My Twitter Feed

August 19, 2018

Palm Sunday in the lives of true Christians

  Palm Sunday is one of those major Christian festivals which have gradually become exceptionally important in the Church’s liturgical Calendar.  In line with the  Ash Wednesday ritual which introduced every Christian into the Lenten season, the Palm Sunday practice which used to be a purely Catholic Church ceremony has been appropriated and  given a universal prominence by the entire Christendom worldwide. Simply understood, it is always a spiritual and a physical parade commemorating the historical solemn but triumphant entry of our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem about two thousand and eighteen years ago.   Here in Nigeria and in…

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…

Take heart, God hasn’t abandoned us – Archbishop Obinna tells Ndi Imo

  Traumatized people of Imo State, especially those whose means of livelihood have been hampered, disorganised or business locations inconvenienced by the dispossession, dislocation and demolition inflicted on them, have been told to take heart, as God has not abandoned them. These words of consolation were contained in the 2018 Lenten message to Christ’s faithful and Imo people by His Grace, Most Rev Anthony J.V. Obinna, Catholic Archbishop of Owerri titled: “Take heart God cares for you” – A message of consolation… in the face of our people’s agony and groans. The message was read in all parishes in Owerri…

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON                 Cf. Ps 27:3-9 Of you my heart has spoken, Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me.   COLLECT O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to behold your glory. Through our Lord..   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Genesis   22:1-2.9a.l0-13.l5-l8 “The sacrifice of Abraham, our Father in faith.” In those days: God tested Abraham, and said to him,…

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

  ENTRANCE ANTIPHON When he calls on me, I will answer him; I will deliver him and give him glory, I will grant him length of days.   COLLECT Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord.   FIRST READING A reading from the Book of  Genesis 9:8-15 God’s covenant with Noah, delivered from the waters of the flood God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you…

THE (ROMAN CATHOLIC) SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION-PENANCE-CONFESSION:  PAST AND THE PRESENT

SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION-PENANCE-CONFESSION

  A REFLECTION (IN PREPARATION FOR THE LENTEN SEASON)   BY MSGR NATHANIEL I NDIOKWERE     PREAMBLE    “A picture, an image speaks one thousand words”,  is a popular ancient adage. In the  two pictures posted with the present reflection (see the bottom page), we see the pope confessing his sins to a priest presumably  in Saint Peter’s basilica, the Vatican, Rome. Most of us are familiar with such images or scenarios posted on the social media. Surely they are not for ‘show’ . The Pope has never posed at the confessional asking the Vatican photographers  and passers-by to…

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…

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…

Sunday Reading: SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON    Cf. Ps 27:8-9 Of you my heart has spoken, seek his face. It is your face, O Lord that I seek; hide not your face from me. Or:                                           Cf. Ps 25:6.2.22 Remember your compassion, O Lord, and your merciful love, for they are from of old. Let not our enemies exult over us. Redeem us, 0 God of Israel, from all our distress.   COLLECT O God, who have commanded us to listen to your beloved Son, be pleased, we pray, to nourish us inwardly by your word, that, with spiritual sight made pure, we may rejoice to…

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 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…

5TH SUNDAY OF LENT

Sunday readings

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON     CF. PS 43 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 Isaiah  43:16 I am doing a new thing, and I will give drink to my people. Thus says the Lord, who…

Communiqué: First Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN)

A Communiqué at the End of the First Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre (DRACC), Lugbe, Abuja, 13-19 February, 2016 Theme: CATHOLIC CHURCH PROMOTING MERCY, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND PEACE  1. PREAMBLE We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria, held our First Plenary Meeting of the year at the Daughters of Divine Love Retreat and Conference Centre Abuja, from 13 to 19 February, 2016. Having prayerfully reflected on the issues affecting the Church and our country, we now present our Communiqué.  2. EVENTS IN THE CHURCH We pray…

Lent – a time of spiritual Renewal

Lent is a special season in the church’s calendar. It is a period of forty days, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Thursday afternoon. The 40 days of lent is symbolic of the ’40 days’ fast which Jesus had while in the desert, praying and communing with God, his Father, just before the beginning of his public ministry. Christ experienced an uncommon spiritual renewal after the exercise to the effect that, although, undeniably physically weak and hungry after the lengthy fast, he received inner strength  to rebuff his enemy and overcome the three major temptations launched at…

First Sunday of Lent: Sunday Reading

Sunday readings

ENTRANCE ANTIPHON CF. PS. 91:15-16 When he calls on me, I will answer him; I will deliver him and give him glory, I will grant him length of days. COLLECT Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord…. FIRST READING A reading from the Book of Deuteronomy 26:4-10 Theme: The confession of faith of the chosen people. Moses said to the people, “The priest shall take the basket (of first fruit) from your hand, and set…

Celebrating Ash Wednesday And Lent In A Troubled Nigeria

lent

This coming Wednesday, the Church allover the world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike celebrates the peculiar feast of Ashes. This day has popularly been labeled“Ash Wednesday” on account of the ritual Ash in which almost all the Christians willingly participate. The ritual celebration of Ashes on this Wednesday marks the solemn beginning of the Lenten season. The rite of blessing and distribu­tion of burnt ashes on the forehead of every participating Christian is the major liturgy of the day. It lasts from morning to night and ashes are sent to those in the hospitals, those incapacitated, bedridden and those inprisons. To…

LENTEN FAST (2)

The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow with intimacy with the Lord (Benedict XVI). Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as “twisted and tangled knottiness” (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: “I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in his eyes, that I may enjoy delightfulness” (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708). Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and…

Pope Francis: Make time to care for the sick – As World Day of the Sick is marked

Pope Francis is asking people to take time out of their frenzied lives to visit the sick, spend time with them and learn from their suffering. Marking the World Day of the Sick on Wednesday, communities, parishes, dioceses and bishops’ conferences around the world gathered in prayer with Pope Francis for the suffering and their careers. Instituted on May 13, 1992 by Saint John Paul II and celebrated every year on February 11, the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes, the Day is a special time of sharing and pastoral outreach to people living with illness. In his message this…

OUR HIGHS AND LOWS!

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

The Christian experience is a long narrative of highs and lows. It’s astory of disobedience and submission, of desert and flood, of rebellion and reconciliation, of rejection and restoration, of doubt and belief, of temptation and victory, of sadness and joy, and of sin and salvation. In the middle of these extremes is fallen humanity, striving to stay afloat in the murky waters of life’s struggles. Vital to our survival in this treacherous journey is faith, which Scripture defines as: “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb.11:1). By faith we are able to navigate…