Thursday, June 23, 2022

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - June 26, 2022

Homily of Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, 2022

1 Kings 19:16, 19-21; Psalm 16:1-2, 5. 7-8, 9-11; Galatians 5:1, 13-18; Luke 9:51-62

This Sunday brings us properly to the Ordinary Time of the Church’s liturgical calendar after the Easter season, the celebration of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Ordinary Time continues to the First Sunday of Advent. From now till the first Sunday of Advent, the Church uses green vestments and green decorations. Green color is the Church’s invitation to what St. Paul calls ministry of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:8); that is to grow, bloom and bear fruit with the graces we received from Lenten season to the celebration of Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

The first reading is about the call of Elisha to become a prophet to succeed Prophet Elijah. Elisha accepted the call. In order to answer the call, he freed himself from his former way of life. The reading says, he “took the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for the fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat.” After which he proceeded to become Prophet Elijah’s disciple. Elisha is just one example of many great men and women who abandoned their former way of life, or ambition, or profession in order to embrace the mission God called them. We have some examples in the Scripture. Abram left his land, his relatives and his father’s house to the mission called him (Genesis 12:1). Peter and Andrew left their nets and followed Jesus. James and John left their boat and their father and followed Jesus (Matthew 4:18-22). Many priests, religious, and missionaries have to give up personal ambition in order to answer God’s call. Do we feel challenged by the radical ‘yes’ to God’s call of the examples above? We may not abandon our way of life, or ambition, or profession but we can engage in a ministry, or a service or a just cause for God’s glory and for the good of humanity.

St. Paul tells us in the second reading that to engage fruitfully in the ministry of the Spirit and to serve one another through love, we must “stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” To be under the yoke of slavery means to be controlled by the desires of the flesh. In Galatians 5:19, St. Paul names some of the desires of the flesh: “immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.” We are unable to engage in the ministry of the Spirit or bear meaningful and lasting fruit if we are weighed down by the yoke of the desires of the flesh. We read in the Scripture how Levi (Matthew) the tax collector, left his custom’s post and everything and followed Jesus. Saul (Paul), transfigured from a persecutor to the greatest evangelist. Do these radical conversions challenge us? Can we identify yokes of slavery in ourselves and get rid of them?

In the Gospel, Jesus calls our attention, further, to the costs of ministry of the Spirit or cost of discipleship. He says, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nets, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” By these statements, Jesus communicates to us that pleasure and comfort should not be priorities, and there are no rooms for procrastinations and excuses for true disciples. What is needed is radical commitment.

The readings today challenge us to obey the call of God without delay. Like Elisha we are to rid ourselves of the yoke of oxen and plowing equipment (that is personal comfort and worldly gains) that prevent us from the ministry of the Spirit. The readings challenge us to remove the yoke of slavery (that is our sins) that prevent us from properly engaging in the ministry of the Spirit. The readings challenge us to rid ourselves of procrastinations and excuses that prevent us from committing ourselves in the ministry of the Spirit. We are all invited to radical ‘yes,’ radical conversion, and radical commitment.

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Fr. Augustine Inwang, MSP - Homily for Corpus Cristi Year C - June 19, 2022


Readings: Gen. 14:18-20; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; Lk. 9:11-17

Food for the Journey and for Life

1.      Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The Eucharist is for the soul what food is for the body. Jesus tells us, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.” (Jn. 6:51). In the Eucharist, Christ is offered and received; through him, the Church continues to live and grow. The Eucharist proclaims the memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ; in it, the sacrifice of the cross is forever perpetuated. This is the summit and the source of all worship and Christian life. Through the Eucharist, the unity of God’s people is signified and brought about, and in it the building up of the body of Christ is perfected. Since priests are ordained to offer the sacrifice of the Mass, it is our duty, therefore, to teach the faithful the importance of fruitful participation at Mass. According to Canon 898, “Christ’s faithful are to hold the blessed Eucharist in highest honor. They should take an active part in the celebration of the most august sacrifice of the Mass; they should receive the sacrament with great devotion and frequently and should reverence it with the greatest adoration. In explaining the doctrine of this sacrament, pastors of souls are assiduously to instruct the faithful about their obligation in this regard.” On Thursday, June 23, 2022, I will celebrate 32 years in the ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ. I was ordained to offer Mass for the salvation of the world. You, my parishioners, have been a part of my story. Thank you for allowing me to be your pastor and your priest.


2.      In the first reading Melchizedek, the king of Salem exchanged bread with Abram, and fellowship is formed between them. In the Gospel, Jesus feeds the hungry with five loaves and a few fish through his divine power. And in the second reading, Jesus gives himself to us as food and drink and makes himself available in a perpetual sacrifice for the nourishment of our souls. The readings demonstrate that the eucharist is to the soul what food is for the body. Hence, after teaching them extensively, Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and a few fish. He fed them with his word before providing them food for the journey back to their destinations. We are Christians because of the resurrection of Christ but Catholics because of the Eucharist. Food is an absolute necessity for the growth of our bodies. And so is the Eucharist for our spiritual nourishment and growth. We need this food to strengthen us on our pilgrim journey to the kingdom of God. Jesus reminds us: “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.” (Jn. 6:54). 


3.      The teaching of the Church on the Eucharist is that Our Lord is truly, really, and substantially present in the Holy Eucharist. To the disciples, Christ stressed, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven.” (Jn. 6:57-58). When some of his disciples stopped following him, Christ did not beg them to stay. Instead, he asked his apostles: “Do you also want to leave?” (Jn. 6:67). According to Pope John Paul ll, this teaching “is at the heart of the Church, the secret of her vigor; she must keep watch with jealous care over this mystery and affirm it in its fullness.” We should, therefore, prepare ourselves for fruitful participation at Mass. By eating the Body of Christ, we become the living Christ, and we are enabled to discover our own closeness and blessedness, acknowledge our brokenness, and live our life for others. Thus we, like Jesus Himself, become food for the world. We become what we eat. When we receive and eat the body of Christ and drink his blood, we become members of the body of Christ – we become Christ himself. We become bread to be broken and blood to be poured for the salvation of the world. 


4.      As we receive the body and blood of Christ, we are encouraged to identify our pains and joys with that of Christ. We must believe that he who is in us, whom we have received in the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ, is above and beyond, far greater, and more powerful than he that is in the world. Christ in us is greater than the devil that seeks to destroy us. If we truly believe in what we receive, he will change us; He will make us holy, forgiving, loving, merciful, compassionate, devoted, caring, charitable, more human, and humane. We are not changed by the body and blood of Christ because we do not know who we are and whose we are. Eating the food of angels should make us act like angels. By eating the food of angels, we say with St. Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ, yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20). 


5.      To participate at Mass faithfully and fruitfully, it is recommended that we go through, beforehand, the readings, examine our consciences for any mortal sins we did not confess, and, if we plan to receive holy communion, confess them and be ready to receive the Eucharist timely and devotedly. After receiving Holy Communion, our Lord is present in us as long as the species remain. This can be as long as 8 to 10 minutes. According to the Sacred Congregation for the sacraments and divine worship, “The faithful are to be recommended not to omit to make a proper thanksgiving after communion. They may do this during the celebration with a period of silence, with a hymn, psalm, or other song of praise, or also after the celebration, if possible, by staying behind to pray for a suitable time.”


6.      After Mass, the priest dismisses the people to “Go forth, the Mass is ended, or Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord or Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.” We are, therefore, to take the Christ that we have received in the Eucharist to all and sundry. We must share Christ, the bread of life, with the poor, the homeless, the sick, the saints, and sinners alike. We are to make the body of Christ, broken and received, available at all times to add flavor to the lives of people around us. Let us pray that we may offer Christ’s body in us to those who need healing for their broken bodies; to public sinners, may we offer forgiveness, companionship to the lonely, conversion for those who hunger for Christ, and reconciliation for those who are on the streets. May we derive strength and nourishment from the bread of life so that we may live forever with our Lord now and always. Amen.

Rev. Augustine Etemma Inwang, MSP


Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for Corpus Cristi Year C - June 19, 2022

 Homily of Corpus Christi Year C, 2022

The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ

Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110:1-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Luke 9:11-17

In the first reading, Abram brought tithe to Melchizedek the priest of Most High God. Melchizedek had a celebration of bread and wine with Abram, and blessed Abram. The Book of Hebrews writes about Melchizedek, “There is no mention of father, mother or genealogy; nothing is said about the beginning or the end of his life. In this, he is the figure of the Son of God, the priest who remains forever” (Hebrews 7:2-3). The celebration of bread and wine foreshadows the Eucharist which Jesus celebrated during the Last Supper. St. Paul recalls the Last Supper in the second reading. “The Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, ‘This is my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”

During the Last Supper, Jesus did not say, “It is like my body.” Or, “It resembles my body.” Or, “It is in place of my body.” He said, “This is my body.” “This is my blood.” This is why we believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. This is why we adore the Body of Jesus in the tabernacle. When we come into a Catholic Church and see a tabernacle and a tabernacle light, we know, immediately, that the Eucharist is present in the tabernacle. We are required to genuflect in reverence. Jesus is no longer physically with us, but he has left himself spiritually with us in the Eucharist.

The Eucharistic celebration is the highest prayer of the Catholic Church. The Eucharistic celebration is not a prayer service. The feast of today is the center of the Catholic Faith. The Eucharist is the most distinctive mark of the Catholic Church. We must guard it with pride, respect, honor and reverence. Someone advised priests and indeed all Catholics, “Take each Mass as your first Mass, your last Mass and your only Mass.” This means that we are required to give every Eucharistic celebration our maximum attention and participation.

The command that we continue to celebrate the Eucharist is the last will of Jesus. Just as we take people’s last will seriously, more so, we are to take Jesus’ last will very seriously. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (1324) writes, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch."

We are to receive the Eucharist reverently and worthily. We do not receive the Eucharist because “it is time for Holy Communion,” or because everyone in the pew is proceeding to receive. We must not disregard St. Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 11:28-29, “Let each one, then, examine himself before eating of the bread and drinking of the cup. Otherwise, he drinks his own condemnation in not recognizing the body.” This is why the Sacrament of Reconciliation helps us to prepare for the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

We receive many graces from participating in the celebration of the Eucharist and in receiving the Eucharist worthily.


The Eucharist is food for our spiritual journey. It gives us spiritual nourishment just as material food gives us physiological nourishment.

The Eucharist have transformative power. It gives us graces to become whom we receive.

The celebration of the Eucharist is the commemoration of the sacrifice of Jesus for our sanctification, for expiation of our sins, and for our salvation. It is for this reason that we celebrate the Eucharist for the living and the dead.

The celebration of the Eucharist is an efficacious prayer for physical and spiritual healing, and for deliverance from evil forces.

The celebration of the Eucharist is our communion with the Trinity, the angels, and the saints. The celebration of the Eucharist is a foretaste of the heavenly banquet after our life here on earth.

God answers many prayers during the celebration of the Eucharist. This is why we celebrate the Eucharist for various intentions.

The many benefits of the Eucharistic and its celebration need to encourage us to participate actively and attentively in the celebration and to receive the Eucharist worthily.

Fr Martin Eke, MSP

Friday, June 10, 2022

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP - Homily for Holy Trinity Sunday Year C - June 12, 2022

Homily of The Most Holy Trinity Sunday Year C, 2022

Proverbs 8:22-31; Psalm 8:4-9; Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles brings the work of the Trinity to its fullness. God the Father is the Creator. God the Son is the Savior. God the Holy Spirit is the Renewer, and the Sanctifier.

When Jesus was about to ascend to heaven, he authorized his apostles to baptize in the name of the Trinity. He said to them, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). With these words Jesus authorizes us, his followers, to do everything in the name of the Trinity. That is why all our prayers begin and end in the name of the Trinity.

By the Sign of the Cross, we invoke the Trinity. We are encouraged to pray it and sign ourselves with understanding, conviction and faith because of its deep and profound meaning. One of the meanings is, when we pray and sign ourselves with the Sign of the Cross we invoke the Love of God, the Grace of Jesus Christ and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14). The Sign of the Cross should always be made prayerfully with this deep and profound meaning in mind.

The Trinity is one of the most important mysteries in Christianity. That, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are three persons, but one nature, one God, equal, undivided, and no separation. We are not invited to fully understand the dogma since it is a mystery. We are, rather, invited to believe, participate, and share in the way of the Trinity. Today’s readings give us some glimpses of the relationship in the Trinity:

First Reading: “When the Lord established the heavens, I was there … Then I was beside him as craftsman, and I was his delight day by day…” (Proverbs 8:27).

Second reading: “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to his grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. … The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:1, 2, 5).

Gospel: “Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason, I told you that he (the Holy Spirit) will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 15:16). 

Any family, parish, community, association, organization, or country that walks in the way of the Trinity will be transformed. The crises we have everywhere is because of human beings’ rejection of the way of the Trinity. Some people walk in their own way which leads to nowhere. Worse still, some people walk in the way of the Evil One which leads to sin.

What is the way of the Trinity?

First, the way of the Trinity is unity: The Trinity is one nature, undivided, no separation. We are invited to witness unity wherever we find ourselves. Separations and divisions are against the way of the Trinity.

Second, the way of the Trinity is harmony: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit related in harmony from creation to redemption, and from redemption to the descent of the Holy Spirit. Disharmony is against the way of the Trinity.

Third, the way of the Trinity is equality: The three persons of the Trinity are equal. None is superior to the other. Therefore, all forms of inequality are against the way of the Trinity.

Fourth, the way of the Trinity is love: Unity, harmony, and equality can only be possible where there is love. The Trinity is bonded by love. We pray for genuine love in all our associations and relationships.

Fifth, the way of the Trinity is holy: As we celebrate and worship the Most Holy Trinity, may the rays of the holy light of the Trinity shine on us and dispel forces of sin and darkness and bring us to conversion. May the rays of their holy light grant us healing and protection. May the rays of their holy light guide us in the path of truth and righteousness. Amen.

Fr. Martin Eke, MSP