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Showing posts from December, 2010

VIRGO PRAEDICANDA, MULIER VENERANDA, MATER AMATA!

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Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God January 1, 2011
Readings: Nm 6:22-27 / Gal 4:4-7 / Lk 2:16-21
You got to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. You got to take seriously what Scripture says. You got to be non-selective for once, and take to heart what the Archangel himself says to this woman, blessed among all women: “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
Maria … virgo praedicanda! Mary, the virgin who shocked the world by giving birth, has to be proclaimed. This is news that made it to the headlines of the world at that time that sent shock waves all over Jerusalem! 
This is the news that sent shivers down the spine of the evil one, long foretold in Genesis as the woman who will strike the serpent with her heels! This is the virgin that defied all worldly logic and, contrary to her feelings of fear and trepidation, threw all caution to the winds and replied with a resounding “FIAT!”
This virgin defied not only earthly, worldly logic. She defied what now everybody seem…

AS ONE WHO GATHERS TREASURES FOR HEAVEN!

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Feast of the Holy Family(A) December 26, 2010
Readings: Si 3:2-6.12-14 / Col 3:12-21 / Mt 2:13-15.19-23

Yesterday, Christmas Day, I spoke about an eclipse much like the lunar eclipse that people stayed up late for last week, mostly under the North American skies. I referred to what spiritual writers spoke of a whole lot over the last decade – the eclipse of God in the mainstream culture of postmodernity. God is effectively shunted aside by popular culture, the voice of His Church effectively muffled by the onrush of the postmodern forces of individualism, hedonism, and minimalism that Matthew Kelly wrote about so well in his book “Rediscovering Catholicism.”
All three forces are formidable, to be sure. All three are real threats to a culture that was once a mainstay of people’s social and individual lives. For what was once Christian Europe, for example, the liturgical year was what shaped people’s lives, what gave it rhythm, and what directed the daily events of people for centuries.
But…

CERTAINTY, SURETY, PAGEANTRY, & MYSTERY

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Christmas Day Year A December 25, 2010
Midnight Mass: Is 9:1-6 / Titus 2:11-14 / Lk 2:1-14    Day Mass:  Is 52:7-10 / Heb 1:1-6 / Jn 1:1-5.9-14

Preaching on Christmas day is doubly difficult, at least in the culture I am most familiar with, Philippine culture. Although I have spent more than enough Christmas seasons outside of my home country to know the difference, preaching is a little more challenging in my home country for a variety of reasons. For one, most people who are in front of me right now have been at it for nine days – attending Mass and doing the Simbang Gabi (Misa de Gallo) either at early dawn or late evening – everywhere in the world, where there are Filipinos! Secondly, with so many last minute Christmas parties galore everywhere there is a semblance of a group or club, or clan, or work-related associations and assemblages, (not to mention hordes of balikbayan relatives to do family reunions with!), people are generally tired, weary, and sleepy on Christmas day itself.…

CONCEIVE, BEAR, NAME!

This reflection obliquely touches on St. John Bosco, Father and Teacher of Youth, whose relics are now making a tour of the Salesian world. I would like to share the official MTV and official song to commemorate this once-in-a-lifetime event for the young, for the world, for us who are willing to dream and ready to pay the price for that dream.

4th Sunday of Advent (A) December 19, 2010

You all have probably heard about it, read it, or got to know about it somehow … the grisly, gruesome deed … the cold-blooded murder of a 28 year-old husband and father of four young children, apparently planned and plotted and perpetrated by someone so close, so unexpected, so unbelievably on intimate footing with him, for years!
Planned for, plotted, and perpetrated … It apparently took her only a few months to plan for, with a little help from someone who stood to gain from it all. The news of the cold-blooded – if, so shoddily planned – murder of this young man out in Las Vegas, is a shuddering piece …

FEEBLE HANDS + WEAK KNEES = FEARLESS HEARTS!

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3rd Sunday of Advent Year A December 12, 2010

They simply don’t seem to add up! Problems today … challenges here …  obstacles there … worries here, there, and everywhere … they don’t add up. No … if you think otherwise, you’re not odd. You are just one of us lesser mortals … at times cautious, many times afraid … and most times worried sick.
At 55, I am worried about getting sick and unable to do what I mostly enjoy doing everyday. At any age, people everywhere worry about the future. Everywhere, people now, who know enough and are observant enough to take notice, do wax worrisome over the fast degradation of the only place we call home – mother earth!
Take the case of people in the Marshall islands – the Mashallese – whose tiny island atolls are predicted to be the first to disappear with the rapid onset of global warming. Already now, shorelines are being reclaimed by the ocean, rocks and solid land are crumbling before the eyes of residents who now worry about their legal status, shou…

MAKING THE IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE!

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2nd Sunday of Advent(A) December 5, 2010

Two things I like most about Advent season are: first, it is real short … just four short weeks and Christmas comes around without further ado! The second is, it brings in a whole lot of reasons that fit in nicely with the season!
Let us go straight to the point … Advent is all about coming, and coming points to waiting, and this is the whole point … Advent is all about waiting that goes beyond merely twiddling thumbs expecting for something to happen!
Today, the readings sound like things are happening right here, right now!Isaiah talks glowingly about the coming Messianic times. He speaks in terms of images, graphic symbols that only serve to whet the appetite for what is to come … surely, definitely, without fail.
The first reading’s images remind me of a farm, a farmer, and his menagerie. It speaks about what pass for strange bedfellows. Isaiah speaks of sprouts from lifeless stumps, wolves living alongside lambs, lions lounging with carefree ca…