A Loving Presence – Mark Lopez, SJ

Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary My Dad, for a very long time, did not believe in the role of Mary in our faith as Christians. Although he was a devout Catholic, a daily mass-goer, and a very dedicated minister of the Eucharist, he had questions….

Patronus – Mark Lopez, SJ

John 20:19-23, Pentecost Today’s recommended reading in relation to Pentecost will not be your usual Church encyclical, or Bible verse, or a quote from a famous Pope or theologian. Today’s recommended reading is none other than the book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (book three of JK Rowling’s seven-part literary phenomenon.) For the…

It’s Going to be OK – Mark Lopez, SJ

John 11:1-45, Fifth Sunday of Lent Let me start with a confession – about my own experiences of coming to confession before I became a priest. As a teenager, I used to be terrified of coming to confession, and really embarrassed to tell all my sins. Naturally, I don’t think any of us are comfortable…

With Justice and Equity: Playing on God’s Team – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 21:5-19a, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time “Three Days of Darkness.” That’s what it was called. I was in grade six when that doomsday prediction became popular. A solar eclipse was said to be but the beginning of 72 hours without the sun, during which time only blessed candles would emit light. And that, they…

Imagining Resurrections – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 20:27-38, 32nd Sunday In Ordinary Time A lot of prayers and thoughts these days go out to our dearly departed, having just celebrated All Saints’ and All Souls’. And since we’re also nearing the end of the liturgical year (Yes, only two Sundays left, before Advent helps us to begin again!) a lot of…

The Power of Prayer – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 18:1-8, 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time There was once a young mother who came to a Jesuit priest for spiritual direction. In the beginning, the Jesuit asked her “What is your deepest desire ? What are you really praying for ?” (In short, why have you come for spiritual direction?) And so this young…

The Ultimate Test of Character – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 16:19-32, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time I sometimes wonder how many people will actually be allowed into heaven. And I wonder, what if, just what if, we were to be judged according to ways that we behaved in circumstances we thought didn’t really matter. For those of us who can drive a car, what…

The Problem of Suffering – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 11:1-13, 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time When he was about 12 years old, one of my nephews told me that he found it problematic to believe in God. “Because if God did exist, then why is there so much suffering in the world?” he said. The question got me unsettled, of course, especially coming…

God’s Promise – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 10:1-9, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Towards the end of World War II, my grandparents had to flee from Silay, their hometown on the island of Negros in the Philippines. During the first years of the occupation, Lolo Cardo (my grandfather) was among the few whom the Japanese trusted enough to allow him to…

Holy Food – Mark Lopez, SJ

Luke 9:11b-17 (Solemnity of Corpus Christi) When was the last time you tasted love in your food? Not during those rushed, 15-minute lunches at the office cafeteria, I’m sure. But maybe on your last visit to your favorite restaurant ? On an auspicious day, perhaps, when the chef felt more inspired than usual and added…