BEG, STEAL, OR BORROW

hem-of-his-garmentThis reflection is based on Mark 5:21-43.

Today we witness two healing miracles of Jesus, one properly solicited, the other virtually stolen. The synagogue official, Jairus, worried sick over his dying daughter, pleads with the Lord to come to his home and lay his healing hands upon her that she “may get well and live.” An unnamed woman with a twenty-year hemorrhage quietly pushes her way through the crowd and reaches out to touch Jesus. “If I but touch his clothes!” her simple faith tells her.

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YOU CAN’T STILL A STORM YOU STIR

This reflection is based on Mark 4:35-41.

The gospel story about Jesus stilling the storm at sea takes on new significance with the recent release of Pope Francis’ much-awaited encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si. The Pope minces no words and spells it out for us. It is not easy to hear. Listen:

“The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

Francis braves the wind and rain at open air Mass in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippine.
Francis braves wind and rain at open-air Mass in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.

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PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!

This reflection is based on Mark 4:26-34.

pics-or-it-didnt-happen

There has been a deluge of clever memes online that says “Pics or it didn’t happen.” It’s a phrase more and more often used to challenge people who make claims that are either extraordinary or simply impossible.

Last month I casually mentioned to a friend that I had met a Hollywood actor on the set of the location shoot of his latest movie. My friend’s response? “Pics or it didn’t happen!”

My surprisingly defensive explanation (“But pictures are forbidden on set!”) did nothing but elicit one skeptically raised eyebrow that said it all in silent judgment: “Right, no selfie…”

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LITURGY OF THE WORLD

This homily is based on Mark 14:12-16, 22-26 on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. 

The intersection of Zhongxiao East Road and Dunhua South Road is probably one of the busiest in Taipei. I visited the city last month, and so much has changed since the first time I had lived there twenty years ago. For one, there is a great MRT system, and maybe as a result, the roads now have fewer motorcycles.

But that intersection? It has remained as busy as ever: Pedestrians congregate around the corners waiting impatiently for the lights to change, and the moment they do, we race each other to cross the street as the traffic light countdown begins.

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