Showing posts from February, 2012




Ash Wednesday February 22, 2012
Lent is once more here. Once again, the Church, through the liturgical year, is educating us, reminding us, helping us move on to “higher ground,” sort of, and seek for higher things. Ash Wednesday ushers us into the holy season, a forty-day period of preparation for the Paschal Triduum, that leads to the “highest point” of our moral and spiritual striving – the Resurrection of the Lord!
But before we can reach for the stars, we need to look at where we are. We need to do a reality check, and realize where our feet are planted. And in case you have forgotten it, they are planted solidly on terra firma – on earth, that tradition calls the “valley of tears.”
But there is more than just tears to deal with as we enter into the holy season of Lent. Let today’s readings tell us … The prophet Joel reminds us of the need to “do penance,” on account of our sins. But he takes pains to define that penance … It is not just for show, not just for compliance. He tells us…


7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) 19 February 2012

Today’s liturgical readings remind me of the popular saying, “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” The Lord, through Isaiah, declares something so heartwarming, so encouraging … something we all need so much in these times … a pat on the back, a gentle push from behind, a loving nudge from above … “In the desert, I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers!”

God be praised! For this is something I, and I dare say, all of you, very sorely need now. At a time when one typhoon after another, one earthquake after another, and trials upon trials mar and tar the social fabric of our lives everywhere, we are all sorely tried … we are tested in every way.

I will be the first to confess … I am!

There was a time in my younger life when things seemed simpler, life less complicated, and the future appeared rosier. But as I get older, I realize that things also get more difficult … The air is more tainted, the water more impure, and most situations surrounding …


6th Sunday in Ordinary Time(B) 12 February 2012

Turning to, or drawing near seems to be a good image to start with in today’s reflection. We turn to anyone who can help us when we are in dire straits. We draw near to someone who can take away whatever pain it is we are bearing. We turn to creditors who can save the day for us when our coffers are empty. We turn our gaze to those who have the power to lift us out of any unpleasant or painful predicament.
I used to sort of “enjoy” being sick when I was a kid … for one simple reason. My paternal grandmother would go out of her way to nurse me back to health. She did nothing much. She gave me nothing extraordinary. But I turned to her when sick with fever for she always had an extra dose of tender loving care for anyone of us kids who was sick, complete with a gentle back rub and a caring massage, way, way before spas became the craze all over.
The first reading from the book of Exodus lays the basis for the good news that will unfold in the …


5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) February 5, 2012

I write even as I am in the midst of helping others make sense of their inner pains and hurts. During a lull in the processing that I conduct for a group of sisters and nurses engaged in helping those who are most excluded from mainstream society, I go to a different mode – the mode of the spiritual (as against the purely human, psychological mould) and reflect on the liturgy of the 5th Sunday in Ordinary time, come February 5, 2012.

But alas, there seems to be more of the same thing … at least at first blush. We hear Job with a long list of complaints and frustrations that sound very familiar to our very own experience. He does much more than just whine … he actually waxes desperate to a fault, as he declares in exasperation: “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see happiness again.” (first reading).

The seeming hopelessness and helplessness of J…