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May 21, 2018

Sunday Readings – Palm Sunday

    ENTRANCE ANTIPHON Cf Ps 43:1-2 Six days before the Passover, when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem, the children ran to meet him; in their hands they carried palm branches and with a loud voice cried out.   COLLECT Almighty everlasting God, who as an example of humility for the human race to follow caused our Saviour to take flesh and submit to the cross, graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering and so merit a share in his Resurrection. Who lives and reigns with you…   FIRST READING A reading from…

THE FEAST OF DIFFERENT COLOURS

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

  Palm Sunday is a day of contradictions – commemorating the triumphal entry of a king to his city, but who ends up being crucified only days later. Palm Sunday is also Passion Sunday: The day of “Hosanna in the highest” is also the day of “Crucify him! Crucify him!”  The day of “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” is also the day of “I do not know him!” And in the unfolding drama we see different characters at play: First is Jesus, the King who enters Jerusalem on the back of a colt. The…

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…

Pope Francis refuses bullet-proof car during Egypt trip

Pope Francis refused to use bulletproof vehicle during his trip to Egypt last weekend, despite recent terror attacks against Christians in the country, according to Reuters. The Pope rather used a closed car to move around, but not an armoured one,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed. “That’s how he wanted it.” This is not the first time Pope Francis has done so – he typically prefers to travel in more open vehicles, or ones that are not bulletproof, because he feels that allows him to better interact with the people on the streets. Pope Francis traveled to Cairo, Egypt, April…

Palm Sunday attacks: 44 dead in church bombings in Egypt

Egypt’s president called for a three-month state of emergency Sunday after at least 44 people were killed and more than 100 more were injured in two Palm Sunday suicide attacks at Coptic Christian churches, each carried out by the ISIS terror group. Sunday’s first blast happened at St. George Church in the Nile Delta town of Tanta, where at least 27 people were killed and 78 others wounded, officials said. Television footage showed the inside of the church, where a large number of people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers. A second explosion –…

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…

From Hosanna to Crucifixion

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

It’s Palm Sunday today and it is Passion Sunday! It is a day of dramas and monumental contradictions. On this day, we commemorate the triumphal entry of a king who ends up dying like a common criminal. It is a day of both “Hosanna”,and of “Crucify him!” It’s a day of acclamation: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” and, also, a day of denials: “I do not know him!” It’s a day of paying homage and, also, a day of mockery!   Dear friends, as we recall one of the most dramatic episodes of the…

Passion Sunday Year A

GOSPEL        A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 21:1-11 When they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your…

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…

THE DRAMA OF PALM SUNDAY

Pastors corner with Fr Henry Ibe

Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. It is a feast of contradictions. On the one hand we commemorate the triumphal entry of a king to the great applause of his subjects; on the other hand, this same king goes to his brutal death in a matter of days – betrayed by the very subjects who hailed his victorious arrival in Jerusalem. But, ironically, this death is what seals his ultimate victory and makes him the definitive expression of divine mercy and the source of eternal salvation for anyone who believes in him. It’s Palm Sunday and it’s also Passion Sunday. The…

Sunday Readings: PALM SUNDAY YEAR

Almighty ever-living God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen   GOSPEL A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 11:1-10 When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat; untie it and bring…

PALM SUNDAY CELEBRATION: Its Significance and Spiritual Imports

Palm Sunday in the Christian tradition is the first day of Holy Week, a Christian moveable feast that falls on Sunday before Easter; which commemorates Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is associated in many churches with the blessing and procession of palms (leaves of the palm or twigs from locally available trees). These special ceremonies were taking place toward the end of the 4th century in Jerusalem and are described in the travelogue Peregrinatio Etheriae (The Pilgrimage of Etheria). In the West the earliest evidence of the ceremonies is found in the Bobbio Sacramentary (8th century). During the…

Imo Govt releases N255m to mission schools

The Imo State Government has released the sum of N255 million as grants to mission schools in the state. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, disclosed this in a release in Owerri. He noted that the money, which was the second batch of the sum promised earlier by the government has been paid into a designated account. The government had earlier released N255 million to the schools bringing the total grant to the schools to N450 million. According to the release, the governor had assured that his administration would “stop at nothing to ensure…

Pope Francis Ignores Prepared Homily In Palm Sunday Speech

Pope Francis ignored his prepared homily and spoke entirely off-the-cuff in a remarkable departure from practice. Later, he continued to stray from the script by hopping off his popemobile to pose for “selfies” with young people and also sipping tea passed to him from the crowd. In his homily, Francis called on people, himself included, to look into their own hearts to see how they are living their lives. “Has my life fallen asleep?” Francis asked after listening to a Gospel account of how Jesus’ disciples fell asleep shortly before he was betrayed by Judas before his crucifixion. “Am I…

Sunday Readings: PASSION SUNDAY (PALM SUNDAY)

Sunday readings

LET US PRAY Almighty God, we pray you bless + these branches and make them holy.  Today we joyfully acclaim Jesus our Messiah and King.  May we reach one day the happiness of the new and everlasting Jerusalem by faithfully following him who lives and reigns for ever and ever.   GOSPEL A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 21: 1-11. Theme: Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! When they were near Jerusalem and had come in sight of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go…

THE BIG DRAMA

It is a feast of contradictions today. We celebrate the triumphal entry of a king who ends up dying like a criminal. It’s Palm Sunday and also Passion Sunday! The day of “Hosanna”,and the day of “Crucify him!” A day of acclamation – “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, and a day of denials – “I do not know him!” It’s a day of paying homage – people throwing their cloaks on the road, and also a day of mockery: “Play the prophet…who hit you then?” It is a huge drama and each one of…