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July 16, 2018

THE HOUR IS NOW!

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ response to the request by a group of Greek-speaking pilgrims to see him is: “Now the hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23). What hour has come? The hour to consummate his earthly mission of restoring communion between God and man. Let us bear in mind that at the wedding ceremony of Cana, when his mother told him the wine had run out, his response was: “My hour has not yet come” (John2:4). Also, once during the Feast of Tabernacles, when his brothers encouraged him to minister publicly in…

Pope: The Saints Weren’t Perfect, But They Allowed God To Touch Their Lives

Pope Francis marked All Saints’ Day Wednesday saying the saints are honored not because they were perfect or did everything right, but because they allowed God to touch their lives and fought hard against sin. “The Solemnity of All Saints is ‘our’ feast: not because we are good, but because the holiness of God has touched our lives,” the Pope said Nov. 1. Saints, he said, “are not perfect models, but are people whose lives God has crossed,” and can be compared with the stained glass windows of a church, “which allow light to enter in different shades of color.”…

WHEN IGNORANCE IS REAL BLISS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Of all the monotheistic (one God) religions in the world, only Christianity believes in the Trinity. The Church teaches that, “In God there are three Divine Persons, really distinct and equal in all things, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” This is a unique mark of our faith and, no doubt, it is very hard to comprehend! How can God be both one and three? How can the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be fully God, and yet distinct persons? The ordinary human mind cannot grasp this completely, but that very fact makes the doctrine ring true. It…

The Meaning of Eternal Life

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today’s Gospel passage teaches us the meaning of eternal life – knowing the only true God and his messenger, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3). Eternal life isnot a matter of time and space but a relationship of intimate knowledge. It is not a matter of food and drink but of “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). Eternal life is not a matter of earthly wellbeing or material prosperity but rather comes from knowing God. This knowledge is more than intellectuallygrasping a concept but entails an intimate bond, a profound communion. Eternal life is a love affair with…

When Suffering Makes Sense

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today we are invited to ponder the salvific meaning of suffering and to unite our sufferings with the passion of Christ, as a spiritual sacrifice for the remission of sin. This proposition may not go down well with today’s modern culture so much obsessed with pleasure, comfort, and appearance. There are many who believe that life is meaningful only when it is painless. But the reality is that a painless life is not possible in this present life, no matter how hard we try. Suffering is an inseparable accident of fallen humanity. Paradoxically, it is through suffering that we are…

The Joy of Easter

Today is Easter Sunday, the day Christians all over the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. The joy of Easter derives from the delightful surprise of Christ rising from the dead. There was a sort of sudden replacement of the sense of shock, trauma, disappointment and hopelessness as a result of the way Jesus was tortured and his excruciating death. With the disciples, the thought process wasn’t so fast, they struggled to remember, he promised he will be raised on the third day. The post resurrection experience was that of sorrow turning into joy. It was indeed a delightful surprise….

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…

The Futility of Vainglory

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Aesop was one of the greatest story tellers in ancient Greece and in one his fables, a fox once saw a crow perching on a tree branch with a piece of cheese in her beak and thought to himself: “That’s for me, as I am a Fox”. He moved to the foot of the tree and cried out:”Good day, Mistress Crow, how beautiful you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eyes. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that…

Holding Back The Stone

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

What is our view on the relationship between the Law, human weakness, justice, and mercy? Are we always quick to cast the stone of judgment when someone makes a bad choice? Have we learnt to condemn the sin while giving the sinner another chance? In today’s Gospel, the scribes and Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus, asking him whether or not to stone the woman to death. Invoking the Mosaic Law that prescribed the death penalty for adultery, they hoped to either incriminate or discredit him. If Jesus approved the stoning they would report him to the…

Following Christ Without Fear

Fear of harm and what is to come in the future which is seldom predictable is one of the many things that hinder most of Christ’s followers into following faithfully the direction, precepts, and exemplary life of the master – Jesus Christ. Significant numbers of Christians no longer live as expected of them due to fear of being assaulted, insulted or even killed by the fanatics of Christianity; heretics and the violent members of other religious sects. Often times we (Christians) are so much intimidated that we can’t speak for Christ our leader, guide and epitome of our faith. (Jn….

THE KINGDOM IS AMONG US BUT NOT YET COMPLETE

Our God is a God of love.  He does not save man with him; therefore He enters into covenant with His people: salvation is the meeting of two fidelity.  But if God is faithful, the people are not.  Under the action of the prophets hope and expectation rises, of a man who finally knows how to give God absolute, unconditional fidelity: the Messiah.  When He comes, God will accord His people the promised fullness.  A promise of life such that there is nothing more in common between the present and the new paradise.  A new earth, new heavens.  A new…

BEYOND DEATH MEETING THE GOD OF THE LIVING

Man is a historical reality, he lives in time.  He keeps in touch with the past from which he draws the possibilities of understanding what is for him richness and constitutes his values.  He lives in the present as real moment of his conscience and liberty.  He turns to the future to gather the significance of the past and the present. The future, the-not-yet, is for man the most radical dimension because it conditions the choices, determines their realization.  The future has always been the test bench for all ideologies, for all hopes and for all ideals.  It exercises a…

PRAYER: A CRY BORN FROM OUR POVERTY

The time of expectation of the final coming of Christ is the time of faith and prayer.  “The Son of Man, when He comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8).  There is circularity between faith and prayer.  If it is true that to pray one must have faith, it is also true that to believe one must pray.  Persevering prayer is expression and nutrition of faith in God.  To address God explicitly is an act of faith in Him as person always present and distinct from every other reality.   TO PRAY IS TO BE SILENT IN ORDER…

FAITH PERFORMS ACTION OF GRACE

The proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a proclamation made not only with words but also with actions. “Miracles seal the triumph of the Spirit over Satan and because of this Jesus invested by the Spirit, enters into combat with Satan in the desert.  Christ is the strong man, who with a hard battle, recovers from the spirit of evil what he usurped.  Jesus inaugurates the messianic kingdom destroying the undertaking of his enemy. The miracles, therefore, enter into the perspective of the inauguration of the messianic kingdom.  For its content, the miracle is an anticipation of the eschatological…

“Judging Gay People”: A Case For Pope Francis (2)

Bearing in mind therefore that evil acts or what we theologically call sin, is outside of the individual, it becomes necessary and imperative that any afflicted individual is in dare need of help. How to achieve this help positively without neither bending nor breaking the person, and bring such person back to the fold of God’s children is the sole mission of pastoral theology. It is most exemplified in Christ’s three parables of God’s mercy: the lost sheep; the lost drachma and the prodigal son (Lk. 15: 1-32). It is in line with this orientation that C Henry Peschke in…

THE EXPERIENCE OF PARDON RENEWS THE SOUL

The love of God towards men is so gratuitous that we cannot claim to have it directly.  It is absolute so much that we can never say that we will miss it.  Human love on the contrary is so limited and closed by our egoism.  It rarely pushes beyond strict justice or outside of moralizing severity that we easily imagine a vindicator – God and a religion based on fear.  Who among us still recognizes that the “grace” which he asks from God means “tenderness” of God and “mercy” for the sinner?  Only an attentive reading of the Word of…

THE CHOICE OF FAITH: A RADICAL CHOICE

The act of faith in Jesus is realized and becomes concrete by taking over the reality of man in all its dimensions, from the corporal to the social and historical.  The assent to His person which is lived in a new community, has radical exigencies and brings ruptures and the sacrifice of realities and values such that their renunciation is either an act of desperation or resignation vis-à-vis the sense of existence or the opening up of earthly order to the reality of God which comes from above as grace.   RENUNCIATION AS ACT OF FAITH The renunciation of the…

A Narrow Gate In Order To Enter The Kingdom

When someone truly loves us and calls us by name, we discover ourselves and we are no longer alone.  Victory over solitude generates joy: therefore, to live is a feast.  The Kingdom of God is communion, because of this its advent inaugurates a time of joy.  It is a feast without decline because it is definitive.  It is a feast to which all men are invited.   KINGDOM OF GOD, A FEAST TO WHICH ALL ARE INVITED The truth of communion wants us gathered together around a table, in the cheerfulness of a meal, in the abundance of a banquet. …

Pope Calls on Athletes to Be Good Role Models – Discourages Turning Sport into Merely a Big Business

Pope Francis last Wednesday met with members of the Italian and Argentinian national soccer teams. They are in Rome for a friendly match that has been organized for Wednesday night in honor of Pope Francis. Speaking in both Italian and Spanish, the Holy Father expressed his hope that the match would truly be a friendly one. He reminded the players that they are role models and encouraged them to take that responsibility seriously. He asked them to foster the beauty, generosity, and camaraderie that sport can produce – and called for even professional athletes to recover the ideals of being…

August Meeting – A Message For All Dignified Christian Women In 2013 August Meeting

Who is a dignified Christian woman? A dignified Christian woman is a God-fearing woman, a woman of honour with good reputation who appreciates and upholds God’s divine plan for woman right from creation as a mother, wife and a helper to her husband. She realizes that right from creation God gave her vocation and bestowed honour on her which rest on order of love and care to humanity. The dignity of a Christian woman cannot be purchased by money rather it was established by God as if woman is “Ordained” to be a mother, a wife and helper to her…