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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Reflection for October 1, Thursday Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church: Luke 10:1-12

Gospel: Luke 10:1-12
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand for you.’ Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.’ Yet know this: the Kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town.”
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Reflection:
Do you want to help Jesus in His mission of evangelization?

Jesus talks about the commissioning of His Seventy two disciples; He said to them that there’s an enormous work for them at hand. They are few but the people whom they will preach the gospel are many.

Up to this very day there are few who preach and fewer still those who preach and live the gospel yet there are millions who needs it badly. They are yearning to hear the words of Jesus and more has not even heard of the life changing words of Jesus.

So what are you doing about it? Will you sit still and stay in your comfort zone and do nothing to share in the ministry of Jesus? Preaching nowadays is not anymore confined to face to face vocal preaching. You could now preach using the internet via your computer and high tech mobile phone.

 Instead of posting anything about yourself which many are not actually interested. Post anything that is related to Jesus, post anything about your faith. Post anything that could bring someone closer to God. If you do this you now become a follower not only in words but in deeds as well.

See to it also that you live what you preach or you live what you post in your social media accounts. The perfection of your discipleship for Jesus comes when you live what you preach. For example, if you preach simple living live simply as well, if you preach humility live humility. If you preach forgiveness then be forgiving and throwaway whatever bitterness that you may be keeping in your heart.    

Jesus wants you to be His co-laborers in His vineyard; you should not worry about your needs, For he will surely provide for you. Will you help Jesus in His mission of evangelization?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Reflection for September 30, Wednesday Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor: Luke 9:57-62

Gospel: Luke 9:57-62
As Jesus and his disciples were proceeding on their journey, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the Kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” Jesus answered him, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God.”
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Reflection:
What does it require for someone who wants to follow Jesus? It requires total surrender and abandonment to His will. When a person decides to follow Jesus he is ready to leave everything in favor of the Kingdom of God. He is ready to leave his own comfort zone and embrace the challenge of going to an unknown zone in the company of the Lord.

The gospel tells us that it’s not easy to follow the Lord. We have to adjust and make the necessary sacrifices. This may seem hard from a far but once you go near Jesus begin your journey with Him. Things will now suddenly fall into its proper places this is for the reason that the Lord will make his way to accommodate us.

Has the Lord abandoned those who decided to leave everything for the advancement of His kingdom? Nobody has been abandoned by Jesus. He is always there by their side helping and strengthening those who courageously decide to follow Him.

In this era of high tech communication the Lord still wants us to follow Him. He may not even require us anymore to leave our love ones. Perhaps the Lord wants us to follow Him where we are at now.

For example, if you’re working or you have a business you can follow the Lord by being honest with your dealings. The opportunity to follow the Lord is manifold and limitless. We simply have to signify our desire and thereafter begin our own journey with Him.    

Would you also be willing to follow the Lord? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for September 29, Tuesday Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, archangels: John 1:47-51

Gospel: John 1:47-51
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
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Reflection:
Do you reflect about God when you are alone? Many of us are forced to think about God when we encounter bumps and humps in our life. But contemplate of God? When we are not bothered by any problems only a few of us perhaps do this.

What was Nathaniel doing under the fig tree? Was he contemplating about God? Was Nathaniel praying before God to lead him to Him? Nathaniel was reflecting about God while he was under the fig tree, he was silently asking God to manifest Himself to him. Then soon enough the call from Jesus came.

When we think of God often we will slowly but surely have a clearer picture of the identity of God. We would have an idea about who really God is and the role that He plays in our lives. To many of us God seems so distant but is it God who is distant or us who distance ourselves from God?

Jesus is never distant from us He is always there for us anytime and every time. It’s us who do not have time for Him or us who refuse to create time for Him except when we are in dire need of Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Monday, September 28, 2015

Reflection for September 28, Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 9:46-50

Gospel: Luke 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”

Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
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Reflection:
What does a child represent? It represents humility and submission.

The disciples were arguing who among them is the greatest. Therefore Jesus brought in a child to impart to them lessons about humility and submission to the will of God. When a person is humble he doesn’t care about who is the greatest. What he only cares for is to serve never mind if there is no recognition for as long as he is able to serve.

In the vineyard of the Lord to be the greatest should not be an objective of anyone. The objective that a person should rather have is to be the servant of everyone. When a person aims to be a star in his service for the Lord he also strips himself of the right to serve the Lord. Because how can he be authentic in his service for the Lord if his motives are not? How can he truly serve the Lord if his objective is to be the star of his group?

It’s not for anyone to seek greatness when he is serving in the vineyard of the Lord. It’s for God to bestow greatness and God always bestows it generously to those who are humble. Never He bestows it to those who seek it to serve their selfish agendas. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Reflection for Sunday September 27, Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Gospel: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes have a feeling of superiority over other religions because you are a member of the Roman Catholic Church? The Catholic faith is the universally recognized dominant faith in the world. It traces its foundation to Jesus (Matthew 16:18).

 It is present in almost all parts of the world. It’s a sovereign nation and recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign country. It has its own ambassadors in almost all nations, when the Pope speaks the whole world listens. In other words the Catholic Church is very powerful.

Being Catholic I sometimes succumb to this feeling of superiority over other religions. Who wouldn’t have a feeling of superiority when your faith is founded by Jesus? When your leader is listened to by the most powerful and influential leaders of this world?

But should I have this superiority or arrogant mindset?  

In the gospel, a man who doesn’t belong to the group of Jesus was casting out demons using His name. John saw this man, thus he tried to prevent the man from using the name of Jesus (Mark 9:38). However, Jesus told John: Do not prevent him, let him continue using my name for no one who is using my name will speak ill of me (Mark 9:39).

Was John feeling superior when he tried to prevent him from using the name of Jesus? Yes, John also has that superiority feeling! Why did John have that feeling of superiority? Because he was with Jesus and he felt that his group has the sole possession of Jesus? But Jesus abhorred John’s display of arrogance. So Jesus rebuked him to send a message to John that they don’t have a monopoly of his name.     

Jesus did not want to become an exclusive property of anyone even by those who are very close to Him. As far as Jesus is concerned, He is a property of everybody!  And for as long as it’s for a noble purpose anyone can use His name anytime.

Nobody even those who are very close to Him have the right to feel superior over anybody. The more that you are close to Jesus the more that you should become humble, loving and tolerant. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Reflection for September 26, Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 9:43b-45

Gospel: Luke 9:43b-45
While they were all amazed at his every deed, Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you. The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes find it difficult to understand the ways of God in your life? Everyone of us perhaps experience this kind of dilemma. For example, when you pass through severe testing in your life that may lead you to question God. Some may even say this question before Jesus: Why do I have to go through this difficulty in my life when I am faithful to you?

When we pass through this kind of stage in our lives. We simply have to remember that we are created beings of God with limited capabilities. As such our intellect is finite and limited no matter how intelligent some of us may be. We simply have to submit to the will of God and we simply have to firmly hold on to our faith in our infinite God.

Therefore when we go through some episode in our lives that may seem difficult for us to understand. Let us never be afraid to question God why do we have to go through this trial. Yet after questioning God let us firmly hold on to our faith in Him and continue to believe that He has a purpose why we’re going through this kind of trial/s. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for September 25, Friday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 9:18-22

Gospel: Luke 9:18-22
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
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Reflection:
Why does Jesus always reminds his disciples about his impending sufferings? Why not keep His sufferings only to Himself? Come to think of it if Jesus had concealed suffering from His disciples He could have attracted more disciples. But Jesus did not lie to them, He did not sugar coat His words to attract them.  He was honest and He laid down everything to them.  

Many of us don’t want to talk of sufferings when following Jesus. However the moment we take away sufferings then there’s no more authentic discipleship for Jesus. This is for the reason that discipleship without going through suffering is fake discipleship.

How could we have a clearer picture of Jesus if we wouldn’t go through pains and sufferings? How could we know Jesus more deeply if we are not willing to suffer for Him? If we say that we follow Jesus and we are afraid of sufferings then we are not really a follower. We are simply bystanders who don’t care much about the mission of Jesus.

