Showing posts from November, 2009


Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
1st Sunday of Advent (C)
November 29, 2009

There is something rousing in today’s readings. For those uninitiated to the literary genre employed called apocalyptic writing, there is a “clear and present danger” of being led to fear, not peace of mind. After all, Jeremiah’s words were set historically amidst the context of a city – Jerusalem – under siege.
Jeremiah was talking to a people who needed a little moral upliftment, given the “world-ending” scenario they were experiencing! Jesus in the Gospel passage from Luke talks as if to reinforce whatever feelings the Israelite audience of Jeremiah had. He spoke of cataclysmic signs, the likes of which one does not ordinarily even dream of. Such surrounding circumstances are made as backdrop to the coming of the awaited one – “the Son of Man, coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
We need to sift the chaff from the grain. We need to see the message as distinct from the medium. We need to be a little …


Sunday Reflection/Catholic Homily
Solemnity of Christ the King(B)November 22, 2009
Readings: Daniel 7:13-14 / Rev 1:5-8 / Jn 18:33b-37
A spate of movies that focus on end-time mega disasters seems to hog the world’s attention – and morbid curiosity – in our days and times! I am sure my readers all await the release of the much-ballyhooed movie 2012 since its trailers started keeping the world in rapt attention these past months.
I am not about to dissuade you from seeing what is basically designed to entertain, even as I did not tell people not to watch the “Da Vinci Code” and its sequel (I actually would want to see it!). In fact, it is just as well for me, for as a preacher and teacher, it is always good to have something that juts out concretely from daily human experience that could be used as jump-off point to discuss something that goes beyond merely human experience. The philosopher Gadamer has a 64 dollar word for it – “fusion of horizons!” Preaching is partly doing a fusion of h…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
33rd Sunday of the Year(B)
November 15, 2009

We are at the second to the last Sunday of this liturgical year. We are bordering on the ending of a year of the Church. Endings connote many things, including the idea of wrapping up events in the course of a journey, a process, a life trajectory. Endings entail at times having to rush things, so as to put a final note to a course of events, giving final touches to a paper due in school, wrapping up a lifetime project, perhaps, to top off a list of glowing achievements in the course of one’s life. Endings are represented by a period, a full stop.
The liturgy today does speak, too, of endings, but not in the senses enumerated above. Endings are really beginnings, if we go by what the readings today tell us. In the Bible, the end-times are really not so much the end of an era, as the beginning of a new one, one that is represented by a language that follows a style all its own, known as apocalyptic language, whi…


Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)November 8, 2009
Readings: 1 Kgs 17:10-16 / Heb 9:24-28 / Mk 12:38-44
Widows and orphans, traditionally, represent the poorest, the neediest, the most forgotten, and the least noticed in society. Widows don’t make people’s heads turn. They merit no “respect” (literally in Latin, respect means “a second look”) from people of the world. They never attract the attention of people of means.
Today, however, we see two widows taking center stage. The first won the attention of a prophet in need. Elijah, on seeing her gathering sticks, asked her a favor: “Bring me a cupful of water to drink.” Emboldened by her enthusiastic response, Elijah asked further: “Please bring along a bit of bread.” With all her remaining strength, she dished out nourishment for Elijah, and tossed out her earthly security.
The second widow won the attention of no less than Jesus himself. Teaching about being fully and truly oneself, Jesus makes use of an a…