Showing posts from November, 2015


[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] First Sunday of Advent – C November 29, 2015

There is always an air of freshness and newness every time Advent sets in. And it is all in the readings. Today, first Sunday of cycle C, Jeremiah gives the opening salvo: “The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah.” And what Jeremiah says is all forward-looking: “Judah shall be safe and Israel shall dwell secure.”
Historically though, the early Church that looked back and reflected on Jeremiah’s words was anything but secure. They were, in fact, uncertain, and the times were unstable. The fledgling Church was tossed in a swirling sea of political turmoil, wars, intense rivalry and talks of rebellion all over the Roman empire.
It was the perfect time for them to hear of “signs in the sun, the moon and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.” They were, to be su…


N.B. I am posting my piece earlier as I will be on the road and don't know if I can find an opportunity to sit down and write or even post this reflection in the coming days. This is for CHRIST THE KING SUNDAY.
[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] Solemnity of Christ the King – B November 22, 2015
I write at a time when the world’s APEC leaders are in town, when the whole country literally had to hold its breath for a week to give way to the biggest send-off party to a dying administration. Put away all the blaming game and the usual sob stories coming from the family that has, for better or for worse, ruled the roost in this forlorn country for the longest time, one cannot deny the fact that, whether we like it or not, the world has become a smaller place, and linking up with other nations on the Asia-Pacific front, is not just unavoidable, but economically and politically necessary.
The face of power has changed in the context of a shrinking world. In…


[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] November 15, 2015 33rd Sunday OT_B
Many years ago, students literally studied under the shade of trees. Back in the day when the public school system was just getting started, there was a dearth of classrooms, so they held classes out in the open.
Years later (and I mean now!)thousands of students may actually be virtually learning from under the shade of trees and lean-to structures, for the lack of classrooms are actually worse than it was a hundred years ago.
The good Lord today reminds us to “learn a lesson from the fig tree.”He was actually talking, not about the situation that our country and people are in now, but about our capacity to read signs, to discern, the ability to watch out for signs that point to greater and bigger realities that go beyond the pale of the ordinary and the common place.
I grew up surrounded by trees. I actually knew what it means to plant bananas, coffee shrubs, common vegetables like chayote,…


[BREAKING THE BREAD OF GOD’S WORD] 32nd Sunday OT_B November 8, 2015
How little things have changed from then and now. The widow of Zarephath was gathering sticks, much like the poor now gather what has come to be known almost derisively now in the Philippines as “kalakal.”
I grew up at a place and time when “kalakal” did not refer to garbage. It simply meant farm produce that you brought twice a week to market to be sold wholesale to merchants who had the capital and the means of transport to sell them to the big Metro Manila market.
We were not anywhere near the abject poverty of the widow, who having been married lost the support of her father, and who, having been widowed, lost the entire support from a husband.
She was alone – and poor by any standard. So, too, was the widow mentioned in the gospel, who gave her all, despite her want, in spite of her need.
The first widow was the object of the Lord’s largesse and compassion. The second widow was the subject and agent or…