My Twitter Feed

May 21, 2018

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON CF. PS 43:1-2 Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation that is faithless. From the deceitful and cunning rescue me, for you, O God, are my strength. COLLECT By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. Through our Lord. FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Jeremiah 3 1:31-34 “I will make a new covenant, and I will remember their sin no more.” “Behold, the days are…

 “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…

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….

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…

Valentine /Ash Wednesday is a Godincidence not a Coincidence – Archbishop Obinna

  The Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri has explained that this year’s feast of St Valentine and Ash Wednesday occurring the same day is a special Godincidence rather than a coincidence because all times all events that touch humans have their remote and proximate genesis in God. Speaking in an interview with THE LEADER, Thursday, Archbishop Obinna talked about the simultaneous celebration of Ash Wednesday and St Valentine Day, and the relationship between the two. “So deep down I have seen the connection between Ash Wednesday and St Valentine day, because St Valentine himself was not only…

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…

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…

Understanding the essence of Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is one of those major Christian festivals which has gradually become Paramount in the Church’s liturgical Calendar.  Like the ash Wednesday ritual which begins the Lenten season, the palm Sunday practice which used to be a purely Catholic Church ceremony has been appropriated by the entire Christendom worldwide. Simply understood, it is a spiritual carnival commemorating the historical solemn but triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem about two thousand and seventeen years ago.   Here in Nigeria and Owerri town in particular almost every Christian irrespective of his or her denomination participates in the open…

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…

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON                Cf. Ps 43:1-2 Give me justice, O God, and plead my cause against a nation is faithless. From the deceitful and cunning rescue me, for you, O God, are my strength.   COLLECT By your help, we beseech you, Lord our God, may we walk eagerly in that same charity with which, out of love for the world, your Son handed himself over to death. Through our Lord…   FIRST READING I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live.” A reading from the Book of the Prophet  Ezekiel 37:12-14 Thus says the Lord God: Behold,…

Sunday Reading: THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON                                     Cf. Ps 25:15-16 My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues my feet from the snare. Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor. COLLECT O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy. Through our Lord… FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Exodus 17:3-7 “Give us water…

Ash Wednesday: Remember you are dust

THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF ASH WEDNESDAY LITURGY Historically, the ashes of burned objects such as plants, animals, human bodies and dust are commonly found in use among ancient peoples for religious, magical and medical purposes. Among these ashes there are certain ashes or dust that have sacred character and power, above all, ashes or dust signify mortality,’ mourning and penance or repentance. In line with this ritual, Christian liturgical usage and symbolism of ashes or dust is traced to Jewish tradition. Presently, the Roman liturgy uses ashes only on Ash Wednesday liturgy. The practice of all the faithful receiving ashes…

The Passion Drama

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

It is a feast of contradictions today. We celebrate the triumphal entry of a king to the great applause of the people. However, this same King is condemned to a brutal death, betrayed by the very people who hailed his arrival. Ironically, this death is what brings him ultimate victory and earns him the greatest name above all. It’s Palm Sunday and it’s also Passion Sunday. It’s the day of “Hosanna in the highest”, but also the day of “Crucify him! Crucify him!” It is the day of acclaiming: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”,…

The Lessons of Palm Sunday

By Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu Palm Sunday is one of those Church’s major celebrations which has gradually become Paramount and appropriated by the entire Christendom worldwide. Simply understood, it is a ritual festival commemorating the solemn but triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ’s triumphant into Jerusalem. Here in Nigeria and Imo in particular almost every Christian irrespective of the denomination participates in principle with relative joy. Catholics openly carry palm fronts singing and chanting joyful choruses unto Jesus the son David. On this day many Christians are seen carrying beside their Bibles palm fronds with cross adjustments to match…

LENTEN FAST (1)

Lent is the annual period of 40 days preceding Easter, which the Church sets aside as a time of prayer, fasting and penance. In this solemn and holy season, the faithful are invited to renew their hearts and deepen their spiritual life by imitating Christ’s retreat in the desert and by contemplating the events of His passion. Fasting is one of the prescribed forms of penance during the Lenten period, whereby one atones for one’s sins and humiliates oneself before God in response to the advice of St. Peter the Apostle who said, “Humble yourselves before the mighty hand of…

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT 08-03-2015

Entrance Antiphon    Cf. Ps. 25:15-16 My eyes are always on the Lord, for He rescues my feet from the snare. Turn to me and have mercy on me, for I am alone and poor.   Collect O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving have shown us a remedy for sin, look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy. Through our Lord.   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Exodus 20: 1-17 Theme:…

Sunday Readings: 3rd Sunday of lent – March 23, 2014

Sunday readings

First reading : Exodus 17:3-7 Tormented by thirst, the people complained against Moses. ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt?’ they said. ‘Was it so that I should die of thirst, my children too, and my cattle?’ Moses appealed to the Lord. ‘How am I to deal with this people?” he said. ‘A little more and they will stone me!’ the Lord said to Moses, ‘Take with you some of the elders of Israel and move on to the forefront of the people; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the river, and go. I shall…

Lent: Don’t be discouraged by sin – Pope

Returning to the Vatican after a week of Lenten spiritual exercises, Pope Francis emphasized that we should not be discouraged by sin, but rather renew our commitment to following Christ. “We are all sinners but we want to follow Jesus,” the Holy Father said upon departing from the annual retreat for the Pope and members of the Curia. The retreat took place outside the Vatican for the first time this year; it was held in the nearby town of Ariccia. Pope Francis thanked Father Angelo de Donatis, who preached the Lenten retreat on the subject of “purification of the heart.”…