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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Reflection for August 1, Saturday, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 14:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him. Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him “It is not lawful for you to have her. Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
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Reflection:
Who is King Herod? King Herod is a tyrant a leader who will never think twice to supress anyone who dares  cross his path. He will not only supress Herod could even order the killing of anyone he wants.

Respect for human rights was not part of the vocabulary of Herod, abuse of human rights and dignity was. This was the reason why John the Baptist was imprisoned. John did nothing wrong he simply said what was to be truthfully said yet John suffered for it. 

The Philippines is about to enter presidential election period. And naturally there would be leaders who will promise everything to the electorate. There would be leaders who will try to do everything to get sympathy. Yet we should be watchful not to be swayed by them.

Let us be observant about their pronouncements most especially off the cuff pronouncements for this is where they reveal their true personalities. This is where we could get a glimpse of the true character of an aspirant for the presidency.

Let us be watchful we may bring to the office of the presidency another King Herod. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Reflection for July 31, Friday, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest: Matthew 13:54-58

Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Where did this man get all this?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes have a selective treatment with your fellowmen?  The town mates of Jesus treated Him with disdain because they knew Him as one of them. They knew His family background and they couldn’t believe that Jesus would be able to do such an exceptional lecture in their synagogue.

Instead of welcoming Him they treated Him with disdain. For they couldn’t accept that this man whom they know very well is now able to talk with wisdom. What drove them to belittle Jesus? It was their arrogance and high sense of themselves. Jesus town mates could not accept that this son of a carpenter could now become a preacher in their synagogue.

Our arrogance and high regard of ourselves will do us no good. It even deprives us of so many blessings from Jesus. Just like what happened to His town mates who were deprived of many blessing from Jesus when they did not accept Him.

Instead of being arrogant be humble, be respectful and always treat everyone as better than you are. Don’t try hard to raise yourself in the consciousness of others, let Jesus do it for you. Thus you will earn the respect of everybody. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for July 30, Thursday, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:47-53

Gospel: Matthew 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
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Reflection:
A desperate man was set to end his life, when he was about to do it he heard the voice of God which told him not to end his life. The man told God, I am a grievous sinner my Lord I don’t deserve to live anymore, I deserve to die and be in hell. The Lord told the man, I love you my son no matter who you are and no matter what you have done.

The love of God is like a net thrown into the sea which collects fish of every kind (Matthew 13:47). It does not discriminate; it catches every fish, the good and bad alike. The love of God is like this also, it’s for each and everyone of us: sinner and non-sinner alike.

Yet this love that God gives us freely is not also being forced upon us. We also have the freedom if we would respond by renewing our lives or we continue with our sinful ways. If we renew our lives and permanently walkaway from sin then we save our lives.

 But if we continue on sinning notwithstanding the fact that God has already called us. We therefore have to be ready for the grievous consequence that may befall us.  It’s no brainer therefore that we have to discontinue our sinful lives and take advantage of the love of God that he perpetually offers us.

Let us choose to embrace the love of God and permanently dump into oblivion the sinful offering of the devil. For the simple reason that the love of God is heaven on earth. While the sinful offering of the devil will bring us nowhere but hell. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reflection for July 29, Wednesday, Saint Martha: John 11:19-27

Gospel: John 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.
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Reflection:
Who is Jesus to you? Is He your best friend that you always go to whenever you are disturb by the many worries of this world? Jesus was the best friend of the sisters Martha and Mary they have that close interaction with Him.

 When Jesus was going to their house to comfort them about the death of their brother Lazarus. Martha went to meet Jesus while He was still on His way to their house.  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died (John 11:21).

 If Jesus was an ordinary friend Martha would not have bothered to meet Jesus, she would simply wait for Jesus to arrive in their house. But Jesus was their close friend, thus He met Him halfway.

How could you have a close friendship with Jesus? You have to ask Jesus to be your friend. You have to ask Jesus to increase your faith, you have to attend Holy Mass as frequent as you can. You have to learn more about the life of Jesus by reading your bible.

The best thing that could ever happen to your life is not to have the riches of this world. For it will fade away and you will leave it someday. The best thing that could ever happen to you is to have the friendship of Jesus. For He will always be there for you until forever. This is the best thing that could ever happen to you in this world.

