Jesus As a Good Shepherd Cares For Us

04-25-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is Good Shepherd Sunday and the day we also pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The opening sentence in today’s gospel passage is very comforting. Jesus says “I am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. The image of the good shepherd manifests the various aspect of the person of Jesus. In this image we see a fierce protector who, at the cost of his own life, stands up to anybody who threatens his flock. The description of the good shepherd laying down his life for his sheep alludes to the servant offering his life as a sacrifice. This is what Jesus is for all of us as He gives His life for us. He fights for us and saves us from any kind of harm that threatens our life and makes life unbearable for us. He gives His life in exchange for our lives.


Jesus Walks Along with us

04-18-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

We are still celebrating the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ by which He conquered the power of shame, injustice, evil, lies, darkness, death and sin and taken the victory. In His name mighty deeds are done because there is power in the risen Christ, this is what Peter in the first reading exhorts the crowd who were amazed at the miracle Peter and the apostles did in the name of the Christ by healing a crippled beggar. He takes them through the Old Testament and explains to them how God has glorified his servant Jesus whom He caused to rise from the dead. He proclaims that they are witnesses to these great works of God that is they who give the testimony of His rising from the dead and believe in it. We as Christ followers should also believe in it and give the testimony of our own faith in the Risen Christ. As Easter people we have also received the power to conquer the power of evil, despair, sin and darkness in our own lives.

The second reading John explains to us that Jesus is the advocate who is the expiatioREAD MORE

Encourage Deeper Understanding of Scripture

04-11-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

What a wonderful joy fills us today as we ponder the inexhaustible mercy of God. “Mercy is the heart of God,” Pope Francis tells us. The image of a heart has been used to point to the very life source of a person as it is the organ that allows life to flow through our veins and sustain us. Mercy is the heart of God. Imagine this dynamic, powerful, compassionate, piercing, embracing, loving, propelling, penetrating, absorbing, and enveloping, transforming presence of God flowing into the very depth of our souls. It is God’s mercy that allows blood to flow through our veins. It is God’s mercy that forms every atom of our being and leads us to what is true. God’s mercy reveals all superficiality and falsehood, and lays bare all distortions, empty promises, weakness, and sin.


The Lord has Truly Risen

04-04-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today we celebrate the greatest solemnity of our Faith. The foundation on which our hope and faith as Christians stand. We celebrate and rejoice that Our Lord Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. By rising from the dead He has defeated the power of death, Satan, evil forces, falsehood, and injustice and took the Glory. God made Him to rise from dead to prove that He has power over life and death. As Paul would say, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and our faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14-15). But because Christ has been raised we have hope and our faith is credible and that is what we celebrate. That is the reason we shout Alleluia! Alleluia! Indeed the Lord has truly risen.


Jesus Humbles Himself out of Love He Has for Us

03-28-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The passion narrative gives us an insight of what Jesus suffered for us, especially the love He has for us that made Him endure all the insults and humiliation for our sake. Today’s liturgy does not a require long homily, but to allow the events of the passion story to speak directly to us in the silence of our heart. Our meditation is on Jesus’ suffering and death for our sake. He came and gave Himself completely to us by His preaching, miracles, healing and finally giving of Himself in humility on the cross.


Lord That we May See You

03-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today’s liturgy invites us to examine how we have done with our Lenten observances of this year as the Lenten season is gradually coming to an end. As it is, there is still time left to make a change and make progress if we have not done so well in our Lenten practices. Today’s Gospel tells the story about the Greeks who wanted to see Jesus and they went to Philip who is from Bethsaida in Galilee. Philip took them to Andrew and both went to Jesus. These Greeks who wanted to see Jesus represent all the pagans, or Gentile who desire to encounter Jesus. These people represent all those who are interested and really want to encounter Jesus in their lives. These Greeks represent all of us who are unworthy, but wish to come close to Jesus. The desire to see Jesus as the Greeks did in today’s Gospel should be our own goal in life. That is, the desire to see Jesus because He is our savior and Lord. Our hope as Christians is to see Jesus. A personal question for each of us should be: Do I really desire to see Jesus? How often in my life do I desire personally to encounter Jesus? Unless we desire sincerely from our heart to meet Jesus and see Him we would not see Him.


Rejoice Jerusalem and be Glad for Her

03-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today the Church calls us to rejoice having gone half way into the Lenten season. We are called to rejoice and be glad notwithstanding that we are still in the penitential season of Lenten season. Our reason to be glad is our opportunity to have participated half way in this journey with the Lord. That’s the reason the entrance antiphon of today’s Mass says, “Rejoice Jerusalem; Be glad for her, you who love her, rejoice with her, you who mourned for her”. Why does the Church ask us to rejoice at this time? The answer is seen clearly in the Gospel passage of today “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish”. What an amazing message that we are loved by God in such a way that He sacrificed His only son for us so that by believing in this son we do not perish. In summary, the love of God presented to us today gives us reason to rejoice. God’s unfailing love to humanity is seen in this statement that God gave His son for our own good and salvation. The theme of God’s mercy presented both in the first and second reading is enough reason for us to rejoice during this period.


A Loving and Obedient Relationship With God brings Peace

03-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

In today’s first reading we are called to a complete obedience and respect for God’s commandment if we are to maintain a good relationship with God and with one another. God’s commandment is designed for our good and when we obey it for what it is, it gives meaning to our lives as the only way we can demonstrate our love for God and to keep His commandments. Thus, Jesus tells us in John’s Gospel. “If you love me keep my commandment” Jn 14:15.


God is Always Faithful

02-28-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is the second Sunday of Lent, a season of grace, prayer, penance, and almsgiving that helps us walk with God. The Lenten observances and practices are meaningful if they are carried out in loving obedience and faith to God. Lent as a season of grace is a time when we leave behind those distractions and develop a deeper relationship with God. In today’s liturgy, we are called upon to have absolute faith in God irrespective of the challenges and trials that confront us every day. Such challenges can lead to loss of faith in God but from the example of Abraham in the first reading and Paul’s injunction in the second we are encouraged to remain firm and steadfast.


Lent is for Self-Discipline and Growth

02-21-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Lent is here again when we draw closer to God and go into the desert with the Lord in prayer, fasting and almsgiving. The season of Lent is a season of grace because by working with the Lord for this forty day journey we draw strength and grace from the life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. We embark on Lent as a special time of repentance, reconciliation, and reparation. We grow during Lent by accepting and living the Good News deeper in our lives. No matter how much the power of sin and it’s effect have flooded every area of our lives, salvation is possible for us the moment we turn around and embrace the mercy and love of God which He offers us every day and the Lenten period is the time His grace flows in abundance because Jesus wants us to come very close to him with our heart and mind.


Jesus Heals our Individual Leprousy

02-14-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading presents us with the agonizing condition of a leper who must be declared unclean by Aaron the priest when the signs like a scab, or pustule or blotch appear on the body of the person. While in the Gospel Jesus heals a leper who begs Him for healing. According to the Mosaic Law it is the priest who declares an individual a leper when certain signs appear which makes the individual unclean and unfit to be part of a community. Whenever the person is cured it is also the priest who certifies the person clean and able to be welcomed back into the community.


Jesus Heals Our Pain and Sickness

02-07-2021Weekly ReflectionFr. Tony Okolo CSSp

In the gospel passage of last Sunday, Jesus was seen in the Synagogue teaching with authority and casting out demons from a man under demonic influence and possession. In that, He demonstrates His power over evil forces and demons. In today’s gospel reading He demonstrates His power over pain and sickness. We read that “when He came into Peter’s house, the mother-in- law of Peter was sick with fever and immediately they told Him of her. And He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up and the fever left her.” This action reveals some amazing qualities of Jesus.