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Showing posts from 2010

For the Student Christian Movement at 50...(December 11, 2010 at UP CRL)

If we read our Bibles and pray everyday, we will grow, grow, and grow in the knowledge that there are two kinds of sermons in the New Testament that can get one killed. Both we find in Luke’s work. In Acts, Paul preaching goes on and on and on that eventually Eutychus, a young person sitting by the window, falls asleep and falls to his death. In Luke, Jesus preaches a “gospel for the poor and liberation for the captives” in Nazareth, before his town mates, and almost gets killed for doing so.

As you celebrate your 50th birthday as a progressive movement of Christian students, let me remind you of the SCM’s favorite bible passage.

Jeremiah 1:7-10
1:7 The LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ But go to whomever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 1:8 Do not be afraid of those to whom I send you, for I will be with you to protect you,” says the LORD.1:9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I will most assuredly give you the words you …

Give Us This Day our Daily Bread...

The different religious groups in Palestine in the first century, like many groups today, were known by the prayers they offered. Jesus’ disciples wanted the same thing so Jesus obliged. If we read our Bibles then we know that Luke’s Jesus prayed a lot. But Jesus’ prayers, and the prayer he taught his disciples, were not individualistic, pietistic supplications. They were community prayers; prayers on actualizing God’s reign on earth. In the Gospel of Luke and its sequel, the Acts of the Apostles, the test of one’s relationship with God was proven by one’s relationship with people, especially the poor, the orphans, and the widows; those whose only was God. The test of one’s love for God is proven by one’s love for one’s neighbor.

When Luke’s Jesus prays, “Give us this day our daily bread,” he was lifting up a peasant’s petition for today’s food, echoing the farmer’s prayer for daily sustenance in the book of Proverbs; he was mouthing the hope of the dispossessed farmers for land and th…


Among the Priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan who chanced upon the wounded Jew on the road connecting Jerusalem and Jericho (in Luke 10: 30-37), the Samaritan was the one who showed mercy, the one who was neighbor to the person who was left half-dead, the one who stopped and helped a brother in need. That is why we call the Samaritan Good. He did what God’s Law required. He did what Jesus commanded. But more importantly, he did what sisters and brothers do for one another.
Like the Morong 43. We call health workers Good Samaritans. We even have Good Samaritan Hospitals to celebrate what they do for the sick, for the wounded, for the ill, for those whose only hope is God. Community-based health workers, most especially, minister to the “least among Jesus’ sisters and brothers.”
Thus, the Morong 43’s illegal arrest last February, their imprisonment, the torture many of them have experienced, the harassment they have endured, the lies that the military spun about them during the last …

Bad News for Good Samaritans

If we read our Bibles and pray every day, we will grow, grow, and grow in the knowledge that serving God and serving our neighbor is actually one commandment. This is explicit in Luke 10. If God is our parent, as Jesus taught us, then we are family—Kapamilya at Kapuso—we are sisters and brothers. God’s question to Cain, found in Genesis, remains the same—“Where is your brother? Where is your sister?”

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow—our primary task, no, our primary responsibility as a child of God is to be each other’s keepers. The only way to serve God our Parent is to serve God’s children, is to love our brothers and sisters. This is the surprise of the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25. This is the message of the Johannine gospel and epistles. This is the heart of the Letter of James. This is the gist of the Law according to Paul as found in Romans 13:9 and Galatians 5:14.

This is the point of the Parable of the Samaritan. Among the Priest, the Levite, and the Samarit…