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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Monday, June 29, 2015

Reflection for July 1, Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:28-34

Gospel: Matthew  8:28-34
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
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A woman who believed in the power of Jesus also believed in the existence of Demons. Her belief in demons slowly but surely eroded her belief in Jesus. After a period of time this woman was eventually possessed by a demon.

Do you believe in demons also? Better not believe because the moment you believe you somehow allow the power of the evil one to slowly seep into you. The devil starts to become a reality in your life once you begin to believe in its existence.

In our gospel we see the power of Jesus over demons they were actually no match for Jesus that even them cowered before His presence. What does this tell you? It tells you that Jesus is the supreme power.

Evil exist within us because we allow it to exist; we give it freedom to dwell in us. How does this transpire? For example, we know that pornography is evil, so when we start to watch or read these materials.

We actually are giving freedom for the devil to have an influence in our value system. As it stays with us it also slowly but surely controls our minds that we start to begin of thinking of evil things also.

But all is not lost yet, If we know and have faith in Jesus and if we start to take Him and His teachings seriously. Satan will run away from us, evil or anything that is evil will have no place anymore in our value system.

Why? For the simple reason that Jesus is the supreme power. And when we are always connected with Jesus evil will simply be a thing of our past until we forget about it completely.

Do you sometimes allow evil to have an influence in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for June 30, Tuesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:23-27

Gospel: Matt Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
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Do you always seek the help of Jesus when you pass through the storms of your life?

While in the boat with Jesus the disciples encountered a very powerful storm. They were naturally terrified so they asked Jesus for help, they said to Him; “Lord save us we are perishing (Matthew 8:25)!”   

How many times have you encountered storms in your life? Many time over perhaps, in every storm that you encounter always remember that Jesus is always there for you. Ever ready to help you and bring you out safely of these storms that you encounter and may encounter still.

What if Jesus was not with the disciples during that fateful night when their boat was being battered by the storm? To whom would they be asking for help? To no one, they could have all perished in that violent storm. But Jesus was there to save them all.

This is the advantage of having Jesus in your life. You always have somebody very powerful to rescue you whenever you are in distress. You always have somebody who will take away your fears, even your biggest and greatest fears.

Do you always seek the help of Jesus whenever you pass through the storms of your life?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reflection for June 29, Monday; Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles; Matthew 16:13-19

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
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Do you know Jesus? Yes you know Jesus but do you feel the presence of Jesus in your life? Knowing and feeling Jesus are two different things. Many of us know Jesus but not as many feel His majestic presence in our hearts. 

We don’t feel the presence of Jesus in our hearts because we lack time for Jesus, that’s how simple it is. We don’t feel the presence of Jesus in our lives for the simple  reason  that we lack time for Him.

Peter did not only know Jesus, he felt also the presence of Jesus in his life. Peter felt the presence of Jesus in his  life because Peter had time for Jesus. Among the disciples it was Peter who was always with Jesus it was Peter who had more time for Jesus. 

Peter went with Jesus to the mountain of transfiguration. When Jesus walked on water Peter saw Jesus and even asked Jesus if she could go to him. And there were many other events that Peter was always in the company Jesus.

If you want to feel the gentle, saving and calming presence of Jesus in your life. You only have to do one thing and that is to spend more time with Jesus. Be with Him at Holy Mass, hear Him  speaking to you and telling you  stories and parable by  reading your bible. Hear Him assuring you of His abiding presence in your life through your prayers. And be with Him by visiting Him in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.

Do you want to feel the presence of Jesus in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Sunday June 28, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 5:21-43

Gospel: Mark  5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live. He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer? Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
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What does an encounter with Jesus do to us? It gives us hope and it cures us. There’s a story of a woman who had a terminal sickness. She was told by her doctor that she only had two months to live. But this woman was a woman of strong faith. She attends Holy Mass every day and does other things to strengthen her faith in Jesus.

When she was told that she had two months to live, she told her doctors, I will prove all of you wrong I’m going to beat this severe sickness with my faith in Jesus. True enough, after two months the woman of faith was still alive and totally free from her severe sickness.

We have in our gospel two stories of faith, hope and healing coursed through an encounter with Jesus. The first one is the story  of Jairus a synagogue official whose daughter was in death throes. Jairus went to Jesus to plead Him to cure his young daughter. Seeing the faith of Jairus Jesus went to his house to cure and bring back to life Jairus’ daughter.

The second story of faith hope and healing is an unnamed woman who for twelve long years had been suffering severe hemorrhages. She heard that Jesus would be passing by her way. It gave her hope and it further strengthened her faith. So she did her best to touch even the cloak of Jesus for she believed that by simply touching it she would be healed. And she was able to touch Jesus cloak and was indeed immediately healed.    

There could be a third story of faith, hope and healing by Jesus. And this third story could be your own story. What is your testimony of faith, hope and healing by Jesus? Share it so that others faith and hope in Jesus could be strengthened! 

All of us one way or the other have our own story of encounter with Jesus let us not keep this story within us. Let us share it so that others may know Jesus and hopefully have also an encounter with Him.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Reflection for June 27, Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:5-17

Gospel: Matthew 8:5-17
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you. And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.
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Why is Jesus a magnet to people most especially to who are in need? Because Jesus never refused anyone who asked for His help most especially those who are presistent. Jesus was always available, Jesus would always have time for them regardless of who they are and where they came from.

The centurion/soldier in our gospel came from a faraway place and certainly not a follower of Jesus. But he knew Jesus and he heard of His miracles so he ventured to see Him. And when he saw Jesus he asked him to cure his servant. Jesus never had any second thought of helping the centurion; he even offered to go his house to personally cure the centurion’s servant.

This gospel episode invites us to reflect if we also make ourselves available to those who are in need of our help. Often times we are not willing to help because it will disturb us. It will affect our personal finances and schedules but it’s not every day that we are asked for help.

The best way to share our faith and to share Jesus is not though eloquent or bombastic preaching. The best way to share our faith and to share Jesus is when we make ourselves available most especially to those who are in need. And to those who can’t give back the help that we’ve given them.       

Do you take time to make yourself available to those who are in need of your help most especially the poor? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Reflection for June 26, Friday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 8:1-4

Gospel: Matthew 8:1-4
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean. He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean. His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”
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Who is this leaper who courageously approached Jesus to beg for His healing? We don’t know but one thing is certain the leper is a believer of Jesus. He must have heard about the healing prowess of Jesus. He must have been longing for an opportunity to interact with Jesus for him to be healed also. That’s why when the opportunity presented itself he took advantage of it by approaching Jesus.

Have you also heard about the miracles that Jesus is capable of doing in your life? What would you do now if you heard about it? Should you remain static and do nothing or you become dynamic by hungering and thirsting for Jesus?

The leper even if he was considered as an outcast had that dynamic attitude for he went after Jesus. He did not allow his dreaded sickness to prevent him from having that personal encounter with his savior and healer.

Do you want to be healed from your sickness also? Whatever that sickness may be humbly ask Jesus to heal you. For He would never refuse anyone who sincerely ask for his healing. He will never refuse anyone who would humbly approach Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for June 25, Thursday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 7:21-29

Gospel: Matthew 7:21-29
Jesus said to his disciples: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.’

“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

When Jesus finished these words, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.
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What would ensure your entry to the kingdom of heaven when your time is up in this world? It’s your faith built and anchored like a rock. What does this mean? It means faith that is not in name only. It’s rather a faith that works and faith that is lived so that others may benefit from it.

How easy it is to us to say that I have faith, I am a Christian and a followers of Jesus. But do you put substance to these solemn declarations and do you live these pronouncements? If you do, then well and good but if you don’t yet, it’s never too late to renew your faith and commitment to Jesus.

In every hour of your life God gives you the chance for you to make alive your dormant and sleeping faith. God wants you to do this so that you would become like the wise man in the gospel. Who built his house around the rock which nobody could move or destroy not even the strongest storm.

We all face or will still be facing our own respective battles with the storms of life. Do you know what would make you survive these storms? It’s your rock solid faith in Jesus, faith that is not kept to oneself alone, it’s rather a faith that is lived and shared.

How’s your faith right now? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for June 24, Wednesday the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist; Luke 1:57-66, 80

Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John." 61 And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name." 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him. 80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
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What does a new born child brings to a family? It brings unfathomable joy and rejoicing. This was how the couple Elizabeth and Zechariah felt during that time. The new born child did not only bring joy to his parents, he also brought healing to his father Zechariah who had problem with speaking.

Every newly born child brings to you joy and healing also. Do you properly take care of this child that is given to you as gift by God? Do you teach this child about God and your faith? Do you teach this child to be humble and to live simply? Do you bring this growing child to church for Holy Mass?

What can we learn from the nativity of Saint John the Baptist? We learn that there is a reward that awaits for parents who are faithful to the will of God. We learn that when a child is taught about values of simplicity and humility the child would grow up to be simple and humble also.

Just like Jesus, John grew up as a simple and humble man, he grew up faithful to God’s will for him. We cannot only attribute these virtues of John to God alone. Both Elizabeth and Zechariah (his parents) played also an important role in instilling him these virtues of humility and simplicity. Zechariah and Elizabeth did not only teach John about simplicity and humility. Both of them lived humility and simplicity also.       
Do you teach your child how to be humble and simple and do you live the virtues of humility and simplicity? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, June 22, 2015

Reflection for June 23, Tuesday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Gospel: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets. “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.”
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What is the difference between a narrow gate and a wide gate? It’s hard to enter the narrow gate, you may have to twist your body so that you could pass through it. How about the wide gate? You simply can walk through it no twisting and no discomfort whatsoever.

You may ask, what is the relationship of the narrow gate with Jesus? The narrow gate is the gateway to knowing Jesus. The narrow gate is the gateway toward having a personal encounter with Jesus. In what way would this narrow gate lead you to Jesus? This narrow gate will entail for you to make some sacrifices. It will entail you to do things that you are not normally used of doing.

For example, in fulfilling your Sunday Holy Mass obligation, in praying the Holy Rosary or in reading the Holy Bible. You may not be comfortable  of doing this because this requires effort and time. Yet if you dare do this it will lead you to Jesus and it will lead you to know more about the many truths concerning the church.

If you want to find the true meaning and purpose of your life and if you want to know Jesus more deeply. You have to pass thru this narrow gate for this is the way that will lead you to a life of purpose with Jesus. Forget the wide gate which consist of the many worldly enjoyment, it will lead you nowhere it will even lead you to destruction.

Will you dare enter this narrow gate? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

1Reflection for June 22, Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 7:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
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What do you get by judging others? Nothing except the accumulation of hatred in your heart which if not corrected could even cause you sickness even death. What if you will not judge or you are not quick to judge? There would be no hatred within you! As such you will feel free, you will look younger and sickness will not be your best friend.

We may not know this but we are quick to judge others for the simple reason that we have a very high regard of ourselves. And this is brought about by our feeling of superiority towards others. But why do we feel superior towards others? When we are all created by God as equals.  Where does this superiority feeling emanates?

We have this feeling of superiority because God is not truly present within us. And God is not a permanent dweller in our hearts. There’s a story of a woman who was a regular fixture in church organization. But she was not well liked because she was so judgmental and self-righteous. Are we not often times also judgmental and self-righteous?

