The Gospel according to Jolina Magdangal – Weng Bava, SJ

Mark 8:27-35, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Long before there was KathNiel or JaDine, the quintessential love team of Philippine Cinema in the 90s was Marvs and Jolen (The millennials would have to Google them to know who they are). And in one particular movie that I and fellow college seminarians lined up at the…

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…

Turning the Tables on God – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 7:31-37, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time I’ve been thinking about Cristy these days.  I don’t think I will ever forget what I saw when I last visited her in the hospital.  I had been warned about her, but I was shocked anyway.  She wasn’t at all the Cristy I knew.  Her cancer had ravaged…

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…

The Heart of the Matter – John Foley, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time The people in this week’s Gospel are quarreling about who has and who hasn’t washed his hands for dinner. If you were a follower of the Jewish custom in that time, you would know that every person was required to wash up before eating. The rule was “a…

Externals – Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 7:1-23, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Appearances can be deceiving. When it sets, the sun becomes a very big red balloon. So too when it rises rose-tinted on the horizon. Overhead, it is smaller and whiter. And yet it is the same sun. In the Scripture readings today, we are warned about the appearances…

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…

Dying – Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

Mark 6:30-34, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” I am currently having my clinical pastoral education at one of the hospitals in Metro Manila. It has been one month since I started my pastoral visits. Since then, I have encountered…

Good Shepherds and Bad – John Foley, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time A Jesuit friend of mine was an actual shepherd in his youth. He had spent plenty of time out in the fields, so I asked him what taking care of sheep was like. My motive was about our readings today, all of which have references to shepherds. He…

Thanks – John Foley, SJ

Mark 6:7-13, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time I was out for a drive in the beautiful weather. The city had its usual non-country and somewhat ruined appearance, and I was merely doing shopping chores. Suddenly, unexpectedly, simple gratitude came upon me. Not earth-shaking, not the result of complicated reasoning, just a modest, gentle joy. I…

Shake the Dust off your Feet – Br Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

Mark 6:7-13, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them. (Mk. 6:11) Our Gospel today speaks of the mission of the Twelve. They are sent to perform the threefold task: to exorcise the evil spirits,…

Cramping the Lord’s Style – Johnny Go, SJ

Mark 6:1-6, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Do we ever cramp the Lord’s style? I suspect that’s what happens in the scene we have in the Gospel today.  Jesus goes back to his hometown and preaches at the village synagogue.  Not an easy thing to do since he’s surrounded by people he’s grown up with,…