May 21st, 2017
This homily is based on John 14:15-21.
Here are names of famous people and characters. Try to guess what they have in common: Clark Kent. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Cinderella. Snow White. Wolverine. James Bond. Frodo Baggins. Luke Skywalker. Santa Claus. Harry Potter. Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort).
May 14th, 2017
This reflection is based on John 14:1-12.
He’s the disciple who always seems to be getting the tough questions from the Lord. When they found themselves surrounded by a hungry crowd of 5000, our Lord turned to Philip and asked him, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”
Of course, Philip said what any rational person would:“It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Brooklyn Museum – Saint Philip (James Tissot)
May 6th, 2017
This homily, delivered at the Sta. Maria Catholic Church in Iloilo, is based on John 10:1-
When you think about it, there are two important questions that we need to answer in our lives. The first question confronts us almost the moment we are born: “Who am I?” As we grow, we grapple to discover our identity and our gifts–what makes each of us unique–or as someone put it, “what makes me me.” But as we do so, we also at the same time shape our selves and our character, making decisions and taking actions that define who we are.
April 30th, 2017
This homily is based on Luke 24:13-35.
There are times in our lives when we think it’s best to pack up and leave. Things have gotten so bad, there seems no hope of recovery. The tunnel we find ourselves going through so long, the flicker of light at its end so dim, that we’re tempted to turn back.
The disciples in today’s Gospel reading have done just that. After the harrowing trauma of seeing their Master snatched away from them and crucified in the most cruel and humiliating fashion, they’ve decided it’s time to pack up and leave Jerusalem.
April 23rd, 2017
The homily for the Divine Mercy Sunday is based on John 20:19-31.
This, I must say, is one bizarre reunion.
I suppose you could say they’ve had some kind of falling out. When they were most needed, the disciples deserted their master and left him to the mercy of his enemies. Of course they couldn’t have saved him even if they had wanted to, but you can’t help but ask: Couldn’t they have accompanied him at least, elbowed their way through that mob, and stood there under his cross till his last breath?
April 16th, 2017
This homily is based on John 20:1-9.
Two great mysteries bookend our Lord’s lives–and they feel so different from each other. At the beginning, of course, is the birth of our Lord, which we celebrate at Christmas, and in the end, we have his resurrection, which we commemorate today as Easter.
The Christmas narrative seems to happen in slow motion, as if unfolding to a peaceful Christmas carol. All the Easter stories, on the other hand, seem to be always on fast forward. There’s a lot of confusion and a lot of frantic running around.
April 13th, 2017
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April 9th, 2017
Our Lord’s entry to Jerusalem has been usually called “triumphant.” How else, after all, to describe the throng of people waving palms, laying their cloaks on the road, and shouting “Hosanna”?
But when we think about it, it’s really triumphant only on the surface.
April 2nd, 2017
This reflection is on John 11:1-45.
I was having brunch with a couple of good friends yesterday, and our conversation strayed into this business of “hitting rock bottom.” There are moments in our lives when, for different reasons, we find ourselves in the pits. Life feels like it’s in ruins; things have somehow fallen apart. Perhaps we’ve just experienced a major failure in our work; or maybe a valued relationship has just–in spite of our best efforts–ended. Or it’s possible we’re going through one of those major personal mid-life–or quarter-life–crises.
March 26th, 2017
This homily is on the healing of the blind man as recounted in John 9:1-41.
This healing miracle, unlike others, did not happen instantaneously. While the other healing of our Lord was achieved with almost just one word or a single touch, this one involved several steps–including the use of the bizarre mixture of saliva and spittle.
But what struck me the most about this healing miracle was that after the Lord’s elaborate healing ritual, the man wasn’t healed yet! He had first to find the Pool of Siloam to wash his own eyes.