LISTEN TO THE GROANING

This homiily is based on Romans 8:26-27 and Matthew 13:24-30.

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul uses an intriguing description to refer to the sound of the Spirit praying in us: “The Spirit himself intercedes with ‘inexpressible groanings’.” There’s a reason why the Apostle didn’t liken it to something more conventional or more appealing. Like why not, for instance, a beautiful song?

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ALONE TOGETHER

This homily, based on John 6:51-58, was delivered at St. Agnes Church for the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Sherry Turkle has a book called “Alone Together” The title is telling enough, but if there’s any doubt about what it means, the subtitle says it all: “Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.”

We know what she’s talking about, don’t we?

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GRASPING MYSTERY

This homily based on John 3:16-18 for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity was delivered at St. Agnes Church.

St. Anselm of Canterbury came up with a concept that is as much a tongue-twister as it is a brain-twister. He described God as “that than which nothing greater can be conceived.”

Think about that for a minute. It means that there is absolutely nothing that we can imagine that can be greater than God.

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Mystics–those blessed people among us who have been blessed with such an intense prayer life that they have acquired an intimate knowledge of God–have reached a consensus about the mystery of God: The closer they approach God, they sense, more than ever, their own sinfulness. More than that, the more they get to know God, the more they realize they know so little about Him. This is what St. Anselm means with his tongue/brain-twister. God is simply so holy and so great that His ways are just way beyond us, and He Himself is just way beyond our conception. Continue reading GRASPING MYSTERY

ONE PENTECOST EXPERIENCE

This homily for Pentecost Sunday, based on Acts 2:1-11, was delivered at St. Agnes Church, San Francisco, and is my personal tribute to the late Fr. Jerry Martinson SJ (1942-2017).

Pentecost doesn’t always happen exactly the way it did that first time. 

That first Pentecost, the disciples were waiting for the Holy Spirit as they huddled in that upper room, the same room where Jesus had promised to send them his Spirit. But nothing could have prepared them when the Spirit finally showed up in their midst. There was wind and fire and an explosion of languages. It must have been an extraordinary and unforgettable experience! That one event certainly shaped the rest of their lives and defined the history of the Church.

entecost Continue reading ONE PENTECOST EXPERIENCE

THE LORD’S FOOTPRINT

This reflection on the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord is based on Matthew 28:16-20.

There is a special slab of stone found in the Chapel of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. That rock has been revered by Christians for centuries since it is believed to bear the right footprint of our Lord right before he ascended to heaven (the half bearing the left is housed in a mosque). Hence, its name: the Ascension Rock.

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SUPERMAN, BATMAN, SPIDERMAN, ETC.

This homily is based on John 14:15-21.

Here are names of famous people and characters. Try to guess what they have in common: Clark Kent. Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Cinderella. Snow White. Wolverine. James Bond. Frodo Baggins. Luke Skywalker. Santa Claus. Harry Potter. Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort).

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QUESTIONS FROM THE LORD

This reflection is based on John 14:1-12.

He’s the disciple who always seems to be getting the tough questions from the Lord. When they found themselves surrounded by a hungry crowd of 5000, our Lord turned to Philip and asked him, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?”

Of course, Philip said what any rational person would:“It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

 

Brooklyn Museum - Saint Philip (James_Tissot)
Brooklyn Museum – Saint Philip (James Tissot)

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WHOSE ARE WE?

This homily, delivered at the Sta. Maria Catholic Church in Iloilo, is based on John 10:1-

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When you think about it, there are two important questions that we need to answer in our lives.  The first question confronts us almost the moment we are born:  “Who am I?”   As we grow, we grapple to discover our identity and our gifts–what makes each of us unique–or as someone put it, “what makes me me.” But as we do so, we also at the same time shape our selves and our character, making decisions and taking actions that define who we are. Continue reading WHOSE ARE WE?

PAST PERFECT

 

This homily is based on Luke 24:13-35.

There are times in our lives when we think it’s best to pack up and leave. Things have gotten so bad, there seems no hope of recovery. The tunnel we find ourselves going through so long, the flicker of light at its end so dim, that we’re tempted to turn back.

 

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The disciples in today’s Gospel reading have done just that. After the harrowing trauma of seeing their Master snatched away from them and crucified in the most cruel and humiliating fashion, they’ve decided it’s time to pack up and leave Jerusalem. Continue reading PAST PERFECT