Showing posts from October, 2008


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
All Souls' Day
November 2, 2008

As we approached All Souls’ Day five years ago, we were bombarded by a whole lot of news coverage on the case of Terri Schiavo, the brain-damaged woman who, then, had been living a semi-vegetable existence over the past so many years. Once more, the debate on euthanasia has come to the fore, although perhaps not as emotionally laden as the first time it was brought to international scrutiny back in the 70s – in the much-talked about case of Karen Quinlan. (For those of you who are not old enough to remember, well … ask your by now middle-aged parents!).

As we approached All Souls’ Day, too, the news reports five years ago, constantly reminded us about the phenomenon most of us would rather not talk about, but which we simply cannot avoid. The case of the trial of the infamous sniper-duo, an adult man and a boy so young yet already so corrupted by the older partner, the steady trickle of deaths taking place in ambushes …


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
October 26, 2008

Readings: Ex 22:20-26 / 1 Thess 1:5c-10 / Mt 22:34-40

Our TV screens, which are getting bigger. brighter, and clearer all the time, are full of faces. Familiar faces, beautiful and handsome faces of our favorite anchorwomen and men, newscasters, actors and actresses, politicians, why even religious leaders and televangelists, they come straight out of the TV screens and invade the privacy of our living rooms (and bedrooms) every day of our lives. They become one with us. They form part of our daily regimen. We not only see them (even in the increasing number of glossy, expensive magazines that have, of late, made inroads to our national psyche). We also hear them talking above the normal din of everyday household noise. Who among us is not familiar with the faces of movie stars endorsing a favorite fast-food product, whether local or foreign? Who among us would not recognize politicians-turned-product…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
October 19, 2008

People get worried sick and frightened each time they think of battle alarms, war mongerings and posturings of people who seemed to have been born with an armalite rifle beside them. If we look at this last century just ended, with all the battles waged all over, with two world wars indelibly etched in the annals of human history in a matter of a hundred years, with the on-going threat of total annihilation, whether from nuclear, chemical or biological means, we would most likely ask ourselves – and even God Himself: IS THERE SOMEONE IN-CHARGE? IS THERE A GOD IN CONTROL OF HUMAN AND WORLD EVENTS? DOES GOD CARE AT ALL FOR THE OUTCOME OF HISTORY? IS HISTORY ON THE SIDE OF GOD?

These are legitimate questions. They speak about worries and fears that grip the human heart – today, as in the times of Isaiah, the prophet.

Let us go back a bit in time. You would remember that sometime in the history of ancient I…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year AOctober 12, 2008
Homespun Filipino wisdom has, among so many, this particular adage: Ang isda nahuhuli sa bunganga; ang tao, sa salita.” (Fish get hooked in the mouth; people by what they say, that is, through words).

Words literally capture us every day. They enthrall us; captivate us; even dupe us. We fall for what advertising experts dole out to us each and every single day through the powerful mass media of communications. Did you know, for example, that serious and well-managed marketing strategies in the Philippines over the past years have caused the downfall of at least one product of a big multinational company producing detergent soaps and replaced by that of another big multinational company, solely on the basis of expert advertising? Words! How powerful they can be! How effective!
Is there any wonder why one of these newfangled multi-level marketing groups have called themselves FOREVER LIVING INTERNATIONAL?…