“CAN I LOVE YOU ALL THE WAY?” (Mk 12:28-34): 29 February 2008 (Friday)
I remember watching a hilarious sketch from “The Carol Burnett Show” many years ago. Carol Burnett plays a woman who is put to some kind of “Virginity Test.” She is asked to cross a special narrow bridge, which according to legend, allows only virgins to make it to the other side. Those who have lost their virginity fall into the waters and drown. Continue reading “CAN I LOVE YOU ALL THE WAY?” (Mk 12:28-34): 29 February 2008 (Friday)
‘WHO’S DEAF AND WHO’S MUTE?’ (Lk 11:14-23): 28 February 2008 (Thursday)
They’re way up there with paralytics and lepers. I’m referring to the deaf and the mute–people who are among our Lord’s favorite people to heal. One such occasion is found in the gospel reading today, where our Lord drove out “a demon that was mute” from a man.
This story, like the other miracle stories of Jesus, is an invitation for us to believe in the power of God to work miracles in our lives. Continue reading ‘WHO’S DEAF AND WHO’S MUTE?’ (Lk 11:14-23): 28 February 2008 (Thursday)
‘WHY DON’T YOU BREAK YOUR RULES?’ (Mt 5:17-19): 27 February 2008 (Wednesday)
I still remember that afternoon in June 1991 when I stepped out of the library and was greeted by a darkened sky. It was too early for sunset. It turned out that the eruption of Mount Pinatubo had injected tons of volcanic ash into the sky, creating a thick haze over the city.
In the next few days we learned of the death and destruction caused not only by the eruption and the ash fall, but also by–of all things–the arrival of a typhoon. As we know, those events of 1991 drastically changed the landscape of Pampanga and the lives of its people. Continue reading ‘WHY DON’T YOU BREAK YOUR RULES?’ (Mt 5:17-19): 27 February 2008 (Wednesday)
“HOW MANY SECOND CHANCES DO I GET?” (Mt 18:21-35): 26 February 2008 (Tuesday)
There are times in your life when you just have to ask God, “How many second chances do I get?” These are the times when you’ve gone wrong–sometimes very wrong–and you know deep in your heart that no one who knows what you’ve done is ever going to accept you or love you or forgive you for what you’ve done. You could have sworn that any minute now, the earth would open up and swallow you alive. Continue reading “HOW MANY SECOND CHANCES DO I GET?” (Mt 18:21-35): 26 February 2008 (Tuesday)
“WHY DO WE GET MISUNDERSTOOD AND REJECTED?” (Luke 4:24-30): 25 February 2008 (Monday)
Some years ago I was involved in a local production of “Sino Ka, `Shua?” (“Who Are You, `Shua?”) starring the late RJ Leyran. The video was adapted from a one-man play in English written by Rev. William Burke It’s the story of Jesus (“Y’shua” in Aramaic) as narrated by a fictional childhood friend who reminisces about his best friend years after the crucifixion. He does so with regret because like so many others, even as he tells his story, he fails to understand the strange and radical prophet that his friend has turned into. Continue reading “WHY DO WE GET MISUNDERSTOOD AND REJECTED?” (Luke 4:24-30): 25 February 2008 (Monday)
“WHAT IS YOUR DEEPEST HUNGER AND THIRST?” (Jn 4:5-42): 24 February 2008 (Third Sunday of Lent)
Today’s gospel story is about thirst, hunger–and bewilderment.
A thirsty Jesus sits by the well and breaks a rule by speaking with a Samaritan Woman and asking her for a drink. Initially bewildered, the woman is drawn to a discussion with the Lord that leaves her thirsting for the water that brings eternal life–and no less bewildered. Later on, the disciples return with food and they are also bewildered when they see Jesus speaking with the Samaritan Woman. But they are even more bewildered when the Lord refuses to eat, saying, “I have food you know not of.” Continue reading “WHAT IS YOUR DEEPEST HUNGER AND THIRST?” (Jn 4:5-42): 24 February 2008 (Third Sunday of Lent)
“MUST WE GO HUNGRY FIRST?” (Lk 15:1-3, 11-32): 23 February 2008 (Saturday)
I hadn’t really paid much attention to British singer Robbie Williams until someone lent me a DVD of his Knebworth concert. It was a great concert that featured some really profound and provocative songs. At one point, he listened to the millions in the audience sing the words to his song “Feel.” He looked around him self incredulously and broke down. Continue reading “MUST WE GO HUNGRY FIRST?” (Lk 15:1-3, 11-32): 23 February 2008 (Saturday)
“WILL I GO TO HELL JUST BECAUSE?” (Lk 16:19-31): 21 February 2008 (Thursday)
The recently reunited three-piece rock band, The Police, had an unforgettably haunting song called “Wrapped Around Your Finger” with an even more haunting music video . The painstakingly shot video featured its lead vocalist Sting performing the song amidst a thousand lighted candles.
The song tells the story of a sorcerer’s apprentice, and it uses the ring as a metaphor to express how the apprentice is initially “wrapped around [the sorcerer’s] finger.” In the end, however, he ends up controlling his master, so that it is now his master who is wrapped around his finger. Continue reading “WILL I GO TO HELL JUST BECAUSE?” (Lk 16:19-31): 21 February 2008 (Thursday)
“WOULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR THRONE?” (Mt 20:17-28): 20 February 2008 (Wednesday)
I recently saw “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” starring Cate Blanchett, a sequel to her 1998 film. Although like the first, it struck me as a bit too anti-Catholic and anti-Jesuit, the movie nevertheless offered a moving portrait of Elizabeth I, who had to deal with the threat of Spain’s rising power as well as Catholic plots against her life. Central to all these conflicts was her cousin, the Catholic Mary Stuart, whom many Catholics believed to be the rightful queen of England and whom Elizabeth had imprisoned and was forced to execute. Continue reading “WOULD YOU GIVE UP YOUR THRONE?” (Mt 20:17-28): 20 February 2008 (Wednesday)
“CAN YOU LET YOUR SHADOW TAKE THE CREDIT?” (Mt 23:1-12): 19 February 2008 (Tueday)
There is an ancient story about a man who was so good that the angels asked God to give him the gift of miracles. God wisely told his angels to ask the man first if that was what he wanted.
So one day the angels visited this holy man and offered him the gift of healing by hands. But the saint—for that was what he was—refused. Then they offered him the gift of converting souls. Once again the good man refused. Finally, they offered him the gift of granting virtues. The good man smiled politely, but again he turned the angels down. The angels insisted that he choose a gift or they would choose one for him. Continue reading “CAN YOU LET YOUR SHADOW TAKE THE CREDIT?” (Mt 23:1-12): 19 February 2008 (Tueday)