Avatar – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 6:63-68, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time I was watching a talk show the other night. The host did his usual stand-up comedy routine to open the show. He started out, making jokes about Trump and his addiction to Twitter. Then he joked about people who made the stupid mistake of posting pictures on Facebook…

Communion – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 6:41-51, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time My maternal grandfather was an inveterate sabungero. Unlike our lola who went to mass daily, he went to church only on Christmas. The rest of the Sundays, “nagsisimba siya sa sabungan,” his own children joked. Kung sa bagay. In every sabungan (cockfight) was a man called “Kristo.” He…

Signs – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 6:24-35, 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time I saw something pleasantly strange in the first reading. “The Lord said to Moses,” the reading said, “’I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion. In that way, I will test the Israelites…

Lectio Divina – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 5:21-43, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectio divina, or literally, “holy reading,” is a Benedictine method of prayer. You read a Bible passage slowly. A word/phrase will soon stir feelings or trigger thoughts. When that happens, you stay on that word/phrase, and gently allow yourself to engage the thoughts and feelings it evokes, whether…

Living the Truth – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 1:57-66, 80, Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist   Sina Fr Zacarias Agatep at Fr Roberto Salac ng mga diosesano, sina Fr Nilo Valerio ng mga SVD, Fr Tulio Favali ng mga PIME, Fr Rosaleo Romano ng mga Redemptorist, at Fr Godofredo Alingal ng mga Heswita, sila noong nakaraang regimen ng…

Possessed – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 3:20-35, Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time How do we tell if someone is possessed by the devil or having a psychotic breakdown? Dr Steven Waterhouse gives us a simple triage so we could begin to discern the difference. Dr Waterhouse is a pastor, a counselor, and a systematic theologian from Michigan. He works mainly…

Body and Blood – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 14:12-16, 22-26, Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ On weekdays, my 82-year-old dad gets up at 5:30am. After breakfast, he hops on a cab that takes him to the wharf. Then he gets on a bus that rolls onto a ferry that heads for Samal Island where he works in…

Kapwa – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 28:16-20, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Did you read about Pope Francis and Juan Carlos Cruz? Juan is from Chile, a victim of priestly sexual abuse. He’s also gay. For this reason, Cardinal Javier Erraruiz, a papal adviser, said that Juan was not really a victim of sexual abuse because, being gay, Juan…

Ours – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 20:19-23, Pentecost One time, I visited with some sisters doing a conference in one of the retreat houses in the city. The retreat house was run by another group of very kind nuns and they welcomed all their clients to join them at their daily morning masses. Over supper, my sister-friends said, “Arnel, the…

Rise and Fall – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 16:15-20, Solemnity of The Ascension of The Lord What goes up must come down. What rises must fall. That’s the law of gravity. But, what comes down must go up? Now that’s the “law” of the Ascension. In fact, that’s the whole Paschal Mystery, motion-wise: what descends eventually rises. For scientists who don’t believe…

We Do – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 15:9-17, Sixth Sunday in Easter Last year, when I was at the airport, there was this very rowdy kid, maybe 9 or 10 years old. He was running around, getting up and stepping on the seats. He even mindlessly stepped over a seated lady as he jumped from one seat to the next. Beside…

Putol – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 10:11-18, Fourth Sunday of Easter Have you ever been to our novitiate in Novaliches? We have a small flock of sheep over there. They’re let out in the morning then herded back into the pen after lunch. Sacred Heart Novitiate doubles up as a retreat facility, so you can imagine how a small flock…