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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Reflection for Monday May 1, Third Week of Easter: John 6:22-29

Gospel: John 6:22-29
22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 However, boats from Tiber'i-as came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper'na-um, seeking Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?" 26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal." 28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
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Reflection:
Do you still have time to reflect about the present state of your spiritual life? You do this just to reflect if you’re still living a life of purpose outside of the world of materialism. Many of us today don’t have time anymore to reflect about the present state of our life with Jesus. Instead what we have time for is to think on how we could earn more to assure our future in this world.

But what will happen to us if all we think about is how to ensure our future in this world? We may become people of this world that is alien to the significant role of Jesus in our lives.

As we exist in this world we must not also forget to think about our relationship with Jesus. If we are able to feed our bodies with food to make us strong and healthy. Then, it is also incumbent upon us that we nourish our hungry spirits with Jesus as often as we nourish our mortal bodies with worldly food. 

Why do we desire to follow Jesus? Is it because we want to have material prosperity? So that we can feed ourselves with the best food that this world can offer? And so that we can buy whatever we want from this world? Or we follow Jesus for the reason that we want to feed our hungry spirits?

In our gospel for today the crowd was chasing Jesus not because they want to feed their hungry spirits. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Reflection for April 30 Third Sunday of Easter; Luke 24:13-35

Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?” They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days? And he replied to them, “What sort of things? They said to him, The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see. And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over. So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us? So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon! Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
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Reflection:
A husband was always being urged by his wife to join his family to attend Sunday Mass. The husband would always say, I don’t want to go because I don’t understand what’s going on at Mass and I am also busy with other things.

His wife told him, don’t you know that you always have a personal encounter with Jesus whenever you are at Holy Mass?  Don’t you know that the words of Jesus are always proclaimed to you at Holy Mass? And don’t you know that you always partake of Jesus Body and Blood during Holy Communion?

In our gospel, while Cleopas and the other disciple were going to Emmaus, the risen Jesus suddenly walked with them and conversed with them. They had no inkling that it was already the risen Christ who was with them. Why? This is for the reason that their focus was not on the risen Christ but on the Christ who died on the cross.

They walked-on until they reached Emmaus it was already night time so they invited Jesus to stay in their house. And while they were at a table Jesus took bread broke it said the blessings and shared it with the two of them. They immediately recognized that it was the risen Jesus Christ who was with them. For Jesus did the same sacred gesture before them and the apostles during the last supper in the upper room (Luke 22:19-20).

Cleopas and the other disciple are not alone in this predicament of not immediately recognizing the presence of Jesus in their midst. For we too are often guilty of not recognizing that Jesus is always present at Holy Mass.

And the reason behind not recognizing Jesus at Holy Mass is our lack of concentration and attention when we are at Mass. Our lack of interest with the Holy Mass readings and our failure to read Jesus life transforming words in the bible when we are in our homes.

If only we would prioritize our presence at Holy Mass, if only we would focus our attention to what the priest does at Holy Mass. And if only we would find time to open and read the life giving words of Jesus in the bible every day. We would know and feel that Jesus is also walking with us and He is ever ready to introduce Himself to us.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa Linggo Abril 30, Ikatlong Linggo ng Pasko ng Pagkabuhay; Lucas 24:13-35

Mabuting Balita: Lucas 24:13-35
13 Nang araw ding iyon, may dalawang alagad na naglalakad papuntang Emaus, isang nayong may labing-isang kilometro ang layo mula sa Jerusalem. 14    Pinag-uusapan nila ang mga pangyayari. 15 Habang sila'y nag-uusap, lumapit si Jesus at nakisabay sa kanila, 16    ngunit siya'y hindi nila nakilala na para bang natatakpan ang kanilang mga mata. 17 Tinanong sila ni Jesus, "Ano ba ang pinag-uusapan ninyo?"

Tumigil silang nalulumbay, at 18 sinabi ni Cleopas, "Ikaw lamang yata ang dayuhan sa Jerusalem na hindi nakakaalam sa mga pangyayaring katatapos lamang maganap doon."    19  "Anong pangyayari?" tanong niya.

 Sumagot sila, "Tungkol kay Jesus na taga-Nazaret, isang propetang makapangyarihan sa salita at gawa maging sa harap ng Diyos at ng mga tao. 20 Isinakdal siya ng aming mga punong pari at mga pinuno ng bayan upang mahatulang mamatay, at siya'y ipinako sa krus. 21  Siya pa naman ang inaasahan naming magpapalaya sa Israel. Hindi lamang iyan. Ikatlong araw na ngayon mula nang mangyari ito. 22   Nabigla kami sa ibinalita ng ilan sa mga babaing kasamahan namin. Maagang-maaga raw silang nagpunta sa libingan 23 at hindi nila natagpuan ang kanyang bangkay. Nagbalik sila at ang sabi'y nakakita raw sila ng isang pangitain, mga anghel na nagsabing si Jesus ay buhay. 24      Pumunta rin sa libingan ang ilan sa mga kasama namin at ganoon nga ang natagpuan nila, ngunit hindi nila nakita si Jesus."

25 Sinabi sa kanila ni Jesus, "Hindi ba kayo makaunawa? Bakit hindi kayo makapaniwala sa lahat ng sinasabi ng mga propeta? 26 Hindi ba't kailangang ang Cristo ay magtiis ng lahat ng ito bago niya makamtan ang kanyang marangal na katayuan?" 27 At patuloy na ipinaliwanag sa kanila ni Jesus ang lahat ng sinasabi sa Kasulatan tungkol sa kanyang sarili, simula sa mga aklat ni Moises hanggang sa mga sinulat ng mga propeta.

 28 Malapit na sila sa nayong kanilang pupuntahan at si Jesus ay parang magpapatuloy pa sa paglakad, 29  ngunit siya'y pinigil nila. "Tumuloy ka muna rito sa amin. Malapit na ang gabi, dumidilim na," sabi nila. Kaya't sumama nga siya sa kanila. 30   Nang siya'y kasalo na nila sa pagkain, dumampot siya ng tinapay at nagpasalamat sa Diyos; pagkatapos, pinagpira-piraso iyon at ibinigay sa kanila. 31  Noon nabuksan ang kanilang mga mata at nakilala nila si Jesus, subalit siya'y biglang nawala sa kanilang paningin. 32   Nasabi nila sa isa't isa, "Kaya pala nag-uumapaw ang ating pakiramdam habang tayo'y kinakausap niya sa daan at ipinapaliwanag ang mga Kasulatan!"

 33 Agad silang tumayo at nagbalik sa Jerusalem. Naratnan nilang nagkakatipon doon ang labing-isa at ang ibang kasamahan nila. 34 Sinabi ng mga ito sa dalawa, "Totoo nga palang muling nabuhay ang Panginoon! Nagpakita siya kay Simon!" 35 At isinalaysay naman ng dalawa ang nangyari sa daan at kung paano nila nakilala si Jesus nang paghati-hatiin nito ang tinapay.
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Repleksyon:
May isang babae na palaging sinasabi sa kanyang asawa ng samahan sila at ng kanyang mga anak na magsimba tuwing lingo. Palagi ring sinasabi ng lalaki sa kanyang asawa na hindi siya sasama sa kanila kasi di naman niya naiintindihan ang kung ano ang mga ginagawa sa Banal na Misa.

Sabi ng babae hindi mo ba alam na palagi kang nagkakaroon ng personal na pakikipag-ugnay kay Jesus pag ika’y nagsisimba? Hindi mo ba alam na ang mga salita ni Jesus ay palaging sinasabi sa iyo tuwing ika’y nagsisimba? At hindi mo rin baa lam na ika’y palaging tumatangap ng katawan at dugo ni Kristo sa pamamagitan ng Banal na Kumunyon? 

Sa ating mabuting balita, habang si Cleopas at ang kanyang kasama ay naglalakad papunta ng Emaus. Si Jesus na muling nabuhay ay bigla na lamang nakipaglakbay at nakipag usap sa kanila at hindi nila alam na si Jesus na muling nabuhay na pala ang kasama at kausap nila. Ito ay sa dahilang na ang kanilang atensyon ay nakatuon parin kay Jesus na namatay sa krus hindi kay Jesus na muling nabuhay.  

Si cleopas, ang kanyang kasama at si Jesus na hindi pa rin nila nakikilala  ay naglakbay hangang sa dumating sila sa lugar ng emaus at medyo gabi na iyon kaya sinabi nila kay Jesus na pansamantala na tumuloy na muna sa kanila para magpalipas ng gabi.

Habang sila ay nagsasalosalo ay dumampot si Jesus ng tinapay nagpasalamat sa Diyos at pinag hati hati niya iyon at sila ay binigyan niya. Dahil sa ginawang iyon ni Jesus ay biglang nabuksan ang kanilang mga mata na si Jesus pala ang kasama nila dahil ito rin ang ginawa ni Jesus noong huling hapunan kasama sila at ng mga apostol (Lucas 22:19-20).   

