Peace is Jesus' Gift To Us

04-24-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, CSSp

Today is the Second Sunday of Easter, where we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday instituted By Saint John Paul II. On the occasion of the institution of the Divine Mercy Sunday, he said, “There is nothing that man needs more than Divine mercy. Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind”. Today our world needs God’s mercy more than anything at this time.


The Lord's Resurrection is Our Hope

04-17-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today we celebrate the greatest solemnity of our Faith. The foundation on which our hope and faith as Christians stands. We celebrate and rejoice that Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. By rising from the dead He has defeated the power of death, Satan, evil forces, falsehood, and injustice and taken the Glory. God made Him to rise from the dead to prove that He has power over life and death. As Paul would say, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain”. 1Cor 15:14-15. But because Christ has been raised, we have hope and our faith is credible and that is what we celebrate. That is the reason we shout Alleluia! Alleluia! Indeed the Lord has truly risen.


Jesus Humbles Himself

04-10-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The passion narrative gives us an insight of what Jesus suffered for us, especially the love He has for us that made Him endure all the insults and humiliation for our sake. Today’s liturgy does not require a long homily, but simply for us to allow the events of the passion story to speak directly to us in the silence of our heart. Our meditation is on Jesus’ suffering and death for our sake. He came and gave Himself completely to us by His preaching, miracles and healing and finally of giving Himself in humility on the cross.


God of Mercy and Compassion

04-03-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo

As we approach the end of the Lenten season, we are reminded of our last chance to cooperate with God’s special graces of this season. To show that our last chance with God is not without hope, the gospel presents an event that took place towards the end of Jesus’ life, when He was accustomed to teach in the temple by day and leave the city to spend the night on Mount Olive.


God Is Merciful

03-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo

Traditionally today being the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as Laetare Sunday. Calling us to rejoice having gone mid-way into our Lenten observance. The color of the vestment is rose but if for any reason the church cannot afford it they could still use purple. The first reading from the book of Joshua presents us with Joshua who finally led the people of Israel into the promised land. They reached the promised land after many decades of challenges, doubt, loss of hope and difficulties. God kept the promises He made with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He would be their God and they would be His people. God has kept the promise He made to them long ago that He would bring them to a land flowing with milk and honey. This finally happened under the leadership of Joshua. Thus, Joshua becomes like a pro type of Jesus who comes to bring salvation, that’s why the meaning of Joshua in Greek is salvation.


Remove The Sandals From Your Feet

03-20-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading from the Book of Exodus presents to us the encounter of Moses in the burning bush where the bush is being burnt but not consumed. Thus, out of curiosity he went to find out the meaning of such events. Incidentally, as he approaches the place, God calls not to come nearer but that he remove his shoes for the place he is standing was a Holy Ground. In most Eastern countries when you are entering Sacred Places like churches or temples you are required to remove your shoes or sandal because it signifies reverence for a Holy place. In the same way, in most western countries when entering the Sanctuary or Holy Places one is expected to remove his hat as a sign of respect for the Holy place. Thus, the removal of shoes is a confession of personal defilement and conscious unworthiness to stand in the presence of a Holy God.


No Cross, No Crown

03-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today’s gospel presents us with the account of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus. The account of the Transfiguration appeared in the three synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Each time we see an event in the Bible recorded in the three synoptic Gospels it points to the fact that those particular incidents actually happened in reality. That is to say that Our Lord Jesus was transfigured and His glory shown in greatness on the mountain while He was with His three chosen disciples. The reading says that Jesus took Peter, James and John to the mountain to pray and as He was praying, He was transfigured before them. This particular incident happened or took place over 8 days, according to Luke’s account, after Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah. The other two Gospels said it was after 6 days. The difference in the number of days after the confession that happened is not a major concern because the Gospel writers were not writing chronological history.


The Temptation of Jesus

03-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo

Today’s Gospel presents us with the temptation of Jesus at the end of His forty days fasting in the desert. The gospel states that it was the Spirit that led Jesus into the desert. As we begin our own Lenten season which started on Ash Wednesday this past week, we are called to allow the Spirit of God to lead us during this grace period of Lent. Lent is a special season when we go into the desert of our lives to stay more closely with Jesus. Lent is a gracious moment in our lives as Christians when we seek the face of God more closely. It is a time God pours out His blessings in the most amazing way because we are journeying with Him in the desert. It is a time of deeper reconciliation with God and with our family members and those we have issues with. It is a time of prayer; when we make our time to be with God more in prayer. It is a time of fasting when we abstain from over-eating, drinking, spending too much time on the television and getting distracted from social media. It is a time to give alms and be generous with our gifts.


Pray for Those Who Mistreat You

02-15-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo

The first reading presents us with the story of Saul who seeks David to kill him because David’s fame has grown more than his. David’s popularity created so much anger, bitterness and jealousy inside Saul that he was after David’s life. Questions that may demand our individual responses are: Does the progress, achievement, or success of other people create bitterness and jealousy in me? What is my response to friends, relations and colleagues who have got more than I have? How do I handle jealousy when I see it making an entrance inside?

Saul and his men went to the camp to look for David, and as things turned out, David and his men found Saul sleeping and David’s men wanted to slay Saul since God had delivered him into their hands. David had every reason to slay Saul, after all Saul was in the camp to kill David, but instead restrained him because according to him, “for who can lay hands on the Lord’s anointed and remain unpunished.” The action of David calls us to reflect on our own attitude to people who are out to destroy us out of hatred or bitterness. David’s action teaches us to restrain from revenge of any hurt or injuries done to us. The example of David also brings to mind that God is always on the side of those who pay hatred with love. We equally learn from David’s action to leave judgment to God.


Blessed are the Poor in Spirit

02-13-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp.

Jeremiah in the first reading of today invites the people to trust in God for there is no other way ofsurvival except through God. He calls them to recognize there is strength in the power of God. In everysituation, God remains our strength and when we trust in Him, He gives us the grace to survive anysituation no matter how challenging that may be. The metaphor Jeremiah uses to describe a personwho trusts completely in God is that of a tree planted beside the water and stretches out its roots to thestream. Since the roots of the plant stretch deep into the stream it means that such a tree would alwayssurvive any drought because its roots are deeply inserted into the stream. In the same way, anyonewho trusts in God would survive any challenging times because God would cover the person with Hisgrace. The one who trusts in humans is described as a barren bush in the desert that enjoys nochanging season but stands in a lava waste of salt and empty earth. Paul in the second readingreminds the Church at Corinth that our faith as Christians is rooted in the fact that Jesus Christ rosefrom the dead. If Jesus had not risen from the dead our preaching would have been in vain and thatwould have made us the most unfortunate people but since Christ died and rose from the dead, ourfocus should be to live with Him in heaven.


God Called Us to Follow Him Despite Our Unworthiness

02-06-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp.

Today’s liturgy focuses on God’s call, which comes in different situations, circumstances and backgrounds. In each of the calls we heard today, there is the divine invitation to respond to God with openness the way we are and not as we think or as would want to be. Hence, the three readings and the three figures we encounter in today’s liturgy demonstrates that God does not consider our perceived unworthiness and sinfulness before He calls us. Our response should be to say “here I am and ready to do your will”. Our unworthiness does not constitute an obstacle to God as He does not look for our weakness, but rather to our desire to follow Him wherever He leads us.