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Showing posts from December, 2014

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! MARY MATTERS!

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1T26yw1Ltg
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God January 1, 2015
MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT! MARY MATTERS.

Although we begin the New Year in the Philippines with a bang, we also begin it with a dose of essential dogma, all at the service of what really matters most, on the last day of Christmas Octave.
Make no mistake about it. This solemnity is not about ushering in a new civil year. Neither is it about making Christmas veer off tangent by introducing someone who sort of “steals the show” from Christ, the Lord, the one and only Savior, the one and only Redeemer, the one and only Son of God.
As a counselor myself, I am familiar with the concept of “reframing.” Basically, it means (among others) that when one wants to highlight the image, one also needs to consider the frame. A very good image set in an ugly frame would render the image less than the worth it deserves in the eyes of the beholder. Change the frame and one heightens the beauty and worth the image deser…

LET ME COUNT THE WAYS: 1,2,3,4!

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Christmas Day December 25, 2014
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS: 1,2,3,4!
Something one does four times in a row must really be important. A celebration done fourfold must be meaningful, more than important. Something one repeats, not thrice but quatrice (if the word exists!) must be so important, meaningful and significant to the hilt.
I am reminded of Sonnet 43 that begins with the question: “How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways!”
How does God love us? Let us not give an answer by counting. You count things you want to manage and control. You measure things you want to manipulate towards a certain finality. You lose count when you lose all interest and capacity to even fully understand in a human way what is really beyond words, beyond description, although definitely not beyond belief.
Christmas is beyond words. This maybe the reason why we count four distinct celebrations, each with distinct readings, that all have each a different focus. So let us count … one at the vigil, one at midnight, …

THE DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS

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4th Sunday of Advent – B December 21, 2014
DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS
I borrow the title of Thomas Cahill’s lovely prose and well-written “history” of Jesus of Nazareth. I like the title, first and foremost, for he speaks about Jesus having definitely made a difference in the long history of humankind. Even if recorded history, apart from the Bible, has precious little about him and details about his life and lineage, his coming or irrupting into human history definitely made a dent, for many, not just a few.
We are among the many today whose lives were impacted by the one who was promised three thousand years ago by Nathan, the prophet: “I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his kingdom firm … Your house and your kingdom shall endure before me; your throne shall stand firm forever.”
We are a people in waiting. We are a people, too, of the promise. We are filled with longing, wrapped up in an intense desire for something better, something higher,…

FROM DENIAL TO DECLARATION

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3rd Sunday of Advent-Year B GAUDETE SUNDAY December 14, 2014
FROM DENIAL TO DECLARATION
The Gospel passage of today reminds me of the unfortunate, dysfunctional politics that is in force in my country since time immemorial. Every big fish in government accused of so many things have one common response – deny, deflect, desist, and defame others!
This is a far cry from today’s humble approach shown by the focus of today’s gospel reading – St. John the Baptist. He could as well have been someone being interviewed by any of the warring giant networks’ team of overzealous reporters out to be make a scoop.“Who are you?” … “What are you then?” … “Are you Elijah?” … “Are you the prophet?” “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?” “What do you have to say about yourself?”
Hmmm! … the questions sound familiar. They all sound like people who ask not to find out the truth, but to insist on their own brand of preconceived truth. The pressure must have been too much for one who wa…

LORD, LET US SEE YOUR KINDNESS!

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2nd Sunday Advent – B December 7, 2014
LORD, LET US SEE YOUR KINDNESS!
Bible-based epic movies are usually shown right before or during Lent. The current hit “Exodus: Gods and Kings” is obviously an example, opening just around the 2nd Sunday of Advent. I agree with Christianity Today that the movie is somewhat “biblically irreverent,” something else, which is positive.
But my topic for second Sunday of Advent is not about Exodus, nor about the cinematographic masterpiece that it actually is, at least for me, but about a God whom the whole Philippines now addresses with a plaintive prayer and plea, besieged as it is now by a potentially catastrophic super-typhoon that is “Hagupit,” that comes just a little a year after “Haiyan” wrought death and destruction to a wide swath of Central Philippines.
Well over 19 million Filipinos, who will be directly affected by the typhoon, can well place themselves in the same footing as Moses, who wrestled with God in more senses than just one in prayer…