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WOULD THAT EVERYONE PROPHESIED!

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26th Sunday Year B September 30, 2012
WOULD THAT EVERYONE PROPHESIED!
I am running a bit late with my usual Sunday reflections, both in English and Tagalog. I have been busier over the past weeks on account of class preparations, a series of seminars and talks, two retreats to preach, and personality evaluation reports of seminarians to write, on top of the usual tasks I am wont to do.
I write from Tagaytay in between talks to a big group of highly motivated and enthusiastic volunteer Church pastoral workers. Leading them to do small-group share-ins, does not take much on my part. They take to it like fish to water. In fact, my problem is how to stop them and have me process what they shared in their respective little groups.
We priests and preachers do not have the monopoly of the Spirit. That much, seems to be clear in the first and third readings. Moses, Spirit-led surely as he was, knew better than to prevent Eldad and Medad from prophesying in the camp.
Nowadays, the world at large, an…

SIMPLE GREATNESS

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I WILL WALK BEFORE THE LORD, IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING!

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24th Sunday Year B September 16, 2012
I WILL WALK BEFORE THE LORD,  IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING!
The readings today could be a little disturbing. Here is one example of suffering unjustly, as Isaiah in the first reading experienced, so undeservedly and so unrightly, but still finds it in his heart, neither to “rebel,” norto “turn back,” but instead takes it all in stride.
One hardly hears such stories these days, where instant retribution is the name of the game. In our times, we mean it when we say, “a good offense is the best defense.” Cry out … complain … speak out and rebel … and, when push comes to shove, turn your back and walk away in a huff, never to suffer the same ignominy and shame again!
We are, more often than not, all cop-outs. We suffer once, and that’s it! We swear never to come back, never to be subjected once gain to everything equivalent to Isaiah’s “buffets and spitting.”
I, too, am one among them, perhaps, the worst of the lot. I run away from pain, and from people who see…

TO ALL THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE FRIGHTENED!

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23rd Sunday Year B September 9, 2012

TO ALL THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE FRIGHTENED!
Truth to tell, we never run out of reasons, on occasion, to be scared. Just last week, a big quake jolted many people from Davao down south, all the way up north to Baguio City. Whilst it was powerful enough to jar everyone’s nerves, fortunately, it was too far off to sea to create what could very well have been great damage to life and property on a wide swath of Philippine territory.
A few weeks after the Sendong tragedy last year in CDO and Iligan, I, together with a group of young priests on immersion and ongoing formation, was there for a few days. The sight of what used to be flourishing villages all washed away, or rammed to smithereens by logs that came cascading down the mountains of Bukidnon, made our hearts sink. But what really rended our hearts were stories of children, who, upon hearing the rains fall, would all be racked by intense panic and anxiety (signs of some form of PTSD!), and would all cr…

HEAR, AND UNDERSTAND!

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22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B) September 2, 2012
HEAR, AND UNDERSTAND!
Some years ago, prior to my assignment in Guam, I had an odd experience. I had an appointment with a long-lost friend from abroad at the Mall of Asia. It was a Sunday, and the only time I had was after my last Mass for the day, which was about 8 PM. I was in some kind of a hurry. It was drizzling lightly, and traffic was light. Somewhere in Pasay City, while traversing EDSA to go to MOA, a man on a bicycle was on my lane, directly on my path. I needed to change lane. I looked at my rear view and side mirrors and knew the other two lanes at my left and right were free. So I did change lanes, confident that everything was legit.
From out of the shadows, a group of “traffic” policemen suddenly flagged me down frantically. I was being cited for a traffic violation, and they called it “swerving.” I said that it was not at all swerving. They said I was “driving recklessly” by changing lanes. One of them, whose eyes were s…