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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Reflection for March 3, Tuesday of the Second Week in Lent; Matthew 23:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 23:1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation Rabbi. As for you, do not be called Rabbi. You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called ‘Master’ you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
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How could we best share our faith? How could we convince others to go to Holy Mass? How could we encourage others to read their bible? It’s through sharing of our faith not sharing it by way of threat of condemnation if they would not follow us. But through sharing of our faith with gentleness, humility and patience.

We wouldn’t be able to convince others to follow us or to join our faith if we use self-serving motives. If we will use methods of arrogance and other means of self promotion. Jesus even if He could never promoted Himself as a powerful God/person. He always lived as a humble and gentle God or person. And it’s through these acts that He won people to His side.     

We can’t help but relate this gospel with how we live our faith or even our life. If we want to be respected in our community, in our church or even in our own house. We then have to be humble and gentle we will not earn respect by our show of power and arrogance.

We may have this false belief that because we are powerful, rich and knowledgeable it’s automatic already that others will respect us. But no, we have to earn respect by our acts of humility and gentleness.  

In our gospel Jesus told His disciples about the Pharisees and scribes who loved to be in the forefront. Always displaying their power and influence, they love to give orders and advice but they don’t live what they order or advice.

How about us? Are we honest enough to admit that we are still a work in progress as far as humility is concerned? Are we honest enough to admit that we also love to display our power, intelligence and influence? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Reflection for March 2, Monday of the Second Week in Lent; Luke 6:36-38

Gospel: Luke 6:36-38
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
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What is the mother of mercy? Its love, you can’t be merciful if you do not know how to love. The moment you feel mercy in your heart you already have love that you can freely dispense anytime to any person or group of persons.

What kind of love is this that gives birth to mercy? Obviously this is not only romantic love for romantic love is a limited kind of love. The kind of love that gives birth to mercy is the perfect kind of love or the highest form of love.

Who gives us this highest form of love? Jesus Himself gives us this kind of love. We receive this from Jesus when we are always in close contact with Him. By way of our faithful presence at Holy Mass, through our frequent interaction with Jesus by means of the Sacraments of the Church. And by readings His life transforming and life giving words in the bible.

Come to think of it, what happens to us if we are not merciful, if we are quick to condemn and if we don’t forgive? We allow ourselves to be imprisoned by  toxic emotion/s that is brought to our feet by the devil.

When we are always in close contact with Jesus we are always merciful. We will never condemn or judge anyone. And we will always forgive no matter how deep the hurt that has been inflicted upon us. 

Find it in your heart to follow and seek Jesus now and be free from any form of hatred in your heart. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Friday, February 27, 2015

Reflection for Sunday March 1, Second Sunday of Lent; Mark 9:2-10

Gospel: Mark 9:2-10
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.

As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.
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What if Peter, James and John refused to go with Jesus to the mountain of transfiguration? They would have missed the once in a lifetime experience of heaven. They would have missed seeing Jesus transfigured before their very eyes. They would have missed seeing Jesus conversing with Moses and Elijah. (The great prophets of the Old Testament). They would have missed the opportunity to hear the voice of God telling them: This is my beloved Son. Listen to him (Mark 9:7).    

But they did not refuse the invitation of Jesus they simply obeyed and went with Him to the mountain of transfiguration. Thus, they had that sudden experience of heaven. And they knew from thereon that if they would only be faithful to their discipleship for Jesus they already have their own dwelling in heaven.

In our first reading, when God told Abraham to bring his son Isaac to the mountain of moriah. So that Isaac could serve as his own sacrificial offering to God, Abraham obeyed without questioning the wisdom of God.

When Abraham was about to kill Isaac. A messenger of God intervened and told Abraham not to kill Isaac for God was just testing his faith. And what was the price for Abraham’s fidelity? He was blessed with so many descendants as many as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore (Genesis 22:17).

Perhaps, when Jesus told Peter, James and John to go with Him onto the mountain of transfiguration. Jesus was also testing the three of them.  He was testing  the strength of their faith and discipleship for Him. They passed their test of faith just like Abraham who passed his own test of faith also. 

Thus, Peter, James, John  and Abraham  were richly rewarded by God. The reward for the three disciples were the foretaste of heaven among others. And the reward for Abraham was the descendants that was as many as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashores.

As long as we live in this world we will also have our own tests of faith. It will come to us in different forms and shapes. Let us remain faithful no matter how hard and difficult the tests. For there’s always a reward for those who would be faithful. 

Have we already passed our own test of faith from Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reflection for February 28, Saturday of the First Week of Lent; Matthew 5:43-48

Gospel: Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
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What is genuine love? It’s a love that doesn’t discriminate a love that embraces everybody including those who are not lovable to our eyes. The beauty of loving even those who do not love us is we show them what true love is all about. True love that emanates from Jesus Himself.

When we love even those who are not lovable we don’t only give them our unconditional love. We also teach them to give love, never mind if they will not love us in return. What is important is we teach them the language of unconditional love so that they will learn from it and hopefully be converted by  it.

But is unconditional love still relevant today? For many of us today love is a two way street: You love me and I give you love in return if you will not love me I will not give you my love. But if this is our mentality the language of true love will not anymore have life. There would be no more true love and true sacrifice for the person that we love.

True love or genuine love therefore is to love without any condition/s and to love without expecting love in return. Hard to do, right? But if we truly love Jesus we would be able to freely give love, love which is not bound by the laws of reciprocity. – Marino  J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for February 27, Friday of the First Week of Lent; Matthew 5:20-26

Gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
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What is the antidote to sin or what could defeat sin or hatred? Its humility, forgiveness and love. For example if you sin against your spouse the cure for this sin is to humble yourself before your spouse. You do this by  saying, I’m sorry for hurting you or  I’m sorry for betraying your trust.

If your spouse loves you dearly you can expect forgiveness, the mitigating factor here is  your humility to admit your offense or sin. But not everyone of us are willing to say, I’m sorry for to admit ones mistake or to say I’m sorry is one  of the hardest words to say. But if there’s humility in us we will not think twice to apologize for this will once again heal the relationship.

But the paradox is, we are quick to sin yet we are not quick to apologize  or some are not even willing to apologize. And this lack of humility on our part creates bigger trouble/s in our married relationship or any other kind of relationship for that matter. 

In our gospel Jesus is teaching us about humility and to have the courage to admit our own mistakes or shortcomings (Matthew 5:23-25). Why? Because if we are willing to humble ourselves and if we have the courage to admit our own sinfulness. We therefore save ourselves from further trouble/s but if we continue to be dominating and arrogant then trouble/s would always be with us.

Would we be willing to humbly apologize to somebody whom we have offended? To reach-out or to apologize is hard to do but it’s also a redemptive experience for it will set us free from the bondage of guilt and sin.  – Marino  J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Reflection for February 26, Thursday of the First Week of Lent; Matthew 7:7-12

Gospel: Matthew 7:7-12
Jesus said to his disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; 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. Which one of you would hand his son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread, or a snake when he asked for a fish? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.”
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What do you do when your child sincerely ask something from you? You try your very best to give what he/she is asking from you. Why? Because you love your child and you don’t want to disappoint him/her. What if your parents will sincerely ask something from you? For the same reason you will also try your very best to give what your parents are asking from you.

The love of Jesus is far greater than the love of a parent to his/her child or a child’s love for his/her parents. What does this mean? If we will do everything to grant the request of our loved ones, Jesus will surely grant also whatever we sincerely ask from Him.

Our sincerity counts when we ask something from Jesus. For example when Jesus said to His disciples: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). It goes without saying that Jesus expects utmost sincerity from them.

This is also what Jesus expects from us when we ask Him for something. The pureness of our desire is a major factor for Jesus to grant us what we want from Him. If Jesus sees that there’s no purity and sincerity in our prayers or if our prayers are centered  to serve our selfish ends. Then we can be assured that nothing will come out from it for we do it for our own selfish objectives.

In hindsight, this is also an invitation for us to reflect on our prayers for Jesus. He may not have yet granted some of our prayers, perhaps we need to re-assess our objectives. Perhaps we need to be more sincere and selfless in our prayers.

Are you always sincere when you pray to Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

Reflection for February 25, Wednesday of the First Week of Lent; 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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A sinful man had a conversion, when he was asked what moved him to be good and Godly. He replied this, I’m dying and I don’t want to be in hell when I depart this world. Hell is real as well as heaven and those who continue to sin and will continue to ignore God’s call to conversion will certainly end-up in hell someday.

Some of us may ask, is heaven and hell for real today? Yes it’s both real and it’s already here in our midst.  If we always do good our life would be like heaven on earth, yes there would be problems from time to time. But we will always overcome these problems because Jesus is always at our side to help. On the other hand if we continue to do bad we can expect our life to be in a hellish situation today. This is the practical reality of heaven and hell.

However, God loves us so much that He also wants us to repent and permanently walk away from our sinfulness. This is for the reason that the good lord wants us to experience heaven while we are still here in this world. And He also wants us to end-up in heaven after our passing in this world.  This is the great love of God for us, He always call us to repentance in everyday of our life.

Someday when we die some of us will say, if only I listened to Jonah and Jesus call of repentance. I would not be in this hellish environment right now but I did not. I instead continued to enjoy the many pleasures that were brought to me by the devil.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas