Whistleblower – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 3:1-12, 2nd Sunday of Advent John the Baptist was the whistleblower in an echo chamber. The phrase “echo chamber” has been around for a long time, esp. in the field of acoustics. But it’s only been in the past four or five years that it has become a metaphor, especially with the advent of…

The Better Choice – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 24:37-44; First Sunday of Advent I was one of the 174 million people who watched Avengers: Infinity War last year. So,  P300 of the US$2 billion that Marvel Studios made—was mine! But when half the Avengers started “ashifying,” along with half of all human life in the universe, leaving us all without a happy…

How Do You Want To Die? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In our Gospel today, rulers sneer and soldiers jeer at Jesus on the cross. They mock him, “Save yourself – if you are the chosen one, if you are the King of the Jews!” Right after reporting this, in what can be considered a brilliantly placed editorial comment, Luke highlights the detail of the inscription above Jesus: “This is the…

Kings and Kingdoms – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 23:35-43, Christ the King When the Jews heard Jesus of Nazareth preach, “the Kingdom of God this, the Kingdom of God that, the Kingdom of God the other” they thought­ they knew what he was talking about. Jews were familiar with “kingdoms,” two, in fact: the kingdom of Rome, an autocracy, and, the kingdom…

Reset – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 21:5-19, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time If you go to Wikipedia and search “list of dates predicted for apocalyptic events,” you’ll see that the specific dates of the world’s end has been predicted at least 190 times by many, many individuals from the 1st millennium until today. The forecasters range from cult leaders to Christian mystics, from Catholic bishops and saints (like Hilary of Poitiers, Martin of Tours, Irenaeus) to Protestants (Martin Luther, John…

What If – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 20:27-38, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time What if NASA scientists spotted an asteroid 10km wide, hurtling towards Earth, at 30km/second, the average asteroid speed? And what if the scientists said it would hit us in two months, no way to slow it down or missile-blast it to smaller pieces? And what if the asteroid…

Awa – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 15:1-10, Thursday of Week 31 in Ordinary Time I think I’m quite lucky to be living in an international community over at Arrupe House. The differences between our cultures are fascinating. Like there was one supper when we just went around the table, asking each other what sound animals made in our own language….

How Are You Today – Johnny Go, SJ

Luke 19:1-10, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time The encounter between Jesus and Zacchaeus has got to be one of the strangest–and funniest–scenes in the Gospel. So we’re told our Lord is, as usual, on his way somewhere, followed by the usual massive crowd. Then without any warning, he stops in his tracks, looks up–and, we…

Short, Sweet and Simple – Fr Harold Parilla

Luke 19:1-10, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time The Gospel for this Sunday focuses on the man known by the name Zacchaeus. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word from which this name is formed means “clean, pure, innocent”. I would like to structure our reflection using three words which can describe the person…

From Where We Are – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 19:1-10, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Whenever I take a plane, I make sure that my carry-on fits under the seat in front of me. Oh, I could bring a larger carry-on and toss it into the overhead stowage bin. But the few times I did that, my bag sat a little too deep…

Do You Stand Apart From Or A Part Of? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In our Gospel today, Jesus tells us, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This is not the first time Jesus says this in the Gospel of Luke. Almost two months ago, on September 1, we heard our Lord deliver the same message in Luke 14:11. The…

Comforting the Afflicted – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 11:47-54, Thursday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time Bernice Fitz-Gibbon was an American advertiser in the sixties. She is honored in her field as one of the most influential women of the twentieth century. I was reading an old copy of Reader’s Digest and I came across a quotation from her. “A good ad,”…