The Vine and the Branches

“Christ calls on us to nurture this relationship and reciprocate his unbounded love.” “I am the vine and you are the branches. As long as you remain in me and I in you, you bear much fruit; but apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not remain in me is thrown away as …

Winning Against Enemies of the Rule of Law

“It is time to bring this war against the law to its end, before everything ends.“ I greet the appointment of my fellow Ateneo Law School professor Alexander Gesmundo as the newest Chief Justice with cautious but real optimism. He inherits his predecessor’s twilight initiative to investigate the terrain of this brutish war against law …

Patreng and Other Good Sheperds

“Let them multiply and let the forces of evil be vanquished.” The Gospel on this Fourth Sunday of Easter uses the metaphor of Christ as the Good Shepherd. In the Old Testament and during the time of Christ, sheep were plentiful, Israel being a pastoral society. Understandably, both the Old and the New Testaments make …

New Places in Our Hearts

In the Gospel narrative of St. Luke on the Third Sunday of Easter, the disciples who had just encountered Jesus on the road to Emmaus and recognized him in the breaking of bread are in the midst of sharing their experience when Jesus appears to them. He who has truly risen from the dead mysteriously …

Will the Philippines go the way of Myanmar and Cambodia?

Co-Authored with Christian Laluna ‘Not for nothing do we bear the honor of being Asia’s oldest modern democracy’ The following is Part 2 of a two-part series. Read Part 1 here. The Philippine tradition of democracy is older than ASEAN’s founding, its tradition of human rights deeper than the State’s cynical promise of non-interference. Not for …

Myanmar, Cambodia, and the Philippines: Quo Vadis?

Co-Authored with Christian Laluna ‘Myanmar is long held as ASEAN’s weak spot, a lightning rod for human rights critics of the grouping, the region’s bugaboo of the West, while at the same time laid bare to Chinese overtures’ The following is Part 1 of a two-part series. Read Part 2 here. In the weeks since the …

Crisis of Faith During a Pandemic

“How can a merciful and loving God exist when there is so much evil and suffering around?” Most of us are familiar with the story of the apostle Thomas also called Didymus who doubted the accounts of the other disciples about their encounter with the Risen Lord. The story, which is the Gospel tomorrow, the …

Good Friday and Easter Sunday

“We need a God that gives us hope even in times of defeat.” One can only wonder if there is reason for us to celebrate Easter in a world that is more like a Good Friday. Gripped with fear and uncertainties, we ask what lesson this blessed feast could have in these tragic days. Apparently, …

Paschal Triduum in the Pandemic

“It is only when we allow our Savior to accompany us in this difficult journey that the cross becomes life-giving and not an instrument of suffering and death.” The raging global pandemic is causing a very heavy toll on the well-being of billions worldwide. The pandemic is not only making people sick but is also …

Entering Jerusalem as the Pandemic Worsens

“When will this suffering end? Where is this heading? Is there hope?” The sudden serious surge of COVID-19 infections has caught us all unaware. Most of us can hardly wrap our minds around the record-setting numbers of new infections the country is now facing. It is a punch in the gut considering that we have …