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

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reflection for October 13, Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:37-41

Gospel: Luke 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

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What do we do when we invite people to dine in our house? Of course we discreetly observe them especially if our invited guest are few the more that we observe them. We sometimes pretend to be busy but we still observe them quietly.

However, amidst our observation Jesus wants to tell us something: let us not judge them based on their external behavior. Because our judgment based on what we see do not really represent who they really are. There’s a whole lot more that we could discover from our fellowmen if we would not be quick on judging them.

It feeds our ego when we are noticed based on our external appearance: What we do, the clothes that we wear, our physical appearance etc. The more that we are noticed the more that we will reinforce our external actions. These are all superficial, before God these egocentric actions count for nothing before the eyes of God.

What counts before God are those that are not seen by our eyes. What counts before Him is what is inside us not what is outside of us. Those that are not seen such as: a pure conscience, a caring, forgiving and loving heart and a mind that has no place for ill thoughts.

Perhaps, the Pharisee in our gospel invited Jesus to his house not out of his goodwill and kindness. He invited Jesus because he wants to see if Jesus would subscribe to the many rituals of their Jewish faith.

Are we not like the Pharisee? When friends come to our house we also observe them as to how they would behave. And based on what we saw we will now conjure our unfavourable conclusion towards them.

But our judgment is often wrong for we don’t know the heart of the person and besides it’s hard to judge based solely on the few times that we’ve observed them. Let us not judge quickly and let us not judge based on what we see.

Are you quick to judge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Reflection for October 12, Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:29-32

Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
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We meet or we are acquainted with Godly people for a good reason. They don’t just come into our lives it’s always for a good reason.

For example, if you become friends with a good and Godly person. God led you to this person for you to become good and godly also. You did not become friends with him/her for you to be bad. Jesus sent this person to you so that you’ll be converted this is always the reason.

Some of us may listen to this Godly friend thus we become good and godly also. But unfortunately this is not always the scenario because there are many who don’t care to listen. No matter how many times God call them to renewal they will really not listen.

Jonah, in our gospel was sent by God to the people of Nineveh to call for their repentance.  And they listened to him that’s why God spared them from punishment. After Jonah there were many more prophets who were sent by God they called also for conversion.

Until Jesus came, many listened to Jesus call for repentance and conversion. But sad to say many more did not listen also. There was hardness in their hearts, they ignored Jesus they instead continued to embrace sin.

Jesus call of repentance did not stop with Him, the call for repentance continues to flow until this very moment. And we now are the ones who are in-charge to call for repentance and conversion.  

What have you done so far to echo this call of repentance by Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Reflection for Sunday October 11, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Mark 10:17-30

Gospel: Mark  10:17-30
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 human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God." Peter began to say to him, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come."
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There is a story of two neighbors, one was rich and the other was poor. The rich’s neighbor’s family was always busy and they hardly have time for God. The poor neighbor’s family would always see to it that they have time to worship Jesus at Holy Mass. They also have time to pray as a family in their house.

After fifteen (15) years there was a reversal of fortunes for these two neighbors. The rich family became poor and the children did not become successful. The poor family on the other hand became rich and the children were successful in their chosen careers.

Our obsession and greed with earthly treasures if not corrected will always lead us away from loving and following Jesus. This could also lead to our downfall and disgrace.

What is the use of earthly treasures if we have no peace of mind? What is the use of a big house and enormous property if this is the cause of disagreements and arguments in the family? What is the use of temporal wealth if it will take away communication in the family?

It’s better to be poor for as long as you have God in your family. It’s better to stay in a small house in the company of God rather than a mansion without the presence of God. It’s better not to own any material treasure for as long as you have the greatest treasure which is no other than Jesus.

In our gospel for this Sunday, there is this man who was at the threshold of following Jesus. Yet he walked away from Jesus because he couldn’t give up his material treasures. Material treasures which by the way are temporary and material treasures which always disturbs our minds instead of giving us peace of mind.

