Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday June 6, Ninth Week in Ordinary Time: Mark 12:13-17

Gospel: Mark 12:13-17
Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech. They came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion. You do not regard a person’s status but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius to look at. They brought one to him and he said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this? They replied to him, “Caesar’s. So Jesus said to them “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. They were utterly amazed at him.
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Reflection:
Do you always do what is right and just? The Pharisees and the Herodians were testing Jesus about the just payment of tax to Caesar. Jesus knew about their evil scheming so He simply told them, “Whose image is in the coin”? And they told Jesus that it was Caesar’s image that is imprinted on the coin.

Thus, Jesus told them that they should pay to Caesar for the simple reason that he is the governing authority. And then Jesus told them to give to God what belongs to God (Mark 12:17).

The million dollar question now is, what belongs to God or what is for God? What belongs to God that we must give Him is the time that we have to freely give Him. Such as our daily time for prayer: upon waking up in the morning and before retiring at night.

The weekly time that we have to freely give Him during Sundays at Holy Mass. And other forms of worship and service to our community by way of serving in our parish church community, these we have to give to God as well.

Then you may ask, what then would I receive in giving God what is due to God? You will receive peace of mind and you will have heaven when your journey in this world comes to end. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday June 5, Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr: Mark 12:1-12

Gospel: Mark 12:1-12
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders in parables. "A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey. At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again he sent them another servant. And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully. He sent yet another whom they killed. So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had one other to send, a beloved son. He sent him to them last of all, thinking, 'They will respect my son.' But those tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they seized him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come, put the tenants to death, and give the vineyard to others. Have you not read this Scripture passage:

The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes?"

They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd, for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them. So they left him and went away.
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Reflection:
A wealthy woman suddenly died without leaving a last will and testament. Instead of talking thing out and amicably settling the issue about her wealth the relatives were now wrangling as to who would get the biggest chunk of wealth.  Why were they squabbling about her wealth?  Because all of them were greedy nobody wants to give an inch on the wealth that they would have.

Many families are like this, they were once living in peace and unity until the issue of wealth divided them. What can we gain with material wealth? It’s temporal riches that may fly from our hands anytime! Why is it that some of us are willing to sacrifice blood relationship for wealth? The simple answer is our greed!

In our gospel for this Monday Jesus gives us a story that mirrors our greed for wealth. Wealth that is temporary, wealth that we will not be able to bring to the next life. And wealth that has been the cause of many conflicts in the family. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Reflection for June 4, Solemnity of Pentecost; John 20:19-23

Gospel: John 20:19-23
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.”
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Reflection:
There’s this story of two brothers who lived in a remote rural area; these two have very extreme behaviors. Brother A, is a good natured fellow he’s very helpful towards his neighbors he is also very humble, prayerful and active in their church.

Brother B, is the opposite of Brother A, he has a rude behavior, has vices he seldom smile and acts as if he has no relatives and neighbors in their area.  He doesn’t even go to church he prefers to be with his drinking buddies rather than go to church for worship.

Due to his good natured characteristics the people around the community gravitates towards the side of Brother A. Whenever there’s conflict in the area they would run to him for help to be the peacemaker. They would also go to his house every week to ask him to be their guide and facilitator in their prayer meetings.

How does the Holy Spirit work in our lives or how does the Holy Spirit manifest its presence in our lives? This is the million dollar question that is very hard to answer mainly because many of us have no experience of feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit.

God the Holy Spirit makes his presence obvious on those people who lead their lives worthy in the eyes of God. The Holy Spirit is like those people who gravitated towards the side of the good natured, humble and prayerful brother A.

The secret therefore to unleash the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is to live our lives according to the teachings of God.

In our gospel this Sunday, the disciples of Jesus were in a room hiding from their persecutors. Aside from hiding from the Jews who were persecuting them what else were they doing there? They were obviously praying for Jesus’ protection and care and they were not failed by Jesus.

