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Showing posts from July, 2011

COME, HEED, LISTEN & LIVE!

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) July 31, 2011
N.B.This reflection is dedicated to my 30 students of Fundamental Morals, 1st semester, SY 2011-2012 at DON BOSCO CENTER OF STUDIES, PARANAQUE CITY, Philippines
I write as I proctor the final exams of my students in a condensed course on Fundamental Moral Theology, feeling happy that it is done, whilst at the same time feeling sad, not that it's over, but that there remains so much to cover. I cannot deny that the recent events in my country have posed without let-up so many social and personal moral issues that lent so much relevance and timeliness to the topics we were discussing in class.
We were engaged on a daily basis since classes began, in an ongoing attempt at doing a "fusion of horizons" a la Gadamer - to allow the cold and dry principles of moral reflection come to life in the concrete - if, depressing - realities that jut out of the major dailies and which dot the airlanes almost to the point of saturation.
Some of my…

AN UNDERSTANDING HEART TO JUDGE AND DISCERN

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17th Sunday in Ordinary Time(A) July 24, 2011
Last week, I gave free rein to the hope that is in me despite the so many problems that beset the Church, the country, on account of the saints and sinners (including me) that make up the Church, almost brought down to her knees by a barrage of media-instigated, PR machinery guided demolition job that started with two letters of request from a Bishop addressed to the former President. A “lapse of judgment” on his part, along with the well-meaning requests born of real needs from far-flung mountainous and remote dioceses both in the north and the south, became cannon fodder for a PR firm intent and bent on humiliating the institutional Church.
The 7 bishops responded to the humiliating half-truths that were, as usual, worse than whole lies, by resorting to the Christian way – by humbling themselves even more, even as they spoke out the truth in charity. They begged for apologies to the people of God, both to those who remained loyal believers …

CALLED TO BE, CALLED TO BECOME IN THIS VALLEY OF TEARS!

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16th Sunday in Ordinaty Time (A)
July 17, 2011

CALLED TO BE, CALLED TO BECOME IN THIS VALLEY OF TEARS!

Patience is what the readings lead me to reflect on today, even as I wait patiently for a delayed flight to Cebu, where a task awaits me over the weekend. Patience is what I needed to have all through the week, as once again, I saw how a powerful PR machinery has all but reduced the Catholic Church to a humiliating, defensive stance, beset by unfair, and, for the most part, untruthful, accusations involving two separate issues: SUVs or so-called luxury vehicles, and supposedly illegal receipt of funds from the state-run and state-owned lotteries.

The accusations later turned out to be duds, inventions and machinations of a PR team that was apparently well-funded, who did their homeworks, and almost succeeded to pull off a caper consisting of half-truths and suggested associations with a much-hated and also much maligned former president.

Despite the clarifications that ensued in the…

RECEIVING AND RESPONDING

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15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

July 10, 2011


There is something in the readings today that sit very close to nature, or at least, to the natural world as we knew it way back then. Let us face it … nature is fast disappearing. In the Philippines, only about 3 million hectares of rice lands are left, and they are fast becoming cathedrals of commerce – shopping malls, and SM, in particular! Our prime forest lands are also dwindling precipitously low, thus depriving countless species of flora and fauna, a home where they can thrive unhampered and untrammeled by so-called development.


But even then, the Biblical readings ought to speak to us. They ought to offer us a view of reality from God’s perspective. And they ought to teach us valuable lessons about life … here and now, and thereafter.


What are some of these timely lessons that we can glean from today’s readings?


Before I proceed to answer that, let me tell you what I have recently been through … Two weeks ago, I wanted to retrace …

REJOICE AND TAKE HEART!

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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) July 3, 2011

Make no mistake about it. The liturgy today rouses us to rejoicing. That is the whole point of the first reading. The second reading alludes to the reason behind all that rejoicing - since our baptism, the Holy Spirit has been dwelling in us as in a temple. But there is one other thing that the third reading would have us remember. Even in times when rejoicing may seem difficult, it is something called for given the words of promise from the Lord: "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest."
These are words that we need to hold onto, especially now.
It is not just difficult to rejoice in our times. It is most difficult to be a Catholic in our postmodern times. There seems to be a concerted, organized effort at discrediting the Church from all quarters. Despite what history clearly says, contemporary mass media outfits paint a very negative picture of the Church, at times, bordering on the fictitious, and…