My Twitter Feed

May 21, 2018

 “I have sinned” – A Lenten reflection

    “I have sinned” is a confessional statement, owing up or admitting a wrong act or crime committed. Usually it proceeds from inner feeling of guilt and if spontaneous, is consummated in forsaking. Any confessional statement that is bereft of sincerely forsaking the wrong act or crime confessed is completely immaterial and unfructifying, and therefore not enough to merit God’s mercy and forgiveness. With the bible as our guide, I crave your indulgence to cite four major confessions of “I HAVE SINNED” to make clear the assertion that CONFESSION and FORSAKING must willy-nilly go together if the former, must…

Read More

2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis

  “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24: 12)   Dear Brothers and Sisters, Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near! In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.[1] Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life. With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth….

Read More

LENT AGAIN?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

    Fresh from his baptism, Jesus sets out to fast and pray in the desert where he is tempted by the Devil. By overcoming the temptations, he gives us a model to deal with temptations and sin.   The Lord spends forty days in the desert – a period symbolic of great physical and spiritual challenges. The Great Flood lasted forty days (Gen.7: 4, 17), and so did Moses’ fast on Mount Sinai (Ex.34:28). The spies sent by Moses spent forty days exploring the land of Canaan (Num.14:34); Elijah’s fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8); and Nineveh was given…

Read More

THE (ROMAN CATHOLIC) SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION-PENANCE-CONFESSION:  PAST AND THE PRESENT

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION-PENANCE-CONFESSION

  A REFLECTION (IN PREPARATION FOR THE LENTEN SEASON)   BY MSGR NATHANIEL I NDIOKWERE     PREAMBLE    “A picture, an image speaks one thousand words”,  is a popular ancient adage. In the  two pictures posted with the present reflection (see the bottom page), we see the pope confessing his sins to a priest presumably  in Saint Peter’s basilica, the Vatican, Rome. Most of us are familiar with such images or scenarios posted on the social media. Surely they are not for ‘show’ . The Pope has never posed at the confessional asking the Vatican photographers  and passers-by to…

Read More

This Lent

lent

  The season of Lent, a 40- day period of prayer, fasting, almsgiving and other spiritual endeavors in preparation for Easter begins on Wednesday this week. This year’s Lent is very special because it kicks off on an Ash Wednesday that falls on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. St. Valentine, was a Catholic priest, who was murdered by Emperor Claudius because he flouted the emperor’s order by wedding a young soldier who was in love with a young lady. He is regarded world-wide as the Patron Saint of lovers. Both Jesus Christ and St Valentine died for Love. So both Ash…

Read More

Institutionalization of Nepotism in Nigeria

NIGERIA AND OCTOBER 1st INDEPENDENCE DAY

  It is no news that our leaders (the word ‘leader’ is used loosely here, as there is no true leader in Nigeria) in political authority have now bastardized the process of appointments into political offices in the country. They have sacrificed merit on the altar of mediocrity. They always tend to engage in the politics of nepotism instead of holding firm to the ethics and precepts of good governance. Nepotism, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary is defined as “giving unfair advantages to your own family if you are in a position of power, especially by giving them…

Read More

VAL-IN-TIME

VAL-IN-TIME

  The 2018 Valentine’s Day coincides with Ash Wednesday, and there is some panic in that sense. Many see that as a clash, not sure how correct that is. On its own, Valentine’s Day evokes a feeling of amusement, merrymaking and revelry. Ash Wednesday, on the other hand, elicits austerity, introspection and reflection. It introduces the forty days of prayer, fasting and abstinence to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death. Different dioceses and churches have put out some directives to the faithful regarding the primacy of Lent over Valentine’s Day. For instance, the Archdiocese of Baltimore in the United States reminds…

Read More

ARE YOU A LEPER?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Hansen’s disease (leprosy) was one of the most dreaded and rampant diseases in Ancient Israel. It made the sufferers unclean – unfit to participate in the social and liturgical life of the nation. For fear of contagion, therefore, the victims were isolated from the rest of the community. They carried a stigma, with little love or acceptance, and no enjoyment of ordinary human companionship. They were completely stripped of their human dignity! Leprosy causes the rotting of one’s extremities – nose, lips, fingers, toes, etc., It also discharges an utterly revolting smell. Beyond Hansen’s disease, however, the people of…

Read More

Valentine Day: Our youths celebrating the opposite

  On the 14th day of February last year, just like the 14th day of February the other years back, the world witnessed euphoria of love in all its quarters. The wind of love blew from the four poles of the world making love to fill the air. In fact, love was in the air. What made this to be empirically felt were the love messages that were flying across phones, love images and messages shared in the social media and other social interactive rooms, phone calls to loved ones were made like never before. Radio and TV stations held…

Read More

Celebrating Valentine Day on Ash Wednesday … Christ’s love made manifest

lovers day

  In the gospel of St. John we read, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lays down his life for his friends (John 15:13). In verse 12 Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I loved you.Given this mandate, on Wednesday February 14, the entire human race joyfully celebrates what I may describe as Ash – Valentine day. On this day we venerate St. Valentine who reigns as the patron of true and happy marriage. It is a day popularly known as lovers’ day. Like the Harley’s comet which appears once or…

