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…

Signed – Jett Villarin, SJ

Acts 5:34-42; John 6:1-15, Friday in the 2nd Week of Eastertide Our faith begins with a sign. It is a sign of pain and sorrow, a sign of suffering. But it is also a sign of God inside that pain, a sign of love present in our suffering. It is the sign of the cross….

Haunted – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 24:35-48, 3rd Sunday of Easter You know what, sisters and brothers, there still are times I wonder if, once in a while, dad and mom ever felt that I abandoned them when I left home for religious life. Especially those times when my family surely needed an extra pair of hands; like when my…

Labyrinth – Jett Villarin, SJ

John 5:1-6, Divine Mercy Sunday When you go through the garden labyrinth at the Mirador Jesuit Villa in Baguio, you will eventually end in the center. However, while walking and winding your way on this path, you will find yourself sometimes moving farther away from the center. You will not worry; you won’t even think…

Palms – Fr Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 11:1-10, Palm Sunday We begin Holy Week with yet another lockdown. And so this Palm Sunday is a bit dissonant. The high notes of our hosannas are hesitant. We wave palms in tentative jubilation. We are supposed to usher Jesus like a celebrity, attaching ourselves to him and his power. We sing, hosanna in…

Rise – Mario Francisco, SJ

John 5:1-3; 5-16, Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent It has been more than a year since the pandemic was declared, and while we have all found resilient and creative ways of coping with its effects on our lives and work, we are all experiencing quarantine fatigue. Even with the promise of the much-awaited…

Healthy AND Well – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 3:14-21; 4th Sunday of Lent Our old infirmary used to be called, well, that, “infirmary;” – Jesus M Lucas Infirmary, to be exact. When the new one got built, it was christened with a new name: Jesuit Health & Wellness Center. I then asked our Jesuit doctor, Fr Tex Paurom, “Why health & wellness…

Sundowning – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:29-39, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was in graduate school, I said weekly masses in a nursing facility of the Daughters of Mary. One sister there was Sr Teresa, a registered nurse and a Pinay. It was from her that I first heard the term, “sundowning.” In one of my last days…

Saving Time – Roy Ragas, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, Saturday in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time “Praying saves time,” I remember Fr. Francis Clarke (of glorious memory) used to say. It does sound counter-intuitive. When there are many things to do, deadlines to meet, mouths to feed, and dreams to build, and we’re always already pressed for time, wouldn’t squeezing in…

Incarnate Forever – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:7-11, Baptism of Our Lord One thing I love to do is to shock my students by reminding them of things about Jesus I’m sure they’ve forgotten. For example, a few days after I uploaded my lecture-video on the Resurrection, a student commented: “OMG! I’ve forgotten that Jesus resurrected as both soul and body.”…