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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Reflection for Monday January 8, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord; Mark 1:7-11

Gospel: Mark 1:7-11
This is what John the Baptist 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.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
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Reflection:
What would you do when you’re given the opportunity to bask in the glory of your achievements? Do you point to yourself as the sole anchor of your achievements? Or do you point to Jesus as the one who is responsible for the glory and achievement that you are presently enjoying right now?

John pointed to Jesus as the one the mighty one which he is not even worthy to be compared. This is what John said about Jesus:  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 (Mark 1:7-8).”

John had the opportunity to claim the peoples’ adulation and bask in the limelight but he never did. Why? For the simple reason that John perfectly knew his role, he is only the precursor. John knew that he is not the actor which occupies the starring role.

In this feast of the Baptism of the Lord let us be reminded that we shouldn’t use the baptism that was administered by the priest to us to glorify ourselves. Or we shouldn’t use our baptism for our own self-glorification.

Whatever achievement we have or we attain in our faith life. We should always learn to point to Jesus as the anchor and the originator of our achievement. For the simple reason that everything emanates from Him and without Him in our lives we are nothing. – Marino J. Dasmarinas      

Reflection for Sunday, January 7, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord; Matthew 2:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.” Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.
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Reflection:
During Christmas time a mother with twelve grown up children was always alone in her big house.  When she was asked by her neighbor why she was alone she paused while a little bit teary eyed and she replied: “My children have their own families already.”

She further said: I used to be lonely during this time but I’m okay now because a relative introduced me to Jesus: Jesus is in my life now. I go to Mass everyday, read my bible when I’m home and reflect on the readings then I’m all right: I submit my life to Jesus.”

The mother who was abandoned by her children was obviously melancholy, who would not be? It was good that she had a relative who  introduced her to Jesus, the very same Jesus who would cure her loneliness and emptiness.

The Magi were in search for Jesus to give Him homage and to offer Jesus their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But come to think of it, was it the sole purpose why they were in desperate search of the baby Jesus?

There might have been loneliness and emptiness also in their hearts that is why they were searching for Jesus for they knew that it was only Jesus who would cure their hidden loneliness and emptiness.

In our fast moving and technology driven world today many of us are lonely and empty deep inside us. Yes, some of us may have the riches of the world such as flashy cars, fat bank accounts, beautiful houses and the like.

But deep inside us we may be longing for something that would inwardly cure our loneliness and emptiness. This something that we are longing for is no other than Jesus. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday January 6, Saturday before Epiphany; Mark 1:7-11

Gospel: Mark 1:7-11
This is what John the Baptist 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.”

It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
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Reflection:
What does baptism signify? It signifies the beginning of our faith life journey with Jesus. It also signifies our humility and our willingness to become member of the church that Jesus founded through Peter.

When we were brought to church by our parents our parents did this from their own freewill. Nobody told them to bring that newly born child to church so that it could be baptized. They did this because they want their child to become a member of the church and a certified follower of Jesus.

Unfortunately to many parents this desire for their child to become a member of the church and a follower of Jesus begins and ends with the child’s baptism. They fail to recognize that after their child’s baptism comes the responsibility to bring the child to church for Holy Mass every Sunday.  

When the child is at the right age already comes the responsibility of the parents to teach the growing child about the teachings of the catholic faith. And comes the responsibility of the parents to open their bible to the growing child so that the child could be familiar with the teachings of God.

So what happens to the child? He/she grows without any awareness about his/her responsibilities as a baptized catholic. He/she becomes a follower of this world than a follower of Jesus and the church that He founded. Would you want your child to become a follower of this world than become a follower of Jesus? Of course not!

The Baptism of the Lord is a timely reminder for all parents that their faith obligation to their child doesn’t end with his/her baptism. Baptism is only the beginning after baptism the parents are tasked to form this child about the importance of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the church in their faith life.  So that this child would eventually become a good son or daughter and a productive citizen of this world and fruitful follower of Jesus.

How are you raising your child after his/her baptism or how did your raise your children after they were baptized? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reflection for Friday January 5, Saint John Neumann, Bishop; John 1:43-51

Gospel: John 1:43-51
Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip. And Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. 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 the sky opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
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Reflection:
Do you believe that Jesus knows everything about you? Yes, Jesus knows everything about you! Your thoughts, your actions, your sinful past and your future with Him if you would choose to journey with Him for your future.  

Jesus in the gospel tells Nathanael that he knows about him even if they have just meet for the first time. This is how powerful Jesus is, He is all knowing but how come very few are following Him? This is for the reason that only a few wants to work under His vineyard.

What a paradox of life; quite a few wants to volunteer their time for the advancement of the teachings of Jesus. For what reason? For the reason that you will not earn a windfall of money under Jesus? But money is temporary, in fact it easily slips from our hands.

However, if you would choose to do work for Jesus you are already assured of life beyond this life. You are assured of His lifetime guidance, you are assured that Jesus will walk with you even under the most trying times of your life. 

Jesus is also assuring you of His unconditional love that is if you will choose Him over anything in this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for January 4, Thursday before Epiphany; John 1:35-42

Gospel: John 1:35-42
John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, "Behold, the Lamb of God." The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come, and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day. It was about four in the afternoon. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus. He first found his own brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah," which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas," which is translated Peter.
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Reflection:
A sinful man saw a poster that states: Do you want to know Jesus? If your answer is yes, you have to read the first four gospels of the new testament. Out of curiosity the sinful man followed the instruction and he read the first four gospels of the new testament. As he read it he felt an edifying feeling that he never felt before in his life. He therefore left everything that made him sin and he became a zealous follower of the Lord.

The call of Jesus comes to us in different shapes and forms. It sometimes come to us through a life altering experience. It comes to us through a friend who would invite us to church and there we become enlightened about the life of Jesus.

What is important in these Jesus experience is our willingness to walk the extra mile to be with Jesus. What does this mean? It simply means that we would be willing to leave behind everything for Jesus. Many do this and they experience a life changing conversion.

Many respond as well but they’re not willing to leave behind sin. They continue to sin even if they know that sin is not good and against the teaching of the faith and Jesus. They therefore continue to mire themselves in sin that would eventually make life miserable for them.

When the followers of John left him for Jesus, it was not an easy decision for them.  But they had a strong resolve to follow Jesus.  So they did and from being ordinary fisherman they became extra-Ordinary fishers of men.  

You may as well encounter an offer to follow Jesus. Follow Him with all your heart this simply means that you would be willing to leave sin behind. And you leave everything including your very life in the healing hands of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for January 3, Wednesday before Epiphany; John 1:29-34

Gospel: John 1:29-34
John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.” John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”
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Reflection:
When John was asked by the priest and Levites to confirm if he is the messiah he instead said: “I am not the messiah” (John 1:20). It never came to the thought of John to assume and pretend that he is the messiah. From the very start John knew his role, he knew that he was just the precursor. That’s why he said: “I must decrease and He must increase” (John 3:30).

Let us take a closer look at the life of John, he lived a simple life, he shunned publicity, he was humble, he never took credit of the things that was attributed to him. He instead always pointed to Jesus.

John is the epitome of a self-assured humble man who is content to do the role that was given to him by God. Fame, power even fortune was within his reach but he was never tempted to grab it. John is so unlike with many of us who will always take hold of every opportunity to gain credit.

By virtue of our baptism each and everyone of us especially those who know something about our faith are called by God to be like John. To let God shine at all times, and never be tempted to upend God for our own personal gains.

We must not use God for us to become popular and powerful. For true service for God and His people is not about popularity or about power. True service for God happens when we silently and humbly do our task. And we do it for the greater glory of God and not for our own glory!

John chose humility and simplicity; he chose to highlight Jesus more than himself.  Let us also choose humility and simplicity and let us also bring to light Jesus in our lives. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday January 2, Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzus, Bishops and Doctors of the Church; John 1:19-28

Gospel: John 1:19-28
This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you? He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah? And he said, “I am not. “Are you the Prophet? He answered, No. So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?”

He said:

“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord, as Isaiah the prophet said. Some Pharisees were also sent. They asked him “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet? John answered them “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize the one who is coming after me whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. This happened in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.
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Reflection:
A glass that is full of water will not anymore be able to contain the water that is being poured into it. But the glass that is half-full will still be able to accommodate water. 

This is basically the same with those who are so full of themselves they will not anymore grow in faith. For the simple reason that they think that they already know everything but those who are humble will further grow in faith.

This is for the reason that they are like the half-full glass that yearns for more water. If we want to grow in faith; we must at all times be humble because humility is the password for us to further grow in faith.

Let us start the year right by emulating the humility of John; he purposely decreased as Jesus increased. John was not publicity hungry and he shunned honor even if he richly deserved it. John instead deflected the honor being given to him in favor of Jesus.

I hope that we would be like John as well. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Friday, December 22, 2017

Reflection for Monday January 1, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary the Holy Mother of God; Luke 2:16-21

Gospel: Luke 2:16-21
The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
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Reflection:
Do you submit yourself to the will of God?

The Blessed Mother humbly submitted herself to the will of God. Thou she quietly reflected on the uncertainties and surprises that went her way. Yet in the midst of her trepidations she remained faithful to the will of God she was with Jesus from birth until the very end of His life on the cross.

As we begin our new year we will be swimming into the ocean of uncertainties and surprises. Let us be ready by being hopeful and by keeping our strong faith in our God. Let us continue to glorify and praise God and let us strive to share and deepen our faith. The Blessed Mother did these all.

The Lord wants nothing but the best for us; He desires us peace and He wishes to always be with us. Let us open our whole being to the many blessings that the Lord wants to give us. But this will only materialize if we continue to be near His presence by avoiding sin.

As we step inside this new year let us remain Hopeful and Optimistic for nothing is impossible with God. Let us make the Blessed Mother our prayer partner and our spiritual mother as we wade through the many uncertainties of 2018.  - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, December 31, Feast of The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph; Luke 2:22-40

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel." The child's father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted —and you yourself a sword will pierce— so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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Reflection:
Do you always bring your children to church for Mass? Do you present them to the Lord and say: “I offer my children to you take care of them my Lord and savior Jesus.

For the reason of our busyness and perhaps because many of us were not brought up by our parents to be always present at Mass every Sunday. We forget also to bring our children to attend Mass and we forget to introduce to them the importance of Holy Mass in their lives. if this is how we are now we must correct this.

We must first of all bring our children closer to Jesus for the reason that this is our primary duty as parents. We must introduce them to Jesus by reading and sharing to them His life in the bible and we must imbed in their minds the importance of regularly reading the bible.

What will it profit our children if they have the best material things in this world yet they don’t have in their hearts Jesus? Nothing! Just try observing the behavior of children brought up with the teachings and values of Jesus vis-a-vis children brought up with worldliness and materialism.

As Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord. Parents are also strongly encouraged to bring their children to church for Holy Mass. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Reflection for Saturday December 30, Sixth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord; Luke 2:36-40

Gospel: Luke 2:36-40
There was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
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Reflection:
Where is your Christmas centered?

Is it centered upon the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ? If it’s centered upon the coming birth of our Lord we would be able to overcome whatever problem/s that we are going through.

We all carry our own secret burdens that nobody knows except us and perhaps a few of our relatives and friends. These burdens should always bring us closer to Jesus. In fact the more burdens that we have the more that we should get closer to Jesus. And the more burdens that we have the more that we should rest it upon Him.

Let us therefore be patient for Jesus will take away and heal us of our burdens no matter how heavy it is. If he will not heal it he will certainly help us carry it.

In the gospel, the prophet Anna patiently waited with fasting and prayer for the coming birth of the savior. She was already advance in years yet she waited and never wavered. Until her patient waiting was rewarded by God through the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

You too have to patiently wait for He will soon save you and give you hope. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reflection for Friday December 29, Fifth Day within the Octave of the Nativity of the Lord; Luke 2:22-35

Gospel: Luke 2:22-35
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, the parents of Jesus took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord, and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
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Reflection:
Do you know how it feels to hope on nobody but the Lord Jesus? Simeon the man from Jerusalem certainly knew this unique feeling, he was already ready to go out if this world upon seeing the young Jesus. His hope and salvation rested on nobody but Jesus, is Jesus the Hope and Salvation of your life?

Simeon was searching for Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit he was able to find Jesus in the temple being offered to God by his parents. Do you search for Jesus in your life and do you thirst for Him? You will certainly find Jesus when you search and thirst for Him. This may sound impossible to you but this is certainly true as true as the rising of the sun in the morning.

But many of us don’t even bother to search for Jesus and we hardly have time for Jesus. So what happens to our life? We have so many fears in life; the fear of dying, the fear of sickness and we also have no more fear of sin. Simeon in our gospel reading is not fearful of anything even death! He is even ready to die already for he already found Jesus.

As you continue your journey in this world you will be going after so many worldly things such as riches, power, higher learning and so forth. All of these worldly things will not give you peace of mind these things may even disturb your mind.

For a change, why not stop going after these worldly things and thereafter begin your search for Jesus? He’s just around the bend waiting for you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Reflection for Thursday December 28, Feast of the Holy Innocents, martyrs; Matthew 2:13-18

Gospel: Matthew 2:13-18
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him." Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet: A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled, since they were no more.
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Reflection:
Do you believe in angels?

What if Joseph did not listen to the command of the angel of the Lord? The child Jesus would have been killed by Herod and his minions. But Joseph is a good and obedient man of the Lord.  So he listened and in the process he helped save the life of the baby Jesus.

Angels who act as messengers of God abound in this world and they are not the winged ones anymore. They are humans like you who would always advise you to avoid doing what is not good and sinful. Or they would advise to do good always even if others are not doing good. Therefore, you have to listen because if you will not listen you would eventually be in a problematic situation.

There is a story of a married man. Who for three long years was always advising his wife to cease her affair with her adulterous, wicked and evil married officemate. The wife did not listen to her husband’s countless counsels, she instead continuously manipulated and lied to him.

Eventually the husband laid a trap for his wife and her wicked, evil and shameless paramour. So they were caught in flagrante delicto or in the very act of sexual misconduct. Cases were filed by the husband against his wife and the wicked, evil and devious lover. Soon after the long-suffering husband took the high and difficult but honorable road by forgiving both of them. Thus, he withdrew the cases filed against them.

One afternoon, the husband visited his wife he embraced her tightly, kissed her on the forehead. And immediately the wife said to her husband: "Would you be willing to forgive me?" whimpering he said: “I have forgiven your offense already, I have forgotten it and I have thrown it into the deepest ocean so that it will not anymore haunt me for the rest of my life.”  Afterwards he slowly walked away into the sunset never to be seen by her for the rest of her life.

As Saint Joseph listened to the command of the angel of the Lord. We too have to listen to the wisdom filled advice/s being given to us by people who have nothing but concern and love for us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Wednesday December 27, Feast of Saint John, Apostle and evangelist; John 20:1a, 2-8

Gospel: John 20:1a, 2-8
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him." So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb. They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and arrived at the tomb first; he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in. When Simon Peter arrived after him, he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place. Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed.
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Reflection:
Do you have sometimes this feeling that you look for God and you hunger for Him yet you cannot find Him? Don’t give up for if you will not give up you will be able to find Him.  Yet if you want to easily find God and make Him your friend and daily companion you have to do the following:

1. Always find time to be present in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

2. Have a daily habit of prayer at least twice a day, preferably upon waking up in the morning and before retiring at night.

3. Have a daily habit of planned reading the Holy Bible: Start with the first four gospels of the New        Testament.

4. Discover the beauty of praying the Holy Rosary.

5. Have that hunger for the Sacrament of Holy Communion and Confession.

If you do all of these God would always be by your side. In the gospel, Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb of Jesus. Only to find out that He was not there anymore for He had resurrected already.

But surely it was only the physical presence of Jesus that they were missing.  Deep in their hearts Jesus was also with them for all of them were very close to Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday December 26, Saint Stephen, first martyr; Matthew 10:17-22

Gospel: Matthew 10:17-22
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”
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Reflection:
What fuels a person to give his/her life for Jesus? It’s their fidelity to the mission of Jesus and it’s their love for Jesus. For many of us it’s hard to think that there are people who are willing to give their life for Jesus. But this is the reality; there really are unsung heroes who will willingly give their life for the mission of Jesus.

Another reality of life is this, those who humbly continue the mission of Jesus are often times persecuted also. Let us think about the many martyrs of the church who shed their blood for Jesus’ mission. There are many of them some became saints and some silently went to heaven. They never wavered in their fidelity to the mission of Jesus they continued amidst the persecution.

