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Showing posts from May, 2014

UP TO HEAVEN; OUT INTO THE WORLD!

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Ascension Sunday June 1, 2015
UP TO HEAVEN; OUT INTO THE WORLD
Parents who work day in and day out have to leave their dear children everyday. For many young Filipino parents, one or both of them even have to go abroad to earn a living. For the rest who work here, they leave beloved toddlers and young children to either their yaya or their own parents, the grandparents.
I talk about leaving because that is precisely what the Ascension of the Lord is NOT about. This is also true of Filipino parents who leave home either on the long or short haul. They don’t leave home to be away. They leave home or country to be more effectively present in shaping the future of their children.
Ascension is not about Christ leaving us to go home and away from us. Ascension is all about Christ being glorified and going home to the Father, but not to be away from His flock.
Go back to the gospel of Matthew today and see if I don’t make sense. Nowhere in today’s gospel passage does Matthew refer to the fact of t…

SPIRIT BEFORE US; SPIRIT BESIDE US; SPIRIT IN US!

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6th Sunday of Easter A May 25, 2014
SPIRIT BEFORE US; SPIRIT BESIDE US; SPIRIT IN US!
Indwelling presence are two big words. After so long studying theology prior to ordination, I still could not fully understand it. As a priest for so long now, I think I am beginning to understand some of it.
The three readings today talk about the Spirit being given and being received. The first reading talks about Peter and John going to Samaria and praying over the Samaritans recently baptized. Peter’s letter (second reading) refers to Jesus being brought back to life in the Spirit. The Gospel of John reminds us of the Father giving another Advocate who “will be with us always” – the “Spirit of Truth.”
Indwelling presence may be big words, but the reality they stand for is even bigger! And it does not matter anymore if my puny little mind can still not fully fathom what it means.
When I don’t understand things, I feel I am alone in the dark. Being alone is bad enough at times, but being in the dark, on …

GOING SOME PLACE, SOMEHOW? WHAT ABOUT "GOING TO THE FATHER?"

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5th Sunday of Easter Year A May 18, 2014
GOING SOME PLACE, SOMEHOW?  WHAT ABOUT “GOING TO THE FATHER?”
We Filipinos are generally not good at giving directions. Go anywhere in the country; ask anyone to tell you how to get to a place, and more often than not, the person would tell you that it’s not too far from where you are, at times even using the lips to point towards a particular direction. You asked for directions and they tell you it’s not too far off.
I remember two hard to forget experiences about direction-giving, both of which happened abroad. Those two separate experiences show that is easier to show rather than to tell people where to go. I was still in my elementary French lessons then, many years ago. I asked a Parisian man where Rue des Pyrenees was, in my halting French. He told me to follow him, and he led me right next to the gate of the building. In Reno, Nevada, we were driving one very cold autumn night looking for Incline Village where my siblings and I were suppose…

THE VOICE

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4th Sunday Easter A May 11, 2014
THE VOICE
Many years ago, when we were in High School, the official publication of the school was called very simply, “The Voice.” I did not think it was very creative back then, and neither did I fancy the idea that “The Voice” would attract hordes of readers other than those who wrote for it, their parents, and their close-in supporters.
It was bland, nondescript, uninspired, and absolutely boring.
But it did have a following. “The Voice” had a steady stream, albeit small, of readers. We loyalists heard and followed “The Voice” alright and it was the closest thing to having our own brand of “Readers’ Digest” that we all looked forward to perusing, years before facebook took all of it away.
The Lord was not one to turn heads either. He came from a forlorn, forgotten place called Nazareth. And indeed, “what good could come from Nazareth?”
But the Nazarean did have a voice alright. He called a few to follow him. He taught, He preached. He healed. He cured. …

TWO DISCOURAGED DISCIPLES; TWO DEVOTED AND SAINTLY APOSTLES

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3rd Sunday Easter (A) May 4, 2014
TWO DISCOURAGED DISCIPLES;  TWO DEVOTED & SAINTLY APOSTLES


Today and last Sunday would be a “study in contrasts.” Just allow me to attempt at making a comparison. Last Sunday was a story of two enthusiastic and happy apostles who galloped their way towards sanctity. All told, about 4 million people flocked to Rome for the occasion. Hundreds of thousands converged at the Piazza di San Pietro and beyond, clogging all available side streets and open spaces. Hundreds of millions more watched the solemn proceedings on TV and via online streaming.


Today, though, no one is watching. Who loves to watch a story of dejected and despondent men, dragging their feet towards any place away from (not towards) the city of dropped plans, dashed dreams, and utter disappointment, if not, defeat? They ambled about in shame. They absent-mindedly walked away from the city that once nurtured their brightest and fondest hopes. Their once mighty team was now a loser by any …