Is Jesus your best friend? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Reflection for July 28, Tuesday, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:36-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection:
How are you living your life today? Are you living it in accord with what Jesus wants you to live it?

 Many of us live life as if there is no tomorrow, we live life to enjoy whatever this world could offer us, including sin. But life lived for this world alone is not the real life; there is something more profound than the life that we enjoy in this fleeting world. 
  
The profound life is a life lived in the company of Jesus. But how could we discover the movement of Jesus in our lives? There are so many ways to discern this movement of Jesus in our lives.

For example you will discover that Jesus wants to have a relationship with you through a relative or a good friend. Through a written commentary that you just read out of nowhere and this written commentary made you think about how you are living your life today.

The good friend and the written commentary that you’ve read are part of the many seeds that Jesus sows in your heart. And Jesus expects nothing less from you than to listen to Him because Jesus always wants nothing but the best for you.

At the end of the gospel Jesus speaks about harvest time or judgment day. When would this be? This will be at the end of our lives, when we die to be more specific. We will be judged according to what we’ve done in this world. If we listened to Jesus we will have a place in His kingdom.

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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Reflection for July 27, Monday, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:31-35

Gospel: Matthew 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:

I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. illustrate the same point: the amazing contrast between the small beginnings of the kingdom and its marvelous expansion.
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Reflection:
How does the kingdom of God starts in your heart? It starts small, then if you nurture it with prayers, by reading the bible and your faithful presence at Holy Mass. It slowly grows little by little until it fully blooms so that it can bless others and in the process you become a blessing to your brethren.  

But not everyone has this kind of experience. To many of us the kingdom begins small also yet it does not grow it instead dies. Why? Because we don’t exert an effort to nurture it, we don’t ask Jesus to bless our faith so that it could grow.

The mustard seed parable in our gospel is an allusion of Jesus’ desire to help us grow in faith. This seed of faith that He initially gives us during our baptism. And as we grow Jesus also desires that we also grow in faith so that others can learn from us.

How’s the seed of faith that Jesus sowed in your heart during your baptism? Did you allow it to grow by nurturing it and by asking Jesus to help you grow in faith? If it grew, has anyone been blessed by it already? – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Reflection for Sunday July 26, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; John 6:1-15


Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?” He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.” Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
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Reflection:   
There’s a story of a married couple who always find it hard to sustain their family's basic financial needs. A relative advised them to always be present in the Holy Mass celebration in their village’s chapel. The married couple asked their relative, why is there a need for us to always be present during Holy Mass? Their relative told them that they need to be present because this is where they meet, interact and be one with the Bread of Life which is Jesus Himself.

The big crowd in the gospel was running after Jesus, primarily because of His miracles, healings and life changing sermons. The crowd was more than five thousand and Jesus was naturally  concerned for their welfare. He therefore wanted to feed them but there was no enough bread and fish. So what Jesus did was he asked for whatever bread and fish that they have.

Upon getting hold of the bread and fish, He looked-up in thanksgiving to God. Thereafter Jesus gave the bread and fish to the crowd and He was able to fed them all. They also had plenty to spare, twelve wicker baskets and some fragments. It was not only the crowd’s physical hunger that was satisfied by Jesus, He also satisfied their spiritual thirst. 

When you attend Holy Mass, you are also feed by Jesus with the same bread which He gave the crowd. It happens when you partake of His Body and Blood during Holy Communion. During Holy Communion you are also nourished physically and spiritually by  the Bread of Life, Jesus Himself!

This is what occurs when you attend Holy Mass. You’re always being nourished by Jesus Himself, the same Jesus that fed the crowd who were following Him in the gospel.

when you are already standing in line for Holy Communion. Pray with your mind and heart and humbly ask Jesus to satisfy your spiritual hunger. Ask Jesus to increase your faith, pray also for contentment and peace in your life. He surely will give-in to your prayer.

Will you go to Holy Mass this Sunday so that you could partake of the Bread of Life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, July 24, 2015

Reflection for July 25, Saturday, Saint James, Apostle: Matthew 20:20-28

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, 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 does it mean to be a follower of Jesus? Does it mean to wield power and influence? Does it mean to be popular in your community? None of the above. To be a follower is to be ready  to serve without any  hidden agenda. To be a follower is not to desire greatness or any form of influence.

The mother of the sons of Zebedee desired her two sons to sit beside Jesus in His kingdom. Why did she ask for this? She asked because she did not know the real essence of a follower of Jesus. If only she knew that a follower should be the epitome of humility she would have not asked for that exalted position.

The mother of the two sons is the typical representation of the modern parents of today. They want their children to be in the spotlight. To be in-front and have all the attention that they could gather.

But if this is the mindset of parents today, what are they teaching their children? They’re teaching their children to have an arrogant mindset instead of a mindset of humility. Their teaching their children to seek prominence whenever they do good instead of simply fading away. 

If you want to grow in faith and if you want to be exalted by Jesus. Learn therefore to be humble. Learn not to desire greatness in whatever form. Learn that humility is the only passport towards Jesus. –Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Reflection for July 24, Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:18-23

Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”
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Reflection:
Do you allow the words of Jesus to transform you? For example you attend Holy Mass or you read the bible after doing it what happens to you? Do you allow these experiences to slowly transform you to become a better follower of Jesus?  Or nothing happens for it was just a passing experience that you did not treasure.

When you encounter the words of Jesus you should always allow it to create a transformation within you. It doesn’t matter how slow the transformation what is important is you are being transformed to become a better and productive followers of Jesus.

God would always want to connect Himself with us yet it’s us who creates distance from God. We don’t respond to God’s desire to connect because we fear that God would restrict our movement and behaviors.  But this is who God is the moment you get serious with Him. If you allow Him, He will truly restrict your movements and behaviors. 

For example God will restrict you from doing bad, God will restrict you from continuing with your vices. Vices that does nothing to you except to  destroy you and your loved ones. But you need not worry about  these restrictions because these restrictions are for your own good. Not for anyone’s good but for our own good!

When you allow the words of God to grow and bear fruit in your heart you become like the seed sown on rich soil. Do you allow the words of God to bear good and useful fruits in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Reflection for July 23, Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:10-17

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables? He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
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Reflection:
What is the key to unlock the hidden message of the parables of Jesus? The key is to become a follower like the disciples. Many of us do not decipher the hidden message/s of the parable/s for the reason that we don’t faithfully follow.

For example, our every Sunday Holy Mass obligation. We all know that it’s a must for all Catholics to go to Holy Mass every Sunday. So that we could be with Jesus up close and personal. But do we always make ourselves available even for just one hour during Sunday? Sundays are supposed to be the Lord’s Day but do we make it sacred by going to Holy Mass?

Unlike other Christian religions who do not allow their followers to read the bible by themselves. We Catholics are very much encouraged by the church to open our bibles and read it. So that we would discover and know more about Jesus.  But do we still find time to read our bibles?

Once you decide to find time for Jesus. You would also feel that your mind is slowly being opened to the many truths about Jesus and the church which He founded through Saint Peter. Your mind will  also be opened to fully understand the hidden message/s of the parables. You  will not only grow in knowledge about Jesus you will also deepen your personal relationship with Jesus.

Endeavor therefore to always ask Jesus to increase your faith and do your part as well by following the discipline of the church. And see for yourself the many graces that would be showered upon you. Including the grace of understanding the hidden message/s of Jesus’ parables.          
Do you still regularly find time for Jesus in the middle of your very hectic schedule? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Reflection for July 22, Wednesday Saint Mary Magdalene: John 20:1-2, 11-18

Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus.

Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
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Reflection:
How would feel if a very close friend or relative dies? Surely it would be very devastating as if your world has momentarily ended. This was the feeling of Mary Magdalene she was so devastated by the death of her beloved friend Jesus.

Mary Magdalene was so consumed by the death of Jesus that she failed to recognize the resurrected Jesus who asked her why she was weeping (John 20:14-15). Then afterwards Jesus revealed Himself to her and Mary Magdalene recognized Jesus (John 20:16).  

Death is a certainty of life, it visits anyone of us at a time that it chooses. A time that often times we don’t like but death comes to us and nobody can prevent it for it’s the cycle of our lives. But after death comes life, life that is very much different from the life that we have in this world.  Perhaps this was the reason why Mary Magdalene did not recognize the resurrected Jesus when He appeared to her. Mary Magdalene could not distinguish the image of the resurrected Jesus as opposed to Jesus before His death.

The resurrected Jesus also personally manifests Himself to you yet you don’t pay attention to  Him. He comes to you through the poor that you often see begging for whatever that you could give them. Jesus also manifests Himself to you through a sick relative or friend who is longing for your visit. Jesus also manifests Himself to you through a relative or a friend who is badly in need of your help yet you choose to give the things that you don’t need anymore.  

And there are many more times that Jesus had manifested Himself to you but you choose to  ignore Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reflection for July 21, Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:46-50

Gospel: Matthew 12:46-50
While Jesus was speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers appeared outside, wishing to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak with you.” But he said in reply to the one who told him, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.
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Reflection:
Who doesn’t want to be a relative of Jesus? Everyone of us of course wants to be Jesus relative. From the beginning and up until now God desires us to be His relative. God doesn’t want us to be distant from Him, as much as possible He wants us to always be close to Him.

But to be a relative or to be close to Jesus is not easy picking. You have to do your part to become a relative of Jesus. And this part that you have to do is for you to faithfully follow the will of God. You may ask, what is the will of God for myself? The will of God for you is to follow His commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). To do good and to find time to spread the good news. Are you able to faithfully follow this will of God?

Adam and Eve were initially close to God until they disobeyed His will not to eat the fruit of the tree of life. Adam and Eve sinned against God by following the devious scheming of the devil (Genesis 3:1-24). Therefore both of them were separated from God.

The decision is yours to take, if you want to become a relative of Jesus you simply have to follow God’s will. If you want to get close to the evil one, sin and disobey God’s commandments. But take the wise choice no other than to follow God’s will.

You will not only become a relative of Jesus if you follow the will of God, It will also save you from so many problems. It will save you too from the sharp and hellish clutches of the devil. Be discerning because the devil always hides his evil scheming through attractive and tempting things. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for July 20, Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.
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Reflection:
There is a story of a man who keeps on asking signs from Jesus. Instead of Jesus responding to his call for a sign. It was instead the devil who responded to him and he gave what the man wanted. This became a habit of this man: he would always ask for a sign and the devil would always gladly grant his request. Eventually the man became the slave of the devil.

You have to be careful in asking for signs because somebody other than Jesus might respond to your call.  And pretend that he is Jesus, this somebody is no other than the devil who always tries to seduce you with his own brand of signs and miracles. Yes the devil is also capable of creating his own brand of signs and miracles. This he does to entice his prospects to follow him instead of Jesus.

Instead of asking for signs from Jesus, why not ask Jesus to increase your faith? Why not always be present in the Eucharistic celebration (Holy Mass). Why not humbly submit yourself to the Sacrament of Reconciliation as often as possible?

Why not have time to reflect about the words of Jesus in the bible? Why not always do good and desire the good of your fellowmen? If you do all these, this would result in your increase of faith. Thus you will not be asking for a sign anymore for the reason that you now have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you fond of asking for signs? – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Reflection for Sunday July 19, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 6:30-34

Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
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Reflection:   
A man who had a problem in his marriage went to his neighbor to seek advice. This man was able to talk to his neighbor and in the process of their conversation. The neighbor asked the troubled man this question: Is Jesus an integral part of your marriage? For example, do you pray together? Do you attend Holy Mass together? The man said no, then the neighbor advised him to have time for Jesus and things will be alright with him and his wife.

In the gospel vast crowd were running after Jesus (Mark 6:34) because they knew that Jesus would straighten out their lives. They were not only after Jesus because they want to be cured and be fed. Some perhaps were running after Jesus because they want Jesus to heal also their broken marriages. Perhaps they also have family issues and the like.

The vast crowd who were following Jesus wherever he goes saw in Jesus a good shepherd who will not only feed and heal them. They also saw in Jesus a good shepherd who will give them precious advice the can heal their marriage and other family issues.

What does this mean to you?

This means that whenever you have issues in your marriage and other family matters that seem difficult to resolve. Go to Jesus in prayer bend your knees before Him and ask Him for help and guidance.

 Always remember that Jesus is your ever present good shepherd. Ever ready to guide you so that you will make the right decisions in strengthening your family.  Go to Jesus and ask Him for the gift of humility and forgiveness which are very much lacking in many marriages today.  

Jesus is your good shepherd; He will always be there for you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Reflection for July 18, Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:14-21

Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21
The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
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Reflection:
What do you do when there is a threat to your safety? Do you run away to avoid the threat? Or do you face the person who is threatening you?

When Jesus realized that the Pharisees were planning to kill Him. He simply withdrew from the place to avoid them. Why did Jesus withdraw? Because it was not yet time for Him to face His accusers and it was never in the nature of Jesus to be violent. Jesus is a man of peace, love and compassion. Never was He a hothead or a troublemaker.

If you avoid trouble people may accuse of being a coward but the truth is, it’s not cowardice to avoid trouble. A person who avoids trouble is a prudent person a person filled with wisdom and wise judgment.

What would you get if you confront a troublesome person? Nothing except another problematic situation! There are many ways to solve a troublesome person. And surely confronting this troublesome person head-on is not one of the ways.

 This action of Jesus of avoiding those who are running after Him simply tells us that prudence is the better part of valor. What does this mean? This means that it’s better to be careful or better to be safe than take risk. War is not always won through brute force war is won through wisdom filled decisions and strategies.

Let us reflect on this wisdom filled action of Jesus for it will save us from many troublesome situations. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Reflection for July 17, Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath. He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
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Reflection:
What is in the heart of Jesus? It’s mercy  and compassion for His people. Mercy and compassion that is ever ready to transgress sacred laws such as the Sabbath law.

Being God the Son Jesus perfectly knew that what He was doing was right. But the Pharisees did not know the true identity of Jesus. So they questioned the decision of Jesus to allow His disciples to pick and eat the grains on a Sabbath day.

Do you know Jesus deeply? Do you feel His presence in your life? If you don’t know Jesus deeply and if you don’t feel His presence in your life. You will also question some events or trial/s that occurs in your life.

For instance when you go through severe trials such as sickness and the like. You might also question the Lord Jesus and ask Him this question: Why am I going through this trial or why did you allow me to go through this episode in my life?

But if you know Jesus and if you feel His presence in your life.  You may never question Jesus and you will simply bow to His will for you.

Ask Jesus therefore to give you the gift of knowing Him deeply and the gift of His living presence in your life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

1Reflection for July 16, Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 11:28-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
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Reflection:
Are you already tired with the drudgery of your life? Do you want to be refreshed? Jesus has an offer for you! In the gospel Jesus tells you this: “Come to me; you who labor and burdened by the daily grind of life.

Why does Jesus wants you to go to Him? Because Jesus wants to help you carry whatever that burdens you right now. He wants to ease your pains and sufferings; Jesus wants to help you in carrying whatever that cross might be.

Respond to this call of Jesus and you will never regret making that decision. What will happen to you if you respond now? The cross that you carry will become lighter this is for the reason that Jesus is now helping you carry your cross.

You will have hope as bright as the morning sun. And there will be many more positive things that will happen to your life if you would respond to this offer of Jesus. Respond now and see and feel for yourself the miracle that will unfold in your life.   

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you would respond to this offer of Jesus.- Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Prayer:
I humbly respond to your offer of help my Jesus.  I am burdened by the many trials of my life. Help me withstand these trials, help me ease my burdens. I humbly look to you for help my Lord for I know that you will never refuse to help me. Embrace me from now on with your merciful and compassionate love. Amen. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Reflection for July 15, Wednesday Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor: Matthew 11:25-27

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
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Reflection:
What is the key to know Gods will for you? It’s childlike humility,  a humble person is ever ready to listen to the voice and will of God. He/she doesn’t go against the will of God he/she rather allows God’s will to work in his/her life. In the process of allowing God’s will to rule his/her life he/she discovers more about God.

When you are humble you open yourself to the countless blessings that emanates from God. You may ask, how am I going to be humble before God? You have to follow the rules of the church which Jesus founded through St. Peter.  

For example the rule of Sunday Holy Mass obligation, a humble person will always see to it that he/she is always present in this sacred celebration. Another example is our submission to the sacraments most especially the sacrament of reconciliation. A humble person will always find time to confess his/her sins to a priest who is there in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus always looks kindly to those who are childlike and humble. Why? Because this is the nature of God: He loves those who are humble and He opens Himself more to the humble.

Do you want to know more about God? And do you want to have a deeper intimacy with God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for July 14, Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 11:20-24

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum: Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.

For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
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Reflection:
Do you get frustrated or even get angry every once in a while? It’s ok for as long as your frustration and anger is for a good reason. And for as long as your anger doesn’t stay for long in your heart.  For example, you advice a relative or a friend to mend his/her ways but she/he doesn’t listen to you.  

In his humanity Jesus also gets frustrated like us and it is shown in the gospel. When He reproached the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida due to their refusal to repent. Jesus wanted the inhabitants of the two towns to change their wicked ways and accept His good news.

Some of us if not majority of us are like the people of Chorazin and Bethsaida full of stubbornness. Yes, we believe that there’s a God but believing is very different from listening to God and letting Him live in our hearts.

In pushing His good news to us Jesus touches us in so many ways. There are also times when He uses our fellowmen and other forms of modern medium such as the internet in order to touch us. Yet we often times don’t listen or pay attention, we remain stubborn and continue to commit sin.

God desires our company and friendship. He wants us to have that special relationship with Him. Yet we don’t pay attention and we continue to sin, but until when we are going to sin? Until such time that sin could destroy us?

Let us run away from sin because sin is evil and whomever embraces sin will eventually be destroyed by sin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Reflection for July 13, Monday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 10:34—11:1

Gospel: Matthew 10:34—11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple–amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
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Reflection:
There’s a saying that goes, “No pain no gain”. How could there be gain in pain? Why not gain without pain? When you gain something without pain what you gain can easily fly away and it can easily be forgotten. But when you gain something that is accompanied with pain and sacrifice you will treasure it and properly take care of it.

Would you be able to know Jesus more deeply without going through life’s many pains? No you  will not gain Jesus and you  will not have an up close and personal encounter with Him. For there’s no easy way going to Jesus.

 you have to pass through the many painful obstacles of life in order to find Jesus. You may even have to give-up every inch of your worldliness in order to find Jesus. Therefore self-sacrifice is an important ingredient in finding Jesus in your lives.

Would you be willing to go through pains and sufferings so that you could experience an encounter with Jesus? If you really desire Jesus in your life you will embrace without any second thought suffering/s and pains.

But worldly life has already conditioned us to veer away as much as we could from our crosses and pains. No small wonder that many if not majority of us have not yet found Jesus in our  lives. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, July 10, 2015

Reflection for Sunday July 12, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 6:7-13


Gospel: Mark 6:7-13
Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick—no food, no sack, no money in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals but not a second tunic. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” So they went off and preached repentance. The Twelve drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
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Reflection:   
A young man was considering a career in writing for God. But he was hesitant for he knows deep in his heart that he will not intellectually measure-up to such a huge responsibility. And this is for the reason that he doesn’t have any background in writing.

He told a friend about his desire and his intellectual shortcoming. The advice of his friend was to move forward and follow his desire. He was also told by his friend not to be disturbed by his intellectual shortcoming for God will fill whatever he was lacking. 

The twelve apostles who were sent by Jesus to their mission are like many of us. Many of them were ordinary fishermen who became fishers of men courtesy of Jesus. Perhaps when they were about to be sent by Jesus to their mission many of them were asking themselves this question; will I measure-up with  this huge responsibility? Perhaps, some were even thinking of backing out and then simply return to their old jobs. But Jesus was there to assure them of His support so they went ahead with their mission.

Jesus gave them full authority over unclean spirit (Mark 6:7). Jesus instructed them to take nothing for their journey except for a walking stick (Mark 6:8). As if Jesus was telling them to simply follow and not be bothered by their inherent weaknesses and shortcomings. For He will fill-up whatever is lacking in them.

They followed the order of Jesus and trusted their mission to His guidance. Therefore they became successful in their mission. They drove out many demons and they cured the sick upon their anointment of holy oil (Mark 6:13).

Often times we don’t achieve what Jesus wants us to do for Him because we don’t trust Him and we lack faith in Him. For the same reason we are also afraid to take the first step towards the realization of our mission for God. Therefore we get stuck and we fail to not only move forward we also fail to achieve our mission for Christ.

If you desire to follow Jesus you have to follow Him with faith and you have to learn to fully trust Him. Do you always have faith  and trust in Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas