Tags: Balik-Tanaw

Balik-Tanaw | Radical waiting and radical witnessing

As I write this, I am now on the seventh sojourn of my life as a solitary pilgrim. I began this life after retirement when homelessness was imminent and that’s when I decided to embrace uncertainty. Embrace what is yet to come. Embrace what you don’t know. Embrace life as it comes. And that’s when I thought of volunteering for food and a place to lay my head. And it has been a most meaningful life of retirement one could ever live. A life in solidarity with the poor and marginalized is a life that is so much worth living for. A life of freedom and a life that gives the best lessons on humility. (As you age, you need more help from people, right?)

Balik-Tanaw | Remain faithful in Jesus

I have been away from everything familiar to me for the last seven weeks living in Antigua, Guatemala. I am learning Spanish at a language school and living with a Guatemalan family. Like a child, I am trying to learn the basics of this language. It is humbling to be told so many times that I am not getting it right and that I have to exert more effort. Walking the streets of this old Guatemalan city was a joy in the beginning but after some time reality sinks in that I am far from home. Familiar it may be after so many weeks, there is that lonely thought that I am alone and away from home.

Balik-Tanaw | Transformation, repentance, and renewal

Contemplate the metaphor of yeast and unleavened bread, inviting us to examine the presence of malice and wickedness in our own lives. What old ways of thinking and being, and how might we clear out the old yeast of oppressive colonial ideologies, embracing the sincerity, truth instead, and love of our kapwa-tao that lead to freedom and unconditional love of neighbor?

The readings for Palm Sunday begin with narrating the triumphant entry of Jesus and His disciples to Jerusalem. According to the story, Passover and the Feast of the Unleavened Bread is coming in two days’ time and a lot of Jews will go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. As observant Jews, Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem in observance of the feast that will take place (John 12: 12-16; Mark 14:1-15). When they drew near Jerusalem, to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus instructed his two disciples to go to a village where they will find an ass and to bring it to him. Jesus rode on the ass when he entered Jerusalem. The people accompanied him and they held palm branches while crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the kingdom of our Father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!’ (Mark 11:1-10).