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INTEGRITY, RIGHTEOUSNESS, FAITH, & LIFE

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C October 3, 2010

Today is a day that speaks to all of us who have ever felt discouraged, dispirited, dejected and forlorn. That means all of us! But without denigrating your personal experience, I would like to suggest, as all three readings show, that today’s liturgy talks, in a special way, to leaders, to pastors, to people out there who have made it their lifetime option to serve others.
Today, the Lord talks to all the jaded Habbakuks of our time, pushed against the wall of uncertainty and undeserved suffering who cries out: “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” The Lord, too, directs himself to all the weak-kneed, relatively youthful Timothys in our midst, overwhelmed and crumpled into “cowardice” on account of the seemingly more powerful forces of darkness that stalk the world. Ordained for service, for kingship, priesthood, and prophecy like unto Christ the Good Shepherd, they cower in fear a…

PURSUING RIGHTEOUSNESS

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflections 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C Sept. 26, 2010

Old habits die hard. The unnamed rich man, used to opulence, comfort, and luxury, with a train of servants ever on the ready to do as bidden at any given time, could not shake off the supercilious and superior attitude of the selfish rich … no, not even in death: “Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue … send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.” Even in death, he looked at Lazarus the poor man as someone who ought to serve his every wish.
Last Sunday, we were introduced to a selfish and insensitive, though undoubtedly smart, steward who used his abilities in pursuit of his personal ends. This Sunday, the liturgy confronts us with people of the same ilk – rich individuals whom both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures condemn, not exactly for being rich, but for being “complacent,” fo…

WHEN “WISDOM” GOES WRONG

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time –Year C Sept.19, 2010

There is a contemporary “ring” to all the scenarios described by the first and third readings today. They sound so real and current they could as well be said of what goes on in people’s lives, all over the world – the references to cheating on the side, to dishonesty, to a little manipulation with the figures, a minute adjustment with the scales, and putting to use one’s foresight, practical wisdom, and abilities to get maximum advantage for oneself.
They sound so realistic and so contemporary that one is tempted to ask … so what’s wrong with being smart and using one’s talents to gain personal advantage? One even feels affirmed when one realizes that in the gospel parable, the Lord recounts how the master even “commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently.” One initially gets the impression that, for so long as one “prudently” thinks and plans ahead for one’s future gain, one is simply puttin…

LOSSES, FINDINGS, & REJOICING

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Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) September 12, 2010

All three readings today refer to one salient theme: God’s forgiveness. God is portrayed clearly for what He is – a compassionate Father, a God who is ready and willing to relent, for as long as sinful man repents and thinks better of his sins.


The first reading from Exodus reminds me of a carabao (Philippine water buffalo used as a beast of burden) that we had in our bucolic College-seminary in the first few years of my priesthood as a teacher and formator. The strong and self-willed carabao suffered from a torn nose right where the noose ought to have been --- all for one reason. He hemmed and hawed and protested continuously against his masters. At some point, the nose tissue that tethered him to the ground gave way. A gaping, open wound thus made it impossible to keep the animal on leash, making it impossible to further train him as a beast of burden to help us till the soil and plow the ground. …