In the midst of locked doors He appeared to them and gave them His peace, He twice told them: “Peace be with you.” To pledge them that there’s nothing to worry about for the reason that He is there in their midst. Peace be with you to reassure them of His abiding presence and protection. Then finally he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

God’s peace and the presence of the Holy Spirit will come to us the moment we become His faithful and prayerful followers. This peace that God gives us doesn’t mean the absence of problems and challenges in our lives. It means that amidst these problems and challenges we would still be calm and peaceful because we know that God the Holy Spirit is with us.

Do you feel the guiding presence of God the Holy Spirit in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, May 29, 2017

Reflection for Saturday June 3, Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs: John 21:20-25

Gospel: John 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, "Master, who is the one who will betray you?" When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus said to him, "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me." So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just "What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours?"

It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true. There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.
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Reflection:
Does Jesus have a favorite disciple? It seems so as the gospel states: “Peter turned and saw that the disciple Jesus loved, was following as well the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” (John 21:20)

In his humanity Jesus is also like us, he has a sense of feeling on who among his disciples were most humble and always there for him. This disciple is John whom Jesus loved so dearly. He was also the same John who remained with Jesus until his last gasp of breath on the cross. (John 19:26-27)

Like Jesus, we may also have our own beloved friends, and relatives. Why are they our chosen ones? We prefer them because they’ve shown their loyalty and love for us. John loved Jesus thru his words and deeds and he never betrayed Jesus until the very end.

We also must strive to be like John. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday June 2, Seventh Week of Easter: John 21:15-19

Gospel: John 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to Simon Peter a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
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Reflection:
Do you know that true love always requires humility and sacrifice?

There’s always humility attached to the word love. We can’t love without sacrifice; we can’t love without emptying ourselves for the sake of the person that we love. The word love is not a lip service word it is always coupled with humble positive action for those whom we love.

In the gospel Jesus asked Simon Peter three times: “Do you love me?” and whenever Simon Peter replies in the affirmative Jesus always gives him a responsibility (Feed my lambs, Tend my sheep and Feed my sheep) which he must do to substantiate his love.

This is also what Jesus wants us to do if we profess to love Him: We have to be His humble followers. We have to be ready to sacrifice a part of ourselves for the sake of our love for Jesus.

For the reason that humility and sacrifice is the essence of true love. Love without sacrifice and humility is not true love, it’s rather a selfish kind of love based on love for oneself. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Thursday June 1, Saint Justin, Martyr: John 17:20-26

Gospel: John 17:20-26
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: “I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one that the world may know that you sent me and that you loved them even as you loved me. Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world also does not know you but I know you, and they know that you sent me I made known to them your name and I will make it known that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.
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Reflection:
A woman engaged herself to caring for the poor of her community. She did this out of her concern for them, funds were hard to come by at times. Yet she was able to feed and nourish them because she believed that Jesus would always be there for them.

We can always lean on Jesus all the time. He is always there ever ready to help us. Jesus loves us so much that He gave His very life for us on the cross. By doing so Jesus completed the mission that was given to Him by God. For our sake God gave the life of His only begotten son.

God is never absent in our lives no matter who we are and no matter what we have done. He is always there ever ready to listen to us. God manifested Himself to us through Jesus so that we could reach out to Him anytime easily. This is the reason why we should not think twice of calling for His help anytime.

Yet there is also a responsibility that rest on our shoulders. And this responsibility is to pay forward this infinite love of God. For the reason that our faith in God is never complete and it will never grow and mature unless we learn to share it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday May 31, The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Luke 1:39-56

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

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

Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.
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Reflection:
Do you have a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by regularly praying the Holy Rosary and do you always ask her to pray for you?

Even if she was also pregnant at that time the Blessed Mother visited her cousin Elizabeth without considering her own wellbeing. She went to Elizabeth in view of the fact that she wanted to comfort and strengthen her. That’s how selfless and loving is the Blessed Mother.

