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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Reflection for October 20, Tuesday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:35-38

Gospel: Luke 12:35-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way blessed are those servants.
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Do you know the hour of your death?

There’s no substitute for being ready or prepared. For example, death this is the most dreaded occurrence that no one wants to experience. But whether we like it or not it will come to us we just don’t know when.

Being ready for what may happen gives us that sense of security. Whatever comes our way we are prepared and we will accept it. For the reason that we have been preparing for it for so long. In whatever aspect of life preparation is essential and this is what the gospel is telling us today.  

We who are all servants of God should always be prepared for any eventualities that may come our way. The best preparation that we could ever do is to always be in-touch with Jesus through the Sacraments, prayers and by our perpetual attendance at Holy Mass. Do you always submit yourself to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession? Are you prayerful? Do you always make yourself available for Holy Mass?  

In the gospel Jesus told the disciples that they must always be prepared; He used the parable of the master’s return from a wedding as an example. Therefore we too should always be prepared for anything in our life. And the best preparation is to have a personal friendship with Jesus.

Are you always prepared? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Reflection for October 19, Monday Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs: Luke 12:13-21

Gospel: Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.”
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What is material wealth that many of us are not able to let go of it? Many of us are even willing to sacrifice family relationship just to have possession of this temporal wealth.  Many of us are even willing to work even to the detriment of our health just to have it.

We are even willing to sacrifice our good name and reputation to have wealth even dirty or corrupted wealth. Our greed for material wealth if not checked could be our ticket to the kingdom of the evil one.

Who among us are willing to go to hell in exchange for earthy wealth? None of us of course! Yet we keep on punishing ourselves to have it not knowing that this greed for wealth will only give us tons of problems and miseries.

Wealth per se is not evil it becomes evil once we allow ourselves to be controlled and manipulated by it. What should we do therefore? We must not allow wealth to control and manipulate us. We should not allow our greed for wealth to dictate upon us. And this we can only do if we have Jesus in our lives. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Manalangin po tayo...

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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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    

Friday, October 16, 2015

Reflection for October 17, Saturday Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr: Luke 12:8-12

Gospel: Luke 12:8-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God.

“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”
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Do we acknowledge the majesty and goodness of God before others? To acknowledge God is to proclaim His goodness towards us. To acknowledge God is to proclaim and share His blessing with others. For example, when you say God bless you to someone, you are already acknowledging the goodness of God in your life. And you want your friends to be blessed by God as well.

To acknowledge God in one’s life is to live and share His teachings. Do we live and share His teachings? We become productive followers of Jesus when we share Him and when we live His teachings. Profession of faith is not good enough we have to humbly show that we are living our faith and in turn we become active and not passive followers of God.

We always acknowledge the presence of God in our lives when we do good and shun whatever forms of evil. When we are always humble and loving even if our others are not humble and loving towards us. This is for the reason that Jesus is a God of love and humility. Do we strive to live the love and humility of Jesus?

 It’s tempting to ego trip most especially when we have the power and means to do so but this is against the will of God. How would Jesus be seen in us and how could we acknowledge the presence of Jesus in our lives if we are egoistic and arrogant?

Love, Mercy, Humility just to name a few are the language and lifestyle of God and when we live these virtues we are acknowledging the presence of God in our lives. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reflection for October 16, Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 12:1-7

Gospel: Luke 12:1-7
At that time: So many people were crowding together that they were trampling one another underfoot. Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples, “Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body but after that can do no more. I shall show you whom to fear. Be afraid of the one who after killing has the power to cast into Gehenna; yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one. Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins? Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God. Even the hairs of your head have all been counted. Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”
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Have you openly voiced out your opinion on something that is wrong? For example, you’ve noticed that something is wrong in your family, what do you normally do? Do you simply let it be as if you see nothing and hear nothing for the reason that you’re afraid that you will be rebuked?

The best course of action to take in such situation is to do something that will contribute to the resolution of the problem. To keep silent and pretend to see and hear nothing is never an option. We have to act and do something appropriate and good.

As followers of Jesus we should see to it that we are always relevant and always in the thick of things. We have to see to it that we are catalyst in building bridges so that there would be peace and harmony. This is always the right course of action to take as followers of Jesus.

To be effective we have always have to undertake this with calmness and humility. We should not push our weight around and bully people so that they would follow us. For how could we become an instrument of healing and reconciliation if we will act like a dictator? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reflection for October 15, Thursday Memorial of Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church: Luke 11:47-54

Gospel: Luke 11:47-54
The Lord said: “Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets whom your fathers killed. Consequently, you bear witness and give consent to the deeds of your ancestors, for they killed them and you do the building. Therefore, the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles; some of them they will kill and persecute’ in order that this generation might be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who died between the altar and the temple building. Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood! Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.” When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees began to act with hostility toward him and to interrogate him about many things, for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.
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Do you listen to those who care for you and to those who give you meaningful advice? Or you don’t care to listen for the reason that you want to drive your own life?

In our lifetime there shall be people who will come into our lives to give us advice and to guide us. Or people who by the example of their lives would make us think to change our life for the better and live behind sinfulness.  Some of us will care to listen to them but many will simply ignore and continue to live sinfulness.

Why is it that many don’t care to listen? Stubbornness is already inherent in our mindset that is why we don’t listen. We want to live life that way we want it. And our usual reason is: This is my life not yours! Many of us even get angry with those who give us advice. What happens to those who don’t listen? They learn their lesson the hard way: their lives become mired in sin and they naturally suffer for it.

Nevertheless there’s still hope we can reverse the vicious cycle of sinfulness. We just need to change our way of life. Or follow the advices given to us by people whose only desire is for the good of our own wellbeing. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

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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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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reflection for October 13, Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:37-41

Gospel: Luke 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

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What do we do when we invite people to dine in our house? Of course we discreetly observe them especially if our invited guest are few the more that we observe them. We sometimes pretend to be busy but we still observe them quietly.

However, amidst our observation Jesus wants to tell us something: let us not judge them based on their external behavior. Because our judgment based on what we see do not really represent who they really are. There’s a whole lot more that we could discover from our fellowmen if we would not be quick on judging them.

It feeds our ego when we are noticed based on our external appearance: What we do, the clothes that we wear, our physical appearance etc. The more that we are noticed the more that we will reinforce our external actions. These are all superficial, before God these egocentric actions count for nothing before the eyes of God.

What counts before God are those that are not seen by our eyes. What counts before Him is what is inside us not what is outside of us. Those that are not seen such as: a pure conscience, a caring, forgiving and loving heart and a mind that has no place for ill thoughts.

Perhaps, the Pharisee in our gospel invited Jesus to his house not out of his goodwill and kindness. He invited Jesus because he wants to see if Jesus would subscribe to the many rituals of their Jewish faith.

Are we not like the Pharisee? When friends come to our house we also observe them as to how they would behave. And based on what we saw we will now conjure our unfavourable conclusion towards them.

But our judgment is often wrong for we don’t know the heart of the person and besides it’s hard to judge based solely on the few times that we’ve observed them. Let us not judge quickly and let us not judge based on what we see.

Are you quick to judge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, October 12, 2015

1Reflection for October 12, Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:29-32

Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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We meet or we are acquainted with Godly people for a good reason. They don’t just come into our lives it’s always for a good reason.

For example, if you become friends with a good and Godly person. God led you to this person for you to become good and godly also. You did not become friends with him/her for you to be bad. Jesus sent this person to you so that you’ll be converted this is always the reason.

Some of us may listen to this Godly friend thus we become good and godly also. But unfortunately this is not always the scenario because there are many who don’t care to listen. No matter how many times God call them to renewal they will really not listen.

Jonah, in our gospel was sent by God to the people of Nineveh to call for their repentance.  And they listened to him that’s why God spared them from punishment. After Jonah there were many more prophets who were sent by God they called also for conversion.

Until Jesus came, many listened to Jesus call for repentance and conversion. But sad to say many more did not listen also. There was hardness in their hearts, they ignored Jesus they instead continued to embrace sin.

Jesus call of repentance did not stop with Him, the call for repentance continues to flow until this very moment. And we now are the ones who are in-charge to call for repentance and conversion.  

What have you done so far to echo this call of repentance by Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas