Labyrinth – Jett Villarin, SJ

John 5:1-6, Divine Mercy Sunday When you go through the garden labyrinth at the Mirador Jesuit Villa in Baguio, you will eventually end in the center. However, while walking and winding your way on this path, you will find yourself sometimes moving farther away from the center. You will not worry; you won’t even think…

Rise – Mario Francisco, SJ

John 5:1-3; 5-16, Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent It has been more than a year since the pandemic was declared, and while we have all found resilient and creative ways of coping with its effects on our lives and work, we are all experiencing quarantine fatigue. Even with the promise of the much-awaited…

Healthy AND Well – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 3:14-21; 4th Sunday of Lent Our old infirmary used to be called, well, that, “infirmary;” – Jesus M Lucas Infirmary, to be exact. When the new one got built, it was christened with a new name: Jesuit Health & Wellness Center. I then asked our Jesuit doctor, Fr Tex Paurom, “Why health & wellness…

Our True North – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 1:6-8; 19-28, Third Sunday of Advent My rector is one of the kindest Jesuits I’ve ever lived with and one of the most outdoorsy senior citizens I know. Fr. Riyo loves hiking and climbing mountains. He can name more mountains in the Philippines than I ever studied in Araling Panlipunan 500 years ago! I…

A Stranger in Need – Pat Nogoy, SJ

John 1:6-8, 19-28; Third Sunday of Advent It was on the second day of walking that I began to feel the heavy burden of begging. Our humble pleas for leftover food were served with polite rejections. Even harder to accept were the gentle refusals of our requests to be sheltered for a night despite the…

Sweetest of Joys and Bitterest of Sorrows – Mon Bautista, SJ

John 19:25-27, Our Lady of Sorrows on the Tuesday of Week 24 in Ordinary Time Today’s feast day (Our Lady of Sorrows) reminds me of the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. The year was 1981 – May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope John Paul II was shot four times…

The Cross – Pat Falguera, SJ

John 3:13-17, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross If there is one place I would nominate as a “go to” tourist destination in the Philippines, it would be the island of Culion. Part of the Calamian group of islands, Culion and its 41 surrounding islands have some of the best powdery white sand beaches, UNESCO heritage-worthy coral reefs and limestone structures in the…

The Body Remembers – Ulysses Cabayao, SJ

John 6:51-58, Solemnity of Corpus Christi The body remembers. The mouth waters at the sight of green mangoes dipped in bagoong. Cravings are triggered by barbecue smoke and the scent of grilled liempo and chicken inasal. Palms feel empty and neglected without being held by our lovers. The skin longs to be affectionately touched by…

No Metaphysics Needed – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 6:51-58, Solemnity of Corpus Christi “With all due respect, St Thomas, it’s getting harder and harder to explain the Real Presence of Christ in the host and wine, using your metaphysics.” I recently contemplated a gutsy conversation with St Thomas Aquinas. “Your metaphysics was revolutionary, dear St Thomas. During consecration, the substantia of bread…

Love was Never Meant for Two – Ulysses Cabayao, SJ

John 3:16-18, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity Love was never meant for two — Even though lovebirds often talk about a “you” and a “me”. Even though couples understand that they can mutually expect that they will always be there for each other when it matters. Even though she feels special when the he…

Knowing God’s Name – Robbie Paraan, SJ

John 3:16-18, Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity The community quarantine has made us rethink our normal way of doing things. One of those is the where and how we source our food. In Jesuit communities inside the Ateneo de Manila campus, there has been a renewed drive for sustainable sources of food—at least for…

Divine Indwelling – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 20:19-23, Feast of the Pentecost Whenever I get to bless a new car, I’m often amused when the owner stumbles around, rushing to open everything that can ever be swung open: doors, hood, trunk, even glove compartment! A seminarian once asked: “Fr. Arnel, valid ba ang blessing kung sarado?” He used air quotes on…