Jesus is Our Good Shepherd

04-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo C.S.Sp.,V.F.

A profound message in today’s first reading is the reaction of the people after listening to Peter’s speech. The author of the “Acts of the Apostles” says that “they were cut to the heart” and they asked the question “what are we to do.” To be cut to the heart means that the words spoken made a deep impact on their lives. They listened with an open mind and their hearts burning with a great desire to make a change. “God’s words are spirit, and they are alive” and when one opens his heart to God’s word it provokes a response of change of heart.


Stay with Us Jesus

04-23-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Peter, in the first reading of today, stood up and proclaimed to the Jews how they used lawless men to condemn and crucify Jesus whom God commended to them, a man filled with mighty deeds and powers. He put it to them that they know how Jesus worked miracles in their midst and did many wonders but even though they killed Him out of wickedness that God raised Him up on the last day. The speech of Peter, in this first reading, testifies to the power of the risen Lord. This is the same Peter who could not stand before a teenage girl now speaks directly to the leaders of the religious authority, even blaming them for killing Jesus to their faces with boldness. What it means is that the power of the risen Lord had transformed him in such a way that he speaks boldly without fear. When we allow the risen Lord to transform our lives we have nothing to fear because having conquered death; there is nothing more to worry about. As we celebrate this power of the risen Lord let us recognize that His power transforms situations, events and lives that He touches.


Peace and Mercy

04-16-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today is the Second Sunday of Easter as we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday instituted by Saint John Paul II in the year 2000. On the institution of Divine Mercy Sunday, he said, “there is nothing that man needs more than Divine mercy. Apart from the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for mankind.” Today, our world needs God’s mercy more than anything else. We need God’s mercy as the world battles with all kinds of political crisis, injustice especially in the war going on in Ukraine. We pray for the Mercy of God to come down like rain from heaven to bring an end to this war and many other countries where there are crises. We pray for God’s mercy on many families who have lost their loved ones in this war in Ukraine. Many people have been displaced and forced to leave their home; we pray that the mercy of God would bring consolation to them. We cannot forget the military who have been over stretched as result of this war that they may be encouraged.


The Lord's Resurrection is Our Hope

04-09-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Today we celebrate the greatest solemnity of our Faith, the foundation on which our hope and faith as Christians stands. 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 claimed the Glory. God made Him to rise from the 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.” (1Cor 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

04-02-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

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 require a long homily but allows 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 gave Himself completely to us by His preaching, miracles and healing and sacrificing Himself humbly on the cross.


Miracles Do Happen When We Cooperate With God’s Command

03-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

It is one of the most precious things in life to have a house and a home into which one can go at any time and find rest and understanding and peace and love. That was doubly true for Jesus, for He had no home of His own: He had nowhere to lay His head. (Luke 9:58) In the home at Bethany, He had just such a place. There, three people loved Him & there He could find rest from the tension of life. Their house was a home for Him.


God Looks At The Heart

03-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The first reading and the gospel have a common message, in the sense that both readings present to us the human and divine way of seeing things. Most often human judgment is defective because it looks at outside appearance while divine light looks at the inner core of the person, which is the heart. The divine wisdom of God far outweighs the human wisdom and knowledge. God saw something in young David which Jesse and his sons could not recognize. David was in the field tending the sheep of his father when God chose him to be the leader and king of His people. Even though he was young and inexperienced, God saw his heart and chose him to lead His people. His strength and success came not from himself but from God who anointed him with the power and wisdom of His own spirit.


Jesus Is Our Living Water

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The first reading narrates how the people of Israel complained against Moses because they have no water to drink. Moses cried to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people, a little more and they will stone me.” The Lord told Moses to strike the rock with his staff and water will flow from it for the people to drink. Moses struck the rock which made water come out and the people had more than enough. The provision of water for the people in the desert demonstrates to us that God cares for His people whenever they are in need. It is also a sign that God is the one who sustains our lives. If God can make water flow in the desert, it means that God can sustain our lives even in the most difficult moments and situations of our lives. In the desert of our lives, let us always call to God and He will answer and provide for us.


Greater Holiness of Life

03-02-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The liturgy of this second Sunday of Lent invites us on a faith journey to a greater holiness of life, through a profound life of prayer, charity and fasting. These exercises, when done in humility of spirit, draw us closer to God. The journey towards holiness requires faith which motivates us to a life of true prayer and sacrifice. The first reading is a call of Abraham to begin a journey of faith to an unknown destination but known to God who called him. The period of Lent is also a call to begin a journey of faith that will culminate in the death and resurrection of Christ at Easter. Abraham steps out with faith not knowing where he was going but relies on the fact that God is a faithful one who will always keep His promises. As we continue our journey in this season of grace let us not lose sight that His promises are eternal, and God will give us the graces we need.


Be Grounded in the Word of God

02-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

The readings of today present us with a picture of the temptations of Adam and Eve and the temptations of Jesus. The first reading narrates the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve and how their fall brought sin and death to the world. St. Paul says in the second reading, sin, death entered into the world through the sin and fall of one man. We need to know what makes sin possible and how to overcome the temptation of falling into sin. Sin consists of a free act by which one cuts herself/himself from God. Adam and Eve were free to make their choices and they did it against the will of God. One of the things that leads us into sin is the choices we make.


Annual Report

02-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

Beloved Parishioners,

It has been an amazing experience walking along this faith journey with you these eight months as your pastor. The great spirit I see in you gives me a lot of encouragement and I am so excited to be your pastor and priest.


Choose Life and Live

02-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

In the first reading from the book of Sirach, Ben Sirach tells us to choose between life and death. What it means is that it is in the capacity of human beings to choose what they want in life. God does not interfere with our human freedom.


Add Flavor

02-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp, V.F.

In the ancient period and time of Jesus, salt was of a great value. It serves multiple purposes. It was used to purify things. When things like fruits and vegetables were sensed to be contaminated, salt was used to wash and purify it. The Romans said that salt was the purest of all things because it came from the purest of things, the sun and the sea. It was used for preservatives, thus, to keep meat from decaying salt was used to keep it fresh. However, the greatest and most obvious quality of salt is that salt lends flavor to things. We all know how insipid a food without salt tastes. Thus Jesus, very much aware of the great value of salt in His time, uses it to point to His followers what they are expected to be.