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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Friday, June 30, 2017

Reflection for Saturday July 8, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 9:14-17

Gospel: Matthew 9:14-17
The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”
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What happens when we give our life to Jesus when we begin to fully trust HIM and leave behind our sinful past? We are introduced to a new life environment with Jesus where everything is new and spotless.

What is this new life with Jesus all about? This is a new life totally free from our dark past. Yes we all have our own share of dark past that nobody knows except us. We must never look back to this dark past otherwise we may be tempted to mire our lives with the enticement of the devil once again. And this is very dangerous for it could completely destroy us.

What will make us permanently free from the temptations of the evil one? We must always be connected with Jesus in every second of our lives for this is the only way that we could prevent the devil from destroying us. Just look around, evil temptations disguised as beautiful things are everywhere tempting us to bite it once again.

Never allow the devil to get hold of you anymore, remember that Jesus has saved you already. You are now the new wine that has already been poured into the fresh wineskin none other than Jesus Himself. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday July 7, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 9:9-13

Gospel: Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”
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Why does Jesus calls us to follow Him? He calls us out of His great love for us. Jesus doesn’t want any of us to be eaten alive by the many sins of this world. Jesus doesn’t want any of us to suffer in hell after our mortal life in this world is over and done with already.

We have in our gospel a character named Matthew a corrupt tax collector who was called by Jesus to follow Him. Even if Matthew is a sinner deep in his heart he knows Jesus. Matthew knows deep in his heart that in Jesus he would find healing, forgiveness and a new life. Matthew knows deep in His heart that in Jesus he has somebody who will not condemn him but would be very much willing to listen to his desire to repent and become His follower.

Therefore, when Jesus told Matthew to follow Him (Matthew 9:9) he immediately left everything behind him and followed Jesus. When Matthew heard Jesus telling him to follow Him, Matthew heard the sweetest words that he could ever hear in his entire life. It made Matthew whole once again for he has been broken by sin throughout his adult life.

Perhaps Matthew burst into tears when he heard Jesus told him to come and follow Him. It was tears of unexplained happiness, tears of relief and freedom from the enslavement of the devil.

Do you also want to feel how Matthew felt during that very day that Jesus called him to come and follow Him? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Thursday July 6, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 9:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Courage, child, your sins are forgiven." At that, some of the scribes said to themselves, "This man is blaspheming." Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, :Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"–he then said to the paralytic, "Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He rose and went home. When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
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Who brought the paralytic to Jesus?

Nobody knows because their names were not mentioned by Jesus in the gospel. Jesus knew that those who brought the paralytic to Him were very humble and not very concerned with the credit that they would receive. It was enough for them that they’ve helped this paralytic go to Jesus.

 After they were through with their mission to bring the paralytic to Jesus they simply blended with the multitude of people. Not concerned of their good deed and not concerned of the publicity that they may receive.

How many of us are like those who brought the paralytic to Jesus? They were very humble, very selfless not concerned of the credit and publicity that is rightly due them. 

In our world today where we can easily publicize via social media every good deed that we do.
The gospel is teaching us be silent when we do good for the simple reason that every acts of goodness that we do in secrecy and silence is appreciated more by God.

 Let us therefore help without any expectation of something in return. Let us help without trumpeting the good deeds that we do because God is more pleased by this. And certainly God rewards more those who help and those who do good in silence and secrecy. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday July 5, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:28-34

Gospel: Matthew 8:28-34
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
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Are demons for real?

Demons are for real it’s just around us waiting to pounce upon us the moment they see that our faith in Jesus is weak. But it’s not anymore the typical frightening figure for it has also evolved with time. It disguises itself now in so many ways that we can hardly recognize it until it captures us and eventually destroy us.

It could disguise itself within us through our evil thoughts that comes to us every once in a while. For example the feeling of lusting after someone even if it’s immoral, we will not be able to recognize it until it’s too late already.

In the secular world that we’re in the devil uses a lot of worldly things to keep our attention away from God.  This is the reason why many of us become bigtime sinners for the simple reason that we’ve allowed the devil to capture us. 

But let us not be fearful because there’s somebody who can easily defeat these demons and it’s no other that Jesus. So we should always be connected to Jesus by means of having an active prayer life and we must always ask His help and guidance. For the simple reason that Jesus is simply a prayer away from us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Tuesday July 4, Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:23-27

Gospel: Matthew 8:23-27
As Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” He said to them, “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?” Then he got up, rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was great calm. The men were amazed and said, “What sort of man is this, whom even the winds and the sea obey?”
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What is faith? Faith is the fuel that keeps us going in the midst of uncertainty. When the disciples were being tossed by a violent storm they suddenly were overcome by fear. They did not cling to their faith in Jesus considering that HE was also with them.  That’s why Jesus told them: “Why are you terrified, O you of little faith?”

Don’t we allow ourselves also to be paralyzed by our unfounded fears? For example, the fear of dying, the fear of sickness and so forth, we often times allow ourselves to be paralyzed by these uncertainties in our lives. However, what if we pray to Jesus and ask Him to help is befriend death, sickness and everything that we fear?

Then, fear will be erased from our mindset permanently, if we have faith in Jesus we need not fear anything that may come to us. Our faith in Jesus is more than enough to strengthen us and conquer all our worries in life.

Next time that we face storms in our lives let us be still, keep calm and firmly hold on to our faith in Jesus. Even if what is ahead of us is a little bit hazy let us have faith. Let us continue to believe that Jesus will never forsake those who believe.

Let us continue to have a laser like focus and faith in Jesus, let us not give space for fear in our hearts. For fear is an instrument of the devil to sway us away from the loving care of Jesus.

If you think you lack faith, humbly ask the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of faith. And strengthen it further by your active prayer life, by reading the Holy bible and by your presence at Holy Mass. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reflection for Monday July 3, Saint Thomas, Apostle: John 20:24-29

Gospel: John 20:24-29
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 Thomas 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."
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Do you need to see explicit evidence before you believe in Jesus?

Thomas did not believe that Jesus had appeared to the other disciples unless he see and experience it for himself. His wish was granted by Jesus when He appeared to them for the second time. During His second appearance Jesus invited Thomas to put his fingers into his side and to see His wounded hands. Having that experience Thomas finally believed.

Many of us are like Thomas, full of unbelief and doubts that Jesus will make a difference in our lives unless we see and experience His miracles. Jesus is challenging us to always walk by our faith and not by our sight. That’s why at the end of the gospel reading Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.

Doubting Thomas is how we normally call the apostle Thomas who doubted unless he sees the risen Jesus in the flesh. But did he really doubt or Thomas simply wants to have a confirmation about the news that Jesus has risen?

There’s absolutely no wrong when we simply want to confirm what we believe. For the reason that when we want to confirm what we believe it simply means that we are thirsting for something that will further reinforce our faith. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, July 2; Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 10:37-42

Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42
Jesus said to his apostles: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. Whoever receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and whoever receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward."
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A poor boy would always pass by a store in their neighborhood to ask for food that he could bring home to feed his sick father. He would always do this every day for the simple reason that the store owner was kindhearted.

After a few days had passed the store owner was wondering how come the boy was not passing by his store anymore. So he asked the people around the neighborhood about the boy and he was told that the boy’s family transferred to the city to stay with a relative.

After twenty years the store owner was now old and sick thus he already closed the store because no one would tend to it anymore. One day a young rich man was looking for the man who owned the store. So the young man was brought to the former store owner.

There he introduced himself to be the boy who would ask for food that he could bring to his sick father. The eyes of the sick man glowed and he asked: Why are you here? The rich man said: “I am here to give back your goodness.” He therefore brought the sick man to the hospital, paid for all of his hospital bills. When he was discharged he invited the old man to stay with him for good.

In the gospel for this Sunday, Jesus talks about giving back to those who do good to his followers. What does this mean? This simply means that whatever good that we do to those who follow Jesus we will receive back a hundredfold.  

Of course we all know that Jesus doesn’t want us to limit our acts of goodness to His followers only. Jesus wants us to do good to anyone who is in need: To the poor loitering in the street, to the beggar asking for alms, to a relative who ask for help and the like. We do good not because we want something in return someday. We do good for the simple reason that we simply want to obey Jesus.       

When was the last time you did good to somebody in need? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Reflection for Saturday July 1, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:5-17

 Gospel: Matthew 8:5-17
When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.” He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you. And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.
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Are you always available to those who are in need of your help?

Why is Jesus a magnet to people most especially to those who are in need? This is for the reason that Jesus never refused anyone who asked for His help most especially those who are persistent. Jesus was always available, Jesus would always have time for them regardless of who they are and where they came from.

The centurion/soldier in our gospel came from a faraway place and certainly not a follower of Jesus. But he knew Jesus and he heard of His miracles so he ventured to see Him. And when he saw Jesus he asked him to cure his servant. Jesus never had any second thought of helping the centurion; he even offered to go his house to personally cure the centurion’s servant.

