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FREED FROM DARKNESS; KEPT IN THE RADIANCE OF TRUTH

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
13th Sunday in Ordinary TimeJune 28, 2006

Readings: Wisdom 1:13-15;2:23-24; 2 Cor 8:7,9,13-15; Mk 5:21-43

A certain continuity spans the themes of the liturgy this week and last. If you remember, I alluded to a situation of darkness last week, a darkness that is met, not necessarily with optimism, but with hope. I was trying to suggest that Christians are not, and ought never, to be bleary-eyed optimists alone. Whilst optimism can help us all face the destabilizing waves of challenges that rock the boat of our life and our faith, ultimately, it is not what we wish to see that would strengthen us, but what God wants us to see through the eyes of faith – and HOPE!

We remember it, I am sure … the resounding voice amidst the engulfing and frightening waves … “Why are you terrified?” We remember, it, too, I am sure … the stentorian voice of the fearless shepherd calling on his flock from St. Peter’s square, back in 1978 … “Be not afraid. Be not afraid. Be no…

LOOKING UP TO GOD FROM THIS WORLD OF UNCERTAINTY

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection12th Sunday in Ordinary Time -
Year BJune 21, 2009


More than just uncertainty fills the air heavy with reports of new and developing terror cells all over the world, with one prominent world leader even speaking of possible nuke warfare all over again. Fear and trepidation can grip the hearts of people who live along notorious geological “fault lines” that can snap any minute, and send miles and miles of land to a screeching, grating, and gyrating swath of destruction. Recent earthquakes in Pakistan, in Indonesia, in China, Italy, and elsewhere around the world send shivers of anxiety down the spine of countless people who live in the so-called “ring of fire.” Volcanoes acting up, “sleeper cells” of terrorists awakening to a potential scenario of more destructive and violent acts, and the restless world churning up new and more frightening possibilities ought to be enough to make of our presence here today in Church, more than just relevant and meaning…

BREAD BROKEN AND SHARED IN LOVE

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections on the LiturgySolemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord (Year B)

If we go by the three recent youth surveys in the Philippines done on the national level, there is some reason for us to worry. And when I say “us” I mean priests, pastors, religion teachers, religious brothers and sisters, parents – the Philippine Church, as a whole. Less and less young people are approaching the sacraments, the surveys show. That means, less and less of them go to confession, and, that means, less and less of them go to communion. As Rector in our College-Seminary in Canlubang for eight years, and as educator there for another 7 years, both as a brother and as a young priest, I stood witness to the progressively growing unpopularity of confession and communion. It was almost like we had to beg the older adolescents in the college level, especially, to take advantage of the weekly opportunity to confess and the almost daily opportunity to receive holy communion.

Toda…

NOT MERE IDEAS, BUT LIFE!

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Catholic Homily / Sunday ReflectionTrinity SundayJune 7, 2009


Today’s solemnity can easily pass off to many as some form of mental exercise – a part of the never-ending effort at “putting a handle” of sorts to a mystery that is basically something that cannot be fully fathomed, let alone understood. Being such, there is the very real danger of approaching what ought to be a truth to be celebrated as a dead specimen to be dissected in cold blood on the laboratory table.

But the human person – heart and mind and spirit all rolled into one – was never created to dissect dogmas, at least primarily. Humans were created for love and what fulfills them is not a doctrine for the mind alone to digest, but a relationship that is savored, nurtured and enriched by their totality as human beings understood primarily as relational creatures. We do not fall in love with dogmas, but we do experience emotional affinity with relational persons. Doctrinal truths, per se, do not excite us, but the idea of …