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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reflection for June 1, Wednesday Saint Justin, Martyr; Mark 12:18-27

Gospel: Mark 12:18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, 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 and died, leaving no descendants. So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants, and the third likewise. And the seven left no descendants. Last of all the woman also died. At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be? For all seven had been married to her.” Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”
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Reflection:
Is there an afterlife or resurrection after our life in this world is over? There is but it's very different from the life that we have right now.

In the gospel a religious group who do not believe in the resurrection asked Jesus about a lady who married seven brothers who subsequently died one after the other. They asked Jesus, whose wife would she be in the afterlife?

 Jesus said to them, "Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.

The resurrected life with Jesus in heaven is totally different from the life that we have right now. If here we have pains and sorrows there shall be no more there, what we will have there is a life with Jesus that is blissful and heavenly.

We must aspire for that heavenly life and we must start right now by following the teachings of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Reflection for May 31, Tuesday Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Luke 1:39-56

Gospel: Luke 1:39-56
Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm,he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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Reflection:
Would you exert effort to give a relative a surprise visit? Many of us are very busy that we hardly have time for this kind of human relation effort. But if many of us have no time to reach out to our relatives the Blessed Mother always has time.

Just imagine the Blessed Mother travelling for days on a donkey while pregnant just to give cheer to her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Who among us would do that? Perhaps only a few because we have no time. 

We have already allowed this world to dictate upon us to always get busy with things of this world. Get busy at the expense of strengthening our bond with our friends and relatives? Yes, when we allow ourselves to become overly busy with worldliness the tie that binds us with our friends and relatives take a backseat.

But not the Blessed Mother for she is an extra ordinary Blessed woman who is always full of love, care and compassion towards her relatives and to us also. The Blessed Mother never thought of her own safety and her own predicament (Because she was also pregnant at that time). She braved the very long distance and the stress on herself just to give herself to her cousin Elizabeth.

How many of us are still willing to forget ourselves just to visit our poor relative/s and make them happy with our presence? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Reflection for May 30, Monday of the Ninth Week in OT; Mark 12:1-12

Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?”

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
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Reflection:
There is a story of a high and mighty government official who was asked to resign from his post. For the reason that he engaged in high stakes corruption and abuse of authority. Instead of voluntarily resigning he clung to his post because according to him there is still much more money to be stolen in the coffers of his government office.

Since he was not willing to resign he was investigated and was found guilty it resulted in the forfeiture of all his government benefits. This high government official was so greedy that it became the instrument for his disgrace.

In our gospel the tenant farmers are the greedy characters, they were the religious leaders of Israel, they were not willing to give what was due to God which was represented by the owner of the vineyard. They killed all of the messengers (prophets) even the only begotten son of the owner they killed as well. At the end, because of their greed the tenant farmers were severely punished by the owner.  

It doesn’t pay to greedily amass immoral wealth. For whatever we have now that is borne out of our greed will eventually be taken away from us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday May 29, Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ; Luke 9:11b-17

Gospel: Luke 9:11b-17
Jesus spoke to the crowds about the kingdom of God, and he healed those who needed to be cured. As the day was drawing to a close, the Twelve approached him and said, "Dismiss the crowd so that they can go to the surrounding villages and farms and find lodging and provisions; for we are in a deserted place here." He said to them, "Give them some food yourselves." They replied, "Five loaves and two fish are all we have, unless we ourselves go and buy food for all these people." Now the men there numbered about five thousand. Then he said to his disciples, "Have them sit down in groups of about fifty." They did so and made them all sit down. Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. They all ate and were satisfied. And when the leftover fragments were picked up, they filled twelve wicker baskets.
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Reflection:
On Christmas day of 2013 in Legnica Poland a Consecrated Host fell to the floor. It was subsequently picked up and placed in a container with water. Immediately after immersing it in water red stains appeared on the Consecrated Host.

Then-Bishop of Legnica, Stefan Cichy, created a group to monitor the host. In February 2014, a small fragment was placed on a corporal and underwent testing by various research institutes.

the fragments were found containing the fragmented parts of a muscle. Likely similar to the heart muscle.” Tests also determined the tissue to be of human origin, and found that it bore signs of distress.

This past January, saying that the Host “has the manifestation of a Eucharistic miracle. The current bishop, bishop Kiernikowski presented the matter to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Last April the Vatican/Holy See recommended that it should be venerated by the people. 

Today is the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, the same Body and Blood of Christ in the appearance of the Holy Host that fell to the floor On Christmas day of 2013 in Legnica Poland.

The same Body and Blood of Christ that we partake during Holy Communion at Holy Mass. The same Body and Blood of Christ that the sick receive in their house.  When it is brought to them by a priest or by an extra ordinary minister of the Holy Communion.   

Do we give the Body and Blood of Christ the proper respect and veneration when we partake of it? Do we see to it that we are worthy to receive it by humbly submitting ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession at least once a year? 

In the gospel, the crowd of about five thousand were hungry but there was no food to fill their empty stomachs. Except for the five loaves and two fish no other food was available and the disciples knew that it would not be enough to feed the hungry crowd.

However, Jesus asked for the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, said the blessing over them, broke them, and gave them to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. And all of them were able to eat with many more to spare.

The miracle of the feeding of the crowd happened because Jesus desired it. Every time we make ourselves available for Holy Mass and we partake of His Body and Blood at Holy Communion, Jesus desires it for us as well. Why? This is for the reason of the infinite love and mercy of Jesus for all of us.

What have you done so far to reciprocate the infinite love and mercy of Jesus?  – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Reflection for May 28, Saturday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 11:27-33

Gospel: Mark 11:27-33
Jesus and his disciples returned once more to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple area, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders approached him and said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? Or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I shall ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin? Answer me.” They discussed this among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?”– they feared the crowd, for they all thought John really was a prophet. So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” Then Jesus said to them, “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
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Reflection:
Who are the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders?

They are persons of authority they are all highly valued and listened by their community. Jesus was actually no match to them in stature for He just an ordinary Jew and a carpenter. That’s why they’ve asked Him: “By what authority are you doing these things?

What was their motivation in asking Jesus about His authority? Of course their motivation was envy and greed for power because they were slowly being threatened by the growing popularity of Jesus.  Otherwise if they were not envious and greedy they would have not asked Jesus about His authority.

This same envy and greed for power drove them to plot the killing of Jesus.

We too are often times envious of those who succeed, those who are more popular than us. Why do we allow ourselves to be eaten-up by this negative emotion called envy?

Instead of feeling envious why not just be happy for those people who succeed? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reflection for May 27, Friday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 11:11-26

Gospel: Mark 11:11-26
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple area. He looked around at everything and, since it was already late, went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The next day as they were leaving Bethany he was hungry. Seeing from a distance a fig tree in leaf, he went over to see if he could find anything on it. When he reached it he found nothing but leaves; it was not the time for figs. And he said to it in reply, “May no one ever eat of your fruit again!” And his disciples heard it.

They came to Jerusalem, and on entering the temple area he began to drive out those selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. He did not permit anyone to carry anything through the temple area. Then he taught them saying, “Is it not written: My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples? But you have made it a den of thieves.”

The chief priests and the scribes came to hear of it and were seeking a way to put him to death,
yet they feared him because the whole crowd was astonished at his teaching. When evening came, they went out of the city.

Early in the morning, as they were walking along, they saw the fig tree withered to its roots. Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus said to them in reply, “Have faith in God. Amen, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. When you stand to pray, forgive anyone against whom you have a grievance, so that your heavenly Father may in turn forgive you your transgressions.”
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Reflection:
Why did Jesus cursed the powerless and innocent fig tree? Because it was not bearing fruit. What is our responsibility as followers of Jesus? We should not become barren followers. We should instead become fruit bearing followers of Jesus.

This means that we have to share our faith thus we don’t become a fig tree that does not bear fruit. Have you already shared your faith in Jesus? If yes you are already a fruitful follower of the Lord.  

The cursing of the fig tree was a symbolic show of Jesus’ power that was unfortunately not properly discerned by His followers. It was a silent message for them that they have to be productive followers and not followers in name only.

To become a productive or fruit bearing follower of Jesus is to be engaged in the ministry of evangelization of Jesus. Have you tried to evangelize anyone? Say for example a member of your immediate family, friend or a neighbor?   

Are you a productive follower of Jesus or a follower in name only? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reflection for May 26, Thursday Saint Philip Neri, Priest; Mark 10:46-52

Gospel: Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.” And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, “Son of David, have pity on me.” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
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Reflection:
A middle-aged wife was left by her husband for a younger woman. The wife dearly loved her husband so instead of easily giving-up on him she prayed persistently to Jesus to enlighten her wayward husband. For almost five years this was her morning and evening prayer to Jesus: “Please Jesus have pity on me I love my husband dearly enlighten him, bring him back home to me.”

One day she heard somebody softly knocking on the door, she opened it, lo and behold her remorseful husband was in front of her asking for a second chance and forgiveness. This story is a beautiful story of persistence in prayer and a story of not giving up.

We have in the gospel a blind man named Bartimaeus, because of his blindness there was no way for him to go to Jesus to ask for His healing touch. Therefore, upon hearing that Jesus was passing by he prayerfully shouted, “Jesus, son of David have pity on me.”

 He was told to keep quite by those around him but he never obeyed them he instead prayerfully shouted once again: “Son of David have pity on me.” His persistence immediately bore fruit because Jesus called him and after a short conversation with Jesus the blind man was able to regain his sight and he became His follower.

What if Bartimaeus easily gave-up? He could not have been healed and he could not have become a follower of Jesus. Just imagine also if the wife in our story easily gave up on her husband? If she did not pray to Jesus to enlighten and bring back home her wayward husband? They could have separated permanently, but she prayed and she never gave-up. Our prayers can move mountains so long as we never give-up.

How about you do you easily give up when you want something from Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 25, Wednesday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 10:32-45

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45
The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went ahead of them. They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them what was going to happen to him. “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him, spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death, but after three days he will rise.”

Then 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 chalice 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 chalice that I drink, you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Jesus summoned them and said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
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Reflection:
Are you willing to carry the cross of Jesus?

Jesus began to tell his disciples what was going to happen to him: his passion, death and eventual resurrection. Then, James and John requested Jesus that in his glory they be allowed to sit beside him.

Why in his glory only they want to sit beside Jesus? Why didn’t they tell Jesus that they would be with him also through his passion and death?

Often times we are like James and John we only recognize the presence of Jesus in our lives during our glorious moments and our life’s triumphs. When we are beset with problems we feel that Jesus has forsaken us. Let us always remember that Jesus wants to be with us always, he wants us to embrace him fully regardless of our life situations.

James and John also desired greatness because they wanted to sit beside Jesus in his glorious moments. But Jesus rebuked them when he said: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.”

In the church there are those who always want to been seen with their Priest/Pastors because it evokes greatness, power and prestige. But for Jesus the true measure of greatness is when you are always ready to serve regardless if you're seen, regardless if you're recognized or not.

Let us not seek recognition when following Jesus for when we seek recognition we are only following our selfish motives and bloated egos. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for May 24, Tuesday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 10:28-31

Gospel: Mark 10:28-31
Peter began to say to Jesus, “We have given up everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come. But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
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Reflection:
A worldly man had a dream, in his dream he saw Jesus calling him to leave behind his life of sin and follow Him. The morning after the man seriously thought about this dream and he was in a dilemma as to how he will survive once he decides to follow Jesus. Night time came and he had a dream once again and he heard Jesus told him not to worry for He will provide for Him.

With these encounters with Jesus, he decided to leave behind his sinful life and he decided to follow Jesus. After which he was never in want of anything he was very well provided for by Jesus.

It is hard for many of us to decide to follow Jesus for the reason that it is not financially rewarding to follow Him. But life is not about storing-up treasures in this world there’s more to life than accumulation of earthly wealth. Life is also about following the footsteps of Jesus and about making a positive impact in the lives of others.

Never would we find the real meaning of life by following the dictate of this world. It's only in following Jesus that we would discover life and its true meaning.

Why not slowly shift the orientation of your life from worldliness to a life in the company of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Reflection for May 23, Monday of the Eighth Week in OT; Mark 10:17-27

Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!” The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
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Reflection:
A businessman was on his deathbed, being his last moment in this world, his wife and all of his children were there. Seeing them all he suddenly had a worried face and said: why are you all here? Who’s tending the business? In the throes of death, yet his mind was still fixated on his material wealth.

What must we do to inherit eternal life? Jesus tells us to follow the commandments and sell what we have and give the proceeds to the poor and follow Him. This is how Saint Francis of Asisi lived his life. He was the son of a rich merchant but he disowned all of his inheritance he instead chose to help the poor. He lived a life of simplicity and poverty relying more on God’s providence than on this world.

There are people who are overly concerned with material wealth as if they can bring it to their grave. Some are even willing to sell their soul to the devil just to be rich. We should not invest on these things for all these are temporary and it could be taken from us anytime.

We should rather focus more on God rather than on this world. We should help those who are in need and steadfastly follow Christ. Nothing is wrong with being rich for as long as we don’t make riches our God and this we can do best by sharing it. Let us always remember that we are just stewards of the things that we have. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reflection for Sunday May 22, Solemnity of the Most Blessed Trinity; John 16:12-15

Gospel: John 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples: "I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you."
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Reflection:
A responsible husband suddenly died without any sign of sickness. The bereaved wife and her children were asking God, why it happened? There really are events in our lives that are very hard to explain.

However we have to accept these mysterious things. And we have to believe that somewhere or somehow there shall be enlightenment and acceptance for so long as we will never lose our faith in God.

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the three Gods that became one or the three persons in one God. How can it be that God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit who are all distinct and separate from each other could become one?

The secret of the oneness and unity of the Blessed Trinity is love. What make God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit one is love and what binds them together is love. Love at its purest and love without envy and deceit. Come to think of it what unifies a family, what makes friendship true and forever? It’s also love the same love that is always present in the Holy Trinity.

For many of us this is very hard to explain and much harder to believe. However there are teachings of the church that we have to embrace without a single doubt. And the Dogma about the Holy Trinity is one of these teachings.

On the other hand, how can we embrace this dogma/teachings about the Holy Trinity if we seldom go to church for Holy Mass? If our bibles are only gathering dust in the lonely corner of our respective homes?  If we seldom reserve daily time for God and if we do not put essence to our faith by living it? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reflection for May 21, Saturday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 10:13-16

Gospel: Mark 10:13-16
People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
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Reflection:
We trust Children more than adults, don’t we?

Jesus doesn’t only trust children; he also loves them dearly because children’s trust in Jesus is pure. A child’s humility is untainted with deceit and a child’s trust in Jesus is without question. Just look at a child when he/she prays and you can see how pure his/her faith and prayer before Jesus.

We need to be childlike in our trust in Jesus and in our humility. So that when our retirement from this world comes we will be able to enter the kingdom of God and see Jesus there ever ready to embrace us.

All of us are mere passersby in this finite world and someday we will leave this place for another place. Let us therefore see to it that we trust and love Jesus like a child. We humble ourselves before Jesus and our fellowmen like a child. And our faith in Jesus is like that of a child.

Are you always childlike in your love and trust in Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Reflection for May 20, Friday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 10:1-12

Gospel: Mark 10:1-12
Jesus came into the district of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds gathered around him and, as was his custom, he again taught them. The Pharisees approached him and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him. He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?” They replied, “Moses permitted a husband to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” In the house the disciples again questioned Jesus about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
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Reflection:
Are you faithful to your marriage vows?

When a man and a woman are wed in the Catholic church the Priest pose this question to them: "Do you take__as your lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, to this day onward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and cherish until death do you part?"

The man and woman will answer: I do.

The Marriage bond is forever, but the reality of it all is some married couples separate. I know of two couples who were married in the church, couple # 1: husband simply left his wife and two very young children. Couple # 2: The wife left the husband even though they already have a baby.

Oftentimes couples separate for selfish reasons. They only care of what they want and feel; they don’t give an iota of concern to the feeling of their spouse and children. Instead of separating why not explore every possible means to reconcile? Instead of separating, why not give love a second chance and why not ask Jesus to heal the marriage?

Jesus said to his disciples: a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Mark 10:7). So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” Then he said again: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery (Mark 10:11-12).”

The Sacrament of Marriage is one of the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church, the first miracle made by Jesus was when he made water into wine in the wedding at Cana. The Priest that presides in the wedding ceremony does it in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus himself said it: “What God has joined together, no human being must separate (Mark 10:9).”

Are you still faithful to your marriage vows? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for May 19, Thursday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 9:41-50

Gospel: Mark 9:41-50
Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.

“Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”
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Reflection:
Are you generous to the church and those who volunteer their time for the church?  

Many find joy in giving to the church and its workers without string attached on it. If we’ll ask them why they are so generous towards the church and its workers they will  say that they just want to share what they have.

 What they don’t notice is that whatever they gave they receive it back in various forms. Such as financial blessings, good health, peace in the family and so forth. Their blessing flows like a stream that never runs out of water, this is the reward of those who are generous.

Why not try also being generous to the church and its workers? Why not be generous to anyone who needs your help and see for yourself the great blessings that will come your way? Saint Francis had said: “It is in giving that we receive.” Surely the more you are generous with what you have the more that you will be blessed by God.

Jesus said to His disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Reflection for May 18, Wednesday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 9:38-40

Gospel: Mark 9:38-40
John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”
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Reflection:
Why do some Catholics leave the church in favor of other Christian church?  If we will ask them why they left they would normally say that they felt Jesus’ presence more in their lives when the Pastor of the Christian church shared passages about Jesus in the bible.

Should we get angry with these Christian churches for taking away some of our brethren who grew bored in our church? Of course not! We should rather be more innovative in our preaching about the word of God so that the faithful will feel Jesus’ presence in their lives.

John said to Jesus: “someone is driving out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied: “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.”

We should at all times be gentle, tolerant and loving towards other Christian religions for we preach the same God. We may have our differences with them but at the end of the day we preach the same God and the same Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for May 17, Tuesday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 9:30-37

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

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest. Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
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Reflection:
Who is the greatest? Of course it’s no other than Jesus but Jesus’ greatness is shown in His humility, selflessness and in His obedience to the will of God the Father.

What is the evidence so that we can rightfully claim that we follow the greatest person who ever walked this earth?  It’s also our humility, selflessness and obedience to Jesus. The mistake of many of us who follow Jesus is we often times act without any iota of humility, selflessness and obedience.

We often times project power and arrogance and we feel that we are above all because we sense that we are close to Jesus when in fact we are not. Our closeness or intimacy with Jesus is never defined by our religious titles, ranks or position in our church. 

It’s truly defined by how we practice the greatness of Jesus through His humility, selflessness and obedience. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 16, Monday of the Seventh Week in OT; Mark 9:14-29

Gospel: Mark 9:14-29
As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. Immediately on seeing him, the whole crowd was utterly amazed. They ran up to him and greeted him. He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit. Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.” He said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” They brought the boy to him. And when he saw him, the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions. As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around and foam at the mouth. Then he questioned his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” He replied, “Since childhood. It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!” Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out. He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!” But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up. When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private, “Why could we not drive the spirit out?” He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”
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Reflection:
How strong is your faith in Jesus?

In the gospel, a boy was possessed by an evil spirit, his father asked the disciples for help but they were unable to drive it out. Then the father saw Jesus who just came from the mountain. The father asked for help, he told Jesus: “I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”

 Jesus said to them in reply, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Jesus was quite exasperated with his disciples because they were not able to drive out the evil spirit.

Jesus was also frustrated with the Father because he told him: “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

Jesus was frustrated with both the disciples and the father of the boy the reason behind was their lack of faith! If only the disciples had faith they could have easily drove out the evil spirit but they had weak faith.

Are we not like the father and the disciples once in a while? We petition God to grant us our prayers yet we easily get impatient when He doesn’t reply immediately. And the reason for this impatience is our lack of faith.

Let us continue to bear in mind this words of Jesus: “ Everything is possible to one who has faith.” – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Reflection for Sunday May 15, Solemnity of Pentecost; John 20:19-23

Gospel: John 20:19-23
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”
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Reflection:
Are you aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life? And if you are aware of its abiding presence, does the Holy Spirit makes a difference in your life and do you allow it to move in your life?

There is story about a man who was walking with the Lord on the beach. When things were ok he noticed two sets of footprints one was his and the other was God’s footprints but when he had problems he noticed that there was only one set of footprints.

So he asked the Lord: why is it when I needed you the most you were not there for me? The Lord said to him I was there all along with you through the Holy Spirit. I never left you. When you saw a single set of footprints in the sand it was actually the Holy Spirit carrying you and seeing you though your problems.

Awareness of the Holy Sprit’s presence in our lives is something personal that God gives us. It’s actually a gift that God has given us when we were Baptized and Confirmed and since then it has been with us walking with us side by side. But sometimes we don’t feel his abiding presence; the reason behind is our sinfulness and lack of faith.

When we sin we obstruct its presence in us, if were lacking in faith we disallow him to make a positive impact in our life. Thus, it’s actually us who disallow the Holy Spirit to move within us.  

In the gospel passage for this Sunday, the apostles were in the upper room the doors were locked because they were hiding from the Jews who were after them. Then suddenly out of nowhere Jesus appeared to them and said: Peace be with you, Jesus said this twice and after a while he said these very profound words that would be one of the cornerstones of the Sacrament of Confession “Receive the Holy Spirit Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

The apostles are represented now by our Priests and Bishops, they have the sole faculty to forgive us of our sins. Therefore, if you want to fully feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. You need to humbly submit yourself to the Sacrament of Confession.

To you who's reading this. I pray that you will humbly submit yourself to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for May 14, Saturday Saint Matthias, Apostle; John 15:9-17

Gospel: John 15:9-17
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
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Reflection:
A newlywed couple promised to bring to their graves their marriage vows:  For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part, they said. But the irony is, after having one child and being together for two years they separated already. What happened to their promise of undying love for each other? What will happen to their only child?

Nowadays, many of us have a very shallow understanding of love, it’s not anymore undying love or sacrificial love. But love based on convenience, love based on what I can have and what I can possess. The word love has been stripped of its real value. This is the reason why we see married couples flirting with their officemates and friends just to vent out their lust and immoral desire for each other.  

This is the distressing reality right now that’s why we find young couples even middle-aged couples separating. For the self-serving reason that they are not anymore happy with their marriage. Are they really not happy in their marriage or they just want to satisfy their own selfish and immoral desires?

Jesus in the gospel commands us to love one another. This love is not based on selfish needs, neither based on convenience. This love is anchored on fidelity, sacrifice, self-giving and trust. This is the reason why the love of Jesus for us is most appropriate to incorporate in our married lives. If we have the love of Jesus will stay with our marriage no matter what and we will pray to Jesus for guidance and enlightenment.

Let us remember that Jesus doesn’t give-up on us. He keeps on loving us. He keeps on knocking in our hearts no matter how wayward or sinful we are. – Marino J. Dasmarinas