Fixer and Feeder – Arnel Aquino, SJ

12th January 2023 For a long time, like many religious men, most of my own difficulties in my personal life sprang from my hunger for fatherly love. Many religious men have “lost father syndrome.” Our fathers were either physically or emotionally distant. My dad was a strange combination. He was mostly emotionally distant. But when…

John and Maria – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 3:1-12; Second Sunday of Advent The other night, I was astounded to see Maria Ressa appear on the Late Show with StephenColbert. Then, yesterday morning, she appeared on NPR news with veteran journalist JudyWoodruff. And last night, she was on MSNBC news! “How to Stand Up to a Dictator”, the bookshe had written, was…

Thankful – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 17:11-19; 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time What we consider leprosy or Hansen’s disease today might not exactly be the same disease the Bible calls “leprosy.” In Scriptures, “leprosy” was really a catch-all term for disease that made skin dry, crusty, scaly, and well, unsightly. Back then, water was scarce and unfiltered from dirty wells….

Sorry, not Sorry – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 15:1-32, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time When we think of mercy, awa, we often think of the object of mercy as being the poor, the oppressed, the helpless, the api. Which is okay because they do need mercy. But strangely enough, notice that the parables of mercy are not about the poor or the…

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…