SELF-DETHRONEMENT: HUMILITY AGAIN

This homily, based on Luke 4:1-14, was delivered in the Oratory of St. Francis Xavier on the Xavier School Nuvali campus. 

The Gospel message of the Lord Jesus struck me pretty loud and clear. Today he tells us: “Dethrone yourself!” He sends this invitation to us all because just like the wedding guests in his parable, even the most introverted among us wouldn’t mind getting a seat of honor. It’s simply in our DNA; we all have a need for honor and social approval. The only problem is, sometimes we get carried away, and honor and social approval become addictive drugs, and we can’t get enough of them!

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IS THERE A BACKDOOR TO HEAVEN?

This reflection is based on Luke 13:22-30.

There’s something paradoxical about the Gospel reading today. On the one hand, we’re encouraged to “strive to enter through the narrow gate,” but that not all will succeed and many of us will, in fact, have the door of the kingdom shut before our very faces. In almost the same breath, however, we are told that people from every possible direction will “recline at the table of the kingdom of God.” It sounds suspiciously like there’s another access to the kingdom that isn’t as narrow and selective as the front door!

So, what’s going on here? Either the Lord has, in spite of himself, gotten self-contradictory here, or heaven simply has a blatant set of double standards. Is there actually a wide-open backdoor to heaven?

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DO YOU HAVE AN ATENEO BLUE EGO?

This homily was delivered at the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the Church of the Gesu.

You may have heard this riddle before…

Suppose you decided to have an intimate little birthday party. You invite exactly four guests: (a) your best friend, (b) a humble Atenean, (c) a poor La Sallite, and (d) a UP student who graduated on time.

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Suddenly the lights go out and when it goes on again, your cake is missing. The million-dollar question is: “Who took your cake?” Continue reading DO YOU HAVE AN ATENEO BLUE EGO?

ON FIRE

This reflection, based on Luke 12:49-53, is a collaboration John, a childhood friend who offered to help when he found out I was down with the flu.

Have you ever gone somewhere where you had to get something done, but there was a line ahead of you and the people in-charge were moving much too slowly? Didn’t you feel like lighting a fire under them to ignite them and get them moving?

That’s how Jesus must have felt. That’s why in today’s Gospel he gives us a line that you wouldn’t exactly expect from the Lord: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!”

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RUDE AWAKENING

This reflection is based on Luke 12:35-40.

I’ve been obsessed with sleep lately.

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It all started when I flunked my sleep test two years ago and was diagnosed with a common sleeping disorder called apnea, for which I needed a sleep apnea mouth guard soon after. Apparently, like a lot of¬†people, my breathing would stop for a few seconds during my sleep–except that in my case, it happened too often. No wonder I always woke up fatigued–a strange phenomenon for a morning person like me who’s most productive in the morning and usually brain-dead by 8 pm.

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