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

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Reflection for Sunday November 1, Solemnity of All Saints; Matthew 5:1-12a

Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12a
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
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Reflection:
What is the objective of our life? Is it limited only for the enjoyment of the things of this world? There is a more meaningful life that lies behind this superficial life. However, we wouldn’t be able to discover the essence of life unless we learn to detach ourselves from this world and learn to embrace Jesus.

What does it mean to be poor in spirit and why is it a blessing to be poor in spirit? As the literal poor relies on the generosity of his fellowmen so that he could sustain himself. To be poor in spirit means that we always rely on Jesus for our spiritual nourishment.

This means that we humbly rely on the generosity of Jesus. We don’t rely on ourselves so that we could grow in faith. We continuously rely and hunger for God to fill our empty lives so that He could enrich us spirituality.

Today is all Souls Day, we solemnly remember the Saints. They who generously gave their very lives for the mission of Jesus. The saints are not actually spotless when it comes to sin. Just like us they also had their own battle with sin and they triumphed over it because of the help of Jesus.

The saints became saints for the simple reason that they recognized their spiritual poverty. They discerned that life is empty and meaningless without the guidance of Jesus. We too could become saints in our own little way.

If only we would recognize our own poverty of spirit. And if only we would invite Jesus to come into our lives and fill our empty and barren life. - Marino J. Dasmarinas   

When I'm Gone. A Poem for All Souls Day

When I'm Gone
By: Lyman Hancock


When I’ve come to the end of my journey
and I have traveled my very last mile
Forget if you can that I’ve frowned
Remember only my smile...

Forgive unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done
Forget I ever had heartache
And remember only our fun...

Forget that I've stumbled and fumbled
And sometimes fell by the way
Remember: I fought some hard battles
But had you at the close of my day...

Do not grieve for my going
I would not have you sad this day
But in time gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay...

Perhaps in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the West
Come stand a few moments above me
Remembering only the best...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Reflection for October 31, Saturday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 14:1, 7-11

Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-11
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully.

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
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Reflection:
Do you always love to be at the forefront so that others would notice you? Do you hunger for honor and accolades? Or you’re the type who prefers to do things quietly without any desire to be noticed with what you’re doing? 

In our gospel, Jesus talks about our need to always be humble and not to love the spotlight. However, it’s so tempting for many of us to love to be exalted, to love praise and honor.

 But come to think of it, when we love the spotlight; when we love honorific titles. We are actually giving more importance to this world more than we give importance to God. We become creatures of this world so to speak.  

But what is prominence, what is honor? As time passes by prominence, honor and anything that is worldly and self-serving will fade away. Thus, anything that we do for the love of ourselves and of this world will be buried and will not be remembered anymore.

But our acts of humility? It will outlive us; it will permanently be etched in the heart of God and in the hearts of those who know us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reflection for October 30, Friday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 14:1-6

Gospel: Luke 14:1-6
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.
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Reflection:
To cure or not to cure on a Sabbath day? Sabbath day is supposed to be a day of rest and worship. But here is Jesus not following the rules of their Jewish religion. Did Jesus deliberately disregard His Jewish faith? Or there is something more important for Jesus than mere observance of His Jewish faith?  

Jesus doesn’t choose a special place, occasion or time to help and to heal as what is shown in the gospel. As long as Jesus’ sees a need He would do something about it regardless if it’s a Sabbath day or not.

The Pharisees and the scholars of the law were those who faithfully observe the Sabbath law. However, Jesus by His action simply told them that there’s an exception; that the law of the Sabbath can be violated also. For as long as there is a valid reason to violate it. Therefore the observance of the Sabbath day should be superseded by the more important need. In this instance the need to heal the man sick with dropsy.

What would you do for instance if you were in the situation of Jesus? Would you simply let the man suffer from his severe sickness even if you can actually do something to help him?

Our faith in God is made more real, alive and dynamic when we are able to live it. When we are able to translate it to living acts of love and kindness.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Reflection for October 29, Thursday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 13:31-35

Gospel: Luke 13:31-35
Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
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Reflection:
Do you have the courage to peacefully face anyone who tries to bully you or even threaten your life?

Jesus life was being threatened by King Herod the very same King Herod who ordered the beheading of John the Baptist. But instead of scampering to look for a safe hiding place Jesus told the Pharisees: “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose (Luke 13:32-33). ...

Jesus was so focused on His mission that He did not allow even a threat to His life to deter Him. Such is Jesus, always true to His mission and always courageous even at the cost of His life. 

As we move on with our life we too will have our own set of obstacles and challenges to face. Many of us would crumble because of the overwhelming odds and the weight of the responsibilities. But if what we are doing is for God and for the good of His people.  We must continue with fervor and not lose heart.

We must always look at Jesus as our role model of courage and fortitude. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for October 28, Wednesday, Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles: Luke 6:12-16

Gospel: Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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Reflection:
Do you have a habit of prayer or is prayers part of your daily life? 

In His humanity Jesus is a man of prayer, He always makes it a point to pray and commune with God. Prayer is an important part of His life.

There are many of us who only remember to pray when there’s a need for it or when we have problems. And sometimes the intensity of our prayers varies also. Serious problem equals intense prayers, not so serious problem equals not so intense prayers.

There are even many of us who treat prayer like a thing in the house that we just use when there’s a need. When there’s no need for it we just keep it somewhere. Until a new problem jolts us out of our comfort zones and therefore we are forced to pray once again.

Our active prayer life is one of the primary foods for our soul. We beseech Jesus when we pray and we humbly bare ourselves to Him. We ask Him to be with us, to strengthen us and to listen to us. We also develop a deeper intimacy with Jesus when we always pray and prayer makes us peaceful. 

In the gospel, before choosing the twelve apostles that will help Him advance the faith. Jesus went first to the mountain to pray (Luke 6:12). Jesus went to the mountain to seek God’s guidance. He had a dialogue in the mountain with God and Jesus was there all night praying (Luke 6:12). After which He went down from the mountain and He chose the twelve apostles (Luke 6:13).

Do you always have your daily prayer moments with Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, October 26, 2015

Reflection for October 27, Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 13:18-21

Gospel: Luke 13:18-21
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
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Reflection:
Where does the kingdom of God begin in your life?

The Kingdom of God starts small in your heart like a tiny mustard seed. If you would nurture it, it will have life until it grows big. Where others could benefit from it thus you become God’s instrument of blessing for others.

But others don’t allow God’s Kingdom to take root in their hearts. They prefer the things of this world than God. They choose the temporary over what is eternal, the worldly over Godly.  We should not commit the same mistake.

We should allow God to have His dwelling in our heart no matter how small then we have to nurture it so that it could grow. Nurture it with prayers, reading the bible and other books that will help us grow in faith.

We should also strive to be present at Holy Mass whenever we could most especially during Sundays. And of course we should live our faith. If we would do all of these the kingdom of God would surely be upon us.

Will you allow the kingdom of God to have a permanent dwelling in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for October 26, Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 13:10-17

Gospel: Luke 13:10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
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Reflection:
Do you believe that Jesus would heal you of anything that you’re feeling right now? Have faith and believe for indeed you will be healed by Jesus.

Jesus compassion for us is unfathomable; His desire to heal us of our sickness (whatever it may be) is beyond question. But He also requires something from us and that is faith. If we have faith Jesus healing hands will touch and heal us.

The woman in the gospel who has been crippled by an evil spirit has faith. This is the reason why Jesus cured her even if it was Sabbath day, a day of rest for the Jewish people. Faith is the most important requirement for us to receive healing from Jesus. Without faith there would be no healing from Jesus.

Are you in-need of healing from Jesus right now? Pray and ask the greatest healer who ever walked this earth to heal you. For nothing is impossible for Jesus, He always makes a way for us when there seems to be no way. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Reflection for Sunday October 25, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:46-52

Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you." He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
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Reflection:
Is the blind man Bartimaeus desperately seeking Jesus? Desperation is an understatement  for he is seeking Jesus with all of his might. This is for the reason that he knows the real identity  of Jesus. Deep in his heart he knows that it is only Jesus who can cure his physical blindness. Bartimaeus physical blindness did not prevent him from uncovering the true identity of Jesus. Why? Because Batimaeus has the eyes of faith that many of us do not have yet.

Through the eyes of faith Bartimaeus saw the real identity of Jesus. Through the eyes of faith Bartimaeus discovered that it is only Jesus who could cure his physical blindness.  This is the reason why he mightily shouted and went after Jesus when He passed by him.

The eyes of faith of this blind man did not fail him for he was noticed and soon after called by Jesus. And right there while face to face with Jesus he was asked by Jesus: "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus said, Master, I want to see. And at that very moment his physical blindness was cured by Jesus.

How about us? Do we have these eyes of faith of Bartimaeus? Let us reflect upon this for we may be able to see physically yet we are still blind spiritually. Perhaps this is the reason why up to this very moment many of us still don’t have this deep friendship with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas       

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Reflection for October 24, Saturday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 13:1-9

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Some people told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them— do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!”

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
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Reflection:
Why is there a need for us to repent now? The simple answer is we are all sinners; we sin almost every day through ours words, actions and thoughts. Life is dynamic and we may not know what may happen to us the next minutes or seconds of our life. Let us not delay from repenting the sooner the better for us.

What if we suddenly die and we are not able to repent for the reason that we keep on delaying our repentance? We miss the golden opportunity to be with Jesus in heaven and we have nobody to blame but us.

Repentance frees us from the burden of sin and guilt. It frees our soul and it opens the door of God’s blessings for us. What if we refuse to repent and instead continue on sinning? We then have to be prepared for the consequence/s of our stubbornness and sinfulness.

In the church complete repentance occurs once we decide to humbly submit ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation. Here we humbly submit to the will of God, here we allow God to heal us from the wounds of sin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for October 23, Friday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:54-59

Gospel: Luke 12:54-59
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

“Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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Reflection:
Fortune tellers make a living by means of predicting the obvious things that will happen in our future. There are those who believe because what they foretold became a reality so they make a habit of consulting the seer whenever there are major decisions to be made.

For some who cannot afford to pay their services, they make do by reading the daily horoscope available for free in some internet sites and other newspapers. These are all wrong.

If we have faith in Jesus, there’s no need to consult anyone regarding our future. We only have to get closer to Jesus through prayer, by listening to Him who directly speaks to us when we read the bible and through our pious attendance at Holy Mass.

Jesus is always an ever present friend who is always there for us. He will not predict our future based on the obvious signs of the times. But He will always be an omnipresent companion as we walk from our present going to our future.

Jesus will never abandon anyone who would desire to travel with Him going to his/her future. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Reflection for October 22, Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:49-53

Gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
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Reflection:
Are you ready to stand for Jesus even if it creates division?

All along we have this impression of Jesus as a unifying factor, as a man of peace. But what the gospel presents to us is contrary to these images of Jesus. Because what we have is a divisive Jesus that creates conflict amongst family members.

 Indeed, Jesus creates conflict amongst family members even friends. That is who Jesus is, He is not afraid to create a wedge amongst us so that we will straighten our crooked ways. For example, if some members of your family don’t want to go to Sunday Mass, what will you do? Will you simply keep quiet and just let it be? Of course not!

You have to speak and gently remind those members of your family who don’t want to worship God at Mass. Another example, let us say that a member of your family had a pregnancy out of wedlock and a member of your family is suggesting an abortion. Will you simply keep silent about it? Of course not!

A true follower is someone who is not afraid to say what is in his mind even if it is unpopular. Even if it creates temporary division among members of your family and friends.

Let us always remember that as followers of Jesus it is always our responsibility to gently correct those whom we feel are going against the will of God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for October 21, Wednesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:39-48

Gospel: Luke 12:39-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”

Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
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Reflection:
Are you a faithful and prudent steward of the Lord?

We are all just stewards of everything that we have right now. It’s not ours everything that we have right now is only lent to us.  As such, we should properly manage what we have in our possession. We should all be worthy stewards; we should put to good use whatever talents that God has given us.

However, if we will not be up to the task that God has given us. We can rest assure that eventually everything that we have will be taken from us because we were not worthy of the blessings that God has bestowed on us.

The gospel today talks about the coming of the Son of Man.  The servants who were  caught unaware were busy doing their own thing. These servants are like some of us; always very busy with the things of this world. We forget God or God becomes only our second or third priority.

We must put God forward first, before anything else it should be God first. How about the things of this world? It should not be our priority. Of course we need these things of this world but we should not allow it to control our life

Thus, we become prepared servants for the coming of Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Reflection for Sunday October 18, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:35-45

Gospel: Mark 10:35-45
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." He replied, "What do you wish me to do for you?" They answered him, "Grant that in your glory we may sit one at your right and the other at your left." Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" They said to him, "We can." Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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Reflection:
A young man aspired to become a priest. When this young man was asked by the person in-charge of screening the aspirants why he wanted to become a priest. The young man said, I want to serve the people and I want to become their servant.

 However this was not his real motivation. The young man wanted to become a priest because he wants to be powerful. And he wants the people of their community to look-up to him and he yearned for respect and adulation.  

We have in our gospel the brothers James and John who asked that they be seated beside Jesus in His kingdom. Why did they ask for this underserved honor? What were they thinking when they said this shameful request? Were they really following Jesus because they want to serve or they simply want power and adulation?

We see that the real intention of James and John was they wanted the people to see that they are close to Jesus. Therefore to their minds; seating beside Jesus evokes power and influence! So they would also be revered and adored as Jesus was being revered and adored.

How many of us really know that to follow Jesus is to follow Him with humility? How many of us really know that to be close to Jesus is to strip ourselves of power. How many of us really know that to be close to Jesus is not to hunger for adulation and respect?  

We will never be close to Jesus if we want power and adulation. This is for the reason that real closeness with Jesus requires us to detest power and adulation. And when we detest power and adulation we now begin to embrace servanthood and humility.

Why do you follow Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reflection for October 14, Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:42-46

Gospel: Luke  11:42-46
The Lord said: “Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others. Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces. Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk.”

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.”
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Reflection:
Are you a good leader? For example in your house do you walk your talk or do you lead by example?

We read in the gospel that Jesus is angry with the Pharisees and with the teachers of the law. Why? It’s for the reason of their superficial faith and leadership. The Pharisees were supposed to be the leaders of their community and therefore it was expected of them that they will lead by example.

They love to lead and tell people what to do but it stops there. When it comes to living their faith they’re deficient. Jesus wants them to walk their talk and to lead by example. Unfortunately the Pharisees and the teachers of Law are not like that in the gospel.
  
A good leader leads by example; he doesn’t only give orders he also shows the way. A good leader should not only be superficial in his actions he must walk his talk even if nobody is watching him. Some of the Pharisees were the personification of fake leadership and exterior show of piety.

It is very important that we live our faith and we practice what we preach. These were the factors that moved Jesus to give His woes to the Pharisees and the scholars of the law. They were supposed to be role models but they were only good at telling their subjects to do this and that but when it comes to doing it themselves they were inadequate.

The very clear lesson for us is this: we must practice and live what we learn about our faith. We must not limit ourselves to giving orders, we must lead the way. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Reflection for Sunday October 11, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:17-30

Gospel: Mark  10:17-30
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus answered him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother." He replied and said to him, "Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth." Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, "You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!" The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
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Reflection:
There is a story of two neighbors, one was rich and the other was poor. The rich’s neighbor’s family was always busy and they hardly have time for God. The poor neighbor’s family would always see to it that they have time to worship Jesus at Holy Mass. They also have time to pray as a family in their house.

After fifteen (15) years there was a reversal of fortunes for these two neighbors. The rich family became poor and the children did not become successful. The poor family on the other hand became rich and the children were successful in their chosen careers.

Our obsession and greed with earthly treasures if not corrected will always lead us away from loving and following Jesus. This could also lead to our downfall and disgrace.

What is the use of earthly treasures if we have no peace of mind? What is the use of a big house and enormous property if this is the cause of disagreements and arguments in the family? What is the use of temporal wealth if it will take away communication in the family?

It’s better to be poor for as long as you have God in your family. It’s better to stay in a small house in the company of God rather than a mansion without the presence of God. It’s better not to own any material treasure for as long as you have the greatest treasure which is no other than Jesus.

In our gospel for this Sunday, there is this man who was at the threshold of following Jesus. Yet he walked away from Jesus because he couldn’t give up his material treasures. Material treasures which by the way are temporary and material treasures which always disturbs our minds instead of giving us peace of mind.

How about you, will you give up your temporal treasures in favor of having Jesus in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, October 9, 2015

Reflection for October 10, Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:27-28

Gospel: Luke 11:27-28
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
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Reflection:
Are you properly taking care of your mother? Many of us today pamper our mother with material things. But when a mother is old and already a member of the senior citizens club she is not anymore concerned with material things. She is more concerned with the love and care that she will receive from her children.
A mother will never say to her children to give her love and care rather than material things. Yet she will greatly appreciate it if she would be given love and care by her children love and care that she richly deserves. Let us not forget that our mothers carried us in their womb for nine long months and we gained nourishment from their milk as well.
In the gospel, a woman who is obviously an admirer of the Blessed Virgin Mary told Jesus: “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed (Luke 11:27).” She perhaps said this to honor Mary for properly rearing Jesus.
Yet Jesus gave the more profound honor to His Mother Mary by saying: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it (Luke 11:27).” For the Blessed Mother heard the word of God, she treasured it in her heart and observed it.
How is your relationship with your mother? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for October 9, Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:15-26

Gospel: Luke 11:15-26
When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
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Reflection:
What motivates us to accuse falsely or to destroy the good reputation of our fellowmen? Its greed, anger, envy and other negative emotions. These emotions are so dangerous that it could even lead us to kill. All of these are devious instruments of the devil. All of these are used by the devil to entice us to be at his side.

How could we refuse these enticements of the devil? We must always pray, we must always do good and we must at all times be focused on our mission to spread the teachings of Jesus through our words and actions.

By doing good Jesus was accused as being with the Demon, what a reckless accusation emanating from the crowd! Is it Jesus siding with the demon or the crowd siding with the demon? The demon will never do good it will always seek to create chaos and manufacture baseless accusations.

Come to think of it, by accusing Jesus the crowd allowed themselves to be used by the demon himself. In like manner we also allow ourselves to be an instrument of the demon when we purposely accuse people even without a grain of truth.

The demon or devil is a clear and present danger to all of us. It’s always there imminently present looking for the right timing to lure us. However if we are close to Jesus and we practice and live the teachings of Jesus. We have nothing to worry for the simple reason that the devil can do nothing to us.

Do you always live the teachings of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reflection for October 8, Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:5-13

Gospel: Luke 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
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Reflection:
Isn’t God all knowing? Doesn’t He read our mind? So why do we need to badger Him about our needs? God is all knowing and God reads our minds but we still need to persistently let Him know what we want Him to do for us. Why? For the simple reason that it’s through our persistence that we develop an intimacy with Him. It’s through our persistent prayer that we obtain the grace to get to know Jesus better.

What if we would not persist? We miss the chance to know Jesus more deeply  and we miss the opportunity to develop a much deeper intimacy with Him.  Take for example our Sunday Mass obligation, what would happen to us if we wouldn’t keep on attending it every Sunday? We miss the chance to know Jesus deeply, we miss the chance to be showered by His many blessing. And we miss the opportunity to grow in faith and the like.

Yes, God knows everything about us already but we still need to be persistent before Him. For this is where He would know how deep is our love for Him. When we don’t give up on Jesus and when we continue to let Him know that we always hunger for Him. Surely Jesus will not be deaf and blind to our petitions before Him.   

Surely Jesus will smile at us and tell us: Here it is that you want I’m giving it to you now because you did not give-up. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reflection for October 7, Wednesday, Our Lady of the Rosary: Luke 11:1-4

Gospel: Luke 11:1-4
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
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Reflection:
Has anyone asked you to teach him/her to pray? Or have you taught somebody to pray?

It’s an honor and we experience a humbling feeling if somebody would ask us to teach him/her to pray. Just like the same petition that the disciples of Jesus told Him. But before we could expect people to ask us to teach them how to pray we must learn to live our prayer first.

For example if we pray for humility it is incumbent upon us to live humbly. If we pray for forgiveness we should be forgiving as well. If we pray for peace in our lives we should live a peaceful life. In other words we should always learn to live our prayers before Jesus.  

What will force our fellowmen to ask us to teach them how to pray? We should ensure that we live our prayers with humility. This is how Jesus lived His life; He always ensured that His prayers are always accompanied by humble acts of faith.

Just like Jesus, we too must see to it that we live what we pray or we walk our talk so that others may see in us Jesus. We become like magnets for Jesus if we live our prayers and we live it with humility.

Has anyone asked you to teach him/her to pray? Or have you taught somebody to pray? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Reflection for October 6, Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 10:38-42

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”
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Reflection:
What does habitual prayer do to us? What does daily bible reading do to us? What does consistent presence at the Celebration of the Holy Mass do to us? These actions if done with piety would bring us closer to Jesus.

In today’s gospel our attention is brought on the two actions of sisters Mary and Martha with Jesus at the center of it all.

When Mary recognized her Lord and Savior she didn’t do anything except to sat and listen to His wisdom and life changing words. This is what we do when we pray, this is what we do when we read the bible with all of our being and this is what we do when we reverently worship Jesus when we attend the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Mass).

Jesus obviously favored the worshipful action of Mary for it is through this she could grow in closeness with Jesus. This is what Jesus wants for all of us too: To be close to Him. What does our closeness to Jesus do to us?

It creates awareness within us that life in this world is temporary and fleeting, it opens our minds to the immense blessings that we can have the moment we spend time with Jesus. It teaches us that we must always live and share our lives with others especially to those who are in need.

How about Martha? She did no wrong to Jesus in fact what she was doing was for the benefit of Jesus. However, it would have not cost her much time if she first listened to the life changing words of Jesus before doing her work.

As we continue our temporary journey; we will be compelled by the demands of this world to get busy and to work for our survival. But amidst these worldly things let us not forget to first allocate time for God. Let us first listen to the wisdom of God and the life changing words of Jesus.

Do you always give time first for Jesus before doing your daily activities? – Marino J. Dasmarinas