To Be Really Catholic – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 9:38-48; 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time When we were kids, on the way to Mass, we would often drive past nice-looking churches. I’d ask, “Bakit ‘di tayo ‘jan magsimba? Ganda ng simbahan ‘o.” Then, my mom would say, “’Nay, hindi ‘yan Katoliko!” with a shudder! So, I grew up with the impression that non-Catholics…

Who – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 8:27-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Of all the questions that begin with what, where, when, who, why, and how, the most difficult are the why ones, the ones children learn to ask early on. Why should I eat my vegetables? Why do we have to stop playing? When I was six, I remember…

Advocacy Calling – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 1:1-16; 18-23, The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary “How are things in Myanmar?” I asked one of our Myanmarese scholastics over supper the other night. “Oh, Father, the military are still going from village to village, just destroying things.” He was looking at pictures on Facebook the other day, and a village looked…

Manhu – Jett Villarin, SJ

John 6:24-35, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time The Israelites did not know what it was, those fine flakes in the desert that were like “hoarfrost on the ground.” And so they asked, “Manhu?”, what is this? Ano ito? This ano from heaven was ano for their hunger. Manna for the Israelites, ano for us. Manhu…

Your Heart Today – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Please allow me to tell you about a memoir I read over my retreat last week, entitled, Fr. Joe: The Man Who Saved My Life, by Englishman Tony Hendra, a prize-winning satirist, famous in the US and the UK. He created the National Lampoon Magazine, wrote for comedy…

Prophet – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 6:1-6; 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Part of my work with many others is to predict climate change. For more than two decades now, we’ve been telling people that the sky is indeed the limit, and that the sky is, well, falling. We do not relish this role of messenger. No one wants to…

No Bother – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 5:21-43, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time The late Fr Archie Intengan was always very busy. Fr Archie was never a man of half measures when it came to his responsibilities, especially in taking care of us. We have funny stories of how quirky Fr Archie could sometimes be, precisely because of his intensity and…

Prayer for the Pandemic – Jett Villarin SJ

Mark 4:35-41, 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time Lord of the waves and wind,Help us to listen to what you are telling us these days. Lead us to know what you are asking of us in this storm. You are inviting us to leave familiar shores while the waves are high. You are asking us to…

God our Father, God our Mother – Nemy Que, SJ

Matthew 6:24-34, Saturday of Week 11 in Ordinary Time In our first reading, God, our Father and Mother, assures us: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Let’s provide a little context for these very consoling words. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul is addressing a situation…

Self-less – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 5:12a; Corpus Christi Sunday One time, I walked into the classroom where the graduating class for that year was waiting. Their biggest oral exam was coming up and their teachers took turns reviewing them for the different subjects. My topic was the Holy Spirit and Grace. So, I asked: “Okay, for starters, tell me:…

Field – Jett Villarin, SJ

John 15:26-27; 16:12-15, Pentecost Sunday He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” Action-at-a-distance is a mysterious thing. In science, we explain how objects act on each other at a distance by postulating a medium that contains and connects them, a field which undulates and carries the action of one on…

Our True Vine – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 15:1-8; 5th Sunday of Easter Sisters & brothers, how do we know if we, the branches, are still connected to Jesus, the true vine? Can we tell by some sign that we remain in him and he in us? John’s Gospel is bursting with metaphors of Jesus. Jesus has seven “I am” sayings in…