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.


Let Love Motivate Our Every Word and Deed

10-31-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord Our God, is the Lord alone, Therefore, you should love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.” These were the words of Moses to the Israelites in today’s first reading from the book of Deuteronomy. It is called Jewish shema perhaps one of the most recited and most beloved prayer of Judaism. The prayer proclaims the oneness of God and the basis of the Jewish pure monotheism. The most amazing thing about this is that Jews proclaim this oneness of God at a time when all other countries around them embraced polytheism. For the Jews, this God demands wholehearted love and devotion above any other acts of worship. It is this absolute confidence in the oneness of God that Moses enjoins his people to have and that with that their lives would be prolonged. In the same way, our observance of God’s commandment guarantees our loyalty to God. When we give God true and undivided devotion and worship, we become more of what God wants us to be because we are created in his image and likeness.


God Works Great Miracles

10-24-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The Prophet Jeremiah in the first reading presents us with God’s infinite and gratuitous love for His people. It is a message of hope and a proclamation of salvation to the remnant of Israel. Yahweh promises to bring back His people in exile from the lands to which they have been scattered. Jeremiah is known at times for his prophecy of disasters, and catastrophes, the only words he seemed to be able to utter were threats. In today’s passage he announces good news to the people. He invites all to be cheerful and make merry, for according to him, God is about to work great miracles in their midst. God will liberate the people of Israel, who have been in exile in Nineveh for about a hundred years to return to their land.


To Lay One's Life For Others

10-17-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading from the Prophesy of Isaiah and the Gospel of Mark calls our attention to the fact that true greatness is rooted in service to others. Jesus exemplifies this when He says I have not come to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many. The second reading tells us that the Son of God was not afraid to come down to our human level. He demonstrated the depth of His love by sharing with our human condition. Thus, we should be confident to approach Him as we are without any shame or fear since He is not afraid to call us His brothers and sisters.


The Evil of Attachment

10-10-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading from the book of Wisdom reflects on how the prayer for the gift of wisdom was granted “I prayed and prudence was given to me, I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me”. Wisdom is personified as female and a value to sort after because she is at the center of every other gift. The reading exalts all to seek for wisdom and the best place to get this gift is in prayer. When Solomon was asked by God to make only a single request he prayed for wisdom of God because with the gift of wisdom we understand how to do God’s will. In the second reading from the letter to the Hebrews, the word of God is described as sharper than any double-edged sword. The metaphor of the double-edged sword used in describing the word of God exemplifies the effect and power the word of God has. Its power rests on how it accomplishes tasks beyond imagination. The Word of God accomplishes such because it is Jesus Himself who is the word of God.


Marriage is a Gift from God

10-03-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Marriage forms the theme of today’s liturgy as both the first reading from the book of Genesis and Mark’s Gospel have something to say on the sacrament of marriage. Jesus in His response to the question “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife” put to him by the Pharisees, refers them to the original intention of marriage at creation: a man leaves his father and mother and joins his wife and they form a union making them one body and not two and what God has joined together no person has power to separate.