Posts

Showing posts from July, 2010

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI!

Image
Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) August 1, 2010
        All of us mortals long for the more, the better, the greater, and the ultimate! The history of the world, and our own personal histories reflect this timeless and ageless truth – we look for fulfillment, for what satisfies, for everything that gives lasting meaning to our existence. We even pine for immortality, for the proverbial fountain of youth, physical prowess, and beauty. We hanker for everything that lasts, and all things that lend perfection and lasting dignity to our person.
        All that we long for, and all that we look for are not bad in themselves. They are legitimate ends for men and women created by God with the natural tendency towards “self-transcendence.” This includes our legitimate desire for material wealth and prosperity.
        Today’s liturgy, though, offers some kind of a “caveat” (a warning). Today’s readings would have us pause awhile and see beyond what we consider as …

A FEW GOOD MEN!

Image
Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
July 25, 2010

The little, the seemingly insignificant, the few, and the powerless … those who don’t seem to count; the perpetual underdogs; those whose lives don’t make waves: the widows, the orphans, the poor, and the lowly … these are those who can make a difference, those whose presence – and persistence – can mean life, fullness of life both for themselves and others, or the utter lack of it for everyone.


I refer to the “power of one.” I speak of the riches behind the widow’s mite, the force of puny David’s stone that spelled defeat of the mighty Goliath. I point to the authority of the twelve – the Lord’s “few, good men” whose conviction and faith, despite the onrush and crushing weight of the worldly power of kings, emperors, and tyrants over the past two thousand years.


The faith that we celebrate this morning in this church and all over the world is a testimony of the power of these “few good men” – and women –…

DOING JUSTICE AND LIVING IN GOD’S PRESENCE

Image
Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) July 18, 2010
I take my cue for today’s reflection from our response after the first reading: “He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.”

Traditional scholastic philosophy that reached its apex in the writings of St. Thomas speaks of justice as based on what is “due,” from the Latin word “debitum,” that is, what is “owed” to someone else.
Biblical tradition as a whole, and the readings today, in particular, going far beyond what the scholastic treatise on justice demands, show us what this “due” is all about, and to whom it is owed – to widows, to the poor, to strangers, and to orphans … everyone who has no one else to rely on. God’s justice shines best in His compassion, His mercy, His loving-kindness.
Today’s liturgy offers us a whole lot more on this issue of the “debitum.” It refers to a state of healthy tension between two seemingly irreconcilable polar realities. It refers to a delicate balance b…

HOC FAC ET VIVES!

Image
Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) July 11, 2010

Last Sunday’s gospel confronted us with the true meaning of discipleship. Without resorting to sugar-coating, Jesus made us aware of the inherent difficulties attached to following the Lord: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” But we were exposed also to the bigger reality promised to those who are called to work for the Lord’s harvest. “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
This Sunday’s readings are a further deepening on the meaning of discipleship. They give us the absolute ideal, the heights to which every serious and solid believer ought to aspire after. Hoc fac et vives, the Lord tells us. Do this and you will live.
What exactly ought we to do? What in concrete does this close link between doing and living consist in, in our times, in our days, in our world?
Our generation is steeped in the desire for more in every conceivable way. We want bigger and more comfortable homes, more fl…

WHEN BOASTING IS APPROPRIATE

Image
Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time July 4, 2010


The readings today are a study in contrasts. We hear a call to rejoice to those who previously were mourning. We hear St. Paul’s readiness to boast, but this boast is associated with the “marks of Jesus on [his] body.” We hear the Lord exhorting us to ask the harvest master to send more laborers to his fields, but we also are made aware of the danger attached to the work of reaping, a danger not unlike that of lambs sent in the midst of wolves.
We have today a very sobering reality check for all followers of Christ!
Reality … that which so many people in our times try their best either to ignore, gloss over, or deny altogether. When reality gets too painful, when it strikes too close to home base, the common tendency for people is to pretend “everything will be alright.” But no amount of denial can reverse the hard facts of life. People suffer. People die. There are gross imbalances in the world, and whilst one fo…