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, December 12, 2017

Reflection for Saturday December 16, First day of Misa de Gallo/Simbang Gabi; John 5:33-36

Gospel: John 5:33-36
(Jesus said to the Jews) You sent emissaries to John and he testified to the truth. I do not accept testimony from a human being but I say this so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light. But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.   
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Today is the first day of Misa de Gallo or Simbang Gabi. As we go through this nine days novena Mass let us try to prepare ourselves to be worthy to the coming birth of our savior. This we could do best by having an interior renewal of ourselves, by reconciling with our enemies. And by not focusing on the material side of Christmas focusing rather on the true essence of Christmas which is the birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

Have you testified for Jesus by the way you talk and live? Have you humbly called for repentance and renewal? John humbly did all of these noble things, he was sent by God to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. Have you done something also to prepare the way for the coming birth of Jesus?

For example, if you’re a parent, have you taught your children that the true essence of Christmas is not the material gifts that they would be receiving not either the appearance of Santa Clause? Have you pointed out to your children that the essence of Christmas is about Jesus our savior?

Slowly but surely the true meaning of Christmas is being overpowered already by materialism and commercialism. In our own little way, we could be like John also if we would try to highlight the true reason for this Christmas season no other than the birth of Jesus.  

Have you done something or are you doing something to gently point out that the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday December 15, Second Week of Advent: Matthew 11:16-19

Gospel: Matthew 11:16-19
Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”
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Back when I was a child I was always excited whenever it’s Christmas season.  Not because of the forthcoming birth of Jesus but because of Santa Clause and the gifts. This is what I always looked forward to whenever its Christmas time back then. As I matured my mind was enlightened by the real meaning of Christmas it's none other than the birth of our savior Jesus.

Here in our gospel we have two important personalities that points us the true essence of Christ birth. Personality number one is John the Baptist, what does he teaches us about Christmas? For John Christmas is about preparing ourselves to the forthcoming birth of our savior Jesus Christ.

John also tells us that it’s not enough that we properly prepare ourselves. It’s also a must that we properly prepare others about the real essence of Jesus’ birth into this world. And how should we prepare? It’s to prepare with simplicity and humility because John is the epitome of simplicity and humility.

Personality number two is Jesus himself, what does Jesus tells us about Christmas? It’s OK for Jesus to celebrate Christmas with merry making for so long as we do it properly. For example, it’s Ok to have celebration during this Christmas but we must do it to honor Jesus. Not to satisfy our own egos and selves we can best do this by helping the poor because Jesus is always with them. By doing this we emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus and certainly not about you and me.

For Jesus, His forthcoming birth is also about sharing and mingling. We share whatever we could share not for our fellowmen to know that we are good Samaritans. But for them to know that along with what we share comes the message of the birth of Jesus. We also mingle with our friends and relatives during this season not solely to acquaint ourselves with what’s going on with our lives.  We mingle or we come together for the reason that we want to bring to them Jesus.

The same Jesus who is always in our hearts yesterday, today and forever. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday December 14, Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 11:11-15

Gospel: Matthew 11:11-15
Jesus said to the crowd: Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear.
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John the Baptist called for the people to repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2). John also gave his life for the sake of righteousness when he criticized King Herod for coveting Herodias the wife of his brother Philip (Matthew 14:1-12). To follow Jesus faithfully is not easy because to follow Him is tantamount to be at war with this world.

We see this in the lifestyle and behavior of John. John is the walking advertisement of humility, simplicity and righteousness. John refused to kowtow to the dictates of this world. He stood for the values and teachings of Jesus and this eventually led to his violent death.

Up to this very day the forces of Evil are still very much active. It hovers around and it will try to snatch us from the embrace of Jesus. We must never allow ourselves to be deceived by the devil for he is a walking advertisement of evil and violence. Let us always be like John who remained simple and who stood against evil even at the cost of his very life.

We only pass in this world once let us take full advantage of it by making a stand for what is right as what John the Baptist did during his time. Let us never be discouraged if the people of this world will condemn us for not embracing this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday December 13, Saint Lucy, Virgin and Martyr: 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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Are you going through a difficult stage in your life? Do you want to be refreshed? Jesus has an offer for you! In the gospel Jesus tells you this: “Come to me; you who labor and burdened by the daily grind of life.

Why does Jesus want you to go to Him? Because Jesus wants to help you carry whatever that burdens you right now. He wants to ease your pains and sufferings; Jesus wants to help you in carrying whatever that cross might be.

Respond to this call of Jesus and you will never regret making that decision. What will happen to you if you respond now? The cross that you carry will become lighter this is for the reason that Jesus will help you carry your cross.

You will have hope as bright as the morning sun. And there will be many more positive things that will happen to your life if you would respond to this offer of Jesus. Respond now and see and feel for yourself the miracle that will unfold in your life.  

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose if you would respond to this offer of Jesus.- Marino J. Dasmarinas

I humbly respond to your offer of help my Jesus.  I am burdened by the many trials of my life. Help me withstand these trials, help me ease my burdens. I humbly look to you for help my Lord for I know that you will never refuse to help me. Embrace me from now on with your merciful and compassionate love O Lord. Amen.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday December 12, Our Lady of Guadalupe Secondary Patroness of the Philippines: Matthew 18:12-14

Gospel: Matthew 18:12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: “What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
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Can you measure God’s love for you? No for God’s love is not bound by any kind of measurement or limited by time and space. God will continue to love you even if you are the most sinful person in this world.

The Parable of the lost sheep in our gospel is a showcase of this infinite love of God. Who is the man who looked for the lost sheep? He is our loving and merciful God! Who is the lost sheep that went astray?  It’s us we who are sinful and we who love sin more than God.

Nevertheless, even if we love to sin and even if we run away from the love of God. He is always there looking for us. Ever ready to forgive and forget all the sins that we have committed. Let us all be cognizant of this infinite love of God and let us also not be quick to judge our brothers and sisters who sin.

Instead of judging those who sin let us rather emulate God who looked for and reached out to the lost sheep. Instead of judging let us help them get up on their feet so that they could free themselves from the bondage of sin. There are sinners because no one is willing to reach out to them, no one is willing to pay forward the infinite love of God.

Are you quick to judge those who sin? Do you care to reach out to them so that they could feel the infinite love of God? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 8, 2017

Reflection for Monday December 11, Second Week of Advent: Luke 5:17-26

Gospel: Luke 5:17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven."

Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"– he said to the one who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."

He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, "We have seen incredible things today."
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Do you believe that Jesus would heal you whatever sickness that you may have today? The first that Jesus requires from you is faith and if you have faith healing would come subsequently. However, your faith would also require you not to sit idly and wait for the miracle to come to us.

This faith will often times require you to go the extra mile no matter how hard to reach that extra mile. The faith of the paralytic and those men who brought him to the foot of Jesus is a prime example of faith that go the extra mile.

Faith that is ever ready to endure whatever difficulties that it may encounter so long as it can achieve its goal of reaching Jesus. Do you want something from Jesus? Jesus requires you first to have faith. Faith that is persevering and faith that is ever ready to go through difficulties.

This same kind of faith was in the system of the paralytic and those who brought him to Jesus. Through this kind of faith, they were all healed of their spiritual, emotional and physical sickness. What sickness are you carrying right now? Simply have faith, faith that is persevering and faith that is willing to go the extra mile. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, December 10, Second Sunday of Advent; Mark 1:1-8

Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths." John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: "One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
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A humble man with a benevolent heart went on a mission to a place where no Christian missionary has been through. There he catechized the people, then he built a church and when the church was through. This good man went to the parish church and he inquired to the parish priest if he could visit and celebrate Mass even for once a month in the far flung community.  The priest agreed and everyone was converted to the faith. Thus, in his own little way the humble man prepared the way for the coming of the Lord for the people of the community.

On this second Sunday of Advent we reflect on how John the Baptist fulfilled with humility the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah. He preached repentance and forgiveness of sins; he prepared the way for Jesus with humility when he said: “One mightier than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” John perfectly knew that his role was to be a herald for the coming of our savior Jesus.

As Christians, this is also our role; to be messengers for Jesus with humility. To help spread the good news. To preach about repentance, forgiveness and love which Jesus so generously gave us.

We should not keep to ourselves this beautiful call for repentance we must echo this call to our friends and most specially our family members. However, this is easier said than done, for the simple reason that it’s not easy to encourage them to humbly submit themselves to the Sacrament of Confession. But if we would be like John who embraced his discipleship with humility I think we would be effective heralds of Jesus.

On this second Sunday of Advent we are therefore being challenged by the gospel to help prepare the way of the Lord and to respond to John’s call for repentance.

Have you done something to prepare the way and are you prepared to respond? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Reflection for Saturday December 9, the First Week of Advent: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8

Gospel: Matthew 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, "Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: 'The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."
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Do you hear Jesus speaking to you through this gospel? Jesus commands His disciples to spread His good news this command is for you also. Have you already creatively shared the good news about the transforming words of Jesus by how you live your life? 

Could you share Jesus without uttering a single word? Yes! By the way you live you could share Jesus. This you could do through your humility, through serving others and by living your life according to the life of Jesus.

The most powerful method of witness for Jesus and for our faith are not words the most powerful witness are our actions. Mother Teresa of Calcutta is so revered by millions from different faiths because her selfless actions towards the poor speaks volumes about her faith. Let us therefore be conscious about how we live because through this we could convert others to become followers of Jesus.

How do you live? Do you live your life according to the teachings of Jesus? Or you live your life according to the teachings of this world? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Reflection for Friday December 8, The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Solemnity: Luke 1:26-38

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" And the angel said to her in reply, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God." Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
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Why did Mary found favor with God? Among many women why was she chosen to be the mother of Jesus? This is for the reason that Mary was humble and compliant to the will of God. Mary did not say I will not submit to the will of God because I have my own will for myself Mary humbly said yes.

The Lord always chooses and uses the humble and the compliant for the realization of His plans in this world. Simply put Mary humbly submitted her own humanity to the wisdom of our all-knowing God. Like Mary do you always submit to the wisdom of God? Or you only submit when it suits you when it doesn’t suit you, you decline God’s wisdom and submit to your own will.

God’s wisdom is always for our own betterment. We may initially see it as something that is very hard to follow because we would be pulled out from our own comfort zone. But at the end we would realize that the plan of God is correct and for our own good.

Today being the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Let us reflect upon the Blessed Mother’s humility and compliance to the plan and will of God. That the plan of God is always designed for our own good. We may not understand it and it may be difficult to follow but God’s plan is always for our own good. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday December 7, Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 7:21, 24-27

Gospel: Matthew 7:21, 24-27
Jesus said to his disciples: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.

"Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined."
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Is Jesus the rock foundation of your life? If you make Him your foundation nothing can defeat you in this world not even the biggest problem that you will encounter. This is the advantage of having Jesus in your life, He is an impregnable fortress that is always ever ready to protect and defend you.

The mistake of many of us is we allow worldliness to be our rock foundation. So what happens when we encounter problems? We crumble and we are soon destroyed by the dilemmas of this world which we could have easily avoided if Jesus is our foundation.

For example, if we make power and money our life’s foundation these two will not last. Sooner or later it will evaporate from our sight. So what would happen to us? We end up broken, helpless and miserable for the simple reason that we shunned Jesus in favor of this world.

Jesus is therefore offering Himself to you! For you to make Him the gravitational center of your life. No need to worry for He will not ask you anything about your sinful past. What is important for Jesus is the here and now and your future with Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday December 6, First Week of Advent: Matthew 15:29-37

Gospel: Matthew 15:29-37
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven," they replied, "and a few fish." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.
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Do you want something from Jesus? If you would believe whatever you want from Jesus He would give you.  The crowd who were seeking Jesus with their sick in tow believed that Jesus would heal them all and so He did. After healing them Jesus saw that they were all hungry and He fed them all.

What kind of God is Jesus based on His actions in the Gospel? Jesus is a God of mercy and compassion, a God who heals the broken and hungry and a God who will never fail those who would decide to come to Him.

What is it that you are carrying in your heart right now? A huge problem? A relationship on the edge of being broken? An incurable sickness that the doctor told you? Bring it all to Jesus, ask Him to help you solve your problem.

Ask Him to restore your relationship and ask Him to heal the sickness that has been making life hard for you. The advent season is the most opportune time for you to go back to Jesus. To bare your wounded soul to Him for He surely will never fail you. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday December 5, First Week of Advent: Luke 10:21-24

Gospel: Luke 10:21-24
Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, 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 who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired 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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What do you need to do to fully grasp the grace of the Holy Spirit in your life? You need to be humble, you need to be childlike for such is the life of Jesus: full of humility and full of childlike trust.

The Holy Spirit would reveal itself to us once we become humble and childlike. Thus, the Holy Spirit will give us something that others don’t have and that is the enlightenment to discern the workings of God in our lives.

Notice the childlike excitement to be present at Mass. Observe the intense longing to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. Yet, not everyone has this gift of feeling the profound presence of God in their life. This is given free without any cost by the Holy Spirit to those who strive to dive deeper into our Catholic faith.

We impede the grace of the Holy Spirit into our lives when we trust more on our wealth instead of God. When we are self-righteous, when we are corrupt, when we curse, when we say profanities and swearwords. When we seek pornography and other forms of Sin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Reflection for Monday December 4, First Week of Advent: Matthew 8:5-11

Gospel: Matthew 8:5-11
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven."
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Do you have deep faith in the Lord?

Jesus wanted to go to the house of the centurion to personally cure the centurion’s ailing servant. But the centurion said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.” What a display of deep faith! It was already enough for the roman centurion that he talked to Jesus about his wish for his servant.

We can’t help but compare the faith of the centurion with our personal faith in Jesus. We can’t help also but compare our concern for the poor with the centurion’s concern for his servant. In both instances many of us pale in comparison for our faith in Jesus is not as strong as the centurion. And our concern for the poor is not as much as his concern for his servant.

Jesus would certainly want us to have more faith in Him and have more concern for the poor. But how can we increase of faith in Jesus? We must pray often and in our prayers we must include our desire to have an increase of faith.

Of course our desire for increase of faith must not end with our vocal prayers. We must concretely show it also through our actions of faith. For example if we desire to have something from Jesus we should show Jesus that we want it by doing something to have it. We must not lie idly and just pray, we must act, exert our best effort and let Jesus do the rest.

This is what the centurion did, he went to Jesus, he saw Jesus, he talked to Jesus and he told Jesus that he wants his ailing servant healed by Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, December 3, First Sunday of Advent; Mark 13:33-37

Gospel: Mark 13:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples: "Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come. It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch. Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'
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During the middle ages kingdoms and royalties were the ruling power. Whenever there is a threat of invasion the kingdom who is under threat would position soldiers’ miles away from its kingdom to spot the incoming enemy.

The moment they see the incoming enemy they would blow their horns or they would shout loudly to alert their kingdom’s soldiers about the coming invaders. Therefore, the soldiers would be able to prepare their war equipment to properly defend their kingdom.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent which means coming, this is a time of expectation for the coming birth of Jesus. Unlike the soldiers in the middle ages who prepared for the coming of their invaders.  Advent reminds us that we need to prepare for the coming of the savior who gave His life for our sake.

How are we preparing for His coming? Is it a preparation that involves material things? If this is so, then this is not the proper preparation.  Jesus wants us to dig deeper into our spiritual lives by focusing more our attention on Him and our relationship with Him.  

We need no material things to prepare we just need to be sacramentally prepared by humbly submitting ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. We need no material things we just need to do Corporal and Spiritual acts of mercy and this is already enough preparation for His coming.

The true meaning of Christmas is slowly being battered by materialism; try talking to children and ask them about Christmas. Chances are that they may talk about gifts and other material expectations. Try asking adults who are feeble in their faith they may not be able to identify the true meaning of Christmas. We must be watchful, alert and do something to highlight the coming birth of our savior which is slowly being eroded by commercialism and consumerism.

How are you preparing yourself for the coming birth of Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Repleksyon para sa Disyembre 3, Unang Linggo ng Adbiyento; Marcos 13:33-37

Mabuting Balita: Marcos 13:33-37
33 Mag-ingat kayo at magpuyat: hindi nga ninyo alam kung kailan ang oras. 34 Ipagpalagay natin na nangingibang bayan ang isang tao. Iniiwan niya ang kanyang bahay at ipinagkakatiwala ang lahat sa kanyang mga utusan. May kanya-kanya silang tungkulin at inutusan niyang magbantay ang bantay pinto. 35 Kaya magbantay kayo sapagkat hindi ninyo alam ang oras ng pagdating ng may-ari, kung hapon o hating-gabi o madaling araw. 36 At baka bigla siyang du-mating, at madatnan kayong natutulog. 37 Kaya sinasabi ko rin sa lahat ang sinasabi kong ito sa inyo: Magbantay.”
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Noong unang panahon kung saan ang mga kaharian at mga hari ang mga may kapangyarihan at namumuno. Pag mayroong banta ng pagsalakay ng kaaway ang mga sundalo ng kaharian ay pag babantayin sa malayong lugar mula sa kaharian para makita nila ang padating ng kaaway.

Pag nakita na nila ang padating na kaaway ay patutunugin na nila ang kanilang mga trumpeta. At sisigaw ng malakas para ito ay marinig ng mga nagtatanggol na mga sundalo ang padating na mga kaaway. Kaya makakapag handa ang mga nagtatangol na mga sundalo.

Ngayon po ay ang unang lingo ng adbiyento  na ang ibig sabihin ay pagdating. Ito po ay panahon ng paghahanda sa pagsilang ni Kristo Jesus. Ang panahon ng adbiyento ay nagpapaalala po sa atin na kailagan tayong mag handa  sa pag silang ng ating manunubos na nagbigay ng kanyang buhay para sa atin.

Paano po ba tayo naghahanda sa kanyang pagsilang? Ito po ba ay paghahanda ng mga material na bagay? Mas gusto ni Jesus na palalimin pa natin ang ating paghahanda sa pamamagitan ng pag sentro ng ating atensyon sa ating relasyon sa kanya.

Hindi po natin kailagan ang mga material na bagay mas kailagan natin ang pagpapailalim sa Sakramento ng Kumpisal. Kailagan lang natin na tumulong sa mga nangangailagan. Ang magpatawad sa mga nagkasala sa atin at ang humingi ng tawad sa mga taong nasaktan natin.

Ang tunay na kahulugan ng pasko ay ginagapi na ng materyalismo. Subukan po nating mag tanong sa mga bata at baka sabihin nila na ang pasko ay patungkol sa mga regalo. Mag tanong po tayo sa mga taong mahina ang pananampalataya baka hindi po nila masagot ang tunay na kahulugan ng pasko.

Dapat po tayo ay maging mapaghanda, alerto at gumawa ng mga bagay na mas mapapatingkad pa natin ang nalalapit na pagsilang ng ating tagapagligtas na unti unti ng tinatalo ng comersyalismo. 

Paano mo ba inihahanda ang iyong sarili sa nalalapit na pagsilang ni Jesus? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Reflection for Saturday December 2, Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:34-36

Gospel: Luke 21:34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man."
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What will happen to us if we are so much busy with our worldly activities that we forget our intimacy with God?  We become worldly beings that exist only for this temporal world thus we eventually cutoff any contact with God in favor of this world.

This is dangerously happening now for example there are countries that prohibit the saying of prayers in schools. There are countries that proudly promote abortion and other anti-life measures. We must be watchful and try every possible way to counter this anti-life and anti-Christian policies and mindset espoused by the liberal minds of today.

Where would you start? Start inside your family, bring your children to Mass, pray the Rosary and worship God as a family. Teach them the basics of our faith; teach them how to read the Bible. And read to them the words of God in the bible and reflect on it as a family.

By doing so you will be deeply implanting the roots of our faith in their young minds and they will imbibe it as they grow. Therefore, they would be able to withstand whatever worldly tribulations and temptation that may come their way. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Friday December 1, Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:29-33

Gospel: Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
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Do you have an awareness of the kingdom of God in your life?

What many of us are aware today is the kingdom of this world. Thus, we are very busy to earn for our own survival and self-gratification. We allow ourselves to be eaten by the rat race culture of this world. For example, in other countries where the presence of Jesus is almost non-existent in their people. Once they encounter major failures in their life some people don’t think twice of committing suicide.

Why is this so? Perhaps the reason behind this is they’ve already focused themselves on this world. Every aspect of their lives revolves around this world. There is no illumination of the presence of Jesus in their lives. Here lies the danger of not having God in one’s life. It’s like always the end times whenever they encounter failures/problems in their life.

We are therefore very fortunate that we know Jesus because we always have this fortress of hope where we can always hold on. Whatever personal problems that we may have and no matter how bleak the future may seem. We remain hopeful and this hope is always given to us by Jesus.

Let us therefore share the gift of Jesus with our fellowmen let us not keep this to ourselves. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday November 30, Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle: Matthew 4:18-22

Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.
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Why did Jesus call Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John? Jesus wanted these four fishermen to share in His mission. There was no promise of riches, prosperity and power yet they responded. Their motivation to respond to Jesus call is very simple they just want to serve as Jesus served. No frills no publicity, as much as possible Jesus wanted it under the radar so that no one would know.

So these four selfless men followed Jesus they left everything even their very livelihood and trusted themselves under the care of Jesus. In these four men we get a valuable lesson on how to become true servants and followers of the Lord: Follow with reckless abandon!

When you decide to follow Jesus you should be ready to leave everything for the sake of the Lord.  No looking back simply trust Him for He will take care of you. Take care of you not in the sense that you will financially and materially prosper as what many prosperity gospel preachers promote.

Take care of you for He will make you rich spiritually so that you would be able to withstand the trials and rigors of His mission.

You too are being called by the Lord to follow and trust Him. Follow where? Follow in His mission of evangelization, don’t worry about anything for He will take care of everything. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday November 29, Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:12-19

Gospel: Luke 21:12-19
(Jesus said to His disciples) Before the end happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
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Have you already suffered for faithfully following Jesus and are all of these sufferings all worth it? Every suffering that we go through for Jesus is all worth it. The people of this world will surely not agree but it’s all worth it!

If we suffer poverty for Jesus’ sake, if we are persecuted for following Jesus. And if the events in our lives are not turning out well based on worldly standards because we chose to follow Jesus. Let us not worry for someday in the great beyond we will surely receive our reward from Him.

Are all these worldly appendages worth it? It could slip out of our hands anytime, why are so many of us are so blinded by these worldly things? We covet it as if our life hinges on it. That’s why we covet these worldly things with all our might.   

However, at the end of our lives only one will matter and that’s none other than our faith faithfulness to Jesus. Strive to possess Jesus instead than obsessively striving to possess the fragile things of this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday November 28, Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:5-11

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

Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come. Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.
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Do you have fear of destructions and wars? Of course we all have these fears, we fear wars and destructions because it may be the sign of the end times. But why fear?  Jesus is telling us in our gospel today not to be terrified!

We are human beings and as such it’s natural for us to have fears in our hearts most especially when we see on TV destructions and wars. But Jesus words are more powerful than any wars and destructions combined!

In our gospel for this Tuesday Jesus mentions about destructions and wars. Jesus mentioned these words in the gospel hundreds of years ago. And what He mentioned then is actually happening right now. As you read this reflection there are many ongoing wars and destructions in many parts of the world. Are you going to tremble in fear? Of course not!   For the reason that we know deep in our hearts that there’s hope! And this hope is given to us by Jesus.

Jesus tells us not to be terrified for He is far more powerful than any wars and destructions. Therefore, what we must do is to have hope and faith in Jesus for when we have Jesus in our hearts we have nothing to fear. Even the most destructive wars and calamities we will not fear!

Do you still have fear in your heart? Surrender it all to Jesus let Him take over your life. - Marino J. Dasmarinas