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

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Reflection for June 1 Monday, Saint Justin, Martyr; Mark 12:1-12

Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes? They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
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Reflection:
Do you know that all the things that you have right now is not yours?  All the things that you have right now are owned by God. God gave it to you, you may have worked very hard for it but at the end of the day it’s God who allowed you to prosper.

 It’s not through your own effort alone that you’ve achieved success its God who allowed you to have success and be where you are right now.  What have you given back to God in return?

Jesus in our gospel shares a story about a man (owner) who prepared his vineyard for it to be leased. The tenants had no problem of achieving growth and financial success in that vineyard for the owner had prepared it for them.

Then, harvest time came the owner was naturally asking for his share but the tenants were so greedy that they gave nothing to His messengers they all killed them including the very son of the owner of the vineyard.

Transplanting that parable to our present time we find that the man who owned the vineyard is God and we are the tenants. And as such we are expected to give back to God a certain part of what we have right now.

Life is short; let us therefore give back to God while we are still alive. Let us payback the generosity of God or let us move it forward by helping the poor. For example by adopting a poor relative and taking care of his/her education. There are a hundred more ways on how we can give back to God.

What have you given God in return? Have you given Him some of your talent, time and treasure? When you give back to God you allow Him to bless you more. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Reflection for Sunday May 31, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity; Matthew 28:16-20

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they all saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
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Reflection:           
What is the visible manifestation of the presence of the Most Holy Trinity? It’s the love and unity in the family. The teachings of the Most Holy Trinity is a mystery that nobody can unravel. Yet when we see a unified and loving family we are reminded of the Holy Trinity. This is for the reason that the Most Holy Trinity is a unity of love amongst God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit.

What is this love that unifies God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit? In his first letter to the Corinthians Saint Paul said this: “Love is patient, kind, without envy. It is not boastful or arrogant. It is not ill-mannered, nor does it seek its own interest.  Love overcomes anger and forgets offenses. It does not take delight in wrong, but rejoices in truth.  Love excuses everything, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Perhaps this is the kind of love that unifies the Holy Trinity and surely this is the kind of love that binds a family.

We could just imagine if this Trinitarian love is present inside every family. There would be no broken families, no suffering children and spouses. But the reality of many modern families today is it’s so modern and hi-tech that it hardly has personal and heart to heart interaction. The modern family of today interacts in a modern way also through their expensive gadgets. And this result to impersonal interactions which if not corrected could easily break apart a family when it’s tested by trials.   

The Trinitarian love was lived to the hilt by the old school and traditional Holy Family of Joseph, Mary and their son Jesus. Their family is the most visible manifestation of the unity and love of the Most Holy Trinity. This Holy Family is ever ready to listen to the voice of God and always docile to follow the will of God.

How’s your family right now? Does it have the Unity and Love of the Most Holy Trinity? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 30, Saturday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 1:27-33

Gospel: Mark 1:27-33
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them? Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me. They discussed this among themselves and said “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’? they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know. Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.
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Reflection:
Do you know where the authority of Jesus is coming from? The ruling power during Jesus time wanted to know the origin of His authority. Why were they interested to know? Was it for the reason that their own power base was being threatened by Jesus popularity among the ordinary people?

When our own survival is threatened we normally would do everything within our capacity to   defeat the incoming power. Even if the incoming power is doing what is right and noble. We would still do something to defeat it by any means possible.

Such is our flawed self-serving behavior; we don’t want to be upstaged by anyone. We always want to be in front and have the starring role, perhaps this is part of our human insecurity.

Jesus never had any insecurity for He simply did His mission without questioning anyone’s authority. The priority for Jesus was not authority or power it was first and foremost the well being and interest of the people.    

How about us? Do we put so much weight on authority? Or we just keep on doing what is good without being conscious with any authority? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Reflection for May 29, Friday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 11:11-26

Gospel: Mark 11:11-26
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area. He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again! And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area. Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death, yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered. Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him.

 Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”
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Reflection:
Do you always see Jesus as someone who is always, merciful, gentle and compassionate? Some parts of this gospel show us the other side of Jesus. A Jesus who gets angry with those who choose not to bear fruit. A Jesus who gets angry with those who do not give the respect and reverence that the temple of God truly deserves.

Is this anger of Jesus justified? Of course it’s justified! His anger toward the fig tree was not for the fig tree per se. It was for those people who know that they could do something for His mission. But for reasons of selfishness and not daring to go out of their own comfort zones they chose not to do anything.

Many of us are like them we don’t do something to advance the mission of Jesus in this world. We don’t want to be labor for Jesus, we don’t want to sacrifice our time for Jesus. We rather choose to spend time for our own self gratification.  

Why is it that many of us do not want to labor and sacrifice for Christ? Is it because there’s no money that could motivate us to do it? Yet money is but a miniscule part of life, we will not find the true meaning of life with money, with power or anything that emanates from this world.

We can only find the true essence and meaning of life with Jesus only with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Reflection for May 28, Thursday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:46-52

Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.  So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you. He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you? The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see. Jesus told him, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you. Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
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Reflection:
What is persistence? Persistence is the act of not giving up no matter the great odds against us. We will continue to pursue what we want because we believe deep in our hearts that God will be with us and God will help and hear us.

The blind and poor man Bartimaeus had this very persistent mindset. All the odds were stacked  against him in his desire to have an encounter with Jesus. He was blind and poor, had no power and influence yet when he heard that Jesus was passing by he mightily shouted, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me (Mark 10:48).”

 Bartimaeus was rebuked and told to keep silent but the more that he persisted on calling Jesus. What made bartimaeus persist? What made him believe that Jesus would hear him as He passed by?  Bartimaeus had great faith in Jesus, he believed deep in his heart that Jesus would hear and heal him.   

How persistent are we in our desire to have an encounter with Jesus? How persistence are we in our desire to get close and to be healed by Jesus?  Do we always pray? Do we always go to Mass? Do we have daily time to read His words in the bible? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 27, Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:32-45

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.” Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” He replied, ‘What do you wish me to do for you?” They answered him, “Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” They said to him, ‘We can.” Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
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Reflection:
What ensures lasting marriage? It’s the willingness to sacrifice, the willingness to bear pain and suffering and the willingness to swallow our own pride and ego. After we have endured these trials lasting marriage would be at hand.

The two disciples namely James and John wanted to sit beside Jesus in His glory. It seems that both of them did not want to pass through what Jesus was about to go through. Both of them wanted the easy path towards glorification.

But the easy path is not the way of Jesus for the way of Jesus is the way of the cross. The way of humility, suffering and humiliation without it there would be no triumph over evil. Without it there would be no glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven.

The same is true if we want to become true followers of Jesus. We also have to go through the way of Jesus before we could be bestowed by glory that Jesus alone can bestow upon us. .

Stay the course therefore no matter how filled with trials the journey with Him might be. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Reflection for Tuesday May 26, Saint Philip Neri Priest; Mark 10:28-31


Gospel: Mark 10:28-31
Peter began to say to Jesus, ‘We have given up everything and followed you. Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.
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Reflection:
A young man was asking for the heart of his beloved. The beloved said to him you have to give up your vices most especially your smoking and drinking. The young man acceded; from then on never did he smoke and drink any alcohol. After a few months they end up in the altar of God to become one.  

When we give up something for someone we dearly love we could be assured of something more worthy. Something that would somehow complete us, this may not make us happy immediately. But certainly something beautiful will come out of it in lieu of what we gave up.  

If we give up even a portion of our worldly life for Jesus we could expect something in return from Jesus. It may not be material riches or worldly power but we will certainly receive something in return.

 It may be peace of mind which has eluded us for the longest time. It could be good health or anything that cannot be measured and seen by our naked eye. Yet certainly be felt by our hearts.

When Jesus asks us of something to give up for Him we should hurry to obey and follow. We should never think twice, we should give it up immediately like a child jumping with reckless abandon to his father’s arms.

What are you willing to give up for Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Reflection for May 25, Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:17-27


Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God! The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
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Reflection:
Who is this man in the gospel who walked away from his desire to follow Jesus in favor of his treasures? We don’t know but we could compare the attitude of this wealthy man to our own attitude when it comes to wealth.

Many of us can’t give away our wealth so that it may serve its real purpose none other than to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. When the wealthy man walked away from Jesus he allowed himself to be possessed by his love for his wealth. He was already at the threshold of the real meaning of life yet he still chose to be possessed by the false meaning of life which is accumulation and possession of wealth and power.

Many of us including our politicians allow ourselves to be possessed by this false meaning of life. Which in the end will only serve as our downfall and we become the object of ridicule because we allowed ourselves to be possessed by our greed for wealth and power.

What will it do us if we have wealth yet we don’t have peace of mind? What would wealth bring to our lives if we don’t have God? Nothing but false sense of security, nothing but a life devoid of meaning and a life of emptiness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday May 24, Solemnity of Pentecost; John 20:19-23


Gospel: John 20:19-23
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.”
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Reflection:
Have you been in a situation where you feared for your life? The disciples were in this predicament after Jesus died on the cross. They were running for their lives and being hunted by the ruling power during that time. It must have been very difficult for them some of them might have even wore disguises to avoid being recognized.

With low morale and fearing for their lives they still managed to communicate and agreed to meet in a locked room. While in the room and perhaps praying and strategizing for their next plan of action, lo and behold the Lord Jesus appeared to them. To give them hope and peace. And before they separated Jesus breathed on them and gave them the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it is in the lowest point of our lives that the Lord Jesus manifests His presence to us. Perhaps this is so because this is the moment where we are in need of Him. This is the moment in our lives that our minds are not preoccupied by worldliness.

Yet the Lord comes to us not only by Himself, He comes to us bringing with Him peace, hope and surely the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Why the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit? Because the Lord Jesus perfectly knows that we would be facing our own share of difficulties as we continue our journey in this world.

That is why the Holy Spirit is with us so that it could disturb our conscience whenever we sin. It could give us Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Courage, Knowledge and Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2). Let us therefore pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and let us ask Him to shower us His many gifts.

Do you pray to the Holy Spirit and do you ask Him to guide and lead you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reflection for May 23, Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 21:20-25

Gospel: John 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you? When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him? Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me. So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die just “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did but if these were to be described individually I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.
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Reflection:
Are you sometimes to inquisitive about the things that does not even concern you? Peter in our gospel is like that, too curious about things that do not even concern him. Why did Peter ask about the beloved disciple?

We don’t know what was going on in peter’s mind when he asked about  John the beloved disciple of Jesus. But one thing was sure during that time: Peter was not paying attention to the instruction of Jesus to follow Him.

If we decide to follow Jesus, let us not be nosy about the lives of others in the parish. Or even the lives of our neighbors, let us rather focus on our very own life or family. Many troubles start from our being meddlesome with the lives of others. Misunderstanding and quarrels may start from it.

Therefore, let us focus solely on our own lives. Let others live their own lives in peace without us meddling or gossiping. Instead of wasting our time meddling or talking about the lives of others which bring us no good.  Let us use our time and energy on thinking of how we could further improve our  personal lives. On thinking of ways on how we could focus more on our desire to silently follow Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas       

Reflection for May 22, Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 21:15-19

Gospel: John 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs. He then said to Simon Peter a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep. He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time “Do you love me?” and he said to him “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you. Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, Follow me.
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Reflection:
Do you love me? Jesus asked Simon Peter three times this question. How deep is your love for Jesus? Would you be willing to handle the responsibility that He will be giving you? Love is not love unless you’re willing to sacrifice something, unless you’re willing to handle a responsibility to prove that love.

Simon Peter failed in His test of love for Jesus when he denied Jesus three times. He could have stood for Jesus but Peter was afraid to lose his life, Peter was afraid to sacrifice his very life for Jesus. That’s why he denied Jesus three times. At that moment when Simon Peter denied Jesus Peter gave more importance to his own survival than his love for his Lord and Master.

However, even if Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus still profoundly loved him. Jesus knew of the human frailties of Peter, Jesus knew that when the going gets tough Peter would deny Him. Yet He still loved Peter, Peter's denial of Jesus did not diminish Jesus love for him. This is the reason why at the end of the gospel Jesus called Peter to follow Him.

How many times have we denied Jesus through the countless sins that we have committed? Yet in spite of these sins Jesus still loves us so much. That He is willing to forget the countless betrayals that we have done to Him. Thus He will never get tired of calling us to follow Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

1Reflection for May 21, Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 17:20-26

Gospel: John 17:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one that the world may know that you sent me and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you but I know you, and they know that you sent me I made known to them your name and I will make it known that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.
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Reflection:
A woman engaged herself to caring for the poor of her community. She did this out of her concern for them, funds were hard to come by at times. Yet she was able to feed and nourish them because she believed that Jesus would always be there for them.

We can always lean on Jesus no matter who we are. He is always there to help us and He will always be there to bring our prayers to God. Jesus loves us so much that He gave His very life for us on the cross. By doing so Jesus completed the mission that was given to Him by God. For our sake God gave the life of His only begotten son.

God is never absent in our lives no matter who we are and no matter what we have done. He is always there ever ready to listen to us. God manifested Himself to us through Jesus so that we could reach out to Him. This is the reason why we should not think twice of calling for His help anytime.

Yet there is also a responsibility that rest on our shoulders. And this responsibility is to pay forward this infinite love of God. Our faith in God is never complete and it will never grow and mature unless we learn to share it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for May 20, Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 17:11b-19

Gospel: John 17:11b-19
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them so that they also may be consecrated in truth.
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Reflection:
A husband and wife wanted to adhere to the teachings of the church that marriage is for life. So they thought of ways on how they would go about it. In their reflection they thought of making prayer as an agent that would bind them together until they breathe their last in this world. To make a long story short they made prayer part of their married life. Thus they remained married until the end.

As Jesus was about to be arrested, He prayed to God for His disciples. That they may continually be united as one in their mission, united for the reason that they would not succeed without unity.  Isn’t this true also inside a family or married life? A family needs unity for it to succeed, what is the fruit of unity inside the family/marriage? The fruits are: Humility, Honesty, Forgiveness and many more positive attributes.

Every family/marriage that succeeds spiritually is a praying family and a praying family is a united family. Let us therefore not devalue the powerful miracle of prayer inside the family by not prioritizing prayer inside the family. This is for the reason that a family that prays as one would remain united until the end.  

Is prayer already part of the culture of your family and marriage? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, May 18, 2015

1Reflection for May 19, Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 17:1-11a

Gospel: John 17:1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.
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Reflection:
What is the usual method of our prayers? Is it spontaneous prayer or we follow a certain pattern when we pray? Whichever it is, what is important is we put our hearts in our prayers before God. For a prayer that connects to the heart of God is a prayer that originates from our hearts.

We read in our gospel for this Tuesday that Jesus is praying to His God His Father. It is a personal prayer for Himself and at the same time a prayer also for His disciples and the people that He dearly loved.

If Jesus prayed to God, we too ought to pray also to both of them. We pray for our personal petitions before them, for example prayers for strength to face our daily challenges. Prayers to lighten the loads that we carry, prayers for us not to store any form of hatred in our hearts and so forth.

When we pray we also unknowingly allow God to heal us because through our prayers we allow God to dwell in us. Notice that after we pray from our hearts where we don’t say a word yet we develop a connection with God. We feel light, we feel better and refreshed. Why? Because this is the miraculous effect of our prayers before God.

Let us beseech Jesus to heal us of anything that ails us. And let us beseech God to give us the gift of connection with Him and His Father whenever we pray. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

1Reflection for May 18, Monday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 16:29-33

Gospel: John 16:29-33
The Jesus said to His disciples, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God. Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
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Reflection:
A young man aimed for worldly riches and greatness in his chosen field of endeavour. By his hard work he was able to achieve his aim. He thought that it would be his crowning glory but he aimed for more riches. In doing so he had no peace and contentment, he became worldly and a creature of this world.

Jesus tells us in the gospel for this Monday, You will have peace in me, in this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). Many of us allow ourselves to be enslaved by this world up to this very moment. Until we get sick, until we are near death and the reason behind is we keep on chasing the temporal riches of this world. Which in reality will not give us peace and contentment.

Jesus offers us His peace. Peace that we cannot find in any part of this world. Let us wholeheartedly accept this. And we will begin to free ourselves from the possession of this world. In doing so, we will not be anymore concerned about others opinion toward us. It will not matter for us anymore because we already have the peace of Jesus in our hearts.

Do you want to have peace in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Reflection for Sunday May 17, Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord; Mark 16:15-20

Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “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.”

So 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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Reflection:
A military man was about to be assigned in a faraway place so he said to his wife: Properly take care of the children. Teach them about our faith so that they’ll grow-up to become responsible and God loving individuals.

The wife seriously followed the command of his husband. She taught their children the basic tenets of the faith, she introduced Jesus to them and she educated them about discipline good manners and values. After five years he came back. His children were all grown-up and he was so happy because they were all wonderfully brought-up by his wife.  

Before Jesus ascended onto heaven, He gave His disciples this marching order: “Proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) All the disciples lived to the hilt this command of Jesus. In fact majority of them were martyred for the sake of advancing the gospel of Jesus. 

The words of Jesus are like endless stream of water it flows with the passing of time and it speaks to us now so that we can respond to it. Have we shared and lived the gospel yet? Majority of us have not shared and lived it yet.

We therefore should share it because Jesus commands us to do so. We become a blessing for others when we share and live Jesus. We become more fruitful and useful followers of Jesus when we obey Him and when we help Him advance His teachings. And we allow Jesus to bless us more when we follow His marching orders. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reflection for May 16, Saturday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:23b-28

Gospel: John 16:23b-28
Jesus said to his disciples: Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.
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Reflection:
 How does it feel to be left behind by someone that you love and respect? It’s heartbreaking to say the least, as much as possible we don’t want to hear goodbyes. But goodbyes are real and part of life. But why is it that we don’t want to hear goodbyes and we don’t want to be separated from the person that we love? Because goodbyes and separations entails loneliness and sadness.

Perhaps the disciples were also feeling lonely and sad. Just imagine being there in that situation where Jesus was already saying His goodbyes to them. Surely we would be lonely and sad also. But unlike human goodbyes which is often times permanent and leaves us empty. Jesus’ goodbye was not permanent and Jesus goodbye to His disciples did not left His disciples empty.

Jesus assured His disciples that after He left them they could still invoke His name when they pray for something to the Father. And through His name they can have whatever they ask in prayer to the Father.

Everything is possible with Jesus if we have faith in Him. We can have whatever we want to have for as long as we ask Jesus help. The impossible becomes very much possible when we pray to God through Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

1Reflection for May 15, Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:20-23

Gospel: John 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
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Reflection:
Are you afraid to go through suffering/s? We all are, as much as possible we don’t want sufferings in our lives. What we want is a suffering free life but suffering free life is not a possibility for believers of Jesus. For without it we would not be able to intensely feel the abiding presence of Jesus in our lives.

Jesus will help us conquer our sufferings for as long as we steadfastly hold on to Him. For example, if a person is suffering from a terminal sickness yet in spite of this sickness he/she continues to intensely hold on to his/her faith in Jesus. Through his/her steadfast faith Jesus will sooner or later deliver him/her from his/her suffering/s. This could happen through physical healing or mortal death.

In our gospel for this Friday, Jesus tells His disciples: You will weep and mourn (John 16:20). Jesus told them this for His hour of arrest, passion and death will soon come. Yet they will be joyful and triumphant after a period of time. Joy and triumph that nobody can take away from them. Joy and triumph which are brought about by Jesus resurrection and triumph over death.

What is important in life is we continue to steadfastly hold on to Jesus no matter how severe the trials that we may face. For there surely be triumph over our trials if we remain unwavering in our faith in Him.

Are you going through a trial in your life right now?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for May 14, Thursday Feast of Saint Matthias, Apostle; John 15:9-17

Gospel: John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
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Reflection:
What is an ideal life in this world? It’s a life that is forever attached to the love of God. Without attachment to the love of God life would be empty, barren and meaningless. The love of God is the essence of life for we were not born to love this world. We came into this world to live and love God.   
Let us think about loving this world more than God and we only create emptiness in our lives we end up with nothing except emptiness. It’s a fact of life that everything that is in this world is temporary: wealth, power and the like. All of these we will leave behind or will eventually leave us, but the love of God will always be there for us.

What matters is the love of God nothing else but the love of God. It’s no brainer therefore why Jesus is telling us to remain in His love. For if we always remain in the love of God we would be able to hurdle. Whatever trials that may come our way and we would be able to conquer whatever fears that we may have even the fear of death.

Do you always desire to remain in the love of God? Or you sometimes discard the love of God in favor of your love for this world? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Reflection for May 13, Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:12-15

Gospel: John 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
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Reflection:
Do you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit dwelt in you when you were baptized. However not everyone of us have an awareness of the presence of God the Holy Spirit.

What is the impediment that prevents us from discerning the presence of God the Holy Spirit? It’s when we live our lives away from the teachings of the church. It’s when we create our own rules to follow instead of following the rules of the church.

 For example, the obligation of going to Holy Mass every Sunday. Many of us do not follow this Sunday obligation we instead follow our own self-created rule/s. This is the reason why we just go to Holy Mass when we feel like going. This kind of behavior prevents us from discerning the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The Holy Spirit acts as our honest and true counsellor who will never dare tell us to distort the truth. In fact it will tell us to speak the truth no matter who gets hurt. It will forever counsel us to do good and not to do evil things. This is the reason why we are bothered by our conscience whenever we tell lies and do wrong. And this feeling will not fade away until we tell the truth and correct the wrong that we have committed.

Do you have an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 12, Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 16:5-11

Gospel: John 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples: “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
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Reflection:
Have you been through an episode in your life where you somehow feel that God has somewhat abandoned you? We all pass through this kind of experience perhaps not only once but many times over in our lifetime.

But God never leaves us for He is always with us. His presence within us is coursed through us by the Holy Spirit. Jesus through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is always with us. Thus, we have nothing to fear! For we know that through the Holy Spirit God is always with us, it’s in fact us who forget of His presence in us.

We only have to connect with God to discern His presence in us. We can do this by our prayers, presence at Holy Mass, by reading of the words of God in the bible, by spending time with Him in the adoration chapel, by our interaction with Him through the sacraments of the church.

In the gospel, Jesus is already saying His farewell to His disciples for he will soon be arrested. Yet He continuously assures them of His sacred presence in their lives. This presence is made manifest to them by the presence of the Holy Spirit who would be their helper and advocate in whatever way.

We are never alone for God through the Holy Spirit is always with us. The Holy Spirit is ever ready to lift us up whenever we are feeling down, unloved and neglected by the people of this world. We simply have to have an awareness of its presence in our lives. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Reflection for May 11, Monday of the Sixth Week of Easter; John 15:26-16:4a

Gospel: John 15:26—16:4a
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
                                                          
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”
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Reflection:               
What strengthens our resolve to continue to move on with our lives? It’s our connection with God and Jesus. Our prayerful connection to both God and Jesus inspires us and gives us hope whenever we are down and weary.

Through our connection with God and Jesus we are given the gift of discerning the presence of the advocate or helper within our midst. For this reason, we have to have regular connection with God and Jesus. For both of them are facilitators of the presence of the advocate within our lives.

In our  gospel Jesus mentions to the disciples the advocate whom He will send to them courtesy of His Father (John 15:26). The advocate will continue to inspire them to be steadfast in their mission no matter the difficulties that they may encounter. It will protect them from dangers and it will lead them to do what is right.

We too can have an awareness of the presence of the advocate if we are always connected with Jesus and God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas