Palms – Fr Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 11:1-10, Palm Sunday We begin Holy Week with yet another lockdown. And so this Palm Sunday is a bit dissonant. The high notes of our hosannas are hesitant. We wave palms in tentative jubilation. We are supposed to usher Jesus like a celebrity, attaching ourselves to him and his power. We sing, hosanna in…

Sundowning – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:29-39, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was in graduate school, I said weekly masses in a nursing facility of the Daughters of Mary. One sister there was Sr Teresa, a registered nurse and a Pinay. It was from her that I first heard the term, “sundowning.” In one of my last days…

Saving Time – Roy Ragas, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, Saturday in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time “Praying saves time,” I remember Fr. Francis Clarke (of glorious memory) used to say. It does sound counter-intuitive. When there are many things to do, deadlines to meet, mouths to feed, and dreams to build, and we’re always already pressed for time, wouldn’t squeezing in…

Incarnate Forever – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:7-11, Baptism of Our Lord One thing I love to do is to shock my students by reminding them of things about Jesus I’m sure they’ve forgotten. For example, a few days after I uploaded my lecture-video on the Resurrection, a student commented: “OMG! I’ve forgotten that Jesus resurrected as both soul and body.”…

Waiting for What or Whom? – Kit Bautista, SJ

Mark 1:1-8, Second Sunday of Advent When I was a child, my father would accompany me and my brothers (all 8 of us), during the Christmas break, to certain streets in old Manila called Escolta and Rosario, in the old downtown district of Binondo. One year, I remember my father leading us to this brightly-lit…

Off our Knees – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 13:33-37, 1st Sunday of Advent How would you like a parish priest like this: He spends most of his time on his knees, in front of the altar, praying by himself? He hears confessions for six hours every day. In his masses, he always ends up talking about sin, that we should avoid it,…

Kapangyarihan – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 6:7-13, Thursday in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time A few years ago, a good friend of mine — let’s call him Mang Manny — he told me a disturbing story. At his workplace, he witnessed a priest shouting at a co-employee, really skinning him alive. I don’t remember the reason why the priest…

Faith Heals – Nemy Que, SJ

Mark 5:21-43, Tuesday in the 4th Week of Ordinary Time The stories of Gospel reading for today are miracle stories. They are also faith stories. Jairus, a synagogue official, asks Jesus to lay his hands on her daughter, who was at the point of death, so that she may get well and live. On their…

Spots – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:39-45, 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time I heard a sad story recently. This person’s mom in the province died a few months ago. But when the family approached the parish to arrange for her funeral mass, the parish said it was constrained from accepting her body into the church. The rule was if someone died without having been sacramentally married, mass would not be allowed for his/her mortal remains in the church. Mass could be celebrated wherever…

Language of Love – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 8:22-26, Wednesday of Week 6 in Ordinary Time Jesus knew the law very well. He knew it since he was 12. So, he was well aware that he was committing a triple whammy of impurities that day. Whammy #1: he talked to a blind man, whom the law considered unclean. Then, he touched him…

Never Abandoned – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 6:1-6, Wednesday of Week 4 in Ordinary Time We have a dear, dear lady who works for us, Nancy. She’s by far one of the most industrious people I’ve met in my Jesuit life. She’s in her early 30s, shorter and much thinner than I. But she’s a dynamo. She’s always doing chores. Even…

The End of the World – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 13:24-32, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was growing up in Davao, it took very little for elders to start talking about the end of the world. When there was an earthquake, a typhoon, a plane crash, war, flood—very soon, mom or lola or manang would sit up anxiously share what they “heard”…