258 total views

Homily for Wednesday of the 4th Week of Lent, 22 March 2023, Jn 5:17-30

Today’s first reading is a good answer to people who feel that they have been forsaken by God. It ends with that particular line from Isaiah Chapter 49 that inspired the composition of the famous Tagalog liturgical song, “HINDI KITA MALILIMUTAN” (I will never forget you).

V. 15 of today’s reading is the prophet’s answer to the people’s lament about the tragic things that they had been through—the fact that their country had been conquered and destroyed by the Babylonian empire and their people had been exiled as slaves in Babylon and in other foreign lands.

I know that the common Tagalog translation for LAMENT is PANAGHOY. But I prefer to translate it as HIMUTOK or better yet, as TAMPO. In his oracle, the prophet begins by vebalizing his people’s reproach (TAMPO or HIMUTOK): “Nakalimutan na ako ng Diyos; pinabayaan na niya ako.” (The Lord has forsaken me, my Lord has forgotten me.) And then in chapter 49 he speaks on behalf of God, in reply to Israel’s reproach (himutok).

It is one of the few passages in the Bible where God is described as a woman, and a mother at that. “Malilimutan ba ng ina ang anak na galing sa kanya, sanggol sa kanyang sinapupunan? (Can a mother forget her infant and be without tenderness for the child of her womb?) Then he answers his own question by saying “Ngunit kahit na malimutan ng ina ang anak na galing sa kanya, hindi kita malilimutan kailanma’y di pababayaan.” (However unusual it might be for a mother forget her child, I will never forget you.)

We have become so used to referring to God as Father, we often forget that we are using the language metaphorically. It does not mean that God is a literal father exactly like our earthly fathers, or that God is a male or belonging to the masculine gender. Fortunately for us, Filipinos, our pronouns are gender-free—neither masculine not feminine. Unlike in English whose third person pronoun for God is always masculine (HE), in Tagalog we don’t have that problem when we refer to God as SIYA.

We also tend to forget the rich variety of metaphors for God in the Bible, where God is sometimes called “a rock”, “a fortress”, “a warrior”, “a shepherd”, “a potter”, “a lion”, etc. Jeremiah once even called God a “treacherous brook”. In Hosea, the description of God as a mother is presupposed in that line in Hosea 11, 3-4 that says,

“Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,

who took them in my arms;

but they did not know that I cared for them.

I drew them with human cords,

with bands of love;

I fostered them like those

who raise an infant to their cheeks;

I bent down to feed them.”
This is another tender description of God like a mother breastfeeding her child. People often forget that Jesus also used the female imagery for God in the oracle of judgment that he pronounces over Jerusalem, predicting the inevitable destruction of the Holy City. In Luke 13:34 he says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling!”

Most of you are probably familiar with the lament in Psalm 137 that refers to the same tragic situation described in our first reading “By the streams of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion.” The Psalmist says they could not even get themselves to sing one of the songs of Zion when their captors asked them to play them some music. Instead of singing, he says, they hung up their harps on the trees growing in Babylon.

The Psalm has a second part which, in the light of our first reading today, can be read differently. Try reading it as a reply from God to his people, from the mother to her child, who thinks he has been forgotten. “If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.” I know it does not sound proper putting it in the mouth of God because the it makes God sound so human, like he’s swearing “Mamatay man ako.” But that precisely makes it sound more tender and intimate, can you imagine God saying to his people, “May my tongue stick to my palate if I remember you not, if I place you not ahead of my joy.”?

Today’s Gospel has a good news for people who are going through tough times in their lives. Jesus message of hope is, “…whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but will pass from death to life.”

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

Inclusive mobility

 3,092 total views

 3,092 total views Mga Kapanalig, simula ngayong linggo, bawal nang dumaan ang mga light electric vehicles (o LEVs) katulad ng e-bikes, e-trikes, at e-scooters sa mga pangunahing kalsada sa Metro Manila. Ang lalabag sa patakarang ito ng MMDA ay pagmumultahin ng ₱2,500. Kukumpiskahin din ang ‘di rehistradong LEV. Hindi natin maikakailang dumarami ang tumatangkilik ng LEVs

Read More »

Para sa content?

 15,170 total views

 15,170 total views Mga Kanapalig, napanood ba ninyo ang video ng mga vloggers mula sa South Cotabato kasama ang dalawang tarsier?  Makikita sa video ang isang vlogger na tumatawa habang hawak-hawak ang isang tarsier. Kausap niya ang may hawak ng camera na noong una ay ipinakikita lamang ang isa pang tarsier na nakakapit sa tangkay ng

Read More »

Kabuhayan sa Bangketa

 34,582 total views

 34,582 total views Ang bangketa ay maraming bagay para sa mga Pilipino. Ito ay daanan, minsan tahanan, at kadalasan, tindahan ng maraming Pilipino. Dahil sa hirap ng buhay, oo, pati bangketa ay nagiging pwesto na ng maraming maliliit na negosyanteng Pilipino. Ang bangketa kasi ay daluyan ng tao, at kung saan may tao, may benta. Kaya

Read More »

Street People

 45,702 total views

 45,702 total views Kapanalig, buksan natin ang ating mga mata. Dito sa Metro Manila, napakarami ng mga Pilipinong sa kalye nananahan, at tinatayang mga 250,000 dito ay mga children in street situations o CISS. Tahakin mo lang ang ilang major roads sa ating bayan, bubungad na agad sila. Mga Pilipinong nasa kalye ang hanapbuhay, at sa

Read More »

Buhay sa Slum Settlements

 49,633 total views

 49,633 total views Madilim. Masikip. Marumi. Ito ay ilan lamang sa mga salitang naglalarawan sa mga slum areas sa ating bayan. Ang mga daanan sa ganitong lugar, motor o tao lamang ang kasya. Nagsasalubong na ang kanilang mga bubong kaya minsan, kahit araw, madilim sa mga eskinita. At dahil malayo sa daanan ng mga garbage collectors,

Read More »

Watch Live

catholink
Shadow
truthshop
Shadow

Related Story

Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

WALANG PINAPANIGAN?

 8,390 total views

 8,390 total views Homiliya para sa Huwebes sa Ikatlong Linggo ng Kuwaresma, Ika-7 ng Marso, Lk 11:14-23 Pinagaling daw ni Hesus ang isang pipi kaya nakapagsalita ito. Ang dating walang imik ngayon ay nagkaroon ng tinig. Ano ang reaksyon ng iba? Trabaho daw ng dimonyo ang pagpapagaling na ginawa niya. Madalas pa ring mangyari ang ganyan

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

“TEN COMMITMENTS”

 7,222 total views

 7,222 total views Homily for Wed of the Third Week of Lent, 6 March 2024, Mt 5:17-19 May nakilala akong isang app developer. May binabalak daw siyang gawin na kakaibang app, idodonate daw niya sa Catholic Church if we are interested: “Online Confession App”. Gagawin daw niyang user-friendly. Automatic daw, magla-log-in lang ang penitent at may

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

PAY IT FORWARD

 7,208 total views

 7,208 total views Homily for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent, Mt 18:21-35 Today’s Gospel reminds me of the old version of the Lord’s Prayer. I am referring in particular to that part in the prayer that says “And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” The old version says,

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

YOU ARE THE MAN!

 7,207 total views

 7,207 total views Homily for Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent, 1 March 2024, Mt 21:33-43, 45-46 Today’s Gospel reading reminds me of that story in the 2nd book of Samuel chapter 11 about the sin of David. Remember that passage about David having an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of his soldier Uriah? How

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

BANGUNGOT

 7,210 total views

 7,210 total views Homiliya para sa Huwebes sa Ikalawang Linggo ng Kuwaresma, 29 Pebrero 2024, Lukas 16:19-31 “Bangungot” ang tawag natin sa masamang panaginip. “Nightmare” sa English. Parang bangungot ang dating ng kuwento ng mayaman sa ebanghelyo. Sorry, wala siyang pangalan. Obvious ang “bias” ng awtor—ang may pangalan sa kuwento ay ang mahirap, ang busabos na

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

YOUR WILL BE DONE

 7,212 total views

 7,212 total views Homily for Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, 28 February 2024, Mt 20:17-28 The two disciples in today’s Gospel remind me of that dancing girl in the story of the beheading of John the Baptist. Remember that scene when the drunken governor of Gailee, Herod Antipas, after being so pleased with the

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

“Ang Pagbabagong-Anyo ng Bayang Filipino”

 7,215 total views

 7,215 total views Naisip na ba ninyo, kung hindi naganap ang EDSA PPR, ano na kaya ang nangyari sa ating bayan mula sa araw na iyon ng Feb 25, 1986? Kung walang mga milyong tao na pumagitna sa mga armadong puwersa ng gubyerno at puwersa ng mga nagrebelde, baka umagos nang husto ang dugo sa EDSA.

