Fù bùguò sāndài (富不过三代) – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 17:1-9, 2nd Sunday of Lent A few years ago, two friends of mine took the whole family to a series of workshops about family businesses. That was new to me: families going on workshops about running the business. “It’s very important these days, Fr Arnel,” my friend said. “Because only twelve percent of family…

I Want Some More – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 4:1-11; 1st Sunday of Lent If we still think that the story of Adam and Eve literally and historically happened, then we run into many problems. First, if the whole human race came from only two parents, do we presume that their children and their grandchildren had physical relations with each other to eventually…

Up Close and Personal – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 5:13-16, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time Kuya and I were painfuly, frustratingly shy when we were young. We couldn’t be asked to go to a store to buy something, or to ride a jeep and sit with strangers, or to help out at mom’s botica because we’d have to talk to customers. One Sunday,…

And Yet – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 4:12-23; 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time When we were younger Jesuits, we were often asked what it felt to be “called” by God. I turned 54 this month and have been a Jesuit for 30 years; the question has barely come up. Were I ever  to be asked again what it feels to be…

Sense of Place – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 3:13-17, Baptism of our Lord “I need to be baptized by you and yet you are coming to me?” That’s how I imagine John to have said that. It’s highly unlikely he said it that way, though, with the personal pronouns in italics. But the point is John did not expect Jesus, the Messiah…

By Another Way – Freddie Balinong, SJ

Matthew 2:1-12, The Epiphany of the Lord Epiphany. From the Greek word Epiphaneia – a manifestation, a revelation, a coming-into-view. A coming-into-view of what? Or, better, of whom? Of the God of mercies and unexpected interventions, of God Eternal making his entrance into time, into history, into our lives; breaking all barriers, reaching out far…

Whistleblower – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 3:1-12, 2nd Sunday of Advent John the Baptist was the whistleblower in an echo chamber. The phrase “echo chamber” has been around for a long time, esp. in the field of acoustics. But it’s only been in the past four or five years that it has become a metaphor, especially with the advent of…

The Better Choice – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 24:37-44; First Sunday of Advent I was one of the 174 million people who watched Avengers: Infinity War last year. So,  P300 of the US$2 billion that Marvel Studios made—was mine! But when half the Avengers started “ashifying,” along with half of all human life in the universe, leaving us all without a happy…

Vows – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Matthew 13:54-58, on the occasion of the Profession of Perpetual First Vows of Jesuit Novices Jaclay, Masaya, Renier, Paulus, and Giovanni Mang Tino is our longest-staying and most cheerful sikyo. He always says, “Salamat po. Good morning, salamat. Good afternoon, salamat po. Salamat.” Two years ago, on a retreat, I spent some time again with…

My Private Room – Willy Samson, SJ

Matthew 6:1-6; 16-18, Ash Wednesday A confused disciple went to his master and begged for enlightenment. And the master said, “Go and sit in your room, and your room will teach you everything.” Today we officially begin the Season of Lent. For most of us, Lent is a time TO REMEMBER how Jesus, the Son…

Topsy Turvy – Nemy Que, SJ

Matthew 1:18-25, Day 4 Simbang Gabi When we hear the term “annunciation”, we usually think of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus by the angel Gabriel to Mary. This is found in Luke’s Gospel. In today’s Gospel from Matthew, we are told of another annunciation – that of an angel to Joseph. The message…

Mother of Rebellion – Nono Alfonso, SJ

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary WHAT IS YOUR image of the Blessed Virgin Mary? Who is Mary for you? As we celebrate today the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our mother, I ask you, which image of Mary is accurate: Is Mary like Rizal’s Maria Clara – icon of beauty,…