Do You Stand Apart From Or A Part Of? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In our Gospel today, Jesus tells us, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This is not the first time Jesus says this in the Gospel of Luke. Almost two months ago, on September 1, we heard our Lord deliver the same message in Luke 14:11. The…

He Gets It – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 16:19-31, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Noong nakaraang Martes po, sumakay ako ng jeep papuntang LRT station para magpa-renew ng passport sa Cubao. Siksikan na sa jeep, pasado alas-nwebe ng umaga. “Bayad po,” I called out, stretching my arm as far as it could go, since I was seated 6 people away from the driver. Now, sitting 2 people away from the driver was this young teenage guy, Generation Z, senior-high? He was wearing a high school uniform,and. these huge, baby-blue,…

What Will You Do With Your Dishonest Wealth? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In the parable Christ offers us today, a dishonest steward is praised. Is Jesus encouraging us to be dishonest also? But when our Lord is asked what must be done to inherit eternal life, one of the commandments he cites is “You shall not steal” (Luke 18:20). Moreover, to emphasize just how much effort we…

Why Is Faith Hard? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In our Gospel today, someone asks Jesus, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” Jesus answers, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” Why does the gate have to be narrow? If God’s arms are always wide open and…

Dare You Ask For The Spirit? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

“Ask and you will receive,” Jesus promises us in our Gospel today. But let’s be real and go deeper: How many times have you prayed for a particular favor only to be disappointed? What do you do when you ask but do not receive? The way I used to make sense of the times when…

Love Language – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Luke 10:38-42, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time If you haven’t read Gary Chapman’s book, I’m sure you’ve nonetheless heard of his “5 love languages.” Chapman is an 81-year-old pastor and spiritual director. After long years of shepherding his flock and counselling married couples, he concluded that from the many ways we express love, we could distill five chief ways of what he calls, “languages,” of loving,namely: (1) giving gifts, (2) spending quality time, (3) saying words of…

How Can We Be More Connected? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

Luke 9:11b-17, Solemnity of Corpus Christi Today, the Feast of Corpus Christi, Catholics thank God for the gift of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. We believe that in the consecrated bread and wine, Jesus is truly there. When we receive the Body of Christ, it is indeed Jesus we are receiving. This may conjure…

What Is Fullness? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

When Jesus tells us today, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you,” I think he wishes us more than just an absence of conflict. Peace here is not just a space of quiet and calm, a break in the fighting, nor a cessation of hostilities. What Jesus wants to bless us…

50 Days of Easter – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 20:19-31, Divine Mercy Sunday How many days is the Advent season? 23 days. How many days is the Christmas Season? 12. What about the Lenten Season? 40 days. And Easter, which, by the way, many Catholics forget is a Season, too, like Advent, Christmas, and Lent? How long is Easter? 50 days! Easter is the longest…

Social Media Envy – Johnny Go, SJ

Luke 15:1-32; Fourth Sunday of Lent The 2017 McCann study called “Truth about the Youth” surveyed over 30,000 respondents all over the world, and found that one out of two young people today feel worse about themselves when they see the posts of their friends. This rising phenomenon has been called “social media envy.” In…

How Jesus Takes Away the Sin of the World – Ron Rolheiser, OMI

NOT A HOMILY BUT DEFINITELY WORTH SHARING We should be careful not to fall into a common misunderstanding about what this means. Because of certain biblical and doctrinal ways of expressing this, the impression can be given that Jesus’ suffering and death took away the sins of the world by somehow paying off a debt…

Will We Always Have Second Chances? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

A caveat: This reflection does not guarantee warm and fuzzy feelings. To stress this warning, let me share with you this essay’s working title: “Are You Ready to Die?” In the first part of our Gospel today, we hear about “the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices.” Some scholars…