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Showing posts from April, 2012

POWER TO LAY IT DOWN; POWER TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN!

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4th Sunday of Easter (B) April 29, 2012
All three readings take up the common thread of power. The first reading from the Acts shows us the power of “faith in the name of Jesus.” The second reading from the first letter of John, for its part, shows us that love is power, too … It is generative. It makes those who believe, more than just believers, but children of God. The Gospel from John shows the ultimate sign and fruit of this power from above. Christ Jesus, has power to lay his life down, and power to take it up again!
I feel very down these days. For one, the heat is terribly stifling. With such record highs, one loses a lot of energy to do much of anything, except try one’s best not to sweat, by doing as little as possible. But there are other reasons for me to feel down and out, and even powerless. I know I am powerless before the tide of public opinion, swayed hither and thither by mainstream media. I feel for the powerless majority who really have not much power to choose, most …

FOOD TO FAILURES; FRIENDSHIP TOWARDS THE UNFRIENDLY; SALVATION TO SINNERS

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BELONGING, BEGOTTEN, BELIEVING

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2nd Sunday of Easter (B) April 15, 2012

I write from Seoul, South Korea, while awaiting the ordination rites of a fellow Salesian, a former student at our theologate in Paranaque, and who worked for a few years in various settings in Manila and Guam. Being here, and having the possibility to break bread and do Eucharist, together with Korean confreres and others from various nationalities, all belonging to the same family of Don Bosco – the Salesians – is a very good starting point for a reflection for this second Sunday or the Octave of Easter.
The resurrection of the Lord, whilst it is one of the foundations of our Christian faith, goes beyond remembrance of an event. It is THEevent, on which a train of other events and realities are intertwined.
Let the three readings speak for themselves, as ought to be, definitely, the case, each Sunday.
The first reading would have us understand what it means to be a follower of the Risen Lord. In plain and simple language, it has to do with belongin…

NEITHER ON LIES, NOR ON LUNACY, BUT ON LIGHT!

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EASTER SUNDAY APRIL 8, 2012

Churches everywhere around the country and the world, were mostly filled last Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The washing of the disciples’ feet, which led to watching with the Lord in vigil, produced snaking lines of people, and more hordes of people for the watchful waiting before the altar of repose. And although liturgically speaking, the period called the Paschal Triduum that began during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper and which closes with the  Easter Vigil, ought not be dedicated to confessions, snaking lines were seen in every Church where the unsung heroes of Holy Week in the Philippines, the priests, held their fort, heroically, steadfastly, for many long hours of Thursday and Friday.
Lent should have ended on Holy Thursday morning. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper began the paschal triduum, and the three-day period was meant no longer to be penitential days, but a three-day celebration of the Paschal Mystery, that is, the passion, death, and res…

LIAR, LUNATIC, OR LORD?

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WASHING & WATCHING

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Holy Thursday April 5, 2012

The best of Pinoy popular religiosity, along with its worst, shines out beginning today, first day of the Paschal Triduum. Even as I sit down to write these reflections, hordes are now making their way up Mount Banahaw, or trekking in the concrete jungles of Metro Manila to go to Antipolo, or “carrying their little or big crosses” everywhere in Central Luzon, particularly in Pampanga, to do their own version of “washing and watching.”
Elsewhere, throughout the Tagalog region, particularly in Batangas and Cavite, the singing of the Pasiong Mahal of the unsung poet Mariano Pilapil, could be heard or espied taking place in just about every prominent family’s house, or in humble abodes everywhere else. In Poblacion, Makati, the old Sampiro, dozens of what is called “kalbaryos” house the family-owned statues depicting the various events related to the passion of the Lord, where endless singing of the same pasiong mahal is done, replete with food and drinks for ever…