Call To Love

10-29-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The readings of this Sunday, especially the first reading and the gospel, call us to the strong commandment of love. Jesus manifested His love by His death on the Cross to save us from sin and give us new life in God. The crisis experience in various parts of the world today is a result of the failure to heed the commands of Jesus to love. It demands the giving of oneself for the sake of the good of another without counting the cost and without any condition. The commandment of love is what Jesus left for us when he says, “I give you a new commandment love one another as I have loved you.” God is love and to see God in the face of our fellow human being is to live the life of love. In this case our actions towards others are motivated by the spirit of God.


We Belong To God

10-22-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

In the first reading from the prophet Isaiah, we see God uses Cyrus, a pagan king, as an instrument to realize the liberation of Israel from the Babylonians. Hence, in Isaiah 45:1 it says, “Thus, says the Lord to his anointed, Cyrus whose right hand I grasp”, and in verse 4, it says “For the sake of Jacob, my servant of Israel my chosen one, I have called you by name, though you knew me not, I am the Lord and there is no other.”


God Invites Us to a Joyous Banquet

10-15-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The story of a marriage feast was not something new. It was also frequently used in the Old Testament. A splendid feast or banquet is a good symbol of joy and happiness, as well as mutual union and love. Even in our own experience we can recall a special dinner at Thanksgiving or Christmas at which everyone enjoys not only the fine food and drink but also the conversation and the feeling of friendship and love. As Jesus told the parable in today’s gospel, the king made elaborate preparations for the dinner and then sent out invitations. To the amazement of the king, some ignored the invitation and went off to attend to business and personal affairs. To the absolute indignation of the king, others rose in rebellion against him and murdered his servants.


God’s Love

10-08-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C. S. Sp., V.F.

The first reading and the gospel of today share a common theme in the use of imagery they employed to convey their message. The central imagery shared by both Isaiah and Matthew is that of the vineyard of the Lord. At the same time, the vineyard of the Lord is referred to as the house of Israel. And in each case, the vineyard, instead of producing good fruits, produced wild grapes. According to Isaiah, despite all he did to care for the vineyard on the fertile hillside, planting of the choicest vines, building a watchtower to guard it when he looked for a crop of grapes what it yielded was wild grapes.


Promise and Commitment

10-01-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Ezekiel’s prophesy in the first reading teaches us the possibility of pardon through repentance for one’s accumulated evils, because God glories in forgiving those who turn back to him, and he ardently desires the salvation of all, but also the risk of losing all the good one has done by returning to doing evil. In the second reading Paul writing to Philippians encouraged them to be united and show their love for each other through humility and service. Christ, who is divine, became man to suffer and die for our salvation. No act of humility on our part can ever rival the humiliation of Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross. Christ willingly took on the role of a servant and allowed himself to be crucified for our sake even though he was innocent of any sin. Then in the gospel of Matthew the parable teaches us that promises can never take the place of performance and fine words are never a substitute for fine deeds.