Let us say for example, what if you will also be called to witness for Jesus inside your family? Will you take the risk to speak about the teachings of Jesus even if its unpopular to the majority of your family members?

A faithful follower will never be afraid to speak for Jesus, for to speak for Jesus teachings is always right. But we must also do it in such a way that we do it with a mindset of humility, gentleness and love. And we also have to see to it that we don’t share Jesus with a superior mindset otherwise we wouldn’t be able to successfully share Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday December 25, Christmas, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord- Day; John 1:1-18

Gospel: John 1:1-18
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory,the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. John testified to him and cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ From his fullness we have all received, grace in place of grace, because while the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side, has revealed him.
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Reflection:
Do you perceive the presence Jesus in your life? Do you feel His abiding love and care? Jesus is born into this world for you today. God so love you that He became human like you. He walked in this world and mingled with the ordinary people of His time. For what reason did God do this? The reason is no other than love, God so love us dearly that He willingly gave His only begotten son for us. 

Jesus descended into this world through Mary to let us know that He is not a distant God. To let us know that He is a God amongst us, a God who walks with us and a God who is always there for us.

If through His birth Jesus humbled Himself for us so that we may live and have life, in what way do you humble yourself before God? Are you silently doing our share to help Jesus advance His mission in this world? Do you invite others to go to church for Holy Mass so that they too would feel the love of God?      

In this day of the birth of Jesus the church is teeming with people for Holy Mass. However some or many of them don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus yet. They are there because they’ve grown with this holy tradition. If we know someone who is like them it would be noble therefore if we would gently educate them about the birth of Jesus today and the reason why He was born into this world.

Have you done something to share the real reason for this Christmas day? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, December 15, 2017

Reflection for Monday December 25: Christmas, Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord- Midnight; Luke 2:1-14

Gospel: Luke 2:1-14
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."
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Reflection:
How would you meet the birth of Jesus this midnight?

The gospel intimates to us the very simple birth of Jesus, bereft of any sign of affluence. This must also be our guide when we celebrate our Christmas; let us make it as simple as possible. Let us also see to it that we make others happy most especially the poor by sharing what we have with them. If we do this they will see the person of Christ in us; the true meaning of Christmas will become a living reality for them through us.  

Let us also see to it that we attend the midnight Mass for this is the best way to usher the birth of Jesus. The true reason of the season which is the birth of our savior is often times overcrowded by our many celebrations. Thus our celebration becomes the center of our Christmas; Jesus is now put aside in favor of these many centered celebrations.

Our Responsorial Psalm which says: Today is born our savior Christ the Lord. Typifies that we should put more premium first on the birth of Jesus and not on our many celebrations. In our first reading the prophet Isaiah signified the importance of Jesus’ birth by saying that those who walked in darkness have seen a great light and those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone. (Isaiah 9:1)

How can we see the true light of Jesus that will brighten our lives if we put first our celebrations in lieu of our presence in the Holy Mass tonight? How can we discover the true essence of Christ simple birth if we will not share what we have with the poor? Which Jesus always love to be identified with. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, December 24, Fourth Sunday of Advent; 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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Reflection:
How deep is your love for God or how profound is your love for God? Are you willing to sacrifice something of yourself for God? For example, if somehow through your conscience you hear the voice of the Holy Spirit telling you to do something good and worthy, would you be willing to do it?

Christmas is just around the bend one more day to be exact, what does the Holy Spirit telling you to do this Christmas? Surely it’s not to buy things for yourself! Surely it’s not actions that will make you personally happy! For there’s no real happiness in doing something for oneself, real and profound happiness comes out from our hearts when we do something for others. Most especially to those who cannot give back the good that we do for them.

When the Blessed Mother obeyed the will of God for her to be the mother of Jesus she sacrificed her own happiness for the will of God. The Blessed Mother put aside her own safety and honor so that she could honor the will of God for her. So that she could help bring joy and salvation to all of humanity.    

When the Blessed Mother said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Luke 1:38). There was already profound happiness in her heart for she knew that she would be doing something not for herself but for God and humanity.

For this Christmas why not try doing something different? Instead of doing it all for yourself why not do something for the people that He loved dearly? The poor and the unwanted those people who cannot give back the goodness that you will be doing for them. – Marino J. Dasmarinas