Coming Back from our Graves – Ro Atilano, SJ

John 11:1-45, 5th Sunday of Lent The world is becoming lonelier than ever. And we feel this more in the urban areas where people are more preoccupied with work and nerve-wracking “busy-ness.” Technology, social media in particular, has connected us to more people but, paradoxically, disconnected us from people near us, the ones who really…

Why Is This Pandemic Happening? Francis Alvarez, SJ

“As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, for him to have been born blind?’ ‘Neither he nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered, ‘he was born blind so that the works of God might be displayed in…

How Can You Be Complete? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

“Be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). In theory, this can be affirming to perfectionists. It can validate their desire to get everything right – Jesus himself commanded this, and so we must pursue it, right? But in practice, nothing can be more frustrating than seeing your efforts always falling short….

How Do We Read Scripture – Francis Alvarez, SJ

Pope Francis invites us to dedicate the third Sunday in Ordinary Time to the Word of God. Accompanied by today’s Gospel, let us try to see how we can study Scripture in a way that also leads us to pray about it and celebrate it. How do we read Scripture? We dive in and look…

How Do You Want To Die? – Francis Alvarez, SJ

In our Gospel today, rulers sneer and soldiers jeer at Jesus on the cross. They mock him, “Save yourself – if you are the chosen one, if you are the King of the Jews!” Right after reporting this, in what can be considered a brilliantly placed editorial comment, Luke highlights the detail of the inscription above Jesus: “This is the…

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…