal sa ating kapwa dahil hindi sila mabuti sa atin. Ay wala ding halaga ang pagsasabi natin na mahal natin ang Diyos.

Kaya ang umiibig sa Diyos ay umiibig din sa kapwa ng walang pasubali o kundisyon. Kahit na itong ating kapwa ay sinasaktan ang ating damdamin. Ang umiibig sa Diyos ay kayang magpatawad sa kanyang asawa na humihingi ng ikalawang pagkakataon. Ang umiibig sa Diyos ay handang patawarin ang kaibigan na nagkasala sa kanya. Ang umibig sa Diyos ay ang ating kahandaan na tumulong sa iba kahit na hindi natin ito kilala.

Tunay po ba tayong umiibig sa Diyos? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Reflection for Saturday October 25, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:1-9

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
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Reflection:
What will happen to us if we will not walk-away from our sinfulness? Sooner or later there will be punishment, there will be reckoning or payback. This is the normal cycle of life; if we refuse to walk-away from all of our sinfulness there shall be punishment. If punishment will not catch-up with us here in this world it will surely get hold of us in the afterlife.

In our gospel Jesus told those who were listening to Him to repent while they have the luxury of time. Because if they will not repent something very bad may happen to them. Same as what happened to the Galileans who were killed by Pilate and the eighteen people who perished when the tower of Siloam fell upon them.     

This is how much Jesus loves us, He will continuously call upon us to repent from all of our sinfulness. Because as much as possible Jesus wants us to be saved from severe punishment. Jesus will give us every opportunity to come back to Him no matter the sins that we have committed.

But at the end of the day, it’s still in our hands if we would listen to this call of Jesus or not for Jesus has given us the freedom of choice. Let us say we listened to this call of repentance of Jesus, what would happen to our lives? There would be essential transformation in our lives: From a chaotic to a peaceful life from a life of sin to a life free from sin. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reflection for Friday October 24, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:54-59

Gospel: Luke 12:54-59
(Jesus said to the crowds) “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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Reflection:
What do we need today? We need interior renewal and cleansing because whether we admit it or not we’ve been living our lives in sin. This is the reason why we have problems in our lives! For a change; why not try not to commit sin? Why not invite Jesus to rule our lives instead of us ruling our lives which brings us nothing except more problems and sin?

Let us take a closer look at our lives, are we living our lives free from sin or we continue to live our lives enslave by sin? Nobody could answer this except our very selves; if we have no peace of mind and if we are always being bothered by our conscience this simply means that we need to avoid sin.   

But more often than not we find it hard to admit that we are sinful and this is brought about by our arrogance and high sense of ourselves. We put ourselves in a pedestal as if we are clean but nobody is clean among us; we have allowed sin to rule our lives one way or another.

Why keep on sinning when Jesus is clearly calling us now to a new life free from sin? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday October 23, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:49-53

Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
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Reflection:
What does it mean to be on fire for Jesus? It simply means that we have allowed the Holy Spirit to work in our lives by sharing and living the teaching of Jesus. During Pentecost the Blessed Mother, some women and many of the apostles were in the upper room (Acts 1:12-14). While there the Holy Spirit appearing in tongues of fire descended upon each of them (Acts 2:1-3). And from thereon they have allowed themselves to be set on fire by the teachings of Jesus.

During our Baptism we too have received the same fire of the Holy Spirit and the same Holy Spirit was further strengthened within us during our Confirmation. After we have received the Holy Spirit through these two Sacraments, could we now say that we are on fire for Jesus?

Or we have never been on fire even if we have received already the presence of the Holy Spirit. We remain to be timid Roman Catholics for we never cared to share our faith in Jesus. We remain to be Roman Catholics in name only with our faith always hidden within us.

Why not try to reverse this culture of complacency by allowing the fire of the Holy Spirit to move us to share the gospel of Jesus? For example, why not try to schedule a weekly or even monthly reading and reflection of the words of Jesus in the bible amongst your family members or friends?

This may divide families and friends we may be even be labeled us neurotics for doing this but for as long as we do this with humility. We have nothing to worry about because we are simply living our faith. The division that we create for sharing the gospel will eventually heal and turn into cohesion and this is the miracle of Jesus.      
   
Are you on fire for Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday October 22, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:39-48

Gospel: Luke 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
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Reflection:
When a typhoon is about to hit a certain area the government would always remind its citizens to be prepared or even relocate for a period of time. The reason behind is very basic: to avoid destruction of lives and properties. Those who would hear the call for preparedness would survive and those who wouldn’t would suffer from their indifference.

In today’s gospel Jesus once again calls us to be prepared for He will come to us when we least expect Him to come into our lives. But does Jesus really come to our lives without prior warning? Does He really surprise us with His immediate presence thus we are caught unaware?

Before Jesus comes to us He would first knock into our hearts so that we could open our hearts to Him and embrace His offer of renewal with open arms.  By doing so we hear His call for us to be prepared.

But for those who would pretend not to hear even if they hear, those who would continue with their sinful lives even if Jesus is calling him/her for renewal. They may be awakened to the sad reality of life and this sad reality is the sufferings that they may face for the reason that they did not listen to Jesus.    

Nevertheless, everything is not lost yet, for as long as we breathe there’s always a chance to listen to the voice of Jesus coursed through people around us or even events around us. Who earnestly call upon us to be prepared by means of walking away from all of our sinfulness.  

In Revelation 3:19-20, the Lord tells us: I reprimand and correct all those I love. Be earnest and Change your ways. Look I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my call and opens the door. I will come into him and have supper with him. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, October 20, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday October 21, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:35-38

Gospel: Luke 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.”
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Reflection:
Why does Jesus tells us to be vigilant? Because we never know when he will come, He may come any day that we least expect. This is how much Jesus loves us! If Jesus doesn’t love us He wouldn’t bother to tell us to be prepared. But in truth and in fact Jesus loves us dearly, are we able to reciprocate this great love of Jesus for us?

If we continue to do good; if we continue to be humble, if we are able to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. If we continue to bring others closer to Jesus and so forth then we are prepared. Are these already enough preparation for the coming of the Lord? We never know for we don’t have the capacity to read the mind of God.

Nevertheless, Jesus has already given us the lead on how we could best prepare ourselves for the great coming of the Lord. What if we are not prepared? We have nobody to blame but ourselves for this simply means that we refused to heed the call of Jesus.

But there are many who live their lives as if they own it for themselves, as if they are in-charge of their lives. But nobody is in-charge except Jesus that’s why we must always be prepared.

Life is never permanent we may be in the pink of health today but we never know what may happen to us the next day or even the next minute. We never know if the breath that we will take before we sleep tonight is our last or not, this is how fragile life is.

This gospel is a wake-up call for all of us to always be prepared. Are you prepared? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday October 20, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:13-21

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest? And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry! But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
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Reflection:
What will be the scenario when we are a few inches away from the doorway of death? Would we still be concerned about our wealth? No, not anymore what would be of prime importance during that time are the relationships that we’ve built.

The first that will matter is the relationship that we’ve built with God, the next is the relationship that we’ve built with our relatives and friends. Our wealth no matter how enormous will not occupy a space in our minds.

Why is this so? Because wealth will not count as our ticket to heaven, what will count is the relationship that we have created with God. What will count are the good deeds that we’ve done to those who are in need.

 But the paradox is so many of us today who are alive and healthy are actively in pursuit of wealth. That we don’t anymore care how many lives would we be stepping on just to have it. We don’t anymore care if we will be called greedy or corrupt just to have it.

In our gospel for this Monday, Jesus is teaching us not to live our lives for the accumulation of wealth, He teaches us not to be greedy. Jesus teaches us instead to build a relationship with Him. To spread and share our blessings with others most especially with those who are in need.

For what is wealth when it will not count as your ticket to heaven? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Reflection for Sunday October 19, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 22:15-21

Gospel: Matthew 22:15-21
The Pharisees went off and plotted how they might entrap Jesus in speech. They sent their disciples to him, with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. And you are not concerned with anyone's opinion, for you do not regard a person's status. Tell us, then, what is your opinion: Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?" Knowing their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin that pays the census tax." Then they handed him the Roman coin. He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."
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Reflection:
Can we think of anything that we have given back to God? Perhaps we will pause and think about what we have given back God for all the blessings that He has been giving us all these years. After pausing maybe we still cannot think of anything that we have given God and the reason for this is maybe we have not given back God yet.

Every blessing that we have comes from God although we may think that what we have now came from our own hard work. But the truth is every blessing that we have God has generously given us including our very life now.

In our gospel for today Jesus tells us give to Caesar what belongs to him and give to God what belongs to God (Matthew 22:21). In modern language this means that we give what belongs to the government by way of paying the right taxes and other duties that the government has a rightful claim.

What then can we give God? We give God something special that comes from our hearts. Where is God then so that we could give back to Him? God is not hard to find, we simply have to look around us and we will see God. For God is with the poor, the hungry, the sick, the abandoned and anybody who needs our help, God is with them. Let us give generously to them so that we could give back to God.

In the gospel of Matthew somebody asked the king: Lord when did we see you hungry and give you food; thirsty and give you drink, or a stranger and welcome you or naked and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to see you? The king answered, truly I say to you: whenever you did this to one of the least you did it to me (Matthew 25:37-40).    

Have we already done something for God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa Oktubre 19, Ika-29 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 22:15-21

Mabuting Balita: Mateo 22:15-21
15 Umurong ang mga Pariseo at nagpulong kung paano nila huhulihin si Jesus sa sarili niyang mga salita. 16 Kaya ipinadala nila ang kanilang mga alagad kasama ng mga kampi kay Herodes. Sinabi nila kay Jesus: “Guro, nalalaman namin na tapat kang tao at tunay na nagtuturo ng daan ng Diyos; hindi ka napadadala sa iba at nagsasa¬lita hindi ayon sa kalagayan ng tao. 17 Kaya ano ang palagay mo: ayon ba sa Batas na magbayad ng buwis sa Cesar? Dapat ba tayong magbayad sa kanya o hindi?”

18 Alam naman ni Jesus ang ma¬sama nilang pakay, at sinabi niya sa kanila: “Mga mapagkunwari! Bakit ninyo ako sinusubukan? 19 Ipakita ninyo sa akin ang perang pambuwis.” Ipinakita nila ang isang denaryo, 20 at sinabi sa kanila ni Jesus: “Sino ang naka¬larawan dito, na narito rin ang kanyang pangalan?” 21 Sumagot sila: “Ang Cesar.” At sinabi niya sa kanila: “Kung gayon, ibigay sa Cesar ang para sa Cesar, at sa Diyos ang para sa Diyos.”
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Repleksyon:
May naibalik na po ba tayo sa  Diyos para sa mga kabutihang ginawa niya sa atin? Marahil po ay mag iisip tayo ay kung ano na nga ba ang ating naibalik sa ating Panginoon. Pagkatapos nating mag-isip ay baka wala parin tayong maalala na naibalik natin sa Diyos dahil sa katunayan ay baka talagang wala pa tayong nagagawa para sa Diyos. 

Lahat po ng biyaya na mayroon tayo ngayon ay galing sa Panginoong Diyos pero baka may ilan sa atin na iisipin na galing sa ating sariling pagsisikap kung ano mang mayroon tayo ngayon. Pero sa totoo po ay lahat ay nag mula sa Diyos kahit na ang ating buhay galing sa kanya.

Sa atin pong mabuting balita ay sinasabi ni Jesus sa atin na ibigay sa Cesar ang sa Cesar at ibigay sa Diyos ang sa Diyos (Mateo 22:21). Kung ito po ay isasalin natin sa ating makabagong panahon ngayon ay sinasabi ni Jesus na ibigay natin ang para sa ating gobyerno. Sa pamamagitan ng pag babayad ng tamang buwis at ng ating iba pang obligasyon sa gobyerno.

Ano naman po ang maibibigay natin sa Panginoong Diyos? Magbibigay tayo ng espesyal para sa Diyos na nangagaling sa ating mga puso. Pero saan nga ba ang Diyos at saan ba natin siya makikita para makapagbigay tayo ng nararapat para sa kanya?

Hindi naman po mahirap hanapin ang Diyos ang kailagan lang po ay tumingin tayo sa ating kapaligiran at makikita natin siya. Dahil ang Diyos ay nasa mahihirap, nagugutom, may sakit, mga pinabayaan at kung sino man na nangangailagan ng ating tulong. Ang Panginoon ay nasa kanila, kung magbibigay po tayo ng taos puso sa kanila at para narin tayong nangbibigay sa Panginoong Diyos.

Sa mabuting balita ayon kay San Mateo ay may nag tanong sa Hari ng  ganito: Panginoon, kailan ka namin nakitang nagugutom at pinakain, nauuhaw at pinainom, isang dayuhan at pinatuloy at walang soot at dinamitan? Kailan ka namin nakitang maysakit o nasa bilangguan at nilapitan? Sumagot ang Hari: Sinasabi ko sa inyo anuman ang gawin ninyo sa isa sa maliliit na ito na mga kapatid ko, sa akin ninyo ginawa (Mateo 25:37-40).

May nagawa o naibigay  na po ba tayo sa Panginoong Diyos? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reflection for Saturday October 18, Feast of Saint Luke, Evangelist; Luke 10:1-9

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9
The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’”
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Reflection:
How could we become effective bearers of the teachings of Jesus? We should live simply, we should lean on Jesus in everyday of our lives. This doesn’t mean that we just lay idle and wait for the bread from heaven to come to us. This means that we still have to work but at the same time we will not let our work control us we would rather let the values of Jesus take control of us while we work.   

Is it still possible to live simply today where the culture of greed and accumulation rules? Of course it’s still very much possible it’s actually upon our hands on how we would live in this world. If we would let the culture of greed and accumulation rule us or we would let the simple lifestyle of Jesus rule us.

 It’s all in our hands because Jesus gave us the freedom of choice. But it would be prudent to follow the desire of Jesus for us none other than to live our lives simply and to depend on Him at all times and not depend on us or anyone.  

When Jesus sent the seventy-two disciples to their mission He advocated total dependence on Him which translates to simple living. Why? Because it’s only through this that they could become effective bearers of the good news of Jesus.  

How are you living your life today? – Marino J. Dasmarinas