This Is My Beloved Son, Listen to Him

02-25-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The fall of man in the Garden of Eden was caused by the disobedience of Adam and Eve, when they could not sacrifice their inordinate desire to “be like God” and they ate the forbidden fruit in spite of the warning they had received from God. From that moment, man acquired the tendency to sin and so the “obedience test” became one of the necessary huddles every individual had to fulfill in order to establish and sustain a viable right relationship with God. Obedience requires sacrificing your own desires and opinions in order to be aligned with God’s supreme will. This explains why Abraham, who had answered God’s invitation to have a personal relationship with Him, was also required to pass the obedience test by sacrificing what was most precious to him in order to solidify his relationship with God.

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Repent and Believe in the Gospel

02-18-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Welcome to the Season of Lent! The Season of Lent is a season of grace when through the tripartite holy practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, we strive to climb and arrive at the glorious mountain of Easter, the season of renewal. The Lenten Season, which runs between Ash Wednesday until the Mass of the Lord’s Supper exclusive on Holy Thursday, has a double character, namely to prepare both Catechumens and the faithful to celebrate the Paschal Mystery. The Catechumens, both with the Rite of Election and Scrutinies, and by catechesists, are prepared for the celebration of the sacraments of Christian initiation; the faithful, ever more aentive to the Word of God and prayer, prepare themselves by Penance for the renewal of their Baptismal promises.

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Go, Show Yourself To The Priest

02-11-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

In ancient Israel, leprosy was a disease that was considered a punishment for committing sin and a person who was unfortunate to contract it was marginalized and their communion with both God and man was unfortunately disrupted. The First Reading provides a background to understanding the encounter between Jesus and the leper who, after receiving healing from Jesus, decided to disobey Jesus’ instruction to him to “see that you tell no one anything….” by spreading the news of his miraculous cure everywhere, thus impeding the Lord’s movement.

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Let Us Go To The Nearby Villages, That I May Preach There Too

02-04-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

After losing everything including his family and treasure, and feeling dejected with his entire body covered in sores inflicted on him by the Devil and allowed by God, Job reflected on the purpose of life, with particular attention to toil, wealth and suffering. His initial conclusion was that life is transient and labor is futile. Job was pessimistic in his evaluation of his current predicament. However, in the final lines of his reflection, Job prayed to God to remember that his life has been like the wind. This is indicative of a hidden hope of restoration which Job secretly looks forward to experiencing. Suffering comes to all of us one way or the other. For unbelievers, this is enough reason to resort to pessimism and fatalism, but for the Christian, when besieged by suffering of any form, the right attitude is to radiate joyful hope in a faithful God who will certainly alleviate our suffering.

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In Many Ways, Moses is Presented in the Old Testament as a Type of Jesus

01-28-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Like Jesus in the New Testament, Moses led the people out of slavery, an act that Jesus would perfect with His Passion and death, not just for Israel alone but for all people of all generations. Again, Moses established the reign of God among the people of Israel by giving them laws which he got from God. In the New Testament, Jesus would establish and provide for the sustenance of the Kingdom of God through the law of love. “I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 13:34)

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The Kingdom of God is at Hand; Repent and Believe in the Gospel

01-21-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Readings for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time Year B emphasize the urgency for propagation of the Good News and the need to repent and return to the right relationship with God who is merciful. Nineveh was the capital city of the Assyrian empire which destroyed Northern Israel, killed many of its inhabitants and dispersed the remnants on exile. Since Jonah was an Israelite, he hated and despised the people who humiliated and destroyed his people, the human weakness in the prophet Jonah would have loved nothing more than seeing the Ninevites destroyed. So, he first tried not to go preach to Nineveh as God instructed him, and when it became obvious to him that running away from God and the mission to which he was sent was not going to be possible, Jonah decided to attend to the mission but with barest minimum effort.

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Come, and You Will See

01-14-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

In His covenant relationship with the people of Israel, God required human intermediaries to mediate between the people and the Lord. Many times, mediators also acted as the visible leaders of the people, took directives from the Sovereign God, and passed the same onto the people. At a particular time, Eli the priest of Shiloh was the designated intermediary between God and His people. Samuel had been offered to God by his mother and was learning the ways of the Lord under the competent guidance of Eli the priest.

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We Saw His Star at its Rising and Have Come to Do Him Homage

01-07-2024Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

“Epiphany,” as used in the Liturgy, refers to the self-manifestation of God to His people. Prior to the birth of Christ, the Jews, who were the first to enjoy a covenant relationship with God, believed that God was exclusively theirs and very distant even to the people with whom He made a covenant. As far as they were concerned, Yahweh was Israel’s God and all who desired a relationship with Him were required to adhere to Jewish rituals. He was also an almighty distant power who controlled their people’s lives through strict obedience to His laws. So awesome and distant was God that even his name could not be called.

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