Roadblocks – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:1-8, Second Sunday of Advent The following stories were told by friends directly involved in the situations I’m about to share with you. So they’re not fake news. A very devout woman ran frantically to a priest-friend of mine one day. She was coming from a troubling confession with another priest. After several years…

Watch – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 13:33-37, 1st Sunday of Advent Last Friday, while I waited for my Augustinian friar friend outside San Agustin Church, I overheard a conversation between a visitor and the manang running a food stall in the premises. In thick Visayan accent, the lady said, “Excuse me po, katedral po ito?” “Hindi po,” manang replied. “San…

Nevertheless and However – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 25:31-46, Feast of Christ the King The Gospel today is not just about the “end of the world.” Although many of us priests love to jump on “end of the world” scenarios to hurry people off to confession in preparation for Advent. But the Lord’s message today is not just about the end of…

Talent – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 25:14-30, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Just a few days ago, I had a conversation with a young guidance counselor. He works in an exclusive school for kids from wealthy families. These families own whole industries that earn millions by the day. The young man is assigned to eight- and  nine-year-old boys in the…

Neither a Crammer nor a Borrower be – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 25:1-13, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time In biblical times, weddings were a huge celebration in the entire village. After the wedding rite in the synagogue, the new couple is paraded back to the house. Tradition dictated that you took the longest, most roundabout route home, so that the whole town could cheer its newest…

A Discerning Heart – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 23:1-12, 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Did you read about the 83 year-old old Chinese mother, Mrs. Huang, who killed her 46 year-old disabled son, Li? Li was born prematurely, in severe mental and physical disability. He could neither walk nor talk, and his condition worsened with age. From the day he was born…

Wider and Wider Circles – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 22:1-14, 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was a novice, I was assigned to Culion island, in Palawan, for a month. I visited patients in the hospital everyday. And there was always one or two patients who would go down memory lane and tell me lovely stories about Jesuits who had been assigned…

A Full Heart – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Homily for Fr Archie Intengan, SJ I wish you had the chance of living with Fr Archie Intengan. He was one of the kindest, gentlest brothers we’ve ever had. Every day since Fr Archie died, I would hear at least one fellow Jesuit say that he cried when he got the news. Ganong klase siyang…

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…