Jesus Humbles Himself out of Love He Has for Us

03-28-2021Weekly 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 a require long homily, but 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, healing and finally giving of Himself in humility on the cross.


Lord That we May See You

03-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today’s liturgy invites us to examine how we have done with our Lenten observances of this year as the Lenten season is gradually coming to an end. As it is, there is still time left to make a change and make progress if we have not done so well in our Lenten practices. Today’s Gospel tells the story about the Greeks who wanted to see Jesus and they went to Philip who is from Bethsaida in Galilee. Philip took them to Andrew and both went to Jesus. These Greeks who wanted to see Jesus represent all the pagans, or Gentile who desire to encounter Jesus. These people represent all those who are interested and really want to encounter Jesus in their lives. These Greeks represent all of us who are unworthy, but wish to come close to Jesus. The desire to see Jesus as the Greeks did in today’s Gospel should be our own goal in life. That is, the desire to see Jesus because He is our savior and Lord. Our hope as Christians is to see Jesus. A personal question for each of us should be: Do I really desire to see Jesus? How often in my life do I desire personally to encounter Jesus? Unless we desire sincerely from our heart to meet Jesus and see Him we would not see Him.


Rejoice Jerusalem and be Glad for Her

03-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today the Church calls us to rejoice having gone half way into the Lenten season. We are called to rejoice and be glad notwithstanding that we are still in the penitential season of Lenten season. Our reason to be glad is our opportunity to have participated half way in this journey with the Lord. That’s the reason the entrance antiphon of today’s Mass says, “Rejoice Jerusalem; Be glad for her, you who love her, rejoice with her, you who mourned for her”. Why does the Church ask us to rejoice at this time? The answer is seen clearly in the Gospel passage of today “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish”. What an amazing message that we are loved by God in such a way that He sacrificed His only son for us so that by believing in this son we do not perish. In summary, the love of God presented to us today gives us reason to rejoice. God’s unfailing love to humanity is seen in this statement that God gave His son for our own good and salvation. The theme of God’s mercy presented both in the first and second reading is enough reason for us to rejoice during this period.


A Loving and Obedient Relationship With God brings Peace

03-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

In today’s first reading we are called to a complete obedience and respect for God’s commandment if we are to maintain a good relationship with God and with one another. God’s commandment is designed for our good and when we obey it for what it is, it gives meaning to our lives as the only way we can demonstrate our love for God and to keep His commandments. Thus, Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel. “If you love me keep my commandment” Jn 14:15.


God is Always Faithful

02-28-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is the second Sunday of Lent, a season of grace, prayer, penance, and almsgiving that helps us walk with God. The Lenten observances and practices are meaningful if they are carried out in loving obedience and faith to God. Lent as a season of grace is a time when we leave behind those distractions and develop a deeper relationship with God. In today’s liturgy, we are called upon to have absolute faith in God irrespective of the challenges and trials that confront us every day. Such challenges can lead to loss of faith in God but from the example of Abraham in the first reading and Paul’s injunction in the second we are encouraged to remain firm and steadfast.


Lent is for Self-Discipline and Growth

02-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Lent is here again when we draw closer to God and go into the desert with the Lord in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The season of Lent is a season of grace because by working with the Lord for this forty day journey we draw strength and grace from the life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We embark on Lent as a special time of repentance, reconciliation, and reparation. We grow during Lent by accepting and living the Good News deeper in our lives. No matter how much the power of sin and it’s effect have flooded every area of our lives, salvation is possible for us the moment we turn around and embrace the mercy and love of God which He offers us every day and the Lenten period is the time His grace flows in abundance because Jesus wants us to come very close to him with our heart and mind.


Jesus Heals our Individual Leprousy

02-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading presents us with the agonizing condition of a leper who must be declared unclean by Aaron the priest when the signs like a scab, or pustule or blotch appear on the body of the person. While in the Gospel Jesus heals a leper who begs Him for healing. According to the Mosaic Law it is the priest who declares an individual a leper when certain signs appear which makes the individual unclean and unfit to be part of a community. Whenever the person is cured it is also the priest who certifies the person clean and able to be welcomed back into the community.


Jesus Heals Our Pain and Sickness

02-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

In the gospel passage of last Sunday, Jesus was seen in the Synagogue teaching with authority and casting out demons from a man under demonic influence and possession. In that, He demonstrates His power over evil forces and demons. In today’s gospel reading He demonstrates His power over pain and sickness. We read that “when He came into Peter’s house, the mother-in- law of Peter was sick with fever and immediately they told Him of her. And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her.” This action reveals some amazing qualities of Jesus.


He Taught Them With Authority

01-31-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

In the Gospel of today we hear how Jesus taught His audience with authority unlike the scribes and Pharisees who came before Him. To teach with authority is to demonstrate that everything comes from Him and not appealing to any outside authority to convince His audience as done by the scribes and Pharisees of His day. This finds confirmation in the first reading of today, when Moses spoke to the people saying the Lord says, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin, and will put my words into His mouth, He shall tell them all that I command Him” He taught with personal authority meaning that He needed no authority beyond Himself.


Repent and Turn Back to God

01-24-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

One remarkable aspect we see in today’s liturgy is that Jesus begins his first public ministry by callingpeople to repentance and to believe the Gospel. His first sermon after His baptism were “This is thetime of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” It shows what Hecame to do, to call humanity to repentance and reconcile people with God. This message of repentancewas also the first sermon John the Baptist preached and equally the first sermon of Peter after theresurrection of Christ. Jesus’ sermon of repentance is immediately followed by an invitation of people tofollow Him and to believe in the gospel, the good news He has come to deliver. Similarly, the messageof repentance and reconciliation is also what we see in today’s first reading from the book of Jonah.The Lord orders Jonah to go to Nineveh, capital of Assyria and preach repentance to the Ninevites.


Jesus Calls Each of Us by Name For A Mission

01-17-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

The call of Samuel in the first reading demonstrates how God calls each of us individually. Just like Samuel who wasunaware of God’s call at the beginning, we too maybe unaware when God is calling but with patience, steadfastness, focus,open heart and mind we can recognize His voice in our lives. Just as Eli pointed out to Samuel that it was God calling him sotoo we can recognize God’s voice when we pay attention and listen to our parents, teachers, priests and those God hasplaced to look after us. As He called Samuel by name for a particular purpose so also God calls each of us by name for acertain mission and purpose He wants us to do. Samuel responded with “speak your servant is listening” when he realized itwas God calling him. How I am open to hear God’s voice and how ready and disposed I am to do God’s work He may becalling me for? How can I make myself available as to say with confidence like Samuel, “Speak Lord your servant is listening”.


Jesus is the Chosen One of God

01-10-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

Today we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord that our Lord Jesus Christ humbled Himself to receive baptism from John theBaptist. This great act of humility demonstrates Jesus teaching that the way to reach God is through act of humility. What isthe significance of Jesus baptism since He has no sin? Jesus by His Baptism sanctifies the waters of Baptism, making everywater for baptism purified or wholesome. Secondly to identify with sinners whom he has come to save. Jesus puts Himself insolidarity with the crowd and sinful humanity whom He has come to redeem. According to Fulton Sheen “The object of HisBaptism was the same as the object of His birth, namely to identify Himself with the sinful humanity. If He was to be identifiedwith humanity, so much so as to call Himself the son of Man then He had to share the guilt of humanity.” He was expressingHis relationship to His people, on whose behalf He has been sent. The baptism of the Jordan was a prelude to the baptism ofwhich He would later speak, the baptism of His passion. In the waters of the Jordan He was identified with sinners, in thewaters of His death, He would bear the full burden of their guilt.


Jesus is the Star that Guides all Our Lives

01-03-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

Today, being the feast of Epiphany, we celebrate Jesus, the incarnate word being revealed to all the nations of the world. TheChurch calls it, the feast of appearance or manifestation of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word and means“Manifestation”. The Church celebrates the light of God’s revelation of his Son as human in Jesus Christ. The story of themagi is the story of the ways in which God reveals Himself to us and even more about the different responses and reactionsthis revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East gives each oneof us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.