When a friend residing in the UK heard that my sister and I were headed for the Lake District up north some years ago, she said, “It’s beautiful up there, but you must be crazy to go there in the dead of winter! You’ll freeze!” But since it was probably our only chance to go, we went anyway, stepping out of the train after a three-hour trip, wrapped in layers upon layers of protection.
This homily for the First Sunday of Lent is based onb Mark 1:12-15.
It’s the shortest version of three Gospel accounts about an important event in the life of the Lord at the beginning of his public ministry. While those of Matthew and Luke detail three specific temptations that Satan offers to Jesus, this account of Mark tell us only that he was tempted in the desert for forty days.
Today’s reading may be interpreted as yet another healing miracle of our Lord that showcases his compassion for those who are marginalized in society. The worst part about being a leper during Jesus’ time, after all, was not so much the physical affliction as much as the social isolation inflicted on lepers.
This homily is based on Mark 1:21-28 for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Today’s Gospel is about the first–and lasting–impression that our Lord makes on people. And the impression that he makes on the people he interacts with–the lasting impression he leaves them with–is summarized by one recurring word: “Authority.” It’s funny because I would have expected a different kind of first or lasting impression. Perhaps holiness or kindness? Or even divinity?
I’m not exactly a big fan of the Sto. Nino. When I was a kid, my sister had her own private altar that featured many religious statues and pictures. You name it, she had it. It was a virtual nightmare for any born-again Christian.
It had a huge wooden crucifix with a bloody corpus, a small replica of the Black Nazarene of Quiapo, several images of the Blessed Mother—Lourdes, Fatima, Perpetual Help, among other titles—and last but not the least, it had the Sto. Nino in a glass case. I remember almost all the images elicited a religious feeling in me—all the images, that is, except for the Sto. Nino. Continue reading ‘SO WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE STO. NINO?’
This homily is based on 1 Samuel 3:3-19 and John 1:35-42.
In the First Reading today, we have the somewhat charming story of young Samuel who mistakes God’s voice calling to him as coming from his master Eli. After being roused a third time from his sleep, Eli realizes it must be the Lord and directs Samuel to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”
This homily is based on Matthew 2:1-12 for the Epiphany of our Lord.
On this Feast of the Epiphany, we remember the visit of the magi–those astrologers (how many they were, we don’t know) who read the stars and were among the first to lay their eyes on Jesus. They were not exactly kings, but they were certainly wise enough to detect Herod’s schemes and discerning enough to follow the angel’s message to go home some other way. They are, of course, today credited for the the tradition of gift-giving that has in many ways defined the season of Christmas. And so today, perhaps it’s good to think about this business of gift-giving.
This homily, based on Luke 2:16-21, is for New Year’s Day and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.
Today, New Year’s Day, there is one line that comes to mind. And I love saying it: “The best is yet to come!”
Yet it’s not always something easy to say–and to believe!
Not when things aren’t quite right. And especially not when the way the world is turning out isn’t quite to our liking–or the way people behave is, to say the least, bewildering–or to tell it like it is, disheartening. Continue reading “THE BEST IS YET TO COME”
For today, I am sharing this moving homily (based on Luke 2:1-14) delivered by Bro. Robbie Paraan on Christmas Eve Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, Cebu. A blessed Christmas to all!
I saw a viral video the other day about a touching homecoming which happened on an airplane. Juan Paolo Fermin hasn’t spent Christmas with his family in 17 years. Juan Paolo’s mother—like many Filipino parents—had to leave for abroad when he was 8 years old. Though they would see each other occasionally since then, almost two decades would pass before they could spend Christmas together.