Read More

CALLED TO PREACH

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In our Gospel today, the disciples come to Jesus the morning after a very successful day in their ministry. He had dramatically expelled a demon right in the middle of the synagogue and then spent the entire evening of the Sabbath working miracles and amazing exorcisms. The next morning, his disciples were obviously looking forward to another day of splendid performances. And so, when they awoke to find him gone from the house, and with a growing crowd of townspeople clamoring to see him, they were confused. A search party was organized but when they found him, alone in…

Read More

COURAGE, DO NOT BE AFRAID

  A Pastoral Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province Issued at the End of their First Plenary Meeting for the Year 2018 Held at the Assumpta Pastoral Centre, Wetheral Road, Owerri — Imo State from January 22 – 23, 2018 Preamble 1. Our dear brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow citizens: in the past years we addressed you on certain critical ecclesiastical and socio-political tensions seriously affecting us as a people. Today, our people and nation are still saddled with rising religious, socio-political and ethnic agitations. While acknowledging some visible improvement in infrastructure by government, our people…

Read More

Commissioning of Bishop Unegbu Memorial Hospital and Water Project

Bishop Mark Unegbu

Ndiokonkwo Arondizuogu, 03 January 2018. Tribute by Rev Fr Prof. Dr. Anthony E. Onyeocha    (1) BIRTH He was born in 1917 at the wake of World War 1, the birth of Communism in Eastern Europe as well as the year that Our Lady appeared in Fatima to the three children namely, Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco to plead for prayers for world peace.   (2) SEMINARY At the end of the primary school career, the young Mark Unegbu entered St. Paul’s Minor Seminary. From 1933-1936 he read and passed his Senior Cambridge with distinction and became the headmaster of St….

Read More

WHAT IS YOUR AUTHORITY?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today’s Gospel passage is emphatic that Jesus taught the people with authority, not like the Scribes!It might sound strange to suggest that the Scribes did not teach with authority, but the reality is that their teaching had too much of human power but very little of moral authority – it was bereft of compassion and was programmed for selfish gain. Moreover, they did not practice what they taught. Conversely, Jesus was forthright and used his teaching to edify rather than put people down; he challenged the people to repent but with empathy, and he lived what he taught. That…

Read More

HE CAME TO CALL SINNERS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In today’s Gospel we hear the greatest challenge ever given to humanity: “Repent, and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:15). With these words, Jesus inaugurates his public ministry of reconciling us with the Father. The greatest man ever issues the greatest summons ever (repentance), to God’s greatest creation ever (mankind), against the greatest human tragedy ever (sin). And on offer is the greatest reward ever (salvation), entailing the greatest transformation ever – the divinization of man. The call to repentance summarizes Jesus’ mission on earth. This challenge is the good news – god-spell (glad tidings) or Gospel. It is…

Read More

ON THE SANCTITY OF THE HUMAN BODY

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, St Paul is emphatic that we must glorify God with our bodies. In the Ancient Greek culture under which he was writing to the Corinthians, there was a negative anthropology that discriminated between the body and the soul. The body was considered useless and the soul very important. Even the philosophers of those days saw the body as a prison where the soul was trapped like a ghost inside a machine. Consequently, the Greeks tended to be extremely lax in matters of sexual morality. Since the body didn’t really matter, it did not really matter what people chose to…

Read More

New Year, New Beginning

New year 2018

  Our life is like a book. The New Year stands before us like a fresh chapter in a book. What you will write for this next chapter of your life is entirely up to you. So, it is usually and rightly so a time for renewal; a time to brace up for a new beginning, and fresh starts. Stock taking presumably must have taken place in December, loopholes, shortfalls and mistakes identified. January then begins with a new sense of optimism, a sense and a desire to make the New Year better than last year. The New Year provides…

Read More

Model for Community Development in the Nigerian Society of today: The Church and the people

Model for Community Development in the Nigerian Society of today

The Church The sorry state of life in Nigeria today is sad as well as scary. The poor are on the verge of losing their humanity, the rich are drowning, and the ignorant are turning to nonentities while the learned are getting confused. People are subjected to live like animals. The Mediterranean Sea has continued to swallow our youths. Our environment has become a rendezvous for the jobless. The jobless have become beggars, beggars have become lunatics. Lunatics have become kidnappers and kidnappers are ironically becoming the cream of the society. Insecurity is worsening. Probity has taken a leave of…

Read More

THE REASON FOR OUR JOY

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  The third Sunday of Advent is usually celebrated as Gaudete Sunday with rose vestments and candles used in many churches across the globe. The word “gaudete” is Latin for “rejoice,” and it comes from today’s Entrance Antiphon: “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice.” We rejoice because Christmas draws nearer, and so does our Lord’s glorious return. Our First Reading expresses humanity’s joy at the declaration of the Lord’s year of favour: “I exult for joy in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me in the garments of salvation, he has…

Read More

Ararume – A Political Style So Alluring

Ararume - A Political Style So Alluring

  Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Ararume is the Chief and arrowhead of Destiny Organization. His fascinating leadership style is so attractive, enticing and magnetic that it is difficult to resist being part of his moving train. His followers over the years have seen in him a sober, almost self- deprecating attitude on his part as undeniable humility. He does not live in a world of make-believe and unrealistic expectation. As a celebrated realist, he does not intend to abandon Nigeria and seek out a more comfortable corner of the globe which someone else’s intelligence and labour have tidied up. He wants…

Read More