Sunday, April 10, 2016
Thursday, April 2, 2015
The Sudario (literally “handkerchief” in Latin; cf. Santa Veronica’s sudario), inculturation of the dung-aw, the pre-colonial Ilocano dirge, consists of five lines of eight syllables per stanza. Every part has ten stanzas with the tenth as a two-line verse that summons a personified Jerusalem. It is sung soulfully—there is a “drawl,” a prolongation of a vowel sound such as “ah” to make thee lament even more emphatic and mournful. Unlike the Tagalog Pasyon whose musical setting has adjusted to contemporary music, the original melody of the Sudario has endured and continues to be heard throughout the Lenten season especially during Good Friday before the Santo Entierro (the image of the dead Christ in supine position). The sample stanzas below is taken from part IV of the Sudario published in The Ilocos Review 2 (1970), pp. 119-120:
The text reads:
ALEPH ego vir videns paupertatem meam in virga indignationis eius 2 ALEPH me minavit et adduxit in tenebris et non in lucem 3 ALEPH tantum in me vertit et convertit manum suam tota die 4 BETH vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam contrivit ossa mea 5 BETH aedificavit in gyro meo et circumdedit me felle et labore 6 BETH in tenebrosis conlocavit me quasi mortuos sempiternos 7 GIMEL circumaedificavit adversum me ut non egrediar adgravavit conpedem meam 8 GIMEL sed et cum clamavero et rogavero exclusit orationem meam 9 GIMEL conclusit vias meas lapidibus quadris semitas meas subvertit.
[Translation from NRSV: 1 I am one who has seen affliction under the rod of God's wrath; 2 he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; 3 against me alone he turns his hand, again and again, all day long. 4 He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones; 5 he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; 6 he has made me sit in darkness like the dead of long ago. 7 He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has put heavy chains on me; 8 though I call and cry for help, he shuts out my prayer; 9 he has blocked my ways with hewn stones, he has made my paths crooked].
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
For December 22, 2011 (Luke 1:46-56)
By Fr. Randy Flores, SVD
[thanks to K. L. Gamban for editing]
Her name is Leah.
She is Mary’s thirty-sixth great grandmother. “All women,” Leah says at the birth of Israel’s child, “will call me blessed” (Genesis 30:13). “All generations,” says Mary on the eve of the birth of Israel’s greatest child, “will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).
Leah’s life, though not well known, is interesting; and not without connection to the Christmas story.
The eldest of the two of Laban’s daughters, Leah is the less beautiful, the less known and the less loved. While her sister Rachel is described in excessive words—“beautiful in form and beautiful in appearance” (in Hebrew yepat toar wipat mareh), Leah has “eyes without luster”—only one word in Hebrew (rakkot). Leah has poor eyesight, the Rabbis would explain, because of too much weeping.
In the story of the two sisters in Genesis 29-30, we are explicitly told that “Jacob loved Rachel.” (29:17). He does not mind serving Laban’s household for Rachel for a total of fourteen years (29:30). He has to be deceived by Laban to marry Leah to fulfill the local custom of marrying the older daughter first. In contrast, Leah learns to love her husband even if he does not love her and keeps ignoring her.
The text says that “when the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he “opened her womb” (29:31). The Lord blesses her with children. Two of her children would become the key figures of salvation history—Levi, the ancestor that begins the priestly tradition of Israel; and Judah, the thirty-sixth great grandfather of Jesus.
Underneath the Song of Mary (the Gospel reading) are beautiful stories of our salvation that finds its climax in Jesus’ birth. It is a “mosaic of Old Testament quotations and allusions interpreting the coming of Jesus” as one commentary puts it. The song is found within the Visitation story (Luke 1:39-56) – when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth who was pregnant. When we examine the narrative carefully however, we realize it is not the action of Mary’s visitation that is being emphasized.We do not even know the reason why Mary visited Elizabeth. The evangelist Luke does not give us more information, except that she traveled “in haste.” Mary stayed at the home of Elizabeth for three months, but we do not have more information about what she did there, except the fact that Mary sang this hymn — what we now call the Magnificat.
This should give us a hint at how important the Song of Mary is, and how the evangelist invites the readers to slow down and take time to reflect on it (especially as we prepare for Christmas). Let us take our cue from the women of the Magnificat—Leah, Hannah (first reading) Elizabeth and of course, Mary—how they “magnified” God in their lives and experienced the joy of God’s love.
To help us a little more for this reflection, let us cite some lines from the homily of Venerable Bede on the Magnificat:
When we devote all our thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, we proclaim God’s greatness. Our observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that we have God’s power and greatness always at heart. Our spirit rejoices in God our savior and delights in the mere recollection of our creator who gives us hope for eternal salvation.What is note-worthy in the homily of this great monk (commonly known to us as San Beda) is his emphasis on both praise and service as in themselves a proclamation of God’s greatness. But it is not enough to have one without the other. Unfortunately, there are many people who get stuck in the service part. They serve in their parishes or communities and become so busy with all their church work, that they sometimes forget the praise part. In all their busyness and efficiency, they sometimes fail to recognize God’s hand in everything that they do and accomplish.
As we render service to others in our day-to-day lives – whether through our work in church, in service to our families, or even in our offices – we must always remember that it is God who is to be magnified and not our own egos. Let us not allow ourselves to fall into the trap of self-glorification. The sure-fire way of avoiding this is by always recognizing that God is greater than who are and by magnifying Him in our lives, like what the Magnificat women did.
With Christmas Day just around the corner, there is no better time to begin this habit of giving praise and glory to God for His greatness and faithfulness! "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NIV) – this fulfillment of God’s promise is a truly a season to rejoice!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
(Song of Songs 2:8-14 and Luke 1:39-45)
December 21 Simbang Gabi
by Fr. Randy Flores, SVD
Travelling today from Manila to the province of Abra in the north of Luzon will take only eight hours by bus including heavy traffic.
One hundred years ago—in 1909, it took eight days for the first SVD missionaries, Fr. Luis Beckert and Fr. John Scheiermann to reach the very first mission station Philippine SVD in Abra. It was a long, non-stop journey, in haste.
Fr. Luis was coming from China, where he had been a missionary for six years. Fr. Juan from Europe, where he had just been ordained a priest. Their meeting place was Hongkong and from there they travelled together by a steamer to the Philippines, arriving in Manila, on August 15, 1909.
Spending just four days of rest from almost a year of sailing, they began their travel to Abra, probably on horseback to Pangasinan, then by boat to Vigan; from there the two foreigners took two to on two bamboo rafts from there to Abra going up against the current of probably swollen Abra River since it was the rainy season. They arrived in the capital, Bangued and then proceeded to San Isidro (called “Cagutongan” at that time) on horseback arriving there at noontime. This was August 23, 2009.
It was a very long, tiring, and dangerous journey—yet she went in haste.
Why in haste? One scholar has advanced the idea that Mary left in haste to prevent neighbors at Nazareth from discovering her pregnancy. That is not the character of Mary, however, who often presented as a
contemplating woman—see Luke 2:19, 51 (B. Hospodar, CBQ 18 ). The better insight is to think that Mary travels in haste in “obedience to the plan revealed to her by the angel, a plan which included the pregnancy of Elizabeth (1:36-37)” (Raymond Brown, Birth of the Messiah, p.331).
Such reaction of going “in haste” to obey God’s will has other examples in the Bible. At the Exodus, the Israelites must eat the Passover meal “in haste” (Exod 12:11); the shepherds, once hearing the good news from the angels that a “Christ the Lord” is born, they went from the field to the manger “in haste” (Luke 2:16).
Some years ago, before the coming of e-mail, the most convenient way to send letters greeting cards is through the post office. Many of us would still remember the cars of the postal service plying the streets with their slogan, “Don’t Delay.” They were, of course, delayed most of the time.
“Don’t delay!” That seems to be the slogan of Mary in fulfilling God’s will. Mary ponders at her
heart, but in obeying God’s will, she does in haste.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Please click on the links to download (pdf format):
December 18 - 3rd Sunday of Advent
December 22 - (Randy Flores' article for the Sambuhay misallette )
December 24/25 - Midnight Mass (Fr. Carlito Reyes' homily, Xmas 2007)
December 25 - (Fr. Carlito Reyes' homily, Xmas 2007)
December 25 (by the late Fr. Anthony Ceresko, OSFS)
Simbang Gabi 2010
Simbang Gabi 2009
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Curiously enough, only one great picture of this scene has ever been painted (by Conrad Witz in 1444 [image above]). You might have thought it would made an ideal subject: Jesus as a shimmering figure on the water, frightened disciples huddling in the boat, and Peter, caught between glory and terror, walking on the water towards Jesus and then...starting to sink. Perhaps devout artists avoided it because it seemed to show up the great apostle in a bad light" - N. T. Wright
Friday, July 29, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Capuchin Priest: Sure, but what's an SUV?
Man explains what an SUV is.
Capuchin: Oh no, that's not what novenas are for. I can't help you.
Man goes to a Dominican priest and makes the same request.
Dominican: Sure, but what's an SUV?
Man explains and gets the same answer.
Man goes to a Jesuit and makes the same request.
Jesuit: Sure, but what's a novena?
Monday, December 13, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
1) Faiq Quinto, OSJ
2) John Mark Veloso, SVD
3) Rommel Gacias, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol
4) Ian Christopher Andal, San Pablo Seminary
December 17, Friday - Day 2
1) Anthony Raymund Apostol, San Pablo Seminary
2) Suresh Kumar Gorremucchu, PIME
December 18, Saturday - Day 3
1) Jimmy D. Reyes, San Pablo Seminary
2) Marita Guevarra, CTS Lay Student
3) Kantha Rao Gudipundi, PIME
4) Shermin Aromin, SVD
5 Fr. Raul Caga, SVD (Divine Word Seminary)
December 19, Sunday - Day 4
1) Maria Cristina Pahilan (CTS Lay Student)
2) Mark Marlonne Lumbera, San Pablo Seminary
3) Joseph M.Bernales, San Pablo Seminary
4) Leexter Saludes, San Pablo Seminary
5) Fr. Ronnie Crisostomo, SVD
December 20, Monday - Day 5
1) Li Qi, SVD
2) Clyd Autentico, CRSP
3) Vu Xuan Tran, SVD
4) Marc Louie Caniza, San Pablo Seminary
5) Fr. Jerome Marquez, SVD (Saint Jude Catholic School)
December 21, Tuesday - Day 6
1) John Paul Marquez, SVD
2) Gail Daven Castillo, OSJ
3) Rosauro Valmores, CRSP
4) *Fr. Pavol Hudak, SVD (Saint Jude Catholic School)
December 22, Wednesday - Day 7
1) Elino Comanda, OSJ
2) Nelson Meshian, PIME
3) Albino Vecina, CRSP
4) *Father Fred Mislang, SVD - UP Los Banos
December 23, Thursday - Day 8
1) Randy De Jesus, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol
2) Reniel Nachimma, SVD
3) Ferdinand Aporillo, MSP
December 24, Friday - Day 9
1) Sedfrey Nebres, SVD
2) Jose Eugenio De los Santos, OSJ
3) Louie Cris Gregorio, SVD
4) *John Paul Marquez, SVD
December 24/25 - Midnight Mass
1) Wilfredo De Mesa, Jr., OSJ
2) Benjie Manalo, SASMA
3) Renante Pabilico, Amigonian
December 25 - Christmas Day
1) Fr. Anthony Ceresko, OSFS (+)
2) Fr. Carlito Reyes (Wales, UK)
3) Rommel De la Cruz, San Pablo Seminary
January 1, 2011 - New Year
1) Ronald Aries Pirante, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol
2) Isagani Gabisan, CSRP
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Please click the links to go the files (in pdf format -Adobe Reader).
Other homilies will be uploaded, please visit this site often for updates.
Click here for Homilies from the SVD Northern Province.
Simbang Gabi 2007 - go to the right panel for the past links or click here.
Simbang Gabi 2004 (Divine Word Seminary students)- click here.
December 16 Lino Nicasio Is 56:1-3. 6-8 Jn 5:33-36
December 22 Joey Sepe 1 Sm 1:24-28 Lk 1:46-56 Click here for the reflection on the same reading by Fr. Raymun Festin, SVD (2006)
December 23 Joey Guinto Mal 3:1-4.23-24 Lk 1:57-66 Click here for the reflection of Fr. Nilo Gealan, SVD
December 25 Roland Aquino Is 52:7-10 / Heb 1:1-6 Jn 1:1-18 Click here for the reflection on the same readings by Fr. Carlito Reyes (2007)
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9
Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai
as the LORD had commanded him,
taking along the two stone tablets.
Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there
and proclaimed his name, "LORD."
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said, "If I find favor with you, O Lord,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own."
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
In 1989, we were sailing on a small boat. It was storm signal no. 2 and we were in the sea between the islands of Ambulong and Iling (San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. The sea was extraordinarily rough, the waves gigantic. We wanted to go to a village in Iling island to celebrate mass. I was a seminarian then in regency, accompanying my parish priest, Fr. Ryu Ishikawa, an Japanese SVD missionary. After an hour of sailing, the boat sank. It was a blessing that some men from that village were fixing the roof a school saw us and rushed to bring us to the shore. That is the image that the Gregory Nazanzien wants us to remember when we speak of the Trinity – a dangerous sail on a small boat in a rough sea.
After this rhetorical warning, however, Gregory Nazanzien utters a prayer: “But enlighten my mind and loosen my tongue, Spirit of God, and I will sound aloud the trumpet of truth, so that we who are united to God may rejoice with their whole heart (p. 74).” Then he proceeds confidently to talk about God.
There are also many stories created about the inspiring John 3:16. One in particular relates a hardened criminal in prison and a persistent pastor determined to convert him. One cold evening, the prison’s fireplace ran out of wood. That prisoner told the pastor that he should give up his bible to help warm the place. The pastor agreed with one condition: the prisoner must read the pages first before burning them. The story ends with the hardened criminal’s repentance.
What happened? He testified later: “I read and burned Genesis, I read and burned Exodus, I read and burned Leviticus, etc. but when I came to John 3:16, I read and I was “burned”.
“The LORD passed before him, and proclaimed, ‘The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation’” (NRSV)
Why this solemn and touching affirmation of God as “merciful, forgiving, abounding in hesed?” In Exodus 32, we read the saddest and most shameful story of Israel – they make for themselves another god, a Golden Calf. They decide that YHWH is no longer their God; they even proclaim that YHWH is not the God who brought them out Egypt. Moses, in a kind of symbolic action, breaks the two tablets of the covenant. The covenant is broken, so too the relationship between YHWH and Israel. YHWH then decides to wipe them out but Moses intercedes for them. YHWH changes his mind. The question of the readers after Israel’s unfaithfulness would be: “Will God still be with his people? Or Will God still trust Israel as covenant partner? In the next chapter, Exodus 33, YHWH says he is no longer to be with the people in their journey to the Promised Land. God’s presence now is in danger. This is a critical moment of the story as well as critical moment of the life of Israel. Again, Moses makes an intercession for the people.
When we think of the Holy Triune God, we remember that he is God who is abounding in hesed.