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La Naval de Manila: Symbol of Filipino heroism

Today we hold the annual procession of the image of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, also known as “La Naval de Manila.” Aside from the beautiful ivory face, its most prominent feature is the magnificent crown. That crown has adorned that image since 1907. It has been a tradition in the Church to crown significant images of Mary as a symbolic act of honoring her as the perfect follower of Christ who had, in an eminent way, won the “crown of righteousness” (2Timothy 4:8), the “crown of life” (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10), and the “crown of glory” (IPeter 5:4) that is promised to those who follow Christ. The University of Santo Tomas was the venue of the canonical coronation. The crown was embellished with jewelry and precious gems of various colors …

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What do you expect?

READ: JOHN 16:25-33 In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. v. 33 IN C.S. Lewis’ book God in the Dock, he wrote: “Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable.” Lewis cleverly used his contrast between a hotel and a prison to illustrate how we view life based on our expectations. He says, “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not …

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Pope makes surprise visit to Italy’s quake-hit Amatrice: Vatican

Pope Francis arrived on Tuesday in Amatrice in central Italy, in a surprise visit to the town that bore the brunt of the August 24 earthquake that killed nearly 300 people, the Vatican said. On Sunday, the pontiff had confirmed his intention to visit the quake-hit area, though he did not specify when he aimed to go. He said he wanted to make his visit "privately, alone, as a priest, a bishop, a pope. But alone," in order to be "near the people." His statement on Sunday was a reaffirmation of a pledge he made to worshippers on August 28, four days after the disaster, to visit the area hit by the 6.0 to 6.2 magnitude quake. "As soon as possible, I hope to come and see you, to bring you the comfort of …

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Disposable culture

READ: Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. v. 1 More than ever, we live in a disposable culture. Think for a minute about some of the things that are made to be thrown away—razors, water bottles, lighters, paper plates, plastic eating utensils. Product are used, tossed, and then replaced. This disposable culture is also reflected in more significant ways. Many times true commitment in relationships is seen as optional. Marriages struggle to survive. Long-term employees are discharged just before retirement for cheaper options. A highly revered athlete leaves to join another team. It seems as if nothing lasts. Our unchanging God, however, has promised that His loving mercy endures forever. In Psalm 136, the singer celebrates this wonderful promise by making statements …

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The ultimate reunion

READ: 1 Thess. 4:13-18 We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them. v.17 I’ll never forget the vigil of sitting by my dad’s bed as he spent his last few days with us before slipping into eternity. To this day the moment of his passing continues to have a profound effect on me. My dad was always there for me. I could call him whenever I needed counsel. I have great memories of our days fishing together; we would talk about God and the Bible, and I would prompt him to tell those fun stories from his youth on the farm. But when Dad took his last breath, I became aware of the irreversible finality of death. He was gone from this world. And my heart had a …

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Samaritan inhospitality

Luke 9:51-56 When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and He sent messengers ahead of Him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for His reception there, but they would not welcome Him because the destination of His journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.   REFLECTION JESUS… RESOLUTELY DETERMINED TO JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. Jesus’ journey starts with expanding his ministry into Samaritan territory. To Jews, this ethnic group is made up of traitors, a collection of half-breeds. The name came from the capital of the separatist northern Kingdom …

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Rooted

READ: 2 Chronicles 24:15-22 Joash did what was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 24:4 Joash must have been confused and frightened when he was told about the evil deeds of his grandmother Athaliad. She had murdered his brothers to usurp the power of the throne in Judah. But baby Joash had been safetly hidden away by his aunt and uncle for 6 years (2 Chron. 22:10-12). As he grew, he enjoyed the love and instruction of his caregivers. When Joash was only 7 years old,he was secretly crowned king and his grandmother was overthrown (23:12-15). Young King Joash had a wise counselor by his side-his very own Uncle Jehoiada (Chs. 22-25). Joash was one of the rare “good kings” of Judah, and while his …

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On being known

Read: James 5:16-20 I acknowledged my sin to You…I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You for gave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:5 One of the most difficult inner conflicts we have is our desire to be known versus our fear of being known. As beings created in the image of God we are made to be known—known by God and also by others. Yet due to our fallen nature, all of us have sins and weaknesses that we don’t want others to know about. We use the phrase “dark side” to refer to aspects of our lives that we keep hidden. And we use slogans like “put your best foot forward” to encourage others to show their best side. One reason we are unwilling to risk …

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Fr. Tritz at 102 today

“Go to the poor… go to the peripheries”   We went to a birthday celebration last Friday, but the celebrant wasn’t there. ERDA was commemorating its 42nd anniversary and the 102nd birthday of its founder. Fr. Tritz would actually have turned 102 today, not last Friday. But he missed his date by leaving us and returning to his Creator last Saturday, 10 September. In his homily at the Friday mass, Fr. William Abbot, SJ, recalled that when Pope Francis visited the Philippines in January last year, he gave the Jesuits a special audience. The Provincial, Fr. Antonio Moreno, SJ, told the Pope that he was welcomed by 40 elephants in Sri Lanka… and by 40 Jesuits in Manila. Quick to repartee, His Holiness quipped, “…But the elephants were better dressed.” This set the tone for very …

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The parable of the lamp

Luke 8:16-18 Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” REFLECTION No one who lights a lamp conceals it. This section calls people to respond to the light because of the dire consequences for not doing so. Jesus’ message is portrayed as light. He notes that one lights a lamp …

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