TWO IMPOSSIBLE COMMANDMENTS?

This reflection is based on Matthew 22:34-40.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s what I’m thinking too: These are two impossible commandments the Lord gives us.

When our Lord is asked in the Gospel about the single greatest commandment, he gives not one but two answers. He says: “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

love

Continue reading TWO IMPOSSIBLE COMMANDMENTS?

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WHO IS YOUR CAESAR?

This homily is based on Matthew 22:15-21.

coinWith every intention of trapping him, the Pharisees sent their disciples to ask Jesus what is best described as a “damn-if-you-damn-if-you-don’t” question. They pose the Lord a question that virtually leaves him in a no-win situation.

The question is: “Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar?” Continue reading WHO IS YOUR CAESAR?

GATECRASHING A ROYAL WEDDING

This reflection is based on Matthew 22:1-14.

There are many things about this Sunday’s parable that are, frankly speaking, quite unbelievable. If we didn’t know it was one of our Lord’s parables, we’d probably dismiss its plot as laughably implausible.

imageThink about it: A king throws a wedding party for his son. It’s a royal wedding, so think William and Kate, Charles and Diana, or even any Hollywood “royalty” couple.  Such a wedding will surely be full of pomp and extravagance, one of the biggest events of the decade, one that everyone will want to see and/or be seen at. The reception will be painstakingly planned and the banquet promises to be unforgettable. Needless to say, the guest list will be carefully drawn and will certainly end up reading like the “Who’s who?” in high society. Continue reading GATECRASHING A ROYAL WEDDING

SAINTHOOD BY ACCIDENT?

This homily, based on Matthew 21:33-43, was delivered on 04 October in Gloucester, UK during the Filipino community’s belated celebration of the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz (29 September).

At first glance, it would seem that our Gospel parable today is perfectly suitable for our belated celebration of the feast of San Lorenzo Ruiz. Our Lord tells the story of a vineyard owner who sends a series of servants to his tenants to collect the rent, but every single one of those hapless servants were killed–one after the other–by those villainous tenants. And when the landowner sent his own son as a last resort, even him the tenants did not hesitate to kill.

It sounds almost like a parable of the life of San Lorenzo Ruiz. For was he not one of many missionaries who traveled to Japan in the 17th century, only to be arrested there, tortured, and martyred for the faith? Continue reading SAINTHOOD BY ACCIDENT?