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Showing posts from October, 2007

SHORT IN STATURE, A GIANT IN GENEROSITY

Catholic Homily/Reflection
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

By Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

SPARING ALL, SEEKING ALL, SAVING ALL

Zacchaeus sure had everything going for him … money, power, influence … Whatever it took to sway people to his side, he had it … like the mysterious funds that flow every time there are elections in the Philippines, (and elsewhere), whether national or local (as indeed, we had, a few days ago).

Zacchaeus was a man in search. He sought money and found it – with a little help from what every notorious tax-collector in Jesus’ times would do – pad the receipts sort of, or its ancient equivalent. He sought the famous wonder-worker and almost did not find him … had he not exalted himself up on a sycamore tree. Zacchaeus sure is one man who knew how to get what he wanted. A man of means, he found out in no time the means to see the itinerant preacher and miracle-worker. But instead of the searcher finding, it became a case of the seeker being found. Instead of the exal…

BOASTING HUMBLY IN THE LORD

Catholic Homily/Reflection for the 30th Sunday, Year C
October 28, 2007

Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

I know the title sounds very much like an oxymoron. How can one be humble and boast? Or how can one boast and still be humble? This is a classical battle of opposites at its worst; a paradoxical tension of two seemingly irreconcilable realities, at its best. As a teacher, the Lord does not fail to surprise us. As a prophet, He continues to shock us. As king, He continues to lead His people to the “less traveled path” in the journey of faith. God’s Word, to the attentive and reflective reader (and hearer), continues to convict us. The Church, Christ’s mystical Body, in her ministry like unto that of Christ priest, prophet, and king, continues to amaze us and rouse us to ever new and “fresh readings” of the same Word, which is her duty to preach and proclaim, in season and out of season.

Today’s proclamation puts us in the midst of the proverbial Scriptural paradox, not unlike that of so many ot…

ALL DAYS, ALL WAYS, & FOR ALWAYS!

Catholic Homily/Reflection
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
October 21, 2007

Today’s readings remind me of people who know what they want, who know that what they want is good for them, and who also know that what they want as something ultimately good for them, is worth waiting patiently for, praying fervently for, and working feverishly for.

Where I come from, people have the utmost respect and reverence for farmers. I am one of those who look up to them with awe. My father was an accountant by profession, but a farmer by vocation. He loved to plant. He loved to till the soil and be close to nature. He began planting coffee trees at age 11, together with his even younger brother who eventually died as a boy of something that, by today’s medical standards, could easily have been cured. He knew what he wanted. He knew that what he wanted was good for his future (and ours!). And he worked for what he wanted with utmost dedication, commitment, and perseverance.

For me, on account primar…

PRAYING WITH, PRAYING FOR, PRAYING PERSISTENTLY

Catholic Homily/Reflection
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C


Alternative Reflection. What follows is an old one. The fresh version is found in my latest posting above.
Four Sundays back, Luke’s Gospel had us speak about the unjust steward who was cunning, wily, and whose prudent ways led him to selfishly prepare for his own future. Today, Luke would have us consider the figure of an unjust judge who capitulates to the importunings of a widow in need. These are story stuff that merit a second look from story-starved writers of “telenovelas” (soap operas) known now in the Philippines as “teleseryes.”Yes, there is unfolding drama in the parables of the Lord. Parables are basically stories, but, used skillfully by the master story-teller and teacher that Jesus was, are more than just bedtime stories to tuck children in bed with. No, parables were meant to disturb; they were meant to be so surprising as to catch people off guard, as to make hearers gasp in disbelief, and react either posit…

SEPARATED, SAVED, & SENT

Homily/Reflection for the 28th Sunday - Year C
October 14, 2007

Today, the readings speak about something totally unexpected, something unpredictable, and utterly surprising from all points of view. Naaman, a foreigner, a non-Jew, and a non-believer, is healed of his dermatological problems of depressing and alienating proportions (1st Reading). What makes it surprising is that a foreigner is deigned worthy of being healed by God. What makes the story unexpected is that he, a man of means and a man of influence “went down and plunged himself into the Jordan seven times,” – a possible allusion both to embracing humility, and doing as he is instructed by Elisha, that is, physically going down the waters of the Jordan. What makes it unpredictable is the total and complete turn-around of somebody who was not expected to believe and embrace the faith of Elisha and all those the prophet stood for.

Naaman’s story is a story of reversals par excellence.

The Gospel story, too, is one whose element…

GRATITUDE THAT GOES BEYOND "THANK YOU"

Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
October 14, 2007

There is more than just following mere rules of civility and politeness that is at stake in today’s readings, as some might well normally imagine. Yes … Naaman the leper did well, not only because he returned to Elisha, retinue and all, but because of something far superior to mere thanks-giving, as we shall soon see.

Just as well, for we have gathered once again today, to do the eminently Christian communal activity on the day of the Lord – to give thanks to God, to do “Eucharist,” to celebrate our oneness, to extol our giftedness, and to proclaim our faith in an eminently giving and personal God. We have come back, like Naaman to give thanks. We have gathered together, to “remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David” (2 Tim 2:8). We have returned, hopefully like that lone leper, to “glorify God in a loud voice.”

Today, we are probing into the depths of what biblical “gratitude” is all about. We …

IS IT GOOGLE OR GOGGLES? (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Catholic Homily (27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C)
October 7, 2007

Bad news seems to be all we hear each and every single day. There is bad news in our (mostly) dysfunctional politics all over. There is bad news everywhere in the world where division, cliques, and conflicting allegiances reign. There, too, is bad news in the world of believers who may be staking out their futures – and, in many cases – also their peace of mind, on matters inconsequential. There is bad news in families all over, especially in poorer countries where there is a preponderance of so-called “global families,” a euphemism for families whose members, for economic reasons, have to live far apart from each other. There is bad news in the geopolitical world where the battle for economic supremacy entails wanton and selfish disregard for the integrity of the whole created world. In the context where I am, the Philippines, more of the same bad news continue to make our blood boil in frustration, anger, or desp…

INTEGRITY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH & LIFE

Alternative Reflection for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
October 7, 2007

Today is a day that speaks to all of us who have ever felt discouraged, dispirited, dejected and forlorn. That means all of us! But without denigrating your personal experience, I would like to suggest, as all three readings show, that today’s liturgy talks, in a special way, to leaders, to pastors, to people out there who have made it their lifetime option to serve others.

Today, the Lord talks to all the jaded Habbakuks of our time, pushed against the wall of uncertainty and undeserved suffering who cries out: “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” The Lord, too, directs himself to all the weak-kneed, relatively youthful Timothys in our midst, overwhelmed and crumpled into “cowardice” on account of the seemingly more powerful forces of darkness that stalk the world. Ordained for service, for kingship, priesthood, and prophecy like unto Christ the Good Shepherd, they are, at times, ov…