Saturday, November 3, 2018

All Saints' Day (November 1)

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit
An All Saints’ Day Refection
By Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD

“I’m tired of being poor,” complains Juan Tamad one day. So, he gets up and decides to go to the church to pray for luck. The priest there happens to be preaching on the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit!”  “Oh,” says Juan Tamad, “thank you God for reminding me to be happy and not to be tired of being poor.” So, he goes back to his bamboo bed under the guava tree, opens his mouth and waits for the ripe fruit to drop.

“Blessed…. Blessed… Blessed….” These words reverberate nine times in the Gospel Reading for All Saints’ Day, the day most Filipinos visit their dead in the cemeteries. They could have roused Karl Marx from his grave. He did not like the Beatitudes because they produced more Juan and Juana Tamad. Indeed, the Beatitudes teach us to be indifferent from the world, but not in the sense of having no care about what’s happening around us as if we’re just waiting for the guava fruit to fall or the “pie in the sky” to drop; no effort at all to improve our lot in the world. On the contrary, it is a “holy indifference,” in the words of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, one that leads to interior freedom. “We need to train ourselves to be indifferent in our attitude to all created things, in all that is permitted to our free will and not forbidden; so that on our part, we do not set our hearts on good health rather than bad, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, a long life rather than a short one, and so in all the rest” (quoted by Pope Francis, Gaudate et Exsultate).

These then are the Beatitudes that have produced the likes of Fr. Richmond Nilo, Fr. Mark Ventura and Fr. Tito Paez---all brutally murdered for their commitment to the rights of the poor and to the protection of the environment; or the Australian missionary sister, Patricia Fox, threatened with deportation from the country just because she advocated for the betterment of farmers. The Beatitudes run counter to how we usually do things in the world—“Eat, drink and merry! (cf. Luke 12:19). In fact, they are so difficult to follow, and the rest of what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), that Saint Augustine and later Martin Luther had thought that these are not for ordinary people but only for the monks.

Ironically, the monks whose lives are spent outside the “world” are the most “worldly.”  They show that the Beatitudes are livable in the world. The seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine (Algeria), killed by extremists in 1996 because they decided not to abandon their Muslim brothers and sisters in their hour of need, is a perfect example. Pope Francis has declared these magnificent seven, “martyrs.” “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress,” says the Book of Revelation (First Reading), who see God as he is (cf. Second Reading).

No. I.D. No Entry. We often see this sign; security guards’ motto as we say in jest. If a Christian must possess an I.D., what is it?  “The Beatitudes,” answers Pope Francis, “is a Christian identity card” (cf. Gaudate et Exsultate). All the saints whom we are honoring today had that I.D. Let’s have it as well.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Pentecost of the Holy Spirit

Portrait of the Preaching of Peter at Pentecost
(Santa Casa de Misericordia, Macau)


“Gasat!” exclaimed the Bario Kagawad (councilor) when he learned of his victory in the recently held Barangay Elections. The Ilocano word may mean “luck” but also “fate” or “destiny”. Those who were voted out are “awanan Gasat,” (no luck, not their destiny) even if everybody knows that elections are more selections in the country. The local executive picks his own line-up of candidates and pays the opponents to back out from the race, in modo mafioso (a la Mafia).

Except in the Book of Qoheleth (a critical wisdom literature in the Old Testament), the Bible is no stranger to “gasat” but in the sense of a human destiny is under divine direction. Saint Luke, the Gospel writer, calls it “God’s PLAN” (BOULĒ in Greek, see Luke 7:30). This divine PLAN begins in Creation and ends in the Restoration (or APOKATASTASIS) of all things. The climax is the Christ-event whose outcome is the Church. Throughout the unfolding of the divine PLAN the one directing it is the Holy Spirit. We see best the Holy Spirit in action in the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Luke’s account of the life early Church.

Acts of the Holy Spirit

If we were to re-title the Acts of the Apostles, it should easily be “Acts of the Holy Spirit.” In this second volume of Luke’s writing (first volume is the Gospel of Luke), the Holy Spirit is the one acting, inspiring, directing and moving to action the early Christians and their mission.

In Paul’s second missionary journey, he and Silas wanted to bring the Gospel to the East by trying to go to Bithynia (North western part of modern day Turkey), but “they have been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the word in Asia” (16:6).” As Luke narrates, “the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them” (16:7). Only the Holy Spirit knows why the Gospel should not be preached first to the Far East; but Paul and Silas must not pursue their own personal plans and projects nor depend on their ability and experience. They must go where the Spirit blows. Thus, they went westward, to Troas, and from there they brought the Gospel to Europe (16:11-12).

The Acts of the Apostles mentions the word “spirit” (pneuma or pneo) 115 times; the Gospel of Luke – 50 times; all in all, 164 times. The Acts of the Apostles begins with a reminiscing off Jesus’ teachings “through the Holy Spirit” (1;2) and ends with a reminiscing of how the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah to the ancestors (28:25).

Likewise, the Gospel of Luke begins the announcement of the birth of John the Baptist who will be “filled with the Holy Spirit” (1:15). With this literary style called inclusio (when a word is mentioned at the beginning and at the end of a writing), we can say that Acts of the Apostles, as well as the whole of Luke’s works, is “embraced” by the Holy Spirit. Well, the entire Bible is actually “embraced” by the Spirit. The Book of Genesis begins with the “spirit of God” hovering over the waters (1:2) and ends with the invitation of the “Spirit and the bride” in the last chapter of the very last writing of the Bible – the Book of Revelation (22:17). It is no surprise then that in telling us the story of early Church, Luke begins with the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples (2:1-13). This is a landmark event and also a crucial section in the narrative. From this moment onwards, the disciples would no longer be afraid and timid to proclaim publicly the good news of Jesus. This is what we notice in Peter’s Pentecost speech (2:14-36). The same Holy Spirit would move the disciples to a koinonia, (“fellowship” or common life), listening to the teachings of the Apostles, breaking bread and praying together, selling their properties and possessions to help each other (see 2:42-47; also 4:32-35).

The Holy Spirit is a prime mover in the Acts of the Apostles, like the “timonero” or the helmsman steering the boat to its destination.

Pentecost and the Coming of the Spirit

What’s the connection between the Coming of the Holy Spirit with the day of the Pentecost? Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks (SHAVUOT in Hebrew) is one of the more important feasts in the Old Testament. Described as “feast of harvest, of the first fruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field” (Exodus 23:16) and “the first fruits of wheat harvest” (Exodus 34:22), Pentecost was from the start, a farmers’ feast. It was an occasion to show Israel’s debt of gratitude to YHWH for the first fruits of the early harvest.

In the ancient religion of Canaan, the one responsible for a good harvest is Baal. He is the storm-god, the god of rain, the rider of cloud—these titles are associated with rain and vegetation. More than half of the land of Israel is wilderness or desert; and rain is rare. Anyone who can send rain and a good harvest must be a powerful god. The Israelites occasionally turn to Baal thinking that he is the one who gives “the grain, the wine, and the oil” (Hosea 2:10). Thus, the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost is not only an occasion to thank God for the early harvest; it is also to affirm that the God of Israel, and not Baal, as the only one who can give rain and good harvest (see Psalm 135:7).

By associating the Jewish Pentecost with the Descent of the Holy Spirit, we can say that YHWH who sent rain and provided good harvest in ancient time is the same God who provides “good harvest” of believers in the early Church through the Holy Spirit. The prayer taken from Psalm 104:30 is fitting here: “Lord, send forth your Spirit and they shall be created; and renew the face of the earth.”

After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., the Pentecost ceased to be an agricultural feast. It was replaced by the Feast Giving of the Torah (Law) on Mount Sinai. In Exod 19:1, the Israelites arrived at the wilderness of Sinai “on the third new moon”. This was interpreted to mean that between the Passover meal in Egypt and arrival at Sinai was fifty days (hence, “Pentecost” from the Greek “fiftieth”). It was most probably this meaning that Luke is familiar with when narrating the Coming of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of the Pentecost in Jerusalem.

Why does Luke then set the day of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the anniversary of the Giving of the Torah on Pentecost? We can think of three reasons:

First, the Giving of the Torah in Sinai is fundamental to the life of Israel. With the Law, Israel would know how to “walk with the Lord” to the Land that the Lord had promised them to possess (Deuteronomy 30:16). Likewise, the Coming of the Holy Spirit is fundamental to the life of the early Christians. It will be the Holy Spirit who would direct their life and mission of preaching the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.”

Second, the Giving of the Torah signifies the birth of Israel in the wilderness as the people of God. The Coming of the Holy Spirit signifies the birth of the Church in Jerusalem.

Third, The Coming of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of the Giving of the Torah also signifies that the Church now under the guidance of the Holy Spirit is a continuity of God’s covenant with Israel. This close relationship between Torah and the Holy Spirit in Luke will have to be born in mind when we read the next writing of the New Testament after the Acts of the Apostles – the Letter of Paul to Romans where Paul will make a sharp contrast between the Law and the Spirit (see Romans 7:6).

Holy Spirit Anecdotes

“Did you win?” the priest asked his parishioner who ran as Barangay Captain. “It’s not my gasat (not my destiny), replied the candidate, an Ilocano.

“Well,” said the priest, “did you buy votes?” “Of course not, Padre!” complained the parishioner who rarely goes to church. He bragged, “I’m a good Catholic. I even prayed to the Holy Spirit that he will enlighten the voters.”

“Ah, no wonder why,” the priest remarked, “the Holy Spirit enlightened them not to vote for you.”

“Please bless this set of pencils and erasers, Padre!” begged the young graduate who is to take the medical board exam the following day. The priest obliged but told the her to pray to the Holy Spirit also.

After few months, the priest chanced on her in a store and asked the latter what happened to the priest’s blessing? “I did not make it, Padre,” replied the student, “even if I prayed to the Holy Spirit.”

“Oh, I see,” said the priest, “the Holy Spirit found out you’re not ready yet. You might endanger lives. So, go back to your books.”

Final Thoughts

One thing that we can do we attend the Pentecost Sunday Mass is to think and thank the Lord of the many times that the Holy Spirit has enlightened your decisions in life; or the many times you were in crisis and the Holy Spirit has comforted you—perhaps through other people.

Our world (that includes our country) is a beautiful world but it can also be ugly (terrorist acts, wars, greed, poverty, etc.). Let neither fear nor resignation conquer us, but with the psalmist, we can pray: “Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth” (Ps 104:30).

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reflections and Homilies for Simbang-Gabi (More Than Words 2016)

*We thank Fr. Jerome Marquez, SVD, parish priest of Sacred Heart Parish (Kamuning, Quezon
City) for his enduring support, since we started in 2000. to come up with Simbang-Gabi reflections, every year, even if they need more refining and editing-- all for the intention to help fellow preachers. Thank you as well to all who have contributed their reflections through the years.

Click on the links below to download:

More Than Words 2 (Logos, 2016)

More Than Words 1 (Logos, 2015)

Simbang-Gabi 2011

Simbang-Gabi 2010

Simbang-Gabi 2009

Simbang-Gabi 2007 (to read the rest, scroll down the page and click on "Newer Post")

Simbang-Gabi 2004

Simbang-Gabi homilies on the following themes:

  • Genealogy
  • Annunciation to Zechariah
  • Visitation
  • Magnificat

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The Ilocano Pasyon: Sudario and Lectio

            I just came from Abra and even if up there the scorching summer sun is nearer to mother earth, you can still be refreshed by the rich traditions during the Semana Santa (Holy Week). The singing of the Sudario—the Lament (Dung-aw) of the Blessed Mother on the death her son can still be heard played over the radio stations both AM and FM.

           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:
            Ay O Sudario ni Veronica
            A nacaipintaan ti tallo a sinan rupa
            Iyasidegmo man ta agcac ida
            Daguita ladaoan a naipinta
            Daydi anacco a binunga.

            [Oh Sudario of Veronica,
            On which three pictures are impressed,
            Come nearer, come, that I may kiss
            The three images which are taken—
            Pictures of Christ, my begotten son.]

            Ay ay-ayatec a bul-lalayaw
            Sadino aya ti papanam
            Ay anacco matmatannac man
            Iti ladingitco a diac maturdan
            Iti ipupusaymo isisinam.

            [Ah, beautiful rainbow, my beloved!
            Whither have you one now?
            Look down and see well, my son
            My great sorrow, unbearable,
            Because from me you’re departing].

The recording here is part of the collection of radio station DZPA, Bangued, Abra.

       The Ilocano Pasyon is said to be a translation of the Tagalog Pasyon Genesis or Pasyong Mahal a poetic retelling of the key events of the scripture from Creation to Resurrection. The Ilocano Pasyon is rarely chanted nowadays unlike the Sudario and the Lectio.  The Lectio (Latin for “Reading”) is the chanting of the Lamentations of Jeremiah in Latin (Vulgate) in typical Ilocano melody. The Sasainnec (Lamentations) in the Hebrew text is an alphabetical acrostic poem. Each poem has twenty-two verses; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The Latin translation spells out these Hebrew letters before each poem. Thus the Ilocano Lectio begins with a long but impassioned singing of Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

         The Lectio is a local adaptation or inculturation of the Tenebrae (Latin for “darkness”), the night prayer services during the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday)  which include the reading of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. Likewise, the Improperia (“Reproaches) whose texts are from the Lamentations of Jeremiah, are chanted during the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday.

         The Lectio that you hear in this recording is from Lamentions 3:1-9  sung on Good Friday.  The singers are the members of the Men’s Choir from Tayum, Abra. Special thanks to the Ballena family for allowing me to use the recording.

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].

As in the other poems, it ends with call for Jerusalem to return to the Lord in the concluding refrain Ierusalem, Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum ("Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord your God").

         Blessed Easter to all!
Fr. Randy Flores, SVD
Divine Word Seminary
4120 Tagaytay City

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Proclaiming God's Greatness (the Magnificat in Luke 1:46-56) - Simbang Gabi December 22

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

Why in haste? - December 21 Simbang Gabi

Why in haste? Mary's visit to Elizabeth
(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. 
- (see the homily of Fr. Antonio Pernia, SVD at the SVD Centennial Mass, Shrine of the Divine Word, Christ the King Seminary, Quezon City, 14 August 2009; also Frederick Scharpf, SVD, “Traveling from Manila to Ilocos,” The Ilocos Review
20 (1988), pp. 127-131).

Mary, in the Gospel reading today from Luke (1:39-45), is a picture of a traveler in haste in the most delicate of situations—pregnancy. After the Annunciation Story, Luke narrates that “Mary arose and went in haste into the hill country to a Judean city” (v. 39)—to the house of Zechariah and Elizabeth. If Ein Kerem, a village southwest of Jerusalem, was the home of the couple (as tradition says), Mary could have traveled for ten days at the least, either on foot or on donkeyback, from hills of Galilee across the plain of Esdraelon, through the mountains of Samaria, into the Judean hills---along a land with many hills, valleys, deadly rocks and robbers.
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 [1956]). 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

Simbang Gabi 2011: Homilies

This year's Simbang Gabi homilies (2011) are coming from SVD Philippine Northern Province. Thanks to the SVD-PHN missionaries who contributed and to Fr. Robert Ibay, SVD who collected them.

Please click on the links to download (pdf format):

December 16
December 17
December 18 - 3rd Sunday of Advent
December 19
December 20
December 21
December 22 - (Randy Flores' article for the Sambuhay misallette )
December 22
December 23
December 24
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

Jesus Walks on Water - 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time - B

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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Priests and SUV

Man: Father, can you do a novena for me to win an SUV raffle?
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

8:00 in the evening --
Schedule of Simbang Gabi Masses at the Chapel of  Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City.
SVD Location Map
046-4131253 for more info.