Palms – Fr Jett Villarin, SJ

Mark 11:1-10, Palm Sunday We begin Holy Week with yet another lockdown. And so this Palm Sunday is a bit dissonant. The high notes of our hosannas are hesitant. We wave palms in tentative jubilation. We are supposed to usher Jesus like a celebrity, attaching ourselves to him and his power. We sing, hosanna in…

Rise – Mario Francisco, SJ

John 5:1-3; 5-16, Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent It has been more than a year since the pandemic was declared, and while we have all found resilient and creative ways of coping with its effects on our lives and work, we are all experiencing quarantine fatigue. Even with the promise of the much-awaited…

Healthy AND Well – Arnel Aquino, SJ

John 3:14-21; 4th Sunday of Lent Our old infirmary used to be called, well, that, “infirmary;” – Jesus M Lucas Infirmary, to be exact. When the new one got built, it was christened with a new name: Jesuit Health & Wellness Center. I then asked our Jesuit doctor, Fr Tex Paurom, “Why health & wellness…

Sundowning – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:29-39, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time When I was in graduate school, I said weekly masses in a nursing facility of the Daughters of Mary. One sister there was Sr Teresa, a registered nurse and a Pinay. It was from her that I first heard the term, “sundowning.” In one of my last days…

Saving Time – Roy Ragas, SJ

Mark 6:30-34, Saturday in the 4th Week in Ordinary Time “Praying saves time,” I remember Fr. Francis Clarke (of glorious memory) used to say. It does sound counter-intuitive. When there are many things to do, deadlines to meet, mouths to feed, and dreams to build, and we’re always already pressed for time, wouldn’t squeezing in…

Incarnate Forever – Arnel Aquino, SJ

Mark 1:7-11, Baptism of Our Lord One thing I love to do is to shock my students by reminding them of things about Jesus I’m sure they’ve forgotten. For example, a few days after I uploaded my lecture-video on the Resurrection, a student commented: “OMG! I’ve forgotten that Jesus resurrected as both soul and body.”…

Quest – Jett Villarin, SJ

Matthew 2:1-12; Solemnity of the Epiphany If you’ve played Star Wars: Squadrons, a space combat game, you might wonder about navigation in the Star Wars universe. GPS will not work. You can waze your way only if your destination is here on earth. If you’re going to some galaxy far, far away, you will need…

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…