Showing posts from July, 2008


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

Even a cursory look at the three readings today, including the response after the first reading, the entrance and communion antiphons, would show that all speak about divine caring and solicitude. The liturgy opens with an earthly plea: God, come to my help. Lord, quickly give me assistance. You are the one who helps me and sets me free; Lord, do not be long in coming. The collect (opening prayer) addresses God as “Father of everlasting goodness.” The alternative opening prayer acknowledges that “gifts without measure flow from [His] goodness.” The two communion antiphons speak about “bread from heaven… a sweet tasting bread that was very good to eat,” and about Jesus’ claim: “I am the bread of life.” The prayer after communion sums it all up and thanks God for the biggest gift of all: the Eucharist.

This is one of those Sundays (in my 25 years as a priest) that every reading and every line seems to fit in one c…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
July 27, 2008

I used to be annoyed by a distant relative, much older than me, who used to punctuate all her sentences with “Do you understand?” (Naiintindihan mo ba ako?). For every little detail, she would ask whether I understood. More often than not, she would be referring to details about things she would plan – and do – for the benefit of others, especially her loved ones. Being unmarried, all she thought of was how to help as many people as possible, most especially her relatives. That, of course, included me. Every time I would visit her abroad, she would have invariably, a lot of errands for me to do back home - “padalas,” “habilins” and “pabaons” (all meaning give-aways). I would go away from her place not only with boxes of goodies, but also an even bigger number of instructions, reminders and more reminders. Of course, I would listen to each and everyone half-heartedly. My little annoyance would lead me t…


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
July 20, 2008

Readings: Wis 12:13, 16-19 / Rom 8:26-27 / Mt 13:24-43

We all had our own favorite teachers in the past. Or at the very least, we all have an image of a good teacher, mentor, leader, father, or superior – as the case may be. I am certain that for most of us, if not all, our image of a good parent, or teacher - or superior – for that matter, is one that espouses a healthy balance between two seemingly opposing poles as in gentleness, on the one hand, and firmness, on the other.

I have it on the authority of Carl Jung and other less known psychologists, that mental, psychological health is basically toeing the middle ground exactly between two polar opposites. The word they use for this is integration. It has to do with the practical ability to put together seemingly conflicting elements of both, and knowing when to emphasize one and downplay the other depending on the circumstances surrounding the perso…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A
July 13, 2008

Readings: Is 55:10-11 /Rom 8:18-23 /Mt 13:1-23

One experience we are all too familiar with, but which we’d rather not have to go through is the experience of failure. Students dread the thought of all their efforts at mastering the subject matter all coming to naught at the end of the term. Farmers need to do their sowing of new seeds at the right time, lest their seeds, for lack of sufficient moisture, wither and die. Parents go through their task of raising children with fear and trepidation because failure in this regard may spell a lifetime of regret - if not, recrimination.

We all dread failure. We do not look forward to wastage of any kind, least of all our human efforts. We desire that all human effort expended in whatever field of endeavor, would turn efficacious, either for ourselves, or for others. We long for success. Students look forward to a diploma. Farmers want a bountiful harvest – and a …