This gospel episode invites us to reflect if we also make ourselves available to those who are in need of our help. Often times we are not willing to help because it will disturb us. It will affect our personal finances and schedules but it’s not every day that we are asked for help.

The best way to share our faith and to share Jesus is not through eloquent or bombastic preaching. The best way to share our faith and to share Jesus is when we make ourselves available most especially to those who are in need. And to those who can’t give back the help that we will give them. – Marino J. Dasmarinas        

Reflection for Friday June 30, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 8:1-4

Gospel: Matthew 8:1-4
When Jesus came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And then a leper approached, did him homage, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." He stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I will do it. Be made clean." His leprosy was cleansed immediately. Then Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them."
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A woman who was scheduled for a sensitive operation was advised by a relative to first go to a priest. So that she would first be conferred with the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Then after the sacrament she was also told to go the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel so that she could spend precious time with Jesus.

After a few days the operation went on smoothly and the woman eventually recovered and she resumed her normal life. Jesus heals us through the hand of the priest who confers to us the Sacrament of Anointing of the sick. Jesus heals us also through our time spent with Him in the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel.

There is always a healing experience whenever we seek the presence of Jesus in our lives. We may not immediately experience this healing but it’s always there being conferred to us by Jesus, it’s either physical or spiritual. He confers it to us through the Sacrament for the Sick and through our prayerful encounter with Him.

In our gospel a person sick with leprosy approached Jesus, did him homage, and prayerfully said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I will do it. Be made clean. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Reflection for Thursday June 29, Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles (Solemnity): Matthew 16:13-19

Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
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Who is Saint Peter? He is the first Pope, Jesus founded the church through him. Who is Saint Paul? Saint Paul was initially the number one persecutor of the early church. However God intervened and Paul became the first missionary of the church to the pagan nations.

In our own little way we can be like Peter who waivered on his faith yet Jesus did not give up on him. We may once in a while fail on our faith on Jesus but we can trust that Jesus will not condemn us.  He will rather pick us up again and strengthen us. So we must not give-up on our selves no matter how sinful we are so long as we desire to live a new life Jesus will always be there for us.

Saint Paul gave it all he got to help Jesus advance the Christian faith, his courage to further the teachings of Jesus is something that we must emulate. But if we are not willing to follow his method of evangelization which involved preaching and going into pagan territories. The advance technology at our disposal such as internet/social media is available for us. 

Let us use it to our advantage to spread the good news. Let us share the words of God using the internet/social media by quoting bible readings, passages and verses. Through posting it in our social media accounts by doing so we are able to live and share our faith. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday June 28, Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr: Matthew 7:15-20

Gospel: Matthew 7:15-20
Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them."
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Mr. A is a preacher of the word of God he is very effective in his craft because he often makes people cry. And he knows how to connect with the emotions of his audience. But unknown to his followers Mr. preacher is a lover of luxury for he lives in style he owns lavish properties that can rival any business tycoon.

There are real life preachers even priest who betrays their vocation. And the trust of their flock by splurging on expensive things and by living lives unfit to their vocation. For example, many years ago I saw on TV a preacher who walked-out of an interview. For the simple reason that the reporter asked him about his many properties.

We must be careful of these people who pretend to speak for God; we must not blindly follow them.  We must carefully observe them; once we observe that something is wrong with what they say and do. Let us not think twice and tell them that what they are doing is wrong so that they’ll know that they’re being carefully observed.

After telling them and they persist with their improper lifestyle it’s about time that we stop following them. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for Tuesday June 27, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 7:6, 12-14

Gospel: Matthew 7:6, 12-14
Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces. "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the Law and the Prophets.

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few."
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A man was advised by his mother to stop going out with his friends that only brought troubles and problems into his life. He adamantly defended his friends and he continued with his friendship with his troublesome and drug user friends. He continued this until they met an accident where he was paralyzed.

The narrow gate is the doorway to righteousness and the doorway to be friends with Jesus. The narrow gate is the advice of our relatives and well meaning friends, they have no other intention but our welfare.

However, we often times refuse to enter this narrow gate because it initially curtails our earthly happiness and desires, we prefer to enter the wide gate because it gives us liberty to follow our earthly desires which only leads us to sin even destruction.

When we decide to go through the narrow gate there surely will be some discomfort for the simple reason that we are not used to it. For example, from a hedonistic life we now decide to turn a new leaf and begin to follow Jesus. 

We surely would go through some humps and bumps however it’s just temporary. Sooner we will find out that the narrow gate that leads to Jesus will give us true serenity and peace.

Let us think and prefer the narrow gate that leads to Jesus and we would never ever regret that decision. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday June 26, Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 7:1-5

Gospel: Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
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What do you get by judging others? Nothing except the accumulation of hatred in your heart which if not corrected could even cause you sickness even death. What if you will not judge or you are not quick to judge? There would be no hatred within you! As such you would feel free, you will look younger and sickness will not be your best friend.

We may not know this but we are quick to judge others for the simple reason that we have a very high regard of ourselves. And this is brought about by our feeling of superiority towards others. But why do we feel superior towards others? When we are all created by God as equals.  Where does this superiority feeling emanates?

We have this feeling of superiority because God is not truly present within us. And God is not a permanent dweller in our hearts. There’s a story of a woman who was a regular fixture in church organization. But she was not well liked because she was so judgmental, has a high regard of herself and self-righteous. Are we not often times also judgmental, has a high regard of ourselves and self-righteous?

In our gospel for this Monday we hear Jesus telling us to stop judging. Why? This is for the reason that when we judge we already distance ourselves from the person that we judge. We already create a wall that may permanently divide us from that person. If this is so, how can we convert them? How can we let them feel the love of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, June 19, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, June 25; Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 10:26-33

Gospel: Matthew 10:26-33
Jesus said to the Twelve: "Fear no one. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."
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A man had trepidation if he would share his reflections about the words of God using the internet. The reason which he was apprehensive of was his personal intellectual inadequacy and his very shallow vocabulary of the English language.

Amidst his limitations and apprehensions he proceeded to write his simple reflections. Almost ten years had passed the man who was fearful of his intellectual shortcomings is still writing his simple reflection on the daily gospel until this present moment.  

In this Sunday’s gospel Jesus tells us to fear no one, this is an encompassing advice from Jesus which surely include our fear if we can speak or write for Jesus. If we let fear into our hearts it would surely paralyze us. However why fear if we have faith and belief in Jesus. Why fear when Jesus Himself is telling us to share anything that we know about Him, share it with humility.

The apostles did not let fear defeat them for they knew that even if there was no physical manifestation of Jesus’ presence. There was always the presence of His spiritual and sacramental manifestation before them.

Jesus calls us all as well, we who are inadequate for He will make us adequate. We who are half empty for He will fill us until we overflow. And we who are feareful for He will make us courageous.

What He only wants from us is to learn to trust Him for he will equip us with anything that we need. – Marino J. Dasmarinas     

Friday, June 16, 2017

Reflection for Saturday June 24, The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist: Luke 1:57-66, 80

Gospel: Luke 1:57-66, 80
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit,  and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
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What’s in a name? It seems that the name of the child of Elizabeth and Zechariah has a big bearing on their future. Was the issue confined in the name only of the child or there was something bigger than the name? The relatives wanted to name the child after his father Zechariah but it was not what the Lord wanted them to name the child.

The Lord wanted to name the child John that’s why Elizabeth and Zechariah insisted that the child be named John and when they named him John. Zechariah was freed from his speech disability his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. This took place for the reason that both Elizabeth and Zechariah were faithful to what God wanted them to do.

Faithfulness to God as evidenced with what happened to Zechariah gives us unfathomable blessings. It opens our lives to the abundant graces from God, it makes us whole and it heals us.

What does God ask from us? It’s for us to be faithful to HIS will for us. And what is HIS will for us? It’s for us to live our lives pleasing to HIS eyes alone. The moment we contradict God and we try to live our lives for this temporal world we can expect chaos and complications to follow. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Friday June 23, The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus: Matthew 11:25-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus exclaimed: "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Do you have a devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus?

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, through his Sacred Heart Jesus is telling us this: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Even if they were equal in stature Jesus always prayed to God the Father, Jesus always humbles Himself before God. A good question to ask ourselves: Do we always find time to pray to God to praise Him and thank Him? Do we always humble ourselves before God?

Sometimes there’s a tendency for us to forget God and be proud of our worldly achievements. For the reason that we have the education and money, we forget God and allow ourselves to be swept away from God.  
Our earthly achievements and possessions may create a sense of security for us. However this is a big lie, no matter how learned we are, no matter how rich we are it will not guaranty our security and happiness in this world. For the simple reason that true happiness and security is only with Jesus.

On the latter part of the gospel Jesus invites us to come to Him for He will give us rest. Humbly come to Him by way of perpetually attending Holy Mass, humbly come to Him through the Sacrament of Confession/Reconciliation, and humbly come to Him through the Sacrament of Communion.

The moment we sincerely accept Jesus’ invitation, we would truly find rest in Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reflection for Thursday June 22, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 6:7-15

Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.   

“This is how you are to pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
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What is the secret toward intimacy with God? Its prayers that come from the depths of our beings. This is the foundation of our intimacy with God. From the fountain of our prayerful life will emanate the God given desire to know more about God. Do you always pray with your heart and mind on it? Or you only pray when you feel that you need to pray or when you have the time to pray?

The most effective method of prayer is to pray without any excess baggage in your heart. What does this mean? You pray without carrying any hatred in your heart. For example if someone has done you wrong and this person is asking for your forgiveness. What would you do? Will you forgive or not forgive? Of course you have to forgive. For how could God forgive you when you yourself is not willing to forgive? We have to live forgiveness if we want God to hear and forgive us.

We are mere passers by in this world, sooner or later the curtains of our life in this world will come to a close. How can we go to heaven if we carry the weight of unforgiveness in our hearts? And how can we go to heaven if we carry the weight of hatred in our hearts?

When Jesus was dying on the cross He said a short yet very meaningful prayer to God. While gasping for breath Jesus prayed this: Father forgive them for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34). If Jesus can forgive why can’t we forgive?       

Do you have hatred or any form of unforgiveness in your heart right now? Let go of it and if you still cannot let go humbly pray to Jesus and ask Him to heal you.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Wednesday June 21, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

Gospel: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
(Jesus said to his disciples) “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”
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What does Jesus teach us today? It’s about humility and modesty, keep your every acts of piety in secret and don’t trumpet it to the whole wide world including the world of social meadia for HE knows everything. But the world that we are in now is influencing us to discard this teaching of Jesus and embrace publicity and advertising.

Just look at the many vehicles of publicity in the internet such as facebook, instagram, twitter and the like. What are they dictating to us? It dictates us to publicize almost everything that we do, including our acts of piety.

Nothing’s wrong to embrace these social media flatforms if we use it to advance our advocacies with humility. Yet it becomes wrong when we use it to proudly show to the whole wide world the good that we do . Perhaps Jesus is telling us not to worry if nobody would notice our acts of kindness and piety for HE knows it already.

What is important is we do everything for Jesus and for the greater good of HIS people. It doesn’t matter anymore if we would be noticed or not if people would compliment us or not. What is important is we know that we have a God who knows everything including our unpublicized acts of humility and piety. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday June 20, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:43-48

Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48                             
43 Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
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A wife was betrayed by her husband for a younger woman. After years of separation the wife learned that her husband was now sick. So, because of her unconditional love for her husband she went to him and without asking any question she brought her husband to the hospital to heal.

Jesus in our gospel today gives us teaching about unconditional love. A love that pervades everyone. Including those who have hurt us or continue to hurt us, this is very hard to do but this is who Jesus is. He gives us teachings that are seemingly hard to follow based on our human standards. However if we are really devoted to Him we will obey and follow.

What would happen to us if we follow the teachings of Jesus? For example His teaching in today’s gospel about loving and praying for our enemies and persecutors. We free ourselves from undeserved hatred which does not bring us any good anyway.

Let us observe ourselves when we carry hatred in our hearts. We feel that we may explode anytime and this is very bad for our health most especially to our blood pressure. Observe also when we don’t carry any hatred in our hearts, we feel light and we invite the blessings of Jesus to come to us.

Will you follow this teaching of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Monday June 19, Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 5:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 5:38-42
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow."
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What will we gain if we exact revenge to those who’ve aggrieved and injured us? Nothing except further enmity and injury then at the end there will be no winners only losers.

Take for example conflicts in married life, if a wife would revenge for the injury that was caused her by her husband say for example infidelity. The marriage covenant will fall-apart and both parties including their children will end-up as losers.

With this new command to His disciples Jesus supersedes the law of retaliation and Judgment written in the Old Testament (Leviticus and Deuteronomy).

Jesus gives us valuable lessons on humility that can help us build bridges instead of walls. This command of Jesus will also help us avoid conflicts and misunderstanding.   Can we live these teachings of Jesus? If we abhor hostility, if we are humble and if we truly love Jesus we would be able to live these teachings.

Mohandas Gandhi an Indian icon of non-violent political resistance had said: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” This simply means that nobody wins with revenge, in the arena of life the more that we itch for revenge the more that we destroy ourselves.

Instead of exacting revenge why not put on the armor of Humility, why nor learn to pray for those who’ve stepped on our dignity. This is very hard to follow but we must follow because this is what Jesus is teaching us.

If we would always retaliate to any injury done to us we would end up destroying ourselves. – Marino J. Dasmarinas