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August 17, 2018

WHO WANTS TO BE GREAT?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today the disciples find themselves at cross-purposes with Jesus, mainly because they did not understand of the Lord’s prediction of his imminent passion, especially regarding his rising from the dead. But they were too afraid to ask questions of Jesus on the issue. This is the second time in Mark’s Gospel that Jesus is talking about his passion and, like the first time (Mk 8:31-33), it is a very frightening and confusing prospect for the disciples to think that the one they had come to work with and believe in as the Messiah was going to be killed, just…

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LET ALL BE EPHPHATHA!

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today’s Gospel captures the entirety of Jesus’ mission in one word, Ephphatha (Be opened). With this singular word he healed the deaf man with a speech impediment. This is so significant a word that the evangelist does not render it in Greek but in the original Aramaic that Jesus spoke, and it has remained that way in the Bible. Ephphatha is an expression of compassion straight from the heart of God; it is a message of liberation and healing, of restoration and reconciliation, a message of total renewal. Ephphatha is a validation of Isaiah’s prophecy in the First Reading…

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GOOD OR BAD SINNER?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  The story is told of a father who was terribly concerned that his family spent too much time watching television. While the children spent too much time on Disney channel at the expense of their homework, their mother preferred soap operas to doing housework. So he came up with radical solution: “As soon as the Premier League season is over, I’m gonna have to cancel the cable television subscription.” That is quintessential hypocrisy! It is at the heart of Jesus’s teaching today as he continues his long-running dispute with his great adversaries – the scribes and the Pharisees. The…

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STAYING PUT WITH JESUS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  The First Reading and the Gospel today address the issue of standing firm with the Lord and his Church in the face of difficulties whether in understanding certain truths of the faith, or with the temptations of everyday living. Many baptized Catholics today have become alienated from the Church because they view some of the teachings or disciplines to be “too hard” or “old-fashioned”. This is especially true in matters of sexual morality vis-à-vis the sanctity of human life, contraception, the integrity of marriage, or the charism of celibacy in religious life. This discomfiting phenomenon did not start in…

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JESUS AS REAL FOOD

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In our First Reading today the Lord extends an invitation to the unwise: “Come and eat my bread, drink the wine I have prepared! Leave your folly and you will live, walk in the ways of perception”. This is a call to repentance, to flee from the glamour of evil, and to substitute the healthy bread of life (righteousness) for the “junk” food of unrighteousness. The “fool” here is not just a simpleton or one lacking in intellect and discernment – such a one is incapable of mortal sin. Rather, it refers to a person who deliberately chooses to…

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BREAD MATTERS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today we are challenged to worry less about earthly sustenance and more about the “bread of heaven” which provides unending sustenance. We are to focus less on our everyday difficulties and more on what the grace of God is doing in our lives.In the First readingElijah, running from Queen Jezebel, is so worn out by hunger in the wilderness that he complains aloud to the Lord saying: “I have had enough!” In response God sends an angel to provide him some food and drink which had a supernatural impact on him. We are told that: “Strengthened by that food,…

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Religious Disarmament and the Deluge of Evil (2)

The Emergence and Proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra

  We can blame it on the governments, corruption  and bad politicians. The degradation of our ethical infrastructures like the events in the international scene exemplifies the rot of society. Nigeria is not better than gay America by the same ethical standards in view of our alarming ethical rot. I am not against gays as I believe that what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their home is their business but an open demand for the legalization of unnatural sex is repugnant to our good conscience and culture. This is what America wants and I cannot help but…

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Religious disarmament and the deluge of evil

The Emergence and Proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra

  The world we live in is changing at alarming speed and we are all frightened and breathless trying to catch up with the trends. In South Africa, Adultery has been legalized, farther in Asia, Japan has decreed that Adultery is legal if it is done in furtherance of a business interest whilst in Germany, Incest has become legalized and siblings can now have sex and children together. In America, gay marriage has been legalized; meaning that same sex can live together as husbands and wives in a legal union recognized by the state. What is clear under these circumstances,…

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On Him the Father has set His seal

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In a certain little village was a three-year old boy who had just been to a birthday party. He had so much fun that the very next day he was missing from home. This caused a lot of panic and confusion as the family combed the entire neighbourhood looking for him. Then a few hours later a young woman, well known to the family, saw him in the next village, wandering in the vicinity of the previous day’s party. When she asked where he was going his response was: “I am going to the birthday party”. She took time…

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SHARING OUR LOAVES

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today Jesus feeds a great crowd with five barley loaves and two fish.This is made possible by the generosity of a little boy who chose to share his food. This miracle has a parallel in the First Reading where Elisha multiplies 20 loaves to feed 100 people. In both cases the loaves are brought to a prophet, a large number is fed, there is an assistant who thinks it’s not possible, and yet there are leftovers in the end. Jesus takes the bread, offers thanks and then gives to the people. This gesture foreshadows the Eucharistic liturgy. The Eucharist…

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SHEPHERDS AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In the first reading today, the Prophet Jeremiah delivers a clear warning to the shepherds of Judah. Just before the fall of Jerusalem and the consequent exile in Babylon, the kings and priests of Judah were anything but good. The supposed shepherds were too self-centred and failed in their duty to communicate God’s love and compassion to the people. The religious and political elite plundered the land and scandalized the very people they were called to serve and protect. So through Jeremiah the Lord rebukes them:”You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken…

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The Recapitulation of all things in Christ

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Our contributions to everyday life, and very importantly in matters of national discourse – politics, abortion, gay marriage, euthanasia, etc. must be guided by our fidelity to Christ and his teachings as espoused by the Church. Today’s readings focus on our being chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to fulfil the hidden plan of God that is to be revealed in the fullness of time. We have become God’s adopted children as the Father “chose us in Christ, to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in his presence… through Jesus Christ for his own…

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Shooting The Messenger

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard once said: “The Bible is very easy to understand. But we ….pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” The problem of our times is not so much that of unknowing as it is of culpable ignorance, which is when we pretend not to grasp what is obvious, or turn a blind eye to an objective principle. The aim is usually to avoid the moral imperatives implied by such realities. The experience of Jesus with his townsfolk in today’s Gospel…

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HE FEELS OUR PAIN

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Today’s readings deal with life and death, faith and mercy, healing and restoration. The First Reading traces the origins of suffering and death in the world; they were not part of God’s original creative design but were caused by the Devil’s envy and facilitated by the disobedience of our first parents in the Original Sin episode. As result, the original justice was lost, and all manner of pain, suffering and death became the lot of humanity.In the Second Reading, St Paul makes the point that our faith should bear fruit in works of mercy. We are called to be…

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Why The Imo State Government Must Reform The Igbo Customary Law As Applicable In Imo State

The Emergence and Proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra

  The need to reform the Igbo customary law has become obligatory by assent of our people who are crying out for the abolition of some archaic and pagan practices in Igbo land. It is however heart warming that some of our widowhood practices are dying out but the discrimination against the girl child in respect of inheritance rights in the absence of a male issue remains in practice all over Igbo land. Thus where a man has three girls as children without any male issue, it is often the practice to ignore their existence as if they amount to…

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THE DEFENCE OF ALIBI

The Emergence and Proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra

  It is not possible for anyone to be in more than one place at a time. Sometimes when a crime is committed, the police go after the usual suspects who are subjected to interrogations to find out their whereabouts at the material time of the commission of the crime. Thus Mr. X may make a statement to the police that he was not at the scene of the crime in Akwakuma Owerri but was rather in Orlu all day through. The police under such circumstance are bound to investigate the claim by X as to his whereabouts. A failure…

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CAN GOD BE UNFAIR?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Can God be unfair? This could appear to be the case sometimes, especially when life is very rough or when good people are suffering unjustly. But we know that God is goodness personified and could not possibly be unfair, except that he loved us at the expense of his own Son. In the Book of Job, the man is complaining bitterly about his calamities and cannot understand why a righteous man like him should suffer so intolerably. He sought explanations from God. Job was sharing the sentiments of Qoheleth who said: “There is something else meaningless that occurs on…

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THE DEFENCE OF INSANITY

The Emergence and Proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra

  Everyone’s mental health at one time or the other is questioned, I suspect, as no one has a perfect mental health. Even moments of depression and illness can be very revealing. Your mental health can be affected by cerebral malaria which can put you in a state of delirium in which a physical violence or crime may be committed. Alcohol can make one lose control of one’s capacity to control his action whilst debilitating senility can rob one of the mental capacity to make a will. Even Margaret Thatcher died  fighting dementia even though she was the prime minster…

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“ROCHAS ANAYO OKOROCHA & CO EXPOSED ” (4)

  VIRTUES VS VICES – FRUITS OF OBSTINACY “Obstinate” simply means refusing to change behavior or ideas; perversely adhering to an opinion, purpose or course in spite of reason, arguments or persuasion. When we battle with our ambitions and vices we try normally not to allow the vices to outweigh the virtues. Credible leaders of the people – political and traditional -must always listen to the voice of reason and listen to the admonitions, counsels of the elders.   When the devastations arising from Rochas infrastructural and road projects in many parts of Imo state, including new and uncompleted projects…

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ON CORPUS CHRISTI

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Blood is a most essential ingredient of life. Without blood we have no physical life, and without the blood of Jesus we die spiritually. His Precious Blood does more than just wash away our sin. It continues the flow of divine life in us as well, keeping us connected to our heavenly Father. Without the blood of Christ we have no spiritual vitality. Today, therefore, the Church draws our attention to what it really is we receive at Communion. The Feast of Corpus Christi is a celebration of our belief in the Body and Blood of Christ, and in…

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