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Showing posts from September, 2009

YOUNG ENOUGH TO BE PART OF THE KINGDOM

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time(B)October 4, 2009
There is something disarmingly real, authentic and genuine in children that one is hard pressed to find among adults. Children are naturally loyal, dedicated and committed to their caregivers. Watch a toddler and his unalloyed attachment to his mother or his primary caregiver. Children value relationships. They prize their belongingness to a family. And they make no secret about such healthy attachment to a family system. Ordinarily, for the normal child, the family is a matter of pride for him or her.
Adults on the other hand, may be far less spontaneous and straightforward about where their real sympathies and concerns lie. Having learned with the passage of time to dissimulate, to manipulate, and to capitulate to some internal or external pressures, adults may value themselves more than they value the collectivity, the family, the community, the nation, or the world community at large.

Adults can becom…

TOGETHER, TO GATHER WITH THE LORD!

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time(B)Sept. 27, 2009
Last week, St. James reminded us that “jealousy and selfish ambition” stand side by side with “disorder and every foul practice.” He coaxes us to seek for its antidote, which is “wisdom from above,” or holiness of life.
Today’s first reading shows us a concrete example of what earthly, worldly wisdom, not the kind that comes “from above,” can lead all of us to – selfishness, and the unwillingness to share with others whatever good thing we may have in us. Eldad and Medad, two individuals who, in some way, could very well be considered “outsiders,” who “had not gone out to the tent,” but on whom “the spirit came to rest” all the same, and who “prophesied in the camp,” incurred the envy and selfishness of a young man. This young fellow even had the temerity to tell Moses: “Moses my Lord, stop them.”
Under the guise of being protective of Moses’ prerogative as the chosen prophet and leader, the young man had …

THAT “DAMNED SPOT” IN OUR LIVES

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)September 20, 2009

Scheming and plotting – along with the guilt that they bring to the more sensitive souls among us, are not a monopoly of modern women and men like us. Among others, envy, jealousy, selfish ambition and other forms of “foul practice” are among the regular themes that help keep the teleserye crazed entertainment industry financially rewarding. Such emotions and baser drives that are considered part and parcel of our being human, constitute the foundation of so many plots of novels, movies, and soap operas so much awaited and appreciated all over the world.
“Out, damned spot!” This futile, though feverish – if, compulsive – cry of Lady Macbeth, gnawed by guilt after having taken part in a murderous conspiracy, is a very clear illustration of what all this scheming can lead to – misery for both the perpetrator and the victim.
But lest we fall into an unredeemable state of hopelessness and pessimism, I…

GRATITUDE, NOT GRUMBLINGS

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Catholic Homily / Reflection on the Liturgy of the Day
Feast of the Exaltation of the CrossSept. 14, 2009
It is easy enough to sound pious and serene during the good days. It costs nothing much to talk about braving the storm when the sun is up and shining, and it is no problem to talk about living life fully when one is healthy, when one is in the prime of life, and when everybody around you seems to be bubbling with the energy of relative health and youth.
But it is when we find ourselves wandering apparently aimlessly in the hot and sultry desert of uncertainty and monotony that all niceties and superficial piety evaporate faster than the manna of old could be desiccated by the merciless desert sun. In times such as these, when the reality of a difficult, nomadic life in the desert, far from one’s real home, far from the relative comforts of a life one has gotten used to, albeit in slavery in a foreign land, far from the much awaited “promised land,” one understands why the Israelite…

WALKING BEFORE THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING!

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)September 13, 2009
The first reading taken from Isaiah almost sounds strange during ordinary time. The last time we heard it was Good Friday, when every word and every line seems to fit the focus of our liturgical memorial.
But liturgy being what it is, a memorial indeed that makes present and alive what we hold as true in mind, at heart, and in our common history and destiny, this reading is never out of time, out of place, and out of kilter.
The confidence with which Isaiah recounts the suffering servant’s woes and throes, ending as he does with an avowed statement: “See, the Lord God is my help,” is confirmed by our own conviction as we now state: “I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living!”
It does not say “walking with,” but “walking before” the Lord. It denotes nothing of what we might call a paternalistic, patronizing presence, but a gentle, loving presence of one who lets us be, and lets us go the way …

OPENING TO GOD AND OTHERS

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