Undivided – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 12:28-34, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time First there were ten commandments. Then over time these multiplied to 600+ laws plus heaven knows how many more implementing rules and regulations and rituals. Just like the mess of information on the internet, these directives often took a life of their own and were confusing. If you…

Pari-seo – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 11:42-46, Wednesday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time Jesus was much kinder to prostitutes and tax collectors than to Pharisees and teachers of the law. Oh, Jesus didn’t condone prostitutes and tax collectors. He socialized with them, yes, but with the intention of turning them around. He couldn’t turn Pharisees around, though. They were…

Fractions – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 10:2-16, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Fractions are not easy to learn. In kindergarten, we begin with adding numbers that are whole like one, two, three. When we learn subtraction, we learn about negatives and that mysterious number zero. Then on to division, and life becomes complicated with fractions. Like fractions, love is not…

Reasons – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 10:2-16, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Only a few Catholics are aware that you actually need only a minimum of five people for a wedding: a priest, the bride and the groom, and 2 valid witnesses. I’ve not officiated in a wedding of five though, because thankfully, weddings for us are a community celebration of family and friends. And that’s what a sacrament…

That I May Smile All My Life – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 8:38-48, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time This reflection was written in 2015. I am reposting this because Pope Francis needs our prayers as he faces vicious attacks even from within the Church. I’m reading the new book from Filipino priest-poet, Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, Nabighani. It’s a lovely book of religious poetry translated into Filipino and guaranteed to…

Patterns – Willy Samson, SJ

Mark 9:37-43, 45, 47-48, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time We are living and surrounded by people. But it takes a while for us to know their real colours and intentions. This is also true in our spiritual life, sometimes, we are not sure whether something in front of us is good or bad. Is it…

The Inside Story – John Foley, SJ

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time We have an interior and an exterior, you and I. This seems to be the key to Sunday’s Gospel. We can find clues to our “interior” in the calm we find at a quiet lake or at the sight of a budding tree or in the…

“Mana” – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 9:30-37, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time “O,ano ba ‘yung pinagtatalunan ninyo kanina habang naglalakad tayo?” Jesus asked his friends. Now don’t you think a pagtatalowould have been loud enough for Jesus to hear it? But he had to ask: “What were you arguing about on the way?” Well, this could mean only one thing:…

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…