This homily is based on Mark 1:21-28.


There are many dramatic exorcism stories in the Gospel, complete with the usual signs of demonic possession: foaming in the mouth, gnashing of teeth, abnormal body contortions, or just possession by an entire legion of demons.

This isn’t one of them. If this were a fantasy or sci-fi movie, it would be pathetically bereft of CGI effects. Continue reading WHAT YOU SAY TO THE DEVIL



image7This homily is based on Mark 1:14-20 and Jonah 3:1-5, 10.

I’ve read this account of the Call of the First Disciples so often before, but it’s only my reading it this time around that something struck me as funny: Is it merely coincidental that our Lord chances upon these two sets of brothers in the midst of working with their nets? Think about it: Andrew and Simon casting their nets, and John and James mending theirs. Then out of nowhere comes this Nazarene who invites them to follow him, and the first thing these disciples do–these “fishers of men”–is to leave their nets behind. Continue reading NETS NOT REQUIRED


This homily is based on John 1:35-42.


Like many Filipinos these days, I am infected with Francis-mania, and I offer no apologies or explanation for it. Even if I am miles away from the Philippines, I exhibit all the symptoms of this collective infatuation with the Pope that’s sweeping the Philippines. I’ve been watching every possible online coverage of the papal visit, reading every homily, and scouring the Internet for every possible picture of the Holy Father. Continue reading YOU WILL BE CALLED PETER


grace1This reflection is based on Mark 1:7-11 on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

There’s quite a thin dividing line between mystics and psychotics.

If someone comes up to you to say that he’s just had a vision, you would probably immediately hear alarm bells going off in your head, warning you that you just might be dealing with someone who has lost touch with reality. And yet that is exactly what the Evangelist Mark reports about the Lord right after his baptism. Jesus gets a vision–the tearing open of the heavens and the Spirit’s gentle descent. And not only that, he hears a voice as well with a very specific message: “You are my beloved Son; with you, I am well pleased.” Continue reading HEARING VOICES


three-wise-men-starThis reflection is based on Matthew 2:1-12 on the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord.

Today we have the heartwarming story of the magi who traveled far to visit the Christ Child. They had waited long to see the long-foretold King of the Jews. For years they scanned the night sky in search of the sign–that one star that would signal the birth of the savior. And the moment it appeared, they left their homes immediately in chase of that star. Continue reading LESSONS ABOUT CHASING STARS