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, July 30, 2017

Reflection for Saturday August 5, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 14:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 14:1-12
Herod the tetrarch heard of the reputation of Jesus and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him. Now Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him “It is not lawful for you to have her. Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, and he had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
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Reflection:
There is a saying that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. King Herod is an example of a man who was corrupted by his absolute power. He allowed his power to rule over him and not him ruling over his power. Otherwise if King Herod was in control of his power he would have not ordered the beheading of John.

When a leader allows his power to get into his head he would do many foolish things. For example, he may act as if he is more powerful than God by saying words and doing things that are inconceivable for a normal person to say and do.

In the gospel we have a character named King Herod he is a perfect example of a leader who is drunk with power. His power made him arrogant and it made him act as if he is more powerful than God for the reason that he ordered the killing of John. But we also know that those who arrogantly abuse power suffers defeat at the end.   

So what is the lesson for us here? Simple, we should not abuse the power that we hold otherwise we will have to pay for it someday. As they say, what goes around comes around. In other words this simply tell us that whatever evil that we do today brought about by our abuse of power will eventually catch up with us someday. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Reflection for Friday August 4, Saint John Vianney, Priest: Matthew 13:54-58

Gospel: Matthew 13:54-58
Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue. They were astonished and said, "Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter's son' Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas' Are not his sisters all with us' Where did this man get all this?" And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house." And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
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Reflection:
Unbelief ruled the feelings of Jesus’ town mates towards Him because they were familiar with Him. To them He was just a carpenter’s son; they know Him so well that they were full of skepticism with His miraculous actions and moving teachings.

But looking deeper into their motives we can also see that they were envious of the adulation that Jesus gets from the people. This is the reality of life there really are people who are envious of the success of their fellowmen. It happened to Jesus and it’s still happening right now.

Envy and scorn are unhealthy emotion that muddle one’s mind and heart and it prevents a person from achieving a positive outlook in his own life.

Jesus knew of their envy, scorn and lack of faith that’s why He did not perform much miracle in His native place. If only they were not envious and scornful of Jesus, if only they were not lacking in faith they could have witnessed and even received many miracles from Jesus.

We must always have faith in Jesus and we must discard any envious feelings toward anyone from within our hearts. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday August 3, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:47-53

Gospel: 13:47-53
Jesus said to the disciples: "The Kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."

"Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old." When Jesus finished these parables, he went away from there.
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Reflection:
A mother was pleading to her son to straighten-up his life. But the son would pretend not to hear the pleadings of his mother. So he continued to commit sin until he grew old and eventually died. After dying the son was immediately whisked into hell by the devil.

Hell and the devil is not only an afterlife reality, it’s also a present life reality. We would become a close confidant of the Devil and taste hell in this present life if we continue to sin. We will have no peace of mind; our lives would be problematic. The root cause of this problematic life is our refusal to leave behind sin.

Our gospel for today clearly states this: “Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth (Matthew 13:49-50).”

There’s a hellish price for our sinfulness. But why suffer the grievous price of sin when we can walk-a-way from it?  Why not walk away from sin now, right now. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday August 2, Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:44-46

Gospel: Matthew 13:44-46
Jesus said to his disciples: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.”
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Reflection:
A lady who finds the greatest love of her life is very much willing to give up everything that stands on her way: be it the love of her parents, siblings and even her inheritance. She will be willing to give it all up for the sake of her great love.

There are two important characters in the gospel. The first one is the person who sold everything that he owns so that he could buy the field with treasure. The second one is the merchant who found the pearl. The field with treasure and the pearl of great price represents the kingdom of heaven.

After finding it they were never the same again because they found something that would satisfy them for life. And without them knowing it what they’ve found would serve as their passage to heaven in the afterlife.

Finding Jesus is more than finding the greatest love of your life. It’s like finding the greatest treasure and pearl. It’s an unexplainable feeling that tells you that you’ve already found the greatest possession that you can ever have in this world. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday August 1, Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church: Matthew 13:36-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field." He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear."
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Reflection:
Do you know that the good Lord is patiently waiting for you to embrace Him?

In the beginning of our lives God sowed to us all that is good. For example, through the Sacrament of Baptism He sowed in us our faith. Yet as we mature in this world the Devil also does his own thing, sowing nothing but evil often times disguised as pleasures.

Many of us unfortunately succumb to the pleasurable seeds sown by the Devil.  As a result of this we led lives that are chaotic and problematic and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.  Our lives are in turmoil and without peace for the simple reason that we embraced the Devil.

We refuse to heed the many advices of well-meaning friends and family we instead follow our fleeting and sinful worldly desires. As such we already taste hell in this world. However, for as long as we breath in this world there is hope. Hope to feel the unconditional love of Jesus.

The good Lord is so patient with us that He is very much willing to wait for us to have a change of heart. until when would the good Lord wait for us? Until our last breath in this world. The good Lord will never give up on us no matter how sinful we are and no matter who we are.

For as long as we breath there is hope: Hope of redemption, hope of forgiveness and hope of unconditional love from the good Lord.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Reflection for Monday July 31, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest: Matthew 13:31-35

Gospel: Matthew 13:31-35
Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.  "The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the 'birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'" He spoke to them another parable. "The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened."

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
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Reflection:
Do you want to increase your faith?

The tiny mustard seed became the largest of plants, the yeast was little until it was mixed with three measures of wheat flour after which it grew bigger. There’s that transition in the gospel for both parables from being small both grew big.

By virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Confirmation Jesus planted that small seed of faith in us. He has no other desire but for us to nurture it and let it grow and bloom where other could benefit from us. But somehow as we mature many of us put aside our faith and we prioritize the temporal things of this world.

God’s desire is for us to nurture our faith, it’s His perpetual yearning for us: to grow our faith. Let us therefore ask Jesus to grant us the grace to increase our faith. And of course let us also do our part by faithfully adhering to the teachings of the church, by our pious presence at Holy Mass and by reading the bible.

Thus our faith will grow, just like the tiny mustard seed which grew big and the yeast which livened the three measures of wheat flour. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, July 30; Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:44-52

Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52
(Jesus told his disciples) “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

“Do you understand all these things?” They answered, “Yes.” And he replied, “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”
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Reflection:
A woman who had four children from four different men was on the verge of giving up on her life. She had nowhere to go because she was disowned already by her family for the reason of her wayward lifestyle. "She said to herself, “I feel alone and nobody trust and love me anymore, yet I don’t blame anyone but myself."

While aimlessly walking she saw a sign with these words, If you feel nobody wants you anymore, come to us: We will take care of you. So she went and she found out that it was a shelter for unwanted mothers run by nuns. To make a long story short, the nuns cared for her unconditionally and through them she discovered the unconditional love of Jesus.

Through Jesus and the nuns she found restoration, hope and healing. With gratitude she said to the nuns; you took care of me when nobody else cared. You gave me the unconditional love of Jesus when no one else bothered to give it to me. Through you I found the greatest treasure in this world which is the unconditional love of Jesus.

Everyone of us has a purpose and mission in this world and this is none other than to introduce the greatest treasure and the most precious pearl in this world which is rarely found by others. This greatest treasure and rarest pearl is Jesus. We must take time therefore to know Him and share Him so that others may discover Him through us.

How could others discover Jesus through you? You must give hope instead of condemnation, you must be forgiving rather than be unforgiving and you must always sow love rather than hatred. – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Friday, July 21, 2017

Reflection for Saturday July 29, Saint Martha: John 11:19-27

Gospel: John 11:19-27
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother [Lazarus, who had died]. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise." Martha said to him, "I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world."
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Reflection:
A young man was living his life without any clear direction It was all boozing for him. His mother told the young man, “If you will not change you will depart this world early.” The young man said to his mother, “help me live a new life mama.” His mother told him:  Be with me as I go to Holy Mass daily.” The man did so and slowly but surely he lived a renewed life.   

When Lazarus died both Martha and Mary were forlorn as if their world had ended with the death of their brother Lazarus. Until Jesus came to pay them a visit and from there on the sister’s hopeless life suddenly had hope and life once again.

This is for the reason that Jesus went to visit them, that visit culminated with the raising of their brother Lazarus. Do you feel that you are without hope for the reason of the many problems that you’ve been going through?

There is hope and you can find it in Jesus, in the midst of this problem filled world. Jesus is offering you not only hope but a new lease on life.  Believe, have hope and faith in Him and you’ll have a new life. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Friday July 28, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:18-23

Gospel: Matthew 13:18-23   
Jesus said to his disciples: "Hear the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom without understanding it, and the Evil One comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold."
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Reflection:
Would you allow Jesus to bear fruit in your life so that you would become the seed sown on rich soil?

Four seeds were sown on four different surfaces: On the path, rocky ground, sown among thorns and rich soil. The seeds are the word of God and the disciples represent the four environments.

Jesus’ wanted the disciples to be the rich soil at all times (to hear the word, understand it and live it). But God has also given them the freedom of choice to choose what surface they would be.

The parable of the sower is a parable that depicts our individual response to Jesus’ call for us to follow Him.  Many of us don’t give this call serious thought. Quite a few embrace this call; they let it grow in their hearts by means of sharing their faith through their words and actions. Jesus obviously wants us all to become the rich soil so that we could be fruitful and useful followers.

We all have the freedom of choice to choose where we would be among the four environments. However, as far as Jesus is concerned He always wants us to be the rich soil. You may ask for what reason? The answer here is very simple: God wants us to be at His bosom in heaven when our earthly journey is over someday.

Start to become fruitful by sharing and living your faith and the words of Jesus. Take courage and don’t be afraid of the obstacles. Simply follow Jesus desire for your life for He will take care of everything. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Thursday July 27, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 13:10-17

Gospel: Matthew 13:10-17
The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Why do you speak to the crowd in parables?" He said to them in reply, "Because knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven    has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.

Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You shall indeed hear but not understand,
you shall indeed look but never see.
Gross is the heart of this people,
they will hardly hear with their ears,
they have closed their eyes,
lest they see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their hearts and be converted
and I heal them.

"But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it."
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Reflection:
Do you discern the intervention of Jesus in your life through real life stories that you go through?

The disciples were discerning of these stories coursed through parables.  However, the fickle crowd were not discerning. Why? This is for the reason that they only follow because of their need of Jesus. After they’ve gotten what they want they once again detach themselves from Jesus in other words the fickle crowd were followers in need only.

There are still many nowadays who are like the fickle crowd they go to Jesus because they are in need. For instance, those who are carrying many burdens. After they’ve been relieved of their burdens they distance themselves once again until their next need comes around.

We must follow Jesus the way the disciples followed Him they were not followers in need only, they were always there for Him; in good times and in bad. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday July 26, Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Matthew 13:1-9

Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up.

Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection:
Where do you take refuge when life’s troubles hit you? You certainly don’t take refuge in this world you instead take refuge in Jesus, in Him you find solace and strength. After doing so you are again ready to face your life’s trials and challenges.

When we take refuge in Jesus we do one of these or we even do all of these:  we pray we go to Holy Mass, we visit HIM in the Adoration Chapel and we read the bible. We must not be satisfied with simply doing these acts of worship and devotion. We must also allow it to transform us so that others may see not our transformed selves but Jesus in ourselves thus we bring them closer to Jesus.

How would they see Jesus in us and how could we bring them closer to Jesus? We must allow ourselves to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. And we can only do this if we will allow Jesus to transform us for this is HIS desire for all of us: To become the seeds that fell on the rich soil.

At the end of the day it’s still in our hands if we would allow Jesus to transform us to become the seeds that fell on rich soil. We have nothing to lose and everything is ours to gain if we become docile to the desire of Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Tuesday July 25, Saint James, Apostle: Matthew 12:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
The mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something. He said to her, "What do you wish?" She answered him, "Command that these two sons of mine sit, one at your right and the other at your left, in your Kingdom." Jesus said in reply, "You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?" They said to him, "We can." He replied, "My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard this, they became indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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Reflection:
Do you love to be in the limelight when you do something for God and your fellowmen?

The mother and the two sons obviously loved to be in the limelight, they do not know the virtue of humility. Otherwise they would have not requested to sit beside Jesus. If they know something about the virtue of humility they would have not asked Jesus that self-serving request.

How is it to be a true servant of the Lord? To be a true servant is to be humble at all times to be self-effacing and not to seek recognition at all times.  Therefore, Jesus will be recognized and not you.

 We have our different motivations in serving in the different ministries in our church or in helping our fellowmen. Some use it as a spring board to enter politics. Some use it for them to be known in their community and as a badge of honor for them to be respected.

It’s none of the above actually.

True service in the church and with our fellowmen must always be accompanied by the virtue of humility. Our motivation is to serve without thinking of the gains and accolades that we will reap in return and this is how Jesus served us, His church. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reflection for Monday July 24, Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:38-42

Gospel: Matthew 12:38-42
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and there is something greater than Jonah here. At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here."
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Reflection:
A single lady who was in her early thirties was eyeing a man to be her boyfriend but she was not sure if he was the right one for her. So she said, I need a sign I need to see a white butterfly right now so that I will say yes to him.

Lo and behold she saw a white butterfly passing by her, consequently she took it as a sign and she said yes to the man. Unfortunately after a few years they separated, what do this mean? Affirmative signs are not manifestation of truth thus we should not rely upon it.

Some of us may demand a sign from Jesus to confirm something but no sign is needed anymore. No sign is bigger than Jesus, for as long as our faith in Jesus is strong and for as long as we have that personal friendship  with Him. Jesus is more than enough for us to carry us through our life’s journey.

Let us always trust on Jesus for he will never fail us, we may experience humps and bumps in our lives every now and then. However, let us not make the mistake of using these humps and bumps as an excuse to separate ourselves from Jesus. 

For those who will not separate, those who will continue to have faith and those who will continue to work in the vineyard of the good Lord will be rewarded someday. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Sunday, July 23; Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 13:24-43

Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43
Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”

He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world. Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
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Reflection: 
What is a parable? It’s a short story that imparts moral lessons about life which we can use for us to become more effective followers of God. 

Jesus spoke in parables because He wants to convey moral teaching to His disciples. These parables are not only for the disciples to reflect on. This is also for us to ponder and contemplate.

The first parable is about a man who sowed good seeds, and then while all were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds. The owner just let both the good seeds and weeds grow side by side. However, during harvest time the weeds were pulled first, after that they were tied in bundles and were burned. After which they carefully gathered the wheat and they put it into the owner’s barn.

If our lives will end now, where will we end up? Would it be in hell to burn like the weeds? Or would it be in heaven like the wheat that ended up in the owner’s barn.

The second parable is about the tiny mustard seeds that were sowed in the field. It rose like a big tree where birds find rest. When we were baptized the seed of our catholic faith was also sowed by Jesus into us. Has it risen as big as a mustard seed? Have we become instrument of Jesus’ compassion and mercy in words and in deeds? Have we been a safe refuge for those who are in distress?

The third parable is about the yeast that influenced a mass of dough to rise. Have we become yeast for those who are not properly acquainted with Jesus? For example we introduce Jesus to them in that process we become the yeast that influenced the growth of their faith in Jesus.

These three parables invite you to self-reflection. How are you as followers of Jesus? Are you like the weeds or the wheat?

Is your faith now as big as the mustard seed where your brothers and sisters in faith can take refuge and solace?

Have you already become yeast to your family and friends by way of helping them know Jesus in a much deeper sense? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reflection for Saturday July 22, Saint Mary Magdalene: John 20:1-2, 11-18

Gospel: John 20:1-2, 11-18
On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don’t know where they put him.”

Mary 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 Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord,” and then reported what he told her.
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Reflection:
Do you search for Jesus? If you search for Jesus you will find Him.

If you attend Holy Mass Jesus is there, if you open your bible and read the gospels you will find Jesus there. If you go to the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel you will be with Jesus.  

Mary Magdalene intensely searched for Jesus, she went to the tomb while it was still dark and was so distressed when she did not find the body of Jesus. However she did not stop looking for HIM she went on with her search until Jesus appeared to her.

The sole secret to find Jesus and to develop closeness with Him is to continuously have this thirst for HIM like we thirst for water. As water quenches our thirst and invigorates our bodies the Lord also does this to us and more. HE will quench our thirst; HE will invigorate our weary bodies.

HE will do many more incredible things for you provided you continuously search and thirst for HIM. After finding Jesus you will now have to share Him so that your fellowmen will be blessed as you’ve been blessed by Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reflection for Friday July 21, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 12:1-8

Gospel: Matthew 12:1-8
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, I desire mercy, not sacrifice, you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath.”
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Reflection:
Do you judge quickly?

When Pope Francis was asked about homosexuals he said this: "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith? They shouldn't be marginalized. This comment by the Pope evoked countless positive comments all over the world. Why? Because it broke barriers, it erased the usual stigma that homosexuals are sinful.

When the disciples eat during the Sabbath the Pharisees told Jesus, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:2).” But Jesus justly defended HIS disciples by saying: “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent (Matthew 12:3-5)?

Like the Pharisees, it’s so easy for us to judge based only on what we see but what we see is often a false representation a person’s identity. Unlike us who easily judge, HE doesn't, what is important for Jesus is mercy, what is important for Jesus is the goodness of a person’s heart.

How are we going to spread the goodness of Jesus if we are overly strict and judgmental and if we are not gentle and understanding? The Pharisees in our gospel were judgmental they want their laws to be strictly followed. But the irony of it all is they were also the silent violators of the laws that they have self-servingly created. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Reflection for Thursday July 20, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 11:28-30

Gospel: Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus said to the crowds: “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.”
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Reflection:
Are you sometimes feeling weary and burdened by the problems that you carry? You‘re not alone for many of us are sometimes burdened by worldly problems. However these burdens the we carry are miraculously made light. The moment we learn to submit it to Jesus and when we invite Jesus to help us carry it.

Why do you endure to carry the burden of someone you love or to suffer for someone you love? This is for the reason that you are already yoked or made one with this person that you love. For example, in married life if your spouse is sick you would sacrifice and love to take care of your spouse until he/she gets well. Or you may even wish that you’re the one that is sick and not your spouse.

Why is this so? This is for the reason that Jesus bonded the two of you to become one through the Sacrament of Matrimony.  Remember the words of your marriage vows that says: “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." If marriage made you one with your spouse, through your Baptism you became one with Jesus or you are already yoked with Jesus.

Let us therefore always respond to this open invitation of Jesus; we who are often times burdened by the difficulties of life for we will always find healing and strength in HIM. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Reflection for Wednesday July 19, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 11:25-27

Gospel: Matthew 11:25-27
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 the childlike. 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.”
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Reflection:
A man was very serious in his desire to know God, so what he did was he devoured every book that deals about God. But he was wondering how come that the more that he read books about God the more that God becomes alien to him.

So he seek the advice of a wise man for enlightenment thus he was told by the wise man, your dilemma is simple. You need to become more humble as you read more about God. You should put into your heart and not into your head whatever learning that you obtain from your readings.

Do you want to discover more about the movement of God in your life? The secret word is humility: childlike humility; this is for the reason that the more childlike you become in front of God the more that you open yourself to His many graces.

What is the demeanor of Jesus when He prays to God? Jesus is always humble before God, He doesn’t brag or boast anything about the achievement of His mission. So, we too should always be humble for this is the secret for us to know more about God. -  Marino J. Dasmarinas    

Monday, July 10, 2017

Reflection for Tuesday July 18, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 11:20-24

Gospel: Matthew 11:20-24
Jesus began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented. “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. And as for you, Capernaum:

Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the nether world. For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
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Reflection:
A man was being bothered by his many sins, he would think of it every now and then and it would always give him guilt of conscience. He had no peace of mind; a friend noticed his uneasy behavior so he was asked what was bothering him. After telling his friend what was bothering him, he was advised to repent from all of his sins through the Sacrament of Confession. So he did and he finally had peace of mind.

The people of Chorazin and Bethsaida were reprimanded by Jesus for they refused to repent from their evil ways. Why do we refuse to repent and why do we love to sin? The reason perhaps is we love the devil one more than Jesus, we love this world more than we love to be eventually in heaven with Jesus. Otherwise if we love Jesus we would repent and this repentance will reach its apex once we submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession.

This is who we are, we love to sin yet we don’t want to be in hell but what we don’t know is as we continue to sin we also slowly give our lives to be with the evil one in hell. Are Satan and  hell real? Of course they are! Observe those who continue to sin or who continue to live sinful lives.

They may be rich and powerful but the reality is they have no peace of mind often times their family also is in turmoil. And the reason for this is their refusal to walk away from sin. Therefore we will be with the evil one and we will feel hell here and now if we will not walk away from sin.

Jesus will surely want us all to repent and to submit ourselves to the Sacrament of Confession. This is for the reason that Jesus wants us to be cleansed from all of our sins that have been enslaving us for so long. Nevertheless, Jesus also gave us the freedom of choice to do what we want to do in this world. 

The choice is ours to make, should we continue to live in the darkness of sin that has been making life so miserable for us? Or we embrace the guiding light of Jesus through HIS offer of repentance. – Marino J. Dasmarinas