Consecrate – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 3:15-16; 21-22, The Baptism of the Lord When you “consecrate” something, the idea is to take that something and set it apart from similar things because you would like it to serve a different purpose. To consecrate something is to make it, well, “special,” because now, the purpose it serves is, say, bigger or…

Like You – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Christmas Eve 2018 It was around this time of night many, many years ago, when I was little—littler—when a very rare electrical storm ripped through Davao City. Lightning and thunder looked and sounded like they were tearing each other apart. They say only thunder makes a sound, lightning doesn’t. But I remember lightning cracking like…

Apocalypse Now – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 21:25-28, 34-36, First Sunday of Advent I have a personal beef with end-of-the-world scenarios, or what we call in theology, apocalypses. When I was growing up in Davao, our elders terrorized us at one time or another with end-of-the-world scenarios – mainly to cow us into submission to their do’s and don’t’s, for us…

The End of the World – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 13:24-32, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was growing up in Davao, it took very little for elders to start talking about the end of the world. When there was an earthquake, a typhoon, a plane crash, war, flood—very soon, mom or lola or manang would sit up anxiously share what they “heard”…

Pari-seo – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 11:42-46, Wednesday of Week 28 in Ordinary Time Jesus was much kinder to prostitutes and tax collectors than to Pharisees and teachers of the law. Oh, Jesus didn’t condone prostitutes and tax collectors. He socialized with them, yes, but with the intention of turning them around. He couldn’t turn Pharisees around, though. They were…

Reasons – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 10:2-16, 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Only a few Catholics are aware that you actually need only a minimum of five people for a wedding: a priest, the bride and the groom, and 2 valid witnesses. I’ve not officiated in a wedding of five though, because thankfully, weddings for us are a community celebration of family and friends. And that’s what a sacrament…

“Mana” – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 9:30-37, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time “O,ano ba ‘yung pinagtatalunan ninyo kanina habang naglalakad tayo?” Jesus asked his friends. Now don’t you think a pagtatalowould have been loud enough for Jesus to hear it? But he had to ask: “What were you arguing about on the way?” Well, this could mean only one thing:…

God as Love – Arnel Aquino, SJ

1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13/Luke 7:31-35, Wednesday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time Last week, I thought a lot about the sexual abuse scandals in Pennsylvania, more than 1000 children victims, 300 priests. I wanted to see what the priests looked like so, I Googled. All of them are over 70 years old by now, several already…

Cold – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 8:27-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Was Peter so evil that Jesus suddenly called him Satan? Wasn’t he dissuading the Lord from returning to Jerusalem because there, his enemies would do him serious harm? Peter felt so vehemently against Jesus’ plan that the Gospel used quite a strong word: “Peter took Jesus aside and…

The Twelve – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:12-19, Tuesday of Week 23 in Ordinary Time When I was with Ateneo Student Catholic Action (AtSCA), oh 500 years ago, we would spend all of a Friday night into lunch of Saturday – and sometimes long into the afternoon – evaluating applicants to our organization. The longer the list, the more eyebag-weekends it…

Access – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 7:, 31-37, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time I’ve shared this story before but in a different context with a different Gospel. It’s a great anecdote told to me by a Josefino two years ago. As soon as the Uber driver knew that it was a seminarian who hopped into his car, the driver started…

Do’s and Don’ts – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time It happened again last week. I heard from a friend yet another story of a priest who refused to bless the body of a troubled teenager who took his own life. The mother pleaded with the priest desperately and tearfully, my friend said. The young man had always…