I Will Give You The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

08-27-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

In both the Old and the New Testaments, God has always chosen individuals and conferred on them the authority to teach, to correct and to govern His people. In the Old Dispensation, these offices were distributed among the priests, the prophets and the kings. In the New Dispensation, Christ conferred these privileges on the Apostles and, in a particular way, on Simon Peter and his successors. In a way, we are safe to observe that the Readings for this weekend demonstrate God’s faithfulness to His covenant with David. While God pledged to replace an overbearing steward whose prideful actions threatened the integrity of the Davidic dynasty in the First Reading, in the Gospel passage Jesus appointed and conferred authority on Simon Peter to become the Royal Steward of the renewed Kingdom of David in the New Israel called ekklesia, the Church.


For My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer For All People

08-20-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Mother Church of the Via Christi Society in Makurdi, Nigeria, is dedicated to, and called, the Church of God the Father of All Mankind. This name is both unique and true; it is the only church I know which bears that name, and the name aptly describes God. In Holy Scripture, there exist numerous prophetic declarations that clearly suggest God’s intention to effect a change in the covenant economy that would create room for the Gentiles, non-jews who were originally not part of the First Covenant, to become beneficiaries of a second and universal Covenant. The First Reading is one of such scripture texts.


Take Courage, It Is I; Do Not Be Afraid

08-13-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

This weekend, the Readings from Holy Scripture remind us that though we journey in a troubled world full of difficult times and experiences, God’s benevolent and reassuring presence is guaranteed for all who call onto Him for help. We are also exhorted not to be distracted by the transient and spectacular manifestation of material things in our search for purpose, but to seek the presence of God in faith.

In the First Reading, Elijah the prophet was threatened by Queen Jezebel, a foreigner and idolatress, who brought into Israel the worship of Ba’al, a foreign deity. He suffered tremendously and was on the verge of despair when he arrived at Horeb (Mount Sinai), the mountain of God where Moses encountered God. His intention was to seek the face of God in the midst of a stormy life and national situation. The prophet soon discovered that the Lord was not in the spectacular manifestations of a heavy wind, an earthquake or fire that preceded the coming of God. Rather, God came to him in a tiny whispering sound.


This Is My Beloved Son, With Whom I am Well Pleased; Listen to Him

08-06-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is one of the few events where Jesus revealed His Divine glory for the benefit of those who were privileged to behold it. Recall that at His birth, Jesus revealed His glorious Divinity to the whole world through the visit of the Magi who brought Him prophetic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Again, the Divine Redeemer manifested Himself to His Disciples at the event of His Baptism at the hands of John the Baptist at the River Jordan, where Trinitarian collaboration was visibly manifested to the amazed spectators. The transfiguration of Jesus Christ, the feast we celebrate this weekend, is also a self-manifesting event of our Lord Jesus Christ.