Shadow

Opinion

Missionary Disciple

Missionary Disciple

Opinion
Last Sunday, Jesus taught us what it means to be a disciple and what it takes to be one. Today, he continues his teaching on discipleship. A disciple is someone who follows him and is sent to proclaim the good news of the coming of God’s kingdom. A disciple is a missionary. We used to think that the missionary vocation was only for priests, religious or some exceptional lay persons who are “more committed and generous.” We are all called to be missionaries. Earlier in chapter 9 of Luke’s gospel, Jesus chooses his twelve apostles, gives them power over the devil and sends them to proclaim the gospel and to heal the sick. In today’s gospel (chapter 10), Jesus appoints seventy-two disciples and sends them on the same mission. Jesus entrusts his mission to the apostles and disciples al...
Eucharistic Presence

Eucharistic Presence

Opinion
Today’s celebration used to be called the feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ) and is centered on the mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The feast of the Eucharist is primarily celebrated, of course, on Holy Thursday, the day when Jesus instituted the sacrament. Holy Thursday however is so overloaded with many add-ons, like the commemoration of the last supper, the washing of the feet, the institution of Holy Orders, the blessing of the sacred oils, the return of sinners from public penance (a practice in the early communities)… that the Church needed to set aside a day to celebrate the Eucharist itself. Thus, in the 13th century, the feast of Corpus Christi started to be observed in some dioceses and eventually spread throughout the universal Church. ...
A Mystery to be Lived

A Mystery to be Lived

Opinion
Trinity Sunday is often considered the preacher’s nightmare. This is unfortunate because while the doctrine of the Trinity is difficult (in fact, impossible) to understand, it is the very foundation of our entire Christian faith and life. A missionary priest was once commissioned by the bishop to prepare a catechism book for an indigenous tribe. After the priest submitted his work for approval, the bishop found out that there was no mention of the Holy Trinity in the book at all. When confronted about the gross omission, the author replied that he had left out the doctrine of the Trinity because he thought it was too abstract and complicated for the local people to understand. Besides, he believed it had no practical bearing in their lives. What a gross omission, and an even mor...
Breath of God

Breath of God

Opinion
For a long time, the Holy Ghost was known as “the forgotten Person of the Trinity.” Thanks to the Second Vatican Council and the movements it inspired (like the charismatic movement), the awareness of the Holy Spirit and his vital role in our Christian life has been reawakened. Christian living, in fact, can be summarized as “living in the Spirit.” We learn from catechism that in baptism we have received the Holy Spirit. Through the Spirit, God lives in us and shares his life with us, making us his children. As God’s children, we are called to live God’s own life, that is, to live in the Spirit. What does it mean? More than defining it, St. Paul describes this life vividly in his letters. He starts by telling what it is not. We do not live in the Spirit when our life is char...
God at home in us

God at home in us

Opinion
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” Certainly one of the most beautiful passages in the gospel, this verse expresses in a most intimate way the theme of divine indwelling. To those who love him, Jesus gives assurance that the Father and he will make their “home” in them. There was a time in my life when I felt terribly down. Someone falsely accused me of something which deeply polarized our clergy. The pain and paranoia inflicted on me severely affected my relationships and ministry until I realized that I might be overreacting to the situation. My accuser was only one while the rest of the community and God himself were on the side of truth. The accusation was like the proverbial fly in the o...
As I have loved you

As I have loved you

Opinion
Today’s short gospel reading begins the lengthy farewell discourse of Jesus given at the last supper. He tells his apostles, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” Why does Jesus call it a new commandment? Is it not essentially the same as the “old” commandment articulated in Leviticus 19:18, which speaks of loving one’s neighbor as oneself? In substance, they are the same: love your neighbor. What is new is the standard of such love. Jesus asks his disciples to love one another, not just as they love themselves, but as he loves them. On that night, he demonstrates his kind of love by kneeling in front of his apostles and washing their feet. They too should wash each other’s feet. The day after, he would show t...
In the Shepherd’s hand

In the Shepherd’s hand

Opinion
The image of the Good Shepherd is one of the most beautiful and best loved icons of Jesus since the early days of the Church. It speaks of the providence, care, protection and security that the shepherd gives to his flock which vividly describe Jesus’ own relationship with his disciples. The task of shepherding is hard. Because Palestine is an arid land, the shepherd constantly searches for grass and water to feed his flock. It is also dangerous and risky. In the rough terrain some sheep can easily wander off and fall in the surrounding crags. Moreover, since the desert is home to wild animals, the shepherd is always on the alert and ready to protect his flock from predators. Shepherding is a fulltime job that demands total commitment from the shepherd. For all this, the ...
The Lord is peace

The Lord is peace

Opinion
“Peace be with you!” Peace is the first gift of the Risen Lord, the peace which the whole world desperately seeks. Just think of what’s happening today in Ukraine, Palestine… and right here in our country (with the uncertainty of the coming election). Christ’s peace is not the peace which the world understands as an equilibrium of forces. It is an authentic peace, a new reality, which is born from the mercy of God and paid with the price of Christ’s own blood. By his passion, death and resurrection, Christ conquered death and sin and achieved the reconciliation between God and humankind. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” As Jesus gives his peace and reconciliat...
Hashtag OneNegRose

Hashtag OneNegRose

Opinion
One of my Facebook friends, Michael Ocampo, who is also a good photographer, posted last week a poster for the campaign rally of presidential aspirant and Vice President Leni Robredo and her vice presidential candidate, Senator Kiko Pangilinan, on April 20 in Canlaon City, Negros Oriental. The poster’s title was “Pink Eruption” and sub-title “OneNegRose” with a rose flower instead of o in rose, a trademark of the Robredo’s campaign. I assumed the word eruption simply describes Kanlaon Volcano since Canlaon City is located just in the foothills of one of the most active volcanoes in the country. It is also in Canlaon City where one can see the beautiful panoramic view of the volcano, which is the highest peak of the Mount Kanla-on Natural Park. The other thing that captured my at...
All shall be well

All shall be well

Opinion
In a recent interview with Pres. Volodymyr Zelensky, the BBC correspondent asked the Ukrainian leader, “How do you maintain hope in the future, given everything that is happening?” “It’s not hope,” the president replied, “but certainty.” “Of victory?” “Of course!” Pres. Zelensky is certain that in the end, Ukraine will win the war. What could be his basis for such certainty? Is it the extraordinary courage of his people and their unparalleled patriotism; or their massive support from the international community; or his conviction that good will always triumph over evil; or his faith that God is on their side? We do not know. It could be any or all of the above. We all have our own wars and uncertainties. The world faces a disturbing uncertainty not only of its future, but of its...
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