The Challenge of a Prophet

01-30-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

According to “Living Liturgy” the first reading is one of the most tender and personal moments in all the scriptures. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you”. God in this passage speaks very personally to each of us that even before we were conceived in the womb, He knew who we were and what we are to become. We are not accidents of creation but designed individuals with God’s mark and seal.


The Spirit of the Lord Has Come to Set Us Free

01-23-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The first reading recalls the rebuilding of the people of Israelites after their return from exile. The events in today’s first reading are the efforts of the priest Ezra to unify those returning from exile and restore the consciousness of the covenant with God, which had always been the foundation of Israel’s life. At this time the rebuilding of the temple is delayed, the houses and properties of the returnees are still occupied by foreigners and the monarch is no longer in existence. The only thing still standing that can foster this unity is God’s law transmitted through Moses. It is this law or God’s commandments that Ezra the priest stands before the people to read publicly in the assembly of the people. For the first time after the exile, the Israelites gather as a people to celebrate the proclamation of the word of God and share in a festive meal. The proclamation of the word by Ezra the priest was to call the people to true repentance and good relationships with God and assure them of hope in God who has established this covenant with them.


God Intervenes in Our Situation

01-16-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

The prophecy of Isaiah in the first reading of today took place after the exile. At the time of the prophecy the exile is officially over and the people were returning to their home country, but there wasn’t much joy or enthusiasm because they had expected immediate fulfillment to the promises of God. The people were feeling that the recent disaster, especially with the destruction of the temple remains a palpable distance of God from them. So, they were depressed.


The Power of the Holy Spirit

01-09-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today marks the end of the Christmas season with the celebration of the baptism of Our Lord. It tells us how Jesus received baptism from the hand of John the Baptist. “Why should Jesus bother getting baptized, if He is one with the Holy Spirit already? Because the very act of God entering into humanity is to participate into fully, unto death, and thus dignify human life and make it worthy of heaven. Because God is fully human and fully divine, it is through this act of living as one of us, alongside other humans, that our lives are sanctified.”


Jesus is the Star that Guides all People

01-02-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Anthony Okolo, C.S.Sp

Today is the feast of Epiphany, where we celebrate Jesus the incarnate word being revealed to all the nations of the world. The Church calls it, the feast of appearance or manifestation of the Lord. Epiphany comes from the Greek word and means “Manifestation”. The Church celebrates the light of God’s revelation of His Son as human in Jesus Christ. The story of the magi is the story of the ways in which God reveals Himself to us and the different responses and reactions this revelation receives. The Lord of the universe who reveals the star of Bethlehem to the Gentiles of the East so they could come and worship Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Kings of Kings gives each one of us the same light of revelation to recognize and accept Jesus as Our Lord and Savior.