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Showing posts from April, 2007

HEARING, FOLLOWING & NEVER PERISHING (4th Sunday of Easter Year C)

4th Sunday of Easter (C)
April 29, 2007

Readings: Acts 13:14, 43-52 / Rev 7:9, 14b-17 / Jn 10:27-30

HEARING, FOLLOWING, AND NEVER PERISHING!

At one of my Masses during the recent Christmas Novena, a group of musicians were accompanying the choir hastily formed for the occasion. The choir sang well. The conductor did her role with both passion and panache. Somehow though, there was just something that sounded wrong to my mediocre musician’s ears. I could not exactly put a handle on the whole thing, until the Mass ended, and a former student of mine, whose musical talents are far superior to anybody else I knew both as a student and as an educator, came up and told me what was wrong. The man playing the bass guitar simply did not have it. He was way out of key. He was not attuned. And he was not following the rest of the ensemble, much less the conductor who, in retrospect, looked like she was distraught.

There is something about lack of attunement that is connected to lack of ability to hea…

SEEING FULLY, LOVING TRULY, SERVING WHOLLY (3rd Sunday of Easter Year C)

3rd Sunday of Easter (C)
April 22, 2007

Readings: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41 / Rv 5:11-14 / Jn 21:1-19

SEEING FULLY; LOVING TRULY; SERVING WHOLLY:
THE POWER OF LOVE SHOWN IN BUNDLES OF THREES

We smell and feel a sense of power in the readings of today. Peter, who, only days before appeared to be a weakling who could not even stand for the truth about his association with the condemned Jesus, is portrayed as someone who just had what we now call an “extreme makeover.” Expressly forbidden by the Sanhedrin to teach in Jesus’ name, Peter bellowed courageously: “We must obey God rather than men” (1st Reading).

Power also unmistakably shines out in John’s vision of the victorious Lamb “seated” on his throne. Countless angels surround the Lamb to give witness to, and proclaim the reality of his power: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing” (2nd Reading).

Quiet strength and discrete power characterize the Risen Lord who invited hi…

Wonders, Word, Witness & Worship (2nd Sunday of Easter - Year C)

2nd Sunday of Easter (C)
April 15, 2007

Readings: Acts 5:12-16 / Rev 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19 / Jn 20:19-31

WONDERS, WORD, WITNESS & WORSHIP

Two good, old, reliable methods of heightening truths are the use of comparison or contrasts, whether natural or contrived. Comparison capitalizes on similarities; contrast on dissimilarities. Both aim at clarifying and highlighting an important truth that otherwise may not be so obvious at first blush.

I would like to think that today, the octave of Easter, contrast, not comparison, characterizes our rich Scriptural readings. The first contrasting image I discern is that of crowds – “a large number of people” (1st Reading) versus the image of a solitary John exiled in Patmos (2nd Reading). This is connected with a second contrasting picture – the presence of the disciples in the room where they were gathered “for fear of the Jews,” versus the conspicuous absence of “Thomas, called Didymus, one of the twelve [who] was not with them when Jesus came” …

Three-Day Journey from Guts, Grits, to Glory: Easter Triduum

Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Holy Thursday
April 5, 2007

Readings: Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 / 1 Cor 11:23-26 / Jn 13:1-15

SIGN, SERVICE, SACRAMENT, SILENCE

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper opens the Easter Triduum. Too bad, most people (at least in tropical Philippines) by this time will have gone to the beaches where there is a lot of sun, sand, sea, and surf. Those who stay, or have nowhere else to go would probably be taking advantage of the non-working holiday treat (at least in predominantly Christian countries) to catch up on their laundry, do their grocery shopping, or finally see the many daytime and reality TV shows to their hearts’ content, untrammeled and unhampered by work or other responsibilities.

In exchange for tropical sun, sand, sea, and surf, I would like to propose that today, the Church would rather have us think of sign, service, sacrament, and silence.

Sign. Everything we do in Church today (and in all liturgical celebrations) has to do with the world of signs. First and foremos…