IGNACIO DE LOYOLA, BUILDER OF BRIDGES

This reflection is based on Luke 12:13-21 for the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

What will you build in your life?

That’s the question that our simple but profound parable in today’s Gospel asks us. It’s also the perfect question on the day we honor the saint who spent his life wrestling with that question. In a sense, everything in our life boils down to this one question.

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For one, we could choose to spend our lives building barns as the man in the parable does. He decides to store all his riches exclusively for himself so that he can enjoy them all for many years–to “rest, eat, drink, and be merry.” But as fate would have it, the very night he completes the last of his barns, he dies, leaving his hoard behind.

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SNAKES AND SCORPIONS

This reflection is based on Luke 11:1-13.

This Sunday’s Gospel has much to teach us about prayer, but it’s our Lord’s explanation of his parable of the desperate friend that struck me:

“Knock and the door will be opened to you…
What father among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven
give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

 

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EAVESDROP

This homily, based on Genesis 18:1-10a and Luke 10:38-42, is for the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University.

We’re all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary–not only because we’ve heard this Gospel story before, but also because most of us have wrestled with the issue it raises in our own lives.

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Martha is frantic in the kitchen, concocting whatever she could to serve their special guest and friend, Jesus, who, because he’s very close to them, has probably shown up unannounced. She’s doing what she must, but her dear sister Mary isn’t. Needing help, Martha calls for Mary, but gets no answer. She peers through the smoke rising from the stove, and of course, there is Mary, sitting idly at the feet of Jesus, a special captive audience of one. If this had happened today, Mary probably would have already posted a couple of selfies with their celebrity guest on Instagram. Continue reading EAVESDROP

THE GOOD INN-KEEPER

This homily, based on Luke 10:25-37, was delivered at the Montserrat Religious Formation Center in Silang, Cavite during the closing Mass of the Workshop on Ignatian School Leadership.

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We’ve all heard the Parable of the Good Samaritan before, and of course, its message is loud, clear, and–given all that’s going on in our world today–timely: Just like the Good Samaritan, we are each called to help those in great need–even and especially strangers, those of a different race, region, or religion.
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KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

This homily, based on Luke 10:1-9, was delivered at the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier, Xavier School Nuvali.

What struck me today about our Lord’s words to his 72 disciples is that he’s “telling it like it is.” He wants to make sure he’s sending them off wide-eyed. He gives them clear warning of exactly what they’re up against: Not only will the work be too much and they, the laborers, too few, but they are also certain to encounter hostility–like lamb sent among wolves–as well as experience rejection from the households they will visit.

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But despite these warnings, our Lord’s overriding message to his disciples is: “Just do it anyway!” Continue reading KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON