Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 19 (Zechariah 12:10-11; Psalm 63; Galatians 3:26-29; Luke 9:18-24)

Sometimes it takes an act of God to touch and move the human heart so that the tears can flow. Throughout history, up until this very day, people have often meted out countless acts of cruelty, injustice and unkindness towards one another. Leafing through history books, one could get the impression that history is written in blood. The worst part of it is the calloused and numbed consciences that seem unable or unwilling to acknowledge guilt or empathize with the pain of the victims. 

Today's youth: a work in progress

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A seminarian I know recently went to a party at a local university campus. The group was a crowd of young, college students and when he was introduced as a seminarian, as someone who was trying to become a priest and who had taken a vow of celibacy, the mention of celibacy evoked some giggles in the room, some banter and a number of jokes about how much he must be missing out on in life. Poor, naïve fellow! 

Forgiveness opens our hearts wide

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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 12 (2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13; Psalm 32; Galatians 2:16, 19-21; Luke 7:36-8:3)

We usually think of a “flash of recognition” in positive terms — a form of enlightenment. But David’s experience of this recognition was disturbing and even devastating. His climb to the top of the heap as king of Israel had been successful but not pretty. It had involved a lot of questionable decisions and actions, but he seemed disinclined to quibble — after all, it had worked. He had almost unlimited power and wealth — what more could one want? 

Faith challenged in our final hours

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A common soldier dies without fear, yet Jesus died afraid. 

Parish must become the centre of one’s life

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It can be easy to feel lost and lonely in church; and that’s twice as lost and lonely as anywhere else.

God is near to all of us

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10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C) June 5 (1 Kings 17:17-21a, 22-24; Psalm 30; Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 7:11-17)

Should we ever reproach God for human suffering? People have usually been reluctant to do so, and they spend a lot of effort try to vindicate God. 

Mercy puts a credible face on God

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Among the Ten Commandments, one begins with the word “remember”: “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.” There are commandments of mercy written into our very DNA. We know them, but need to remember them more explicitly. What are they?

Pain, suffering draw us closer to the one who suffered for us

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It is all but impossible to discuss the multi-dimensional aspects of assisted suicide and euthanasia without a discussion of suffering. Suffering is the underlying factor around which the discussion on euthanasia ultimately takes place.

With God, there’s more than enough for all

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Body and Blood of Christ (Year C) May 29 (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 10; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11b-17)

God has always been at work in the most unlikely places and individuals. The strange story of Abram (Abraham before his name change) receiving a blessing from King Melchizedek of Salem stirs up a lot of questions.

The Oblates: 200 years at the edges

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What we cease to celebrate we will soon cease to cherish. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the religious congregation to which I belong, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. We have a proud history, 200 years now, of ministering to the poor around the world. This merits celebrating.  

Sharing in God’s love will put us on the right track

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Trinity Sunday (Year C) May 22 (Proverbs 8:23-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15)

How does one describe something that is infinite and ineffable in terms that humans can understand? The writers of the Scriptures often used poetry and metaphor, but even these attempts fell short of the majesty of God. No concept, doctrine or metaphor can ever contain the divine reality — they merely point to it and present it to us in the broadest strokes.