FINDING IT AND LOSING IT

This reflection is based on Matthew 13:44-46.

We have two very similar mini-parables in today’s Gospel reading, and the one thing they have in common is that their characters both find something and lose something. In the first one, a person digs up a valuable treasure in some field, and what does he do? He “loses it”: He reburies the treasure, sells all that he has, and buys the field.

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THE WORTHLESS AND THE PRICELESS

This reflection is based on Matthew 13:44-46.

“Worthless” and “priceless”: These are two words in the English language that at first may sound synonymous, but they actually mean exactly the opposite of each other.

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“Worthless” can be taken quite literally–it means something that has no worth, plain and simple. “Priceless,” on the other hand, must not be taken literally because it refers to something that is so extremely valuable that you can’t ever tag a price to it. Because he can’t take them with him, a dying man’s riches are worthless as he lies in his deathbed, but the love of the people who have spent the last few days and nights by his side, holding his hand and praying for him–that’s priceless. “Priceless” is a word we reserve precisely for the stuff that money can’t buy. Continue reading THE WORTHLESS AND THE PRICELESS

GOD WITH SKIN ON (The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola)

ignThis homily, based on Exodus 34:29-35 and Matthew 13:44-46, was delivered on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola (July 31, 2013).

In today’s Gospel, our Lord likens the Kingdom of God to a hidden treasure and a pearl so valuable that it should make all the difference in one’s life. These two parables remind me of one of the most important lessons I’ve learned from St. Ignatius of Loyola, whose feast we celebrate today. This lesson is captured in a slogan that he’s known for: “Finding God in all things.”

I know, today it sounds almost like a cliché: We all believe God is present everywhere, don’t we? But we should note that Ignatius’ invitation is not simply to believe that God in all things, but to find Him and actually look for Him in all things. It’s like our Lord’s parables today telling us not just to believe that the Kingdom of God is here, but also to go and search for it, be it buried in some field or hidden in the deep seas. Continue reading GOD WITH SKIN ON (The Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola)

LESSONS FROM A FALLEN SOLDIER (30 July 2011)

IgnatiusWoundedThe lives of saints have much to teach us, some saints more than others.  If you grew up in a Jesuit parish like Mary the Queen, maybe St. Ignatius of Loyola has something to teach you.  If you studied in a Jesuit school like Xavier School or Ateneo de Manila, or perhaps Georgetown University, certainly St. Ignatius would have something to say to you.

But even if you’re from La Salle, but went out on some date sometime ago with an Atenean or Xaverian, maybe St. Ignatius still has a message for you on this eve of his feast. Continue reading LESSONS FROM A FALLEN SOLDIER (30 July 2011)