As they say, No Pain No Gain if we relate this with our discipleship with Jesus. it now becomes, No Pain No Date in Heaven with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Reflection for September 24, Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 9:7-9

Gospel: Luke 9:7-9
Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead” others were saying, “Elijah has appeared” still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things? And he kept trying to see him.
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Reflection:
At the back of his mind Herod was silently asking himself: Who is this man who is doing what John did? He certainly is not John because I beheaded John.

Why was Herod bothered by what Jesus was doing? Because Herod thought that John had risen from the dead and now he is again doing what he has been doing: To call for repentance, to speak the truth no matter who gets hurt, to heal and so forth. It was a disturbing de javue for the powerful Herod.     

Herod was surely bothered for he knows that what he did against John was against the law of men and God. But Herod was the supreme power during that time. And as such he could practically do whatever he wants and nobody would dare cross his path or run after him.

But Herod’s power is limited to this world alone. There’s a much bigger power which controls everything in this world and everything that is beyond this world and that is God! Therefore the greater power which is God was already bothering the mind of Herod. Perhaps Herod was already losing sleep and incessantly being disturbed by his conscience because of what he did to John.

What is the lesson for us in this gospel episode? Worldly power no matter how enormous has its limitations too! Because God can pierce and burst that power whenever He wants too. God can do something that is unseen by others to punish this powerful and arrogant person.

Therefore we should be careful on how we exercise our power we should not abuse it! We should know that it has its own limitations. And once we transgress the limitations of our power the justice of God would be upon us to haunt us as it haunted Herod. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Monday, September 21, 2015

Reflection for September 23, Wednesday Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest: Luke 9:1-6

Gospel: Luke 9:1-6
Jesus summoned the Twelve and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” Then they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
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Reflection:
Do you depend on yourself or depend on God? These are the two basic questions that we face up to everyday. What does it mean to depend on yourself? It means that you rely on yourself alone. You depend on your own strength and understanding and God has no place in your heart.

When you depend on God it doesn’t mean that you will relax and let the blessings of God come into your doorstep like the mailman putting your mail into your mailbox. When you depend on God you simply do everything within your power to have what you want or to achieve what you want. But at the end of the day you humbly submit everything to the will of God and not to your own selfish will.

When Jesus told the apostles to take nothing for their missionary journey (Luke 9:3). Was He telling them to take nothing because everything that you need will simply fall from heaven to your lap? Of course not! Jesus was rather telling them to do what they were commissioned to do and not to worry because He will use people of faith to provide for their provisions. 

This is basically the same with how we live and share our own faith. We don’t have to worry about anything for Jesus will provide for us for as long as we work for the fulfilment of our own Baptismal mission. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for September 22, Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:19-21

Gospel: Luke 8:19-21
The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
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Reflection:
How could we become relatives of Jesus? We have to hear and live His words, it’s not enough to hear only we have to act and live it as well. Many of us forget that we effectively preach the words of Jesus by the way we live and we put more flesh to our faith living it.

In a family setting, children learn about their faith when their parents teach them about it. They further learn more when what are taught them is lived by their parents. Thus the family becomes stronger and united and is able to face whatever trials that it may encounter.

What if parents are simply content with teaching without living their faith? There would be failure of effective transmission of the faith. And the children will not fully imbibe what was taught them for the simple reason that their parents did not walk their talk.

In the same breath; we become effective teachers of the faith when we practice what we preach. We gain entrance to the family of God for the same reason as well. Let us therefore not be content by simply hearing the words of Jesus let us live also no matter how tempting the offer of the devil not to live it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

1Reflection for September 21, Monday Saint Matthew, Apostle and evangelist: Matthew 9:9-13

Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
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Reflection:
Why does Jesus calls us to follow Him? He calls us out of His great love for us. Jesus doesn’t want any of us to be eaten alive by the many sins of this world. Jesus doesn’t want any of us to suffer in hell after our lives in this world is over and done with already. 

We have in our gospel a sinner named Matthew a corrupt tax collector who was called by Jesus to follow Him. Even if Matthew is a sinner deep in his heart he knows Jesus. Matthew knows deep in his heart that in Jesus he would find healing and forgiveness. Matthew knows deep in His heart that in Jesus he has somebody who will not condemn him but would be very much willing to listen to his desire to repent and become His follower.

Therefore, when Jesus told Matthew to follow Him (Matthew 9:9) he immediately left everything behind him and followed Jesus. When Matthew heard Jesus telling him to follow Him, Matthew heard the sweetest words that he would ever hear in his entire life. It made Matthew whole once again for he has been broken by sin throughout his adult life.

Perhaps Matthew burst into tears when he heard Jesus told him to come and follow Him. It was tears of unexplained happiness, tears of relief and freedom from the enslavement of the devil.

Do you also want to feel how Matthew felt during that very day that Jesus called him to come and follow Him? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Reflection for Sunday September 20, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 9:30-37

Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all. Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst and putting his arms around it, he said to them “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me and whoever receives me receives not me but the One who sent me.
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Reflection:
What is the most important virtue of a follower of Jesus? It’s the virtue of humility. A humble follower of Jesus seeks to follow Him for no other reason but to humbly serve without seeking anything in return. He doesn’t follow Jesus because he/she wants to be known, powerful and popular.

While Jesus and His disciples were passing through Galilee, He was discussing to them about the things that will happen to Him soon. But the disciples were not paying attention for the reason that they were preoccupied discussing who among them is the greatest. What an ego trip for the disciples! Instead of listening to Jesus they were burnishing among themselves their own self-image. They were discussing who among them is the greatest.

During that instance the desire to humbly follow Jesus was not anymore present in their hearts. What was present in their hearts was arrogance, the desire to selfishly prop-up their own self-image. And the desire to be great based on the finite standards of this world.    

If we truly desire to follow Jesus, we have to follow Him with humility. We have to forget our own selves; we have to discard any form of arrogance in our hearts and the desire to be in-front. We have to be humble and simple at all times for this is the only way whereby we can bring others to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Repleksyon para sa Setyembre 20, Linggo Ika-25 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Marcos 9:30-37

Mabuting Balita: Marcos 9:30-37
30 Noong panahong iyon si Jesus at ang kanyang mga alagad ay nagsimulang dumaan sa Galilea. Gusto niya na walang sinumang makaalam 31 sapagkat tinuturuan niya ang kanyang mga alagad. At sinabi niya sa kanila: “Ibibigay ang Anak ng Tao sa kamay ng mga tao. Papatayin nila siya ngunit pagka¬patay nila sa kanya, baba¬ngon siya sa ikatlong araw.” Kaya lubha silang nalungkot. 32 Hindi nila ito naintindihan at hindi rin sila nangahas magtanong sa kanya. 33 Pagdating nila sa Capernaum, nang nasa bahay na siya, tinanong niya sila: “Ano ang pinag-uusapan ninyo sa daan?” 34 At hindi sila umimik; pinagtatalunan nga nila sa daan kung sino ang mas una.

 35 Kaya naupo siya at pagkatawag sa Labindalawa ay sinabi sa kanila: “Kung may gustong mauna, maging huli siya sa lahat at lingkod ng lahat.” 36 At pagkakuha niya sa isang maliit na bata, pinatayo ito sa gitna nila at inakbayan at saka sinabi sa kanila: 37 “Ang sinumang tumanggap sa isa sa mga batang ito nang dahil sa aking pangalan ay tumatanggap sa akin. At ang tumatanggap sa akin ay hindi ako ang tinatanggap kundi ang nagsugo sa akin.”
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Repleksyon:
Ano ang pinaka importanteng katangian ng tagasunod ni Jesus? Ito ay ang katagian ng kababaan ng loob. Ang mapagpakumbabang tagasunod ni Jesus ay sumusunod sa kanya ng walang ibang dahilan kundi ang magsilbi ng walang hinihintay na anumang kapalit. Hindi siya sumusunod kay Jesus dahil gusto niyang makilala, magkaroon ng kapangyarihan at maging sikat.

