A Dose of Astonishment – Johnny Go, SJ

Luke 9:28-36, Second Sunday of Lent It’s not every day during his earthly life that you see our Lord bathed in heavenly light. In fact, such displays of divinity are quite few and far between. Unless my memory fails me, this so-called Transfiguration of the Lord is probably the only recorded one aside from the…

Triggers – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 4:1-13, First Sunday of Lent In the past couple of months on different occasions, three friends of mine told me that they finally deactivated their Facebook accounts. The latest one was a priest-friend, a very eloquent and dynamic professor of theology at their seminary in the province. “I’ve finally taken myself out of Facebook,” he said. “When it’s the online bickering for and…

Work to Do – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:1-6;16-18, Ash Wednesday In Loyola School of Theology, I teach a course called Introduction to Sacramental Theology. We recently finished our lesson on the Eucharist. But something’s still stuck in my head about the Last Supper, that last “Eucharistic celebration” Jesus had with his friends the night before he died. Did you notice that in the Last Supper, Jesus gave communion to Peter and…

My Private Room – Willy Samson, SJ

Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18, Ash Wednesday A confused disciple went to his master and begged for enlightenment. And the master said, “Go and sit in your room, and your room will teach you everything.” Today we officially begin the Season of Lent. For most of us, Lent is a time TO REMEMBER how Jesus, the Son…

”Love” thy Enemy – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:27-38, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time In the time of Jesus, the slap most commonly done was a backhanded slap. A backhanded slap was what masters gave slaves, or commanders gave soldiers, or centurions gave Jews. A backhanded slap, therefore, was not only a punishment, but also a reminder of status: “I am master, you’re…

When Is It Enough? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

There are many ways to read the Word of God. A dangerous way would be to read Scripture literally. “From the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic,” Jesus says in our Gospel today. Tell that to someone being robbed. A more responsible way to read God’s word would be to…

Language of Love – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 8:22-26, Wednesday of Week 6 in Ordinary Time Jesus knew the law very well. He knew it since he was 12. So, he was well aware that he was committing a triple whammy of impurities that day. Whammy #1: he talked to a blind man, whom the law considered unclean. Then, he touched him…

As I am Seen – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Luke 5:1-11, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time In the chapel of the Jesuit community where I reside, in the Lady Chapel of Campion Hall, there is a mural of the nativity, painted by the botanist Charles Mahoney, which depicts the birth of Jesus set in deep winter in rural England. At first glance we see…

Emptiness – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 5:1-11, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Don’t you find it strange that right after a huge catch of fish, Peter suddenly falls on his knees before Jesus and makes a confession: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”? You know, sisters and brothers, in almost all the retreatants I have accompanied…

Never Abandoned – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 6:1-6, Wednesday of Week 4 in Ordinary Time We have a dear, dear lady who works for us, Nancy. She’s by far one of the most industrious people I’ve met in my Jesuit life. She’s in her early 30s, shorter and much thinner than I. But she’s a dynamo. She’s always doing chores. Even…

Wide Open – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 4:21-30, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time From back in the Lord’s day up to today, the synagogue remains a consecrated place of prayer—Jews worshipped there, of learning—they studied the Torah there, & of social gathering—they came together to discuss religious matters there, too. Here are some rules in Jewish synagogues today. I quote from the “Laws of Synagogue Etiquette” by a Rabbi Eliezer Wenger. “No running around in the synagogue….

Depth – Jett Villarin, SJ

Luke 4:21-30, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time The weather has been quite cool these days. Some parts of the northern half of the globe are even in deep freeze. The southern half is probably scorching. I have been asked if all this is because of climate change. The short answer is most probably yes, with a quick qualification that weather is…