My Twitter Feed

May 27, 2018

In union with the Church

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

In the First Reading today, we see the institution of the diaconate in the early Church. The Greek-speaking group were complaining of their widows being discriminated against by the Hebrew members in the distribution of food. The issue was beginning to threaten the Church’s pursuit of her divine mandate of proclaiming the Gospel to every nation. Appropriately, the Apostles stepped in and created the Order of Deacons (servers) to take care of the matter. As St Peter says: “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.” Many might not know this, but…

Read More

The Shepherd God

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

On this Good Shepherd Sunday, we acknowledge God as the universal shepherd of humanity, and ourselves as the sheep of his flock. Today is also the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Patriarchs of Israel were shepherds, just like their early kings. And in Scripture, the prophets speak endlessly of Israel as the flock of God. In the Responsorial Psalm today, we see what our Lord the Good Shepherd does for us his sheep: “Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me, to revive my drooping spirit” (Ps. 23:2-3a). Of…

Read More

The Bumpy Ride of Life

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, we are called to see our life on earth as a pilgrimage, laden with bumps and potholes. But God is always on hand to steer us through. He’s got our back! In the Second Reading, St Peter says: “you must be scrupulously careful as long as you are living away from your home.” We are pilgrims on our way back to the Father’s house. The Responsorial Psalm explains that God is faithful and, if we stay close to him, he will show us the path of life and everlasting happiness. The Gospel passage expresses the same truth – Jesus…

Read More

Mercy Begets Mercy

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

The Feast of Divine Mercy was established on April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II, at the canonization of Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy visionary. Saint John Paul II is our Apostle of Mercy. He saw forgiveness as a necessary ingredient for peace on earth. We know that it was him who established the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration on April 30th, 2000, and that he died on Saturday, April 2nd, 2005, shortly after the vigil Mass of the Feast of Divine Mercy. He was beatified on the Feast of Divine Mercy in 2011. And finally, he was…

Read More

The Power of Easter

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Jesus is alive! Our Lord is risen because, “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24). Adam’s rebellion is reversed and man’s communion with God is restored. Through the victory of Christ, we have been assured of divinization; we have become sharers in the divine nature. What a great paradox that we have been so immeasurably rewarded for our sinfulness – through the merits of Christ. That is the amazing depth of God’s love; the unfathomable wonder of divine madness. The resurrection of Christ means everything for us. It confirms everything he said and did:…

Read More

From Hosanna to Crucifixion

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

It’s Palm Sunday today and it is Passion Sunday! It is a day of dramas and monumental contradictions. On this day, we commemorate the triumphal entry of a king who ends up dying like a common criminal. It is a day of both “Hosanna”,and of “Crucify him!” It’s a day of acclamation: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and, also, a day of denials: “I do not know him!” It’s a day of paying homage and, also, a day of mockery!   Dear friends, as we recall one of the most dramatic episodes of the…

Read More

You are the one he loves

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

St Augustine once said that it’s impossible to love and to desert someone at the same time. If we truly believe that God loves us, then there should be no room for despair in our life no matter the circumstances. In today’s Gospel, Martha and Mary are bemoaning the death of their brother, Lazarus, and the fact that Jesus was late in coming to his assistance. Scripture is very clear that Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Nevertheless, he doesn’t rush across to Bethany to heal Lazarus. Nor does he heal him from a distance, as he did with the…

Read More

Help before blame

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

This week, the Lord challenges us to always lend a helping hand first before pointing the finger of blame. Also, we are called to always acknowledge the good deeds of others even when we do not exactly like them. In those days, it was believed that health and prosperity were signs of God’s approval and favour, while sickness and destitution were the result of sin and God’s disapproval. This mindset flows from the book of Exodus, which talks about God “punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation” (Ex. 20:5). Nonetheless, Jesus makes…

Read More

Leaving our buckets behind

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, Jesus uses the Samaritan woman’s search for water to lead her to the fountain of grace and authentic freedom. In the process, he breaks longstanding racial boundaries (asking a Samaritan for a favour); and social convention as well (a rabbi hanging out with a woman). Jesus offers her the living water which whoever drinks of it will never thirst again. Like the Samaritan woman, we all have the physiological need for food, drink, shelter, etc. We also have the social need for affection, companionship, recognition, and affirmation. All the above can be achieved through human effort but, being short-lived,…

Read More

CALLED TO OVERCOME

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, fresh from his baptism at the Jordan, Jesus sets out to fast and pray in the desert. He is preparing for his mission to rescue humanity from the wilderness of sin and alienation. The Lord comes to liberate us from the dominion of iniquity and shame, and to restore us to the fullness of grace and divine life. The forty days in the wilderness is a symbol of the great physical and spiritual challenges of life. The Great Flood lasted forty days (Gen.7: 4, 17), and so did Moses’ fasting on Mount Sinai (Ex.34:28). Then, there were spies sent…

Read More

The futility of worry

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Material success is considered by many to be necessary sign of divine favour, and this principle provides the basis for the prosperity doctrine held by many Pentecostal/Evangelical Christian denominations. Today, however, Jesus negates this concept by insisting that we seek the Kingdom of God first and most importantly, and every other thing will follow. Material pursuits are good and desirable but they must be subordinated to the pursuit of righteousness – our ticket to eternal beatitude. When the pursuit of wealth comes first, allegiance to Christ takes the back seat. Our possessions will start to possess us and, instead of…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (6)

(11) OBAMA THE GREAT AND THE REST OF HUMANITY   As OBAMA took his exit from the political arena of American democracy there aren’t just a few who paid their glowing tributes to the great president of the United States. Look at a few ‘comments’ or ‘tributes’ by thousands of individuals who see and think about OBAMA as I do. JUST A FEW OF THE SELECTED QUOTES!   (i)   “Being English, I may see things from a totally different perspective! I see a President who, being thoroughly graceful, has done a great job. Hadn’t he lowered your deficit in an…

Read More

Turning the other cheek

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today, we have one of the most radical religious teachings ever – to turn the other cheek when we are smacked. Last week, we were challenged to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees. This time, Jesus invites us to imitate the perfect love of God the father when responding to personal insults and injuries – with grace, patience, forgiveness, and generosity. Our Lord wants us to overturn the culture of vengeance and violence by not always insisting on getting our own way, but rather going out of our way to do good to others, especially when they…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (5)

(7) GREAT FAMILY MAN: Husband and Father: One blissful successful marriage with one of the best mothers and wives in the history of marriage encounter. It seemed that right from birth God set them aside and prepared them to join together to become a paradigm of what married life is all about. Unlike most other turbulent marriages in modern times, no divorces and divorce suits and re-marriages, no suspicions with regard to extramarital affairs! Behold too, Michele Obama, the perfect wife and match of her life partner. The Igbo people of Nigeria would address her as “Oyiridiya” (carbon copy of…

Read More

At the root of the matter

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Christian discipleship encompasses a lot more than external ritualism! To be worth it, our piety must pierce the heart and infuse the entirety of one’s being. Thus, we are challenged to go beyond the outward observances of the Law onto a deep-rooted healing of the human heart, as a remedy for sin. The people of Jesus’ time viewed the Mosaic Law as the ultimate expression of the will of God, the self-revelation of God, and the complete code of conduct for the regulation of civil and religious matters. Yet, the greater emphasis was on the external dos and don’ts rather…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great …Elsewhere in America (4)

(4) MATTERS OF THE HEART: ACCOMMODATION AND TOLERANCE:   Christians, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Non-believers, name them, peoples of different faiths, tongues and beliefs, should live together and respect each other’s beliefs and culture. Even gays, lesbians and other men and women of different sexual orientation, views and attitudes, have place in society and communities of the world. America is a nation of immigrants and should therefore find ways to accommodate new arrivals as well as refugees. Center of Obama social agenda is no doubt ‘equality and social justice’. There is no doubt that Obama has been criticized for being the…

Read More

LIGHT CAN ONLY SHINE

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

In the Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis said: “Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops”. The point to note here is that goodness is something that one could not keep to oneself without sharing with others. Any sort of goodness that can be concealed in a person cannot be authentic and is not founded on…

Read More

CALLED TO BEATITUDE

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

The great philosopher Aristotle once said that happiness is what everyone seeks and that every human effort is oriented towards its achievement. However, many of our efforts do not bring us happiness because the underlying principles are wrong. The truly ethical person, Aristotle says, is the one who knows and does only that which brings true and lasting happiness. True happiness is that which conforms with the will of God and is geared towards our supernatural vocation to the kingdom of heaven. In today’s gospel, Jesus provides the framework for true and lasting happiness/blessedness/beatitude. He pronounces blessedness or beatitude upon…

Read More

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (3)

(2) POWERFUL: Power does not rest only in physical strength or stamina. Obama as president was able to withstand the overwhelming vicious attacks of his numerous enemies mostly the white racists and bigots who swore from day one to oppose all his policies, to UNDO ALL HIS LEGACIES! They fought tooth and nail to derail or destabilize any project he initiated “to make America even greater than what the nation was before he assumed office”. They questioned even his birth certificate and American citizenship! Barack OBAMA did not shake. He stood his ground and completed his tenure gracefully and in…

Read More

The Greatest Summons

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Most renowned speeches or stories do have a single line or phrase encapsulating their whole essence. And many a time, these lines or phrases end up characterizing or defining the entirety of the subject’s persona or life project. This is especially true in literature, politics, and in movies. For example, when we hear “Even you Brutus!”, we immediately associate that with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Whenever someone says: “I have a dream!”, our minds flash back to Martin Luther King Jnr. And at the mention of “Yes, We Can!”, Barrack Obama comes to mind. In the Gospel of today, we hear…

Read More