How about you, will you give up your temporal treasures in favor of having Jesus in your life? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Friday, October 9, 2015

Reflection for October 10, Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:27-28

Gospel: Luke 11:27-28
While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
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Are you properly taking care of your mother? Many of us today pamper our mother with material things. But when a mother is old and already a member of the senior citizens club she is not anymore concerned with material things. She is more concerned with the love and care that she will receive from her children.
A mother will never say to her children to give her love and care rather than material things. Yet she will greatly appreciate it if she would be given love and care by her children love and care that she richly deserves. Let us not forget that our mothers carried us in their womb for nine long months and we gained nourishment from their milk as well.
In the gospel, a woman who is obviously an admirer of the Blessed Virgin Mary told Jesus: “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed (Luke 11:27).” She perhaps said this to honor Mary for properly rearing Jesus.
Yet Jesus gave the more profound honor to His Mother Mary by saying: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it (Luke 11:27).” For the Blessed Mother heard the word of God, she treasured it in her heart and observed it.
How is your relationship with your mother? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for October 9, Friday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:15-26

Gospel: Luke 11:15-26
When Jesus had driven out a demon, some of the crowd said: “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” Others, to test him, asked him for a sign from heaven. But he knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house. And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebul that I drive out demons. If I, then, drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I drive out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man fully armed guards his palace, his possessions are safe. But when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of someone, it roams through arid regions searching for rest but, finding none, it says, ‘I shall return to my home from which I came.’ But upon returning, it finds it swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and brings back seven other spirits more wicked than itself who move in and dwell there, and the last condition of that man is worse than the first.”
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What motivates us to accuse falsely or to destroy the good reputation of our fellowmen? Its greed, anger, envy and other negative emotions. These emotions are so dangerous that it could even lead us to kill. All of these are devious instruments of the devil. All of these are used by the devil to entice us to be at his side.

How could we refuse these enticements of the devil? We must always pray, we must always do good and we must at all times be focused on our mission to spread the teachings of Jesus through our words and actions.

By doing good Jesus was accused as being with the Demon, what a reckless accusation emanating from the crowd! Is it Jesus siding with the demon or the crowd siding with the demon? The demon will never do good it will always seek to create chaos and manufacture baseless accusations.

Come to think of it, by accusing Jesus the crowd allowed themselves to be used by the demon himself. In like manner we also allow ourselves to be an instrument of the demon when we purposely accuse people even without a grain of truth.

The demon or devil is a clear and present danger to all of us. It’s always there imminently present looking for the right timing to lure us. However if we are close to Jesus and we practice and live the teachings of Jesus. We have nothing to worry for the simple reason that the devil can do nothing to us.

Do you always live the teachings of Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas   

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reflection for October 8, Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:5-13

Gospel: Luke 11:5-13
Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
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Isn’t God all knowing? Doesn’t He read our mind? So why do we need to badger Him about our needs? God is all knowing and God reads our minds but we still need to persistently let Him know what we want Him to do for us. Why? For the simple reason that it’s through our persistence that we develop an intimacy with Him. It’s through our persistent prayer that we obtain the grace to get to know Jesus better.

What if we would not persist? We miss the chance to know Jesus more deeply  and we miss the opportunity to develop a much deeper intimacy with Him.  Take for example our Sunday Mass obligation, what would happen to us if we wouldn’t keep on attending it every Sunday? We miss the chance to know Jesus deeply, we miss the chance to be showered by His many blessing. And we miss the opportunity to grow in faith and the like.

Yes, God knows everything about us already but we still need to be persistent before Him. For this is where He would know how deep is our love for Him. When we don’t give up on Jesus and when we continue to let Him know that we always hunger for Him. Surely Jesus will not be deaf and blind to our petitions before Him.   

Surely Jesus will smile at us and tell us: Here it is that you want I’m giving it to you now because you did not give-up. – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Reflection for October 7, Wednesday, Our Lady of the Rosary: Luke 11:1-4

Gospel: Luke 11:1-4
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
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Has anyone asked you to teach him/her to pray? Or have you taught somebody to pray?

It’s an honor and we experience a humbling feeling if somebody would ask us to teach him/her to pray. Just like the same petition that the disciples of Jesus told Him. But before we could expect people to ask us to teach them how to pray we must learn to live our prayer first.

For example if we pray for humility it is incumbent upon us to live humbly. If we pray for forgiveness we should be forgiving as well. If we pray for peace in our lives we should live a peaceful life. In other words we should always learn to live our prayers before Jesus.  

What will force our fellowmen to ask us to teach them how to pray? We should ensure that we live our prayers with humility. This is how Jesus lived His life; He always ensured that His prayers are always accompanied by humble acts of faith.

Just like Jesus, we too must see to it that we live what we pray or we walk our talk so that others may see in us Jesus. We become like magnets for Jesus if we live our prayers and we live it with humility.

Has anyone asked you to teach him/her to pray? Or have you taught somebody to pray? – Marino J. Dasmarinas