In our gospel for this Monday we hear Jesus telling us to stop judging. Why? This is for the reason that when we judge we already distance ourselves from that person. We already create a wall that may permanently divide us from that person. If this is so, how could we covert them? How could we let them feel the love of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Reflection for Sunday June 21, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 4:35-41

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?
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There is a story of a man who was so afraid of darkness. He feared darkness because he imagines evil things coming out from it. For the same reason, when sleeping time comes in the evening he tells his wife not to turn-off the light. 

For many of us evening or darkness depicts uncertainty, it registers fears in our hearts. Notice when there’s a brownout in your community. Everyone would look for their flashlights, candles or anything that could defeat darkness.    

It was evening when Jesus and His disciples were crossing to the other side of the lake. They were in a boat and darkness pervades their environment, when out of the blue they suddenly encountered a violent storm. All of them were running scared (who wouldn’t be?) the fear of the violent storm coupled with darkness made them momentarily forgot that Jesus was with them.

And then they remembered that Jesus (the light of their lives and our lives too!) was with them. He was soundly asleep, notwithstanding the violent storm, in the stern on a cushion. So they woke Him up and they asked Jesus for help. And right in front of them Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm (Mark 4:39). 

All of us pass thru certain stretches of darkness and storms in our lives and we naturally fear it. Many of us would want to avoid these stretches of darkness and storms. Yet we cannot avoid it for these are part and parcel of our lives.

So what are we going to do when we pass thru these episodes of storms and darkness? We always have to remember that Jesus the light of our lives is always with us. We always have to remember that no storms or darkness can break us down. For we have Jesus walking with us and lighting our paths.

Are you passing through a storm or darkness right now? – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Friday, June 19, 2015

Reflection for June 20, Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:24-34

Gospel: Matthew  6:24-34
Jesus said to his disciples: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin.

But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat? or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”
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What does Jesus mean when He said that we need not worry for God will provide? Is He telling us to simply lie down and we don’t do anything? Of course not! Yes Jesus is telling us in the gospel that we should learn to trust in God. But Jesus did not tell us to be lazy and just open our mouths because food will simply fall down from heaven.

What we need to do is we have to have faith and trust in Jesus. Yet we also have to move and do something and in the process expect the good Lord to bless our efforts. So its trusting Jesus and we reinforce our trust by our action and then we leave it up all to the graciousness of the good Lord.

What makes a meaningful life in this world? It’s a life focused first on God not a life focused first on this world. When we fix first our attention on God we are properly guided as we go on and live our lives in this world. We are not easily tempted to do wrong for the very reason that God is our priority.

If God is at the front seat we have nothing to worry for we will be able to handle whatever trials that may come our way. We will certainly survive it splendidly for the very reason that Jesus occupies the front seat of our lives.

Whom do you seek first in your life right now? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Reflection for June 19, Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:19-23

Gospel: Matthew 6:19-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

“The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
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There’s a story of a young bright man who declined every opportunity to get wealthy in favour of serving God. After twenty years his batch had an alumni homecoming. Many of his batch mates were already executives of private and government corporations.

And him? He was still  serving God. Compared to them who were complaining of many sickness brought about by the pressure of this world. His batch mates noticed his refreshing and healthy physical appearance.

When you focus on God rather than this world and when you store up treasures for heaven rather than this world. You will not only have good physical appearance you will also have a healthy spiritual life. You will also have a close relationship with Jesus.

Spiritual health is the greatest wealth yet many of us are blinded by material riches that we consider it our greatest wealth. What good would it do us if we have accumulated all the wealth in this world if our spirits are in poor health? What good will it do us if we gain all the wealth in this world if we cannot go to heaven after our journey is over?

Whatever we have in this world we will leave behind sooner or later or it may leave us behind. Yet, whatever we have invested for God in this world will be our passport to heaven to be with Jesus.        

What are you investing on right now? Are you still investing on the things of this world? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

1Reflection for June 18, Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:7-15

Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray: ‘Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
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What is the prayer that reaches the heart of God? It’s prayer that comes from the heart.  It a prayer made in the silence of your heart. It could be a long or short prayer that comes straight from your heart.

Jesus gives us the perfect prayer called the Our Father. This is called the perfect prayer because Jesus gave it to us. Jesus Himself taught us to pray it.  Do we pray this with our hearts or we simply pray it with our minds wandering elsewhere?

Recall when you’re at Holy Mass, how do you pray the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer? Do you Pray it with closed eyes or with open eyes? The best way to pray this perfect prayer is with closed eyes.  Because when you close your eyes you shut yourself from any form of distraction.    

Deep in your heart you seek to connect with God, you hunger and thirst for this God. Most especially when you pass through moments of loneliness and disillusionment.  Why? Because God alone gives meaning to your life.  

Close your eyes now and seek to connect with Jesus by silently praying the Our Father. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reflection for June 17, Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
Jesus said to his disciples: “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
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What motivates you to do good? For example in giving to the poor, what motivates you to help them? In giving to the poor Jesus has a major requirement that you should follow. Do it in secret without anyone knowing about it.

Why in secret? Because secrecy is the language of Jesus secrecy is also a close relative of humility which Jesus embodies to the hilt. This teaching of Jesus on alms giving is totally opposed to the teachings of this world which unfortunately many of us follow.

This world teaches us to publicise and to broadcast whatever good that we do. It teaches us to post to the internet our acts of kindness. So that those who know us may see it and consequently they will have a good impression about us.   

Why publicise? Perhaps this is brought about by our natural need for recognition. And there’s no wrong about it for we simply want to be recognised.  But Jesus is challenging us not to go  after recognition.

Jesus is challenging us to silently fade away after we have done good to anyone. Could we measure-up to this challenge of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Reflection for June 16, Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:43-48

Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
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What is the supreme act of love? It’s the willingness to die for the one that you love. What is the next supreme act of love? It’s to love even those who are not lovable to your eyes. It’s to continuously keep the flame of love alive for a person who does nothing but love you and who does nothing but hurt you.

But are you capable of following this radical love commandment of Jesus? It’s very hard to love the person who hates you. Take for example a spouse who does nothing but hurt you. How can you love him/her? If you only gaze your sight on this world it’s really difficult to love in such a situation.

But you are not only made for this world, God created you not only for this world alone. He created you to become a permanent dweller of heaven eventually. Therefore you have to love even those who do not love you. You have to pray for those who do nothing but hurt us.

What will happen to your spouse if you continue to love him/her even if he/she doesn’t express his/her love for you? What would happen if you never give-up and continue to pray for his/her conversion? He/she will eventually see the light of Jesus and be enlightened by it. For this is the miracle that Jesus gives to those who continue to have faith in Him.

This is what awaits those who never give up on love and the power of prayer. And this is the miracle that Jesus gives for those who never waiver on praying to Him.

Do you easily give up on love?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Reflection for June 13, Saturday The Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 2:41-51

Gospel: Luke 2:41-51
Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.
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When a family is hit with misfortune, say for example sickness of a child. It’s always the mother who suffers first. It’s not the father but the mother. Why is this so? This is for the reason that both mother and child have deeper emotional connection between themselves. 

Before a child is born to this world he/she stays first in his mother’s womb. For nine long months both mother and child develops a bond that only death can break.      

How did the Blessed Mother and her husband Joseph feel when she noticed that Jesus was not with them? It must have been very difficult for both of them but more difficult perhaps for the Blessed Mother. Jesus was her only child, she took care of Jesus and before she gave birth to Jesus. Jesus was inside her immaculate womb for nine months.

Just imagine the anxiety that the Blessed Mother felt. During that time when they discovered that the boy Jesus was not in their company. But she remained calm as they went back to Jerusalem to look for Jesus. And when they found Jesus the Blessed Mother said this to Jesus, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety (Luke 2:48).”

The Blessed Mother is not only concerned with Jesus’ welfare. She also is very much concerned with our own well being. Inside her Immaculate heart dwells the deep desire to look after us too so that she could bring us back closer to Jesus.

Let us therefore not forget to ask for the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Let us asks her to watch over us. Let us ask her to pray for us and let us ask her to bring us closer to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Reflection for June 12, Friday Solemnity of The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus; John 19:31-37

Gospel: John 19:31-37
Since it was preparation day, in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath, for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one, the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken and they be taken down. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe. For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled: Not a bone of it will be broken. And again another passage says: They will look upon him whom they have pierced.
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A young man said to his beloved, I will love you until the last gasp of my breath. The beloved woman was so smitten by his sweet words so she said yes. After a few months the young man left the woman he swore to love for a new love.

This is who many of us are when we love. We love without permanence and security. We love for as long as we can get something from the person that we swore to love. And then when we cannot get anything anymore it’s time to move on and find a new one. Hard to believe but this is true and this is happening.

But how does Jesus loves? He loves until eternity; He loves us no matter who we are. He loves us even if we don’t love Him back and He loves us more than His life. This is the love of Jesus for us, so deep and so profound that we cannot fathom it. This love of Jesus for us emanates from His Sacred Heart.

Today is the Solemnity of Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, this represents not only the heart of Jesus. This Solemnity is also a showcase of His infinite love for all of us because the heart is a universal symbol of love.

We see this great love of Jesus for us in the gospel. He hangs on the cross badly beaten and lifeless (John 19:33). Yet even in death Jesus still suffered. It happened when a soldier thrust his lance into his side (John 19:34).    

Notwithstanding all the sufferings that He has to endure whenever we sin. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is still full of love and forgiveness for all of us. His love is the kind of love that immediately forgives. A love that does not count our sins but only counts our willingness to go back to His loving embrace once again.    

Let us therefore go back to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

1Reflection for June 11, Thursday Saint Barnabas Apostle; Matthew 5:20-26

Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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A man who was full of anger in his heart suddenly died. When he was about to enter the pearly gates saint Peter suddenly appeared and refused him entry.  When the man asked, why? Saint Peter told Him that when he was still alive his heart was full of anger and arrogance.

Death is uncertain it may come to us anytime.  What if we suddenly die with our hearts full of anger and arrogance?  Many had been brought to perdition by anger and arrogance yet many of us still don’t learn our lesson. Anger and arrogance are emotional disease that originates from our egos, high sense of ourselves and our lack of humility.    

In our gospel we find Jesus giving us lessons on humility. He tells us: if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him (Matthew 5:23-25).

It’s not easy to imbibe humility but if we only know that humility makes us closer to Jesus. If we only know that humility would save us a lot of trouble even grievous ones. We will not think twice to imbibe humility we may even run after it and embrace it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Reflection for June 9, Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:13-16

Gospel: Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
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A young doctor who topped the board exam was offered by a multinational pharmaceutical company to work for them. She was presented with a big signing bonus, offered a huge salary and to top it all was also offered further studies abroad. Yet she refused the very attractive financial windfall and benefits.

When asked why? Her simple but very meaningful reply was this: I intend to go back to my home province and make a big positive difference in the lives of my poor provincemates where I also belong once upon a time.

Jesus in our gospel tells us: You are the salt of the earth and you are the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-14). What does it mean to become salt and light of this world? It simply means that we need to live a meaningful life! A life that is not lived for oneself alone but a life to be lived for others most especially the poor.

Often times we get to fixated on ourselves. We have this me first mentality everything that we do is for ourselves first. Then when the time comes that we are able to achieve our objectives and goals. We think now of giving back to our community, church and the poor.

When Jesus said that you are the salt and light of this world. He did not say fullfil first your dreams to be successful and rich. After which you think now of giving back to your community, church and the poor.

We need to become salt and light for others not tomorrow and certainly not in the future. We need to become salt and light in the lives others today, during this very moment. – Marino J. Dasmarinas