Hindi naman nag iisa si cleopas at ang kanyang kasama sa ganitong pangyayari. Dahil kadalasan tayo rin ay hindi natin namamalayan ang presensya ni Jesus sa pagdiriwang ng Banal na Misa.

At ang dahilan ay ang kawalan natin ng atensyon o konsentrasyon pagtayo ay nasa loob ng pagdirang ng Banal na Misa. Ang kakulangan natin ng interes na makinig ng mabuti sa mga pagbasa. At ang hindi natin pagbabasa ng mga salita ni Jesus sa bibliya pag tayo ay nasa ating mga tahanan.

Kung ating lamang bibigyan ng lubos na pagpapahalaga ang ating presensya sa Banal na Misa. Kung ang ating atensyon ay lubos na nakatuon sa mga pagbasa at sa ginagawa ng pari sa loob ng Banal na Misa. At kung sana ay bubuksan at magbabasa tayo ng biblia sa ating mga tanahan kahit sandali araw-araw.   

Malalaman at mararamdaman natin na si Jesus ay nakikipaglakbay din sa atin at palaging handang makipag usap sa atin. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Reflection for Saturday April 29, Saint Catherine of Siena, Virgin and Doctor of the Church: John 6:16-21

Gospel: John 6:16-21
When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea, embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum. It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid. But he said to them, “It is I. Do not be afraid.” They wanted to take him into the boat, but the boat immediately arrived at the shore to which they were heading.
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Reflection:
Where do you go when you are fearful or when there’s an absence of peace in your life? Do you go to Jesus and ask Him to calm you and give you peace?

 As we continue to live we would be encountering many fears and many of these fears will certainly unsettle us. Yes we worry about these fears yet after a while we also learn to submit everything to Jesus and once we do we already have peace.

While the disciples were on a boat on their way to Capernaum they encountered a strong wind and they were certainly bothered by it. What could have happened if Jesus was with them? Jesus would have told them, keep calm don’t worry for I am with you. But Jesus was not with them so they were all fearful.

Many fears bother us when there’s an absence of Jesus in our lives. Why? Because there’s an absence of stability and peace. Even if a person is rich if he/she doesn’t have Jesus there would certainly be absence of peace and calmness.

You will only have peace in your life if you have Jesus, if you don’t have Jesus expect the absence of peace to bother you. Wealth will not give you peace; power will not give you peace only Jesus will give you this elusive peace.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for Friday April 28, Second Week of Easter: John 6:1-15

Gospel: John 6:1-15
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee. A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. The Jewish feast of Passover was near. When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, "Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?" He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people recline." Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted. When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, "Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted."So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat. When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, "This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world." Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes doubt when you have a prayer before Jesus?  

Our doubts will always be a stumbling block for the realization of what we pray for. But why doubt? Perhaps our faith is lacking or perhaps we have not yet developed a close friendship with Jesus.

In our gospel for today, Philip and Andrew were already doubting if Jesus would be able to feed the large crowd who had been following Him. Philip said to Jesus, "Two hundred days' wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little." (John 6:7) Andrew said to Jesus "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?" (John 6:8-9)

Jesus simply told them: “Have the people recline." And after which the multiplication of the loaves and fish happened. They were able to feed the five thousand men and they had plenty to spare.

There is no impossible with Jesus, everything is possible for him who never distrust Jesus and who always believe in Jesus.

Do you want something from the Lord? Trust, believe and you will have it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday April 27, Second Week of Easter: John 3:31-36

Gospel: John 3:31-36
The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things. But the one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy. For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God. He does not ration his gift of the Spirit. The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.
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Reflection:
What would happen to you if you detach yourself from Jesus? You become a citizen of this world everything that you do in this world is anchored in this finite world alone. Many people live for this world alone they think that there’s no God and there’s no heaven.

So when trials or problems comes along their way they have no other recourse but to solve their trials based on what this world has taught them to do. And when they are not able to solve their trials they begin to lose hope in this world and in themselves as well and it seems that it is the end of the world for them already. 

What would happen to you if you have Jesus in your life? You will be full of hope even if the situation around you seems hopeless. This is the great difference of having Jesus in your life; you will be full of hope and you will see things differently. As opposed to someone who doesn’t have Jesus in his/her life.

In our gospel for this Thursday it says: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.

The choice is ours to take, if we would allow Jesus to come into our lives or we would continue to shut the doors of our hearts to Jesus.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday April 26, Second Week of Easter: John 3:16-21

Gospel: John  3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God. And this is the verdict, that the light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come toward the light, so that his works might not be exposed. But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
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Reflection:
Can we be saved by simply believing in Jesus? Is it enough to believe and not live that belief?

We must believe and we must live and give substance to what we believe by making a positive difference in the lives of others and by detesting sin. For example, if we say that we love Jesus but we ignore the cry for help of those who are in need what then is the use of saying we believe in Jesus? If we say that we believe yet we continue to allow ourselves to be captured by the devil. What then is the use of our profession of belief in Jesus?

When we say we believe we should firmly stand by our word by detesting sin in whatever form. For the simple reasons that this is the only way to Jesus, we are simply fooling ourselves if we say we believe yet we continue to sin.

There are many of us who continue to say that we believe in Jesus but when testing comes around. We push aside the light of Jesus to plunge into the darkness to be in the company of the devil. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Tuesday April 25, Feast of Saint Mark, Evangelist: Mark 16:15-20

Gospel: Mark 16:15-20
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.”

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
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Reflection:
Have you done something to share the good news about Jesus? For example, you shared the life of Jesus to a friend or a relative. Or you’ve brought someone to church for Holy Mass.

One of your foremost mission as follower of Jesus is to share Him. If you have no idea on how you would share Him you could even simply live His life. Evangelization is not only confined to sharing with your vocal words for you could also evangelize by the way you live.

When the disciples were sent by Jesus through their mission one of the unwritten commands of Jesus for them was to live His way of life. For they wouldn’t be successful missioners for Jesus without immersing their very lives on Jesus way of life.

The challenge for you therefore is to share Jesus like how the disciples shared Him. You also have to live the way of life of Jesus. For without living the life of Jesus you will not become His true follower and evangelizer.

Many in the church or outside of the church profess to follow Jesus but they do not live His life. Thus their evangelization is superficial it doesn’t take root in the hearts of those who listen to them. Therefore, an effective evangelizer is one who shares and lives the life of Jesus.  

Have you shared Jesus and have you lived Jesus' life of humility and simplicity? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Reflection for Monday April 24, Second Week of Easter: John 3:1-8

Gospel: John 3:1-8
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one can do these signs that you are doing unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”

Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless one is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
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Reflection:
Nicodemus is a follower who is seeking  deeper meaning in his discipleship with Jesus. So Jesus gave him a clue on how to discover a more meaningful life with Him. And that is to be born again. 

How could we be born again when we have already been born? Indeed, we could never be literally born again. However to be born again with a more meaningful life of purpose in this world is very much possible for everyone of us.

How could we be born again with a life of purpose and meaning? We must be willing to leave behind our sinfulness. For example, our greed, self-centeredness and anything that makes us sin we must be willing to leave it all behind us. So that we can have a life of purpose and meaning with Jesus and those people that we love. 

Who would benefit if you allow yourself to be born again with a life of purpose and meaning with Jesus? The first beneficiary is you, second is your family and third are those who are around you and those who know you.

They will now see a different aura within your personality and this is made possible because you allowed yourself to have a new life of meaning and purpose with Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for April 23, Second Sunday of Easter/Sunday of Divine Mercy; John 20:19-31

Gospel: John 20:19-31
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained."

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."

Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe." Thomas answered and said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed."

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes feel alone, abandoned and without peace of mind?

After the death of Jesus the apostles had this feeling of being orphaned and without a leader. Add to this was the feeling of fear that was constantly being fed to their minds by the Jews.

While in a room meeting and in the midst of their loneliness and fear Jesus appeared to them and told them, “Peace be with you” perhaps to assure His apostles of His abiding presence.

The peace that Jesus gives is something that is elusive to many of us for the reason that the  peace that Jesus gives is not a byproduct of accumulation of money and power.

We may all have the wealth and power in this world but if we don’t have Jesus we would still be without peace of mind. We would still be yearning for something far greater than wealth and that is to have peace within ourselves.

Jesus in the gospel greeted His followers: “Peace be with you” not once, not twice but three times. As if to say, amidst your dificulties continue to believe that I have risen, continue to have faith in me, and continue to be faithful to me because I’m the only one who can give you peace.

Your wealth will not give you peace for it may even give you endless depression and pressure. Your power whatever it is will not give you peace as well. Your friends may give you fleeting happiness but not peace of mind.

Who then can give you this feeling of true peace that this world cannot give you? It’s no other than Jesus! He alone can give you this elusive peace and serenity. Amidst the many difficulties in your life Jesus is always there to give you peace. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Reflection for April 22, Saturday within the Octave of Easter: Mark 16:9-15

Gospel: Mark 16:9-15
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. After this he appeared in another form to two of them walking along on their way to the country. They returned and told the others; but they did not believe them either.

But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised. He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
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Reflection:
Among the many to whom Jesus can appear, why to Mary Magdalene first a sinner who was formerly possessed by seven demons? Why not to anyone of His eleven apostles first who by the way was with Him for three years? Or why not appear first to His Mother Mary?

Why appear to Mary Magdalene first? We don’t know but what we know of Mary of Magdalene is she is a sinner who repented. A former prostitute who left behind her sinful life to become a follower of Jesus.

Perhaps the message to us is nobody is beyond reach of the love of Jesus. The more sinful we are the more that Jesus desires to manifest Himself to us. The more that Jesus wants to convert us from sinner to become non-sinner even saint.

We should all remember that nothing is impossible with God. That God when He so desires can effect change into our lives no matter how dark our past. However, we must also cooperate with God’s plan of conversion for us.

This is for the reason that even if God desires to change us yet we don’t cooperate with His plan, then He can’t do anything. For He also gave us the freedom of will, if we would abide with His desire then we are assured of salvation.

Mary of Magdalene was docile to the desire of God to convert her that’s why she totally left behind her sinful life and became a follower of Jesus.

How about you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Reflection for April 21, Friday within the Octave of Easter: John 21:1-14

Gospel: John 21:1-14
Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing."They said to him, "We also will come with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come, have breakfast." And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.
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Reflection:
Do you sometimes feel spiritually weak and empty? You’re not alone, everyone of us goes through this spiritual dryness. This is the reason why we sometimes feel spiritually weak and empty.

After the death of Jesus some of the apostles didn’t know that Jesus had already risen. So they went back to their former work feeling spiritually empty and weak nonetheless they have to move-on with their lives. Feeling weak and empty they went fishing and they returned ashore without anything at all.

Then afterwards, lo and behold the risen Jesus appeared before them and He said to them, have you caught any fish? They said no, so Jesus told them to throw it once again onto the water. And they caught so many that they couldn’t bring it anymore to shore.

In their emptiness and weariness Jesus appeared to them to give them hope and to give them strength. To tell them that I am again here with you, I have risen, I have not abandoned you all even for a single second. I was with you as you struggle with my death on the cross as I was with you as you felt your emptiness and loneliness. Never have I abandoned you!

The same is what Jesus is telling us all today as we also struggle with our journey with Him. As we feel and face our own moments of emptiness and loneliness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Reflection for April 20, Thursday within the Octave of Easter: Luke 24:35-48

Gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. While they were still speaking about this, he stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you." But they were startled and terrified and thought that they were seeing a ghost. Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have." And as he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed, he asked them, "Have you anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things."
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Reflection:
Who moves and inspires you to go on when you feel spiritually/emotionally weary and tired? Of course it’s no other than Jesus! During these times you earnestly pray to Him and you ask Him for help and strength. And the moment you sincerely do these prayers and petitions you would feel energized as such you are very much ready again to face the many trials in your life.

While the disciples of Jesus were feeling weary and down because they thought that Jesus has not risen. He suddenly stood in their midst and He greeted them, "Peace be with you and He said to them: “Why are you troubled?” And why do questions arise in your hearts? Jesus appeared to his followers once again to tell them that He has truly risen and that He is there for them.

Whether we admit it or not, we are often times like the disciples of Jesus. We doubt, we feel abandoned by Him and we sometimes question Him. If He is really there for us and if He is really real!

If He is there and if He is truly real then how come there are still difficult moments in our lives? In the midst of these momentary difficulties let us persevere and let us continue to have faith in Jesus.

What does this gospel episode tells us? It tells us that we are never alone that the Risen Jesus is always by our side most especially when we pass through trials and problems. He is always there to help us and to strengthen us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Reflection for April 19, Wednesday within the Octave of Easter: Luke 24:13-35

Gospel: Luke 24:13-35
That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus' disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing as you walk along?" They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?" And he replied to them, "What sort of things?" They said to him, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see." And he said to them, "Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures. As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?" So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, "The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!" Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
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Reflection:
How would you feel if somebody close to you dies?

