Agapasme – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 21:1-19; 3rd Sunday of Easter You’ve probably heard this interpretation of John’s Gospel before. But it’s just so rich that it bears repetition. John’s Gospel was written in Greek, and with Greek sensibilities. The Greeks had four words for love: eros, storge, philia, & agápe, two of which appear in today’s Gospel. Eros is…

Real Wealth – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 15:1-32; 4th Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) To us, Pinoys, it’s inconceivably brazen to ask our parents for our mana while they still live and breathe. Puwede tayong humingi ng puhunan. Puwede ring sabihin, “Dad, pautang muna po.” But never, “Ma, Pa, kunin ko na mana ko ngayon.” Subtext?“Why wait till you’re dead?” Bastos…

Lest We Forget – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:27-38, 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time With dear Fr Bill Kreutz as our guardian, I was on formerly Santolan Road, now C-5, with a bunch of Ateneans, in what would be known the world over as the People Power Revolution. But I was there by mistake. Mom and dad were okay that I joined…

Prophecy Come True – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 1:1-21, 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time If you Google, “life expectancy in first century,” you’ll get 30-35 years, average. Ang ikli ng buhay nila, ‘no? But before paracetamol, penicillin, vaccines, plus back-breaking work before modern engineering, the first-century human body really took a beating. So, if scholars are right in saying that Jesus died…

Belen – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Years ago, a religious community had a made-to-order Belen from Paete, semi-life-sized, kalahati ko. It had an interesting takeaway. The characters were carved to look likereal people. The Magi looked like 3 priests. Two shepherds looked like a cardinal and a major benefactor. They put a midwife there and a married couple, also representing major…

Who Has the Power – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 21:25-36B, 1st Sunday of Advent Imagine, just imagine, a foreign government finally rigging nuclear missile launchers into our reefs. Then, they aim them at us. Into their computers, they plot the coordinates of our arsenals, military camps, airports, down to the square meter. Anytime, at their leader’s pleasure, a work-from-home soldier can click on…

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…