Of course we also want to be visited, comforted and strengthened by the Blessed Mother. But do we find time to pray to her and ask her to pray for us? Do we regularly pray the Holy Rosary? Being the mother of Jesus she is the closest to the heart of Jesus. Whatever she tells Jesus, He will obey for she is his mother.

On this feast of Visitation we are reminded by the Blessed Mother that it’s not only her cousin Elizabeth that she wants to comfort. She also wants to comfort, strengthen and help us heal with whatever worries and problems that we have. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday May 30, Seventh Week of Easter: John 17:1-11a

Gospel: John 17:1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.

“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.
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Reflection:
What is the usual method of our prayers? Is it spontaneous prayer or we follow a certain pattern when we pray? Whichever it is, what is important is we put our hearts in our prayers before God. For a prayer that connects with God is a prayer that originates from our hearts.

We read in our gospel for this Tuesday that Jesus is praying before God. It is a personal prayer for Himself and at the same time a prayer also for His disciples and the people that He dearly loved.

If Jesus prayed to God, we too ought to pray also to God. We pray for our personal petitions before Him. For example prayers for strength to face our daily challenges. Prayers for enlightenment, prayers for us not to store any form of hatred in our hearts and so forth.

When we pray we also allow God to heal us with our sickness most especially emotional and spiritual sickness. This is for the reason that through our prayers we allow God to dwell and move within us. Notice that after you pray you feel light and you feel better.

Let us beseech God to heal us of anything that ails us. And let us beseech God to give us the grace of connection with Him whenever we pray. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Monday May 29, Seventh Week of Easter: John 16:29-33

Gospel: John 16:29-33
The Jesus said to His disciples, “Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech. Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God. Jesus answered them, “Do you believe now? Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived when each of you will be scattered to his own home and you will leave me alone. But I am not alone, because the Father is with me. I have told you this so that you might have peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world.”
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Reflection:
A young man aimed for worldly riches and greatness in his chosen field of endeavour. By his hard work he was able to achieve his aim. He thought that it would be his crowning glory but he aimed for more riches. In doing so he had no peace and contentment, he became worldly and an animal of this world.

Jesus tells us in the gospel for this Monday, You will have peace in me, in this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). Many of us allow ourselves to be enslaved by this world up to this very moment. Until we get sick, until we are near death and the reason behind is we keep on chasing the temporal riches and power of this world. Which in reality will not give us good health, peace and contentment.

Jesus offers us His peace. Peace that no one can give us, peace that money can't buy and peace that we can have even beyond this world.

Let us wholeheartedly accept this and the moment we do we would begin to free ourselves from the possession of this world. In doing so, we will not live for this world anymore and we will not be concerned anymore about others opinion toward us. For the simple reason that we already have the peace of Jesus in our hearts.

Would you accept the peace that Jesus is offering you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Reflection for May 28, Solemnity of The Ascension of the Lord; Matthew 28:16-20

Gospel: Matthew 28:16-20
The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."
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Reflection:
Have you been given a responsibility by your Parents, Boss, parish Priest or by somebody whom you highly respect? Did you faithfully follow the given responsibility without questions?

In today’s gospel before Jesus ascends into heaven He commissioned first his disciples by telling them: “Go and make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28:19-20).

The apostolic succession of the church tells us that this commissioning is still being said by Jesus to the Ordained Ministers of the church. To paraphrase this command Jesus is also telling us this: Spread the Good News about me as well and you need not worry for I am with you.

These are powerful and profound words from Jesus addressed to all of us: Spread the good news about me. Have we already responded to this command of the Lord? Have we already shared the words of Jesus in bible to somebody?

Today we celebrate the feast of Jesus’ ascension to heaven. What does this mean to us? Does this mean that Jesus has completely left us without giving us something to hold-on? Did Jesus leave us holding an empty bag and wandering what’s in store for us? No, Jesus did not leave us alone.

It is very easy to say that I will share Jesus to my loved ones or to a complete stranger. But the question is are we able to give flesh to this command of Jesus or are we able to walk our talk? It takes a lot of courage a lot of bravery to live and share Jesus.

Yet we have nothing to fear because as we abide to Jesus’ command; the Holy Mass is always there to strengthen us, the Sacraments of the church are always there to guide us.

Jesus himself assures us: “behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20)." – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Reflection for Saturday May 27, Sixth Week of Easter: John 16:23b-28

Gospel: John 16:23b-28
Jesus said to his disciples: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

"I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."
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Reflection:
An old man on his death bed was calling on Jesus to bring him into His kingdom. His relatives were whispering among themselves that he was already hallucinating. Then, suddenly the dying man breathed deeply and said to them: Jesus is here now and He’s holding my hand after which the dying man breathed his last with a peaceful smile on his face.

The name of Jesus is very powerful it can give us peace and serenity it can ward-off evil thoughts and spirits. But do we invoke Jesus name often? Maybe yes or no or perhaps we only remember to call on Jesus when we are in dire need of Him. But after we’re through and over with our difficulties we once again forget Him.

The name of Jesus is very powerful let us never forget to always invoke it. Let us call upon the  powerful name of Jesus when we are tired of the daily grind of life. Let us call upon the powerful name of Jesus when we are losing hope. Let us call upon the powerful name of Jesus when we are sick and so forth.   

In good times and in bad times let us always remember to call on Jesus. Let us ask Him to bring our prayers to the Father. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday May 26, Saint Philip Neri, Priest: John 16:20-23

Gospel: John 16:20-23
Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. So you also are now in anguish. But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy away from you. On that day you will not question me about anything. Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”
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Reflection:
Are you afraid to go through suffering/s? We all are, as much as possible we don’t want sufferings in our lives. What we want is a suffering free life but suffering free life is not a possibility for believers of Jesus. For without sufferings we would not be able to intensely feel the abiding presence of Jesus in our lives.

Jesus will help us conquer our sufferings for as long as we steadfastly hold on to Him. For example, if a person is suffering from a terminal sickness yet in spite of this sickness he/she continues to intensely hold on to his/her faith in Jesus. Through his/her steadfast faith Jesus will sooner or later deliver him/her from his/her suffering/s. This could happen through physical healing or mortal death.

In our gospel for this Friday, Jesus tells His disciples: You will weep and mourn (John 16:20). Jesus told them this for His hour of arrest, passion and death would soon come. Yet they will be joyful and triumphant after a period of time. Joy and triumph that nobody can take away from them. Joy and triumph which are brought about by Jesus resurrection and triumph over death.

What is important in life is we continue to steadfastly hold on to Jesus no matter how severe the trials that we may face. For there surely be triumph over our trials if we remain unwavering in our faith in Him.

Trials are nothing Jesus is everything!  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Reflection for Thursday May 25, Sixth Week of Easter: John 16:16-20

Gospel: John 16:16-20
Jesus said to his disciples: "A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me." So some of his disciples said to one another, "What does this mean that he is saying to us, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me,' and 'Because I am going to the Father'?" So they said, "What is this 'little while' of which he speaks? We do not know what he means." Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing with one another what I said, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me'? Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."
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Reflection:
Are you afraid to be separated from someone you love?

Separation from someone we’ve idolized or loved is one of the hardest feelings that we can ever experience. For example when a close relative dies it’s as if a part of us dies as well, thus we will feel incomplete from thereon. That’s how heart wrenching some separations are.

Here in the gospel Jesus was saying goodbye already to his disciples for He knew that He would soon be arrested, tortured and be killed.  However, He was also saying that a little while later you will also see me, He was referring about His resurrection three days after He dies.

Unlike permanent separation from a friend or relative who dies, the disciples’ separation from Jesus was temporary for He resurrected from the dead after three days. We make  Jesus always present and alive within ourselves when we follow His teachings. And when we make a positive impact in the lives of others especially the poor.

Let us always allow Jesus to be seen and felt within us through our humility and humble acts of selfless service for others. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Reflection for Wednesday May 24, Sixth Week of Easter: John 16:12-15

Gospel: John 16:12-15
(Jesus said to his disciples) “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”
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Reflection:
How can we feel the presence of the Triune God (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit) in our lives? We need to live our lives according to how Jesus wants us to live it based on the commandments of love (Luke 10:27). Everything starts with following these commandments and once we follow and live it, we would have an awareness of the presence of the Holy Trinity.  

Therefore we must learn to live Jesus’ commandments of love. But do we live these love commandments of Jesus? Are we not being selective when we give our love to our fellowmen? For example, the command of Jesus pertaining to love of our neighbor, it’s so easy to follow this when the person is loving us in return. But when the person is hurting us it’s now very difficult for us to give our love. The challenge for us is to love even more those who are not loving us in return.

The situation is basically the same on how we express our love for God. For many of us God is easier to love when HE answers all our prayers. But when HE doesn’t answer our prayers it’s sometimes difficult for us to express our love for God.  The challenge therefore for all of us is to  love God and neighbor in good times and in bad.

Do we have an awareness of the presence of the Holy Trinity in our life? If our answer is no, then, we must start to follow Jesus’ commandments of love. Not according to how we want to follow it but according to how Jesus wants us to follow and live it. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday May 23, Sixth Week of Easter: John 16:5-11

Gospel: John 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples: "Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned."
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Reflection:    
Have you experienced saying goodbye to someone?
          
Saying goodbye permanently to a love one or a friend is always a heart wrenching experience. We may even wish that there would be no more goodbyes anymore. But the reality of life is that we shall say goodbye permanently someday whether we like it or not we shall say goodbye on a time that God has willed for us.

But let us not let our goodbye be a forgetful experience by not doing something indelible in the lives of our fellowmen. As we live in this world let us do something good that will remain forever in the minds of those who know us.

So that when our time to say goodbye come our beautiful deeds would forever be imprinted in the hearts of those who know us.

Jesus in our gospel reading today was indirectly saying goodbye to the disciples but more than two thousand years had passed since then He still remain a positive influence in our lives. Why? This is for the reason that He did the greatest good for all of us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reflection for Monday May 22, Sixth Week of Easter: John 15:26-16:4a

Gospel: John 15:26—16:4a
Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
                                                          
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”
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Reflection:              
A man was trying very hard to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in his life. He would always be murmuring, come Holy Spirit I need you, he would say this a couple of times to no avail.

We will not be able to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit by saying come Holy Spirit alone. We must live our lives always attuned to the teachings of Jesus; we must live and breathe the teachings of Jesus so to speak.

Then as we live and breathe His teachings we would slowly but surely begin to feel the empowering presence of the Advocate or the Holy Spirit. Let us always live the teachings of Jesus. Let us never be afraid to share and live it because this is the only means where we can truly discern the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

In the gospel, Jesus speaks to the disciples about the Advocate which is no other than the Holy Spirit. Jesus will give it to them in His own time of choosing what they need to do is to simply be faithful to Him and His teachings. This is what we need to do as well for us to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. 

Therefore inviting the Holy Spirit to come into our lives is not enough we first have to be faithful to Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Reflection for May 21, Sixth Sunday of Easter; John 14:15-21

Gospel: John 14:15-21
Jesus said to his disciples: "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him."
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Reflection:
A husband would always tell his wife that he loves her, his show of love does not end by his vocal profession. He follows it up by actual acts of love, say for example by helping her with household chores and by being faithful to their Marriage vows.

 As the husband continues to do these noble acts their love and marriage would surely flourish. And it would perpetually be blessed by the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus promised the disciples an advocate who would always be there for them; to help and guide them. But for the advocate to be with them, the disciples must show their love for God by propagating His teachings and by living HIS commandments. Therefore there is no fulfillment of the promise of the advocate without the disciples’ obedience and actual acts of love.

It’s very easy for us to profess that we love Jesus, but do we really love Jesus? For example we say we love Jesus yet we betray the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage. Or we choose to turn a blind eye to someone in need of our help.  Where is then the concrete action of our love for God?

For our love for Jesus to grow and bear fruit we have to nurture it with actual acts of love. We therefore have to be faithful to our Matrimonial vows, we have to share Jesus and we have to become a living Jesus for others so that through us they will know Jesus.

As we do these noble acts we allow the Holy Spirit to come to us and we allow it to move freely within us. We therefore do good all the time and this we do not do by our singular actions. We do this because the Holy Spirit is prompting us to do it.

Do you want to feel the living presence of the Holy Spirit within you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Reflection for Saturday May 20, Fifth Week of Easter: John 15:18-21

Gospel: John 15:18-21
Jesus said to his disciples: "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me."
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Reflection:     
A worldly and sinful man unexpectedly had a spiritual awakening. It happened when he suddenly opened his long dormant bible and was able to read this passage: “You do not belong to the world. (John 15:19)”

After which he immediately abhorred every sin that he had been doing. He completely left behind his worldly friends that drove him to sin. As a result of his righteous and drastic actions they condemned him as someone who is already out of his mind.

This world will hate us, even our worldly friends will hate us too once we choose to be faithful to Jesus. But we must not worry about worldly condemnation for so long as we are already with Jesus. If God is with us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
        
It takes great courage to decide not to belong to this world! Why? Because almost everyone wants to belong to this world! Material wealth and power are the most sought after possessions in this world. Who would not want material wealth and power?

However, not all are blinded by the glitters of this world there are also those who chose to shun the offerings of this world they’ve instead chose to follow Jesus. When we’re faced with the challenge on whom to choose, we hope that we would also choose Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Reflection for Friday May 19, Fifth Week of Easter: John 15:12-17

Gospel: John 15:12-17
Jesus said to his disciples: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
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Reflection:              
What would happen if the love of Jesus is present in the family? There would be no conflict, no arrogance, no dominant behavior and no misunderstanding. There would also be forgiveness and humility. All of these factors are present because of the presence of the love of Jesus.

Let us say that we take away the love of Jesus, surely we will have conflict inside the family. This is brought about by arrogance, domination, infidelity, lies and so forth.

When Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another as He loved them (John 15:12). He envisioned harmony, forgiveness, trust and everything that is good for His disciples.  This is for the reason that Jesus wanted His disciples to become successful in their mission of evangelization.

Jesus perfectly knew that without love that originates from Him the disciples will not become successful in their mission. Their efforts would simply be in vain because they will simply be pulling each other’s leg downward. And there would be jealousy, arrogance and misunderstanding among His disciples. Therefore there would be failure of their mission of evangelization.

We too will not become successful in our mission for Jesus and we will not have harmony inside the family. Unless we learn to imbibe and live this love commandment of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Reflection for Thursday May 18, Fifth Week of Easter: John 15:9-11

Gospel: John 15:9-11
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”
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Reflection:
There was a woman who would vocally profess her love for Jesus. She would always tell the members of her church ministry that she loves Jesus more than her life. But the woman is also a domineering figure in her church community she throws her weight around so as to achieve what she wants.

What does it mean to remain in the love of Jesus? Is it enough to worship Him but impede His transformational power to move us? Of course not! We must worship Him and we must also allow Him to transform us.

The woman in our story is obviously deficient in her love for Jesus because even if she religiously worships Him She doesn’t allow the transformational power of Jesus to transform her to become a humble and gentle person.

Many of us are like this woman, we are very proud with our worship and love for Jesus but we don’t allow Jesus to transform us. Those who love Jesus are not only fervent worshippers they also zealously follow His virtue of humility and gentleness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas