Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Friday, October 28, 2016

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

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

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”
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Reflection:
What are the beatitudes all about? The beatitudes are guidelines for living that Jesus gave to His disciples. The beatitudes deal also with humility and utter dependence upon the goodness of God. Do you live humility and do you always depend on the goodness of God?  
   
As we remember the saints today, we are being invited to take a closer look at their lives for they lived it with humility. They did what they have to do but at the end of the day they humbly submitted everything to the will of God.

The saints did not do it their way they went through the way of God thus they have to embrace the beatitudes. For example, why is the poor in spirit blessed? They are blessed because they know that their knowledge about God is something that they should not be proud of based on vocal proclamation. They acknowledge their nothingness before God thus God continuously fills them.

Those who say that they are rich in spirit are not blessed for the simple reason that they are full of themselves. And when somebody is already full of himself/herself, he/she automatically shuts himself/herself from receiving the true blessings that only emanates from God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday October 31, Thirty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 14:12-14

Luke 14:12-14
On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees. He said to the host who invited him, “When you hold a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or sisters or your relatives or your wealthy neighbors, in case they may invite you back and you have repayment. Rather, when you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; blessed indeed will you be because of their inability to repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
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Reflection:
Have you tried giving to those who cannot give back?

There is always this feeling of unexplainable happiness when you give to those who cannot give you back. For example when you give to a poor relative, a poor friend or an unknown poor just passing by you. There’s always that feeling of unfathomable happiness.

From where does this feeling of happiness comes from? It comes from God who gives back on behalf of those who cannot repay your kindness. Such how good God is, He always sees to it that the good that you do is given back to you. And when God gives back He gives back generously.

But many of us prefer to give to those who are capable of giving us back. Perhaps that’s human nature but what if we try giving to those who cannot repay our generosity? The moment we do it then we see how good God really is.

The gospel for today invites us to reflect on the motives of our giving. Do we give because we expect something in return? Or we give because we find unfathomable joy in giving especially to those who cannot reciprocate our generosity.

Every acts of goodness that we do most especially to those who are poor are generously rewarded by God in manifold way. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reflection for Sunday October 30, Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 19:1-10

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

Yes, Zacchaeus is an ambitious man, he ambitioned to become wealthy no matter what it takes. And with the help of his job as a tax collector his ambition eventually became a reality. He did not mind dirtying his hands with corrupted money just to become rich.  

Considering that he was wealthy and almost had every worldly things that he could ask for, what moved Zacchaeus to seek Jesus? Perhaps, after enjoying all the trappings of dirty wealth and influence. Zacchaeus was still empty deep inside him, he was still yearning for that something that would fill his inner longing for peace and contentment.  

Many of us are like Zacchaeus, we chase wealth and power. We don’t even mind if we would be stepping on others toes just to achieve what we want.  This is for the reason that we think that we will become happy and satisfied once we become wealthy.

 But the more that we become wealthy and powerful the more that we are not able to sleep. The more that we will not have peace of mind and this is principally caused by our greed for wealth and power.

On the external Zacchaeus was a picture of wealth and power. But deep inside he was crumbling primarily brought by his lack of peace of mind. Until he heard about Jesus and from thereon he promised himself to look for Him.

And when he found Jesus, he chased him with all of his might. He did not mind if he would wade through a sea of humanity and he did not mind either if he would climb a sycamore tree to get His attention. For he knew that it is only Jesus who can give him peace, contentment and serenity.

How about you are you still busy chasing after wealth? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reflection for Saturday October 29, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 14:1, 7-11

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

He told a parable to those who had been invited, noticing how they were choosing the places of honor at the table. “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, go and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, ‘My friend, move up to a higher position.’ Then you will enjoy the esteem of your companions at the table. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
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Reflection:
What can humility do to your life? Among many other things humility can give you peace and contentment. With humility you can also win over your adversaries so that they will become your friends.

There is a story of a husband who was always critical of his wife in whatever she does. She would always dictate on his wife and would shout at her whenever he commits a mistake. After many years of being together the wife had already enough of the dominating behavior of her husband. She therefore finally decided to silently walk away from her husband.   

Many of us are afraid to imbibe humility because we are afraid that we would be dominated. But humility doesn’t work that way, humility is to purposely decrease in the eyes of men and let God’s exaltation come to us at His own appointed time.

For example if the situation calls for us to say yes and follow lawful orders by all means we have to say yes and follow. Thus, we have to do the task that is given to us with utmost competence.  We give it our all until we are able to achieve what is expected of us.  

There is always a reward that accompanies humility and that is honor and exaltation from God. Honor and exaltation that will be given to you when you least expect it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

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

Luke 6:12-16
Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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Reflection:
Would you be willing to respond to Jesus’ call to spread the good news? You may say, I have not studied about the catholic faith thus I have nothing to share so, I will not respond.

The twelve apostles were ordinary men called by Jesus for an extraordinary mission. Majority lived ordinary lives and have not studied yet they responded to Jesus call. There was a common denominator that bonded them together and that was the desire to freely respond to Jesus’ call.

If you respond to Jesus’ call your life would be more meaningful for the simple reason that you will not exist for yourself anymore. You will not be touching lives; you will become salt and light in the lives of others. You certainly will not become rich for the simple reason that Jesus did not call you to be rich, what is riches anyway when it can fly away from our hands anytime? Jesus is calling you so that you could bear fruit and touch more lives.

Should you respond just like the twelve apostles? Of course you should never worry of the material things for God will provide for you. Respond and abandon yourself to Jesus and see the unfolding of events that will marvellously show the infinite goodness of God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reflection for Thursday October 27, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:31-35

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

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
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Reflection:
What if Jesus allowed fear to grow in His heart? There would be no salvation for all of humanity, but Jesus faced His fears and accomplished His mission by dying on the cross.

What can we learn from this courageous act of Jesus? We also must learn to face our fears, many of us are not able to evangelize because of fear. Fear that no one will listen to us, fear that we might be rebuked and we have many more unfounded fears. We fear for the simple reason that we allow it to live in our hearts. But once we don’t give a haven for fear we now become successful missioners for Christ Jesus.

The key to become successful missioners for Christ is to defeat fear with faith. But human as we are we often times succumb to fear most especially if we are in the line of fire. If we have this mindset what will happen now to the propagation of the faith that was started by Jesus?    

If Jesus, the apostles and the saints allowed fear to conquer them we have no Christian faith to hold and speak of right now. We would be pagans and faithless wanderers in this world, but we have our faith and we owe this to the courage of Christ Jesus and His followers.

Let us therefore emulate Christ, let us not fear the obstacles before us. For obstacles are meant to be conquered by the strength of our faith in Jesus. Face your fears and creatively live your Baptismal mission to evangelize.

Be courageous and never worry for the simple reason that as you do your mission for the faith Jesus will always be with you.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday October 26, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:22-30

Luke 13:22-30
Jesus passed through towns and villages, teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then will you stand outside knocking and saying, ‘Lord, open the door for us.’ He will say to you in reply, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!’ And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God and you yourselves cast out. And people will come from the east and the west and from the north and the south and will recline at table in the Kingdom of God. For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.
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Reflection:
Where would you end-up after your temporary journey in this world is already over? You actually do not know however Jesus is giving you a clue where would you be going. If you choose to follow and be faithful to Jesus you would be going to His kingdom where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and all the prophets are.

But it’s actually not easy to follow the path of Jesus because it would require you to sacrifice your very self so that you could follow Him. For example, would you be willing to give-up your wealth or even just a portion of your wealth so that others may live?

Would you be willing to sacrifice your high paying job so that you could serve the poor? Would you be willing to swallow your pride and reach-out to those whom you have antagonized? These are but a few of the many sacrifices that you have to make if you want to truly follow Jesus.

A life with Jesus is not to enjoy earthly trappings it’s rather to do away with whatever that is earthly in favor of Jesus. It’s also to discard whatever that makes you distant from Jesus. If you’re friends are pulling you farther away from Jesus, by all means leave your friends so that you could be near Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday October 25, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:18-21

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

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.
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Reflection:
Can we suppress the growth of the kingdom of God in our lives? Yes, we can suppress it that’s why many of us do not grow in faith. But as far as Jesus is concerned He surely wants us to allow the kingdom of God to grow and blossom in us so that through us others would benefit from it.

How wonderful it is if we only take time to share whatever knowledge that we have about Jesus. If we do so we surely can make a big impact in others life. By sharing Jesus we can give hope to the hopeless and we can give life to the lifeless in spirit.  

Through our baptism God plants the seed of our faith. As we grow-up we start to have an awareness of our spiritual identity. Some of us nurture this spiritual identity by thirsting for Jesus until it blossoms in our lives. Others would simply ignore this tiny seed of faith that Jesus had planted; this is perhaps the reason why some of us do not grow in faith.


If you will not nurture this seed of faith, how would it grow and how would others know through you that there’s a God who saves, a God who loves them so dearly?  - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday October 24, Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:10-17

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

Perhaps the woman who was cured by Jesus on the Sabbath day was there listening to Him. Perhaps the woman was also a follower and she has faith otherwise he would have not been cured from her sickness that has been making life very difficult for her for eighteen years.

Do we still have time to listen to Jesus as well? Many of us have no more time to follow and listen to Jesus for the simple reason that we are so busy following and listening to the dictates of this material and temporary world.

So what do they get from following the dictates of this material world? Nothing but stress and emptiness! Material riches no matter how huge will never give us contentment much less peace. Let us not be misled into following this world for it’s just like chasing the wind! We would not get anything out of it.

Like the sick woman in the gospel, let us rather choose to follow Jesus and let us choose to listen more to Jesus. This is for the simple reason that if you have the presence Jesus in your life He would always be there for you even on a Sabbath day. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Reflection for Sunday October 23, Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 18:9-14


Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity --greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
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Reflection:
Have you tried practicing the virtue of humility? When you practice humility all things will be alright with you. For example, you will not anymore harbor resentment and anger towards anyone and your day will be free from any form of stress.

You will have a positive disposition, you will be able to humbly accept whatever that may come to you even humiliation and trials no matter how severe. Your fellowmen will silently look-up to you and admire you without you noticing it.

Humility therefore is like an effective medicine that cures us: it cures us of our arrogance, our need for attention and most importantly it brings us an awareness of our own sinfulness and our need to get close to God.

In our gospel, Jesus gives us the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray. The tax collector obviously wants to live a new life, and he wants to be reconciled with God. Moreover, he obviously wants to be cured of his sinfulness that’s why he humbly submitted himself to God and God did not disappoint the tax collector.

We have everything to gain and nothing to lose if we decide to imbibe and live humility. We will have a positive disposition, we will have peace and contentment and most importantly we will gain the forgiveness of our merciful God.

Are we ready to abandon ourselves to God by humbly acknowledging our own sinfulness? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reflection for Saturday October 22, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 13:1-9

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

And he told them this parable: “There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard, and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none, he said to the gardener, ‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree but have found none. So cut it down. Why should it exhaust the soil?’ He said to him in reply, ‘Sir, leave it for this year also, and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it; it may bear fruit in the future. If not you can cut it down.’”
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Reflection:
What does sin do to us? It makes our life miserable and problematic but sin in any form does not immediately show its true color. It sugarcoats itself first as pleasure or something that would make life enjoyable for us. Then when we are deep into it already it shows its hideous identity.

Jesus through our gospel calls us to change our ways and repent from our sinfulness. Jesus has been very patient with us even if we have been offending Him for so many times. He patiently calls us everyday to permanently walk away from our sinfulness while there is still time. Let us listen to His call of repentance.

When are we going to listen? Should we wait until such time that we are already incapacitated or when we are already on our deathbeds? It might be too late already, let us listen to Him while there is still time, let us listen to Him while we are still in the pink of health. Jesus loves us so dearly that He wants us to be liberated from the enslavement of sin. This liberation will only happen if we would listen to His call of repentance. 

What if we don’t listen to Jesus call of repentance? What would happen to us? We allow ourselves to be continuously enslaved by the devil and we all know that the devil will bring us nothing but misery. Do we want our lives to be miserable? Of course not! Nobody wants to live a miserable life. Let us therefore listen to the call of Jesus for us to repent and walk away from our sinfulness.  

The Lord is always kind and merciful, the Lord is always forgiving. Let us therefore humble ourselves before Him by submitting ourselves to the healing Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday October 21, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:54-59

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

Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
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Reflection:
A philandering and irresponsible husband was always being advised by his mother to change his ways and focus his sole attention to his family. But the lure of temptation was too attractive to let go for the man so he did not listen to his mother.  After some time the limits of his wife’s patience has finally reached its boiling point.  So she and her children left Him, being alone he finally realized how irresponsible he was.

This is who many of us are we keep on sinning and hurting the feelings of those that we love. We are numb to well meaning advice because by its earthly nature sin is attractive. And the devil will keep pushing sin to us (disguised as pleasures) until it destroys us completely.

However, Jesus has a message for us in the gospel. It’s for us to completely walk away from our sinfulness before it destroys us. For the reason that the moment we allow sin to take hold of us it will destroy not only us but even those that we love dearly.

In our gospel Jesus denounced the crowd for their hypocrisy, they could predict the clouds and the weather. However they were purposely deaf to His call of repentance, aren’t many of us like them? We only listen to the dictates of this world but we shut our ears when it comes to Jesus!

 Let us listen to Jesus who always call upon us to repent because this is the right course of action to take. Jesus teachings may be unacceptable to us initially because it will entail painful purification and a change of lifestyle. But purification with Jesus always involves temporal difficulties that will eventually translate to a life of tranquillity and contentment.

Would you care to listen to Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reflection for Thursday October 20, Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 12:49-53

Luke 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
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Reflection:
There is a story of a brother who rebuked his wayward sister for not living her life properly. While in the process of reprimand the sister angrily walked out from his brother. She told him not to meddle in her life and he is already dead as far as she is concerned. By having the courage to correct a wayward behavior the brother unexpectedly created enmity and an enemy for himself.

This is the reality of a life with Jesus there would be times that we will be hated and ostracized by our fellowmen. But we must not be bothered by these temporal difficult circumstances in our lives. We must always have the courage to speak-out and correct a wayward behavior no matter what the cost because this is part of our mission as followers of Christ.

If we will not correct a wrong behavior and just go with the flow even if it’s wrong. We are then betraying Christ and sad to say, we are not also a true follower of Christ. For the simple reason that we are afraid to create an enemy for the sake of Jesus Christ.

We will always pay a worldly price that is sometimes painful to accept for the sake of our passionate discipleship for Jesus. We may even temporarily or even permanently create enemies or lose friends and even relatives for HIS sake. Let us not be afraid of having frayed relationship for the sake of our faithful disciples for Jesus.

You are already complete if you have Jesus in your life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday October 19, Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs; Luke 12:39-48

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

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

Here in our gospel Jesus tells us to be prepared for we do not know the time of His coming. Aside from being prepared Jesus gives us another responsibility none other than to share whatever we know about Him. It’s not enough for Jesus that we know Him.  He wants us to move on and do the next step and this is to share what we know about Him.

The Christian faith that God has given to us is not to be kept to ourselves. We must share and live it for it is in sharing and living our faith that we are able to completely follow Jesus. To whom we would share? Start within your family most especially your children. If you are able to successfully evangelize you will have no problem of what will happen to them when they become adults.

But the dilemma of many of us is we don’t share with our children what we know about Christ. Not because we know nothing about Jesus, many of us actually don’t have a shortage of knowledge about Jesus. In fact many of us know abundantly about Jesus but the problem is we don’t live and practice what we know about Christ and His teachings. This is one of the major reasons why we are not able to share Jesus with our children and with our friends.

We must aspire to learn more about Christ Jesus and after learning more about Him. We must live what we’ve learned from Him, thus we become prepared for His coming anytime. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Reflection for Sunday October 16, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 18:1-8


Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’” The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?
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Reflection:
Does God always answer our prayer? The gospel would tell us that He always answer our prayer. But the reality of it all is there are times that God doesn’t answer our prayers, there are times that God fails us. We don’t know the reason behind these unanswered prayers only God knows.

If God seems deaf to our prayer would it be right for us to stop kneeling in prayer before God? We need not stop praying even if we get no answers from God for the simple reason that our prayers before God gives us hope. Our prayer before God brightens a gloomy day. Our prayers tell us that amidst our life struggles there is a powerful God who is ever ready to listen notwithstanding the nature of His reply.

Regardless if God answers or not to our prayers is immaterial because our prayer is not only limited with God answering or not answering it. Our prayers before God is much bigger that the reply that we expect from Him. This is for the reason that the gift of prayer in itself is already an enormous blessing from God.

What happens to us when we pray and after we pray?  When we pray we connect with our loving and powerful God and after we pray we become hopeful and we feel relieved. Therefore, the gift of prayer that Jesus has gratuitously given us is a balm that immediately soothes our wounded and burdened beings.   

We therefore have to pray as often as we can since a life without prayer is a life without hope and a life bereft of the presence of God.

Do you have a healthy prayer life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Monday, October 10, 2016

Reflection for Wednesday October 12, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:42-46

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

Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, “Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too.” And he said, “Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.
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Reflection:
Do you live what you say? For example you will say to your children that they should live simply yet your lifestyle is not simple because you want expensive things. How will your children follow and believe what you say?

Jesus is angry with the Pharisees because many of them were full of pretension their external actions were very much different with their internal thought. They command the people to do this and that yet they themselves were not willing to do it.

What Jesus wants for the Pharisees then and for us now is to lead by example; let us mean what we say and live what we say. This is where we are often lacking, yes we go to church and yes we worship God. But do we translate these to living acts of faith?

Let us not be like the Pharisees and the scholars of the law who are very good only at giving orders. Let us be like Jesus who put into action every word and phrase that He said.

Jesus lived every word that He preached, for example Jesus preached simplicity of lifestyle, He therefore lived this simple lifestyle. Jesus preached about forgiveness and He lived His preaching of forgiveness as well.

Do you live a simple lifestyle and are you forgiving? – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Reflection for Sunday October 9, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Luke 17:11-19


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

There is a true story of an eighteen year old young man who was diagnosed with a severe sickness. His doctor told him that he needs to undergo a dangerous operation upon reaching the age of thirty five otherwise he will die. Having nothing except his faith this man relied on nobody except Jesus.

As years passed by this man eventually reached the age of thirty five yet nothing serious has happened to him neither did he go through a dangerous operation. He is still alive and in the pink of health. In gratitude for the healing that he received from Jesus he is right now silently doing his little share to advance the words of God.

Our faith in Jesus can easily heal us of any form of sickness no matter how severe. We simply have to ask Jesus with faith and He surely would give it to us. Yet in every healing that we receive from Jesus there is also that unwritten responsibility that we have to do which is to give thanks and to pay it forward in whatever means possible.  

The ten lepers who were healed by Jesus obviously had faith otherwise they would have not been healed.  But amongst the ten it was only the Samaritan who did not forget to go back to Jesus to humbly express His thanksgiving. How about the nine who were also healed, where did they go? Perhaps they went back to their old environments and resumed their life there.

Whom are we going to emulate here the nine Jews or the humble Samaritan?  The answer is no brainer we have to follow the example of the thankful and humble Samaritan.

Do you always express your humble thanksgiving to Jesus by helping those who are in need most especially the sick? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Reflection for Saturday October 8, Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:27-28

Luke 11:27-28
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
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Reflection:
Do you observe and hear the word of God?

Why is there abortion, terrorism, crime, abuse of the environment, egocentric people and so forth? Because we don’t hear and observe the word of God. There are those who listen to God’s words but they don’t live it.

Jesus is not a self-centered God same as with the Blessed Mother they don’t want honor for themselves. Truth be told, honor is the least that they want; let us look at their lives, did they run after honor? They shunned it! They simply listened to the word of God and followed it.

This is actually the cure for the chaotic world that we are in right now: To hear/read the world of God and follow it. We mustn’t not seek personal honor that only deluge our bloated egos.

We have to remember that we only become effective followers of the Lord when we model our lives with the simple and humble lives of the Jesus and Mary. Our modern and technology driven times would always dictate us to chase upon honorific titles.

To love the limelight and be the center of attention but it‘s actually nothing before God. What counts in the heart of God is our readiness to humbly hear His word and live it. Thus, we become blessed in His eyes.

Do you listen to the word of God and do you live it? – Marino J. Dasmarinas