WHOSE BLESSINGS?

This homily, based on Mark 4:35-41, was delivered at the St. John Catholic School, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

For me, it’s not easy to read the Beatitudes–not to mention to preach about it. Maybe it’s because in the Beatitudes, our Lord Jesus blesses the very people the world considers cursed.  Consider his list:

  1. the poor in spirit
  2. the mourners
  3. the meek
  4. those who seek justice
  5. the merciful
  6. the pure of heart
  7. the peacemakers, and
  8. the persecuted.

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OUT OF FASHION

This reflection is based on John 1:29-34.

Humility seems to have gone out of fashion these days. Just look around and listen to all the talk around you. It seems to me that on any given day, brashness trumps humility. Somehow the louder you speak, the more confident you come across, the more blatantly you flaunt your power, the more people–in spite of themselves–sit up and listen.

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So today’s portrait of John the Baptist is, frankly speaking, quite astonishing.  Continue reading OUT OF FASHION

ONE KING AND A CONVOY OF TOURISTS


This homily, based on Matthew 2:1-12, was delivered at the Asian Institute of Management Chapel on the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.

Finding out that the three kings were neither three nor royalty was not quite as traumatic as that other life-changing discovery about Santa Claus. But to whomever thought of coming up with the three kings–what were you thinking?

For years, we staged Nativity plays that religiously featured them with their precious gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Why, they even had names that not only sounded good together, but also were exotic enough to prove that they had indeed journeyed from faraway lands.

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HOW DO YOU MOTHER GOD?

This homily is based on Luke 2:16-21 on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

How do you mother God? Philosophers would be quick to point out that the question makes no sense. God would have no need for a mother: If God is infinite, He would have no beginning. And if He is all-powerful, He wouldn’t require anyone to nurse Him or raise Him.

Except, of course, that for us Christians, God decided to become human. And He didn’t just show up on the face of the earth as a self-reliant grown-up. God opted to go through the entire tedious process of becoming human so that He emerged in our world in much  the same way each one of us does–as a helpless baby dependent on and in need of a mother.

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