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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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reflection for November 30, Monday Saint Andrew, Apostle: Matthew 4:18-22

Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
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Reflection:
Have you had an experience of being called by your name?

Anyone who calls your name will surely get your attention. You will stretch your neck to look for that person who called you by your name. Why do you respond? You respond for the simple reason that you assume that the one who called you by your name knows you.

In the gospel today Jesus called Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John all of them ordinary fishermen. Did they know Jesus deeply beforehand? No, but Jesus certainly knew the four fishermen otherwise He would not have called them.

Jesus knew their sinfulness, their weaknesses and even their lack of education He knew yet He called them. What does this call of the apostles tell us? This tells us that notwithstanding our shortcomings whatever these shortcomings are the Lord is still calling us to follow Him.

Jesus knows about our failings and weaknesses, even our sinfulness He knows also; yet He still calls us to follow Him. And become His partner in His mission to advance the good news of our salvation.

Would we respond to His perpetual call? Or would we continue to sit idly and be slaves of this material and fleeting world?

Notwithstanding our sinfulness the wisdom filled choice is to always respond and become a follower of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reflection for Sunday November 29, First Sunday of Advent; Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Gospel: Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.

“Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
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Reflection:
A fishing vessel encountered a strong storm in the middle of the ocean. As such the vessel was tossed like a ping pong ball by the violent storm. The captain of the vessel who was a deeply religious man told his crew, let us pray so that the Lord may come to save us. While they were praying they suddenly notice the violent waves calming like a pristine river in a forest.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent, what does Advent mean? Advent means coming or arrival and who is going to come? Of course we very well know that the one who is coming is Jesus. Through the coming of Jesus we will once again find hope, strength and motivation to conquer our many fears and worries.   

But what should we do before the Lord comes? Of course we also have to be worthy of His coming thus we must prepare! How shall we prepare or how could we best prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord? We can best prepare by cleaning ourselves from all forms of sinfulness. And this we can do best when we decide to humble ourselves before the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession.

We all are sinful, we all are in dire need of His healing, mercy and forgiveness. The first Sunday of Advent is the most opportune time to heal all these sins before He comes. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Reflection for November 28, Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:34-36

Luke 21:34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
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Reflection:
What is the best protection against the uncertainties and anxieties of this world?  Our best protection is our connection with Jesus. Connection that will cost us nothing except a little of our time. We connect with Jesus when we pray, we talk and establish contact with Him through our fervent prayer life.  

What does prayer do to us? It gives us inner peace. We are always calm amidst the struggles and complexities of daily life. Active prayer life prepares us for whatever eventualities that life may bring us.

Calamities, unforeseen disasters and the threat of wars happen every now and then and often times it catch us unexpectedly and it disturbs us. But if we are always prepared spiritually we would somehow learn to cope with it emotionally and we would still be calm.

The world that we are in right now is so uncertain we don’t know what may happen next. The threat of war and terrorism in many parts of the world is real and it’s happening. We therefore have to pray for peace and ask Jesus to make our world more peaceful.   

In the gospel for today Jesus told the disciples: “Pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).” – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reflection for November 27, Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:29-33

Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
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Reflection:
Is the kingdom of God already dwelling in your heart? If you’ve already learned to let go of your hurts, resentments your high sense of yourself the kingdom of God is already dwelling in your heart. If you’ve already surrendered your life under God’s care and disposition; God’s kingdom is already dwelling in your heart.

Growing old is the dread of some, more so when they notice the graying of their hair and the sagging of their skin. This is the reason why they try to dye their hair and they go to facial clinic to conceal the advancement of their age.

As we face this slow but sure change of our body’s appearance we are reminded that we are slowly but surely nearing our departure date from this world. We fear this occurrence especially for those who are not prepared. But why fear? This is the simple cycle of life; and we all will pass through this experience.

If we have not done anything wrong we have nothing to fear. If we are close to Jesus we have nothing to fear, if we are always present during Holy Mass we have nothing to fear. Even death itself we will not fear for this is the last hurdle going to the eternal Kingdom of God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for November 26, Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:20-28

Luke 21:20-28
Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
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Reflection:
Are you afraid of the end times?

The talk of end times always sends shivers to many most especially to those who do not have yet a personal relationship with Jesus. This topic is something that they always want to avoid as much as possible.

However, if God is in your heart; who can be against you? If God is with you nothing can distress you no matter how horrifying the signs of the times are.

For those who are losing hope; for those who continue to live in sin, for those who do not give space for God in their life the end times is may be here and now already. But there still hope for them for as long as they live there’s hope. And this hope is given to them by Jesus; they simply have to allow Jesus to come into their life.

For those who steadfastly believe in God, who faithfully follow His commands. Who continuously remain hopeful notwithstanding the discouraging signs of the times. Redemption from any fear is upon them already.

Why don’t we change our ways and why don’t we get closer to Jesus and invite Him to come into our lives? So that whatever happens to this world we’ll have neither worries nor fears for we know that we are always in God’s loving embrace.

Let us change our ways, let us listen to the voice of God calling us all to repent through the Sacrament Confession/Reconciliation. Let us always remember that the indifference of the people of Jerusalem to Jesus resulted in their destruction. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reflection for November 25, Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:12-19

Luke 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
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Reflection:
What made you decide to follow Jesus? Is it because of a promise of a good life, a life free from problems and worries from this world?  Many of us have this mistaken notion that it is easy to become a follower. But it’s not easy for to follow Jesus involves great sacrifice.

 It involves deep humility, it involves giving-up some of our family time. To follow Jesus even involves making unpopular stand on family and societal issues such as abortion, immorality and the like.

There is no free ride going to Jesus, we have to pay, we have to sacrifice. Yet everything that we do for Jesus is well worth it. This is for the reason that whatever we do for Jesus, He will give back to us a hundred times.

Perhaps it may not be during our lifetime in this world. But certainly someday, somehow He will surely reward us very generously in the afterlife. Let us therefore always be faithful and courageous in our decision to follow Jesus whatever it may cost us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, November 23, 2015

Reflection for November 24, Tuesday Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs: Luke 21:5-11

Gospel: Luke 21:5-11
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
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Reflection:
When will the end times be? Many would say that the end time is here and now. Just look at the many wars being fought in many parts of the world. Just look at the many terroristic activities happening almost everywhere. Just look at the massive hunger in third rate countries. Just look at the massive environmental catastrophes around the world.

Aren’t these all signs of the end times? These are not yet the end times for no one of us knows about it, only God knows when it would be. But it seems that the telltale signs are already in place.

However it’s not the end times yet. This is for the reason that these unfortunate events that are happening now all over the world are created by us and not by God. For example, human’s greed for power and natural resources creates wars in many parts of the world. Our abuse of the environment creates natural disasters.

Terroristic activities that are happening everywhere are due to human’s misguided and fanatical  devotion to their creed. So who is creating these end times scenarios? It’s not God but us, by our misguided adherence to this world we actually are hastening the world’s end times. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for November 23, Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:1-4

Gospel: Luke 21:1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
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Reflection:
What is our motive when we give? Do we give because we are expecting something in return? Do we give out of our leftover?

We have countless motives when giving or helping others, whatever our motives are we can rest assure that God knows our reasons. We cannot hide anything from God not even our self-serving desires.

The ideal form of giving is to give without strings attached and to give from the heart. We don’t give because we are forced to give or we give because we have surplus. The joy of generous giving comes when you give freely. Just observe that unexplainable joy that you feel after you’ve given something straight from your heart. 

The two small coins given by the poor widow in the gospel seem to be insignificant compared to what were given by the wealthy people. However, Jesus was pleased with her act of generosity for she gave it all. She gave without conditions and she gave without expecting something in return.

What is your motive when you give? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Reflection for Sunday November 22, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe; John 18:33b-37

Gospel: John 18:33b-37
Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
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Reflection:
An ambitious man wanted to be the king of his self-created world. So, he studied very well and after hurdling his studies he created a business that became very financially successful. He soon after achieved his dream of becoming the king of his world. For he could already do and buy whatever he wants yet there was still a deep emptiness in his life.

If we continue to aspire to become the king of our own self-created world there would still be emptiness. No matter how successful even powerful we become, we would still be longing for that something that will complete us.

Today is the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe. This Kingship of Jesus  is the only Kingship that can satisfy our deepest longing. Because when we decide to embrace His Kingship we are already complete and there surely will be no more emptiness.

We will not anymore be chasing whatever this world will dangle in-front of us. But the great paradox of the Kingship of Jesus is it’s not based on anything of this world. Jesus Kingship is something which is not seen yet we can deeply feel it satisfying our deepest longing.

In the gospel, when Jesus was asked by Pilate if He is the King of the Jews (John 18:33b). Jesus did not deny His Kingship but He told Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world (John 18:36).

Indeed, Jesus’ Kingship doesn’t belong to this world because His Kingship is in contradiction with worldly kingship. This is for the reason that Jesus chose to serve rather than be served, He chose humility over arrogance. He chose to obey the will of God to die on the cross rather than protect His life.

If we choose humility over arrogance, if we choose to serve rather than be served and if we choose to give our life so that others may live. We are already near the Kingdom of Christ our King. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Reflection for November 21, Saturday Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Luke 20:27-40

Gospel: Luke 20:27-40
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. they can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise. That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything.
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Reflection:
Do you believe that there is life after death? The Sadducees an organization within the Jewish faith did not believe in the resurrection. The Sadducees gave Jesus a story about a woman who married seven brothers. By asking whose wife will she be in the resurrection they were actually mocking Jesus teachings on the resurrection.

Some people have a limited understanding of the vastness of life that they thought that it is only up to the point of death, after that no more. But if there’s no life after death what then is the use of living a worthy life in this world?  

There is a resurrection! And we begin to sow the seeds of resurrection the moment we decide to walk away from all of our sinfulness. And when we die we will have an up close and personal encounter with this resurrection. Therefore, eternal life or resurrection will come to those who lived their lives pleasing to the eyes of God.

In the gospel Jesus tells us all the reality of afterlife, of heaven, of everlasting life and of angels. However, not all will have the privilege of being there. For it is only reserve for those who are considered worthy. Worthy based on the merciful eyes of God not based on our own subjective and judgmental eyes. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Reflection for November 20, Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 19:45-48

Gospel: Luke 19:45-48
Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out those who were selling things, saying to them, “It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” And every day he was teaching in the temple area. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile, were seeking to put him to death, but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words.
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Reflection:
Do you cling to the words of Jesus as if your very life depends on it? Is your day not complete without reading or listening to His words? In the gospel the chief priest, the scribes and the leaders of the people wanted to kill Jesus. But they couldn’t execute it because they were afraid of the people most especially the ordinary people. For the reason that they treasure every word and pronouncement of Jesus.

The chief priest, the scribes and the leaders of the people are considered as intellectual or learned yet they did not believe Jesus. But the common folks they believe Jesus and they hang to His every word.

Many of the people of today don’t anymore treasure the words of Jesus they instead value more this world than Jesus. They let the hedonistic language of this world dictate upon them. And the words of Jesus? It has no more use to them, no wonder many people most especially the young ones live misguided and misdirected lives.    

Let us revisit once again the words of Jesus which we can easily find in the bible and let us read it everyday. Let us allow it to direct our life instead of this world shaping our lives.

Someday when we are already old and sickly we will find out that the passion that we’ve devoted for this world amounts to nothing. For the simple reason that whatever we’ve earned in this world we will leave behind. The only treasure that we can bring with us onto the afterlife is our faith and love for Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas        

Reflection for November 19, Thursday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 19:41-44

Gospel: Luke 19:41-44
As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace–but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.
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Reflection:
What will happen to us if we refuse to hear the wise counsel of our elders? For example, if we are advised to stop our vicious vices or to stop doing something which is immoral or wrong? If we continue to refuse to hear their wise counsel. Eventually these vices and the wrongdoing/s that we continue to do will take us down through sickness, embarrassment and so forth.     

In the gospel for today, Jesus wept over Jerusalem and its people for they refused to hear His call of repentance and reform in their lives. Not only that they refused to listen to Jesus they also refused to listen to the prophets who were sent before Jesus. They instead mired themselves in sin similar to a beast miring itself in a pool of poisonous mud.
   
When we refuse to let Jesus come into our life and when we continue to refuse to hear His call of repentance. There would surely be no peace within us no matter how rich we are, how powerful we are. For as long as we refuse to hear His call we will have no peace we would still be living complicated lives that may eventually destroy us.

Jerusalem did not find peace and were destroyed by the Romans during the first revolt in A.D 70, because they refused Jesus, they did not recognized Him as the ultimate peace bearer. They instead continued to stray far from Him.

Jesus is always knocking in our hearts, always begging us to open our life to Him. For the reason that he will not only bring us peace He would also bring us contentment, serenity and other things that this world cannot give us.  

If today you hear His voice  harden not your hearts. (Psalm 95) (Hebrew 3:15). – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reflection for November 18, Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 19:11-28

Gospel: Luke 19:11-28
While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”

After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
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Reflection:
What are you doing with the talent/s that the good Lord has given you? Are you using to further God’s kingdom in this world or you’re only using it to advance your own interest in this world?

We are taught by our faith that all blessings that come our way are God given. Thus, we have a responsibility to pay it forward specially to those who are in need. Whatever these blessings are, be it material blessings or intellectual blessings we have to share it. We should not keep it to ourselves only we have to share it. For it’s only in sharing what we have that we would receive more blessings from Him.  

The third servant was not productive like the first and second because he was fearful of the nobleman. Not only that he was fearful; I think he was also lazy and selfish that’s why he simply stored the gold coin in a handkerchief and left it there until it was taken back by the nobleman.

The feelings of fear, being lazy and selfish are the qualities that paralyze a person from becoming a more productive servant of the Lord. If we want to serve and share in the mission of Jesus we need to discard these negative traits. We also need to always have a positive outlook in life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for November 17, Tuesday, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Religious: Luke 19:1-10

Gospel: Luke 19:1-10
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
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Reflection:
Why did Zacchaeus exert so much effort to see Jesus? Because Zacchaeus was already tired of living a sinful life. He wanted to live a new life so to speak, a life free from sin and the guilt of sin!

So, when Zacchaeus a sinner and a wealthy tax collector heard that Jesus would be passing through their town. He immediately planned to see Him and consequently he immediately went to see Jesus. But because of the big crowd and because he was a short man there was no way  for him to see Jesus personally.

Butt the desire to mend his ways was so strong that Zacchaeus even climb a sycamore tree so that he would see Jesus. Surely, Jesus knew that there’s this repentant sinner named Zacchaeus who badly want to see HIM.

When Jesus was about to pass by the sycamore tree. Jesus looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And so he did and brought Jesus to his house and right there in his house Zacchaeus repented. And from his repentance Jesus gave him salvation.  

We all are sinner and being so we are all called to follow the action of Zacchaeus. We are called by Jesus to repent as well. Not tomorrow not next week and certainly not next month but today this very hour that you’re reading this. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Reflection for November 16, Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 18:35-43

Gospel: Luke 18:35-43
As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me!” Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He replied, “Lord, please let me see.” Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.” He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.
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Reflection:
What is the most important qualification for those who wants to be healed by Jesus? It’s faith! Our faith in Jesus can make the impossible possible.

The blind man in our gospel has this exceptional faith. It was his faith in Jesus that drove him to call upon Jesus to heal him. It was his deep faith in Jesus that moved him to continuously shout Son of David even if he was already being admonished to keep quite.

This man is blind yes, but his faith in Jesus is not blind and his faith is incredibly bigger than his blindness. For sure he knew Jesus beforehand somebody told him who Jesus was and without question he immediately believed.

And after believing he started thinking more about Jesus, perhaps Jesus was always in his mind. Perhaps the blind man was already imagining what he would do if Jesus would pass by him. Our faith in Jesus is always affirmed and strengthened when we always think of Him. And when we always ask Him to give us the gift of faith.

The gospel for today used the blind man to show us all what deep faith in Jesus can do for us. Nothing is impossible for those who always pray with faith. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday November 15, Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 13:24-32

Gospel: Mark 13:24-32
Jesus said to his disciples: "In those days after that tribulation the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

"And then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in the clouds' with great power and glory, and then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

"Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

"But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."
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Reflection:
A young man in desperate straits was contemplating of ending his own life. Yes he had money and could practically buy everything that he wants. But there was still that deep void within him  that was yearning for something that would give meaning to his life.

Have you been through this kind of experience wherein you yearn for something meaningful in your life? You yearn for meaning because you can’t find relevance in your present life in this world? We all go through this period of emptiness in our lives as if this is already our own version of end times experience.   

What should we do when we walk through this experience of spiritual barrenness? When everything before us seems dark and hopeless?  We have to look-up to the man on the cross for our salvation and deliverance. We have to ask Jesus to fill our barren life and we have to ask Him to give our life substance and meaning.

Many of us thinks that the meaning of life could be found in the material things that we possess. We think that material things are the be all and end all of life. Only to find out that we are still empty even if we seem to have all the wealth and power that we can afford. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reflection for November 14, Saturday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 18:1-8

Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
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Reflection:
What do you do when it seems that Jesus is deaf to your prayers? When you don’t see any visible signs of reply from Jesus? Do you give up and simply walk away from Jesus? Or you continue to hold-on to Jesus, you continue to pray and hope that somehow you will see and feel signs of His reply?

A few months after the death of Mother Teresa a book about her was published titled: Come be my light. It contained Mother Teresa’s letters regarding her struggle with her own faith. She described the emptiness and darkness of her faith life. She even wrote that she never experienced the presence of God since 1948. And this was the year when she founded her own religious congregation named Missionaries of Charities.

In spite of the emptiness that she felt Mother Teresa never gave-up with her mission of helping the poor and the abandoned. She never gave-up waking up 4:30 in the morning everyday to pray and converse with Jesus.         

In the Gospel Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He told them about a dishonest judge who neither feared God nor respected any human being.

 There is also a woman who keeps on bothering the judge to give her justice.  Due to her persistence the judge finally listened to the woman and gave her justice. And the Lord said, "Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?

God’s word is so alive that it speaks to us! What Jesus is saying is that we need to be prayerful and we must not give-up even if we don’t see signs of reply from Him.

In our short journey in this world there will be disappointments, there will be failures and struggles. Yet these trials must not lead to the waning of our faith. We must continue to be persistent in our prayer and we must continue to pray to Jesus no matter what the result of our prayer/s. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Reflection for November 13, Friday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 17:26-37

Gospel: Luke 17:26-37
Jesus said to his disciples: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, someone who is on the housetop and whose belongings are in the house must not go down to get them, and likewise one in the field must not return to what was left behind. Remember the wife of Lot. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it. I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left.” They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will gather.”
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Reflection:
When are we going to walk away from our sins? Should we still delay and wait when the most opportune time comes? It might not come and it might be too late already. We should change our ways right at this very moment for we do not know until when our life will be.

The people during Noah’s time were merrymaking and sinning until the floods came so they died without repentance. Same as with the people of Sodom and Gomorra who were engaged in grievous sexual sins they died without repentance also.

What is sin that many of us are so smitten by it? Sin is the bait or trap of the devil for us to end in his kingdom. Many of us fall into this bait for the simple reason that we have weak faith in God. This is basically the reason why we sin. But sin will bring us nothing but troubles and problems, it will not bring us any good.

Let us take time to read about Jesus, let us take time to listen to Jesus and let us be faithful to Jesus. And He surely will find a way for us so that we could walk away permanently from sin. Sin doesn’t offer us any good at all and sin will not bring us except chaos until it destroys us.

The burden or curse of sin doesn’t end when we die, we carry it over onto the afterlife where the final judgment will be.   – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Reflection for November 12, Thursday, Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr: Luke 17:20-25

Gospel: Luke 17:20-25
Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, Jesus said in reply, “The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed, and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’ For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples, “The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. There will be those who will say to you, ‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’ Do not go off, do not run in pursuit. For just as lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”
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Reflection:
When do you say that the kingdom of God is within you already? It is when you are not afraid of anything that may happen to you for you know that somebody very powerful is in-charge. If you already have Jesus in your life you would even embrace death because you know that death is the last passage before you meet God.

How could you have His kingdom within you? It’s when you faithfully follow Him in your words and deeds. It’s when you have your regular moment of prayer with Jesus.  This is when you would feel the presence of God in your life.

For those who believe that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior the kingdom of God is within them already. For those who choose to follow the path of servanthood and sacrifice of Jesus the kingdom of God is within them already. For those who are meek and humble the kingdom of God is within them already.

For those who surrender their lives in the hands of God amidst the chaos and worries of this world the kingdom of God is within them already. The kingdom of God is also your rock solid faith in Jesus for He is your safe refuge whenever you are being battered by the trials of daily life.   

Do you already have the kingdom of God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Reflection for November 11, Wednesday, Saint Martin of Tours, Bishop: Luke 17:11-19

Gospel: Luke 17:11-19
As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”
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Reflection:
Do we express our gratitude to Jesus, we who always receive blessing from Him every day?

In our gospel, ten lepers were healed by Jesus but only one a Samaritan (considered as an enemy of the Jews) was grateful enough to express his gratefulness to Jesus. What happened to the other nine? They went back to their normal lives with the gift of eyesight courtesy of Jesus, yet they never went back to Jesus to express their gratitude first.  

The Samaritan in the gospel speaks to us by his faith and deed of gratefulness; he tells us to always have faith and to always be grateful to the miracles that Jesus gives us everyday. For example, do we still remember to thank Jesus for the gift of life every morning?

Many of us are so busy that we forget to say our prayer of thanksgiving upon waking-up. Many of the young people today, instead of saying their prayer of thanksgiving, they instead check first their smart phones for new messages and updates.  

Let us never forget to express our thanksgiving to Jesus no matter how busy we are. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for November 10, Tuesday, Saint Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor: Luke 17:7-10

Gospel: Luke 17:7-10
Jesus said to the Apostles: “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’? Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’? Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded? So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.
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Reflection:
What does it take to be a servant of the Lord? It requires humility; a true servant whose only desire is to serve is at all times humble. He/she is ever ready to do what the Lord requires him/her to do. He/she will never complain she will patiently do the given task.

For many of us, to serve in the church is an opportunity to be popular in the community so that we could advance our own selfish agendas. This is not the desire of Jesus; the desire of Jesus is for us to simply serve with no hidden motives whatsoever.

Let us not hunger for recognition when we serve God for recognition will eventually come to us if we always serve with humility. To be a true servant of God is to humbly and silently work in His vineyard. Not conscious of any recognition or honor for this is how a true servant behaves.

To become a true servant of God is to silently accept the hurts that is thrown at you and leave it all up to God. For God will not let a true servant be destroyed by anybody. Eventually, a humble servant will be saved, justified and exalted by God. - Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Reflection for November 9, Monday, the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica: John 2:13-22

Gospel: John 2:13-22
Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace. His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me. At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.
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Reflection:
Today is the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran: The official church of the Holy Father.

Why is Jesus so angry? Because they have desecrated the holiest place of worship: the temple. It was a marketplace to say the least; they were not simply selling and dealing goods there.

There were other things that were evolving: greed, deceit and many more that made Jesus really mad. Jesus told them: “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace (John 12:16).” Don’t we hear Jesus speaking to us too? Telling us the same words born out of His anger from what He saw in the temple area or from what we do when we are at church?

How do we behave when we are at church most specifically when we are inside the church? The church is our sacred place of worship a place where we encounter God. Thus, we must observe proper discipline when we are inside or within its vicinity.

Do we still deep our finger into the Holy water font, make the sign of the cross and genuflect before entering the church? Do we still sit quietly and pray to Jesus while our eyes are fixed on the tabernacle?

Our church is our safe refuge when we are troubled by our many worries. This is where we encounter and receive Jesus during Holy Mass. Therefore we must observe proper discipline when we are in this Sacred and Holy place of worship. – Marino J. Dasmarinas