God as Love – Arnel Aquino, SJ

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13/Luke 7:31-35, Wednesday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time Last week, I thought a lot about the sexual abuse scandals in Pennsylvania, more than 1000 children victims, 300 priests. I wanted to see what the priests looked like so, I Googled. All of them are over 70 years old by now, several already…

The Gospel according to Jolina Magdangal – Weng Bava, SJ

Mark 8:27-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Long before there was KathNiel or JaDine, the quintessential love team of Philippine Cinema in the 90s was Marvs and Jolen (The millennials would have to Google them to know who they are). And in one particular movie that I and fellow college seminarians lined up at the…

Cold – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 8:27-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Was Peter so evil that Jesus suddenly called him Satan? Wasn’t he dissuading the Lord from returning to Jerusalem because there, his enemies would do him serious harm? Peter felt so vehemently against Jesus’ plan that the Gospel used quite a strong word: “Peter took Jesus aside and…

The Twelve – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:12-19, Tuesday of Week 23 in Ordinary Time When I was with Ateneo Student Catholic Action (AtSCA), oh 500 years ago, we would spend all of a Friday night into lunch of Saturday – and sometimes long into the afternoon – evaluating applicants to our organization. The longer the list, the more eyebag-weekends it…

Turning the Tables on God – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 7:31-37, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time I’ve been thinking about Cristy these days.  I don’t think I will ever forget what I saw when I last visited her in the hospital.  I had been warned about her, but I was shocked anyway.  She wasn’t at all the Cristy I knew.  Her cancer had ravaged…

Mother of Rebellion – Nono Alfonso, SJ

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary WHAT IS YOUR image of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Who is Mary for you? As we celebrate today the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother, I ask you, which image of Mary is accurate: Is Mary like Rizal’s Maria Clara – icon of beauty,…

Access – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 7:, 31-37, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time I’ve shared this story before but in a different context with a different Gospel. It’s a great anecdote told to me by a Josefino two years ago. As soon as the Uber driver knew that it was a seminarian who hopped into his car, the driver started…

The Heart of the Matter – John Foley, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time The people in this week’s Gospel are quarreling about who has and who hasn’t washed his hands for dinner. If you were a follower of the Jewish custom in that time, you would know that every person was required to wash up before eating. The rule was “a…

Externals – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Appearances can be deceiving. When it sets, the sun becomes a very big red balloon. So too when it rises rose-tinted on the horizon. Overhead, it is smaller and whiter. And yet it is the same sun. In the Scripture readings today, we are warned about the appearances…

Do’s and Don’ts – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time It happened again last week. I heard from a friend yet another story of a priest who refused to bless the body of a troubled teenager who took his own life. The mother pleaded with the priest desperately and tearfully, my friend said. The young man had always…