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

Forgive my many grammatical and punctuation mistakes :). - mjdasma

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Reflection for May 25, Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:17-27

Gospel: Mark 10:17-27
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.” He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”  Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God! The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.” They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”
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Who is this man in the gospel who walked away from his desire to follow Jesus in favor of his treasures? We don’t know but we could compare the attitude of this wealthy man to our own attitude when it comes to wealth.

Many of us can’t give away our wealth so that it may serve its real purpose none other than to feed the hungry and clothe the naked. When the wealthy man walked away from Jesus he allowed himself to be possessed by his love for his wealth. He was already at the threshold of the real meaning of life yet he still chose to be possessed by the false meaning of life which is accumulation and possession of wealth and power.

Many of us including our politicians allow ourselves to be possessed by this false meaning of life. Which in the end will only serve as our downfall and we become the object of ridicule because we allowed ourselves to be possessed by our greed for wealth and power.

What will it do us if we have wealth yet we don’t have peace of mind? What would wealth bring to our lives if we don’t have God? Nothing but false sense of security, nothing but a life devoid of meaning and a life of emptiness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Sunday May 24, 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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Have you been in a situation where you feared for your life? The disciples were in this predicament after Jesus died on the cross. They were running for their lives and being hunted by the ruling power during that time. It must have been very difficult for them some of them might have even wore disguises to avoid being recognized.

With low morale and fearing for their lives they still managed to communicate and agreed to meet in a locked room. While in the room and perhaps praying and strategizing for their next plan of action, lo and behold the Lord Jesus appeared to them. To give them hope and peace. And before they separated Jesus breathed on them and gave them the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes it is in the lowest point of our lives that the Lord Jesus manifests His presence to us. Perhaps this is so because this is the moment where we are in need of Him. This is the moment in our lives that our minds are not preoccupied by worldliness.

Yet the Lord comes to us not only by Himself, He comes to us bringing with Him peace, hope and surely the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Why the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit? Because the Lord Jesus perfectly knows that we would be facing our own share of difficulties as we continue our journey in this world.

That is why the Holy Spirit is with us so that it could disturb our conscience whenever we sin. It could give us Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Courage, Knowledge and Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2). Let us therefore pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and let us ask Him to shower us His many gifts.

Do you pray to the Holy Spirit and do you ask Him to guide and lead you? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reflection for May 23, Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter; 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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Are you sometimes to inquisitive about the things that does not even concern you? Peter in our gospel is like that, too curious about things that do not even concern him. Why did Peter ask about the beloved disciple?

We don’t know what was going on in peter’s mind when he asked about  John the beloved disciple of Jesus. But one thing was sure during that time: Peter was not paying attention to the instruction of Jesus to follow Him.

If we decide to follow Jesus, let us not be nosy about the lives of others in the parish. Or even the lives of our neighbors, let us rather focus on our very own life or family. Many troubles start from our being meddlesome with the lives of others. Misunderstanding and quarrels may start from it.

Therefore, let us focus solely on our own lives. Let others live their own lives in peace without us meddling or gossiping. Instead of wasting our time meddling or talking about the lives of others which bring us no good.  Let us use our time and energy on thinking of how we could further improve our  personal lives. On thinking of ways on how we could focus more on our desire to silently follow Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas       

Reflection for May 22, Friday of the 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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Do you love me? Jesus asked Simon Peter three times this question. How deep is your love for Jesus? Would you be willing to handle the responsibility that He will be giving you? Love is not love unless you’re willing to sacrifice something, unless you’re willing to handle a responsibility to prove that love.

Simon Peter failed in His test of love for Jesus when he denied Jesus three times. He could have stood for Jesus but Peter was afraid to lose his life, Peter was afraid to sacrifice his very life for Jesus. That’s why he denied Jesus three times. At that moment when Simon Peter denied Jesus Peter gave more importance to his own survival than his love for his Lord and Master.

However, even if Peter denied Jesus three times. Jesus still profoundly loved him. Jesus knew of the human frailties of Peter, Jesus knew that when the going gets tough Peter would deny Him. Yet He still loved Peter, Peter's denial of Jesus did not diminish Jesus love for him. This is the reason why at the end of the gospel Jesus called Peter to follow Him.

How many times have we denied Jesus through the countless sins that we have committed? Yet in spite of these sins Jesus still loves us so much. That He is willing to forget the countless betrayals that we have done to Him. Thus He will never get tired of calling us to follow Him. – Marino J. Dasmarinas (Please share if you like, thanks and God bless!) 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Reflection for May 21, Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter; 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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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 no matter who we are. He is always there to help us and He will always be there to bring our prayers to God. 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. 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. 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 May 20, Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter; John 17:11b-19

Gospel: John 17:11b-19
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one. When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me, and I guarded them, and none of them was lost except the son of destruction in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you. I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely. I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth. As you sent me into the world so I sent them into the world. And I consecrate myself for them so that they also may be consecrated in truth.
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A husband and wife wanted to adhere to the teachings of the church that marriage is for life. So they thought of ways on how they would go about it. In their reflection they thought of making prayer as an agent that would bind them together until they breathe their last in this world. To make a long story short they made prayer part of their married life. Thus they remained married until the end.

As Jesus was about to be arrested, He prayed to God for His disciples. That they may continually be united as one in their mission, united for the reason that they would not succeed without unity.  Isn’t this true also inside a family or married life? A family needs unity for it to succeed, what is the fruit of unity inside the family/marriage? The fruits are: Humility, Honesty, Forgiveness and many more positive attributes.

Every family/marriage that succeeds spiritually is a praying family and a praying family is a united family. Let us therefore not devalue the powerful miracle of prayer inside the family by not prioritizing prayer inside the family. This is for the reason that a family that prays as one would remain united until the end.  

Is prayer already part of the culture of your family and marriage? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, May 18, 2015

Reflection for May 19, Tuesday of the 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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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 to the heart of God is a prayer that originates from our hearts.

We read in our gospel for this Tuesday that Jesus is praying to His God His Father. 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 both of them. We pray for our personal petitions before them, for example prayers for strength to face our daily challenges. Prayers to lighten the loads that we carry, prayers for us not to store any form of hatred in our hearts and so forth.

When we pray we also unknowingly allow God to heal us because through our prayers we allow God to dwell in us. Notice that after we pray from our hearts where we don’t say a word yet we develop a connection with God. We feel light, we feel better and refreshed. Why? Because this is the miraculous effect of our prayers before God.

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