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July 16, 2018

CRAVING FOR LOVE

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Intrinsic to the human being is the craving for love in its multifarious dimensions – attention, acceptance, direction, inspiration, affirmation, consummation, etc. As a corollary, there is also an inherent desire to show love and affection to others. The essence of true love is central in the life and teachings of Jesus, and today, he states it in one sentence that encapsulates everything he taught: “Love one another as I have loved you.” He then explains exactly what he means by “love,” a word that is often distorted, by saying that a man “can have no greater love than…

ON DIVINE PRUNING

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  When vines are left on their own in the wild, they tend to wander through the underbrush, grasping anything and everything in their way. They dissipate their precious, creative energies clinging to rocks, wild shrubs and tree trunks, and come harvest time what you get is tiny, usually not-so-tasty fruits. But for a well-groomed vine, the plants grow upright and strong, primed for bountiful yields of huge clusters of robust, tasty grapes. The difference is in the pruning! Now, think of a body injury, when it is left to fester for a long time because we do not want…

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…

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…

Prepare to meet the Messiah

Prepare to meet the Messiah

    It is Advent and soon, it will be Christmas, the most popular Christian festivity and, undoubtedly, the most abused. We say so because the world of commerce tries yearly to reduce Christmas to an annual party with little or no spiritual significance. But whether or not they succeed, depends on what cooperation we Christians, the very owners of Christmas, give them. For Christmas to be meaningful we must heed the call to prepare for it and that is the message of Advent. Simply put, Advent is the season before Christmas. It is a period of expectation and waiting…

ADVENT AGAIN?

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Why does the Church take us through the same advent ritual every year? Well, it is a period to contemplate the three comings of Christ in: a) History, 2000 years ago, when God stepped out of eternity to become one like us in everything but sin. b) Mystery –through his abiding presence in Word and Sacrament, grace and communion. c) Glory, when he comes at the end of time to pronounce the Last Judgment. Ours in the closing age of human history, which will culminate in Christ’s splendid Parousia, the overthrow of the present world order, and the inauguration…

Archbishop Obinna inaugurates Holy Family Parish Amauburu

Archbishop Obinna priests and some of the newly confirmed candidate shortly after Mass

  … Confirms 185 candidates Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph Parish, Amauburu Ubomiri in Mbaitoli LGA Imo State, has been inaugurated by His Grace Most Rev. AJV Obinna, the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri. The event took place on Sunday November 19, 2017, amidst joy and jubilation. The two-day pastoral visit, which began a day before with the arrival of the Archbishop, witnessed a tumultuous crowed led the parish priest, Rev. Fr. Ferdinand  Ihekire and a priest in residence, Rev. Fr. Charles Okoro, which gathered at Akwakuma Junction to welcome the chief shepherd. On arrival to the parish, the…

King Jesus, The exemplary Kingly Leader of all ages

Solemnity of Christ the King

  On this Sunday, the 26th day of November 2017, the Church all over the world celebrates the great feast of Jesus Christ who is the King of the Universe. Consciously or unconsciously, all Christians and even non-Christians acknowledge the historic fact that Christ is King over all creatures. This King, Jesus, was unanimously believed by both Christians and Moslems to be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Bethlehem of Judea two thousand and seventeen years, ten months and twenty six days ago. The universal celebration of this quintessential leader of ours points to the fact that Jesus Christ…

The King with a difference

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Christ the King was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1925 with a call on humanity to submit once more to the authority of Christ. The Pope remarked that the multiple evils in the world were due to humanity’s rejection of the reign of Christ and that so long as this remained the case, there was no hope of a lasting peace on earth. The last time God was formally regarded as King by his people was about the year 1049 BC (over 3000 years ago), when Israel chose Saul as their king (1 Sam. 8:6). Choosing their own…

The Priest and The Chair

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

“And now, O priests, this commandment is for you: If you do not listen, if you do not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, says the Lord of hosts, I will send a curse upon you and of your blessing I will make a curse.” (Mal. 2:1-2a) Every day, the people of God sit back and listen to the priest tell them how to conduct themselves, but today the priests that are at the receiving end as the Lord calls them out for bad behaviour. Many are being led astray by their false teachings and wrong…

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…

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…

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….

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:…

This is Holy Week

Welcome to the most sacred week in Lent – Holy Week! The greatest focus of this week is the passion (suffering) and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the events that led up to it. The high point of this week is the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). For those who may not know why this week is called holy and observed as such, this is why.   So, Holy week is the week preceding the resurrection – Easter Sunday. It is most definitely a very sacred time of  the year, for it is during Holy Week…

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…

I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS JOHN 15:15 (2)

If we may ask him who his brothers are; he says ‘my brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it.’ Those who give heed to the commandment of love by seeing the face of Christ in the most vulnerable and defenseless in our society. Walter Burghardt, S.J. in his book Preaching the Just Word, evangelizes that in trying to live Jesus’ declared mission, we should not only struggle to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to prisoners and sight to the blind, but we should actually strive to ‘send the downtrodden away relieved.’ [Luke…

I HAVE CALLED YOU FRIENDS JOHN 15:15

“I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.”  John 15:15 We all have friends, and we enjoy being in friendship with them. This is because, their company is invaluable. It is because they are always there. We are always filled with the albums of memories of the past moments, and the love which encompassed our encounters with them. We can never forget them; we remember the mysterious ways in which we met them for the…

Fr. Obilor explains why Christian must be like Jesus

Christ’s faithful have been reminded that to follow Jesus is to be like him, because he is the way that leads to God the father. Rev. Fr. (Prof) John Obilor gave the reminder recently while delivering a four-page spiritual talk titled: “The Way” at the 2016 Initiation ceremony of Owerri Grand Commandery of Knights of St. John International in Owerri. He said: “The Way is the way of Jesus Christ. This way leads to the father. Jesus is the way to God. He invites us in many ways to follow him. To follow Jesus is to be like him. He…

Complainers Anonymous

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

The Reader’s Digest Magazine once ran the story of a robber who went to a bank in the New York State city of Syracuse. He approached the teller and demanded the sum of $20,000. On reaching home, he realized much to his chagrin that the money was not complete. Fuming, he dashed back to the bank to complain about his being short-changed. And there and then he was arrested! Complaining is as old as fallen humanity.When God asked Adam if he had eaten of the forbidden fruit his response was: “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some…