Habang si Jesus at ang kanyang mga alagad ay dumadaan sa Galilea binubuksan niya  sa kanila ang mga malapit ng mangyari sa kanya. Pero ang mga alagad ay hindi nakikinig dahil lubha silang abala sa pag dediskusyon kung sino sa kanila ang pinaka dakila. Wow, ang yabang naman nila! Imbes na makinig sila kay Jesus ay pinag uusapan nila kung sino sa kanila ang pinaka dakila.

Sa oras na iyon ay wala na sa mga puso ng mga alagad ang kagustuhan na sumunod kay Jesus ng may kababaan ng loob. Ang nangingibabaw sa kanila ay ang kayabangan at ang kagustuhan na maging isang sikat  sa mata ng kanilang mga kasama.

Kung talagang gusto nating sumunod kay Jesus ay kailangan sumunod tayo sa kanya ng boung kababaang loob. Kailangan ay matutunan natin na kalimutan ang ating mga sarili. Kailagan ay tanggalin natin ang anumang uri ng kayabangan sa ating mga puso at ang kagustuhan na palaging nauuna at nakikita.

Kailangan ay palagi tayong maging mababa ang loob at simple sa lahat ng oras sa dahilan na ito lamang ang paraan kung saan ay makakapagdala tayo ng ating kapwa kay  Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for September 19, Saturday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:4-15

Gospel: : Luke  8:4-15
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.” After saying this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, “Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.
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Reflection:
What do you usually do when you encounter the words of God? For example when you go to Holy Mass do you carefully listen to the readings most especially the gospel? Do you allow it to disturb your conscience? Do you allow it to carve a space in your heart that you think about it even if you’re already in your house?

Do you read your bible regularly and when you read it do you allow it transform you?  The bible is the words of God, He created it to transform us. God created it also for us know Him more, so that the God that is distant would now become the God who is with us and the God who walks with us.

The seeds that was sowed that Jesus mentions in the gospel are the very words of God. These words are very powerful it could transform our lives if we would allow it. It could create calmness and serenity within us if we would reflect on it.
  
But many of us are so busy that we hardly have time for these seeds that God so generously showers us. Many of us do not mind it anymore until we hit a roadblock in our lives. Thus we are reminded of God we instantly hurry to go to Him simply because we hit rock bottom.

But why wait for that roadblock to hit us before we allow the words of God to flourish and bear much fruit in our hearts? – Marino J. Dasmarinas       

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Reflection for September 18, Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 8:1-3

Gospel: Luke Luke 8:1-3
Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
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Reflection:
Who are the majority crowd during Sunday Holy Mass or daily Holy Mass for that matter? The majority are women, who are the majority who volunteers for church work? It’s women again! During the time of Jesus and as it is today the silent workers and supporters of Jesus and His church are women.

When Jesus was dying on the cross the majority of those who remained loyal to Him are women too (Luke 23:49)! The same when Jesus resurrected, the loyal woman supporters of Jesus saw Him first (Luke 24:9–11).

The gospel this Friday mentions Jesus, the twelve apostles and a number of women with different backgrounds. Some are sinners, some are rich and some are poor also. What brought these women with diverse background together? What made them silently support Jesus?

It’s their love and loyalty to Jesus. The same love and loyalty to Jesus that fuels the many women of today. To silently support Jesus and the church that He founded through peter.  

Like the women in the gospel who followed and provided help for Jesus. We too are being challenged to humbly follow Jesus and provide support for the church that He founded. 

What can you contribute to Jesus and the church today? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Reflection for September 17, Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 7:36-50

Gospel: Luke Luke 7:36-50
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. “Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?” Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.” Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.” He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
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Reflection:
Do you believe that Jesus would forgive you of your many sins? The woman in the gospel who is a big time sinner and presumably a prostitute believe in her heart that Jesus would forgive her. Uninvited she went to the house of the Pharisee where Jesus was. And there she humbled herself before Jesus by kissing his feet, washing the same feet with her own tears, anointing it with an ointment and wiping it with her own hair.

What the woman did is a humble gesture of repentance and submission. It was her way of telling Jesus that she now wants to lead a new life. A life free from any form of sin, her gesture is also a gesture of love and repentance. Thus, she was forgiven by Jesus and thereafter renewed by the power of forgiveness by Jesus.

All of us commit sin and through this sin that we commit we also offend Jesus. But we have nothing to fear for all of our sins can be forgiven and thereafter wiped-out by Jesus. All we have to do is to humble ourselves before Him, tell Jesus our sins and ask for His forgiveness.   

Perhaps you’re asking yourself this question: How would I be forgiven by Jesus of my many sins? Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation/ Confession we are also forgiven by Jesus with our many sins.

Do you want to lead a new life? A life free from the enslavement of the devil a life free from sin and guilt? If your answer is yes, humbly submit yourself to this Healing and liberating sacrament. The moment you do you would feel that something heavy and burdensome has been taken-off from your back. 

Would you have the humility to submit yourself to this process of healing and renewal? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Reflection for September 16, Wednesday Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs: Luke 7:31-35

Gospel: Luke 7:31-35
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’

For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.
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Reflection:
Are there people within your sphere of environment whom you find difficult to understand? For example, a friend who has nothing good to say about you. He always finds fault and is very quick to judge you. Yet he purposely closes her/his eyes on the good things that you do.

During Jesus time there were also many who found fault with Jesus and John the Baptist. John because of his life of ascetism and life spent more in the wilderness. John was labelled as possessed by the devil. Yet they choose to ignore the call of John for repentance and renewal of their lives.

They also did the same with Jesus, they labelled Him as friend of tax collectors and sinners. For the simple reason that Jesus once in a while mingles with them with the objective of converting them. Yet they also purposely closed their eyes to the countless healings and miracles that Jesus did.

In spite of all of these people who makes it their mission to make life difficult for us. Let us focus on Jesus and His teachings, let us simply do what is right regardless of what others may say and think about us. For if God is with us who then can be against us? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa Setyembre 16, Miyerkules Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs; Lucas 7:31-35

Mabuting Balita: Lucas 7:31-35
Sinabi ni Jesus, 31 “Ngayon, kanino ko ikukumpara ang mga tao sa kasalukuyan, at sa ano sila katulad? 32 Para silang mga batang nakaupo sa mga plasa, at nagrereklamo ang ilan sa kanila: ‘Tinugtog namin ang plauta para sa inyo at hindi kayo sumayaw, at nang umawit naman kami ng punebre, ayaw naman ninyong umiyak.

33 Ganito rin naman ang nangyari. Dumating si Juan Bautista na hindi kumakain ng tinapay ni umiinom ng alak, at ang sabi ninyo’y ‘Nasisiraan siya ng bait!’ 34 Dumating naman ang Anak ng Tao na kumakain at umiinom, at sinabi naman ninyong ‘Narito ang taong matakaw at lasenggo, kaibigan ng mga publikano at mga makasalanan.’ 35 Gayon pa ma’y nakilala ng kanyang mga anak ang Karunungan.”
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Repleksyon:
Mayroon ka bang kilalang tao na mahirap intindihin? Halimbawa ay isang tao na walang mabuting sinasabi tungkol sayo. Palagi niyang nakikita ang mga pagkakamali mo at madali ka niyang husgahan. Pero hindi naman niya binubuksan ang kanyang mga mata sa mga kabutihang nagagawa mo.  

Noong panahon ni Jesus ay marami rin ang nanghuhusga sa kanya at kay Juan. Si Juan dahil sa kanyang buhay na nagiisa sa kagubatan ay sinasabihan nila na nasisiraan na ng bait. Pero nasisiraaan ban g bait ang taong nananawagan na magbagong buhay nasila? Nasisiraan ba ng bait ang mapagpakumbabang si Juan na mas pinili na itaas si Jesus kaysa ang kanyang sarili?

Ganon din ang ginawa nila kay Jesus na tinawag nilang isang kaibigan ng maninigil ng buwis at mga makasalanan. Sa dahilan na si Jesus ay nakikisalamuha sa kanila paminsan minsan. Pero bakit nga ba nakikisalamuha si Jesus sa mga maninigil ng buwis at makasalan? Ito ay sa dahilan na gusto ni Jesus na baguhin sila sa pamamagitan ng pakikipag ugnayan sa kanila.

Ganon paman kahit na may mga taong ginawa ng misyon ang hindi magsabi ng mabuti sa kanilang kapwa. Patuloy lang po tayo na naka focus kay Jesus at sa kanyang mga pagtuturo. Gawin natin palagi ang tama kahit na ito ay hindi popular at ito ay hindi sasangayunan ng iba. Sa dahilan na kung ang Diyos ay nasa atin ay walang magtatagumpay laban sa atin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for September 15, Tuesday Our Lady of Sorrows: John 19:25-27

Gospel: John 19:25-27
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
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Reflection:
It was heartwrenching for Mary to see her son Jesus dying on the cross. It was doubly heartwrenching also for Mary to hear her son Jesus entrusting her to the care of by His beloved disciple John.

Separation like that of the separation of Jesus and His mother Mary is always painful even sorrowful. But such is life, all of us have to go through some pains and sorrows in our lives. Nobody is exempted from this process, whether we are rich or poor we have to go through the process of separation from our loved ones.

In the midst of her sorrowful separation from her dying son. Mary was entrusted by her son Jesus to His beloved disciple John. In this gospel episode we see the great love of Jesus for her mother. We also see the great love of Mary to her son Jesus for Mary did not leave Jesus until His last gasp of breath on the cross.

This gospel invites us to reflect on, how are we as a son/daughter to our mothers? And how are we as mothers to our children? – Marino J. Dasmarinas         

Repleksyon para sa Setyembre 15, Martes Mahal na Birheng Nagdadalamhati; Juan 19:25-27

Mabuting Balita: Juan 19:25-27
25 Nangakatayo naman sa tabi ng krus ni Jesus ang kanyang ina at ang kapatid na babae ng kanyang ina, si Maria ni Cleofas at si Maria Magdalena. 26 Kaya pagkakita ni Jesus sa ina at sa alagad na mahal niya na nakatayo sa tabi, sinabi niya sa Ina: “Babae, hayan ang anak mo!” 27 pagkatapos ay sinabi naman niya sa alagad: “Hayan ang iyong ina.” At mula sa oras na iyon, tinanggap siya ng alagad sa kanyang tahanan.
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Repleksyon:
Nakakaantig ng puso para kay Maria na makita na ang kanyang minamahal na anak ay  unti-unti ng nawawalan ng buhay habang naka bayubay sa krus. Napakasakit din para kay Maria na marinig mula sa kanyang anak na siya ay ipinakakatiwala na sa pangangalaga ng kanyang alagad na si Juan.

Ang paghihiwalay natin sa ating mahal sa buhay  ay palaging masakit. Pero ganito talaga ang buhay. Lahat tayo ay dadaan sa ganitong pasakit sa ating buhay hindi lang natin alam kung kalian. Walang hindi makakaranas sa ganitong proceso ng kalungkutan sa buhay.

Sa gitna ng kanyang madalamhating pagkakahiwalay  sa kanyang minamahal na anak. Si Maria inihabilin at ipinagkatiwa ni Jesus sa kanyang tapat at minamahal na alagad na si Juan. Dito po natin makikita kung gaano  kamahal ni Jesus ang kanyang inang si Maria. At ganon din ang pagmamahal ni Maria sa kanyang anak na si Jesus dahil hindi iniwan ni Maria si Jesus hangang sa huling hininga ng kanyang buhay.

Iniimbitahan din po tayo ng mabuting balita na mag reflect din. Kumusta ba tayo bilang mga anak sa ating magulang? At kumusta rin ba tayo bilang mga magulang sa ating mga anak? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, September 14, 2015

Reflection for September 14, Monday The Exaltation of the Holy Cross: John 3:13-17

Gospel: John 3:13-17
Jesus said to Nicodemus: “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
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Reflection:
How do we usually love? We love those who love us. For those who do not love us we also have a tendency not to love them in return. This reaction is perhaps influenced by our human frailties and our natural human reaction.

Unlike how we love the love of God is encompassing, it’s for everyone of us. Even if we are sinners God’s love is still ours to claim for it’s always there for us. We are in fact are always within the ambit of God’s love no matter who we are.

When we love we always love with measure, or we calibrate the love that we give to the love that we receive. But in hindsight why don’t we try to love as how God loves? Why can’t we also love even those who don’t love us back and even those who hate us?

One of the important signs of a true follower of God is when we are able to love even those who don’t love us back. When we are able to forgive even those who don’t ask for our forgiveness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Repleksyon para sa Setyembre 14, Lunes Ang pagtatampok sa Krus na Banal; Juan 3:13-17

Mabuting Balita: Juan 3:13-17
Sinabi ni Jesus kay Nicodemo: 13 Walang umakyat sa langit maliban sa bumaba mula sa langit – ang Anak ng Tao. 14 At kung paanong itinaas ni Moises ang ahas sa disyerto, gayundin dapat itaas ang Anak ng Tao 15 upang mag¬karoon ng buhay magpakailanman ang bawat nananalig sa kanya. 16 Ganito nga kamahal ng Diyos ang mundo! Kayat ibinigay niya ang kanyang bugtong na anak upang hindi na mawala ang bawat nananalig sa kanya kundi magkaroon ng buhay magpa¬kailanman. 17 Hindi nga sinugo ng Diyos sa mundo ang Anak upang hukuman ang mundo kundi upang maligtas ang mundo sa pamamagitan niya.
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Repleksyon:
Paano po ba tayo kadalasan mag mahal? Minamahal natin yung nagmamahal din sa atin. Pero yung hindi nagmamahal sa atin hindi rin natin kadalasan minamahal. Ang ganitong reaksyon marahil ay dala ng ating kahinaan bilang tao.

Hindi katulad ng ating pagmamahal ang pagmamahal ng Diyos ay para sa ating lahat. Kahit na tayo ay gaano man ka makasalanan ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ay palaging  nandiyan para sa atin. Palaging inaabot ng Diyos ang kanyang kamay ng pag-ibig at pagpapatawad maging sino man tayo. 

Pag tayo po ay nagmahal kadalasan ito ay may kakibat na panukat. Kung hindi man ay sinusukat natin ang pag-ibig na ibinibigay natin ayon sa pag-ibig na natatangap natin mula sa ating kapwa. Pero bakit po hindi natin subukang magmahal katulad kung paano magmahal ang Diyos. Hindi po ba natin kayang mahalin kahit na yung hindi nagmamahal sa atin at kahit na yung napopoot sa atin?  

One of the important signs of a true follower of God is when we are able to love even those who don’t love us back. When we are able to forgive even those who don’t ask for our forgiveness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Isa po sa mga mahalagang palatandaan ng totoong sumusunod sa Diyos ay ang ating patuloy na pagmamahal sa ating kapwa kahit na hindi tayo minamahal nito. At ang ating kakayahang magpatawad kahit na sa mga taong hindi humihingi n gating kapatawaran. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reflection for Sunday September 13, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 8:27-35

Gospel: Mark 8:27-35
Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”  Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him. He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days. He spoke this openly. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.”
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Reflection:
A man was given a choice to be with his mother or to continue to work in a foreign country. Without much thought this man chose to continue working abroad, he chose money rather than sacrifice his selfish ambition. He chose money rather than be with his mother.  

Are you ready to sacrifice your personal ambition so that Jesus teachings could continue to spread? For example would you resign from your job to do something for the greater glory of God?

Perhaps you will not give up your worldly life for a life of sacrifice with Jesus. Who would give-up a life of ease and comfort in this world in favor of a life with Jesus? Maybe only a few because in truth and in fact to truly follow Jesus is not easy.

But we were not brought into this world by God to become creatures of this world. God brought us into this world so that we could do something to partake with the mission of His son Jesus. This is the desire of God for each and every one of us: to help Jesus spread His mission.

Thus we have to be ready to carry our own cross for Christ no matter how heavy it may be. We have to be ready to lose our life in this world so that we could find its real purpose and meaning with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas