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

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 31 Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas; John 1:1-18

Gospel: John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 

He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only-begotten Son, full of grace and truth.

John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only-begotten Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
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Reflection:
What is the best New Year’s resolution that you could ever do? The best resolution is for you to be like John who humbly prepared the way for Jesus. John brought people to Jesus, John never told the people of his time to stay with him. He pointed to Jesus as the one that they must follow and not himself. Are you capable of doing this?

Are you up to the task of guiding others to Jesus and do you have the motivation to gently speak about Jesus to your fellowmen? If we have the fear of speaking we could also simply live the life of Jesus and that is more than enough already to point others to Jesus. There are people who cannot read and there are some also who cannot hear therefore it’s how we live that we could best bring them to Jesus.

Some of us may say that to share Jesus is not my job it’s for the exclusive domain of deacons, priest, bishops and nuns. But no, by virtue of our baptism we have already been empowered to share whatever we could share about Jesus and our Catholic faith. But have you shared Jesus and your Catholic faith?

This New Year make it your resolution to share and live Jesus. Be not afraid to share Him for He will be with you and the Holy Spirit who makes everything possible will be with you also.

Therefore be like John who shared Jesus and who pointed to Jesus as the Anointed one. Use facebook, instagram, twitter and many other means of communication to advance the teaching of the greatest teacher who ever walked this earth.    

Don’t you want to become an agent of change for Jesus this 2015? Of course you want! -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflection for Monday December 29, Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas; Luke 2:22-35

Gospel: Luke 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. 

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

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
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Reflection:
Do you know how it feels to hope on nobody but the Lord Jesus? Simeon the man from Jerusalem certainly knew this unique feeling, he was already ready to go out if this world upon seeing the young Jesus. His hope and salvation rested on nobody but Jesus, is Jesus the Hope and Salvation of your life?

Simeon was searching for Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit he was able to find Jesus in the temple being offered to God by his parents. Do you search for Jesus in your life and do you thirst for Him? You will certainly find Jesus when you search and thirst for Him. This may sound impossible to you but this is certainly true as true as the rising of the sun in the morning.

But many of us don’t even bother to search for Jesus and we hardly have time for Jesus. So what happens to our life? We have so many fears in life; the fear of dying, the fear of sickness and so forth. Simeon in our gospel reading was not fearful of anything even death! He was even ready to die already for he already found Jesus. 

As you continue your journey in this world you will be going after so many worldly things such as riches, power, higher learning and so forth. All of these worldly things will not give you peace of mind these things may even disturb your mind. 

For a change, why not stop going after these worldly things and thereafter begin your search for Jesus? He’s just around the bend waiting for you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 28, Feast of The Holy Family; Luke 2:22-40

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel. The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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Reflection:
What is the status of many modern families today? They are always wired to their gadgets that connect them to the World Wide Web. What was the status of the family twenty five years ago? They were strongly connected with each other for they often communicate. They were wired also not by any means of high-tech gadgets but they were wired to each and every member of their family. For life then was so simple, there was no internet or any kind of high-tech gadgets.

The modern family of today seldom talks with each other; they have more time with their gadgets than with their fellow human being. What a sad fact of modern life! But this is the reality of the modernity of life: We have more time with gadgets and internet yet less time for person to person interaction.

Twenty five years ago life was very simple and serene; children were more respectful to their parents. And the parents of yesterday had more time for their children than the modern and high-tech parents of today. We need not go far to prove this sad fact of modern family life we simply have to look at our own respective families today.

Today we celebrate in a very special way the feast of the Holy Family of Joseph, Jesus and Mary. The simple and humble model family that we must all emulate, they had no means of material wealth yet they were happy and they had contentment. Why? For the simple reason that God was at the center of their lives.

They worship God as a family and they faithfully observe the teachings of their Jewish faith. How many of us worship God as a family? How many of our modern family faithfully observes the discipline of the Catholic Church?

Many parents today are disheartened by the actuations of their grown-up children. Many parents would say, “I never brought you up to become so arrogant and so disrespectful to me. But on hindsight, did these parents invest time on their children? Did they bring them to church for Holy Mass? Did they teach them our Catholic faith? Did they open to them the life of Jesus which is always available in the bible?

The Holy Family of Jesus, Joseph and Mary is telling us to go back to the basics of family life. Keep family life simple and pure, communicate more often have more time for face to face family interaction. Listen more to your spouse and your children for they have so many personal stories to tell you.  And last but certainly not the least is to bring your entire family to church for Holy Mass.

How’s your modern family today? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 26, 2014

Reflection for Saturday December 27, Saint John, Apostle and Evangelist; John 20:1a, 2-8

Gospel: John 20:1a, 2-8
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him. So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
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Reflection:
What does the empty tomb of Jesus signify? It signifies that Jesus has risen after dying on the cross at Calvary. Simon Peter perhaps did not immediately believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Unlike the other disciples which is John who immediately believed after seeing the empty tomb and the burial cloths.

In this gospel episode it may seem that Peter and John are followers with contrasting intensity of faith. John with his rock solid faith and Peter who seem to be reluctant to immediately believe for it was not mentioned that Peter immediately believed.

But was Peter’s faith in the resurrection of Jesus really inadequate during that moment? Perhaps no, perhaps Peter chose to keep in his heart his faith in Jesus. In the silence of his heart Peter perhaps was also an instantaneous believer of the resurrection of Jesus.

Faith is a gift as well as conversion, like Peter many of us carries these two in our hearts silently. We may not immediately notice this in our fellowmen but it’s within them deeply rooted courtesy of Jesus.

Let us therefore pray to Jesus that He also give us this gift of faith and conversion. Let us also not forget to pray for our loved ones and friends so that they too may receive the same gift of faith and conversion. Amen. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflection for Friday December 26, Saint Stephen, First Martyr; Matthew 10:17-22

Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
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Reflection:
What fuels a person to give his/her life for Jesus? It’s their fidelity to the mission of Jesus and it’s their love until the end of their lives for Jesus. For many of us it’s hard to think that there are people who are willing to give their life for Jesus. But this is the reality; there really are unsung heroes who will willingly give their life for the mission of Jesus.

Another reality of life is this, those who humbly continue the mission of Jesus are often times persecuted also. Let us think about the many martyrs of the church who shed their blood for Jesus’ mission. There are many of them some became saints and some silently went to heaven. They never wavered in their fidelity to the mission of Jesus they continued amidst the persecution/s.

Let us say for example, what if you will also be called to witness for Jesus inside your family? Will you take the risk to speak about the teachings of Jesus even if its  unpopular to the majority of your family members?

A faithful follower will never be afraid to humbly speak for Jesus, for to speak for Jesus teachings is always right. But we must also do it in such a way that we will not condemn others in the name of Jesus for He doesn’t condemn.

We must always see to it that we always show the gentleness of Jesus. And not our own personalities which often times are judgmental and self-righteous. Amen. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday December 25, Christmas Day Mass; John 1:1-18

Gospel: John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory,the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
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Reflection:
Do you perceive the presence Jesus in your life? Do you feel His abiding love and care? Jesus was born into this world for you. God so love you that He became human like you. He walked in this world and mingled with the ordinary people of His time. For what reason did God do this? The reason is no other than love, God so love us dearly that He willingly gave His only begotten son for us.  

Jesus descended into this world through Mary to let us know that He is not a distant God. To let us know that He is a God amongst us, a God who walks with us and a God who is always there for us.

If through His birth Jesus humbled Himself for us so that we may live and have life, in what way do we humble ourselves for God? Are we silently doing our share to help Jesus advance His mission in this world? Do we invite our fellowmen to go to church for Holy Mass so that they too would feel the love of God?       

In this day of the birth of Jesus the church is teeming with people for Holy Mass. However some or many of them don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus yet. They are there because they’ve grown with this holy tradition. If we know someone who is like them it would be noble therefore if we would gently teach them about the life of Jesus and the reason why He was born into this world.

Have you done something to gently share the real reason for this season? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday December 25, Christmas Midnight Mass; Luke 2:1-14

Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
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Reflection:
What is a manger? It’s a box where feeds for farm animals are placed, where is a manger located? It’s located in a barn, what is a barn? It’s a small place where farm animals are located or housed. God chose Jesus to be born in that lowly location for a reason and that reason is for us to appreciate that Jesus comes to our life in the humblest and simplest occurrence.

God could have chosen Jesus to be born in a palace befitting his status but God chose Jesus to be born in a humble location so that he would be accessible to all of us. If God chose Jesus to be born in a palace he would be distancing Himself from many of us for palaces befit only royalties’ and kings.

Jesus was born in a barn because no other place was available for them or no one was willing to let them in. They went knocking from door to door but to no avail. Perhaps they were all busy that’s why they have no time to open their house for the birth of Jesus.

On this night of the birth of Jesus, He is knocking on the doors of our hearts as well. Let us open our hearts to Jesus let us let Him dwell there for there is no greater gift that we could ever receive in this season of Christmas than Jesus Himself.

Would you open your heart for Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 24, Fourth Week of Advent; Luke 1:67-79

Gospel: Luke 1:67-79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
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Reflection:
When do you feel that you are full of the Holy Spirit? It’s when you make prayer part of your daily life. You pray not once a day, not twice a day, not thrice a day, not four times a day, not even five times a day. You pray more than the sum total of the numbers that was mentioned.

Many of us do not pray often everyday because we think that it takes time to pray, no it doesn’t take time to pray. We can even pray even for a few seconds because the efficacy of our prayer is not measured by its length it’s measured by our focus and intensity.  

In our gospel we have the father of John named Zechariah. He is not only a priest he is also a holy man and as such he is a prayerful man; he prays with focus and passion. Because of his prayerful life it was already automatic for Zechariah to be filled with God the Holy Spirit.

The canticle of Zechariah was not only his own making it was also largely influenced by God the Holy Spirit whom he was always in-touch with thru his prayerful life. It was the Holy Spirit who empowered Zechariah to compose his canticle or song of praise for God.

Do you have an effective and passion filled prayer life? Do you feel in a very special way the presence of God the Holy Spirit in your life? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 17,Third week of Advent; Matthew 1:1-17

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king.

David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.

After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
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Reflection:
With the modernity of technology today wherein we are always busy with facebook and our many gadgets. Do we still have time to know our family tree or are we still willing to know our family tree? Say for example the names of our ancestors, are we still willing to know them?

Or we don’t have time to know them for the simple reason that they belong to the past already. And we are now here in this high-technology driven times where there is less people to people interaction. We now interact more with our internet friendly cell phones, ipads, laptops etc.

Nevertheless, we still need to know who our relatives are for the simple reason that we are humans, we are not high tech cell phones or other gadgets. And as such we need to know who our relatives are, so that we could also touch base and help them if they are in need of help.

We have in our gospel the ancestry of Jesus, it traces the family history of Jesus. From Abraham, King David up to Saint Joseph the designated father of Jesus. This ancestry shows the humanity of Jesus.

Even if He is God the Son Jesus is also human like all of us and being human this means that He is one with us. We can even adopt Him as our relative so that we could feel more closer to Him. For example we can treat Jesus as our brother or even our father that we could communicate with anytime.

God could have chosen Jesus to directly originate from heaven like a shooting star coming into earth. But God allowed Jesus to come from an ancestry of numerous people so that we can always be at home with Him. And so that we could treat Him as our close friend, our brother or even our father.

How’s your relationship with Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Reflection for Monday December 15, Third week of Advent; Matthew 21:23-27

Gospel: Matthew 21:23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area, the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him as he was teaching and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority? Jesus said to them in reply, “I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me, then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things.  Where was John’s baptism from? Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him? But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd, for they all regard John as a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know. He himself said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Reflection:
Where does Jesus’ authority comes from? We know that it comes from God, God gave Jesus the authority to preach, heal, exorcise those who are possessed by the devil and so forth.

The ruling class at that time (Pharisees, chief priest and elders of the people) was questioning Jesus’ authority because Jesus’ authority was more powerful than theirs. People were starting to flock more to Jesus than to them therefore they have to question His authority. Jesus never backed down with His authority He held-on to it until death.

Parent’s authority over their children is encompassing this means that for as long as parents live they have authority over their children until mortal death ends this authority. But why is it that many parents are being disrespected by their children?

This is for the reason that many parents failed to properly role model their authority over their children. They did not discipline their children; they spoiled their children by showering them material things. They failed to lead by example and they failed to introduce God to their children by teaching them about Jesus and by bringing them to church for Holy Mass.  Thus they end-up losing their authority over their children and the respect of their children.

If we want to have authority over our children and with other people under our care we must therefore be like Jesus. For Jesus exercised His authority by being a good role model, Jesus led by example until the end, even at the cost of His very own life.

How do you exercise your authority? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Reflection for Saturday December 13, Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr; Matthew 17:9A, 10-13

Gospel: Matthew 17:9A, 10-13
As they were coming down from the mountain, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
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Reflection:
Why is it that we sometimes are not aware that God is already manifesting His presence in our lives?   Because we have no awareness of God and our lack of awareness is made worse by our non observance of the church’s discipline.

For example, our Sunday Holy Mass obligation, our obligation to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation at least once a year and so forth. When we behave like this we distance ourselves from God and as a consequence of this we become numb to the presence of God in our lives.  

By not following Jesus the scribes and the Pharisees were not able to imbibe the teachings of Jesus. That the Prophet Elijah has already manifested himself through the person of John the Baptist. By not followinng they persecuted and killed both John and Jesus.

If they followed John and Jesus they would have not dared to persecute and kill them for they will know their mission and their true identity.

How then could we connect this gospel with our faith life? If we will not listen to the voice of Jesus who speaks to us through manifold ways like the observance of the church’s discipline. We distance ourselves also from Jesus just like what the Pharisees and scribes did. And we may end- up becoming the persecutor of the church which Jesus has founded instead of becoming its protector.     

Do we faithfully observe the laws and discipline of Jesus voiced through the Catholic Church? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, December 8, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday December 10, Second Week of Advent; Matthew 11:28-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
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Reflection:
Who among us are not feeling weary and burdened by the weight of the problems that we carry? We are all burdened by this world yet these burdens the we carry are miraculously made light. When we learn to submit it to Jesus and when we invite Jesus to help us carry it.

Why do we endure to carry the burden of someone we love or to suffer for someone we love? This is for the reason that we are already yoked or made one with this person that we love. For example, in married life if your spouse is sick you would endure and love to take care of your spouse.

This is for the reason that Jesus bonded the two of you to become one through the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Remember some words of your marriage vows? In sickness and in health you will not part until death!

If marriage made you one with your spouse, through your Baptism you became one with Jesus or you are already yoked with Jesus until eternity. Let us therefore always go to Jesus we who are all burdened by the difficulties of life for we will always find healing and strength in HIM.

Do you always go to Jesus by visiting Him in the Adoration Chapel? Do you always go to Jesus through Holy Mass? Do you always go to Jesus through your prayers? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

1Reflection for Tuesday December 9, Second Week of Advent; Matthew 18:12-14

Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
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Reflection:
Can we measure God’s love for us? No for God’s love is not bound by any kind of measurement or limited by time and space. God will continue to love us even if we are the most sinful person in this world.

The Parable of the lost sheep in our gospel is a showcase of this infinite love of God. Who is the man who looked for the lost sheep? He is our loving and merciful God! Who is the lost sheep that went astray?  It’s us we who are sinful and we who love sin more than God.

Nevertheless, even if we love to sin and even if we run away from the love of God. He is always there looking for us, always ready to forgive and forget all the sins that we have committed. Let us all be cognizant of this infinite love of God and let us also not be quick to judge our brothers and sisters who sin.

Instead of judging those who sin let us rather emulate God who looked for and reached-out to the lost sheep. Instead of judging let us help them get-up on their feet so that they could free themselves from the bondage of sin. There are sinners because no one is willing to reach-out to them, no one is willing to pay forward the infinite love of God.

Are we quick to judge those who sin? Do we care to reach-out to them so that they could feel the infinite love of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Reflection for Sunday December 7, Second Sunday of Advent; Mark 8:1-8


Gospel: Mark 8:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist.

He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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Reflection:
What if John said that he is already the one and no one anymore is coming after him? John could have fooled a lot of people but John did not take advantage of his new found celebrity status. He instead fulfilled the prophet Isaiah’s proclamation that he would prepare the way of the Lord.  

How did John prepared the way for Jesus? He called for renewal and repentance he coupled this with his humility, simplicity and not with judgment, arrogance and frivolity.  For these reasons, John was very successful in his mission of leading others to Jesus.

This gospel invites us also to reflect on how we lead others to Jesus, if at all we are doing something to lead others to Jesus. This is for the reason that we may have not done anything yet to lead others to Jesus.

How should we go about in leading our fellowmen to Jesus? In our own little way we should become another John in the environment where we are right now. This means that we must also do something to prepare the way of the Lord. This we could best do by our humility, simplicity and genuine worship for Jesus.

We can lead others to know Jesus by how we live. For example, if our friends have a limited knowledge of Jesus it may be through us that they would know Jesus deeply by how we live our faith. And it may be through us that they might have a personal encounter with Jesus.        

During this second Sunday of Advent let us ask ourselves these questions: Have I done something concrete to prepare the way of the Lord? Have I already led other to Jesus through my words and actions? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reflection for December 5, Friday of the First Week of Advent; Matthew 9:27-31

Gospel: Matthew  9:27-31
As Jesus passed by, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have pity on us! When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith. And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this. But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.
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Reflection:
What are we willing to do to have faith? Are we willing to humble ourselves and kneel before God and ask Him to give us the gift of faith? Faith is a gift that Jesus freely gives to the humble. Even if you will not ask for it Jesus will give it to you for as long as you humble yourself in front of Him.

In the gospel for this Friday we have two humble blind men who cried to Jesus for compassion.  Why did they cry when they could have shouted at Jesus to get His attention? They cried because they saw hope and mercy in Jesus. For the two blind men Jesus was their only hope to have the gift of sight.

Let us also ask Jesus to give us the gift of Hope and faith for nothing is impossible for those who humble themselves before God. Even the impossible is now very much possible for as long as we have faith.   

Whatever we’re going through right now, believe that Jesus will heal us. And believe that He will answer our pleas for nothing is impossible for Jesus. This is best exemplified by the two  incredible blind men of deep faith in our gospel.

How’s your faith in Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for December 4, Thursday of the First Week of Advent; Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-27
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”
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Reflection:
What will happen to us if we always pray yet we don’t live our faith? For example we always pray the Holy Rosary everyday or we go to Holy Mass every Sunday yet we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to change us? We would easily succumb to worldly temptations and we render useless our acts of worship for God.

The Philippines is a catholic country, in fact more than eighty percent (80%) of us are Catholics and the majority of our leaders are Catholics. yet corruption is deeply rooted in our bureaucracy. Why is this so? This is for the reason that we are only good at worshipping God but we don’t allow our worship for God to transform us.

What does Jesus want from all of us? He wants us to worship Him and allow this same worship for Him to transform us. So that we could become His true and faithful followers, it’s very easy to pray so that others would see us. However, the real qualification for us to be called a follower of Jesus is when we allow our worship for Him to transform us.

What will happen to us if we let our prayers to transform us according to the will of the Father in heaven?  We would be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house.  But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock (Luke 7:24-25).

Do we allow our worship for God to transform us according to His will? - Marino J. Dasmarinas