What Drives You? – Ro Atilano, SJ

Luke 7:36-50, Thursday in Week 24 of Ordinary Time What drives you? Why do you do the things that you do? What keeps you going? It has been six months since the start of the lockdown here in our country. At the beginning, we never thought that it would last this long; at least, we…

Sweetest of Joys and Bitterest of Sorrows – Mon Bautista, SJ

John 19:25-27, Our Lady of Sorrows on the Tuesday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time Today’s feast day (Our Lady of Sorrows) reminds me of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. The year was 1981 – May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John Paul II was shot four times…

The Cross – Pat Falguera, SJ

John 3:13-17, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross If there is one place I would nominate as a “go to” tourist destination in the Philippines, it would be the island of Culion. Part of the Calamian group of islands, Culion and its 41 surrounding islands have some of the best powdery white sand beaches, UNESCO heritage-worthy coral reefs and limestone structures in the…

Unfinished – Jett Villarin, SJ

Matthew 13:54-58, Feast of St Ignatius Loyola Last day. So I’m down the wire, cramming again. There are still piles of diplomas and letters to sign. I had wanted to tie up loose ends and do a smooth turnover to Fr Bobby tomorrow. But they never really end, the loose ends and the handing over,…

Beyond Reckoning – Fr Harold Parilla

Matthew 18:21-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time You must have heard about the story of, or at least the name, Ingrid Betancourt. She was a prominent politician in Colombia, a former senator and anti-corruption activist. At the height of one presidential election campaign in which she was a candidate, she was kidnapped and held in…

A Eulogy for Sacred Trees – Mark Lopez, SJ

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time/2nd Sunday in the Season of Creation My love affair with trees began when I was 17 years old. I remember jogging around the Subic Naval base then, where I was spending my summer as an intern, jogging at the edge of beautiful rainforests, the likes of which I was seeing…

A Time to Clear the Air – Mark Lopez, SJ

Matthew 18:15-20, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time/1st Sunday in the Season of Creation On this first weekend of the season of creation, let’s begin where many mystics of various faith traditions usually begin – by taking a long, deep breath . . . and by being mindful of how the divine is not only outside…

Zero Tolerance – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 18:15-20, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time If China came to invade us and stayed a few years outlawing any citizens’s organizations, imagine how many religious and para-religious communities would be decimated, or even killed: like the Couples for Christ, the Iglesia ni Kristo, the charismatic communities, and who knows, maybe even Catholic parishes. That…

Correction – Jett Villarin, SJ

Matthew 18:15-20, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time About love, 6-year old Nikka has this to say: “If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.” For that matter, if you long to love God, if you desire redemption, if you want to fulfill the law, St Paul…

My Favorite Horror Movie – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 16:21-27, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time A few years ago, I watched a film called “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”  I expected a full-blown horror movie in the tradition of other Exorcist movies, complete with all the scary special effects like 360-degree head turns, shaking beds, and lots of vomiting.  Instead, to my disappointment,…

Martyr – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 16:21-27, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time An Australian scholastic lived with us many years ago. When he noticed that I took my studies very seriously, he said: “Hey, Arnel, back in Australia, Jesuits have a saying: ‘You’re no good to us, dead.’” I didn’t get it then. So, he explained. “It means that the…

Discernment – Bobby Yap, SJ

Matthew 19:16-22, Monday in the 20th Week of Ordinary Time The Gospel we have just proclaimed is the Gospel assigned for Monday of the 20th Week of the Year.  We did not choose a special gospel for our ORSEM mass but simply used the Gospel assigned for today.  As it turns out, today’s gospel reading…