Letting Go – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 10:35-45; 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time Sisters and brothers, this thing that James and John asks Jesus: “Grant that in your glory, we may sit, one at your right hand, the other at your left,” that sounds familiar. Parang mas maganda sa Pinoy: “Lord, ‘pag hari na kayo ha, baka naman pwedeng second in…

To Be Really Catholic – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 9:38-48; 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time When we were kids, on the way to Mass, we would often drive past nice-looking churches. I’d ask, “Bakit ‘di tayo ‘jan magsimba? Ganda ng simbahan ‘o.” Then, my mom would say, “’Nay, hindi ‘yan Katoliko!” with a shudder! So, I grew up with the impression that non-Catholics…

Advocacy Calling – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 1:1-16; 18-23, The Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary “How are things in Myanmar?” I asked one of our Myanmarese scholastics over supper the other night. “Oh, Father, the military are still going from village to village, just destroying things.” He was looking at pictures on Facebook the other day, and a village looked…

Your Heart Today – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Please allow me to tell you about a memoir I read over my retreat last week, entitled, Fr. Joe: The Man Who Saved My Life, by Englishman Tony Hendra, a prize-winning satirist, famous in the US and the UK. He created the National Lampoon Magazine, wrote for comedy…

No Bother – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 5:21-43, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time The late Fr Archie Intengan was always very busy. Fr Archie was never a man of half measures when it came to his responsibilities, especially in taking care of us. We have funny stories of how quirky Fr Archie could sometimes be, precisely because of his intensity and…

Our True Vine – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 15:1-8; 5th Sunday of Easter Sisters & brothers, how do we know if we, the branches, are still connected to Jesus, the true vine? Can we tell by some sign that we remain in him and he in us? John’s Gospel is bursting with metaphors of Jesus. Jesus has seven “I am” sayings in…

Haunted – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 24:35-48, 3rd Sunday of Easter You know what, sisters and brothers, there still are times I wonder if, once in a while, dad and mom ever felt that I abandoned them when I left home for religious life. Especially those times when my family surely needed an extra pair of hands; like when my…

Healthy AND Well – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 3:14-21; 4th Sunday of Lent Our old infirmary used to be called, well, that, “infirmary;” – Jesus M Lucas Infirmary, to be exact. When the new one got built, it was christened with a new name: Jesuit Health & Wellness Center. I then asked our Jesuit doctor, Fr Tex Paurom, “Why health & wellness…

Sundowning – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:29-39, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was in graduate school, I said weekly masses in a nursing facility of the Daughters of Mary. One sister there was Sr Teresa, a registered nurse and a Pinay. It was from her that I first heard the term, “sundowning.” In one of my last days…

Incarnate Forever – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:7-11, Baptism of Our Lord One thing I love to do is to shock my students by reminding them of things about Jesus I’m sure they’ve forgotten. For example, a few days after I uploaded my lecture-video on the Resurrection, a student commented: “OMG! I’ve forgotten that Jesus resurrected as both soul and body.”…

Our True North – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 1:6-8; 19-28, Third Sunday of Advent My rector is one of the kindest Jesuits I’ve ever lived with and one of the most outdoorsy senior citizens I know. Fr. Riyo loves hiking and climbing mountains. He can name more mountains in the Philippines than I ever studied in Araling Panlipunan 500 years ago! I…

Off our Knees – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 13:33-37, 1st Sunday of Advent How would you like a parish priest like this: He spends most of his time on his knees, in front of the altar, praying by himself? He hears confessions for six hours every day. In his masses, he always ends up talking about sin, that we should avoid it,…