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.