The Challenge of a Prophet

01-30-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

According to “Living Liturgy” the first reading is one of the most tender and personal moments in all the scriptures. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you”. God in this passage speaks very personally to each of us that even before we were conceived in the womb, He knew who we were and what we are to become. We are not accidents of creation but designed individuals with God’s mark and seal.


The Spirit of the Lord Has Come to Set Us Free

01-23-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading recalls the rebuilding of the people of Israelites after their return from exile. The events in today’s first reading are the efforts of the priest Ezra to unify those returning from exile and restore the consciousness of the covenant with God, which had always been the foundation of Israel’s life. At this time the rebuilding of the temple is delayed, the houses and properties of the returnees are still occupied by foreigners and the monarch is no longer in existence. The only thing still standing that can foster this unity is God’s law transmitted through Moses. It is this law or God’s commandments that Ezra the priest stands before the people to read publicly in the assembly of the people. For the first time after the exile, the Israelites gather as a people to celebrate the proclamation of the word of God and share in a festive meal. The proclamation of the word by Ezra the priest was to call the people to true repentance and good relationships with God and assure them of hope in God who has established this covenant with them.


God Intervenes in Our Situation

01-16-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading of today took place after the exile. At the time of the prophecy the exile is officially over and the people were returning to their home country, but there wasn’t much joy or enthusiasm because they had expected immediate fulfillment to the promises of God. The people were feeling that the recent disaster, especially with the destruction of the temple remains a palpable distance of God from them. So, they were depressed.


The Power of the Holy Spirit

01-09-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today marks the end of the Christmas season with the celebration of the baptism of Our Lord. It tells us how Jesus received baptism from the hand of John the Baptist. “Why should Jesus bother getting baptized, if He is one with the Holy Spirit already? Because the very act of God entering into humanity is to participate into fully, unto death, and thus dignify human life and make it worthy of heaven. Because God is fully human and fully divine, it is through this act of living as one of us, alongside other humans, that our lives are sanctified.”


Jesus is the Star that Guides all People

01-02-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is the feast of Epiphany, where 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 the different responses and reactions this revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East so they could come and worship Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Kings of Kings gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.


Prayer, Listening, Mutual Love, Respect, and Obedience

12-26-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The feast of the Holy Family invites us to reflect on the Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph to see how the example of the Holy Family can inspire our own family to a life of holiness. The Holy Family in their mutual love, respect and obedience, in their patience in moments of trial and difficulties teach us how to be obedient to God’s will in our families. Through their perseverance in moments of doubt and confusion, the Holy Family demonstrates to us how to live in peace, unity and love. The feast of Holy Family communicates to us how much God loves the family, that He decided to come into the world through the family. God as God could have chosen to enter the world through any other means, but by choosing to come through the family demonstrates the profound love God has for our human family. The Holy Family may seem like a fictional tale that exists in another, planet away from a real family in our society today, but they experienced the challenges our own families face today. What distinguishes them is their faithfulness to God’s love and respect for each other. Our families can equally become like the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph when we allow the virtues of the Holy Family to guide our own families.


Blessed are You who Believed

12-19-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

There are times in our journey of life that we have to trust in God’s word being fulfilled in our situation even when we do not know how that would come about. There are moments in our lives that when all that we need is simply to rely on God’s words to be accomplished in our lives even when it seems incomprehensible. This was the situation of Mary, a poor local girl who was told by the angel she would be the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God. She believed those promises of God without any doubt that the words of God would be realized. It calls for a deeper reflection on how we ourselves trust in the power of the word of God to accomplish mighty deeds or what seems impossible in our own eyes. It was her belief that the words spoken to her by the angel would be fulfilled, that gave us Jesus Our Savior. The only thing that we should rely on is that God is faithful and does not change. He is trustworthy and His words are to be trusted even when it seems hard to understand. This is the example of what Mary’s action teaches us today.



12-12-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is called Gaudete Sunday and the liturgy gives us the images of joy and rejoicing. In the first reading the prophet Zephaniah says “shout for joy, O daughter of Zion, sing joyfully, O Israel, be glad and exult with all your heart. The Lord has removed the judgment against you, He has turned away your enemies. You have no more misfortune to fear. Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged.” Amen.


Let Us Repent For Our God Comes

12-05-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

We continue our reflection in this season of Advent when we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Advent is a season and time of hope, when we look with hope to the promises of the Lord to be fulfilled both in the world and in our lives, it is a time of grace when special graces are poured on us to encourage us in our journey, and it is a time we prepare for the coming of the Lord at Christmas, His coming every day and His coming at the end of our lives. Christ has never been away. He is always with us as He Himself said. Hence, what we are waiting for is that Christ may reveal Himself and make His presence felt in a new way, giving us an intense experience of the joy of salvation.


Be Vigilant at All Times

11-28-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today begins the season of Advent, a new liturgical season in the Church’s calendar. A time of great preparation for the coming into history the birth of man who’s coming transformed, story of humanity. In Advent we prepare for the three-fold coming of the Lord, for the coming of Christ during Christmas, the coming of Christ every day in our lives and His final coming at the end of our lives. Advent preparation is usually divided into two parts, the first part begins from the first Sunday of Advent to December 17th in which preparation is mainly on the coming of Christ at the end of time or Parousia, and the second part which begins from December 17th to 24th in which it’s preparation is focused primarily on the coming birth of Christ at Christmas. The key word at each of the preparation periods is readiness or hopeful waiting to welcome the Lord at each time He comes.


Jesus Says "I am the Truth"

11-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is the last Sunday in the Church’s calendar which we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ the King that Our Lord Jesus Christ is a universal King. Today’s feast reminds us that Jesus is the universal king but His kingship is different from all other kings. He rules not by power and might like the world kings, emperors and monarchs but by love which is manifested on the Cross. His power doesn’t make us slaves in the human way. It elevates us to Him and makes us share His own life. “Christ did not deny that He is a king rather He affirms He is a king, but not of a worldly kingship but, heavenly kingdom. He came not to deliver people from oppression of the Romans or political institution, but from the oppression of sin and the evil one, which are the greatest form of enslavement. His mission was to speak the truth through example and word.” This is a call for us who follow Him to strive after truth in our words, actions and deeds. This truth must be spoken in charity with love.


The End of Time

11-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

As the liturgical year gradually winds down, the church directs our attention to the end time when everything comes to a halt including our own lives. The nature of it, the process it would take and what happens after all, remains a mystery to us. However, death is one thing that will come to each of us whether we accept it or not, whether we believe it or not, there is no doubt that no one lives forever. Living Liturgy succinctly says, “For death is coming for each of us, whether we will confront it in our own personal eschaton or in the cosmic apocalyptic drama as described in the Gospel of Mark”. Even if “the end” does not occur in our time, even if another group of end time prophets falsely calculate Jesus’ return and offer a precise date that does not come to pass, we will still come to our end. How are we preparing for it?’


Generosity Comes from the Heart

11-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading and the gospel presents us with the generosity of two destitute widows who gave all they had based on their trust in the living God and His prophet. The widow in the first reading relies on the word of the Prophet Elijah and acted without doubt when she was asked to sacrifice the last part of what she and her son had to eat. The readings teach us that to be generous does not depend on how much we have, but how our heart is open to give. For us to appreciate these two widows we need to understand the condition of widows in the time of the Prophet Elijah and that of Jesus. During this time in Israel, women generally had no voice or status in society. They derived their status from their husbands. The only status they get is from their husbands, so when a woman lost her husband it seems like her world has ended as she loses her position, identity, status and voice in the society.