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Showing posts from January, 2010

LOVE IN THE MIDST OF CONFLICT

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Catholic Homily /Sunday Reflection
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)
January 31, 2010



A familiar and favorite biblical character meets us as the Liturgy of the Word unfolds with the first reading in today’s celebration – Jeremiah – young, innocent, inexperienced, intimately loved by the Lord who, on account of that same love, called him and sent him to speak against “kings and princes, priests and people.” We know that despite his initial and later protestations, Jeremiah did as the Lord had told him.

He spoke to a fickle people whose attitudes ranged from crying unabashedly as the Law of Moses was read (as we heard last week), raising their hands proclaiming unalloyed Amens to the same Law, to fighting and flailing against God’s emissaries the prophets, complaining as they also did to Moses during their wanderings in the desert.

Jeremiah was sent to an interiorly conflicted people, who gave conflicting and even contradictory responses to a loving summons from a God whose love was unfailing…

HOPE: JOY BEHIND AND BEYOND TEARS

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection on the Liturgy
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)January 24, 2010

“Preaching as an act ofinterpretationis in our time demanding, daring and dangerous.”
(M. Brueggemann)
A curious detail catches our attention as we reflect on the first reading. The people of Israel were then fresh from their bitter exile in Babylon. Ezra leads the whole community (take note: “men, women, and those children old enough to understand”). One would reasonably expect people to be in a celebrative mood given the fact that the Lord made good His promise to deliver them from their Babylonian oppressors. But “the people were weeping as they heard the words of the law,” the passage from Nehemiah tells us!
Weeping and tears are two things our culture would rather not see in others nor show to others. Ordinarily, people feel uneasy seeing others cry. People feel odd to be seen crying in public. The feeling of sadness, like our religious faith, is considered something deeply personal, ut…

DESOLATE NO MORE!

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Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (C)January 17, 2010
N.B. In the Philippines, the third Sunday of January is traditionally set aside to celebrate the Feast of the Santo Niño (the Holy Child, that is, the infant Jesus). The immediately following English reflection is for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time which is what is celebrated everywhere else in the Catholic world.

Last week’s solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord allowed us to reflect on how God the Father, “took delight” in Jesus, His Son, revealing him for all present to hear: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” It led us to reflect also on how important it is for everyone to be “blessed” and “affirmed” by people who matter most to us. Children ought to be blessed by their parents. Parents need to be blessed by their children. In the final analysis, we all need to “take delight” in each other and speak the best of one another if we are to give the best of ourselves.
God was at His best w…

TAKING DELIGHT IN ONE ANOTHER

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Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection
Feast of the Santo Niño (C)
January 17, 2010

N.B. The following reflection is valid only for the Philippines where the Feast of the Holy Child (el Santo Nino) is celebrated every third Sunday of January.


This year’s feast of the Santo Niño finds the whole Philippines once more caught up in a frenzy, as much of dancing and celebration in honor of the Child Jesus, as of a lot of political posturing, positioning, and an ongoing realignment of forces and the forging of new alliances in preparation for the forthcoming national elections.

We are back once more to the Philippines’ much awaited event that comes our way every three years.

As expected, this year’s elections promises to be “star-studded” in all senses of the term, as TV and movie “stars” cross over from the “make-believe” world of entertainment to one that is not any less detached from reality – the world of Philippine politics. As things are going this early in the race, politics Philippine style, no…

UPHELD, EMPOWERED, BLESSED

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Solemnity of the Lord’s Baptism(C)
January 10, 2010


Today’s solemnity closes the Christmas season and opens ordinary time once more. Although the malls and the air-lanes (TV and radio), based as both are on a popular, highly commercialized version of what they call the “holiday season” (for what purpose and end only they know), have effectively ended Christmas after Christmas day, the liturgical Christmas season actually extended up until yesterday.

Last week, Epiphany Sunday, we referred to the ultimate star that ought to direct the tenor of our lives. We also reflected on how the mystery of the newborn Jesus was “unveiled” or “revealed” to the whole world, represented by the Magi who came from the east bringing three symbols attached to that mystery, more than gifts to a newborn babe. The Magi were prophetic in their own right, who looked far beyond mere appearances and saw mystery unfolding before their eyes, with the help of divine guidance represented by the star that they dutifully…

SEARCHING AND FINDING

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Catholic Homily/ Sunday Reflection
Solemnity of the Epiphany(C)January 3, 2009
People are positioning themselves these days on the national scene trying to find themselves a much-coveted niche from which to “serve” the people through national public office. The star of government “service” has, for some time now, been shining brightly in the political firmament, attracting both the best and the brightest, on the one hand, and the boorish and the inane, on the other.
Today, feast of the Epiphany, a day when we recall wise men going out of their way in search for what the star at Bethlehem was pointing to, it would be good for us to take a look at the presence – or absence, as the case may be – of a guiding star thatalso sets us on our way towards some goal or other as we journey through life.
The truth of the matter is that all men and women act for a reason, in pursuit of a particular star, in search for the achievement of some goal or other. We all are motivated to act this way or that,…