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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Homily for the 6th Sunday of Easter Year C By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, CSSp

Acts 14:1-2, 22-29, Revelation 21:10-14, 22-23, John 14:23-29

On the Gospel - Loving an Absent Jesus
In Africa young girls who consecrate themselves to God as nuns dress up as brides for a wedding and sing love songs to Jesus. A few years after such a religious ceremony, a young nun who had been having a rough time in her mission assignment comes back to the convent and asks the Mother Superior: “Mother, is it really true that we are spouses of Christ.” “Yes, it is true, my daughter,” replies the Mother Superior, “Why do you ask?” “Well,” stammered the young nun, “Since I was professed five years ago, I haven’t actually felt anything!”

Our poor nun may not have felt anything, yet she remains on the right track in understanding the relationship between Jesus and his devotees in terms of an intimate love relationship. When Jesus speaks in today’s gospel of “those who love me” he is referring to his followers. For Jesus “those who love me” is another way of saying “my disciples” or “those who believe in me” or simply “Christians.” The relationship between the Christian and Christ is essentially a love relationship. That is why Jesus said in John 15:15 “I do not call you servants any longer ... I call you friends.” Yet many of us feel more comfortable serving Jesus as boss rather than relating to him as a friend. There is a limit to what a boss can demand from you. There is no such limit when it comes to friendship and intimacy.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Homily for 5th Sunday of Easter Year C By Fr. Munachi E. Ezeogu, CSSp

Acts 14:21-27, Revelation 21:1-5, John 13:1, 31-35

On the Gospel - The Christian Identity
The renowned artist Paul Gustave Dore once lost his passport while travelling in Europe. When he came to a border crossing, he explained his predicament to one of the guards. Giving his name to the official, Dore hoped he would be recognized and allowed to pass. The guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross the border by claiming to be persons they were not. Dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. "All right," said the official, "we'll give you a test, and if you pass it we'll allow you to go through." Handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. Dore did it so quickly and skilfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. His action confirmed his identity.

Reflection/Homily: Fifth Sunday of Easter Year C

Theme: Putting on a Behaviour of love

There was this story we were told at the minor seminary some years ago. Three priests went to visit a sick male member of their parish in the hospital. After their visit, the little daughter was describing the priests to the mum. She told the mum that a priest, a gentleman and a “guy man” visited. She described the priest in Soutane as a priest, the one in clerical suit as a gentleman and the one in a good pair of jeans with a nice T-shirt with canvas to match as a “guy man”.

This little girl only gave a description of images she was popular with. Thus, she implemented an old rule which says: “You are addressed the way you dress”. This old rule is what Jesus is emphasizing in the gospel reading (John 13:31-33.34-35) but in a different dimension. Though we may be described and judged by our code of dressing, our code of conduct speaks more about us. In other words, it is our behaviour that defines us the more.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Homily for 4th Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday) By Fr Munachi E. Ezeogu, CSSp

Acts 13:14, 43-52, Revelation 7:9, 14-17, John 10:27-30
Theme: The Mystery of God’s Call

Four clergymen, taking a short break from their heavy schedules, were on a park bench, chatting and enjoying an early spring day. “You know, since all of us are such good friends,” said one, “this might be a good time to discuss personal problems.” They all agreed. “Well, I would like to share with you the fact that I drink to excess,” said one. There was a gasp from the other three. Then another spoke up. “Since you were so honest, I’d like to say that my big problem is gambling. It’s terrible, I know, but I can’t quit. I’ve even been tempted to take money from the collection plate.” Another gasp was heard, and the third clergyman spoke. “I’m really troubled, brothers, because I’m growing fond of a woman in my church — a married woman.” More gasps. But the fourth remained silent. After a few minutes the others coaxed him to open up. “The fact is,” he said, “I just don’t know how to tell you about my problem.” “It’s all right, brother. Your secret is safe with us,” said the others. “Well, it’s this way,” he said. “You see, I’m an incurable gossip.”

Reflection/Homily: Fourth (4th) Sunday of Easter Year C (Good Shepherd Sunday)

Theme: Jesus the Good Shepherd

At the time of Jesus, Messianism (the belief in a messiah who is to come) was a popular belief. The Jews were anticipating a King from the tribe of David who would gather together the scattered Jewish race, restore peace in the land and usher in the messianic age. This messiah would be a comforter, a redeemer and the prince of peace but more importantly, he would be a political messiah who would free the Jews from the authority of the Romans. Some Jews saw Jesus as this long awaited messiah and went ahead to ask him if he was the messiah. Instead of satisfying their curiosity in plain language, Jesus went ahead to reveal what kind of messiah he is in metaphor.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Download The Full Text of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” - on The Joy of Love.

The Vatican on Friday, April 8 2016 published the much-awaited Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis titled “Amoris Laetitia” – On the Joy of Love. The Document on love in the family, signed on 19 March 2016, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, contains the results of the two Synods on the family convoked by Pope Francis in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 the Vatican hosted an Extraordinary Synod which was in preparation for the October 2015 Ordinary Synod. An estimated 190 bishops from around the world participated in each gathering. The 2015 Synod’s theme was “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the modern world.”

You can find the text of the official summary of the Apostolic Exhortation here

You can find the full unabridged text of the Apostolic Exhortation here

An Official Summary of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” – On the Joy of Love

Introduction (1-7)

The Apostolic Exhortation is striking for its breadth and detail. Its 325 paragraphs are distributed over nine chapters. The seven introductory paragraphs plainly set out the complexity of a topic in urgent need of thorough study. The interventions of the Synod Fathers make up [form] a “multifaceted gem” (AL 4), a precious polyhedron, whose value must be preserved. But the Pope cautions that “not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium”. Indeed, for some questions, “each country or region … can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For ‘cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied’” (AL 3).This principle of inculturation applies to how problems are formulated and addressed and, apart from the dogmatic issues that have been well defined by the Church’s magisterium, none of this approach can be “globalized”.In his address at the end of the 2015 Synod, the Pope said very clearly: “What seems normal for a bishop on one continent, is considered strange and almost scandalous – almost! – for a bishop from another; what is considered a violation of a right in one society is an evident and inviolable rule in another; what for some is freedom of conscience is for others simply confusion.”

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Reflection/Homily: Third (3rd) Sunday of Easter Year C

Theme: When Jesus Steps In

In the gospel reading (Jn. 21:1-19), we are presented with a post-resurrection incidence where Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. In that scene, Peter had gone with some of the disciples to fish. Despite their expertise, they were unable to make a catch at the appropriate time. At the inappropriate time, Jesus stepped in and stood on the shore unrecognized. He ordered them to cast their net over the right side of the boat and immediately they made a very large catch that they made extra efforts to pull the net out.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in the shoes of these disciples today. As such times, we make every required effort but do not succeed. Success seems to be very far from us. Some may have made every effort to pass an examination but still find themselves repeating that examination. Some have failed in their plans to get married and wedded after making every possible effort. Some have also failed after putting in so much efforts to be better in their spiritual lives, businesses, academics, careers, etc. and so have remained despondent.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Homily for the Third (3rd) Sunday of Easter Year C By Fr. Munachi Ezeogu CSSp

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41,  Revelation 5:11-14,  John 21:1-19

-         On the Epistle - Jesus, Unique Revealer of God’s Mind

The book of Revelation is a difficult book to read. This is because we have a difficulty understanding both what it says and how it says it. More light on these two areas will greatly facilitate our understanding and even enjoyment of the book of Revelation.

What it Says: As the name suggests, Revelation is all about disclosing the mind of God. People sometimes read it as a book of prophecy for our times, finding in Revelation predictions that are fulfilled in our days. The message of Revelation is certainly relevant to our times. But it was even more relevant to the times and situations in which it was written. Any serious attempt to understand Revelation, therefore, will have to start with its message for the Christians of the late 1st century ad for which it was originally intended, before attempting to apply the message to our own present situation. The reader must adopt a THEN and NOW approach to avoid misinterpretation.

Friday, 1 April 2016

Homily for the Second (2nd) Sunday of Easter Year C By Fr. Munachi Ezeogu CSSp

Acts 5:12-16,  Revelation 1:9-11, 12-13, 17-19,  John 20:19-31

-         On the Epistle - Observing the Lord's Day in Patmos
A young man made up his mind to attend Easter vigil midnight service. The service was to begin at 9:00 pm, so he decided to watch some Saturday night movie on television to occupy himself before time for service. While watching the movie he fell asleep and woke up much later in the night. It occurred to him that he must be late for church service so he got up and ran all the way to the church. When he got to the church, there was no one in sight. The service was over. All that he saw was a big banner in front of the church which reads: “He is not here, he has risen!” Without meaning to do so, the banner was announcing the important truth that the risen Lord is not confined to church buildings, he is everywhere. The resurrection marks an important shift in the way Jesus makes himself present to his followers. In his earthly life Jesus was in one place at a time. After the resurrection there is no such limitation. Before the resurrection the usual way to encounter Jesus was in the body. After the resurrection the way to encounter Jesus is in the spirit.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Homily For Easter Sunday by Fr. Munachi Ezeogu CSSp

Theme: Halleluiah, Praise the Lord!

A certain kindergarten teacher was telling her students the story of Jesus. In her class was a little boy who came from a non-Christian family. He was paying very close attention to the story because it was all new to him. As the teacher told how Jesus was condemned and nailed to the cross to die the boy's countenance fell and he murmured, "No! That's too bad!" The teacher then went on to tell how on the third day Jesus rose from the dead and came back to life. The boy's eyes lit up with delight and he exclaimed, "Totally awesome!" On Good Friday we heard the story of the suffering and death of Jesus. Like the little boy many of us felt like "No! That's too bad!" Today we hear the rest of the story and again with the little boy we can now exclaim "Yes! Totally awesome!" Today we can again sing "Halleluiah" that we have not sung all through Lent. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad (Psalm 118:24).

Reflection/Homily for Easter Sunday

Theme: Now that Christ has risen!

For the past forty days, we have been journeying with the Lord to Calvary. This journey was not easy. It was both a physical and Spiritual Journey. It demanded a lot of sacrifice and penance. At the beginning of the Holy week, there was great tension as we began to meditate on the passion of Christ. At the Triduum, the tension increased when Christ entered into his passion and death.

This tension caused despair and disappointment among his friends. They could neither believe his death nor understand why Christ had to die with all his powers. His arrest, condemnation, passion and death were like a dream for them. They were sure of the several times he miraculously escaped from the wicked crowd. They could not understand why this time he had to allow himself to be taken over so freely. They were afraid and disappointed. They thought all about him had been forgotten for he had been defeated.

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