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Showing posts from June, 2012

FORMED TO BE IMPERISHABLE

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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) July 1, 2012

A busy week up till today had me running late for this reflection, writing it just after I celebrated the anticipated Mass for the 13th Sunday.
The readings today offer, at one and the same time, an air of resignation, and a whiff of hope – hope that is tied up with faith in a God of compassion, a God who is close to the broken-hearted, the suffering, and those in any form of pain. Take it from the lengthy Gospel account from Mark … First, there is the panicky Jairus, who mustered enough humility and trust to go begging from the Lord, asking him with earnestness: “Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”
But as if that were not enough to touch us all, here comes another heart-rending story of the woman who obviously had suffered enough, by any standard – bleeding continuously for all of 12 years! She did, not the unthinkable, but the expected – hope, even against hope – and believed with all her heart that all she ne…

SIMPLY GREAT; SIMPLY HOLY!

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The Birth of John the Baptist June 24, 2012

No other saint, save St. Paul, can “boast” of two feast days in the Roman Catholic calendar … The Church celebrates the birth and death of John, “greater than whom no other man born of woman” exists! Today, we revel in his glorious birth. Later this year, in August 29, we will commemorate his tragic beheading … tragic in man’s eyes, but glorious in God’s – and for many generations since!
Greatness is what we associate with John, no doubt about it. But the road to greatness was never sweet nor easy, notwithstanding the glorious and hopeful prophecies of old that foreshadowed the coming of someone who was referred to in the first reading “as concealed in the shadow of [God’s] arm” or “a polished arrow,” “through whom [God] shows His glory.” (Is 49:1-6)
When I look at the mystery of human pain and suffering, it is hard to wax lyrical and hopeful. When I see endless tragedies brought about by human sinfulness and greed, by “man’s inhumanity to man,”…

IN HIS TIME – THE WORST OF TIMES; THE BEST OF TIMES!

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) June 17, 2012

IN HIS TIME – THE WORST OF TIMES; THE BEST OF TIMES!
I do my reflection, for the first time, at a place that was, at one and the same time, so close, yet so far – till now. It is my first time to be in Jakarta, Indonesia, a place no more than three and a half hours away from a city I have called home, for a great deal of my life. It is a city from which came a number of my former students in theology, one of whom is getting ordained this very day I am writing this – not without a little difficulty, given the so many things I need to reflect on, as I drink in every thing new and old; everything strange and similar; everything foreign and familiar, with the sights and sounds I see back home, and in just about every place the grace of God has allowed me to call home at various lengths of time in these past 30 years I have been a priest.
It is just as well that I am here these days, and particularly in this 11th Sunday of the liturgical year. Muc…

ACCEPTING AND DOING!

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June 10, 2012 Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord (B)
ACCEPTING AND DOING!
The focus of today’s readings, understandably, is on the blood of sacrifice. That blood is connected with the seal or proof, or witness – if you will – of the covenant between God and His people. The blood is poured. The blood is consumed in some way, and the blood is offered, first, for expiation, and second, as sign of consummation of the supreme agreement between two parties – God, on the one hand, and his people, on the other.
The response is as much a promise as an assurance: “Everything the Lord says, we will do!”
The pledge pronounced by the people actually stands for two things: acceptance, first and foremost … as if, indeed, to say, “we accept everything the Lord says …” But that is not all … the second part is a promise: “we will do as He says!”
Accepting and doing … this, among so many other things, is what we can reflect on today, the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.
Accepting has to do with acknowledg…