HIS SILENCE INVITES US

This reflection is based on Matthew 1:18-24.

Today we listen to the story of the silent man of the Gospel. All through the Infancy Narrative, Joseph, the chosen foster father of Jesus, speaks not a word. Even the father of John the Baptist, the priest Zechariah, who was stricken temporarily mute by the angel, at least manages to get two sentences recorded by Luke: “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” And nine months later, to his relatives he answers in faith: “His name is John.”

But not Joseph, even if–when you think about it–having gone through so much, he could have said a mouthful.

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CHOOSING JOY

This homily is based on Matthew 11:2-11.

I don’t know if you noticed it, but that’s a pretty strange exchange of messages between our Lord and John the Baptist.

First of all, John the Baptist requests his disciples to ask our Lord a bizarre question.  Thrown into prison for denouncing the sins of Herod Antipas, John the Baptist hears about the miracles of our Lord and sends his disciples to ask:  “Are you the One who is to come, or should we look for another?”  Now why would he ask a question like that?

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THE WORLD IN YOUR SUITCASE

This homily was delivered on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception to the Ateneo de Manila Junior High School on the 8th of December 2016.

Just when I thought I had seen the best and last of J.K. Rowling, she surprises us with a wonderful prequel to the Harry Potter series called “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Its protagonist, Newt (played by Eddie Redmayne in the film), is a wizard from England who wields the usual magician’s wand, but also carries a strange suitcase.

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WHAT’S WHEAT AND CHAFF IN YOU?

This homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent is based on Matthew 3:1-12.

John the Baptist is the kind of friend you would probably not invite to a Christmas party. After all, who wants to hear bad news at a party? We want to be regaled with funny and feel-good anecdotes, not somber reminders of our weaknesses and even threats about our sins. But that’s what John the Baptist does. He tells us not what we want to hear, but what we need to hear.

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