“WOULD YOU MAKE ALL THINGS NEW?” (Mk 2:18-22): 21 January 2008 (St. Agnes, Monday)
One of the most unforgettable scenes in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” has Mary rushing to her fallen son after overcoming her own fears. Gathering strength from her mother, Jesus picks himself and his cross up and tells her, “Behold, I make all things new!”
Reading about old wineskins and new wineskins in today’s gospel reminded me of that scene and Christ’s words to his mother. Continue reading “WOULD YOU MAKE ALL THINGS NEW?” (Mk 2:18-22): 21 January 2008 (St. Agnes, Monday)
‘SO WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE STO. NINO?’ (Mt 18:1-5,10): 20 January 2008 (Sto. Niño, Sunday)
Reading: Mt. 18:1-5, 10
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?’ (Mt 18:1-5,10): 20 January 2008 (Sto. Niño, Sunday)
Some of the most enjoyable scenes in the “Harry Potter” movies are those where Harry gets on his Nimbus broomstick for a game of Quidditch. Taking to the sky and streaking across it–all that reminds me of my childhood obsession for flying. When I think about it, this desire to defy gravity–some of it may have actually rubbed off in my spiritual life. Continue reading “WHY DO YOU HANG OUT WITH SINNERS?” (Mk 2:13-17): 19 January 2008 (Saturday)
“WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?” (Mk 2:1-12): 18 January 2008 (Friday)
Perhaps one of the best known portrayals of friendship in recent times is the friendship between Frodo and Samwise, the hobbits in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Ring” trilogy. As they went through their great and dangerous adventures together, Sam proved himself to be an extraordinary friend. In “The Fellowship of the Ring,” when Frodo was going to leave the rest of the Fellowship, Sam insisted on following his friend and continuing to serve as companion and protector to him. Continue reading “WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?” (Mk 2:1-12): 18 January 2008 (Friday)
‘WHERE ARE THE LEPERS AMONG US?’ (Mk 1:40-45): 17 January 2008 (Thursday)
There is something about the behavior of our Lord in the gospel story that has always bewildered me: He tells the leper not to tell anyone that he has healed him, and yet almost in the same breath, he asks the leper to show himself to the priest.
This sounds like false modesty, but it’s not. Our Lord really does not want people to know of his healing powers, and the reason for this, biblical scholars tell us, is that he doesn’t want people to overreact and misunderstand his mission, and make him a political messiah. Continue reading ‘WHERE ARE THE LEPERS AMONG US?’ (Mk 1:40-45): 17 January 2008 (Thursday)
“DO YOU EVER GET TIRED?” (Mk 1:29-39): 16 January 2008 (Wednesday)
There is a scene in the rock opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973), where a crowd of sick people suddenly appear out of nowhere singing a litany of their woes and illnesses. They crowd around Jesus as they beg him to heal them, chanting repeatedly in an almost maddening fashion:
“Will you touch, will you mend me, Christ?
Won’t you touch, will you heal me, Christ?
Will you kiss, you can heal me, Christ
Won’t you kiss, won’t you pay me, Christ?” Continue reading “DO YOU EVER GET TIRED?” (Mk 1:29-39): 16 January 2008 (Wednesday)
“HAVE YOU COME TO DESTROY US?” (Mk 1:21-28): 15 January 2008 (Tuesday)
I saw “Dead Man Walking” almost ten years ago, but it remains one of the most powerfully moving and disturbing films I’ve ever seen. It’s about a true-to-life Louisiana nun, Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon), who momentarily interrupts her work with inner city children when she receives a letter from Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn), a prisoner on death row for rape and murder. She visits him only to find that the prisoner is far from likable or repentant: He is rough, insolent, and is a liar. Despite all this–and to the horror of the victims’ families–Sr. Prejean campaigns against capital punishment, insisting that no one deserves to be killed–even for the most heinous crimes. Continue reading “HAVE YOU COME TO DESTROY US?” (Mk 1:21-28): 15 January 2008 (Tuesday)
“WHAT ARE YOU FISHING FOR?” (Mk 1:14-20): 14 January 2008 (Monday)
More than twenty years ago, I worked as a brand manager in a food manufacturing company, and was assigned to marketing the ready-to-drink juices–the type that came in bottles and tetra briks. On my first couple of months, I was eager to learn everything about the job, so I decided to get a first-hand experience of how market research was done. One morning I joined a team of researchers that went door to door to survey the brands of juices found in different households in Little Baguio, San Juan. I watched the team interview whoever opened the door for us. On maybe the fourth house, an unforgettable wide-eyed girl opened the door, and very graciously agreed to undergo the interview. Continue reading “WHAT ARE YOU FISHING FOR?” (Mk 1:14-20): 14 January 2008 (Monday)
“WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?” (Mt 3:13-17): 13 January 2008 (Baptism of the Lord, Sunday)
The morning after Christmas Day in 2004 the ocean shook and rose. And in far too many places in Asia, the ocean withdrew from the land only to return with an unexpected vengeance, a rampaging giant wall of water, sweeping and wiping out whatever lay in its path. The tsunamis hit Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Maldives, among many other areas, leaving death and devastation. Continue reading “WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?” (Mt 3:13-17): 13 January 2008 (Baptism of the Lord, Sunday)
“WHAT IS THE COLOR OF MY HEART?” (Jn 3:22-30 ): 12 January 2008 (Saturday)
In the 17th century Isaac Newton studied light and concluded that white light is actually a mixture of many different colors. If a ray of white light is aimed at a prism, what we see is a spectrum, a broad band of different colors looking like a rainbow. The colors of the spectrum range from violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. Continue reading “WHAT IS THE COLOR OF MY HEART?” (Jn 3:22-30 ): 12 January 2008 (Saturday)