28 June 2010

Memorial to those who perished here

Supertyphoon Reming. 30 November 2006.

If you come here looking for answers
to the whys and wherefores of the weather,
the workings of nature, its beauty and madness,
chances are you won’t find any.

This is a memorial to those who perished here:
pray therefore for their eternal repose,
for consolation to those they left behind,
and for yourself as well,
especially if you come here
caught in your own storms.

And if some deep parts of your being
resonate with a people’s instinct
for humor in dark places, their resilience,
and faith, then leaving here may mean
getting the answer you need after all.

27 June 2010

The Way of the Disciple

13th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C – 27 June 2010

Readings: 1 Kngs 19:16b, 19-21; Ps 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11; Gal 5:1, 13-18; Lk 9:51-62

Let us begin with Gal 5,1 (from the Second Reading): “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”

Christ has set us free. Among other things this means we are able to make moral choices. Which one would you choose: the spirit or the flesh, freedom to the full or a return to the slavery of sin, follow Christ or follow the Tempter? The question may seem rhetorical, and the right answer obvious, if not for the tone of the Gospel message this Sunday.

Today we hear no convincing words as to how discipleship would make us happy or fulfilled. Instead we hear Jesus saying follow me and sure as night follows day you will experience difficulties and sufferings, you will have to leave your loved ones and risk everything. Not a very good way to pitch discipleship.

21 June 2010

Presenting the iMass

Talk about the Church getting into the latest means of communication. Fr. Paolo Padrini, the priest behind the iPod app iBreviary and the one running the Pope's social networking portal Pope2You, now comes up with a free iPad app featuring the Roman Missal in 5 languages. The official release is this July. Even for non-iPad users (such as this blogger), the news is admittedly a bit exciting, especially if you're rooting for evangelization and technology.

1. Does it feature the new ICEL English translation?
-- It doesn't say. But I think it should.

2. Does it mean we'll be seeing the iPad on altars soon, replacing the sacramentary & lectionary?

20 June 2010

Fathers and Crosses

12th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C – 20 June 2010 (Father’s Day)

Readings: Zech 12:10-11; Ps 63:2,3-4,5-6,8-9; Gal 3:26-29; Lk 9:18-24

Today we celebrate Fathers’ Day, and the Gospel talks about the way of the cross. Here are two themes that somehow connect with each other. Maybe because fatherhood is a natural way of the cross, or because for some families the cross they have to bear is a wayward father.

I. Who do you say that I am?

In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus first asked His disciples “Who do people say that I am?” as a way of introducing His real question: “Who do you say that I am?”

After some time of being together, Jesus decides to do a process check. And once again, He takes the opportunity to inject a dose of revelation. “Who do you say that I am?” is both a question of identity and relationship.

15 June 2010

Disturb Us O Lord

Disturb us, Lord,
when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
when our dreams have come true
because we have dreamed too little,
when we arrive safely
because we sailed too close to the shore.

13 June 2010

Guilt and Grace

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – C – 13 June 2010

Readings: 2 Sam 12:7-10, 13; Ps 32:1-2, 5, 7,11; Gal 2:16, 19-21; Lk 7:36-8:3

Do you remember the last time you felt guilty over some wrongdoing? I doubt if anyone of us enjoys feeling guilty over something. It is an unpleasant feeling to say the least. Irrational guilt, especially when taken to extremes, immobilizes people and prevents them from living life fully.

Thus it is understandable why almost all of us try to avoid this feeling of guilt or shame. We devise coping mechanisms to get around it: denial, passing the blame, outright lie. In pathological cases, there are therapies devised just to handle and overcome guilt.

In our haste to eliminate guilt, some of us are led to think that when we rid ourselves of guilt, we can move on and lead happy lives. Not so fast. Guilt is also a natural human response. And there is such a thing as legitimate guilt.

11 June 2010

On Being Priest

Thoughts on the Feast of the Sacred Heart
and the Closing of the Year for Priests

“Love means to learn to look at yourself
The way one looks at distant things
For you are only one thing among many.
And whoever sees that way heals his heart,
Without knowing it, from various ills—
A bird and a tree say to him: Friend.

Then he wants to use himself and things
So that they stand in the glow of ripeness.
It doesn’t matter whether he knows what he serves:
Who serves best doesn’t always understand.”

Czeslaw Milosz, “Love”

As the Year for Priests ends, of all the texts and thoughts pondered and prayed over during the year, the poem above, for me at least, says the most about the priesthood: its optimism, its issues, and its future.

06 June 2010

Do this in Remembrance of Me

Solemnity of the Body and Blood Christ – C – 6 June 2010

Readings: Genesis 14:18-20; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17

The Feast of Corpus Christi sums up three important doctrines of our faith:

1. God became physically present in Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, the fullness of the revelation of the Father.

2. God continues to be present in us, His people, as we form the Mystical Body of Christ.

3. God is real-ly present in the form of bread and wine in the Eucharist for our communion and adoration.