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THE GREAT "I AM NOT"

We love to play God, forgetting that we are not God. Our greatest sin is god-playing. We forget that we are people. We are human beings, you and I, and we are created to bear witness to God, God’s grace, and God's liberating acts. 
In the same vein, there are a lot of people who think they are the Messiah. Two are in power: one in the White House, the other in Malacanang. Many of them are pastors and priests. These are those who are legends in their own minds. Those who believe that they are God's gift to the nations, institutions, and organizations they serve. Those who think they are indispensable, irreplaceable, and think that without them, all hell will break loose. I am pretty sure we all know people who have major messianic complexes.
Our true calling is to bear witness to God's messiah and his liberating work. Just like John the Baptist.
If Jesus is the Great "I am" then John is the Great "I am not."
The religious leaders from Je…
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Ang PARABOLA NG MGA DAMONG LIGAW SA MGA HARDIN NG MAKAPANGYARIHAN

ANG PARABOLA NG MGA DAMONG LIGAW SA MGA HARDIN NG MAKAPANGYARIHAN
Para kay Bishop Ramento, CM Edison, at sa mga martyr ng bayan
(IFI UCCP Ecumenical Worship Service, 3 November 2019, Kowloon Union Church Space, Hong Kong)
Mula sa mga Igorot ng Cordillera hanggang sa mga Lumad sa Mindanao, hitik ang ating kasaysayan at kolektibong karanasan sa mga taong nag-alay ng buhay dahil sa pag-ibig sa kapwa, sa bayan, at sa Dios. Marami sa kanila ay mananampalataya-- mayroong humawak ng sandata upang ipagtanggol ang bayan, ang mga anak, ang buhay laban sa mga puwersang mapang-api at sakim; mayroong namang hindi. Si Andres Bonifacio ang pangunahing halimbawa ng unang grupo, si Jose Rizal naman ang sa pangalawa.
Maliwanag ang koneksyon ng mga kuwento ni Rizal sa kanyang pagkakabaril sa Bagumbayan bilang kaaway ng imperyong Kastila. Ang hindi maliwanag sa maraming Kristiyano ay ang koneksyon ng mga kuwento ni Jesus sa kanyang pagkakapako sa krus bilang kaaway ng imperyo ng Roma. Lumaki tayo…

GOD COMES AS A STRANGER

Who were the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the unwelcomed, and the prisoner that Jesus challenges us to serve, to take sides with, to love? Yes, the stranger. Who were the widows, the orphans, and the foreigners that, over and over, the Law and the Prophets enjoin us to care for, to hold dear, to treat as sisters and brothers? Yes, the stranger. God comes as a stranger. God did when God shared the promise of Isaac's birth. God did when God judged the arrogance and inhospitality of Sodom and Gomorrah. God did when God wrestled with Jacob at Jabbok. God does as the Risen One: waiting for us to meet up in Galilee; reminding us that we will never be alone; calling the rich among us to sell everything we have, to give the proceeds to the poor, and to follow... God always comes as a stranger. This is why we welcome the dispossessed, the displaced, the disenfranchised. This is why we open our homes, our churches, our spaces to Lumads, to People Living with HIV and AIDS, to r…

Jesus has AIDS

If I said Jesus has cancer. Or diabetes. Or asthma. No one will give a fuss. I have, in the past, argued that Jesus might have been gay, a woman, a Palestinian, and an African. But most of us have problems when we hear that Jesus has AIDS. Because we have been socialized to identify AIDS with promiscuity, with illicit drug use, with divine punishment, with sin. And the Jesus many of us worship cannot be promiscuous, will not touch or even be in the same room with weed, and, of course, is a perpetual virgin, and sinless. What is the international symbol for HIV AIDS prevention?
When you turn the red symbol on its side, what does the symbol represent? My dear friends, the world has AIDS. Close to 40 million of our sisters and brothers are living with HIV. About 1% of all our sisters and brothers, aged 15 to 49, are living with HIV.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, over 35 million of our sisters and brothers, each one created in God's image, have died. One million last year. &q…

Parables book now on Amazon!

Reading the Parables of Jesus inside a Jeepney.

Thank you very much for all your generous support. Maraming salamat po!

In its first week the book was #1 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism and #11 in the 100 Bestselling Books in New Testament Criticism.  After 30 days the book was #2 in Hot New Releases in New Testament Criticism. And #5 in Hot New Releases in Jesus, Gospels, and Acts.

During its Holy Week Sale last March 22-26, the book went back to #1 in New Testament Criticism, #4 in Biblical History and Culture, and #7 in Jesus, the Gospels, and Acts.

Widows, Strangers, and Orphans

Most of us grew up memorizing the names of the Twelve Disciples. In the Synoptics they are all men. In I Corinthians and in the Gospel of John they are a collective, The Twelve. Better. 
When we are quizzed to name the best among the disciples, we would probably volunteer Peter, James, and John. Some will add Mary Magdalene. But only a handful would say Jesus's mother in John, the Samaritan woman in John, and the child who offered five barley loaves and two fish. Also in John. 
Yes, my friends, a widow, a stranger, and an orphan. The three kinds of people closest to God's heart. 
The Gospel of John celebrates the Discipleship of the Unnamed.  Whom do we see at the beginning, throughout, and at the end of Jesus’s earthly ministry in the gospel? It is Jesus’s mother. Motherhood is discipleship. For millions of people in the world, LOVE is spelled, M, O, T, H, E, R.
Among the four gospels, with whom does Jesus spend practically a whole chapter's length in conversation, in di…