Homily For 28th Sunday Of Ordinary Time, Year B

God’s Word and Wisdom Convinces, Transforms and Enriches Us

Readings: 1st: Wis 7, 7-11; Ps 89; 2nd: Heb 4, 12-13; Gos Mk 10, 17-30

 This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

On this twenty eight Sunday of ordinary time we celebrate Christ the Word and Wisdom of God which is both alive and active. We rejoice because even though we have nothing, which we could call our own, by having Christ, we possess all things. Both our first and second readings this Sunday bear marks of personifications which refer directly to God. While our first reading speaks of Wisdom as God, the second refers to the Word as His irresistible power that conquers and transforms our hearts.

Our first reading today personalizes wisdom, and attributed to her the highest qualities. Wisdom is God himself from whom all good things emanate and must return to. Hence nothing can be compared with her. Nothing has value without her and all created things only partake of her beauty and splendor. Hence, we must seek her more than any other thing. Like Saint Augustine, our heart must not rest until it united with this precious Wisdom.

By describing “the word of God as a two aged sword that cuts across the bones,” Hebrews simply exalts us that the Word of God is the ultimate wisdom and an irresistible power. It conquers and transforms every heart that receives it. As the fullness of wisdom, God’s truth is all-penetrating and searching. He also brings the real thoughts and intents of our heart to light, and dispels all forms of darkness. Hence, when God through the power of his spirit sets his Word and Wisdom in us, He powerfully convinces, converts, transforms and comforts us. God’s Word humbles a proud heart; and makes a perverse spirit to be meek and obedient.

The rich young man in our gospel today possibly came to Christ in order to parade his efforts and get some praises in return. So, he started by flattering Jesus (“Good Master”). Of course, Jesus appreciated his effort. However, Christ knew that something was really lacking in the man. So like a skilled doctor, and the Wisdom of God, Christ searched and diagnosed him of only “one thing,” attachment to his wealth. It was the “dark spot” or “Achilles heel” of his life. According to his testimony, he had done “all things well.” However, he must allow the Word and Wisdom of God to penetrate and transform his life. Though Jesus’ instruction was “a tough and harsh one,” but He knew that was the only obstacle the man had.

There are important lessons to learn from today’s readings which includes that: Each one of us might have a dark spot unknown to us, which only the wisdom of God could help us illuminate. At times we too do “all things well” yet, something is might still be lacking. So the word of God must convict, convince and transform us. Also, we must not always assure ourselves or be confident that we are running a perfect race. Every day we must ask God to shed the light of His Wisdom on our ignorance. His wisdom will help us understand who we really are. It also helps us to be who He really wants us to be. In this regard, our approach should be that of Job who offered daily sacrifice for unknown sins committed not only by himself, but by the members of his household (Job 1, 5).

Also we must not allow wealth become an obstacle between us and God. By using the example of the Carmel and the needle, Christ intends to teach us that attachment to wealth is the easiest way of losing focus in God. This is because attachment to wealth over burdens one to the extent that the spiritual journey becomes very difficult, if not practically impossible. So, we must not allow what we possess in this world to possess our soul. Instead, we must seek the wisdom and understanding that comes from God in other to be truly wise in dealing with the things of this world without losing our friendship with God, the Ultimate Wisdom.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!!

Homilía Para el Vigésimo Séptimo Domingo Del Tiempo Ordinario, Año B

Celebrando El Matrimonio  Y La Familia: “La Fábrica De La Esperanza”

Lectura: (1o: Ge 2, 18-24; Sal 128; 2o He 2,9-11; Ev: Mc 10, 2-16)

Este breve reflexión fue escrito por Padre Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. El es un sacerdote Católico y miembro de la Congregación de los Padres y Hermanos del Espíritu Santo (Espiritanos). El trabaja en la Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico y Republica Dominicana. Para más detalles y comentarios contacto él en:canice_c_ njoku@yahoo.com o canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

En este vigésimo séptimo domingo del tiempo ordinario de la Iglesia, nos regocijamos en el maravilloso regalo y la institución del matrimonio y la familia. Con solo un par de días de la apertura del Sínodo sobre la familia (4-23 octubre de 2015), se nos invita a reflexionar íntimamente sobre estas instituciones muy esenciales. Matrimonio y la institución familiar se basan en amor genuino para el sustento de la humanidad.

Lamentablemente, en nuestro tiempo ambos están amenazados por las culturas erróneas en detrimento de la existencia humana. Es importante tener en cuenta, por tanto, que todo lo que amenaza la vida del matrimonio y la familia, amenaza al amor, la unidad y la existencia de la realidad humana. Mientras que la unión juega el doble papel de afecto entre parejas y el sustento de la humanidad a través de la procreación, la familia está en las palabras del Papa Francisco, es “la fábrica de la esperanza”. Hoy celebramos nuestra pertenencia junta, como familia de Dios. A través del amor y el sacrificio, Cristo ha hecho de nosotros sus hermanos y hermanas. El amor que mostramos por los demás en nuestra celebración dependerá en gran parte del amor y respeto que existen en nuestra propia familia humana.

Hoy, nuestra primera lectura y el Evangelio fuertemente nos llaman a defender la santidad del matrimonio. Ambas lecturas nos muestran que el matrimonio es un regalo y la ley de Dios que debe ser apreciado y protegido. Sin embargo, es importante señalar que tiene sus desafíos que requieren la gracia de Dios para superar a veces. Los problemas maritales deben resolverse mutuamente con intención piadosa y la disposición a perdonar y cambiar para bien. Muchas veces la mayoría de las parejas creen que la mejor manera de resolver los problemas asociados con el matrimonio es el divorcio. Si bien esto puede parecer bueno, es importante señalar que no es la voluntad de Dios para cualquier matrimonio estar roto: “Esto es porque un hombre debe dejar su padre y su madre y unirse a sí mismo a su esposa, y se convierten en un solo cuerpo… Así que lo que Dios había unido, el hombre no lo debe dividir.”

