Posts

Showing posts from October, 2010

SHORT IN STATURE, A GIANT IN GENEROSITY

Image
Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection on the Liturty 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C October 31, 2010
Reversals and paradoxes are a fixture in Scripture. We saw an example of this just last week, when we saw the great paradox of humble prayer that was answered, and the proud prayer that was no prayer at all, and therefore, remained unanswered. The tax collector, we are told, “went home justified,” while the Pharisee was left with an empty bag, along with his equally empty boast.
Today, the liturgy presents us with another interesting figure of a tax collector… No … a “chief tax collector,” in fact … a big shot of sorts (pun intended) – Zacchaeus, whose height was the opposite of his “weight” – in GOLD! (For the sake of my Philippine readers, I am tempted to compare Zacchaeus with some equally interesting personages among the top brass of our men in uniform, but I thought this was unfair to Zacchaeus). Zacchaeus, for all his wealth and stature (no pun intended, this time), was really a…

BOASTING IN THE LORD VERSUS SIMPLY BOASTING

Image
Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C October 24, 2010

Last week, we reflected on persistent prayer. Prayer spelled the victory of God in Moses’ developing problem with the Amalekite marauders. Prayer, the persistent type, spelled too, fulfillment of the widow’s request from the unjust judge. This Sunday, we are back once more, at least initially, to the topic of constant prayer.
Sirach gives the opening salvo for us. He is our authority of the day. In prophetic fashion that accrues from the wisdom tradition, he declares unequivocally a double truth born out of his own and his people’s experience: the truth of God’s justice, on the one hand, and that of His mercy, on the other. “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.” But wait … Sirach gives the thought a second look, and this time, he speaks from his people’s journey of faith. He declares once more, that God was not “unduly partial toward the weak, yet he HEARS the cry of the oppressed.” …

PRAYING WITH, PRAYING FOR, PRAYING PERSISTENTLY

Image
Catholic Homily/Sunday Reflection 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C October 17, 2010

Four Sundays back, Luke’s Gospel had us speak about the unjust steward who was cunning, wily, and whose self-provident ways led him to selfishly prepare for his own future. Today, Luke would have us consider the figure of an unjust judge who capitulates to the importunings of a widow in need. These are story stuff that merit a second look from story-starved writers of “telenovelas” (soap operas) known now in the Philippines as “teleseryes.”
Yes, there is unfolding drama in the parables of the Lord. Parables are basically stories, but, used skillfully by the master story-teller and teacher that Jesus was, are more than just bedtime stories to tuck children in bed with. No, parables were meant to disturb; they were meant to be so surprising as to catch people off guard, as to make hearers gasp in disbelief, and react either positively or negatively to them, especially if hearers miss the real lesson behin…

GRATITUDE THAT GOES BEYOND “THANK YOU”

Image
Catholic Homily / Sunday Reflection 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C October 10, 2010

There is more than just following mere rules of civility and politeness that is at stake in today’s readings, as some might well normally imagine. Yes … Naaman the leper did well, not only because he returned to Elisha, retinue and all, but because of something far superior to mere thanks-giving, as we shall soon see.
Just as well, for we have gathered once again today, to do the eminently Christian communal activity on the day of the Lord – to give thanks to God, to do “Eucharist,” to celebrate our oneness, to extol our giftedness, and to proclaim our faith in an eminently giving and personal God. We have come back, like Naaman to give thanks. We have gathered together, to “remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David” (2 Tim 2:8). We have returned, hopefully like that lone leper, to “glorify God in a loud voice.”
Today, we are probing into the depths of what biblical “gratitu…