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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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, August 27; Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:13-20

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.
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Reflection:
If Jesus will ask us the same question: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” of course all of us will say that He is Jesus the second person in the Trinity and He is Jesus the son of Joseph and Mary. These answers are what our mind will feed us.

But looking deeper into our hearts, “who is Jesus to us?” if we have a personal relationship with Jesus our answer would be: He is Jesus my savior and friend who is always there for me.

To personally know Jesus, we need to read the bible specially the first four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because it is in these four gospels that we will have an in depth knowledge of who really is Jesus. We also need to attend Holy Mass consistently because at Holy Mass Jesus is present.

The word of God is read in the liturgy of the Word and in the liturgy of the Eucharist Jesus is made present by the priest through Consecration. Upon consecration by the Priest, the ordinary bread and wine is transubstantiated to become the body and blood of Jesus.

If only we would read the bible with all our hearts and minds, if only we would be attentive and observant during Holy Mass. Carefully listening to the words of God being read by the lectors and to the gospel reading being proclaimed by the Priest. Being observant of his every movements and gestures at Mass, if we would be like that eventually the grace of the Holy Spirit would be upon us and it will be the beginning of a much profound relationship with Jesus our savior.

Among the disciples present, it was only Simon Peter who said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father (Matthew 16:16-17).

It was pure grace from God that Simon Peter knew of the true identity of Jesus. Among the many disciples why was Peter chosen? Maybe because Peter was always close to Jesus, he had that hunger to be always in His company.

When Jesus went to the mountain to be transfigured Peter was there (Matthew 17). When Jesus was walked on water peter was also there walking on water towards Jesus (Matthew 14:29). There were many more instances that tells us of the closeness of Peter with Jesus, of course Peter had his own weaknesses too but he was humble enough to admit it.

Jesus rewarded Peter by founding the Church through him: And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).” This is still the same Catholic Church where we belong right now. From Peter who is our first Pope until our present Pope: Pope Francis who is the 266th successor of Peter.

After our lifetime Jesus may ask us: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” How would we answer Jesus during that time? -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Reflection for Saturday August 26, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 23:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’ As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
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Reflection:
Should we aspire for greatness in our service for Jesus and our fellowmen? No, because the moment we aspire for greatness we are not anymore serving Jesus and our fellowmen. We are rather feeding our own egos and personal agendas.

Many of us including those who do volunteer work for the church as well as politicians fail in this aspect of true and humble servanthood. For the reason that instead of giving true service we accompany it with our own selfish motives.

Why are we offering our free time to the church? Is it purely to serve, or we have hidden motives? Same with politicians during campaign they would always offer themselves as servants, but after they’ve won we could hardly see them anymore.

Jesus is teaching us that if we truly want to serve we must be ready to forget ourselves or forget who we are. We walk our talk without complaining whatsoever. We silently do what we have to do not minding if we would be rewarded for what we do for this is what servanthood is all about.

Let us not worry if we are not cited for whatever noble undertaking that we do. God is not sleeping He sees everything and knows everything. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday August 25, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, Matthew 22:34-40

Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."
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Reflection:
A middle aged rich woman was always present in the church for worship. It was her way of showing people how she lived the commandment of loving God with all our Heart, Soul and Mind. Near the house where she lived is a community of poor people.

While the pious lady was passing by the leader of the poor community saw her and he remembered her as the lady who was always at church. So he said to himself: We will ask help from this prayerful woman for I know that she will not fail us.

He approached her and asked for her help in whatever way possible. But the supposedly pious and prayerful lady said no and she even had the temerity to scold the poor man. Obviously the woman was not true to her self- proclamation that she loves God. And obviously her love for God was a charade for how can she loved God when she ignores the poor who ask for her help.

In our gospel for this Sunday Jesus gives us the two greatest commandments: Our love for God and our love for our neighbor. We cannot separate our love for God with our love for our neighbors. These two greatest commandments are inseparable one cannot exist without the other one.

If we profess to love God with our worship; God wants this love for Him to cascade to our poor neighbor. This is always the action that God wants us to do: To love Him and our neighbor.

If we say that we love God yet we don’t love our neighbors because they incessantly disturb us. If we say that we love God yet we hate those who hurt us. Then our love for God is empty and baseless. –Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday August 24, Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle: John 1:45-51

Gospel: John 1:45-51
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth. But Nathanael said to him “Can anything good come from Nazareth? Philip said to him, “Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him. Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me? Jesus answered and said to him “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree. Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel. Jesus answered and said to him “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this. And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
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Reflection:
Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do you know me?” Why did Nathanael ask this question? This is for the reason that he did not know Jesus that well. Otherwise if he knows Jesus he would have not asked, “How do you know me?”

Jesus knows everything about us: Our deepest even darkest secrets, our thoughts and plans. Jesus knows everything and we certainly can’t hide anything from Him. If Jesus knows everything including our darkest secrets, would this mean that He will not love us anymore? Of course not!

The more hidden sins we have the more that Jesus will love us and the more that He would seek us. Why? This is for the reason that Jesus walked on this world to save us: We who are all sinners. We therefore have to repent from all of the sins that we have committed. So that we make it easy for Jesus to find us.

How are you going to repent? You have to humbly submit yourself to the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession. In this healing Sacrament you will surrender yourself to our merciful Lord by telling Him your sins. You will allow our merciful Lord to heal you of your many sins. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Reflection for Wednesday August 23, Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 20:1-16

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. And he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise.

Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’  When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage.

So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
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My Reflection:
Do you sometimes think that God is not treating you fairly? For example, you are faithful to Him and even serve Him. Yet you don’t get what you’ve been wanting to receive from Him.

The actions of God are unfathomable there are times that HIS decisions are hard for us to comprehend. But that’s how God is; HE does not think the way we think. HE doesn’t decide the way we decide. God is infinite and we are simply finite.

There are even some who would think that God is an absentee God. Because how come many corrupt people are getting richer by the day? And those who are poor are getting poorer by the day?

We will not be able to comprehend the actions of God no matter how hard we try to comprehend it, we will not! But come to think of it, who are we to question God? We are mere mortals with a very limited shelf life in this world.

Instead of questioning the mysterious actions of God in our lives, why not simply work hard,  be a good and faithful follower and trust HIM our lives? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday August 22, The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Luke 1:26-38

Gospel: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, you who enjoy God's favor! The Lord is with you.' She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, 'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favor. Look! You are to conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.'

Mary said to the angel, 'But how can this come about, since I have no knowledge of man?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you with its shadow. And so the child will be holy and will be called Son of God. And I tell you this too: your cousin Elizabeth also, in her old age, has conceived a son, and she whom people called barren is now in her sixth month, for nothing is impossible to God.'

Mary said, 'You see before you the Lord's servant, let it happen to me as you have said.' And the angel left her.
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Reflection:
Do you always submit to the wisdom of the Good Lord?

Sometimes there are situation/s in life that will disturb our peace, for example a sudden diagnoses of sickness. This kind of life event will surely bother us. But in the midst of this life disturbances let us not forget that the good Lord is always there for us. To comfort us, to give us hope and to assure us that He will always be there for us.

When the angel Gabriel appeared and greeted the Blessed Mother she was naturally concerned about it, who would not be? Perhaps the Blessed Mother told herself, Why did this angel appeared to me? What would this angel bring me; a trial that is hard for me to bear?

But the angel told the Blessed Mother that she would bear a son and His name is Jesus. The angel further said that she has nothing to worry because the Lord will take care of her. Thus, the Blessed Mother humbly accepted her fate and entrusted herself to the wisdom of God.

Whatever we are going through right now or we might go through in the future. Be it sickness or severe trial that may test our fidelity to Jesus, let us hold on to our deep faith in Jesus. For as long as we have faith there would be hope and deliverance from all of life’s challenges.

As the Blessed Mother entrusted her fate to the good Lord we too must learn to submit to God’s will for ourselves. Let us never worry for Jesus is always there for us and never will He abandon us. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday August 21, Memorial of Saint Pius X, Pope: Matthew 19:16-22

Gospel: Matthew 19:16-22
A young man approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?” He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
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Reflection:
Would you give up all your material riches for the sake of the Lord?

The young man did all of the commandments except for one, to sell all his materials treasures and give the proceeds to the poor. This was the stumbling block to his desire to truly follow Jesus. Not being able to do what Jesus wanted him, he walked away sad for he was rich.

A sad ending to a promising   story of discipleship all because of material possessions. The man failed to discern what is temporary and what is eternal. He didn’t discern that his riches were temporary and following Jesus was everlasting. If only he knew it he would have abandoned everything for the sake of following Jesus.

We are being challenged by the gospel to be more discerning than this rich young man. We are being challenged by Jesus to look deeply into our lives for the reason that we may be slaves already of this material world.

In hindsight, why is it that many of us are very much willing to become slaves of this world when all that is in this world is passing? For example, power, riches and other worldly comforts there will come a time that we will leave it behind.

There will come a time that everything that we have will not matter anymore except our relationship with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, August 20; Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 15:21-28

Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28
At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, "Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon." But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her. Jesus' disciples came and asked him, "Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us." He said in reply, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, "Lord, help me." He said in reply, "It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters." Then Jesus said to her in reply, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And the woman's daughter was healed from that hour.
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Reflection:
What is the meaning of the phrase Son of David?

The phrase Son of David means Anointed One, Messiah, Savior and Christ. Why is it that a non-Jew like the Canaanite woman knows the true identity of Jesus? The answer is this: The Canaanite woman is a believer or a follower and based on her actuations she is not just an ordinary believer she is a believer with deep faith!

Around that time Jesus was within her vicinity so she went to HIM to ask for His help for her daughter was being tormented by a demon.  She wasn’t able to immediately catch Jesus attention for she was an outsider, aside from that; she was also being despised by Jesus’ disciples. But she persisted and she never gave up until Jesus heard her pleadings.

What are the three qualities that caught Jesus attention concerning the Canaanite woman? First is her humility, second is her deep faith and third is her persistence. A person with a very high regard of herself/himself, with feeble faith and impatient would have easily walked away the moment she heard the insults from the disciples.

But she is humble, persevering and has deep faith that’s why she remained and persistently begged Jesus to cure her daughter. What is the lesson for us in this gospel episode? Jesus’ love is for everyone of us; it doesn’t even matter who we are and how big or small our sins are.

For as long as we humble ourselves before Jesus, for as long as we never give up and for as long as we continue to have faith. Jesus would always be there for us, to help us in every way possible with our problems.

Never give up on Jesus no matter the obstacles before you for He will never ever give up upon you! – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday August 19, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 19:13-15

Gospel: Matthew 19:13-15
Children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." After he placed his hands on them, he went away.
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Reflection:
In a faraway village lived two families with five children each. Family number one was a devout catholic, they always attend Holy Mass most especially during Sundays. The parents lead their children in reflecting the words of Jesus in the bible and they regularly pray the Holy Rosary. On the other hand, family number two is the complete opposite of family number one. 

Twenty years after, the children of family number one were all successful and respected in their respective communities. The children of family number two were again the opposite of the children of family number one.

Many parents today forget the primacy of God over everything that this world offers us. For example, many parents deem it important to go to malls with their children to bond. Other would go to a few days’ vacation to bond as well. Nothing is wrong with these activities for as long as God is not left out in the cold.

For example, before you go malling during Sundays why not go to church for Holy Mass first? Thus, you teach your children the primacy of God over anything in this world. Some parents would bring their children to Mass in the mall. Thus, as they grow up they will be more at home visiting the mall rather than the church.

Yet, we all know that as children grow up they would encounter their own share of problems. So, they might look for refuge in the mall and not in the church. They may look to find solace with their friends and not with Jesus.

When your family go to vacation why not visit the church first and pray as a family? If this would not be possible, why not pray as a family before leaving your house? And when you arrive to your destination pray as well and thank the Good Lord for the safe travel.

In the gospel, Jesus tells us, “Let the children come to me (Matthew 19:14)”. Why? For the simple reason that the Good Lord wants to ensure a Bright, Good and Godly future for your children. – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Reflection for Friday August 18, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 19:3-12

Gospel: Matthew 19:3-12
Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?” He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator made them male and female and said, for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate. They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery. His disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry. He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.
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Reflection:
A cohabiting millennial  couple was asked, why are you not getting married yet? They both answered, “This is the trend right now, live together first and then after a few years if we find ourselves compatible perhaps we can marry.”

Sad to say but this is the reality of our times, few are getting married yet many are cohabiting without the benefit of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Few are getting married yet many are going through premarital sex.

Why is this so? Perhaps this is influenced by the liberated mindset of the millennials today. Or perhaps this is influenced by the modernity of our time. Are modernity of time and liberated mindset to blame for the disinterest of the millennials toward the Sacrament of Matrimony? Or it’s the failure of parents to instill the sacredness of the Sacrament of Matrimony to their children?

In today’s gospel Jesus is hammering our stubborn  minds regarding the sacredness of the Sacrament of Matrimony. That marriage is not just a piece of paper that a married couple can tear apart when they so desire.

For Jesus marriage is without end and it’s not simply a contract but a covenant which involves the married couple and HIS active presence in their marriage. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Thursday August 17, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 18:21-19:1

Gospel: Matthew 18:21-19:1
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
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Reflection:
A wife was caught by her husband with another man who was her officemate. The wife asked for forgiveness and after days of contemplation the husband finally forgave his unfaithful wife. However, the husband said, I will permanently evaporate from your sight from now on.

In the gospel, Jesus talks about forgiveness not like the selective forgiveness that the husband gave to his wayward wife. Jesus forgiveness is a wholesale kind of forgiveness a forgiveness without trace of bitterness and hatred. A forgiveness that is willing to erase the dark past and replace it with bright and pastel colors for the future.

But in hindsight, are we capable of forgiving like Jesus? Perhaps many of us would say that we are not capable. For the simple reason that we are only humans and Jesus is God, we are finite and Jesus is infinite. However, if this is our argument we have to remember that He not only forgave us, Jesus even gave His very life for us.

Who is your role model when it comes to forgiveness is it Jesus, the unforgiving servant in the gospel or the husband who walked away? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, August 11, 2017

Reflection for Wednesday August 16, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 18:15-20

Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
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Reflection:
Mr. A and Mrs. B have been married for almost fifteen years. Like other marriages they also have their own share of tribulations. Ninety-five percent of it emanates from their high sense of self or pride. Whenever they quarrel it normally takes them almost a month before they reconcile all because of ego.

In the gospel reading it says: “If your brother sins against you go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.” This is not easy to do, if someone sins against us would we still be willing to go to the individual at fault just to tell him about it?

It’s quite hard to do, unless we have the virtue of Humility. The normal scenario here would be like this: You sinned against me, you therefore have to apologize to me and not me going to you to tell you that you sinned against me.

It takes great amount of humility to say: I’m sorry or to apologize. However, this is what we are called for as followers of Jesus for the simple reason that Jesus Himself is the model of humility.

You may not know it but truth be told, if you’re humble you earn the respect and admiration of everyone. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Luke 1:39-56

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

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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Reflection:
Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honor the bodily assumption of the Blessed Mother into Heaven. This dogma was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1 1950.

The gospel for today tells us that the blessed Mother stayed with her cousin Elizabeth for three months.  Why three months? Why not one month or two months instead? Three months because the Blessed Mother ensured first that she would be with her cousin Elizabeth until she gives birth to her son John. This is the reason why the Blessed Mother was with her cousin for three months.

Considering that she was also pregnant during that time Mary could have decided to just stay with her for a month. Then use the remaining two months so that she could also prepare for the birth of her son Jesus. But she chose to be with Elizabeth until she gave birth. This is how compassionate, loving and selfless with her time is the blessed Mother.

We live now in a world driven by time, for the majority of us time is gold and surely we want to use majority of our time to earn a living or money!  But the Blessed Mother is telling us to use our time not only to earn a living. We also have to use our time or even waste our time to touch lives. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Monday August 14, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr: Matthew 17:22-27

Gospel: Matthew 17:22-27
As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said. When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?” When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”
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Reflection:
To pay or not to pay the temple tax? Of course Jesus did right when He decided to pay. What if Jesus decided not to pay the temple tax? He would have been a bad example to His followers and He would have given His opponents a window of opportunity to persecute Him earlier than expected.

 For Jesus to do right is always His top priority to do wrong is never in His mind it’s always to do whatever is good and right. And we must always do good and do right also all the time.

Although we are not required to give a certain percentage of our income to the church. In hindsight this gospel invites us also to examine our generosity toward our church, how generous are we in giving to our church? For example, during Holy Mass, how generous are we during offertory? Do we give an amount that hurts our pockets or we give out from our spare or crumbs?

We must give generously for whatever we give generously to the church the Good Lord will give  back to us a hundredfold. We can never outgive God for the more that we give Him the more that we would receive from Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, August 7, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, August 13; Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 14:22-33

Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."
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Reflection:
Every Sunday morning seven years ago I would go to the house of an eighty-four years old former Extra-Ordinary Minister of the Holy Communion to give him the Body of Christ. Being sick and old he could hardly move and barely speak. However, I always notice that the moment I arrive he would encourage everyone in their house to be silent. 

Then on a small table the candle is immediately lighted after which I place my corporal and put my pyx, open it to expose the Body of Christ. While seated he would bow in reverence and quietly worship Jesus in silence as I say the prayers after which I give him the Body of Christ.

It’s always a moving experience for me as I quietly observe him how he worships Jesus with faith in silence. How he quietly desires to reverently receive the Body of Christ in silence and how Jesus creates peace and calmness in his life.

In our first reading the Lord God said to Elijah go outside the mountain for God will be passing by. There was a strong wind but God was not there. Then followed an earthquake but God was still not there subsequently fire came but God was not in the fire.  After these thundering false manifestations then came a tiny whispering sound of silence and it was God; He spoke to Elijah.

In our gospel, the boat where the disciples were being battered by the waves. Then amidst the disturbance came Jesus silently walking on the violent water. To assure them that in their fearful and unstable present environment. He is there to calm them and to assure them that everything would be all right for He is there to save them all.

We are oftentimes being tossed upside down by our worries and problems that generate fear and disturbance in our hearts.   We are being tossed by fear of losing our job, we are being disturbed by fear of sickness and death. We are being tossed by fear of getting old and there are countless more fears that may come our way.

But in the middle of all these fears and disturbances in our lives Jesus silently comes into our hearts. To assure and calm us that everything will be alright, to say to us that we need not fear. And to say to us to remain strong in your faith, for I am here to save you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Saturday August 12, Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 17:14-20

Gospel: Matthew 17:14-20
A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out? He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
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Reflection:
Jesus tells you today: “Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20).” In the midst of your many doubts Jesus is whispering to you that nothing is impossible for you for the simple reason that all things are possible for those who have faith in Him.

Faith is something that we should all strive very hard to have, can we all have faith? Isn’t faith only for the select few? Jesus already gave us faith when we were Baptized and He hoped that as we grow the faith that He gave us would grow as well.

But it did not happen to many of us because as we grow our faith was left out even forgotten. Who is to blame for this faith that was left out? But all is not lost yet because we still have the chance to call out this faith that has been left out.

All we need to do is to ask Jesus to give us once again the gift of faith that He so generously showered upon us when we were baptized. Lest we forget, faith is important in a person’s journey in this world. Without it we are simply like zombies roaming around without direction and purpose.

Prayer:
Oh Dear Jesus we humbly pray that you make alive our dormant faith. For without it we are like headless chickens running around without any direction. Give us faith so that we’ll have hope, give us faith so that we’ll have purpose and give us faith so that we would withstand whatever problems that we may encounter in this world. Amen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Reflection for Friday August 11, Saint Clare, Virgin: Matthew 16:24-28

Gospel: Matthew 16:24-28
Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay each according to his conduct. Amen, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.”
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Reflection:
What is a meaningful and well lived life? It’s a life lived for the greater glory of God not life lived for our own earthly glory. Many of us commit the mistake of living our life for the sake of this world only.

For example, we chase everything that this world offers us but when we have it already we still wonder why we are still not happy. Or worst is we end up empty and alone even if we have everything that this world could offer us! Why is this so? This is for the reason that we desired this world, what is in this world that many of us are so enslave by it?

All that we have in this world are temporary, even us who presently dwell in this world are also temporary passersby in this world. God created us not for this world but for His eternal home in heaven. Yet many of us still don’t get this that’s why we amass wealth beyond our simple needs. Many of us would even sell our very selves to the Devil so that we can have massive wealth!  

In our gospel for today Jesus clearly states that we can only discover the true meaning of life once we live our life for Him. We can never find the true meaning of our lives if we live it inside the wealth, power and glamour of this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday August 10, Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr: John 12:24-26

Gospel: John 12:24-26
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me."
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Reflection:
Do you love your life in this world?

Jesus gives us today a puzzling statement by saying: “Whoever loves his life loses it and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life (John 12:25).” How could this be?

The answer perhaps to this mystifying statement is we will have no life beyond this world: If we would love worldly life if we would love the frills of this world such as wealth, power and other worldly things.

We hate our life in this world yet preserve it for eternal life if we have Christ like behaviors such as: Humility, Selflessness, Prayerfulness, Kind heartedness and many more Christ like virtues.

Therefore, we are given two choices: To love our life in this world or hate it. Surely there would be those who would choose to love their life in this world but for what price? The problem of loving our present life for the sake of this world is we slowly close our hearts to Jesus. Yet we open it wide for the devil.

Discover the true meaning of life by being a true follower of Christ and by loving Him, discover the true meaning of life by denying yourself of the many useless excesses of this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas