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, July 31, 2016

Reflection for Monday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor; Matthew 14:13-21

Gospel: Matthew 14:13-21
When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” He said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over— twelve wicker baskets full. Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
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Do you believe that Jesus loves you dearly no matter who you are and no matter the sins that you’ve committed?

Jesus’ love for the ordinary people, those who rest their future in Him is unfathomable and it is very evident in this gospel.

The disciples were already worried because there were so many people who were following Jesus and it was already getting late in the night and there was no available food for them. So they said to Jesus: , “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves (Matthew 14:16).”

 The people whom the disciples wanted to dismiss were those who’d been following Jesus some were the very people whom Jesus’ cured. So Jesus said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves (Matthew 14:16).”

The disciples were baffled! Where would they get the food for these multitudes of people? They temporarily forgot or they’ve already taken for granted that they were with Jesus. Who’d been performing miracles left and right for those who had been following Him.

Perhaps, since Jesus was with them daily they’ve already treated Him as one of the guys, just an ordinary mortal. They’ve forgotten that Jesus is the Messiah and He is very capable of feeding the hundreds of people with them.

This too happens to us: sometimes we take Jesus for granted that we don’t take Him seriously and the teachings of our catholic faith. Sometimes we don’t even care it we attend Mass or not. Sometimes we just attend Sunday Mass out of obligation not out of love and devotion for Jesus.

Like the disciples we perhaps forget that Jesus is our God who’s capable of making a big difference in our lives. We perhaps forget that Jesus loves us no matter who we are and no matter the sins that we’ve committed. 

How's your relationship with Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reflection for Sunday July 31, Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:13-21

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

Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’ And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”’ But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”
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A rich woman unexpectedly died without leaving behind a last will and testament. Since each one of the her siblings wanted to have the biggest share of the wealth. the siblings were in a dilemma on how they would divide her enormous wealth. Therefore the once strong and loving sibling relationship became divided and distant and the reason behind was their greed for material wealth.

There are people who feel secure with material wealth as if it could save them from the certainty of death. There are people who think that because they have material wealth they can now buy even the honor of their fellowmen. These are all false notions for the reason that material wealth is temporary and it is not the be all and end all of life.

Material wealth by itself is not bad because this can sustain our life in this world. This can also be our instrument in spreading the love and mercy of God, for example; we help somebody in need using our material wealth which is surely not bad. Material wealth becomes evil when we allow it to possess and dictate upon us.

In the gospel Jesus tells us that life is not about material possession. If life is not about material possession what is life all about? Life is about God! If we have all the material wealth in this world yet we don’t have God in our life our life is still empty and barren.

This is for the simple reason that material wealth can be swiftly taken from us anytime. And it surely cannot bring us to heaven when our time of departure in this world comes. On the other hand if we choose to have God, God will be with us until heaven.

How are you managing your material wealth? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Reflection for Saturday July 30, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 14:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”

Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse
and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
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Do you always see to it that you always have a clear conscience?

Guilt of conscience is the worst enemy that we can ever have because we don’t see it yet it keeps on bothering us.

When King Herod heard of Jesus he thought that John has been raised from the dead. Why was he thinking of John? Because he was the one responsible for John’s undeserved death, the injustice that he did to John was perpetually bothering him.  

It had been haunting him for the longest time, that’s why upon hearing of the reputation of Jesus he became so afraid because he thought that Jesus was John.

The wrongs that we’ve done in the past will hang around our necks like an albatross. We would be reminded of it every now and then unless we make a positive action to heal it.

Let us avoid doing anything that will hurt anyone, let us always do good and let us always be humble and peaceful. And if ever we offend or hurt the feelings of someone let us be quick to  apologize. -  Marino  J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Reflection for Friday July 29, Saint Martha; John 11:19-27

Gospel: John 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.”  Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
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What compelled Martha to meet Jesus while HE was on HIS way to their house? It was her faith.

Martha was in grief because of the death of her brother Lazarus. But when she heard that Jesus was going to their house to comfort them. Her grief was immediately replaced by hope for Martha has deep faith in Jesus and being their close friend Martha also knew Jesus very well.

What do we do when we are sorrowful and in distress? Don’t we also run to Jesus? Of course we also run to Jesus, the energy that compels us to go to HIM is fueled by our deep faith, hope and friendship with Jesus. We are very blessed because we have this deep relationship with Jesus for we know where to go when we are in distress with the many trials of this world.

But how about those who do not know Jesus deeply or those who do not know Jesus? Where will they go when they encounter trials? They may never go to Jesus, instead they may wallow in self-pity, they may drown themselves with their vices for temporal alleviation of their distress.

This is where we must come-in and illuminate those who do not know Jesus with HIS light. We must have the courage to share Jesus and our faith so that those who are in distress will now go to Jesus for hope and salvation.

Our faith in Jesus must not be an exclusive faith that is only limited to ourselves. It must always be an inclusive faith so that others too may feel the love, healing, hope and friendship of Jesus.

Is your faith in Jesus an exclusive or inclusive faith? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday July 28, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:47-53

Gospel: Matthew 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples:“The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.” When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
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A middle aged man was often wondering as to where would he end up when he dies, he often ask himself: Would I end-up in heaven or hell? One night he had a dream he heard the booming voice of God which told him that he must turn a new leaf and completely repent from all the sins that he had committed otherwise he will surely be in hell.

In the gospel Jesus mentioned that at the end of age there shall be separation between the righteous and the wicked. The wicked will be thrown into the fiery furnace where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth and this is actually a very frightening scenario.

 But Jesus is a God of love and forgiveness he will do everything for us not to be in that fiery place. That’s why He sends people to us, He creates situation for us to walk away from our sinfulness.

However, we are still in-charge of our destiny, we have the freedom if we walk away from sin or we stay with sin. If we walk away from sin we will be freeing ourselves from the enslavement of the devil. If we continue to sin we should be prepared for the fiery consequence that may befall us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday July 27, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:44-46

Gospel: Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
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What are you willing to give up for Jesus?

A lady in her late 20’ was working in a high paying job in a bank. Her parents thought that she was already settled in her job until she’ll have a family of her own and eventually retire.

They suddenly had the shock of their lives when she told them that she would resign from her job and enter a convent to be a nun. After a few months she resigned and entered the convent. Years passed by until she became a full pledge member of a congregation of nuns. Amidst the secular life that she was in, the lady left everything to follow Jesus in her vocation.

In the gospel, Jesus gave the disciples two parables about the kingdom of heaven. The first one was the parable of the treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. The second one was the parable of the merchant who was searching for fine pearls. When he found the pearl of great price, he sold everything that he has and buys it.”

In both instances the individuals involved left everything they have and sought  the kingdom of heaven. It was an easy decision for them to make because they saw the hidden splendor of God’s kingdom.

The trappings of this material world often times present itself as the doorway to our happiness. We chase it even at the cost of our honor and dignity and after we catch up with it we find out that happiness does not reside there. We end up still looking for that elusive happiness and contentment in life.

The big mistake of most of us is that we equate our happiness and contentment with the material things of this world. True happiness, contentment and peace of mind can only be found in God. For He is our hidden treasure; He is our pearl of exceptional quality. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday July 26, Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin; Matthew 13:36-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
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A sinful man suddenly died he was therefore immediately ushered by the devil to his fiery kingdom. The sinful man was wailing and resisting his instant enrolment to Satan’s den but he couldn’t do anything to change his destiny.

If only he repented from his sinfulness, if only he listened to the advice of his relatives to change for the better and embrace God. He could have not ended in hell, but he never listened.

There are two opposing powers in this world one is God and the other is the evil one. God sows good seeds to us the evil one sow’s weeds. From our conception, birth until our death God has only one desire for us and that is to sow His good seeds. 

However, as we mature the evil one will try to overpower us with his many inducements. Which if we bite would only result to our perdition and safe passage to his horrifying kingdom.

Let us hate sin or any action that will make us sin, let us hate the devil and his countless enticements. Let us rather embrace God and follow the way of Jesus no matter how hard. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reflection for Monday July 25, Saint James, Apostle; Matthew 20:20-28

Gospel: Matthew 20:20-28
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered him, “Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom.” Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, 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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Who is an exemplary leader?

An exemplary leader leads by example, he does not aspire to that position of leadership to be popular, to be seen and to give orders while he/she is enjoying the trappings of his position. He ascends to that position of leadership because he wants to be a person for others and to serve even at the cost of his life: And this is Jesus.

In the gospel today we see a mother asking a favor from Jesus (if her two sons could seat beside Jesus) but the mother has no full comprehension of the earthly destiny that awaits Jesus. If only she knew she would not have asked Jesus that favor.

Why is is that many are attracted to serve in the serve church?  They want to serve because they thought that it’s an opportunity for them to be seen, to be on the spotlight. Thus, after they are given their work they have this realization that this is not what they wanted to do because it involves sacrifice and humility. And for obvious reasons they don’t last in their ministry.

To serve in the church alongside Jesus always involves sacrifice and humility. You don’t want to serve because you want influence and power. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Reflection for Sunday July 24, Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:1-13

Gospel: Luke 11:1-13
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test."

And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him, and he says in reply from within 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.' I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
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Can we live life without prayer? No we cannot live life without prayer because prayer sustains life without prayer there would be no life. This is the guiding principle of those who are prayerful and those who have developed a profound relationship with God.

On the other hand many would also say that there’s life even without prayer.  This would be for those who do not pray and who seldom pray. But if we look at the lives of those who do not pray they may seem externally ok most especially if they have material riches.

However, deep inside them they may not be ok they may be yearning for that something that could give them peace and contentment. And this peace and contentment they can only have when they learn how to pray.

So we learn now the importance of prayer in a person’s life. But why do we need to pray? Because we need God, that’s why we need to pray and we recognize the primacy of God over anything else in this world. 

In the gospel, Jesus presents to us the importance of prayer in one’s life. That prayer should be simple, with a heart and persistent. Why? For the reason that God listens more to those who pray with simplicity, with a heart and with persistence.

Let us therefore have a prayerful life because we communicate with God when we pray. This is where we open our whole being to God and in the process we also listen to God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas.

Reflection for Saturday July 23, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-30

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from? He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”
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Do you believe in evil possession?

I’ve watched a movie about a priest who performed an exorcism rite to a lady possessed by the devil. After hours of struggle the priest was able to cure the possessed lady and he drove away the devil from her. Following a few days the priest manifested signs of being possessed and it turned out that the devil whom he banished from the lady silently crept into him. The priest went through the same exorcism rite and was eventually freed from the possession of the devil.    

The devil is a reality it is always around us waiting for the perfect moment to possess us it may not be anymore like a diabolical possession. He may not anymore appear like a Diablo. For it will be very obvious already often times the devil stealthy hides beneath lustful intentions, ego trip, the absence of humility, greed for money and power, it always there ever ready to temp us to commit sin.

The weeds mentioned in the gospel parable are the many temptations that the devil sows in our way. It is always there being dangled before us. Some of us succumb to these many temptations and we naturally sin. But even if we sin God will not immediately condemn us to eternal damnation perhaps self-righteous people will condemn us right away but God will not. 

God will surely be merciful and patient with us sinners He will be there waiting for us to turn our backs from our sinful ways. God’s love and forbearance toward us is immeasurable He will give us countless opportunities for us to mend our sinful ways.

Let us therefore take advantage of these chances for renewal given to us by God before it’s too late. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Reflection for Friday July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene; John 20:1-2, 11-18

Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” She thought it was the gardener and said to him, “Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni,” which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
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Do you agree that you are a sinner?

All of us are like Mary Magdalene for like her we too are sinners. Nevertheless, we too are always being called by Jesus to conversion and to truly follow Him for the rest of our life.

But unlike Mary Magdalene who was compliant to Jesus call for her to repent. We oftentimes are not; we follow the many deceiving dictates of this world rather than follow the desire of Jesus for us.

What would we gain if we follow the many sinful dictates of this world? Nothing but emptiness and sin, has our cravings for the things of this world gave us peace? This world will never give us peace and contentment only Jesus will give it to us.

What if like Mary Magdalene we respond to Jesus’ call and truthfully follow Him for the rest of our lives? We will have a foretaste of heaven while we are still in this world. What if we are like Mary Magdalene who never gave up on searching for the risen Christ until she found Him? We will have peace, serenity and contentment in our life.

Like Saint Mary Magdalene let us also search for Jesus until we find Him and when we find Him let us continue to thirst for Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday July 21, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:10-17

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?” He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,  you shall indeed look but never see. Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.

“But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
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A young man wanted to serve as a sacristan on their parish church but he also had second thoughts. For the reason that he was told by his father to reconsider his desire because there are intrigues and other issues in the church.

It’s true that problems such as: backstabbing, rumor mongers, egocentric and control freak personalities exist in the church. But these characters are not even a tiny fraction of the whole church.

To have that felling of serving in the church is like to discern a parable it is only given to those who are called. However, not all who are called are chosen by God and not all who are chosen stay forever to serve. Why? For the simple reason that God has given us also the freewill to choose. It is therefore upon us to digest this offer of Jesus.

The gift of understanding that there’s more to life than money, power and material things are also like discerning a parable by God. Many of us think that if we have money and power we would automatically be happy. But it doesn’t work that way, money  and power will never make us happy and it will never give us contentment.

Therefore, consider yourself fortunate when you’re able to discern the parables of Jesus and pursue it.  You’re also spiritually privileged if you’re able to discern that a well lived life is to be with Jesus and not with the temporal things of this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday July 20, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Do you reflect on the parables of Jesus?

Jesus often gives parables to His disciples for them to have something to reflect and think about. These parables are also for us to reflect and discover the lesson that it tries to convey to us.

The sower is actually God, the seeds that He sowed were His teachings and the environments which the seed fell are us. Obviously the first three environments on which the seeds fell were not ideal because the seeds did not grew up as it should be.

We become the first three environments when we intentionally turn a deaf ear to God’s teachings. No matter how much God wants us to know more about Him if we are not willing to listen He cannot do anything about it. He will not be able to take root and grow in our hearts.

The last environment: the good soil is also us. This happens when we open our whole being to God’s teachings. We listen to it, we imbibed it and we live it. It grows within us and in that process we bear fruit. In bearing fruit God uses us to touch lives thus we become an instrument of His blessings for others.

The desire of God is for us to always become the good soil wherein we touch lives and make a positive difference in the lives of our fellowmen. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Reflection for Sunday July 17, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 10:38-42

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42
Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.
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What makes us anxious and what influence our worries? It’s our detachment from Jesus. When a person is detached from listening to Jesus he/she is easily overtaken by anxiousness and worries.

This doesn’t mean that if we always have our regular listening time with Jesus we would already be immune from anxiousness and worries. We would still have our own share of worries because it’s part of life. However, we will always be able to handle and manage these pressures and anxiousness of daily life for the reason that we are connected with Jesus.

Jesus obviously favored Mary’s act of listening to Him. Why? Because it's more important to listen first to Jesus than do other chores. The same is true with our relationship with Him. If we will spend more time in prayer to Jesus we will learn more from Him. And we will receive more blessings and enlightenment from Him.

If we have our regular listening and prayer time with Jesus we are always connected to the source of eternal power. Thus we will always become His useful and productive followers for the reason that we have within us the source of eternal  power none other than Jesus Himself.

Just imagine a light bulb not connected to the source of electric power? It will never be useful or it will never radiate light no matter how big the wattage. This is the same with a journey in this world bereft of connection from Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reflection for July 15, Friday Saint Bonaventure, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; Matthew 12:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to the them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
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A strict father suddenly realized that his strictness with his children was slowly creating a wall between him and his children. He carefully thought on how he could banish the wall that he himself created. So he said from now on I will not be strict anymore I would be more compassionate, approachable and merciful.

After a week the wall that created a gap between the father and his children has completely banished. The children were more open to their father and it created an ideal father and children relationship.

Mercy, understanding and openness are always higher than rigidity and strictness. Rigidity and strictness tears people apart it create walls of communication and it foment strangeness and separation. On the other hand mercy, understanding and openness brings us closer, it breaks walls and it heals wounds.

Let go therefore of your hatred, let go therefore of your pent-up emotions, let go and let the mercy of Jesus rule your heart. Let us always desire to be merciful because Jesus himself is merciful. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Reflection for July 14, Thursday of the Fifteenth Week in OT; Matthew 11:28-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
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A young man who was trying very hard to find his place in this world was at the point of surrender. He murmured to himself, “I am a total failure, in the abyss of his frustration he thought of ending his life.

Until he was advised by a friends to seek God and surrender every burdens that he have in his heart. So he went to Mass regularly and he read his bible, after a few weeks he developed a personal intimacy with Jesus and he surrendered his everything to Him.

Many of us have this tendency to allow ourselves to be eaten up  by the frenetic pace and materialism of this world. We get too busy in fact very busy because we want to satisfy our many temporal wants. But come to think of it, why are we punishing ourselves too much just to satisfy our worldly desires? Why are many of us favoring this world when what we earn from this world can actually be taken from us anytime?

In our gospel for today, Jesus invites us all to go to Him. We who are so busy with this world, we who tend to forget the primacy of God more than this world. When are we going to open our hearts to this invitation of Jesus? When we are already sick? Let us not wait for that unfortunate time to come.

Let us build a relationship with Jesus now and let us respond to His invitation now. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for July 13, Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in OT; Matthew 11:25-27

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
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What is the life of Jesus? It’s a life of simplicity, prayer and humility.

Simplicity is synonymous with humility and this is the life of Jesus, this ought to be our life too. Jesus even if He was equal with God always found time also to pray regularly to  the Father to communicate with Him, unburden to Him and praise Him. This we ought to do also.

To grow in wisdom, we need to be simple and humble. God doesn’t want self-righteous, self-centered and ego tripper personalities. Unknown to us, if we are simple and humble we are also creating a fertile environment for God to come and dwell in our hearts. Unknown to us our simplicity and humility radiates through our persona and this is felt by those whom we encounter.

As what Jesus did, it is very important that we reserve time for God to talk to Him and feel His presence in the stillness of our hearts and minds. This will strengthen our bond with God. A good point to start is to have a prayer time every morning upon waking-up.

It’s here where our minds are still fresh and not yet cluttered by the daily worries of life. The same thing at night when we are about to sleep, let us also pray and talk to God. We thank HIM for the day that HE gave us and we humbly ask HIM to be with us as we take our temporary rest at night.

If we think we don’t have yet the virtue of humility let us be patient and continue to ask the good Lord to bless us with the grace of humility. For it’s only through our humility that we will know God and HIS great plan for us.

Do you live humility and do you always find time for Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for July 12, Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in OT; Matthew 11:20-24

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the nether world. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
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Why do we sin?

We sin because we allow the devil to take control of our lives. Once the devil is in control already sinning becomes an ordinary routine. We don’t anymore have guilt of conscience, we become numb already from the criticism. We even have the temerity to be angry with those who are criticizing us.

So we enjoy sin since it brings us endless earthly gratification. Until we get caught and so we receive our due punishment. But why keep on sinning and why wait until we get caught? Why don’t we stop sinning, permanently walk away from it and embrace the unconditional love of Jesus?

In our gospel reading for today we notice Jesus reproaching the towns of Chorazin and Bethsaida. For they refused to hear God’s call for them to permanently walk away from their sinfulness.

Every now and then God will gently nudge us to remind us that there’s no good with sin. That sinning will bring us nothing but problems and misfortunes. We may enjoy the fruits of our sinfulness but this kind of enjoyment is short lived. Eventually we will be caught and be punished.

Why not walk away from sin and embrace the forgiveness, mercy and love of God? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, July 11, 2016

Reflection for July 11, Monday Saint Benedict, Abbot; Matthew 10:34-11:1

Gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus said to his Apostles: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is righteous will receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because he is a disciple–amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.”

When Jesus finished giving these commands to his Twelve disciples, he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their towns.
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What is this sword that Jesus speaks about in the gospel?

It’s the sword of righteousness! Jesus came into this world to bring the sword of righteousness and this sword of righteousness pierces anyone who stands in the way.

Man against his father? Daughter against her mother? Indeed, if anyone stands in the way even if they are our relatives we should not be afraid to speak in the name of righteousness we should not be afraid to gently voice out what we think is right no matter who gets hurt.

In the same manner that we should not be afraid to voice out our sentiments even if the person whom we are going to address has the money and power.

Sometimes we have second thoughts if we are going to speak our minds in the name of Jesus. We ought not to think twice we must have the courage to say what’s in our mind in the name of the sword of Jesus’ righteousness.

The church always speaks out its mind whenever there are issues or policies that hurt the populace. It’s not afraid to verbally rebuke anyone in power even if it creates enmity and wedge between them. Why? For the simple reason that this is the mission of the Church which Jesus founded through St. Peter. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Reflection for Sunday July 10: 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 10:25-37

Gospel: Luke 10:25-37
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read it?" He said in reply, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." He replied to him, "You have answered correctly; do this and you will live."

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Jesus replied, "A man fell victim to robbers as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead. A priest happened to be going down that road, but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. Likewise a Levite came to the place, and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side. But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him was moved with compassion at the sight. He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, 'Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back.' Which of these three, in your opinion, was neighbor to the robbers' victim?" He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy." Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."
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How can we best share the love, compassion and mercy of Jesus? It’s when we go out of our way to help someone in need. It’s when we forgive someone who’ve done us wrong. And it’s when we go out on a limb to convey that God is alive within us.

The Samaritan in our gospel even if he was an enemy  of the Jews did the unexpected when he helped the man who was robbed and in near death. He could have simply walked by just what the priest and Levite did and completely ignore that man in the throes of death.

But the Samaritan did not only stop to help the dying man he brought the dying man to a house to ensure that he would regain his wellbeing.  In other words the Samaritan showed mercy, love and compassion to the dying man who was deviously victimized robbers.

Who is this Samaritan who mirrored the qualities and character of Jesus? We don’t know. But perhaps it’s safe to conclude that this Samaritan is a true follower of Jesus. The samaritan was not a follower in name only but a follower in words and in deeds.

If we call ourselves follower of Jesus, this story of the good Samaritan should also be our own life story : we should  also be merciful, loving and compassionate. Even to those whom we think do not anymore deserve our Mercy, Love and Compassion.  

Otherwise we are just like the priest and the Levite who were both servants in the temple of God: servants in name only. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas