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Showing posts from January, 2014

LIKE US IN ALL; LIGHT FOR US ALL!

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The Presentation of the Lord (A) February 2, 2014
LIKE US IN ALL; LIGHT FOR US ALL!
It’s Candlemas today … Candelaria in our Pinoy popular religious culture. People, a dwindling few admittedly, will bring candles today to have them blessed. For some those blessed candles will be used to light up their little altars at home as they pray. For some others, they will be put away, kept in reserve for some unplanned and unforeseen affair of a religious nature.
But my task is not to talk about candles. People seldom make use of them now, as rechargeable and solar lamps seem to flood the market. Why, even Churches now seldom make use of real candles with wax as sancturay lamps. Paraffin oil is now more like it for most of them.
My task is not to talk today about candles because candles are not the focus of today’s feast, but what the candles stand for.
But first, a word on the three readings, in the hope that it can shed light on the issue of LIGHT which is what Candelaria (Candlemas) is all abo…

MAKE A CLEAN BREAK; FACE THE CHALLENGE!

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Third Sunday Year A January 26, 2014
MAKE A CLEAN BREAK; FACE THE CHALLENGE!
Isaiah once more hogs the headlines today. He reports of good things taking place, of light dawning bright once more to places once in gloom: Zebulun and Naphtali. We heard the prophecy not once but at least twice during, or towards the Christmas season.
Mathew prophesies not, but reports, a fact – the factual and actual fulfillment of what Isaiah could only speak about prospectively. The Lord left his childhood village and went to Capernaum, in the environs of Zebulun and Naphtali, once forlorn and forgotten places of no major consequence.
Peter and Andrew, James and John could as well have been what Zebulun and Naphtali were like – inconsequential, unknown, and uncelebrated. Once upon a time, students flocked to teachers and revered mentors and jockeyed for the closest position to their masters and gurus. But Matthew tells us otherwise. The Master called the twin duos. We are told that the Master who called wa…

CHRISTMAS JOY; CHRISTIAN ACTION

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--> Feast of the Santo Nino (A) January 19, 2014
ECHOES OF CHRISTMAS JOY;  REPERCUSSIONS OF CHRISTIAN ACTION



It’s simply more fun in the Philippines in many ways. If one leaves aside the one-too-many tragedies that happen one after another, you can’t argue against the fact that we do know not only how to party, but also how to extend something beautiful much longer than the rest of the world. For one, our Christmas is the longest in the world. Broken apart only by the Feast of the Black Nazarene, most of us go out once again to party on just the week after, to celebrate the Feast of the Holy Child, the Santo Nino.
It is not fun, though, to be caught up in a frenzy of misguided fanaticism … when even the center, summit and most important activity of all – the Holy Mass – is cut short by fanaticism gone wild and raucous as to stop the Mass midstream.
It is not fun, too, when non-thinking crowds lose all good sense and trample on everything underfoot solely because those things ha…

RUMORS?

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--> Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (A) January 12, 2014
N.B. I will be embarking on a long journey by land to Eastern Samar to do an errand of charity so I am posting this well in advance. Happy new year to everyone!

RUMORS?


Soren Kierkegaard had an interesting insight about knowing and behaving according to what one might know. If there were people who knew all about where the Messiah was to be born, they had to be the experts, the learned, the scribes … those who knew the law and had it in their finger tips. They knew everything there was to know. But they did not budge a single inch from where they stood, perched on the pinnacle of indifference and unconcern.


In contrast, the Magi only heard a rumor. But it was enough to make them go for the journey of a lifetime, in search of the rumored newborn king. They moved. They searched for him with might and main, even risking the ire of a jealous, insecure king, who also searched for the boy, but for different reasons.


Today, ou…

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WISE AND THE DISCERNING

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Epiphany Sunday January 5, 2014
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE WISE AND THE DISCERNING
Isaiah was profuse in joy a-coming: “See, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, dakrness covers the earth and thick clouds the peoples; but upon you the Lord shines.” Isaiah, too, was wise. He said wise things and foretold the coming of caravans and dromedaries “bearing gold and frankincense.”
The psalmist was emphatic in his wise prophecies, too: “Lord, every nation on earth will adore you.” But Paul, in his own right, was also wise about what he discovered late in his life: “the mystery was made known to me by revelation … that the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and co-partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
I have doubts, however, whether the Magi were as wise as Matthew appears to have reported they were. They were worldly-wise, to be sure. They knew how to read maps and astrological signs. They could see a potential ruler of some kind in the signs they saw …