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

PANATA

 10,523 total views

 10,523 total views Homiliya para sa Biyernes matapos ang Miyerkoles ng Abo, 16 Pebrero 2024, Mt 9:14-15 Dahil hindi na yata matiis ng parish priest na makita ang isang babaeng lumalakad na paluhod habang nagrorosaryo, nilapitan niya ito at sinabihan, “Hindi ba pwedeng magdasal ka na lang na nakaupo o nakaluhod sa luhuran? Ba’t ba kailangan

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

AKALA KO KASI

 10,517 total views

 10,517 total views Homiliya para sa Huwebes matapos ang Miyerkoles ng Abo, 15 Pebrero 2024, Lk 9:22-25 Tungkol sa pagpili ang mga pagbasa natin ngayon. Parang ang simple simple dahil dalawa lang ang pagpipilian. Sa unang pagbasa—buhay o kamatayan, alin ang pipiliin mo? Sa Salmong Tugunan—mabuti o masama, alin sa dalawa? Sa ebanghelyo, pagkalugi o pakinabang?

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

WHAT I DID FOR LOVE

 10,519 total views

 10,519 total views Homiliya para sa Miyerkoles ng Abo, 14 Pebrero 2024, Mat 6:1-6, 16-18 Tumama sa taóng ito ng 2024 ang Valentines Day sa Ash Wednesday o Miyerkoles ng Abo, ang simula ng Kuwaresma para sa ating mga Katoliko. Sasabihin ko ba sa mga nagbabalak na mag-celebrate ng araw ng mga puso, “Sorry, wala munang

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT

 10,491 total views

 10,491 total views Homily for Tuersday of the 6th Wk in Ordinary Time, 13 Feb 2024, Mk 8:14-21 “Nagmamaaang-maangan” is a Tagalog expression that best describes the disposition of the disciples in today’s Gospel. They did not really forget to bring bread with them. But they were pretending as if they had forgotten. I have a

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

KAPANGYARIHAN NG SALITA

 19,067 total views

 19,067 total views Homiliya para sa Panlimang Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, Ika-4 ng Pebrero 2024, Mk 1,29-39 Sa dulo ng binasa nating ebanghelyo, sinasabi ni San Markos, “Nangangaral siya sa mga sinagoga at nagpapalayas ng dimonyo.” Hindi ito parang dalawang magkahiwalay na gawain para kay Hesus. Magkaugnay ang dalawa. Ang pumapasok sa isip ko ay ang

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

TRUE LIGHT FROM TRUE LIGHT

 14,200 total views

 14,200 total views Homily for the Feast of the Lord’s Presentation, 02 February 2024, World Day for Consecrated Persons, Lk 2:22-40 Today’s Feast is traditionally called CANDLEMAS, or the Feast of the Holy Encounter. In his story of the presentation of the child Jesus, aside from the Holy Family, St Luke has two other important characters—

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

MI CASA, SU CASA

 14,200 total views

 14,200 total views Homiliya Para sa Huwebes sa Ika-apat na Linggo ng Karaniwang Panahon, Pebrero 1, 2024, Mk 6:7-13 Huwag daw magbaon ng pagkain, o magbitbit ng bagahe. Huwag daw magdala ng pera sa bulsa, o ekstrang underwear. Ganoon? Ewan ko lang kung sa panahon natin mayroon pang mapapasunod o maisusugo si Hesus kung ganoon pa

Read More »
Bishop Ambo Homilies
Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio David, D.D.

PREJUDICE

 14,200 total views

 14,200 total views Homily for Wednesday of the 4th Wk in Ordinary Time, 31 January 2024, Mk 6:1-6 Mark says the people of Nazareth were “amazed” about the way Jesus preached in their synagogue. They seemed to have been actually impressed at the start. But as soon as they started asking questions like “Where did he

Read More »

Latest Blogs

Scroll to Top