Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

In answer to a question of whether only a few will be saved, Jesus responded not with a direct answer, but by placing the onus of entry into the kingdom on each individual’s shoulders. “Strive,” he said, “to enter by the narrow gate” Lk 13:24. Strive is the keyword since apparently, many are going to try to enter and fail because the gate is so narrow. The possibility of failure is very real. Who will fail? Probably, people who don’t take him seriously; people who don’t try hard enough; people who love something more than they love Jesus. In other word, lots of people will fail. He goes on to say that many who think they are doing enough are going to be surprised to find they didn’t do enough. They think their Christian credentials are solid, but they will be found wanting. Yet others who did not seem so good in life will be entering the Kingdom before them. Which group will YOU be? Jesus is warning us that just because we feel we are doing enough for him doesn’t mean we are going to be in the group to be saved. We need to follow him with as much sincerity and honesty as we are capable of, doing his will and not our own. This means that the we are challenged to do what has to be done and not presume or take for granted that salvation is assured and especially if one is not willing to receive it. God’s grace is abundant but can only be received by those who want to receive it. Shalom!

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

Someone asked him,
"Lord, will only a few people be saved?"
He answered them,
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough. Lk 13:22-33

It is not only God's grace that matters in our spiritual journey, our efforts, our struggles to overcome temptations and persevere in doing good counts in God's sight. St Augustine tells us that we should pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on us. We will not idly stroll into the kingdom of God, sometimes we will come to it through tears and  blood.

πŸ™‡‍♀Jesus I trust in you. I need you more than ever today.  Walk with me Lord for I can't walk alone. Be my strenght and my shield. When my strength fails me, let your mercy hold me up. Jesus I trust in you. Amen.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush."
(Luke 13: 18 -  19).

The prophet Zechariah tells us never to despise the days of small begginings (4:11).

Though small and insignificant things may seem they  will not remain that way, if we stay the course, ever counting on God's faithfulness, and his unfailing help.  

 Never look at the length of the distance you have to cover to reach your destination, take the first step.

Be not  overwhelmed by the enormity of task that needs to be done to achieve your goals, to transform this world, Make the first move, just lift a finger, do your own little bit. 

Simple gestures of love can have life changing and revolutionary  impact in your life and the lives of people around you. 

 Yes because it's not just about what we do.    God is at work in us to make us willing and able to accomplish feats beyond what we can ever imagine. He Will multiply our efforts and bring our good purposes to a fruitful end, if we do not give up.

πŸ™Jesus I trust in you. Amen

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Monday, Oct. 29, 2018

"Woman, you are set free of your infirmity" Lk 13:12

For 18 years, the woman that was doubly bent from her infirmity  kept her faith in God in despite not seeing her healing in sight. I suspect she was no longer hoping that God will visit her and grant her relief  from her affliction.   This woman's faith inspires me because she continued to seek God and remained faithful and devout even when she saw no prospects of receiving answers to her prayers. This is heroic faith that Habbakuk speaks of: "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. 3:17-18.

πŸ™πŸ™‡‍♀Lord you never forsake those who hope in you, may I never be put to shame as I hold on to your promise. When my faith wavers, let your goodness and mercy uphold me. Amen.

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Monday, Oct. 29, 2018

Luke 13:10-17, contains a healing story that leads to a controversy. There was a woman who suffered 18 years from a crippling disease which made standing erect an impossibility for her. She did not ask Jesus to heal her but upon seeing her, JesΓΊs laid hands on her; that imparted both healing and blessing, and immediately she was able to stand erect. Upon being healed, the woman’s first act is to praise and glorify God. But the leader of the synagogue was not pleased with what Jesus did, hence he was maintaining the reading and faithful teaching of the law. Clearly, he thought Jesus has broken the Sabbath observance by healing this woman. Jesus responded by arguing in typical rabbinic fashion from the lesser to the greater. For Jesus, it was hypocritical to take care of animals on the Sabbath but not take care of humans. For him, the Sabbath is about liberation, not restriction. Jesus didn’t reject the Sabbath observance; he simply reinterpreted it from the perspective of freedom and new life. Instead of the woman being humiliated, the adversaries of Jesus now suffer that fate. His supporters, of course, were ecstatic. He has brought down the haughty and lifted up the lowly. esus healed on the Sabbath because God does not rest from showing his mercy and love, ever. God’s word has power to change us, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Is there anything that keeps you bound up or that weighs you down? Let the Lord speak his word to you and give you freedom. Shalom!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fr Ed. Pemida, MSP - Homily from 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time year B, Oct. 21, 2018

Dear sisters and brothers, ours is a message of joy and graceful trust as we hear the solemn words of today’s readings. This is because above and beyond every odd, they remind us once again of the God of our salvation who is our refuge, our strength, our redeemer and our restorer. The responsorial Psalm captures it quite beautifully: “the Lord has done great things for us, we are glad indeed” (126:3-5). The prophet Jeremiah proclaimed this message of hope and joy to the people who knew so much pain and suffering with God’s fervent promise “I will gather from the ends of the earth… the blind and the lame…the mothers and those with child…they departed in tears, but I will console them and guide them” (Cf. Jr 31:7-9). This message of restoration and healing takes its most vivid form in the coming of Jesus Christ, the God who became man, and today we hear a rather insightful narrative of Christ’s miraculous encounter with a blind and helpless beggar named Bartimaeus (Mk10:46-52).


Amidst the daily challenges we are faced with, the story of Christ and the Blind Bartimaeus comes rather very apt. Ours is a world where we seem to struggle with the pressure and compromise of sinfulness on many fronts, a world where we battle with sickness, childlessness, poverty, and many times are even tempted to fall into depression, and suicide. These and many other challenging circumstances can be linked to the very state in which the blind man was as he seemed to have no other place to stay other than that spot by the roadside where he always sat to beg for alms. However, even in his utter state of helplessness, Bartimaeus seemed to have exemplified a commendable attitude of Faith worthy of our reflection as presented in the gospel of Mark today. 


First, we are told he cried out with a loud voice continually “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me” (10:47). This means that his knowledge of Jesus must have gone well beyond that of a mere passer-by. He seemed to have come to believe in him that he could acknowledge him as the coming Messiah foretold by the prophets, particularly, that of Isaiah (chapter 11), who proclaimed that a shoot shall sprout from the stock of Jesse (and Jesse was the father of David). Indeed, we see that this came to pass in Christ as particularly recorded by St. Matthew the historian, who began his gospel passage by tracing the genealogy of Christ back to the kingly lineage of David (Cf. Mt 1:1-17). This means that even the choice of Joseph as the foster father/ earthly guardian of Jesus was no accident. It was God’s perfect design, and this was precisely, why Jesus, who no doubt, remained Son of God, on many occasions and as recorded in all four gospels of the sacred scripture, would refer to himself as “Son of Man” (see Mt 8:20; 11:19; Mk 8:31; Lke 22:48; Jn 3:13).


Thus, we see that Bartimeus knew very well his need for God’s divine touch, and he was neither too proud to admit or air it out, nor was he ready to give-in to the pressure of the disapproving crowd (including the followers of Christ). Rather, he was humble to identify his weakness and constantly called out till he got his chance to meet with the master. And when finally the opportunity came forth, he did not mince words nor choose the path of ‘running around the bush’ he simply and frankly stated his need: “Lord that I may see” and Christ particularly commended him for his faith. And after having gained his sight we are told, the man threw off his cloak and was full of joyful praise of God (Mk 10:46-52).


This is very insightful a lesson for us today, especially in our world where we seem to be growing so fast in pomposity, pretense and ‘living a Lie’ in the name of ‘having Faith’. The author to the Hebrews tell us clearly that every High Priest is chosen from among the people, to offer up prayers and offerings for sins on behalf of the people and himself as well, since he is himself beset by weaknesses, yet, has been graciously called and chosen to take to a task he cannot meritoriously or honorably take upon himself (Heb:5:1-6). As such, like Christ, every priest who must follow after Christ, the eternal Priest, (that is, both the sacred and the common priesthood that we all share) must recognize the pricelessness of having to serve and remain humble, tolerant and yet, full of zeal in service to others.


And so, my dear friends, the faith attitude of this man Bartimaeus calls us to reflect on a number of questions regarding how our own Faith-relationship with God. As Christians for instance, how much faith have we in Christ, especially amidst trials and tribulations? What becomes of us regarding our knowledge of Christ when we are in need? And also when our needs have been met or answered? Are we the kinds that pay much attention to every stone thrown at us? Do we simply wait for the opportune time to pay back the evil done us? Or do we simply and continually strive to remain focused on him who is our real source of strength and healing hoping that someday, even the stone-throwers will one day come to not only marvel at the beautiful edifice their stoning have made of us through God’s grace, but also come to have true remorse and repent of their wrongdoing?


It is therefore, my fervent prayer
that we may grow through every weakness and not simply be at home with them, or pretend as though they were not there even when they are, so that we may constantly and tirelessly reach out to Christ in such a deepened and lively Faith – by drawing closer and closer to Christ in his word and through the sacraments – so that in the end, we may become so fully grown and completely detached from the love of anything else other than Christ. Amen!!!

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time year B, Oct. 21, 2018

Bartimaeus, the poor blind beggar in Mk 10:46-52, was in need – he wanted to see! One day the opportunity presented itself, Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem and Bartimaeus seized the moment. He cried out “Jesus son of David have mercy on me.” The bible said: “And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out the more, “Son of David have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said call him, and the people said to him “Take heart; rise, he is calling you, and throwing off his cloak he sprang up and came to Jesus. Bartimaeus knew what he wanted and he went for it abandoning every other thing else. Here he represents the soul of all the afflicted who cry to God daily from their hearts. And instead of the people around them to help them get to Jesus or draw the attention of Jesus, they rather rebuke them and urge them to keep quiet. That's quite disheartening. And yet they are those who encourage and consoles, those that told Bartimaeus, take heart He is calling you. The question then is which of this group can we be identify with? Bartimaeus tells us today not to allow negative voices around to deter us from reaching our life goals; from seeking the Lord. He identified his infirmity and with strong faith and inner courage asked the Lord that he may see. What is yours? We may not be physically blind like Bartimaeus, but we might be spiritually blind by not seeing how negatively we influence others; through our words and actions. How we offend others in our relationships. And how we even discourage people from reaching out to God. We might not be seeing how we are resisting self-growth, by our refusal to accept healthy feedbacks from our parents, spouses, friends, colleagues and family members. We might not even be seeing how we are neglecting our job and family responsibilities. We pray with Bartimaeus today that God would help us to see the areas of our lives where we really need his mercy and total restoration. Peace be with you!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018

The owner of the fig tree in the parable of Lk 13:1-9, which many spiritual authors see as an image of God the Father, comes for three years in search of fruit. How often our Heavenly Father comes in search of fruit on the fig tree of our lives. And what does he find? He has given us the “soil” and so many elements that are conducive to being fruitful. He has made known his desire for us to bear fruit, and his Son has explained to us how the fruit is to be produced. There are no excuses. Let’s take notice of the lesson of the parable: When the Father comes to us looking for fruits, it is because it is the time for fruit. What will we say to the Father if he has given us ten, twenty, forty, sixty years to bear fruit but finds none? It’s not just about looking nice, as a fig does. It’s about bearing fruit – fruit that will last – according to the Father’s plan. Shalom!

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

People who live a life of consistent prayer are much more in tune with God’s presence. Where others see coincidence, they see providence. This gives them a profound sense of peace. They know that God is in charge and that they don’t have to figure out everything for themselves. The world doesn’t rest on their shoulders, but on God’s. So instead of complaining or worrying, they live in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. God’s providence guides all things. We know this through faith and sometimes he sends a sign to say, “Yes, I’m indeed here.” Once a priest was driving down the road and his thoughts were taken up with a difficulty he was having with a particular person. “How should I handle this?” he asked himself. A car pulled out in front of him. The license plate read “CARITAS”, which is Latin for “charity.” Was it just a coincidence? He couldn’t deny that this was the answer he was looking for. The signs that invite us to be more Christ-like are the ones to which we need to pay the most attention. Shalom!

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

"Make every effort to preserve the unity through the bond of peace..." —Ephesians 4:3 

Peace and unity do not just happen.  They must not be taken for granted. They are often fruits of our labour of love, our patience with one another, humility, willingness to forgive,  meekness and eagerness to give way to one another in charity. 

Where there is pride, unhealthy rivalry, greed, and unforgiveness, back stabbing; peace and unity will remain foreign and far away.

πŸ™‡‍♀Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make our hearts like yours. Amen.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018

If I were to choose one scripture that represents my prayer for you, it would be Lk 12:49-53. If I were to try to explain why I write these daily Good News Reflections it would be with the words of Jesus: “I want to light a fire; how I wish it were already blazing!” Lk 12:49. Why isn’t it blazing? Because none of us fully realize how much God loves us. When we’re unloving, it’s because we don’t understand the depth of God’s unconditional, merciful, faithful, never-ending love for us. This love is the fire that burns up sin, sets us on fire with the light of Christ, and energizes us with the fuel of God’s own energy. God’s love is the fire that ignites us each morning. Look around. Who else is on fire, burning with desire to serve him? Do others see it in you? How I wish every Christian had this fire igniting their activities on Earth! The world would be transformed. God placed this fire within you at your baptism. Are you fanning this flame? Are you letting it light up the world around you? The inner motivation that enabled Jesus to endure the cross and accomplish the goal of providing us with eternal salvation came from a deep yearning to spread the fire of his love. It came from the passionate urgings of love, which filled him with an undying desire to rescue us from death and destruction. Have you felt this way about anyone? When we make sacrifices because we feel a passionate love for others, we’re spreading the fire of God’s love. By loving others, we come to know “the breadth and length and height and depth” of Christ’s love. If we wait to feel loved before we give love, we never understand God’s love. Shalom!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018

Peter’s question regarding whether this “parable” was for the disciples alone or for everyone, does not receive a direct answer from Jesus. However, in his response to the question, Jesus responds with another “parable”, which is about the faithful and unfaithful servant/slave Lk 12:39-48. While there will be a reward for the faithful servant, there will be punishment for the unfaithful servant. God will seek much from those to whom he has given much, because everything has been given in trust. Each of us has a specific role to play in the world, which is confirmed by the fact that we are unique and that there is not one else exactly like us anywhere. Since this is the case, we have to be faithful to that to which we are called. If we do not do what we have to do, no one else will do it and it will remain undone. Besides this it will also mean that we have been negligent in our duty and not appreciated enough the uniqueness of our creation. Shalom!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018

"When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."  (Luke 12: 48).

πŸ‘‰True joy does not come from the fact that we are richly  blessed with so much resources, abilities and talents. But rather how much we have made of what God has given us, little or great to give meaning and value to the lives of others.  This is what makes a life noble and the secret of enduring happiness.  The more we have received, the more we are called to give and to serve.  The real blessing, a truly blessed life is a life that truly blesses others.

πŸ™πŸ™‡‍♀Jesus may I be a blessing to someone today. Amen.

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

Imagine Jesus’ joy in welcoming one of his “good and faithful servants” into heaven Lk 12:35-38. He said that he will sit us down and serve us dinner. That beautiful image reminds us that the hard work of being faithful will not lack its reward. More than anything, it points to Jesus’ gratitude: the Master becomes the servant for his loyal disciples. After all that the Lord has done for us, what else would we rather do than to give Christ the joy of our faithfulness? Being faithful isn’t a fling or a flash in the pan. We know that there will be “ups and downs,” moments of two steps forward and one back. Through it all, we are called to persevere. Going the distance is not easy, but how beautiful it is! When we heard that someone has passed away, we feel sad until we consider the joy of imagining the embrace between him and the Lord he/she loved so much. May our example bear witness to our desire to persevere — to stick with the commitment of fidelity until the Lord calls us home. Shalom!

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

"Gird your loins and light your lamps  and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks."  (Luke 12: 35 - 36).

 Men and women in the Biblical era typically wore flowing tunics, which would have understandably gotten in the way whenever one needed to run, fight or perform hard labor. Hence they needed to gird their loins. the men would lift the hem of their tunic up and tuck it into their girdle or tie it in a knot to keep it off the ground.

 In like manner we need to gird the loins of our minds and heart.  We gird our loins when by self denial,  we put our selfish desires especially our lust, pride and greed in check.  These often get in the way of true love, justice and a life of virtue. Hence through the Spirit at work in us daily we must seek to bring them to submission. This however  is not enough.  Our lamps must be burning brightly, for we hold burning lamps in our hands, when by good works we show forth bright examples to our neighbors. Thus we must not only cease to do evil but must be active in good works if we must be found worthy to meet Jesus our master.

πŸ™‡‍♀Bend my heart to do your will O God. Amen.

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Monday, Oct. 22, 2018

“Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”, then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one ‘s life does not consist of possessions.” Lk 12:14-15. Here, Jesus chooses to go straight to the point and warns all of us to watch and be on guard against avarice of any type as life does not consist essentially of possessions even when one needs them. He showed that greed for money and material possessions is evil especially if they are not used to benefit all men, when they are considered gods and their shrewd accumulation becomes one’s passion, when a man’s mind and heart are so bent in having them at whatever cost. Our Lord’s message for everyone is clear and concise. He teaches us what is worthwhile in life, what should be important to all of us. God’s will for us is not to be attached to anything that is of the world but to always desire what is holy and eternal.   He said: ‘ You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong? ‘ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God. Shalom!

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Monday, Oct. 22, 2018

Now as for you my soul, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”  (Luke 12: 19)...
You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?"
(Luke 12: 20).

It was not a bad idea for the rich man to have thought of expanding his storage, to be able to accumulate more grains from a rich harvest.  He went wrong when he spared no thought for God who ultimately is the source of all wealth and may have had different plans for him. Where is God in my life shedules? Do I ever ask what he wants for and of me? He made no  room either for his neighbour. It was all and only  about him. When God blesses me do I spare a thought for others? The foolish man is the man who is always full of himself.

πŸ™‡‍♀πŸ™‡‍♀πŸ™‡‍♀Jesus, sometimes I have been foolish when I have lived my life as if I was totally in control, when i have not shown care towards others with the resources you have given me. Teach me kindness and generosity of heart. Make me  know O Lord the shortness of my life that I may gain wisdom of heart. Amen.

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time year B, Oct. 21, 2018

When the other disciples heard about the request of James and John, they became indignant at them. Surprisingly, Jesus did not reprimand the two brothers. Instead, he took the occasion to teach all of them the lesson on true greatness. It is not in being ahead of others but in serving others: “Whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all” (Mark 10:43-44). Servanthood is a call to personal involvement and commitment in the lives of others. It is a deep desire to obey God and go wherever He calls us to go for the benefit of our brothers and sisters. A true servant therefore gives of himself/herself and serves, yet decides to remain in the shadows. One whose heart and mind are so focused, not on public acclaim as a reward, but on an eternal reward that can only be granted by God. And whose service is void of manipulation or a desire to control others. According to Martin Luther King Jr. “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. . . You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.” I wonder if that is our understanding of greatness? Are we gladly serving, doing tasks that may be unnoticed? Is the purpose of our serving to please our Lord, rather than to gain the applause of people? In the words of Vernon C. Grounds, If we are willing to become servants, we can achieve true greatness. Let us remember in our prayers the missionaries all over the world who are laboring to spread the Christian faith in different parts of the world. They have offered their lives for the sake of Christ. They are truly great men and women because they are following Jesus. Shalom!

Fr Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time year B, Oct. 21, 2018

whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mk 10;35-43

Jesus never discouraged us from aspiring for greatness. We were all created for greatness.  He rather taught us  what true greatness consists in.

 It is not about occupying exalted positions, but having a humble and eager disposition to be of service to others especially the most vulnerable.  An attitude of humble service to others is the sure path to greatness. Anyone hence can be great. You too can be great.

πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™Jesus grant me that generosity of heart, make me humble ever willing to serve without counting the cost. Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours. Amen.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018

What sign are you waiting for that would prove that God really, really loves you? What resolution to a problem, what new job, what reconciled relationship? In Lk 11:29-33, we find out that Jesus is the sign. We need no other sign. like Jonah. Jesus emerged from the belly of death to call you and me to repentance. He is the sign we are given. Jesus died because he loves us. Then God the Father raised him from death because he loves us. Out of this tremendous love, God calls us to repent so that we can live in his love all the time. Then why are we reluctant to identify our sins and repent? We’re so determined to resolve our problems in the easiest possible way without making any sacrifices that we fail to recognize the sign of the cross. We fail to recognize the love that’s there and the love we receive when we unite our problems to the cross of Christ. We cannot understand God’s tremendous love unless we trust in that love when the odds are against us. And we can’t trust until we let go of our own ways of fixing problems. Shalom!

Fr Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018

The rich young man wanted to know what we all want to know how to live in this life so that we might live forever in the world to come. So, the Lord said to him: “There is one more thing you must do. Go, and sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions” (Mark 10:21-22). He want eternal life yet unwilling to embrace the core message of Jesus: LOVE. And love is total self-giving: “There is no greater love than for a man to offer his life for his friends.” The young man went away sad. He was not willing to share, so he cannot love, and therefore, he cannot follow Jesus to eternal life. The call to discipleship is a call to let go, and share our life and possessions with others and thereby store up heavenly treasures. Now is the time to let go; now is the time to share; now is the time to follow Jesus and discover the beauty of freedom from material things. For those who seriously heed this lesson, Jesus has this promise: “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age and eternal life in the age to come.

Shalom!

Fr. Patrick Etuk, MSP - Homily from Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018

Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor
and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me. Mk 10:17-30.

Jesus wanted the rich young  man to let go of his wealth for the poor,  not because he intended him to be poor, deprived and indigent. He wanted him to be free of possessiveness , the worship of false gods, the root of envy, jealousy, wrath and strife. Possessiveness is the cause of all evil and can only be cured by letting go and sharing what we treasure of the wealth of this world with the less privileged.  When we empty ourselves of the things of this world we make room in our lives for riches that truly endure. We store up treasures for ourselves in heaven, where thieves can't break in and steal and termites will have no access to devour. The man who is generous with what God has blessed him with will never lack. God will always supply all his needs according to his riches in glory. This is why our Lord said that anyone who leaves everything to follow him will have them back in super-abundance, with the kingdom of God to crown it all.

Jesus I trust in you. Amen.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Fr. Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Oct. 11, 2018

In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus teaches that we should be persistent and consistent in our prayers for God’s transforming grace. Not that He wants the Father to give us a difficult time and would like Him to lengthen our agony of waiting for His blessings but because our prayers most often would like to change God and let Him be aligned with our ideas and plans. Most often we cannot accept God’s light. We are blind to God’s ways because they are not always easy and pleasant to what we are so accustomed to. Our prayers will never change God. Prayers will only modify our hearts and such transformation is not normally instant. To arrive at an interior acceptance of God’s will and see our life with His eyes, we need to be persistent and consistent with our prayers. We need to pray to God for a longer time. Our regular and consistent fellowship with God can only bear us the right amount of fruit we need to subsist and sustain our spiritual walk. Because of our relationship and the rapport we have with Him, God will never fail us and He will give us as much as what we need. He will bless us all the days of our lives.  “So I say to you, ‘Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.’ “For whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted.”

Shalom!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fr. Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily for Oct. 10, 2018

When the disciples asked our Lord Jesus, ‘Teach us to pray’ Lk 11:1-4, He responded by sharing with them how He normally expresses His thoughts and aspirations to the Father. He included everything that can and must be said to the Father. This is what we now call the Lord’s Prayer and the model prayer for everyone who acknowledges the existence of God. By petitioning God for the most basic of our needs like “bread”, the prayer is basically a prayer of dependence. It is an acknowledgment of the fact that we cannot manage even this simple task on our own, and we need God’s goodness to provide it to us. Just as we need bread we also need God’s forgiveness, because if He were to keep a grudge against us for every time we sinned, we would be lost. In this context, it must be noted that nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus tell us that we must be “sorry” for our sins if we want forgiveness. Rather if we want to be forgiven, we must forgive. Our forgiveness of others opens our hearts to receive the forgiveness that God constantly gives. The prayer is therefore not merely a prayer, therefore, but an attitude, a way of life.

Shalom!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fr. Peter Ireorji, MSP - Homily from Oct. 9, 2018

When Martha felt bad that she did not get help from Mary, Jesus cautioned her: ” . . . you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).

Though justified, Martha’s protest is put negatively by her. It is clear that her focus is not the Lord, but herself. She is concerned not with her service of the Lord, but the trouble that it is causing her because she is left alone to serve. The response of Jesus to Martha is the main point of the story and the pronouncement. The repetition of her name is a mild rebuke. Her “cares” have prevented her from unhindered devotion and attention to the Lord. Mary has chosen the one thing necessary and that is the Lord. Martha presumes to tell Jesus what he should do; Mary lets Jesus tell her what to do. There are times when we do things not because we are convinced that they have to be done but because we want the approval of others or we want others to know how hard we are working. These are selfish acts and do not bring grace. The act that does bring grace is when we do what has to be done simply because it has to be done and expect nothing in return.

Shalom!