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Showing posts from January, 2009

AS ONE WHO GROWS AND MAKES GROW, NOT ONE WHO MERELY CROWS AND GLOWS

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)
February 1, 2009

Readings: Dt 18:15-20 / 1 Cor 7:32-35 / Mk 1:21-28

Authority under any form or guise all over the world is not the most esteemed fact everywhere in our postmodern times. At best, authority is merely tolerated. At worst, it is looked down on and smirked upon. Royalties, or those trying hard to pass off as royalty are seen as anachronistic features in a world characterized by what some authors call the “compression of time” and the “contraction of space.”

So, what are we doing here today, given the fact that the 1st and the 3rd readings both speak of authority?

We can find a clue to this riddle if only we go right back to the testimony of God’s word. Human authority per se, is hardly acceptable in many cases during our times. But authority, in the mind of God, is something that is not man-made. It is not something self-imposed. It is a gift given, shared, entrusted, and allotted to whomever God so desires…

NEEDED: A SENSE OF URGENCY!

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B
January 25, 2008

Readings: Jon 3:1-5,10 / 1 Cor 7:29-31 / Mk 1:14-20

There is a sense of urgency in today’s readings that simply cannot be ignored. It is like a rousing call, an alarm, an emergency signal that needs to be paid attention to. St. Paul is even very straighforward about it: the time is running out! And the call has to be answered, not in the future, but NOW!

There is something curiously paradoxical in the way young people (and the not-so-young) look at the future. On the one hand, the future is the reason for all of one’s efforts, one’s endeavors, one’s plans. One studies for the future. One saves up for the future. On the other hand, for the young, the future lies so far out of immediate reach. It is way beyond one’s daily experience. And such a belief and attitude leads one to be kind of lackadaisical about it. There is time…we say. We’ll think of that when the time comes. Why worry? Tomorrow is still…

INVITATION, REFLECTION, TRANSFORMATION

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N.B. I AM POSTING TWO REFLECTIONS FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2009. IN THE PHILIPPINES, INSTEAD OF THE 2nd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME, WE CELEBRATE THE FEAST OF THE SANTO NINO, THE HOLY CHILD, AS THE NEXT REFLECTION AFTER THE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING REFLECTION SHOWS.

2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time(B)
January 18, 2009

Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3-10.19; 1 Corinthians 6:13-15.17-20; John 1:35-42

The liturgy today opens with a rousing call. The young Samuel, probably being groomed to do something that is bigger than his young years, is roused from restful sleep not once, not twice, but thrice. Paul issues a rousing challenge to the Corinthians to behave responsibly as members of the body of Christ. Two bystanders watching attentively are also roused by an excited announcement from John: “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

The call addressed to the young Samuel fell not on deaf ears. Although being roused from one’s bed is no welcome thing for young people, the fact that he was sleeping in the temple precincts meant tha…

WITH OPEN HANDS AND GENTLE HEART

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FEAST OF THE SANTO NINO
January 18, 2009

Readings: Is 9:1-6 / Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-18 / Mk 10:13-16

Christmas really does not end in the Philippines until after today’s feast. While the rest of the Christian Catholic world celebrates the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time, the Philippines makes one last pitch to celebrate Christmas style … with all the pageantry, revelry, and religiosity that are part and parcel of every “fiesta” celebration all over the country.

Today, thousands of statues of the Santo Nino, big or small, red or green, in various shapes, poses, and sizes, will be blessed or brought to the street celebrations, the height of which is seen either in Cebu or in Tondo, in Manila, and many other towns and cities in the country.

The Filipino celebrates the feast of the Christ-child with both passion and panache, with tenderness and trust, and with awe-filled abandon, and utter attachment to the figure of Christ, albeit presented in the lowliness of a helpless child.

It is easy to lose o…

BEING IN GOD’S CIRCLE OF LOVE

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Catholic Homily/
Sunday Liturgical Reflection
Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord
January 11, 2009


Belongingness is one of the innate needs of each and every single human person. We all need to feel part of a group. Such is our nature as humans that God willed that we should be born as members of families, nurtured, cared for and nourished by a natural institution that gradually forms us, and then “presents” us to the bigger society in the world. In this gradual “introduction” to society, there are certain important milestones common to all cultures and civilizations – and faith affiliations! Let us look at some of those we do as Filipinos… baptismal day, the first birthday, the first haircut, the first picture, the first day in school, the first…everything. Just about everything seems to be made into an important milestone in the trajectory of life, especially of the firstborn son or daughter.

What seems to be behind such important events is the cultural need for parents and the whole …

RISE UP IN SPLENDOR!

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Catholic Homily/Sunday Liturgical Reflections
SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD
January 4, 2008


In life, we do have experiences that more or less change the tone, or the direction of our lives. Certain events planned or unplanned that take place in the course of our growth and development either make us or break us…an experience of serious sickness, a life-threatening situation, an unexpected turn of events whether positive or negative, like an unexpected promotion, or a demotion for that matter… the birth of a first son or daughter for young or older couples…the coming of brilliant luminaries and leaders in the church and in society…The list is endless. The one point of commonality is the fact that such events, known to sociologists as “marker events” steer the course of our lives inextricably, irreversibly…for ever!

One such event that changed the course of human history forever is the coming of the Messiah, the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Today’s liturgy is a celebration…