Showing posts from May, 2009


Catholic Homily / Sunday ReflectionPentecost SundayMay 31, 2009

Pentecost Sunday liturgy makes much of “speaking” and “hearing.” These are two human activities most of us who can talk and who have good ears most likely take for granted – on a daily basis! Just imagine how hard life would be if we suddenly lost the capacity to speak, and the capacity to hear!

“Speaking” and “hearing” … these are the two nodal points of the miracle of Pentecost. We are told that “each one heard them speaking in his own language.” They even asked, “Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?” From the report of Luke’s Acts of the Apostles, it seems hard to decide which is which. Did the disciples suddenly learn to speak different languages or did the people hear them each in his or her own language? Was the miracle on the side of those “speaking” or on the side of those who were “hearing?”

The issue may not be easy to resolve. And neither may it be an important one to resolve at all. As a non…


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
Ascension Sunday, Year B
May 24, 2009

It is easy to fall into the temptation of thinking that the Ascension of the Lord has to do with good-byes, with departures, with going away, with disappearance of someone we hold dear – never to be seen anymore. It is easy to think that such a departure means loss, a certain deprivation, an impoverishment. Such a thought would be a perfect story line for telenovelas, perfect for a society like ours, which, owing to labor migration, may be said to be a people in diaspora, ever on the move, ever in search for greener pastures, for whom physical separation counts among our set of daily experiences. Who among us does not at least have a relative, close or distant, who is not in some distant country in this shrinking world?

Departures connote disappearance from sight, and disappearance entails sadness.

But today’s solemnity has nothing to do with either of the two. Ascension is not about disappearance from sight, but al…


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection6th Sunday of EasterMay 17, 2009

One group among several that I admire is Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), a group of volunteer doctors and health workers who offer a portion of their otherwise most productive years doing service where they are needed most in any portion of the globe, with absolutely no consideration given to personal gain of any sort whatsoever, including monetary. They serve regardless of political, economic, religious and other affiliations and allegiances people may have. They just serve and help those who are needy of medical help. Period… Anywhere… Everywhere... To whomever.

Universal may be the right word to use with regard to the scope of the help they are willing to give – and, in fact, give.

As universal as the scope of God’s salvific love for His people. As universal as the reality of God’s call which He gives to all His creatures.

Today’s first reading shows this universality of God’s choice and God’s grace…


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections
5th Sunday of Easter(B)
May 10, 2009

The world we live in is in too much of a hurry. The new generations, born in an era of jet and space travel, seems to be in perpetual hurried – and harried – motion! There is motion everywhere we go … mobility … movement … To sit still, be quiet, be stable and meaningfully connected is almost countercultural. What does one do all day at home? How does one spend the long weekend merely at home, when even the official government policy emanating from the highest executive offices of the land encourages movement, domestic tourism, and mobility on days when feast days and civil holidays are – you guessed right – “moved” to more auspicious and economically productive days? How does one expect to be sedately happy when “nothing’s going on” at home … where there’s no “happening,” no “gimmicks” taking place?

We all cannot sit still, immersed as we are in a world of malls with perpetually moving, whirring, humming and gyrati…