BRIEF SHINING MOMENTS

This homily is based on Mark 9:2-10.

imageWhen a friend residing in the UK heard that my sister and I were headed for the Lake District up north some years ago, she said, “It’s beautiful up there, but you must be crazy to go there in the dead of winter! You’ll freeze!” But since it was probably our only chance to go, we went anyway, stepping out of the train after a three-hour trip, wrapped in layers upon layers of protection.

Continue reading BRIEF SHINING MOMENTS

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

TEMPTING JESUS

This homily for the First Sunday of Lent is based onb Mark 1:12-15.

It’s the shortest version of three Gospel accounts about an important event in the life of the Lord at the beginning of his public ministry. While those of Matthew and Luke detail three specific temptations that Satan offers to Jesus, this account of Mark tell us only that he was tempted in the desert for forty days.

6AFDBC38-3FF2-42A5-AAF2-7C366ED057D3

Continue reading TEMPTING JESUS

IF YOU WISH

This homily is based on Mark 1:40-45.

Today’s reading may be interpreted as yet another healing miracle of our Lord that showcases his compassion for those who are marginalized in society. The worst part about being a leper during Jesus’ time, after all, was not so much the physical affliction as much as the social isolation inflicted on lepers.

4E25FA64-F551-4136-A18C-520D01ED5CB1

Continue reading IF YOU WISH

WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

This homily is based on Mark 1:21-28 for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Today’s Gospel is about the first–and lasting–impression that our Lord makes on people. And the impression that he makes on the people he interacts with–the lasting impression he leaves them with–is summarized by one recurring word: “Authority.” It’s funny because I would have expected a different kind of first or lasting impression. Perhaps holiness or kindness? Or even divinity?

jesus-authority-questioned-1138449-wallpaper (1)

Continue reading WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

THE ENDANGERED ART OF LISTENING

This homily is based on 1 Samuel 3:3-19 and John 1:35-42.

In the First Reading today, we have the somewhat charming story of young Samuel who mistakes God’s voice calling to him as coming from his master Eli. After being roused a third time from his sleep, Eli realizes it must be the Lord and directs Samuel to answer, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.”

When I googled this line, here’s what I found:

speak-lord-799x1024

Continue reading THE ENDANGERED ART OF LISTENING

GIFTS AND GIVERS

This homily is based on Matthew 2:1-12 for the Epiphany of our Lord.

On this Feast of the Epiphany, we remember the visit of the magi–those astrologers (how many they were, we don’t know) who read the stars and were among the first to lay their eyes on Jesus.  They were not exactly kings, but they were certainly wise enough to detect Herod’s schemes and discerning enough to follow the angel’s message to go home some other way.  They are, of course, today credited for the the tradition of gift-giving that has in many ways defined the season of Christmas.  And so today, perhaps it’s good to think about this business of gift-giving.

26168467_10215011662228110_2856796536219372788_n

Continue reading GIFTS AND GIVERS

“THE BEST IS YET TO COME”

This homily, based on Luke 2:16-21, is for New Year’s Day and the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.

Today, New Year’s Day, there is one line that comes to mind. And I love saying it: “The best is yet to come!”

Yet it’s not always something easy to say–and to believe!

best_is_yet_to_come-773819

Not when things aren’t quite right. And especially not when the way the world is turning out isn’t quite to our liking–or the way people behave is, to say the least, bewildering–or to tell it like it is, disheartening. Continue reading “THE BEST IS YET TO COME”

OUT OF BROKEN HOMES AND BROKEN HEARTS

This homily is based on Luke 2:22-40 on the Feast of the Holy Family.

I’m reading Fr. Greg Boyle’s new book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship. Like his first book, every single chapter leaves me in tears.

In a Friday, June 4, 2010 photo, Father Gregory Boyle hugs Robert Trejo, a former gang member, in his office at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Organizations trying to prevent youngsters from joining gangs have been hit hard by the sour economy. Homeboy Industries, which employed ex-gang members as a way of keeping them off the street, had to fire more than 300 of its workers as donations and city subsidies plummeted. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
In a Friday, June 4, 2010 photo, Father Gregory Boyle hugs Robert Trejo, a former gang member, in his office at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Organizations trying to prevent youngsters from joining gangs have been hit hard by the sour economy. Homeboy Industries, which employed ex-gang members as a way of keeping them off the street, had to fire more than 300 of its workers as donations and city subsidies plummeted. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Continue reading OUT OF BROKEN HOMES AND BROKEN HEARTS

CHRISTMAS IS COMING HOME

For today, I am sharing this moving homily (based on Luke 2:1-14) delivered by Bro. Robbie Paraan on Christmas Eve Mass at Sacred Heart Parish, Cebu. A blessed Christmas to all!

I saw a viral video the other day about a touching homecoming which happened on an airplane.  Juan Paolo Fermin hasn’t spent Christmas with his family in 17 years. Juan Paolo’s mother—like many Filipino parents—had to leave for abroad when he was 8 years old. Though they would see each other occasionally since then, almost two decades would pass before they could spend Christmas together.

20December2017-TNP23_03

Continue reading CHRISTMAS IS COMING HOME