Let the Dead Bury the Dead

06-26-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, VC

Our scripture readings today are centered on our call to a total commitment to discipleship. Jesus warns His followers that following Him would require a total commitment that involves sacrificing everything else and putting God first as the highest priority in our lives.

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The Bread of Life

06-19-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi, VC

Growing up, one of the traditions I found very interesting in the Catholic Church, which I believe is true for most converts to the Church, is the use of different symbols to represent Christ, the Church, and the Eucharist. Symbols such as grapes, wheat, fish, Chi Rho, etc., may be found mostly on stained glass windows, vestments, and sacred vessels. One of the oldest symbols for Jesus Christ in Christian art is the pelican. It may not be a pretty bird, but it’s known as a symbol of self-sacrifice. Pelicans feed on fish but when a mother pelican cannot find fish to feed her broods, it bites deep into its own flesh and feeds its brood with her blood until the next food can be found. This is precisely what Christ does for us. Jesus did not wait for an emergency like the pelican. Rather, He gives Himself to us every day in the Eucharist. Jesus promised He would not leave us orphans (John 14:18). He has kept His word by giving himself to us as the Bread of Life.

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The Most Holy Trinity

06-12-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Central to Catholic Theology is the Doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity: the union of God the Father (Creator), God the Son (the Redeemer) and God the Holy Spirit (the Sanctifier), three persons in One God. The Father pre-existed everything and created all things out of love, the Son is begotten and not made, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the love of the Father and the Son. In the Most Holy Trinity, God the Father is what God the Son is and what God the Holy Spirit is; yet, God the Father is neither God the Son nor is He God the Holy Spirit. The same is true of the Son and the Holy Spirit, they are three distinct persons united in love as one God.

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Receive the Holy Spirit

06-05-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus had directed His Apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. He assured them that His going to the Father would produce a pleasant consequence as He would send to them the Advocate, who would reveal to them the mysteries of the kingdom, empower them and guide His nascent Church to witness faithfully to the reign of God on earth. This promise was fully fulfilled on Pentecost, fifty days after Easter and ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven. We celebrate this outpouring of the Spirit on the Apostles on Pentecost Sunday this weekend.

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The Ascension of The Lord

05-29-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Ordinarily, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord forty days after Easter Sunday, and this usually falls on the Thursday of the sixth week of our Easter celebration. This gives us ten days before the feast of Pentecost which comes up fifty days after Easter. However, most Dioceses in the United States now celebrate the Ascension of the Lord on the seventh Sunday of Easter in order to emphasize the solemnity of the day, and so, today is the day when we celebrate the return of the resurrected Jesus to heaven after spending forty days preparing His Apostles for the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would empower them to witness to the Gospel all over the world.

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Whoever Loves Me Will Keep My Word

05-22-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

You must have observed that the First Readings during Eastertide have consistently been taken from the Acts of the Apostles. This is deliberate. Acts of the Apostles is said to have been originally written as part of the Gospel of St. Luke. It tells the story of the post-Resurrection Church: How the Apostles reacted to the Resurrection of Jesus, how they waited for and received the Holy Spirit, how the disciples remained connected and completely reliant upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit, how they encountered and responded to persecution from various individuals and groups, how sacred orders and ministries evolved; essentially, how the early Church began, lived and grew. One of the defining moments in the Acts of the Apostles is the encounter of the Gentiles with the Gospel and the resultant implications of this encounter.

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Love One Another

05-15-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Cast your mind in retrospect to the event of the Transfiguration of our Lord where the three Apostles caught a privileged glimpse of the Glorified Jesus as he conversed with Moses and Elijah, the lawgiver and the greatest of the prophets. On that particular occasion, the presence of Moses confirmed the discernment of the Apostolic trio, that Christ is the Divine Lawgiver. Jesus exercised this peculiar prerogative at the Last Supper after He revolutionized leadership by washing the feet of His disciples, and after Judas Iscariot had sneaked out to arrange His betrayal. Jesus viewed His impending passion as Divine glorification and chose this solemn moment to legislate “a new commandment.” “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.”

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My Sheep Hear My Voice

05-08-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Traditionally, the Fourth Sunday of Easter is celebrated as “Good Shepherd Sunday” since the Gospel is taken every year from John 10, the “Good Shepherd Discourse.” This Sunday is also customarily observed as a day of prayer for vocations to the priesthood and religious life, since priests and religious are, in a special way, visible manifestations of Christ in His role as the Good Shepherd. The readings trace this line of thought.

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Follow Me!

05-01-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

According to Matthew’s Gospel (Matt4:18-22), when Jesus called His first Apostles, He asked them to “follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”. This invitation required them to jettison their prior occupation of fishing in order to embrace, wholeheartedly, the noble vocation of Apostleship. They tried to do this until they were confronted with the trying period of uncertainty between the Lord’s resurrection and His glorious ascension. Simon Peter, the designated Apostolic primus, suggested going back to their old occupation and a good number of the eleven followed him. Like Peter and the other Apostles, our moments of decisive encounter with Jesus required us to give up any lifestyle or culture that does not please God and injure our conscience, in order to follow Jesus. Moments of crisis, transition, spiritual dryness and skepticism often make our hitherto foregone lifestyle attractive. At such moments, we should pay attention to the voice of the resurrected Jesus who gently calls us back to right relationship with God and our neighbor.

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