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Showing posts from September, 2007

SHOCK! REVIVE! (26th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Catholic Homily and Gospel Reflection for the
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
September 30, 2007

Selfish revelry and callous complacency hit us hard as we focus on the first and third readings of today. Amos, the great prophet of social justice, proclaims woe: “Woe to the complacent in Zion!” Such was the rich men’s complacency as to engage in behavior that could only be described as insensitive opulence in the midst of so much want … wallowing in beds inlaid with precious and expensive ivory … lolling around in couches as they dined on tender and choice cut meats that were supposed to be a very rare treat for ordinary mortals in his time … guzzling wine not in ordinary goblets, but in wide rimmed bowls that were designed to give maximum inebriation … sporting perfumed oils that presumably led to amorous, sensual liaisons with women after being satiated with food, wine and song … the list could go on. They all pointed to the ultimate in carrion comfort.

But there is more than just s…

WHEN “WISDOM” GOES WRONG

Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

There is a contemporary “ring” to all the scenarios described by the first and third readings today. They sound so real and current they could as well be said of what goes on in people’s lives, all over the world – the references to cheating on the side, to dishonesty, to a little manipulation with the figures, a minute adjustment with the scales, and putting to use one’s foresight, practical wisdom, and abilities to get maximum advantage for oneself.

They sound so realistic and so contemporary that one is tempted to ask … so what’s wrong with being smart and using one’s talents to gain personal advantage? One even feels affirmed when one realizes that in the gospel parable, the Lord recounts how the master even “commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.” One initially gets the impression that, for so long as one “prudently” thinks and plans ahead for one’s future gain, one is simply putting to good use his business and m…

LOSSES, FINDINGS, & REJOICING

Catholic Homily on the Sunday Liturgy (24th Sunday Year C)

All three readings today refer to one salient theme: God’s forgiveness. God is portrayed clearly for what He is – a compassionate Father, a God who is ready and willing to relent, for as long as sinful man repents and thinks better of his/her sins.

The first reading from Exodus reminds me of a carabao (Philippine water buffalo used as a beast of burden) that we had in our bucolic College-seminary in the first few years of my priesthood as a teacher and formator. The strong and self-willed carabao suffered from a torn nose right where the noose ought to have been --- all for one reason. He hemmed and hawed and protested continuously against his masters. At some point, the nose tissue that tethered him to the ground gave way. A gaping, open wound thus made it impossible to keep the animal on leash, making it impossible to further train him as a beast of burden to help us till the soil and plow the ground. He was literally a pictu…

DISCIPLESHIP, DECISIONS & SELF-DIFFERENTIATION

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
September 9, 2007

Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18b / Phlm 9-10, 12-17 / Lk 14:25-33


Our readings today smack of homeliness, tenderness, and at the same time, straightforwardness. The first reading refers to the limitations of human wisdom. “For the deliberations of mortals are timid, and unsure are our plans.” That’s straightforward. At the same time, the same reading ascribes to God what, despite human limitations, human beings can attain: “Or who ever knew your counsel, except you had given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?” Now that’s a homely understanding of what God himself does for us and to us. His tender love comes out in the form of counsel that is effective: “And thus were the paths of those on earth made straight.”

The second reading is not only homely, but also tender. Intervening to settle some kind of a “domestic dispute” between a master and a slave, Paul’s closeness to both master and servant becomes an occasion for both to red…