Wider and Wider Circles – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Late post but worth the read!

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Don’t Shoot the Messenger – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 21:33-43, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time What I find very disturbing in today’s parable is that the landowner wasn’t even asking for his land back. He just wanted his share of the harvest from a vineyard that he himself planted and grew. So, the truth of the matter is, he didn’t have to be…

Expiry Date – Johnny Go, SJ

Matthew 21:33-43, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time In his monologue at a Saturday Night Live (SNL) episode, comedian Aziz Ansari warns against stereotyping the people who had voted for Trump–except for that group of people who, as soon as Trump won, told themselves: “Hey, we don’t have to pretend like we’re not racist anymore! Whoo!” “If you’re one…

One > 99 – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 21:28-32, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time On my first week as a newly ordained priest, a man stopped by Sacred Heart School in Cebu where I was assigned, and asked if he could confess. So, I sat with this very earnest, very gentle man and listened. “Father,” he started, “there’s one thing in the…

77 Times – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 18:21-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time From my own life and from the life of people I have accompanied through the years, I observe three reasons why we find it so difficult to forgive: (1) We don’t say “I’m sorry” enough; (2) we remember past hurts like they happened only yesterday; and (3), we…

Sinless and Sorrowful – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 19:25-27, Friday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows I had very bad attacks of asthma when I was a child. If it weren’t for dad who’d stay up all night to rub my chest and my back, I wouldn’t have slept at all. Dad never had asthma. But…

I’m Sorry – Arnel Aquino SJ

Matthew 18:15-20, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time In some of the recollections I’ve given, very good-hearted people have asked me something like this: “So, Fr Arnel, when someone wrongs us, must we really follow the process that Jesus stipulates in Matthew? Like, we talk to the person first, to point out his mistake, and if…

Exorcise – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 4:31-37, Tuesday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time Did you hear of that story of a priest in Mindanao? He was exorcising a possessed man who was yelling profanities at him while he sprinkled him with holy water. “Pahawa! Pahawa dautang espiritu!” the priest said over and over again. Then at one point,…

Cold as Hell – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 16:21-27, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time You duped me, Lord, and I let myself be duped. Niloko n’yo ako, Panginoon; ako naman nagpaloko.” Imagine talking to God that way? Must’ve been one of prophet Jeremiah’s bad, bad days. Jeremiah means “Yahweh exalts.” But biblical tradition calls him “the weeping prophet”. God called him because…

Scraps of Love – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 22:34-40, Friday in the 20th Week of Ordinary Time As soon as the Uber driver knew that it was a seminarian who hopped into his car a few months ago, he started telling the Josefino his story. The Josefino told me the story from the Uber driver’s persona, so I’ll do the same with…

Behind – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 15:21-28, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Allow me to briefly explain tonight’s troubling Gospel. According to the commentaries, the Matthean community had two voices: the particularist and the universalist. The particularist voice in the community taught that Jesus came to the world to save first “the children of Israel”; so Jews first, then the…