Showing posts from July, 2007


18th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
August 5, 2007

Readings: Eccl 1:2; 2:21-23 / Col 3:1-5, 9-11 / Lk 12:13-21

Perspective is an apt word to encapsulate today’s liturgy. Perspective is having the right frame of mind with which to look at things. It means not being too close for comfort, nor being too distant to see clearly. Perspective is seeing things objectively for what they are. It also means valuing things for what they are really worth, and knowing what to value and why.

Qoheleth gives the opening salvo in today’s reflection on perspective with a little irony. He refers to “vanity of vanities” which really ought to read more like “transitoriness of transitoriness” (1st Reading). He does not downplay nor look down on human toil, nor declare it as useless. All he cautions against is affording every fruit of human toil absolute value. He counsels perspective. He reminds us to toe the middle line between being too attached to the fruits of one’s efforts, on the one hand, and being too…


17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
July 29, 2007

Readings: Gn 18:20-32 / Co 2:12-14 / Lk 11:1-13

[Paranaque City, Philippines – July 23, 2007]

Today’s readings are, at one and the same time, a study in the acceptance of truth, and an example of persistent and proactive hope. They are readings that we, postmodern women and men all over the world, ought to mull over and deeply internalize.

The first reading is almost counter-intuitive. The opening lines expose the glaring truth of a people so steeped in sin: “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great, and their sin so grave, that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me.” The story, to cut the long narration short, is one of persistent haggling, on the part of Abraham, and one of overflowing solicitude and mercy, on the part of God.

All God needed was a few good, reliable, innocent, and responsible people. But that is only one half of the story. The …


16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
July 22, 2007

Genesis 18:1-10; Colossians 1:24-28; Luke 10:38-42

Today is one of those Sundays when the readings sort of converge on some common theme, when an attentive reader can easily discern a thread that seems to run through the warp and woof of the texture of the entire liturgy.

I would like to start right off by suggesting what this leitmotif appears to be - to me at least – and to many others as far as I can ascertain. I suggest that the term OPENNESS would not be such a bad word to capture this emerging leitmotif.

Abraham is featured in today’s first reading. He and his openness and welcoming attitude to three strangers occasioned a greater openness from the Lord, who would not be outdone in generosity – a reward of an offspring for him and Sarah, his wife. In the second reading, we see a slightly different form of openness, this time, in Paul’s ability to see beyond pain and suffering, and, despite all that, to be able to welcome those very …


15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
July 15, 2007

Readings: Dt 30:10-14 / Col 1:15-20 / Lk 10:25-37

[Paranaque City, Philippines – July 9, 2007]

From the standpoint of my Southeast Asian culture, being near and being a neighbor almost sounds synonymous, if not referring to one and the same reality. Very literally, in my native Tagalog language, to be a neighbor (kahanggan) really means having, and acknowledging, the existence of common boundaries with somebody else (kahanggan literally refers to my property as contiguous with someone else’s property). Thus, for our culture, to be near is usually tantamount to being a neighbor.

I would like to think that, tangentially at least, the first reading has something to do with both one and the other. The Lord declares His proximity to His people via His command: “It is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts.”

We can also read God’s closeness to us in Jesus Christ in what St. Paul writes the Colossians. He professes how t…


14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
July 8, 2007

Readings: Isaiah 66:10-14c; Galatians 6:14-18; Luke 10:1-12,17-20

We are not speaking of mathematics here. Neither are we referring to what is known as quantitative research. We speak more of quality, of something that qualifies our attachment to the Lord, our discipleship, the manner by which we live our following of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Last week, we spoke of the need to be focused. We reflected on the need for us to “tune out” so that we could “tune in” positively to God and His call. We said we needed to unclutter our lives, and “put to rout everything that is not life” – to “front the essential facts of life,” to “free ourselves from,” so as to “free ourselves for,” that is, to “follow God more closely, and love Him more dearly.”

Our question for today is basically not one of quantity. It is not “how much do we need to do to follow the Lord?” It is, rather, “what qualities do we need to have so that we can be called genuine disciples …