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Showing posts from October, 2015

HEROES NO LESS, BUT MORE!

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[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] November 1, 2015 ALL SAINTS’ DAY
HEROES NO LESS, BUT MORE!
Today, we celebrate so important a Solemnity that the liturgy of the 31st Sunday bows down and gives way to the “glory of God in the Saints!” We do nothing less than worship the all Holy God today. We do nothing more that glorify Him in and through the saints we honor and venerate.
Hmmm … isn’t there something amiss here? Why should the saints steal the show fro God, kind of? Why do they deserve veneration and praise?
Let me first tell you a story …
My childhood “hero” was someone who survived the notorious death march from Bataan to Pampanga, soon after the US and Philippine forces surrendered to the Japanese. I have very faint recollections of the details, but Kakang Gorio, as we called him, was a very reticent man who would rather not talk about the gory details of his dramatic escape.
He came to us one fine day, not knowing where he was from. He was hungry and gaunt, unsure of his gait, but …

I WANT TO SEE ... AND MORE!

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[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] 30th Sunday_OT_B October 25, 2015
I WANT TO SEE … AND MORE!
As I write, tens of thousands of my fellow Pinoys are jostling, inching, and struggling their way through the snarled traffic to get to the venue of “Tamang Panahon” – a phenomenon gone world wide, if we are going to judge by the sheer numbers of tweets that it has gotten – and, still – getting – the “Yayadub” phenomenon!
I beg the indulgence of my foreign readers in North America and Europe who do not have the faintest idea about what I am referring to. Suffice it to say that millions of us Filipinos, both here and in the diaspora of more than 130 countries all over the world, have been, since July 16, glued to their TV sets at lunchtime to join the noontime show known as “Eat Bulaga” – in particular, what they call the kalyeserye featuring Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. (Let us not forget Wally in his role as Lola Nidora!)
Only the most dense person would not see this as a phenomenon worth ob…

HOLDING FAST TO OUR CONFESSION

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[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – B October 18, 2015
HOLDING FAST TO OUR CONFESSION
The first reading talks about the patient suffering of the prophesied Messiah, the suffering servant, through whom, “the Lord’s will shall be accomplished.” The second reading, from the letter to the Hebrews is some kind of a pep talk to people ever tempted to give up on what they believed.
It was a plea to fellow believers to hold on, “since [they] had a high priest who has passed through the heavens.”
The Gospel passage reminds us of a temptation that is every bit as real as the temptation to give up – the ever lurking danger and temptation of asking for what is not due us, looking for something greater than us, and aiming for something that is not meant for us.
I know the feeling. Who among us has not at any point in our lives aimed for something that is beyond us? Who among us has not wanted to get something that we really do not deserve, no matter our pretensions and u…

ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS, YOUNG FELLOW?

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[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] October 11, 2015 28th Sunday OT_B
ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS, YOUNG FELLOW?
The young man of today’s gospel passage sure knows how to do an interview. He knew the right questions. In fact, he already knew the answer to his questions. To the question “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” the Lord had an easy answer: “Simple, young man! … No killing, no bearing false witness … No stealing … No defrauding… and (wouldn’t you know it!) Honor your old folks!”
The interviewer was not exactly pleased with the answer that after all, he knew all along! “I have observed all this from my youth!” “So what is new?” “Anything else?”
First lesson for the day … and it is all about us, not about God! Deep inside, we know what is right. Deep in our hearts, we know the answer. And we know that life is more than just avoiding this or that, or not doing one thing, and refraining from doing another.
I remember that as a young brother in seminary, during an outing with young peo…

UNION, UNITY, DIGNITY

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[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] 27th Sunday Year B October 4, 2015
UNION, UNITY, DIGNITY
Today’s topic is most difficult for preachers like me. The easiest route is to go by way of what seems to be the only topic that appears to be the only way to go – that is, talk, not about, but against divorce.
Don’t get me wrong … I am a Catholic, and as a teacher of Moral Theology, would never go against either Scripture or sound, clear and consitent Catholic doctrine.
But I always take the route of the bigger picture. A detailed doctrine, no matter how categorical and clear, without its bigger context, will often (if not always) lack compassion. But life being what it is, complex and even complicated, we need both CLARITY & COMPASSION.
So then, what is clear in today’s readings? A whole lot, I must say … From the first reading, it is clear that humans were created “in God’s image and likeness.” What is clear is that human dignity is at the basis of humanity, at the core of our being human, …