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).

Preach the gospel at all times use words if necessary. - St. Francis of Asisi

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reflection for Wednesday September 3, Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor; Luke 4:38-44

Gospel: Luke 4:38-44
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever, and they interceded with him about her. He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up immediately and waited on them. At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.” But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.

At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place. The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him, they tried to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.” And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
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Have we prayerfully asked Jesus to heal somebody close to us? Have we introduced to Jesus a relative or a friend? Our faith and relationship with Jesus becomes more meaningful when we are able to bring/introduce someone to Him. Because this means that our faith has already matured and is bearing fruit already.

In our gospel for today, Simon’s humbly asked Jesus to heal his mother in-law who was sick with fever. And right there and then Jesus went to her and immediately healed her. What if Simon did not asked Jesus to heal his mother in-law? Of course his mother in-law would not been healed but she was healed courtesy of Simon’s prayerful and humble intercession.

This act of Simon of asking Jesus to heal her mother in-law is a very good reminder for us. That we too must see to it that we also pray to Jesus to heal and enlighten someone who is close to us. Because many are very much in need of enlightenment and healing from Jesus. Let us not take for granted the power of our prayerful intercession for others most especially for the sick and for those who are not enlightened about the love of Jesus. For it can make a positive impact in their lives.

This is for the reason that our prayerful intercession for them can heal and change them. For example Saint Monica (the mother of Saint Augustine) she was forced to marry a non-believer but through her unceasing prayer she was able to convert her husband to the catholic faith. Saint Monica also unceasingly prayed for 17 long years for the conversion of her son Augustine who was living a life of sin at that time. And through her humble and persevering prayers she was eventually heard by God.   

We are being challenged by our gospel for today to bring someone closer to Jesus though our intercession and prayers.

Have we already brought somebody closer to Jesus? - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, September 1, 2014

Reflection for Tuesday September 2, Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 4:31-37

Gospel: Luke 4:31-37
Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, “What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
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During 1982, I was in high school then; late afternoon after school while walking to our house. I saw a grouping of people and I also heard a very loud but unrecognizable voice. Out of curiosity I walked going to them to simply see what they were looking at and to find out where that big voice was coming from.

There I saw a man with devilish eyes being held-on by a number of men, when the man was asked who was he answered with a frightening voice that he was the devil. Afterwards somebody came (I don’t know if it was priest of a pastor) who said prayers and sprinkled holy water on him while invoking the name of Jesus. While this was being administered to him the man was violently resisting and shouting until he calmed down and he passed-out soon after.

In our gospel we read about Jesus exorcising a demon from a possessed man. After Jesus exorcised the possessed man the crowd said, What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out (Luke 4:36).”

The crowd did not know Jesus that’s why they marvelled about the power and authority of His word. Unlike the crowd in the gospel who did not know, we know Jesus; we know where His power and authority is coming from. Let us therefore take advantage of our knowledge of Jesus. Let us dive deeper into it by regularly reflecting upon His powerful words in the bible and by our regular presence at Holy Mass.

By doing these acts of faith we permanently immunize ourselves from the possession of the devil. Which is still very active and pervading (in many disguises) up to this very moment.  

The devil is very real! When you sense that he (devil) is near you (Through the many kinds of temptations and so forth) never fail to invoke the mighty and powerful name of Jesus! - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Reflection for Monday September 1, Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 4:16-30

Gospel: Luke 4:16-30
Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They also asked, “Is this not the son of Joseph?” He said to them, “Surely you will quote me this proverb, ‘Physician, cure yourself,’ and say, ‘Do here in your native place the things that we heard were done in Capernaum.’” And he said, “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land.

It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But he passed through the midst of them and went away.
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Homecoming is always an event that we look forward to because of the warmth of the reception that we receive from our relatives and friends. Take for example if you’ve not been to your childhood place for a number of years. Just imagine the warm welcome that you’ll receive from your relatives and childhood friends. But not all homecoming are filled with warmth and welcoming people there are sad homecomings also.

Jesus was initially admired and was warmly received by His town mates for He spoke with brilliance. But when He spoke of something that His town mates did not like to hear the admiration turned to derision and the warm reception became cold as ice.  This led His town mates to drive Him away with dangerous intentions going to a hill. What a sad ending of His coming home, Jesus certainly did not expect this kind of sad homecoming.

But this is the reality of life, people will like us for as long as they like what we say even if what we say is already false for as long as its music to their ears. But when we talk about the truth they will not like us anymore. They will also drive us away as if we are carrying a contagious disease.  And the worst part is they may attempt to harm us.  

Nevertheless we must not be cowed from speaking the truth even if it will hurt those who will hear it. This is for the reason that by speaking the truth we correct what is wrong. And by speaking the truth we create awareness that good will always triumph over evil. - Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Cardinal Tagle Leads Lectio Divina at St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne August 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reflection for Sunday August 31, Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 16:21-27

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Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me.  You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?

Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
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When do we have a true encounter with Jesus? It’s when we are burdened by the worries and suffering/s of this world this is where we have a personal encounter with Jesus. Never would we have a personal encounter with Jesus if we are enjoying the fruits of this world. It’s always through our worries and suffering that we have a true discernment of the presence of Jesus in our lives.

When Jesus told the disciples that he will go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed. Peter was adamant with his protestation, Peter even told Jesus, “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.” Why did Peter oppose this suffering statement of Jesus? Was he concerned of the welfare of Jesus? Or Peter was afraid that if Jesus would suffer and eventually die, they too would experience suffering/s because Jesus will not be with them anymore to protect them.   

Nonetheless, Jesus told them that if they really want to follow Him they must be ready to suffer and embrace suffering as well! For its only through suffering that they would be able to develop deep intimacy with Jesus. We would never develop a personal encounter with our Lord if we are averse with suffering and if we are enjoying life’s hedonism.

But reality bites! We would rather enjoy life than suffer or face hardship and we would rather enjoy life than truthfully follow Jesus. There are even some rich and even famous celebrities who chose to commit suicide than face their suffering/s.

It’s only through our suffering/s and trial/s that Jesus comes to our lives. It’s through our moments of defeat and persecution that the abiding presence of Jesus is clearer to us.  It’s when we carry our own cross that we feel that Jesus is walking with us and helping us to carry it. Let us never be afraid to face our sufferings and to carry our cross no matter how heavy and difficult. For we will be able to hurdle all of these trials if we invite Jesus to help us.

Are you going through some difficult moments in your life right now? Invite Jesus to come into your life, He will never refuse you. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Repleksyon para sa Agosto 31, Ika-22 na Linggo sa Karaniwang Panahon; Mateo 16:21-27

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Mabuting Balita: Mateo 16:21-27
Mula noon ay ipinaalam na ni Jesus sa kanyang mga alagad ang mangyayari sa kanya. Sinabi niya, "Dapat akong magtungo sa Jerusalem at magdanas ng maraming hirap sa kamay ng mga pinuno ng bayan, mga punong pari at mga tagapagturo ng Kautusan. Ako'y papatayin, ngunit sa ikatlong araw ako'y muling mabubuhay."

Dinala siya ni Pedro sa isang tabi at sinimulang pagalitan, "Panginoon, huwag nawang itulot ng Diyos! Kailanma'y hindi iyan mangyayari sa inyo." Ngunit hinarap siya ni Jesus at sinabihan, "Umalis ka sa harapan ko, Satanas! Hadlang ka sa aking landas. Ang iniisip mo'y hindi sa Diyos kundi sa tao." Sinabi ni Jesus sa kanyang mga alagad, "Ang sinumang nagnanais sumunod sa akin ay kinakailangang itakwil niya ang kanyang sarili, pasanin ang kanyang krus, at sumunod sa akin. Ang naghahangad na magligtas ng kanyang buhay ay mawawalan nito; ngunit ang mawalan ng kanyang buhay alang-alang sa akin ay magkakamit nito. Sapagkat ano ba ang mapapala ng isang tao makamtan man niya ang buong daigdig, ngunit mapapahamak naman ang kanyang sarili? Ano ba ang maibabayad ng isang tao para mabawi niya ang kanyang buhay? Sapagkat darating ang Anak ng Tao na kasama ang kanyang mga anghel, at taglay ang dakilang kapangyarihan ng kanyang Ama. Sa panahong iyo'y gagantimpalaan niya ang bawat tao ayon sa ginawa nito.
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Kailan po ba tayo nag kakaroon ng totoong ugnayan kay Jesus? Ito ay pag tayo ay pinahihirapan ng ating mga problema at pasakit sa buhay. Dito tayo nag kakaroon ng personal at mas malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus.  Hindi tayo mag kakaroon ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus pag tayo ay nag e enjoy sa mga kasaganahan ng mundo. Palaging sa pamamagitan ng ating mga problema at pasakit lamang mas lilinaw ang presenya ni Jesus sa ating mga buhay.    

Nang sinabi ni Jesus na siya ay magtutungo sa Jerusalem at magdadanas ng maraming hirap. Sa kamay ng mga pinuno ng bayan, mga punong pari mga tagapagturo ng Kautusan at papatayin. Ay nagalit sa kanya si Pedro at sinabi pa ni Pedro kay Jesus "Panginoon, huwag nawang itulot ng Diyos! Kailanma'y hindi iyan mangyayari sa inyo." Bakit nga ba ayaw ni Pedro sa mga pananalitang ito ni Jesus? Siya ba ay nag aalala sa kaligtasan ni Jesus? O baka naman nag aalala si Pedro na pag pinahirapan si Jesus at pinatay sila rin ay makakaranas ng pag hihirap?

Pero ganun paman ay sinabi ni Jesus sa kanila na kung talagang gusto nilang sumunod sa kanya.  Kailagan handa rin silang kalimutan ang kanilang mga sarili at mag pasan ng kanilang sariling krus. Dahil sa pamamagitan lamang nito sila makakasumpong ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus. Hindi tayo magkakaroon ng malalim na ugnayan kay Jesus kung ayaw nating yumakap sa ating mga pagsubok sa buhay at panay lang tayo sa pag papasarap dito sa mundo.

Pero mahirap layuan ang katotohanan na mas gusto pa natin na mag enjoy tayo sa mundong ito kaysa mag pasan ng ating krus at harapin ang ating mga pagsubok at sumunod kay Jesus. Meroon pa nga diyan na mga mayayaman at kilalang mga personalidad na dahil sa ayaw nilang mag pasan ng kanilang krus at harapin ang kanilang mga pagsubok sa buhay ay mas ginusto pa nila na tapusin nalang ang kanilang buhay sa pamamagitan ng pag su suicide.   

Sa pamamagitan lamang po ng ating pagdaan at pagharap sa ating mga pagsubok mas makikilala natin si Jesus. Sa pamamagitan lamang po nito mas magiging malinaw sa atin na kasama pala natin si Jesus sa pag pasan ng ating krus at hindi niya pala tayo iniiwan.

Huwag tayong matakot na harapin ang ating mga pagsubok at mag pasan ng ating krus gaano man ito kahirap at kabigat. Sa dahilan na malalampasan din natin ito pag humingi tayo ng tulong kay Jesus.   

Ikaw ba ay dumadaan sa mabigat na pag subok ngayon? Manalagin ka kay Jesus at hingin mo sa kanya ang kanyang tulong dahil  hindi ka niya pababayaan. - Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for Saturday August 30, Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 25:14-30

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Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30
(Jesus told his disciples this parable) “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
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I’ve been blogging for several years now, I have no formal training in writing. When I was just starting doing this blog I could hardly write. And there were times I said to myself, why not simply stop writing this reflections because I felt that I was not made to write. I also often commit grammatical and punctuation mistakes which continues up to this very moment. A few weeks ago I also resumed posting the audio of my reflections on youtube. I did this even if I have difficulty with proper pronunciation. 

Nevertheless I also said to myself, this is the talent that God has entrusted me, I have to do something with this talent. So I continued even if I could hardly write sentences and paragraphs and even if there were many mistakes on punctuation, grammar and pronunciation.

As I struggle to write these reflections I also noticed improvements. I can now write several paragraphs. My grammatical and punctuation mistakes had been reduced although up to know I still commit mistakes but not as severe as before.

The shortcoming of the third servant in our gospel is he kept to himself what was given to him by his Lord. He could have invested it, he could have done something to make it grow but he never did because of his fear for his Lord. If we allow our fears to conquer us it will eventually paralyze us and it will prevent us from becoming fruitful children of God.

Each and everyone of us was given by the Good Lord talents according to our abilities. Let us make the most of this talent/s that He has given us by using it for His greater glory. Let us not be discouraged by our limitations and struggles for God is always there to guide and help us.   

What is the talent that the Good Lord entrusted you? Use it not only for your own advancement, use it also to advance His kingdom in this world. - Marino J. Dasmarinas