”Love” thy Enemy – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 6:27-38, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time In the time of Jesus, the slap most commonly done was a backhanded slap. A backhanded slap was what masters gave slaves, or commanders gave soldiers, or centurions gave Jews. A backhanded slap, therefore, was not only a punishment, but also a reminder of status: “I am master, you’re…

Zero = Love – Fr Harold Parilla

Luke 6:27-38, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time One morning I was driving back to the seminary in Cagayan de Oro from an early morning parish mass. In one intersection, I made the mistake of stopping at the rightmost lane while waiting for the green light to turn on. The driver of the taxi right behind…

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…

The Greatest Bargain – Rodney Hart, SJ

Luke 6:17, 20-26, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Today’s readings present the Beatitudes as they are found in the Gospel of Luke. Luke, a Gentile convert, addressed his version of the Beatitudes primarily to Gentile converts to Christianity. Luke’s audience was poor. Many were slaves or low-born. Their choice of Christianity only made their situation…

As I am Seen – Mark Aloysius, SJ

Luke 5:1-11, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time In the chapel of the Jesuit community where I reside, in the Lady Chapel of Campion Hall, there is a mural of the nativity, painted by the botanist Charles Mahoney, which depicts the birth of Jesus set in deep winter in rural England. At first glance we see…

Emptiness – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 5:1-11, Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time Don’t you find it strange that right after a huge catch of fish, Peter suddenly falls on his knees before Jesus and makes a confession: “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man”? You know, sisters and brothers, in almost all the retreatants I have accompanied…

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…

Wide Open – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 4:21-30, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time From back in the Lord’s day up to today, the synagogue remains a consecrated place of prayer—Jews worshipped there, of learning—they studied the Torah there, & of social gathering—they came together to discuss religious matters there, too. Here are some rules in Jewish synagogues today. I quote from the “Laws of Synagogue Etiquette” by a Rabbi Eliezer Wenger. “No running around in the synagogue….

Depth – Jett Villarin, SJ

Luke 4:21-30, Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time The weather has been quite cool these days. Some parts of the northern half of the globe are even in deep freeze. The southern half is probably scorching. I have been asked if all this is because of climate change. The short answer is most probably yes, with a quick qualification that weather is…

Consecrate – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 3:15-16; 21-22, The Baptism of the Lord When you “consecrate” something, the idea is to take that something and set it apart from similar things because you would like it to serve a different purpose. To consecrate something is to make it, well, “special,” because now, the purpose it serves is, say, bigger or…

Staying With – John Foley, SJ

Luke 3:15-16; 21-22, The Baptism of the Lord Today marks the last day of the Church’s Christmas season. Jesus’ birth has now been celebrated. His public life comes next. His baptism begins it. I know, I know, Christmas has been over for ages and we have gone on with life. The American custom is in…

Light – Jett Villarin, SJ

Christmas Eve 2018 I am happy to be here with you, here in the Gesu, in this place of light. These days it has been difficult to sleep. And I know sleep has eluded so many as well. Infants have a way of waking us up, of waking us through the night. This dark episode,…