He Taught Them with Authority

01-28-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The Gospel tells 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.”

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Repent and Turn Back To God

01-21-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

One remarkable feature in Mark’s Gospel is that the first time ever we hear Jesus speak. His words were “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel.” This shows Jesus came to reconcile us with the father and be at peace with him. Reconciliation and peace are achievable through repentance and belief in Jesus who has come to save us. Similarly, the message of 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.

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Jesus Calls Each of Us by Name for a Mission

01-14-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The call of Samuel, in the first reading, demonstrates how God calls each of us individually. Just like Samuel who was unaware of God’s call at the beginning, we too may be unaware when God is calling us but with patience, steadfastness, focus, and an open heart we can recognize His voice in our lives. Just as Eli pointed out to Samuel that it was God calling him so too, we can recognize God’s voice when we pay attention and listen to our parents, teachers, priests and those God has placed to look after us.

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Jesus is the Star that Guides all Our Lives

01-07-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today, being the feast of Epiphany, we celebrate Jesus the incarnate word being revealed to all the nations of the world. The Church 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 the magi is the story of the ways in which God reveals Himself to us and even more about the different responses and reaction this revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.

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The Family - A Home Where God’s Grace Dwells

12-31-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo C. S. Sp., V.F.

The summary of the message of the first reading is honor and respect children are obligated to give to their parents. The amazing thing is that this honor to parents, when practiced with love, goes with lots of blessings as stated in the reading. Thus, the author of book of Sirach enumerates these blessings to include:

  1. They will earn great favor of God.
  2. Their prayers would always be listened to.
  3. They would enjoy a long life and be happy with children of their own.
  4. Even if they sinned, they would be forgiven.
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2023 Christmas Message

12-25-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Beloved Parishioners,

This is the time we celebrate the joy of Christmas that a savior was born for us and the mystery of God becoming man out of His love for humanity. It is a celebration of God’s love as He identifies with our humanness which He transforms by His divine love. It is a time many families gather to share the love of family reunion and God’s blessing as the year winds down. It is a time we celebrate the joy of God’s presence in our midst.

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Fourth Sunday of Advent

12-24-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

We are very close at Christmas as tonight we begin the celebration of the mystery of the incarnation of Christ among us. As we can see the attention shifts from John the Baptist to Mary the Mother of God. This story is only found in Luke’s gospel. Hence, we reflect upon Mary’s example of faith and obedience to God which permitted her to receive the angel’s message that God’s son would be born as a human person as one of us. She is to be mother of Christ.

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Rejoice Gaudete Sunday

12-17-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today is known as Gaudete Sunday, Rejoicing Sunday. The first reading we heard today was taken from the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2 and 10-12. Biblical scholars divided the work of Isaiah into three parts. Thus, we have the First Isaiah 1-39, the second Isaiah from 40-55 and the third Isaiah from 56-66. Thus, our reading is taken from the third Isaiah and the place of this prophecy was Jerusalem at a time immediately after the return of the exiles.

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Going to the Desert

12-10-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

In today’s gospel reading, we see John the Baptist in the desert calling out to the people of Judea to come out into the open desert and let God find them. Isaiah, in the first reading, calls our attention to the mountains and valley that obscure our vision of God’s Glory. Then, Peter, in the second reading, invites us to a life of holiness and devotion to God. May we open ourselves to the grace that would enable us to respond to this call.

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Watch and Wait for the Lord Comes

12-03-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today begins this special season of advent. It is a time of prayer, a time of repentance and a time of preparation. Advent ushers us into the new liturgical year of the church when we prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas, recall His coming many years ago and prepare for His coming at the end of our life. The word advent comes from the Latin word, “Adventum”, meaning, “coming”, but the question is, who will come? Jesus, even though He has come two thousand years ago, He comes every day in our life and we are called to get ready to receive Him anytime He comes.

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Christ is My Savior and King

11-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The Church’s liturgical year concludes with this feast of Christ the King instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 to celebrate the Jubilee year and the 16th centenary of the Council of Nicaea. One of the reasons this feast was shifted to take place at the end of the Church’s liturgical year is to remind us that Jesus is the end of our lives. In instituting this feast, Pope Pius XI proclaimed “Pax Christi in Regno Christi.” The peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ. This means that we live in peace of Christ, when we surrender our lives to Him as our God, Savior and King and allow Him to rule our lives. We honor Christ as the king of the universe and the king of our hearts by allowing Him to take control of our lives.

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Making Excuses or Blame Mind Set

11-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today’s gospel presents us with a very famous story many of us are very familiar with. The story of the King or master who gave his three servants talents and left for a long trip. On his return he expected to get a result on how they used the talents. The first two doubled what they were given because they tried and traded with it. The last never did anything on his own.

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Wisdom for the Kingdom

11-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Wisdom forms the central message in today’s liturgy. The first reading says that wisdom is perceived by those who love her and can be found by those who seek it out. Those who seek it will find it, as it is not hidden nor inaccessible. Another aspect of the passage is that wisdom is personified with feminine pronouns and can be found in solitude. It is a precious gift that helps us navigate through life’s challenges because with wisdom we would be able to make right choices that would enrich our life here on earth and draw us close to God.

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Spiritual Pride

11-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Who doesn’t desire the praise and respect of others? Who doesn’t like to be recognized or to be praised? We want others to see us at our best with all our strength and achievement, rather than at our worst with all of our faults and shortcomings.

Prophet Malachi, in the first reading of today, calls the attention of priests who prefer the praise and respect of people rather than giving glory to God. He says, “If you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, I will send a curse upon you and your blessing I will make a curse.” Prophet Malachi condemns the attitude of priests who have abandoned true worship and service of God for self-praise and fame. In the days of Prophet Malachi many priests had lost the true meaning in the worship of God they presided over so that their worship no longer imparts their lives anymore.

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