This reflection is based on Luke 19:1-10.
He’s someone some people would–even in this endangered age of political correctness–call “vertically challenged.” There are, of course, every sort of psychological theory that claims how his type tends to over-compensate. But for Zacchaeus, it really was all just a job. Corruption and extortion were an occupational hazard; every other tax collector did it. And why not make the most of it since his own people loathed him anyway? Working for the Romans? Someone’s got to do it, he used to say to himself. Even if this isn’t really me. Even if I’m way more than this, he used to remind himself until even that voice eventually was never heard from again.
Continue reading WHAT’S YOUR SYCAMORE TREE?
This homily is based on Luke 18:9-14.
In our Gospel reading today, our Lord presents two very different people at prayer: The Pharisee, a law-abiding religious Jew, and the publican, a tax collector who is not only supporting Rome in his work, but is also probably very corrupt.
Continue reading A COMPARISON OF PRAYERS
This reflection is based on Luke 18:1-8.
There was a time in my life when prayer felt like second nature. Whenever I was stuck in traffic, I would simply shut the world out and quietly say my rosary. Not only did I get the chance to pray for people who asked for prayers, but I also got to reconnect with the Lord in all sorts of places. You see, even if as we believe, God’s presence is constant and everywhere, we don’t always get to maintain our sense of that holy presence. But even in jeepney rides, I would be discreetly racing through my beads, praying even for the strangers I was commuting with.
Continue reading SILENCE IS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
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This homily is based on Luke 17:11-19.
There was probably more than one leper who was grateful for this cure. I imagine all ten were thankful to Jesus for their much-awaited, long prayed-for miracle, one that finally released them not only from the ugly marks of leprosy, but also from the just-as-ugly remarks that society flung their way because of their infectious disease.
The point of the story is not that there was just one grateful leper, but that only one remembered Jesus and felt enough gratitude to him to make a U turn to say, “Thank you!” The others were in too much of a rush to resume a normal life. I think the Lord’s message for me here is that it isn’t enough to feel gratitude; we need to exert the effort to express it. It matters, he seems to be telling us. It makes a difference. So what ought we to do when we are grateful? Continue reading REMEMBERING MY BLESSINGS
This homily is based on Luke 17:5-10.
Nobody says it, but what our Lord tells us today, taken literally, is–put bluntly–unbelievable. All we need, Jesus tells his disciples, is faith the size of a mustard seed, and we can uproot trees and toss them into the ocean. In Matthew’s version, such a tiny faith is capable of doing something even more incredible: It can move mountains!
Continue reading FAITH THE SIZE OF A SEED