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Showing posts from June, 2016

LIKE LAMBS AMONG WOLVES (14th Sunday Year C) | July 3, 2016 (English)

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14th Sunday_Year C
July 3, 2016

LIKE LAMBS AMONG WOLVES

I remember an old thriller of a movie, where a man joins an organized group of criminals. When the crime was done and the spoils were supposed to be divided among them, one of them, the villain, unexpectedly pulls a fast one on everybody else leaving them all holding an empty bag. The villain, in the end, had this to say:
"Amateurs should not play games with professionals!" And he made a clean escape with all the booty in hand.

Amateurs, indeed, should not be playing games with professionals.
Lambs should not gambol about with wolves ... For one, wolves don't gambol aimlessly. No, they go for the kill, and they are expertly, deadly skillful at what they do, initially stalking silently their prey, and then would pounce and pursue on the hapless clueless gentle lamb, that ends up as a pack of wolves' lunch.

I must confess at times I feel more like a lamb in the midst of wolves in certain areas of the vast human enterp…

SAYING NO TO EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT LIFE 13th Sunday YEAR C

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June 26, 2016

Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b,19-21 / Gal 5:1, 13-18 / Lk 9:51-62

TUNING OUT IN ORDER TO TUNE IN:
SAYING NO TO EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT LIFE

Our contemporary language is chock-full of insights about what we value, about what we consider as important above all others. There was a time when we were told to tune in to a particular radio program, or to a particular TV channel. When there were but few
choices available, we were advised to tune in. It was just a simple matter of turning the dial, and placing the arrow on the exact spot that corresponds to the desired radio frequency (which was either AM or FM).

In our times, we speak more of the need to tune out. With an almost endless array of choices; with so many products to select from, our capacity for freely making choices means that we first need to tune out or zone out in order to narrow down the list. We literally need to un-clutter our lives first before we can make order come out of chaos.

Tuning out and tuning in both have to do…

GRACE IN WHATEVER FORM 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) | June 19, 2016 (English)

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12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
June 19, 2016

GRACE IN WHATEVER FORM!

Many years ago, the words used by Dietrich Bonhoeffer made a big dent in my mind. He talked about cheap grace and costly grace. Before I proceed, let us get it straight from his mouth: cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance; baptism without church discipline; communion without confession. Cheap
grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

It is all too easy for all of us to look only for the former, and ignore the latter. Why not? It is nice to be comfortable and safely ensconced in our seats. It is hard to rock the boat and even  harder to suffer unnecessarily.

That is not what I gather from the readings today. The first reading from Zechariah speaks about the Lord pouring out grace and petition, that is, something pleasant and unpleasant, something that would lead to gratitude and mourning at one and the same time ... growth as much as …

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) | June 12, 2016 (English)

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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
June 12, 2016

GRACE, FORGIVENESS, LOVE

I was reminded of that movie some two years back: Eat, Pray, Love ...  It is a story of a confused woman who went around the world trying to rediscover herself, and eventually came home to herself, and to relative peace of mind and heart by eating well in Italy, praying deeply in India, and finding what was supposed to be true love in Bali, Indonesia.

So, what does this have to do with today's readings? Not much, you say? But my Catholic, sacramental imagination shows me some important connections ... Allow me to explain ...

Well, for a start, it was a woman that was behind the indiscretions of David. He wiggled his way to be able to do what he desired - and sinned - big time! Enough connection for you?

But the gospel speaks of another woman ... confused? Probably! ... sinful? Definitely! In search for something great and noble? Absolutely! There you have it! Connections galore!

But today, chauvinism is not my to…

10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) | June 5, 2016 (English) GOD CARES; GOD CALLS

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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)
June 5, 2016

GOD CARES; GOD CALLS!

We are back to good, old ordinary time, the longest "time" of the liturgical year. But
it is anything but ordinary. In these so-called "ferial" days, extraordinary things can
- and, in fact, do - happen!

Take it from the distraught widow of Zarephath with whom the prophet Elijah was
staying. Curiously, the boy grew sick "until he stopped breathing," as the first
reading says. Right on the days when a prophet was in the house, staying as guest!
Thw widow complains, "Why have you done this to me, o man of God?" The prophet
complains to God in his turn, "O Lord, my God, will you afflict even the widow with
whom I am staying by killing her son?"

God knows how many times I have complained to the Lord! How many times I have
lamented this or that! It makes for good prayer, I tell you! When one is in front of
undeserved suffering, I become prayerful. I don't know about yo…