Showing posts from October, 2009


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
Solemnity of All SaintsNovember 1, 2009
Readings: Rev. 7:2 -4,9-14 / 1 Jn 3:1-3 / Mt 5:1-12a
I’d like to start this reflection by making a little confession. I don’t particularly enjoy anymore reading the lives of saints. Please don’t get me wrong. It is not like I don’t believe in their holiness. I do. I really do. But whilst I believe in saints and their closeness to the God they believed in, I don’t as easily believe in how hagiographers (those who write their lives) report their lives to be, anymore than I believe that those wax figures in Madame Tussaud’s are real people.
But I do know that people who admire other people have a tendency to overblow things, a penchant to make them appear larger than life. And I do know how we all could blow things up for effect, carried as we are, at times, by good old emotions that can go overboard in not a few occasions.
St. John the Evangelist could have been a little carried away by the overwhelming truth that h…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflections
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time(B)October 25, 2009
Clarity seems to be the banner-headline of today’s liturgy. Mark the evangelist, for the brevity of his account, shines out in at least this one aspect – the clarity of detail about a blind man whom he took pains to record by name – Bartimaeus! Blind persons tend to lose their identity and individuality in this cruel world. People often just refer to the handicapped as the “blind man,” the “limping girl,” or the “one-eyed swordsman,” or any other unsavory appellation other than their own names. Somehow, it is almost like as if people with marked handicaps lose their right to be unique, to be worthy of being known, to be treated as individual persons.
But if Mark was clear on the name, I must add that the one he named for posterity showed even greater clarity … on two counts. First, Bartimaeus called on Jesus as “Son of David.” Bartimaeus was clearly knowledgeable about Scriptures and about who the people …


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)October 18, 2009
The world values service a whole lot. People are willing to pay good money provided they are given a full complement of services everywhere they go, whether in a restaurant or a hotel. We just love to be pampered by service even if, deep inside, we know we are really paying dearly for it. Being served somehow makes us feel good about ourselves and gives a boost to our self-image. No wonder cruises, some of which are not called “celebrity cruises” for nothing, all go for the topmost quality in quality services that make one feel, at least for a short period, like celebrities, if not royalty.
It is thus also not to be wondered at that two of Jesus’ close-in followers – James and John – who probably felt important enough after being identified with someone whom crowds adored and adulated, as to ask a big - if pretentious - favor from the Lord: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Mar…


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)October 11, 2009

Not all that glitters is gold … That much we were told … ever since we were kids in school. Too bad, too many of us go by the standard of what is readily visible and palpable. Today the first reading from the Book of Wisdom offers us a totally different view … something that represents the total reverse of what material man usually holds on to. “I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her to scepter and throne.”
In our days and times, we know what we want … or so we think. The recent massive floods in Metro Manila are a testament to this. We think we know what we want – more comfortable and spacious homes, more comfort, ease, and convenience, more votes from what politicians call “constituents.” Real estate developers catered to what people think they want. They pampered them with huge palatial homes. And this, they did by reclaiming for them the w…