But There Will be Christmas This Year – Jun Viray, SJ

John 1:1-18, Christmas Day 2020 There will be no Christmas this year. Mayroon nga bang pasko ngayong taon? Before you censure and brand me as heretical, please hear me out. You and I know that the question is very real to many people.  Mayroon nga bang pasko para kay Florentino Gregorio, asawa ng pinatay na…

Homeward – Jett Villarin, SJ

Luke 1:67-69, 9th day of Misa de Gallo (24th December 2020) We saw the “Christmas star” three nights ago. This sighting was not easy. The “star”, the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, was quite elusive for most of the time we were there at the rooftop of the Jesuit Residence. The sky was overcast. And…

Falling Upward – Jomari Manzano, SJ

Luke 1:26-38, Fourth Sunday of Advent In 2011, Fr Richard Rohr, OFM published his book with a catchy title—”Falling Upward.” It talks about directions taken at the two major stages in life or what Carl Jung calls the “two halves of life.” Let us take Mary and Elizabeth as representing the two stages or halves…

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…

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,…

What Does “With” Mean? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

“Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” Emmanuel is not the name by which we have come to know the Messiah, but it is how we can understand his mission. Isaiah’s prophecy has been fulfilled because in Jesus, God has become…

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…

Can You Join The Christmas Movement? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

“Talo ka sa lolo ko….” Not only can jokes of this type make you slap your knee in laughter, they can also make you stroke your chin in thought. This is humor which tickles your funny bone and at the same time, touches something deep inside of you, something raw, something that makes you flinch….

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…