Desafortunadamente la mayoría de los que tienen éxito en conseguir un divorcio no tienen tranquilidad. También, algunos no están mejor en su próximo matrimonio. Por esta razón muchos pueden casarse hasta cuatro veces y cuatro veces se divorcian. Esto es simplemente para demostrar que el divorcio no es siempre la mejor solución a los problemas del matrimonio. La base del divorcio es la incapacidad de una pareja llegar a un compromiso sobre la mejor manera de vivir que se traduce simplemente a la falta de misericordia, perdón, afecto, tolerancia, compasión y respeto por los demás. También, hay egoísmo, que Cristo condenó en los fariseos. Sus avaricias y el egoísmo para explotar a más mujeres nutren sus búsquedas para el divorcio. Las cosas no son diferentes hoy.

Sin embargo, es importante tener en cuenta que la creciente tasa de divorcio hoy en día está debido al poco valor colocado en el matrimonio. Cuando el matrimonio es tratado como una mercancía más que un sacramento de amor santo, es obligado a caer. Hay también, falta de madurez por parte de las parejas. Por madurez se entiende madurez espiritual, física y psicológica que se requiere para entrar en esta unión. Así que es importante tener en cuenta que la relación del matrimonio es muy diferente de una relación de chico y chica. Cuando la fundación del matrimonio no se basa en la honestidad, verdad, perdón, amor y oraciones, hay pocas posibilidades de que sobreviva la gran tormenta que sopla generalmente en la Unión.

Sinceramente me identifico con muchos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas que están pasando por momentos difíciles en su matrimonio y oran para que Dios les dé la fuerza para llevar a cabo. Pido especialmente por aquellos que han sido abandonados y crian a sus hijos solos. Que Dios les conceda la fortaleza para seguir adelante con sus vidas y encuentren paz en el cuidado de sus familias. Y por aquellos que se preparan para estar unidos en este santísimo sacramento, que puedan encontrase llenos en el cumplimiento del amor que profesan.

¡La paz sea con ustedes!

¡Maranatha (Ven Señor Jesús)!

Homily For 27th Sunday Of Ordinary Time, Year B

Celebrating Marriage And Family: “The Factory Of Hope”

Readings: 1st: Gen 2, 18-24; Ps 128; 2nd: Heb 2, 9-11; Gos Mk 10, 2-16

 This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working at the Sanctuario del Espiritu Santo, en Dorado, Puerto Rico, del Internacional Grupo Espiritano De Puerto Rico – Republica Dominicana. For more details and comments contact him on: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com. 

On this twenty seventh Sunday of the church’s ordinary time we rejoice in the wonderful gift and institution of both marriage and family. With just a couple of days away from the commencement of the Synod on the family (4-23 Oct, 2015), we are invited to reflect intimately on these very essential institutions. Both marriage and the family institution are founded on genuine love for the sustenance of humanity.

Unfortunately, in our time both are threatened by erring cultures to the detriment of continued human existence. It is important to note therefore that whatever threatens marriage and family life threatens love, unity and in fact human existence. While marriage plays the dual role of affection between couples and, the sustenance of humanity through procreation, the family is in the words of Pope Francis is “the Factory of hope.” So today we celebrate our belonging together as a family of God. Through love and sacrifice, Christ has made us his brothers and sisters. The love that we show for each other in our celebration will be largely dependent on the love and respect that exist in our own human families.

Today, both our first reading and the gospel strongly call us to uphold the sanctity of marriage. Both readings show us that marriage is a gift and act of God that must be cherished and protected. However, it is important to point out that it has its challenges which require the grace of God to overcome at times. Marital problems should be resolved mutually with godly intent and the readiness to forgive and change for good. Often times most couples think that the best way to resolve the problems associated with marriage is divorce. While this might seem good, it is important to point out that it is not the will of God for any marriage to be broken: “This is why a man must leave his father and mother, and join himself to his wife, and they become one body…So what God had united, man must not divide.”

Unfortunately most of those who succeed in getting a divorce do not get peace of mind. Also, some do not do better in their next marriage. This is why many can get married for up to four times and divorce for four times. This is simply to prove that divorce is not always the best solution to the problems of marriage. At the base of divorce is the inability for a couple to come to a compromise about how best to live which simply translates to lack of mercy, forgiveness, affection, tolerance, compassion, and mutual respect for each other. Also, there is selfishness Christ condemned in the Pharisees. Their greed and selfishness to exploit more women nourished their quest for divorce. Things are not different today.

However, it important to note that the increasing rate of divorce today is owing to the little value attached to marriage. When marriage is treated as a commodity rather than a Holy Sacrament of Love it is bound to fall. There is also, lack of maturity on the part of the intending couples. By maturity, one means spiritual, physical and psychological maturity that is required to enter this union. So it is important to realize that the relationship of marriage is quite different from a boy and girl friend relationship. When the foundation of marriage is not built on honesty, truthfulness, forgiveness, love and prayers, there is little chance that it will survive the great storm that usually blows in marriage.

I sincerely sympathize with many of our brothers and sisters who are going through difficult times in their marriages and pray that God will give them the strength to carry on. I pray especially for those who have been abandoned to raise their children alone. May God grant them the strength to move forward with their lives and may they find peace in taking care of their families. And for those who are getting ready to be united in this holy sacrament, may they find fulfillment in the love they profess.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!!