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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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Reflection for Friday February 3, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 6:14-29

Gospel: Mark 6:14-29
King Herod heard about Jesus, for his fame had become widespread, and people were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.” Others were saying, “He is Elijah”; still others, “He is a prophet like any of the prophets.” But when Herod learned of it, he said, “It is John whom I beheaded. He has been raised up.” Herod was the one who had John arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married. John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Herodias harbored a grudge against him and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.

Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him. Herodias had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday, gave a banquet for his courtiers, his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee. His own daughter came in and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests. The king said to the girl, “Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you.” He even swore many things to her, “I will grant you whatever you ask of me, even to half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” Her mother replied, “The head of John the Baptist.” The girl hurried back to the king’s presence and made her request, “I want you to give me at once on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was deeply distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests he did not wish to break his word to her. So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders to bring back his head. He went off and beheaded him in the prison. He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.The girl in turn gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.
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There’s always a price attached for speaking out against wrongdoing. For example in a family setting, if a wife notices that her husband is playing around with fire. Of course the wife has to call the attention or even confront her philandering husband.

But this kind of boldness sometimes comes with a heavy price. Either there will be conflict in their marriage or it may even lead to estrangement. But even if there’s a heavy price to pay we still must speak-out otherwise we are consenting to what is wrong and immoral.      

John the Baptist paid a very heavy price for speaking-out against adultery; he was beheaded for speaking the truth. Such is the irony sometimes of life. We speak the truth yet we still suffer for doing so. But how could we correct a wrongdoing if we would not denounce it?

True followers of Jesus are those who are not afraid to speakout regardless of what the consequence. And John the Baptist is one of the best if not the best model of how it is to become a true follower of Jesus.

How would you react if there shall come a time that you pass through this kind of predicament? Should you just keep quiet and consent with what is wrong or you correct it by voicing your opinion?- Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Reflection for Thursday February 2, Presentation of the Lord; Luke 2:22-40

Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus 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 the 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 Band 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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What do you get when you worship God as a family?  It strengthens your family; it eternally imprints in the minds of your children the importance of God in their lives as they grow-up. Many families nowadays have their own bonding moments; they go on family vacation short trips mainly to bond, nothing is wrong with that for it will strengthen the unity of the family.

But we must not forget that the best bonding moment for the family is to worship God there at church for Holy Mass as a unit, as a family.  There shall be unbelievable blessing for your family if you worship God as a family, when your children grow-up they will also carry this holy tradition.

For they will also bring their own families before God to worship Him in His temple. And this beautiful tradition of family worshipping God will go on and on until your children’s children and it will go on further to your descendants.   

But of course like Mary whose heart was pierced with anguish as she saw the heart wrenching persecution and punishment of Jesus. There would also be moments of trials for your family it will be like your heart will be pierced also with pain.

However for so long as you bring your family to the church to worship God. You have nothing to worry about for when God is with your family nobody can break it not even the severest trial. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Wednesday February 1, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 6:1-6

Gospel: Mark 6:1-6
Jesus departed from there and came to his native place, accompanied by his disciples. When the sabbath came he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What kind of wisdom has been given him? What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands! Is he not the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James and Joseph and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house.” So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
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What is the feeling of a person who will be going back to the place where he spent almost thirty years of his life? Of course it’s a mix feeling of excitement and anticipation. This must have been the feeling of Jesus while He was on His way to Nazareth—His native place.

Unfortunately He got a rude welcome from His town mates, He was mocked some even took offense at Him. Perhaps they were envious of Jesus sudden fame with the masses; perhaps they could not accept that Jesus had become an eloquent and charismatic speaker and a healer. Perhaps they have a crab mentality mindset already.

As a consequence of their unbelieving attitude Jesus did not make any spectacular healings there for He was amazed at their lack of faith. Lack of faith in God could cost us a lot; for example because our faith in God is lacking. We would now trust more on ourselves more than we trust God.

And when we encounter trials we would easily resort to doing other things   such as friendship that do no good to us. His townsfolk lack of faith invites us also to examine our own faith in Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday January 31, Saint John Bosco, Priest; Mark 5:21-43

Gospel: Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea. One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live. He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” But his disciples said to Jesus, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

 While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer? Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. At that they were utterly astounded. He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.
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Sickness and death are words that we are afraid to hear much less experience. Who wants to get sick and who wants to die while in the pink of health? Nobody for we all want to enjoy life. Yet, Physical death brought about by our being human is a certainty in life nobody can get away from it. It will visit us one day; because physical death is part of the natural process of life.

There is another form of death that is more dangerous; this is called spiritual death. This is always being enticed to us by the devil. The evil one always invites us to commit sin and if we are not careful we may fall into his trap. This would result in our permanent separation from the love of God unless we are willing to humbly submit ourselves into the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession.

In the gospel a sick woman of great faith wished to touch even the tassel of Jesus clothes. For she believed that once she does it would cure her of her sickness. Therefore, while Jesus was passing her way she touched His clothes and immediately she was healed.

Jesus felt that power had gone out of Him so He asked the crowd: “Who touched my clothes?” hearing this; the woman fell down and told Him the whole truth. He said to the woman, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

In that situation there were a lot who were in contact with Jesus clothes and He never felt that power has gone out of Him. Why is it that when the sick woman touched Him he felt the loss of His power? The woman was in need of Jesus healing, she also had great faith and she knew that Jesus would heal her the moment she touch His clothes.

There will come a time that you too will be in need of Jesus healing. When that time comes never doubt just have faith. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Reflection for Monday January 30, Fourth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 5:1-20

Gospel: Mark 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
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Do you fear the devil? If you have faith in Jesus you need not fear the devil! But human as we are many of us fear the devil, and what is the reason for this fear? It’s our feeble faith in Jesus.

In the gospel there is this man violently possessed by an evil spirit he is so powerful that no one could subdue him. Perhaps the possessed man is briefly in control of himself after which he is again taken control of the evil spirit.

In his brief moment of self-control he saw Jesus from a distance and he run to Him. To shortcut this long story the man was eventually freed by Jesus from evil possession.

There are many evils that possess us nowadays: the evil of greed, lust, pride, materialism and many more evils that take control of us. Do you want to be healed from these evils? Humbly  go to Jesus and ask Him to free you from these evils.

Oftentimes we underestimate the power of Jesus to make a big positive impact in our lives; this is normally caused by our lack of faith and our lack of fidelity to His teachings. This is the main reason why many are still possessed by the many evils of this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Reflection for Sunday January 29, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:1-12a

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

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
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What is the secret to have a full and meaningful life in this world? Is it to accumulate wealth and power? Is it to have a beautiful face and body? None of these actually. The secret is to be blessed by God or to have the blessing of God.

But how are we going to attract the blessing of God? It’s by living a simple and humble life. A person who is preoccupied with chasing the offerings of this world and a person who is so full of himself will never be blessed and will never find true happiness which only God can give.

By possessing wealth and power the worldly person will be deluded to believe that he/she is already blessed. But in the long run he/she will eventually realize how much emptiness wealth and power has brought into his/her life.

Who is the ultimate giver of real blessing and happiness? It’s Jesus, He who always leads us to know God deeply. He who always lead us to have an awareness of the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. And He who initially opens the doorway of faith for us.

The eight beatitudes that Jesus gave to His disciples and to us also is a contradiction to those who are so enamored by this world.  But truth be told beneath the eight beatitudes lies true blessedness and happiness.

This we could easily discover and feel if we are humble and simple for the reason that God always shower His infinite blessings to those who are simple and humble. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Monday, January 23, 2017

Reflection for Saturday January 28, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church; Mark 4:35-41

Gospel: Mark 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing? He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still! The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
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Was Jesus only testing the faith of His disciples when He allowed them to go through severe storm? If He was, then Jesus found out that His disciples were terribly wanting in faith. Jesus calmed the violent sea storm to assure His disciples that He is in control of everything.

We too will encounter storms in our life. How would we handle these life storms? Would we allow these storms to defeat us and prevent us from living our lives? Or we continue to become calm under duress caused by these life storms?

The obvious answer is we will continue to be calm no matter how difficult the storm/s that we will be encountering. For the reason that we have Jesus in our life, we know that Jesus will take charge of every life storm that we will be encountering.

We are often times easily rattled by our life storms or problems because we are lacking in faith. If only we would learn to trust Jesus more than we trust on ourselves. If only we will not lean on our own finite understanding.

We would then be able to discover how mightily powerful Jesus is. That Jesus is more than enough to defeat any kind of life storms that we would be encountering in our lives. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday January 27, Third Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 4:26-34

Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come."

He said, "To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
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Did you know that God has scattered the seeds of faith in your heart?

Your knowledge of God always starts witha minute idea in your mind. For example, when you were young you know that there’s a God but as to who is this God and what is the role of this God in your life you don’t know yet. As you mature you nurture this idea by thinking  about God. By going to Holy Mass, by reading the scriptures and by researching about your faith in the internet.

By doing all these things the little idea that God has given you would now grow bigger until God becomes the stronghold of your life. He now becomes your safe refuge that you always look for during your times of distress.

However, not all nurture their idea about God and not all seek refuge in God. Many of us seek refuge in our vices and with our friends. Only to discover later that the refuge that they provide are short lived and passing. The only refuge that is forever is God all other refuges that others seek during their time of distress are all tied with the passing of time.

What is your part in this scheme of scattering of seeds by God? Your part is to help this seeds grow in the hearts of your fellowmen. This you can best do by sharing what you know about God, by living the teachings of God. And by encouraging others to read the scriptures and to attend Holy Mass. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Reflection for Thursday January 26, Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops; Mark 4:21-25

Gospel Mark 4:21-25
Jesus said to his disciples, "Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light. Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear." He also told them, "Take care what you hear. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you. To the one who has, more will be given; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
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What do you do after your presence in the Holy Mass? What do you do after you’ve read and reflected on the word of God? Do you keep it only to yourself?

God who continues to make a difference in your life must shine brightly within you. Not necessarily through your words but most importantly through your actions. If you read in the bible that you should be humble and forgiving. By all means be forgiving and humble.

If there’s a need for you to reach out don’t think twice. Reach out and let Jesus who always reach out shine within you. When you do things for Jesus you have to always do it with humility so that Jesus should always be seen in you.

You allow yourself to become the lampstand of Jesus when you do things with humility. As such you will shine brightly and it will be Jesus who would be highlighted and not yourself.

Many of us commit this frequent mistake of raising ourselves in the pedestal of prominence. We purposely upstage Jesus and it is our ego and our very high regard of ourselves that are seen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Reflection for Wednesday January 25, Conversion of Saint Paul, Apostle; Mark 16:15-18

Gospel Mark 16:15-18
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
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Sometimes it’s hard to believe how sinners or persecutors of Jesus become a follower of Jesus. Often times we are skeptical about them, we don’t believe that they’ve turned a new page in their lives. But nothing is impossible with Jesus; He can do miracles in our lives He can convert us to become His followers.

Today is the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul. Saul who became Paul is a former persecutor of Jesus and the church that He built. He had nothing but hatred and scorn for the church and its people until Jesus converted Him.

While he was on a journey going to Damascus he saw a blinding light and he heard a voice that asked him: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me (Acts 9:3-4)?” This encounter with Jesus on the road of Damascus was the beginning of Saul’s conversion and it culminated when he regain his sight.

Everyone of us have a dark past yet the good Lord is always there for us ever ready to convert us. What He only ask from us is our willingness to leave behind our sinful lives. So that we could start to live a new life and be an instrument of Jesus for the conversion of our fellowmen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Reflection for Tuesday January 24, Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church; Mark 3:31-35

Gospel Mark 3:31-35
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, "Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you." But he said to them in reply, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."
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A homeless boy was given shelter by a compassionate family. They treated him as a member of their family and shouldered his education until college. After finding a job he generously gave back to the family. All the love and care that they gave him he gave back a hundred times.

The family who assumed responsibility for this boy is a relative of Jesus and this poor God fearing boy is a brother of Jesus. Why? Because Jesus tells us that whoever does the will of God is His brother, sister and mother.

How about those who do not live their lives according to the commandments of Jesus?  Who do no good to the poor and in need? Are they already cut-off from Jesus? No they’re not, for the simple reason that Jesus is a merciful and forgiving God, He patiently waits for those who are misguided, those who do not show compassion and love until they find enlightenment.

The infinite mercy of Jesus is always available for us no matter who we are yet Jesus is always challenging us to do good to our fellowmen. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Reflection for Monday January 23, Third Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:22-30

Gospel Mark 3:22-30
The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin. For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.
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What comes to your mind when you hear or read about Satan? Is it the usual concept of a dark and frightening figure with horns, tail and fork?

The devil is real but it doesn’t appear as what we’ve usually conceived it to be. Often times it disguises itself using other means so that we would not be able to identify it. Satan is real, in fact he is always around us taking his time until it sees an opportunity to take control of us.

It disguises itself in the appearance of an attractive woman or an attractive man   whom we still crave to covet even if we’re already committed or married. It disguises itself through a friends who wants to bring us to sleazy clubs and other sinful places.

 It masquerades as an uncontrollable sexual desire that tries very hard to take control of us. It presents itself in the form of money that will try to enslave and control us until such time that we already make it our God.

What is the antidote to this evil one? It’s your rock solid faith and friendship with Jesus. You therefore have to know more about Jesus by reading your bible and by your frequent presence at Holy Mass. So that you could easily ward off Satan the moment he presents himself to you. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Reflection for Sunday January 22, Third Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 4:12-23

Matthew 4:12-23
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him. He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people.
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Did you know that Jesus has been calling you to follow Him?

As Jesus was walking in the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers. Simon, who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there, and saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. He called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

What is it with Jesus that prompted these four fishermen to immediately respond to His call to follow Him? They could have delayed for a few days by telling Jesus to give them a few days to think it over. But they did not they instead immediately responded.

What did they see in Jesus that made them respond immediately? They saw in Jesus someone who would immediately deliver them from all of their struggles and problems.   And they saw in Jesus a friend who would stand by them until the end.  

To respond to God’s call is not all bed of roses, it’s full of trials, as the saying goes: “To follow Jesus is always right but it is not always easy.” This is true and this is exemplified by the lives of the apostles the Martyrs and Saints of the Church.

However amidst the trials we find great comfort in the abiding presence of Jesus. Who always walks side by side with us and who never fails to deliver us from our struggles in life. We take great comfort that Jesus is always there for us forever willing to listen to our hurts, forever willing to lighten our burden no matter how heavy.

Jesus is calling you as well, would you respond? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reflection for Saturday January 21, Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr; Mark 3:20-21

Gospel Mark 3:20-21
Jesus came with his disciples into the house. Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat. When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, "He is out of his mind."
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An intelligent young man decided to enter the seminary against the will of his parents and relatives. Being poor and the only child his parents wanted him to be a doctor so that he’ll become rich and eventually properly take care of his parents. But he was adamant in his desire thus he was labelled as someone that is out of His mind by his relatives and friends.

Jesus too was called as someone that is out of his mind by his relatives because He chose to live the life of an itinerant preacher. He chose to fight for the poor and oppressed, he chose to go against some of the Jewish laws specifically the law of the Sabbath. Thus earning the ire of the powerful Jewish elite.

Be not afraid to tread the less travelled road of Jesus. Follow it for so long as you are not steeping on the toes of anyone and you’re not doing any wrong. They may oppose it now but in God’s time they surely would be enlightened and they will understand you.

The voice of God is much superior than any worldly voice. You therefore have to hear it and follow it notwithstanding the contradiction and opposition. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday January 20, Second Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:13-19

Gospel Mark 3:13-19
Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons: He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.
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Do you have regular solemn moments of reflection on your life? Solemn moment of reflections concerning your relationship with God, your family and an honest to goodness assessment of your life’s true purpose in this world.

Jesus had those solemn moments every now and then He would go to the mountain primarily to pray and commune with God. Then after His private moments in the mountain He would make important decisions. In the gospel, after going to the mountain He called and appointed the twelve apostles.   

You should also have your own private moments with God for you to reflect and know your real purpose in this fragile world. You should not allow yourself to be eaten by the frenetic pace of this world. Otherwise before you know it you are not anymore in touch  with God and God has no more say in your life.

This is very dangerous because the moment that God is not anymore in your life that’s also when the devil comes in to destroy your life. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Monday, January 16, 2017

Reflection for Thursday January 19, Second Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:7-12

Gospel Mark 3:7-12
Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, “You are the Son of God.” He warned them sternly not to make him known.
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Do you favor the powerful?

We normally converge with those who have power: Politicians, powerful government officials and healers. Nothings wrong with it for that’s our nature as humans we gravitate towards the powerful. What if they’re not in power anymore would we still gravitate towards them?

In our gospel Jesus is treated like a rock star people from all over the place were flocking to Him. For what reason? It was for his healing power. What if He had no power to heal? Of course there would be no pursuers or fans.

In the infancy of Jesus’ ministry hundreds up to thousands would follow because He had that power to heal, to speak wondrously and the like. But towards the end when He was about to be crucified the thousands evaporated like a dew in the morning.

Are we like that, we side with those who are in power but when they’re not powerful anymore we drop them like a hot potato? It should not be like that with our walk with Jesus, in good times and in bad we should always remain with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas              

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reflection for Wednesday January 18, Second Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 3:1-6

Gospel Mark 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
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Do you discriminate when you help?

To help those who are in need is for all season; it is not strictly confined nor enclosed to certain days or hours. As long as there are those who are in need of our help, then we must help by all means for this is what God wants us to do. 

We see it in the gospel today; there is this man with a withered hand but it so happen that it was a Sabbath day. Did Jesus thought of not curing this man because it is Sabbath day and His usual critics were closely monitoring Him?

No He did not! He instead called the man and said: Come up here before us and He said again: Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.

We must not be afraid to help regardless of who the person is and immaterial of the circumstances that we are in. If we have the capacity to help by all means we must help. But the reality of it all is this: Some of us help selectively, we choose the person that we would help. Many of us specially help those who can reciprocate the help that we’ve done; perhaps this is human nature.

But Jesus is challenging us through our gospel that we must transcend it and not be selective on extending our help. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday January 17, Saint Anthony, Abbot; Mark 2:23-28

Gospel Mark 2:23-28
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain. At this the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?” He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry? How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”
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What would be your stand if you are made to choose between the observance of the law or the lawful need of our fellowman? Jesus gives us a clear choice, for Him it’s always the primary need of our fellowmen. As exemplified by His mention of David who violated the Sabbath to address their need to satisfy their hunger.

Rules and laws are created to create order and to prevent chaos. But there are times that it’s disregarded for a much higher and noble purpose. If the welfare of our fellowmen is at stake their interest  must come first. This is what we must always follow and we must also not create rules to serve our own selfish ends.

For example in a family setting, parents would normally have rules for their children to follow. However, we must always be amenable to bend these rules no matter how stringent. We do this if there is a valid need or reason. And when we want to show that we love our children more than the implementation of our house rules.

Jesus is a compassionate God, He would not mind if we violate rules for so long as there is a higher and noble purpose. – Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Friday, January 13, 2017

Reflection for January 16, Monday of the Second Week in O.T; Mark 2:18-22

Gospel Mark 2:18-22
The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast? Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
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What is wineskin? Wineskin is a dried goat or sheep’s skin used as a container for wine this is perhaps the equivalent of wine bottle or wine drum today. What is the relevance of the new wineskin which represents Jesus?

By our sinfulness we become the old wine that is not fit to be poured into the new wineskin. Yet if we desire to be poured into the new wineskin we have to decide to leave behind our old sinful lives.

Thus we become new wine that is very much appropriate for the new wineskin. And the moment we are poured into this new wineskin we become secure in other words the new wineskin which is Jesus Himself becomes our security blanket.

Jesus is always offering Himself to us so that we could have a secure life in this world. What He only asks from us is to leave behind our sinfulness and that’s it, Jesus now becomes our security blanket.

Has sin done you any good? No it did no good to you and it will never do good to you! You therefore have to leave it behind so that you could journey in this world hand in hand with your new wineskin and your security blanket which is none other than Jesus. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas