Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) newest publication, “Empty Boat, Full Nets: An Anthology of Homilies”, features a comprehensive gathering of Fr.Arnel Aquino’s treasured homilies.
The 58 selected homilies, arranged according to the evangelist, all draw from the acclaimed Jesuit composer’s life experiences throughout his nearly 30-year journey with the Society of Jesus as a musician, theologian, and priest.
Written in his engaging, conversational and casual style, Fr.Aquino’s “Empty Boat, Full Nets” aims to communicate the poignant message of a deep, personal encounter of Christ himself.
“Our faith and religion which we call ‘Roman Catholicism’ is not so much a ‘what’ but rather a ‘Who’. Our faith in Jesus is more so about the person, the kindness, the goodness of Jesus who delights in us, whose joy is making us whole, whose desire is to heal us, whose offer is for us to give him a chance.”
“We, priests, must give our parishioners the impression of indicative preparation in our preaching instead of just “winging it” especially in our homilies; and that our responsibility to the faithful is to listen to the faithful and to appropriate and integrate the Lord’s message with what we’ve heard from them,” he further shares on the importance of effective preaching.
With his homilies “written especially for the ear”, as he describes, Fr.Aquino assures that his reflections in “Empty Boat, Full Nets” had all been delivered in the parishes where he celebrates the Holy Mass and therefore project his relatable “conversational tenor”.
Yet for the esteemed Jesuit Music Ministry artist, the idea of compiling his series of homilies into a book initially took quite a bit of convincing.
“I was already quite happy sharing the homilies through Ms. Debbie Tan’s blog, onelostsheep.net. But for longer than that, my friends had been urging me to compile them into a book. In my head, homilies are for free. Then, we found a worthy cause for the sales of the book.”
“Arrupe International Residence could use some help in funding my brothers’ tuition and fees as they study theology in Loyola School of Theology. Our Provinces, especially those under the Jesuit Conference of Asia and the Pacific (JCAP) have been quite dependent on the generosity and kindness of benefactors to send our men through formation here in the Philippines. So, we thought we could throw in our support via the book,” Fr.Aquino recalls of the noble cause behind “Empty Boat, Full Nets”.
Fr.Aquino offers kind words of gratitude to all who were instrumental in his book’s successful release.
“JesCom, through the support of Fr. Nono Alfonso and the legwork of Dit Sablan, helps us promote and sell the book for which I’d like to thank them. Ms. Debbie Tan’s blog that features Jesuit homilies and her incredible loyalty to us, Jesuits, is instrumental to the birth of this book.”
He adds, “I am happiest when I am with my Jesuit brothers and when we get to collaborate on something that can bring joy to our friends. Thank you, most especially, to friends and parishioners who have bought the book, as they’ve begun helping send my brothers to school.”
“Empty Boat, Full Nets: An Anthology of Homilies” is now available at the Tanging Yaman store and jescom.ph/shop