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

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Reflection for November 28, Saturday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:34-36

Luke 21:34-36
Jesus said to his disciples: “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life, and that day catch you by surprise like a trap. For that day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man.”
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What is the best protection against the uncertainties and anxieties of this world?  Our best protection is our connection with Jesus. Connection that will cost us nothing except a little of our time. We connect with Jesus when we pray, we talk and establish contact with Him through our fervent prayer life.  

What does prayer do to us? It gives us inner peace. We are always calm amidst the struggles and complexities of daily life. Active prayer life prepares us for whatever eventualities that life may bring us.

Calamities, unforeseen disasters and the threat of wars happen every now and then and often times it catch us unexpectedly and it disturbs us. But if we are always prepared spiritually we would somehow learn to cope with it emotionally and we would still be calm.

The world that we are in right now is so uncertain we don’t know what may happen next. The threat of war and terrorism in many parts of the world is real and it’s happening. We therefore have to pray for peace and ask Jesus to make our world more peaceful.   

In the gospel for today Jesus told the disciples: “Pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man (Luke 21:36).” – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Reflection for November 27, Friday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:29-33

Luke 21:29-33
Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
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Is the kingdom of God already dwelling in your heart? If you’ve already learned to let go of your hurts, resentments your high sense of yourself the kingdom of God is already dwelling in your heart. If you’ve already surrendered your life under God’s care and disposition; God’s kingdom is already dwelling in your heart.

Growing old is the dread of some, more so when they notice the graying of their hair and the sagging of their skin. This is the reason why they try to dye their hair and they go to facial clinic to conceal the advancement of their age.

As we face this slow but sure change of our body’s appearance we are reminded that we are slowly but surely nearing our departure date from this world. We fear this occurrence especially for those who are not prepared. But why fear? This is the simple cycle of life; and we all will pass through this experience.

If we have not done anything wrong we have nothing to fear. If we are close to Jesus we have nothing to fear, if we are always present during Holy Mass we have nothing to fear. Even death itself we will not fear for this is the last hurdle going to the eternal Kingdom of God. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for November 26, Thursday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:20-28

Luke 21:20-28
Jesus said to his disciples: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand. Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city, for these days are the time of punishment when all the Scriptures are fulfilled. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
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Are you afraid of the end times?

The talk of end times always sends shivers to many most especially to those who do not have yet a personal relationship with Jesus. This topic is something that they always want to avoid as much as possible.

However, if God is in your heart; who can be against you? If God is with you nothing can distress you no matter how horrifying the signs of the times are.

For those who are losing hope; for those who continue to live in sin, for those who do not give space for God in their life the end times is may be here and now already. But there still hope for them for as long as they live there’s hope. And this hope is given to them by Jesus; they simply have to allow Jesus to come into their life.

For those who steadfastly believe in God, who faithfully follow His commands. Who continuously remain hopeful notwithstanding the discouraging signs of the times. Redemption from any fear is upon them already.

Why don’t we change our ways and why don’t we get closer to Jesus and invite Him to come into our lives? So that whatever happens to this world we’ll have neither worries nor fears for we know that we are always in God’s loving embrace.

Let us change our ways, let us listen to the voice of God calling us all to repent through the Sacrament Confession/Reconciliation. Let us always remember that the indifference of the people of Jerusalem to Jesus resulted in their destruction. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Reflection for November 25, Wednesday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:12-19

Luke 21:12-19
Jesus said to the crowd: “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony. Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute. You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.”
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What made you decide to follow Jesus? Is it because of a promise of a good life, a life free from problems and worries from this world?  Many of us have this mistaken notion that it is easy to become a follower. But it’s not easy for to follow Jesus involves great sacrifice.

 It involves deep humility, it involves giving-up some of our family time. To follow Jesus even involves making unpopular stand on family and societal issues such as abortion, immorality and the like.

There is no free ride going to Jesus, we have to pay, we have to sacrifice. Yet everything that we do for Jesus is well worth it. This is for the reason that whatever we do for Jesus, He will give back to us a hundred times.

Perhaps it may not be during our lifetime in this world. But certainly someday, somehow He will surely reward us very generously in the afterlife. Let us therefore always be faithful and courageous in our decision to follow Jesus whatever it may cost us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Monday, November 23, 2015

Reflection for November 24, Tuesday Saint Andrew Dũng-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs: Luke 21:5-11

Gospel: Luke 21:5-11
While some people were speaking about how the temple was adorned with costly stones and votive offerings, Jesus said, “All that you see here–the days will come when there will not be left a stone upon another stone that will not be thrown down.”

Then they asked him, “Teacher, when will this happen? And what sign will there be when all these things are about to happen?” He answered, “See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them! When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for such things must happen first, but it will not immediately be the end.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky.”
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When will the end times be? Many would say that the end time is here and now. Just look at the many wars being fought in many parts of the world. Just look at the many terroristic activities happening almost everywhere. Just look at the massive hunger in third rate countries. Just look at the massive environmental catastrophes around the world.

Aren’t these all signs of the end times? These are not yet the end times for no one of us knows about it, only God knows when it would be. But it seems that the telltale signs are already in place.

However it’s not the end times yet. This is for the reason that these unfortunate events that are happening now all over the world are created by us and not by God. For example, human’s greed for power and natural resources creates wars in many parts of the world. Our abuse of the environment creates natural disasters.

Terroristic activities that are happening everywhere are due to human’s misguided and fanatical  devotion to their creed. So who is creating these end times scenarios? It’s not God but us, by our misguided adherence to this world we actually are hastening the world’s end times. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Reflection for November 23, Monday of the Thirty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 21:1-4

Gospel: Luke 21:1-4
When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
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What is our motive when we give? Do we give because we are expecting something in return? Do we give out of our leftover?

We have countless motives when giving or helping others, whatever our motives are we can rest assure that God knows our reasons. We cannot hide anything from God not even our self-serving desires.

The ideal form of giving is to give without strings attached and to give from the heart. We don’t give because we are forced to give or we give because we have surplus. The joy of generous giving comes when you give freely. Just observe that unexplainable joy that you feel after you’ve given something straight from your heart. 

The two small coins given by the poor widow in the gospel seem to be insignificant compared to what were given by the wealthy people. However, Jesus was pleased with her act of generosity for she gave it all. She gave without conditions and she gave without expecting something in return.

What is your motive when you give? – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Reflection for Sunday November 22, Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe; John 18:33b-37

Gospel: John 18:33b-37
Pilate said to Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?" Pilate answered, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here." So Pilate said to him, "Then you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
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An ambitious man wanted to be the king of his self-created world. So, he studied very well and after hurdling his studies he created a business that became very financially successful. He soon after achieved his dream of becoming the king of his world. For he could already do and buy whatever he wants yet there was still a deep emptiness in his life.

If we continue to aspire to become the king of our own self-created world there would still be emptiness. No matter how successful even powerful we become, we would still be longing for that something that will complete us.

Today is the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ King of the Universe. This Kingship of Jesus  is the only Kingship that can satisfy our deepest longing. Because when we decide to embrace His Kingship we are already complete and there surely will be no more emptiness.

We will not anymore be chasing whatever this world will dangle in-front of us. But the great paradox of the Kingship of Jesus is it’s not based on anything of this world. Jesus Kingship is something which is not seen yet we can deeply feel it satisfying our deepest longing.

In the gospel, when Jesus was asked by Pilate if He is the King of the Jews (John 18:33b). Jesus did not deny His Kingship but He told Pilate, “My kingdom does not belong to this world (John 18:36).

Indeed, Jesus’ Kingship doesn’t belong to this world because His Kingship is in contradiction with worldly kingship. This is for the reason that Jesus chose to serve rather than be served, He chose humility over arrogance. He chose to obey the will of God to die on the cross rather than protect His life.

If we choose humility over arrogance, if we choose to serve rather than be served and if we choose to give our life so that others may live. We are already near the Kingdom of Christ our King. – Marino J. Dasmarinas