We all feel very sad when somebody very important to us dies. The feeling is as if a big important part of us had been taken off from our lives. Cleopas and his companion had this feeling of sadness as they were walking towards Emmaus. They felt that a big part of their life had been taken from them with the death of Jesus.

However, as they were journeying going to Emmaus they did not recognize that the Risen Christ was already walking and conversing with them. So while walking going to Emmaus Jesus asked them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk (Luke 24:17)?" They told Him their story and seemingly false expectations about Himself (Jesus).

Why false expectation? Because Cleopas and company were expecting Jesus to redeem Israel.  Jesus was already their hero, who would not consider Jesus as hero when He could make the lame walk, He could restore a blind man’s eyesight, He could bring back to life a dead man and so forth. They thought that it was now all bed of roses for them since they were now following Jesus. Therefore they were terribly disappointed with the death of Jesus.

What is the lesson for us in this gospel episode? This tells us that we must not expect that everything now would be turning out right for us since we are now followers of Jesus. There would still be trials, persecutions and disappointments for these are part of the test of our faith in Jesus. 

When they arrived at Emmaus they asked Jesus to stay with them. While there at a table with them He took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them (Luke 24:30). After doing it in front of them they recognized that it was the Risen Jesus Christ who was with them, it was Jesus who was conversing with them while they were walking going to Emmaus.

Where is Emmaus now in this technology and internet driven times? Emmaus is certainly not located within your high-tech mobile phone. Emmaus is the church specifically located inside your church. When you go to your church to attend Holy Mass you go to Emmaus.

There you have to hold in highest regard the words of God as it is proclaimed to you. There you reverently accept Jesus' Body and Blood as it is given to you by the priest or the Extra-Ordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Are you going to Emmaus this Sunday to be with Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for April 18, Tuesday within the Octave of Easter: John 20:11-18

Gospel: John 20:11-18
Mary Magdalene stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there one at the head and one at the feet where the Body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them, “They have taken my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid him. When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there, but did not know it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for? She thought it was the gardener and said to him,“ Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you laid him, and I will take him. Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni, which means Teacher. Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them,‘I am going to my Father and your Father to my God and your God.’Mary went and announced to the disciples,“I have seen the Lord, and then reported what he had told her.
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Reflection:
Do you always recognize the manifestation of Jesus in your life? Certainly in so many ways Jesus always manifest Himself to you in everyday of your life you simply need to carefully discern it to feel His presence.

For example in your desire to follow Him there are times that you get lost and do things as what we want to do it. But somehow Jesus would always find a way to redirect your life to Him. He would straighten you and make you understand that He is there to remind you that you need not lose hope for He’s there for you, you only need to trust Him.

Mary of Magdala was weeping outside the tomb for she did not found Jesus. Perhaps she thought that Jesus’ body was desecrated until Jesus manifested Himself to her. Instantly her feeling of hopelessness was immediately replaced by joyfulness. And then she joyfully went to the disciples and told them that she met and had spoken with Jesus. 

Jesus our Rab-bo'ni (which means Teacher) has already risen therefore He is just around watching over us. Let us always call on His name and let us always ask Him to watch over us and  be with us as we continue our pilgrimage in this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Holy Thursday April 13, 2017






Thursday, April 13, 2017

Reflection for April 17, Monday within the Octave of Easter: Matthew 28:8-15

Gospel: Matthew 28:8-15
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce the news to his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them. They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had happened. The chief priests assembled with the elders and took counsel; then they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him while we were asleep. And if this gets to the ears of the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble. The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.
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Reflection:
Up to where are we willing to be manipulated by the many evils of money? Are we willing to lie for money? Are we willing to sacrifice our souls to the devil so that we can have dirty money? The problem with allowing money to manipulate and control us, is it will destroy us eventually.

Let us look at Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, what happened to him? He was eventually destroyed by his insatiable greed for money. Judas killed himself because he cannot anymore bear the guilt of his betrayal of Jesus.    

There are many more real life stories of men and women who allowed themselves to be controlled by the evils of money. They took pleasure and served the many evils of corrupted money yet eventually they were left with nothing at all.

Here in our gospel there are soldiers who allowed themselves to be blinded by the evil glitters of money. The soldiers could have stood-up to the chief priest and the elders. They could have told them, we will not lie, we will tell the true story of Jesus’ resurrection. But they failed to seize the moment to witness for the resurrected Christ.

Would you sacrifice Jesus for money? – Marino J. Dasmarinas