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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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Reflection for April 29, Wednesday Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church; John 12:44-50

Gospel: John 12:44-50
Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me.”
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How can we properly reinforce our belief in the oneness of Jesus and God? It’s to follow to the letter the teachings of Jesus. Profession of belief only is not enough, we have to do concrete actions to seal our belief and faith.  For example, if we believe that Jesus and God the Father are one yet we don’t give to somebody in need. What then is the use of our declaration of belief?    

We have to remember that we who profess belief in the oneness of Jesus and God. Are their walking advertisements in this world. As such we should always see to it that we should always do something concrete to reinforce our belief.

In so doing we tell the whole world that we truly are followers not only in words but also in deeds. The truest essence of faith is not exclusively confined to acts of worship alone. It should always be coupled with acts of humility, mercy, compassion and the like.

Is your belief in the oneness of Jesus and the Father always reinforced with sincere acts of humility, mercy, compassion and the like? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for April 28, Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter; John 10:22-30

Gospel: John 10:22-30
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem. It was winter. And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
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How could we have an encounter with Jesus? We simply have to abide with what Jesus tells us in the scriptures. If He tells us that He and the Father are one we have to believe it without any doubt. Because all of Jesus pronouncements are not empty, it is solidly supported by other passages in the bible.

What separates those who believe and those who don’t? Those who believe receive the full graces of the power that emanates from Jesus. For example, their lives are changed, their faiths are strengthened. And they themselves become an agent of positive change in their own respective environments.

Those who do not believe Jesus are left-out in terms of spiritual graces, their individual faith life ia not strengthened. They are more vulnerable to the many forces of evil and they don’t have the spiritual strength that believers normally have.

What is the secret for us to believe? We have to humble ourselves before Jesus. We have to accept with faith every word that He tells us in the bible. And once we do, this would be the beginning of our new journey with Jesus.

Do we always believe and follow the words of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Reflection for April 27, Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter; John 10:1-10

Gospel: John 10:1-10
Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
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Do you consider yourself a good shepherd? Each and every one of us is a shepherd in our own little way. For example, if you are a parent, you have your own children to shepherd or guide. What kind of shepherd are you to your children?

Are you a good shepherd to them? Have you taught them already about our faith? Do you bring them to church for Holy Mass? Have you opened the bible to them and taught them about the life of Jesus? The model shepherd is Jesus, he is the one whom we should imitate.

Jesus tells us in the gospel: I am the gate for the sheep (John 10:7). Do we shepherd our own respective families going to Jesus? Or we instead lead them away from Jesus by exposing them to materialism?  

Who is the gate that Jesus mentions to us in the gospel? The gate is Jesus Himself! He is the good shepherd for He gave His very life for us. He established the church for us and He instituted the Eucharist for us His sheep.

Let us reflect on how we have been shepherding those who are under our care and guidance.  Are we good shepherds to them like Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Reflection for April 26, Fourth Sunday of Easter; John 10:11-18

Gospel: John 10:11-18
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
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Who is a good shepherd? A good shepherd is someone who desires nothing but the good of his sheep. A good shepherd is also someone who would be willing to sacrifice his own life for the sake of his sheep.

 In modern times right now a shepherd could also be an object of our attention or even obsession. That seeks to control and dictate upon us.  For example, greed for money could be our shepherd if we allow it to control us. But if we allow money to be our shepherd it will not only control us it may even possess us. It may even destroy not only us even our family as well. 

Our Job could also be our shepherd, in what manner could this be? This could happen once we allow our job to enslave us. For instance, we focus more on our jobs rather than our family that we hardly have time for our family. So what would happen to the family? It may be destroyed and eventually disintegrate.  Our ambition to be wealthy could also be our false shepherd and there are many more false shepherd wannabes.

In the midst of all these false shepherd wannabes. Jesus wants to offer Himself to us for He is the good shepherd. He tells us in the gospel: I am the good shepherd (John 10:11) and I will lay down my life for you (John 10:15). Why don’t we consider this offer of Jesus and allow Him to shepherd our lives?  

Perhaps we could start by reading the life story and the life changing words of Jesus in the bible. We can also begin to take seriously the celebration of the Holy Mass by paying more attention to this sacred celebration. Where we can receive Jesus in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

You might have already allowed money and other worldly ambitions to shepherd or control  you. But did it truly give you what you want? Did it give you peace and contentment in your life? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for April 25, Saturday Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist; Mark 16:15-20

Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
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Have you done something to share the good news about Jesus? For example, you shared the life of  Jesus to a friend or a relative. Or you’ve brought someone to church for Holy Mass and while at Mass he/she had a renewal of his/her faith in Jesus.  

One of your foremost mission as follower of Jesus is to share Him. If you have no idea on how you would share Him you could even simply live His life. Evangelization is not only confined to sharing with your vocal words for you could also evangelize by the way you live.

When the disciples were sent by Jesus through their mission one of the unwritten commands of Jesus for them was to live His way of life. For they wouldn’t be successful missioners for Jesus without immersing their very lives on Jesus way of life.

The challenge for you therefore is to share Jesus like how the disciples shared Him. You also have to live the way of life of Jesus. For without living the life of Jesus you will not become His true follower and evangelizer. 

Many in the church or outside of the church profess to follow Jesus but they do not live His life. Thus their evangelization is superficial it doesn’t take root in the hearts of those who listen to them. Therefore, an effective evangelizer is one who shares and live the life of Jesus.   

Do you share Jesus and do you live the life of Jesus most especially Jesus' life of humility and simplicity? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

1Reflection for April 24, Friday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:52-59

Gospel: John 6:52-59
The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink. Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever.” These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
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Are you a regular Sunday Mass goer or even a daily Mass goer? How do you feel if you fail to be at Holy Mass? Do you feel that something is lacking in your system of being? You have this feeling not because you miss a routinary activity.

On the contrary you have this feeling because you miss to be with Jesus. And you miss to partake of the Body and Blood of Jesus which (you may not know) is the source of your every Sunday or daily nourishment. 

How many times have you been to Holy Mass without paying attention to what’s going on during the celebration? Perhaps countless times already, what do you do after noticing that your attention was not in the Mass? Do you say sorry to Jesus and then make it a point to be attentive the next time?

In every Holy Mass that you attend you should see to it that your full attention is in the celebration. So that when the part comes that you are about to partake of His body your focus is centered on what you are about to receive. Which is no other than the most precious bread in the entire world because you receive the life giver, Jesus Himself.

Perhaps you may not believe this now because you are still young, healthy and perhaps you have money and power. And these temporal things serve as your security blanket right now. However when the time comes that you are already old and sickly. You will know that nothing matters anymore except the Bread of life, Jesus Himself. You will not desire anything except to partake of His Body which will become the source of your daily nourishment. 

Why wait for that time to come in the future? When you can already desire to be close to Jesus by faithfully partaking of His Body and Blood now and onwards?  Why make the temporal things of this world your security blanket? When you can make the Body of Christ your security blanket now? Yes now! – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for April 23, Thursday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:44-51

Gospel: John 6:44-51
Jesus said to the crowds: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: They shall all be taught by God.

Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.”
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How could you have eternal life?  You have to regularly receive the Body of Christ at Holy Mass. Always receive it with reverence and piety never think of it as a simple bread. Because what you receive is Jesus Himself.

Just imagine the enlightenment and unfathomable blessing that it will bring you if you would always partake of the body of Christ. Just imagine the countless spiritual blessing that it would bring you if you would believe that Jesus is the Consecrated Host that you receive during Holy Communion.

Your belief and faith in the bread of life will open your mind to the many truths about Jesus. Things that are hard to explain but is real and felt by the heart, all you have to do is to believe and have faith.

For without faith and belief you will not fully comprehend how this small bread becomes the body of Jesus after it is consecrated by the priest. How this small bread becomes your life and your reason for existing in this world.

Don’t wait for a Eucharistic miracle to happen before you believe for it may not happen in your lifetime. Believe now and have faith now in the bread of life. Which is Jesus Himself and you yourself will become a living and breathing miracle for those who know you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for April 22, Wednesday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:35-40

Gospel: John 6:35-40
Jesus said to the crowds, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me,  that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him on the last day.”
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Is Jesus the center of your life?  Well and good if yes for this is how it should be; Jesus should be the center of your life. Not money, not power or anything that is worldly it should be Jesus! Why Jesus and not anything that belongs to this world? Because when you have Jesus in your life you already have the bread of life that gives eternal life.

Life in this world is fleeting, you may leave this ephemeral life anytime, what would happen to you if Jesus is not the center of your life? For example if your motivation of living in this world is all about material things, power and enjoyment. What’s next after material things, power and enjoyment? Nothing for it’s already the dead end for a person without God.. This is the danger of not having Jesus in your life and not making Jesus the center of your life. 

In our gospel, Jesus said to the crowds: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst (John 6:35). If you deeply believe in this statement of Jesus you will indeed not experience hunger and thirst anymore. Hunger and thirst for what? Hunger and thirst for whatever this world could offer you.

Is Jesus the center of your life right now?   – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Reflection for April 21, Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:30-35

Gospel: John 6:30-35
The crowd said to Jesus: “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

So they said to Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
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I’ve been an extra-ordinary minister of the Holy Communion since 1999 and through these years I’ve brought the Body of Christ to the sick. In fact at present there is a middle-aged lady whom I regularly visit every week to give her the Body of Christ.

One common denominator that I’ve noticed with all of them is they all have an aura of peace and calmness ever since they received the Body of Christ. Hard to believe but this is true: Jesus gives them peace, calmness even an extension of their earthly journey by giving of Himself to them through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  

Except for the one that I regularly visit every week right now they all have died already. They died in peace, they died being nourished by the giver of the Bread of life, Jesus Himself!

Jesus in our gospel tells you: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35). Do you want to prove this assertion of Jesus? Whenever you attend Holy Mass receive with piety and reverence the bread of life which is Jesus.

Always do this whenever you are at Holy Mass and be docile to the will of Jesus for you and notice the miracle that Jesus will make in your life. Perhaps there would be change in your behaviour from being arrogant you now will become humble. Perhaps a miraculous cure from sickness and so on, all of these courtesy of Jesus the eternal bread of life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

1Reflection for April 20, Monday of the Third Week of Easter; John 6:22-29

Gospel: John 6:22-29
[After Jesus had fed the five thousand men, his disciples saw him walking on the sea.] The next day, the crowd that remained across the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not gone along with his disciples in the boat, but only his disciples had left. Other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they had eaten the bread when the Lord gave thanks. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And when they found him across the sea they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, “What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God,  that you believe in the one he sent.”
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Why do you go to church for Mass or why do you pray? Is it for your love of Jesus or for your need of Jesus? Some of us go to church for Holy Mass because of our need for Jesus, some of us pray for the same reason also.

 After our need for Jesus has been address already we now slacken and go back to our old ways. Until such time that we once again encounter humps and bumps in our lives then we again have our need for Jesus.

The people who were following Jesus were looking for Him because they saw how He feed them in the miracle of the loaves and fish. It was not for the love of Jesus that they were looking for Him neither for their desire to join Jesus disciples in their mission of evangelization.

If we look for Jesus let us not look for Him because of our need for Him alone. We look for Him because we love and miss Him. We look for Him because we want to partake of His mission.

 It’s always better to look for Jesus rooted in our love for Him since this love that we have for Him is always comprehensively rewarded by Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

1Reflection for April 19, Third Sunday of Easter; Luke 24:35-48

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way, and how Jesus was made known to them in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?” they gave him a piece of baked fish; he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.”
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How would you know that you are witnessing for the risen Christ? You hunger to do the things that Jesus did when He walked for three years in this world. For example, you saw a poor person begging for food and you feel pity for that person which compelled you to give that person something to alleviate his/her hunger.

Or whenever you see a person in need you always feel the drive to help. If you feel these emotions in your heart you are already witnessing for the Risen Christ. He is manifesting Himself through you and you become a living and breathing witness that Jesus has indeed risen! You always witness for Jesus whenever you do acts of mercy and compassion.

Why are you witnessing for Jesus? This is for the reason that you are a follower of Jesus. You witness for Jesus because you want others to know  Jesus also. You witness for Him  because you want Jesus to make a positive impact in their lives also as what Jesus did for you. By your witness others will know Him through you. They will feel Jesus presence and love through you.

In the gospel, the two disciples recalled to their fellow disciples Jesus’ manifestation to them in the breaking of the bread. When you break bread or share your food with the hungry, you do acts of mercy and compassion. When you break bread or  share your food you witness for Jesus and you become the face of Jesus for them.

Do you always witness for Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Reflection for April 18, Saturday of the Second Week of Easter; John 6:16-21

Gospel: John 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.
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Where do you go when you are fearful or when there’s an absence of peace in your life? Do you go to Jesus and ask Him to calm you and give you peace? As we continue to live we will be encountering many fears and many of these fears will certainly unsettle us. Yes we worry about these fears yet after a while we also learn to submit everything to Jesus and once we do we already have peace.

While the disciples were on a boat on their way to Capernaum they encountered a strong wind and they were certainly bothered by it. What would have happened if Jesus was with them? Jesus could have told them, keep calm don’t worry for I am with you. But Jesus was not with them so they were all fearful.

Many fears bother us when there’s an absence of Jesus in our life. Why? Because there’s an absence of stability and peace. Even if a person is rich if he/she doesn’t have Jesus there would certainly be absence of peace and calmness.

You will only have peace in your life if you have Jesus, if you don’t have Jesus expect the absence of peace to bother you. Wealth will not give you peace; power will not give you peace only Jesus will give you this elusive peace. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for April 17, Friday of the Second Week of Easter; John 6:1-15

Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
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Do you thirst for the spotlight after you’ve done something important? More often than not it’s yes! We all want to be in the spotlight we want attention and honor given to us. But how did Jesus handle Himself after miraculously feeding the five thousand who were following them?  Jesus simply walked away from them all and went to the mountain to be alone with God.

Jesus was supposed to be proclaimed king by those He fed. But Jesus did not want that kind of worldly honor what was important for Jesus was He did what He is expected to do. Jesus is so unlike with all of us, we who always thirst for honor and recognition. Are we not thirsty for honor and recognition? Yes we thirst for it!

By His action of avoidance of recognition and honor Jesus is teaching us humility. He is teaching us that after we have done our part for the greater glory of God it’s time to move on. It’s time to silently evaporate from the prying eyes of the crowd and be alone with God so that God could strengthen us and make us more humble.

Let us not look for the spotlight when we serve God or when we do things for God. Let us be content to silently fade away and let the goodness of God create a lasting impression in the hearts of those that we serve.  

Authentic service for God and His people is always achieved with humility and never with the desire to be in the limelight or spotlight. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reflection for April 16, Thursday of the Second Week of Easter; John 3:31-36

Gospel: John 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
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What will happen to you if you detach yourself from Jesus? You become a citizen of this world everything that you do in this world is anchored in this finite world alone. Many people live for this world alone they think that there’s no God and there’s no heaven.

So when trials or problems comes along their way they have no other recourse but to solve their trials based on what this world has taught them to do. And when they are not able to solve their trials they begin to lose hope in this world and in themselves as well and it seems that it is the end of the world for them already.  

What would happen to you if you have Jesus in your life? You will be full of hope even if the situation around you seems hopeless. This is the great difference of having Jesus in your life; you will be full of hope and you will see things differently. As opposed to someone who doesn’t have Jesus in his/her life.

In our gospel for this Thursday it says: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

The choice is ours to take, if we will allow Jesus to come into our lives or we will continue to shut the doors of our hearts to Jesus.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

1Reflection for April 15, Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter; John 3:16-21

Gospel: John 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
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What would happen to us if we will not embrace the teachings of God? We will have miserable lives in this world. Almost all of humanity knows that there is God yet we don’t embrace the teachings of God. We prefer to embrace the teachings of this world rather than God.

 We prefer to enjoy life without God rather than life with God. Why? Is this because God creates rules and limits on how we live our lives? Many of us don’t want our freedom to be curtailed. But there are limits to freedom especially the freedom to commit sin.

God always want us not to commit sin. Because the moment we commit sin we envelope ourselves in darkness and darkness is the absence of the light of God.  Just imagine a life in darkness, it’s a life without hope and this is precisely what the devil gives to us.

But no sinner is beyond reach of the love of God for God always offer to us His hand of forgiveness. This forgiveness is for our benefit but do we take advantage of this great forgiveness of God?   

God loves us dearly that He gave us Jesus to save us from all of our sinfulness yet we don’t embrace God we put aside Jesus in favor of this world. Let us not put Jesus aside and tell Him that we will first enjoy life in this world before we go to Him. For it may be too late already.

Let embrace God now let us open our life to Him now and let us start to walk away from our sinfulness now while we still have the luxury of time. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, April 13, 2015

1Reflection for April 14, Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter; John 3:7b-15

Gospel: John 3:7b-15
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?” Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
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Do you seek Jesus in your life? Do you thirst and hunger for Him? Nicodemus was Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin a Jewish judicial body. Why did he follow Jesus? He must have discovered something in Jesus that made him follow Jesus even until Jesus death on the cross. Nicodemus followership of Jesus did not stop on His death on the cross, Nicodemus also took care of the body of Jesus after His death (John 19:39).   

What would it take for you to become a follower of Jesus? Do you still need to see a miracle before you become a faithful follower? It may be too late already, why not follow Jesus now? Try looking at Jesus on the cross, that man on the cross died for you! Will you not take a second look at that man on the cross? Will you not thank Him for giving His life for you?

We don’t know the life of Nicodemus before he became a secret follower of Jesus. I also don’t know what your present life right now, if you are a big time sinner or not. Nevertheless decide to follow Jesus now for He is ready to give you peace and serenity in your life. It’s no problem for Jesus if you will become a secret follower like Nicodemus what is important for Jesus is you will follow Him.

Would you faithfully follow Jesus starting today? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for April 13, Monday of the Second Week of Easter; John 3:1-8

Gospel: John 3:1-8
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot re-enter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?” Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; o it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
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Are you born again? Every catholic who is faithful to the faith is born again. Being born again means we practice the sacred teachings and rituals of our faith and we are faithful to our fidelity to Jesus. We have already been born again through our baptism this means that we are new individuals in Christ. As such we have to do good all the time and we have to follow the teachings of the church where Jesus speaks from.

If you are a fair weather catholic you have not yet been born again. Therefore you need to be born again by having a personal relationship with our Lord, Master and Savior Jesus Christ. This personal relationship with Jesus will facilitate our being born again in our faith.

In our gospel, Nicodemus took literally the meaning of being born again. This is the reason why he told this to Jesus, Surely he cannot re-enter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he (John 3:4)?” Yet Jesus reminded Nicodemus that the essence of being born again is to be born of water and spirit which actually is the period of our baptism.

By virtue of our baptism all of us had been born again already that was years and years ago. There’s no need for anyone of us to change our religion to be born again. What we need is to have a personal encounter with Jesus within our Roman Catholic faith.

How would we do this? We go to Holy Mass faithfully and we humbly beg Jesus to give us the grace of the Holy Spirit. So that we would understand with faith what goes on inside the celebration of the Holy Mass. We visit the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel as often as possible  we speak to Jesus there and we ask Him change us. And we open and read our bible so that we will have a personal encounter with the very words and life of Jesus.

Are you a born again catholic? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, April 10, 2015

1Reflection for April 12, Second Sunday of Easter Sunday of Divine Mercy; John 20:19-31

Gospel: John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
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Where was Thomas when Jesus appeared to His disciples in the upper room? We don’t know we can only surmise that he was doing something that made him miss their meeting. Was his activity during that night more important than to pray with his fellow disciples?

By missing their meeting Thomas subsequently miss also the sacred presence of the risen Christ.  He missed being blessed by the presence Jesus and Thomas missed being imparted the  blessing of peace by Jesus. What a missed opportunity for Thomas. If only he knew beforehand that their Lord and Master would be making a miraculous appearance in their fellowship he would have not dared miss it. 

Some of us may see ourselves in Thomas we who oftentimes miss to go to church for Holy Mass. We who most of the time put our Sunday obligation at the backseat in favor of our many worldly preoccupations. But where would all our worldly preoccupations bring us? Could it bring us closer to the Lord and could it strengthen our relationship with Him? It surely can't but many of us put more importance in our many worldly activities than God.

What do we miss when we absent ourselves for Holy Mass? We miss to be in powerful prayer fellowship with our brothers and sisters in faith! We also miss most especially to be with Jesus and to receive His blessing of peace which He silently  give to us every time we are at Mass.

Thomas learned his lesson that’s why he made his self available in their second fellowship. We too should learn our lesson by prioritizing our sacred meeting with the Lord at Holy Mass.

Do you sometimes miss Holy Mass in favor of your other worldly activities?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

1Reflection for April 11, Saturday within the Octave of Easter; Mark 16:9-15

Gospel: Mark 16:9-15
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
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Among the many to whom Jesus can appear, why to Mary Magdalene first a sinner who was formerly possessed by seven demons? Why not to anyone of His eleven apostles first who by the way was with Him for three years? Or why not appear first to His Mother Mary?

Why appear to Mary Magdalene first? We don’t know but what we know of Mary of Magdalene is she is a sinner who repented. A former prostitute who left behind her sinful life to become a follower of Jesus.

Perhaps the message to us is nobody is beyond reach of the love of Jesus. The more sinful we are the more that Jesus desires to manifest Himself to us. The more that Jesus wants to convert us from sinner to become non-sinner even saint.

We should all remember that nothing is impossible with God. That God when He so desires can effect change into our lives no matter how dark our past. However, we must also cooperate with God’s plan of conversion for us. 

Because if God desires to change us yet we don’t cooperate with His plan, then He can’t do anything. For He also gave us the freedom of will, if we would abide with His desire then we are assured of salvation.

Mary of Magdalene was docile to the desire of God to convert her that’s why she totally left behind her sinful life and became a follower of Jesus.

How about you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

1Reflection for April 10, Friday within the Octave of Easter; John 21:1-14

Gospel: John 21:1-14
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing. They said to him, “We also will come with you. So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you? because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.
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Do you sometimes feel abandoned by Jesus? There are times that we go through some arid stages in our life. We feel abandoned by our friends, relative and even Jesus, But does Jesus abandon us? Perhaps our friends and relatives will abandon us especially when they become rich or achieve an exalted status in life. But Jesus abandoning us? Never will He abandon us.

With the death of Jesus the disciples had no other option but to go back to their former way of life none other than fishing. It must have been hard for them to go back fishing for they’ve been detached from it for three long years. Perhaps they even thought that they would never go back to fishing but something tragic happened to their Lord and Master.

Therefore there was no other choice for them but to go back to their former job as fishermen. From being fishermen they became fishers of men and now they go back again to being real fishermen. After three long years they went fishing for the very first time, it must been very hard for them. Perhaps when they were at sea they were still thinking of Jesus and terribly longing for His presence. That’s why they failed to concentrate on fishing in the process they caught nothing.

Then the feeling of weariness, loneliness and the feeling of being abandoned was immediately replaced by joy and hope when they saw Jesus waiting for them ashore. Jesus asked them, have you caught anything? They said, none then Jesus told them put once again your nets at sea where you are right now. No need for you to go far, drop it where you are right now! And then the miracle happened they caught an enormous number of fish.    

Relating this gospel with our personal journey with Jesus. There would also be episodes of weariness, loneliness and perhaps feeling of abandonment. But in the midst of these episodes let us stay the course for Jesus will make His way back to us when we least expect it. Never will  He leave and much less abandon us.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas