Homilia De La Solemnidad De Cristo Rey Del Universo, Año A

Deje Que Cristo Rey Del Universo Reina En Su Vida

Lecturas: (1ra: Ez 34, 11-17; Sal 22, 1-6; 2da: I Co 15, 20-28; Ev: Mt 25, 31-46)

Esta breve reflexión fue escrita por el Reverendo Padre Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. Él es un sacerdote católico y un miembro de la Congregación de los Padres y Hermanos del Espíritu Santo (Espirítanos). Él está trabajando con el Grupo Internacional Espirítano De Puerto Rico y República Dominicana. Él es el administrador de la Parroquia La Resurrección del Señor, Canóvanas y el Canciller de la Diócesis de Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. Para más detalles y comentarios se puede contactarlo encanice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

El trigésimo cuatro domingo de tiempo ordinario marca el termino de cada ano litúrgico. Mas importante, es la solemnidad de Cristo Rey del Universo. Esta Fiesta fue establecida por el papa Pio XI en 1929 contra una influencia peligrosa de secularismo. La fiesta es por el motivo a proclamar en una manera efectiva la realeza de Cristo sobre toda nación.

En la primera lectura de hoy el señor por el profeta Exequiel nos aseguró de su cuida continua para nosotros: Yo mismo iré a buscar a mis ovejas…Yo mismo apacentare mis ovejas, y las hare reposar…” una cosa bien importante sobre esta lectura es que, por muchas veces, el pronombre personal “Yo” fue empleado. Primero, esto es para convenir el interés personal de Dios para su rebano. En segundo lugar, es para demonstrar su promesa que ya está cumplida en Jesucristo en nuestro tiempo.

También, en esta lectura, Dios presento el “manifiesto” de su reinado que será encabezado por Cristo. El manifiesto de Dios es diferente de políticos de este mundo. Siempre nos prometen: educación, casa, plan médico, transportación, más trabajo, y mucho más gratis. Nunca cumplirán sus promesas antes del término de su tenor en la oficina y se van.

Al contrario, el manifiesto de Dios es absolutamente diferente porque es real y verdadero, No es caridad con un gancho. Esto es porque, Dios es un rey fiel: “Dios no es un hombre para que mienta, ni es un hijo del hombre para que volver atrás (Nu 23, 19). ¡Nunca!

En la segunda lectura, Pablo nos recuerda del reinado de Cristo. Se continuará a mantener su reinado hasta que vence la muerte, nuestro ultimo enemigo. Cristo cumplió una tarea que nadie podría cumplir. Es decir, el venció pecador y satanás por su propia muerte. Fue un cien por ciento derrota.

Lo hizo por: “Anulando el comprobante de nuestra deuda, esos preceptos que nos acusaban; lo clavó en la cruz y lo suprimió” (Col 2, 14). Lo hizo por nosotros y por su reino. Así que, debemos permanecer con aquel que derramó su sangre pro nosotros. Debemos ser parte de su reinado. Lo debemos homenaje todo día de nuestra vida, porque es el Rey de los reyes y Señor de los señores.

El evangelio de hoy también, nos recuerda del reinado de Cristo. Su reinado es de la justicia. Juzgará cada persona según sus obras. No habrá corrupción, fraude, manipulación o injusticia estructural durante su reinado. Al contrario: “Hará arbitro entre la nación y los pueblos dará lecciones. Harán arados de sus espadas y sacarán hoces de sus lanzas. Una nación no levantará la espada contra otra” (Is 2, 4) y su reinado será de paz y justicia.

¿Dónde se supone reinar a Cristo? ¡Por supuesto en nuestros corazones! Así que, es importante notar que nuestra celebración hoy significaría algo bien, solamente si nos permitamos a Cristo a reinar en nuestras vidas. Si él reina en todo corazón, pues se reina en nuestro mundo. Si ya reina allí, goza y celebra. Si no, vamos a pedirle hoy que venga a reinar en nuestros corazones. Cristo nos dice: “Mira que estoy a la puerta y llamo: si uno escucha mi voz y me abre, entrare en su casa y comeré con él y el conmigo” (Ap 3, 20).

En conclusión, como celebramos Cristo Rey del universo hoy, debamos permitir que él estar varadamente en control del reino de nuestros corazones porque siendo un buen pastor, si lo hacemos el rey de nuestras vidas, no faltáramos nada. Su bondad y misericordia nos acompañarán todo lo día de nuestra vida. Y por supuesto, viviremos pacíficamente en su palacio.

¡La paz sea con ustedes!

¡Maranatha!

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Homily For Solemnity Of Christ The King (34th Year, A)

Let Christ The King Of The Universe Reign In Your Life

Readings: (1st: Ezek 34, 11-17; Ps. 22, 1-6; 2nd: I Cor 15, 20-28; Gos: Mt 25, 31-46)

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 with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

 The thirty fourth Sunday of ordinary time marks the end of every liturgical year. Most importantly, it is the solemnity of Christ the King. The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 against the deadly influence of Secularism. The feast is intended to proclaim in a resounding and effective way, Christ’s royalty over all nations.

In the first reading of today, the Lord through prophet Ezekiel reassures us of his continuous care for us: “I am going to look after my flock myself… I shall be a true shepherd to them…” One remarkable thing about this reading is that for nine times, the personal pronoun “I” was employed. First, this is to convey God’s personal interest in his flock. Second, this was to prove his promises already fulfilled in Jesus Christ in our time.

In this reading also, God presented “the manifesto” of his reign to be headed by Christ. God’s own manifesto is different from those presented to us by politicians of our days: “free education, housing, medical care, transportation, low taxation, more jobs, high income rates etc.” They never fulfill their promises before the end of their tenure in office.

In contrast, the manifesto of God is absolutely different, because it is real and true. It is not charity with a hook. This is because, God is a faithful King: “God is not human, that he should lie. Does he speak, and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Nu 23, 19). Never!

In the second reading, Paul reminds us of Christ’s kingship and reign. He will continue to maintain his reign until He conquers death, our last enemy. Christ accomplished a task that no other could. That is, the defeat of sin and Satan through his own death. It was a hundred percent and total knockout.

He did it: “By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands…nailing it to the cross and by triumphing over them…” (Col 2, 14). He did it for our sake, and for the sake of his kingdom. So, we must abide with him who shed his blood for us. We must be part of his kingdom. We owe him homage every day of our life because, He is the King of kings.

Today’s gospel reminds us of the reign of Christ. His reign, is that of justice. He will judge each according to his deeds. There will be no corruption, embezzlement, manipulation, or structural injustices during his reign. Rather, “…He will judge among the nations; and they will reshape their swords as plowshares and their spears as pruning hooks. No nation will threaten another, nor will they train for war anymore, and His scepter shall be peace and justice” (Is 2, 4).

Where is Christ supposed to reign? Of course, first, in our hearts! So, it suffices to note that, today’s celebration would be meaningful, only if we personally permit Christ to reign in our lives. If he reigns in every heart, then he reigns in our world. If he reigns there already, then rejoice and celebrate.  If not, then let us ask him today, to come in and reign. He says to us: “I stand at the door waiting, if you open I will come in to eat and dine with him” (Rev 3, 20). 

In conclusion, as we celebrate Christ the King of the universe today, let us permit him to be truly in control of the kingdom of our heart because as the “Bonus pastor,” If we make Him the king of our lives, we shall lack nothing, and surely, his goodness and mercy shall follow us, all the days of our life. And of course, we shall dwell peacefully in His palace.

Peace be with you!

Maranatha!

Homily For 33rd Sunday Of Ordinary Time Year A

Faithfulness To Christ Our Head

Faithfulness To Christ Our Head

Readings: 1st: Prov 31, 10-13.19-20; Ps 127, 1-5; 2nd: 1Thess 5, 1-6; Gos: Matt 25, 14-30

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 with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

As we come closer to the end of this liturgical year A, the church encourages us to remain faithful and dedicated to Christ our head. As good servants, we must be devoted to Him. Also, we must be ready to render full account of  our talents to Him.

Our first reading for this Sunday is from proverbs. The virtuous woman of Proverbs radiates as a bright star. The term “virtuous” simply refers to strength, efficiency, or ability. Here, it refers to both spiritual and moral strength, as well as to the firmness of character (Ruth 3:11). So, she is virtous beause of the strenght of her character and devotion.

The virtuous woman is good, faithful, and knows what to do to keep her family together. In addition, “she holds out her hand to the needy.” Today, the virtuous woman is the symbol of the Holy Mother Church, who prepares us adequately to meet Christ our Head. She prepares us through her constant teachings and charitable works. Hence, this is call for us to emulate the qualities of the virtuous woman. We are to be as faithful and devoted as she is to our callings and to God’s mission.

In the second reading, Paul presents to us a description of the conduct expected from a child of the light. He reminds us of the inevitable – The Lord’s Day. According to him, one of the most significant characteristics of this “Day” is that it would be sudden: “It is when people are saying, ‘how quiet and peaceful it is that the worst suddenly happens…” 

In order words, Paul is simply encouraging us to be vigilant and active in our preparation for this day of the Lord. “Gregoreuo” is a Greek word that Paul employed to express the idea of a sleeping man that is always mentally alert. This state of mind is opposite to that of a person who is dead or unconsciously asleep. It is the position we ought to adopt as Christians while waiting for Christ.

Paul’s call, is a call to readiness and to live with eternity’s values in mind. If we do, we will certainly enjoy a better life than those who compromise with the world. We are therefore to live like soldiers in active service (2 Ti 2. 4), and like the virtuous woman working to please her husband and children.

In the gospel, Jesus uses the parable of the talent to equally remind us that we must be ready to render a good account of our tatlents. God has endowed each one of us with different talents. Each, according to our various capacities. So, as faithful servants, he expects to render a good account of the “talents” we have received.

Jesus challenges us to be prudent and productive with our talents. Most importantly, he admonishes us to live in anticipation of His inevitable return. We  must not wait for this  return in idleness. Rather, we must be active and industrious with the talents we have received. So, we must use our talents to the glory of God.

As trustworthy servants, we should avoid indifference, apathy, licentiousness, sloth, complacency towards our mission. These will not fetch us any reward from Christ. If we are faithful and productive with the talents we have received, Christ our head will also say to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

Homilia Del Trigésimo Segundo Domingo Del Tiempo Ordinario, Año A

Buscan Y Esperan Al Señor Sabiamente

Lecturas: 1ra: Sb 6, 12-16; Sal: 62, 2-8; 2da: 1 Tes 1, 13-18; Ev: Mt 25, 1-13

Esta breve reflexión fue escrita por el Reverendo Padre Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. Él es un sacerdote católico y un miembro de la Congregación de los Padres y Hermanos del Espíritu Santo (Espirítanos). Él está trabajando con el Grupo Internacional Espirítano De Puerto Rico y República Dominicana. Él es el administrador de la Parroquia La Resurrección del Señor, Canóvanas y el Canciller de la Diócesis de Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. Para más detalles y comentarios se puede contactarlo encanice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

Hoy, el trigésimo segundo domingo del tiempo ordinario, año A, la Iglesia nos alienta a buscar al Señor y siempre estar dispuesto a acogerlo. Dios mismo es sabiduría. El que lo encuentre y lo reciba, tendrá la plenitud de la vida en Cristo Jesús. Por lo tanto, debemos pedirle a Dios que nos conceda una parte de su sabiduría para saber lo que hacer en todo momento.

En la primera lectura de este domingo, se nos recuerda que “la sabiduría es encontrada por sólo aquellos que la buscan”. Aquí, la sabiduría es personificada como mujer. Por lo tanto, sólo se necesita un “hombre sabio” para salir en busca de ella. El hombre sabio hace esto con paciencia y esperanza, y así, nunca se rinde hasta que ha encontrado la sabiduría. Con sabiduría, somos mejores cristianos y más equipados para enfrentar los desafíos de esta vida.

Por desgracia, descuidamos el hecho de que Dios nos concedió sabiduría para saber cómo buscar y adorarle. Sin sabiduría, nuestra espiritualidad sigue siendo superficial y desequilibrada. Sin sabiduría, nuestra vida religiosa sería mero fanatismo. Sin sabiduría, somos perdedores en todos los aspectos de la vida. Con sabiduría, buscamos, encontramos y adoramos a Dios que es sabiduría. Encontrar la sabiduría es encontrar a Dios.

En la segunda lectura, Pablo alienta a los Tesalonicenses, así como a nosotros, a no molestarse o afligirse demasiado por a los que han muerto antes de la segunda venida de Cristo. Es decir, antes de la parusía. “… No te preocupes por ellos como otras personas que no tienen esperanza … “Dios los traerá con El …”

Esto se basa en la esperanza que tenemos en la resurrección de los muertos. Así que, en lugar de preocuparse tanto por ellos, lo más sensato es preocuparse por nosotros mismos. Lo que debería molestarnos debería ser cuán preparados somos para recibir al Señor. Es importante notar que no hay tiempo especificado para la segunda venida de Cristo. Pablo sólo nos dice que: “lo veremos cuando aparezca en el cielo.” Esto significa que debemos estar preparados en todo momento.

Una vez, escuché a alguien decir a otro: “Espero que tu promesa no sea como la de la parusía de Jesús”. Se rieron sobre ello. Esto es porque, para ellos, la promesa de Cristo está ahora vacía. Han esperado demasiado tiempo. Cristo también ha retrasado demasiado tiempo. Así que, ya no hay necesidad de confiar en El. Sin embargo, sólo los sabios, esperan pacientemente. Ya sea que estemos vivos o muertos, la promesa de Cristo se cumplirá. ¡seguro que vendrá!

En el Evangelio de este domingo, Jesús usó la parábola de las diez vírgenes para enseñarnos cómo debemos estar preparados y alertas para la parusía. Cinco de las vírgenes que esperaban el tren nupcial eran prudentes, mientras que cinco eran tontos. Lo que separa estas dos categorías de vírgenes es la misma delgada línea que separa la sabiduría y la necedad, el cielo y el infierno, o el bien y el mal.

Es el deber del siervo esperar pacientemente a que su amo regrese. Por lo tanto, el momento de la espera no debe ser un momento cansado para nosotros. Más bien, debe ser un momento de gracia para estar bien preparado. No debemos ser víctimas de la undécima hora.

¿Por qué las otras vírgenes no eran caritativas? La respuesta es simple. Eso habría sido lo más estúpido en ese momento. Esto es porque, a la mitad de la fiesta, todo el aceite terminará y todos estarán en tinieblas. En segundo lugar, no hay excusa para que las vírgenes tontas no tengan suficiente aceite en sus lámparas porque tuvieron tiempo de prepararse.

¡Jesús está en camino! Su “demora” no debe ser una excusa para que no estemos listos. Más bien, debería ser una oportunidad para estar preparado y esperar por El. Por lo tanto, nuestra canción cada momento y tiempo debe ser: “Mi alma está sedienta de ti, oh Señor, Dios mío. “¡Mi cuerpo pino para usted como una tierra cansada seco sin agua!”

¡La paz sea con ustedes!

 ¡Maranatha!

Homily For 32nd Sunday Ordinary Time Year A

Seek, And Wait Wisely For The Lord

Readings: Readings: 1st: Wis 6, 12-16; Ps 62, 2-8; 2nd: 1 Thes 1, 13-18; Gos: Mt 25, 1-13

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 with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com. 

Today, the thirty second Sundays of ordinary time, year A, the church encourages us to seek the Lord and always be ready to welcome him. God Himself is Wisdom. He who finds and receives Him, will have the fullness of life in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we must ask God to grant us a share in His wisdom in order to know what to do at all time.

In the first reading of this Sunday, we are reminded that “wisdom is found by only those who look for her.” Here Wisdom is personified as a woman. Hence, it only takes a “wise man” to go out in search of her. The wise man does this with patience and hope, and so, never gives up until he has found Wisdom. With Wisdom, we are better Christians and more equipped to face the challenges of this life.

Unfortunately, we neglect the fact that God granted us wisdom in order to know how seek and worship Him. Without wisdom, our spirituality remains shallow and un-balanced. Without wisdom, our religious life would be mere fanaticism. Without wisdom, we are losers in every aspect of life. With wisdom, we seek, find and worship God who Himself is Wisdom. To find Wisdom is to find God.

In the second reading, Paul encourages the Thessalonians, as well as us, not to bother or grief too much about those who have died before the second coming of Christ. That is, before the Parousia. “…Do not grief about them like other people who have no hope…God will bring them with him…”

This is based on the hope we have in the resurrection of the dead. So, instead of worrying so much about them, the wise thing to do is to worry about ourselves. What should bother us should be how prepared are we to receive the Lord. It is important to note that there is no specified time for the second coming of Christ. Paul only tells us that: “We shall see him when he appears in the sky.” This means we are to be prepared at all times.

Once, I heard someone say to another, “I hope your promise will not be like that of Jesus’ Parousia?” They laughed over it. This is because, for them Christ’s promise is now empty. They have waited too long. Christ has also delayed too long. So, there is no need of trusting him anymore. However, only the wise, waits patiently. Whether we are dead or alive, Christ’s promise will be fulfilled. He will surely come!

In the gospel of this Sunday Jesus used the parable of the ten virgins to teach us how we must be prepared and vigilant for the Parousia. Five of the virgins waiting for the bridal train were wise, while five were foolish. What separates these two categories of waiters is that same thin line that separates wisdom and foolishness, heaven and hell, or good and evil.

It is the duty of the servant to wait patiently for his master’s to return. Therefore, the moment of waiting should not be a weary moment for us. Rather, it should be a moment of grace to be well prepared. We must not become victims of the eleventh hour.

Why were the other virgins not charitable? The answer is simple. That would have been the most stupid thing to do at that moment. This is because, half way into the party, all the oil will finish and everyone will be in darkness. Second, there is no excuse for the foolish virgins not to have sufficient oil in their lamps because they had the time to prepare.

Jesus is on the way! His “delay”, should not be an excuse for us not to be ready. Rather, it should be an opportunity to be prepared and wait for him. So, our song every moment and time must be: “For you my soul is thirsting, O Lord, my God. My body pines for you like a dry weary land without water!”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

Homily For 31st Sunday Ordinary Time, Year A

Be True To The Message Of Eternal Life

Readings: 1st: Mal 1, 14-2, 2-10; Ps 130 2nd: 1Thess 2, 7-13, 5-11; Gos: Matt 23, 1-12

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 with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico &  Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com. 

 Today, the church enjoins us to hold firm to the message of eternal life. This is what safeguards our faith, especially, in these perilous times. Through the message of eternal life, God will continue to strengthen us in our daily struggles.

In our first reading today, through prophet Malachi God warns us (especially priests), about the dangers of straying from the right part. He equally warns us of the danger of misleading and oppressing others in His name: “…And now priests, this is a warning for you…you have strayed from the way, and you have caused many to stumble by your teaching, you have destroyed the covenant of Levi….”

While it is important to note that this message is meant as it were for “priest” and all “pastors of souls,” God is equally speaking to each and every Christian. The reason is quite simple. We are all all priests by virtue of our baptism and so, are all expected to live good lives to the glory of God. Therefore, It is a call to live justly. Most importantly, it is a call to glorify God through our various calls.

In the second reading, with gratitude, Paul recounts how they faithfully transmitted the good news to the church of Thessalonica. They did it with total devotion and dedication: “…We felt so devoted towards you…We were eager to hand over to you, not only the good news, but our whole lives while we were bringing the good news to you.”

Unlike the priests that God warned through prophet Malachi in our first reading, Paul and his companions were faithful pastors. They are role models for all of us pastors of souls. Rather than mislead or exploit the people, they dedicated their entire lives preaching the message of eternal life in both words and actions.

Their efforts were not in vain. God confirmed it in the lives of the Thessalonians. They preached and lived message of eternal life. They brought it with faith, sincerity, honesty and dedication. They reverenced and honored the message themselves. So, it was also received with honor and reverence.

Hence, the Thessalonians did not take the message for granted. Rather, they accepted it with an open heart and mind: “…As soon as you heard the message we brought, you accepted it as God’s message and not something human.” So, this was a cause of joy for Paul and his companions. This is what happens when we faithfully discharge our duties as pastors of souls. We see God’s people flourish like the tree planted by the river side. God blesses us and makes us joyful, through this.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. They represent all the bad pastors of souls. That is, all the “men and women of God” of our time, who occupy exalted positions, but show bad examples. They are very eloquent and tall in their preaching, but are dwarfs in their actions. They twist the message of eternal life for their own gain. Thus, they lead many astray. When we live this way, we act like the Pharisees.

Today, Jesus denounces religious show off and bigotry, which is opposed to the message of eternal life. However, His message about calling anyone “Rabbi” or “Father” must not be misunderstood. One must be true to his calling and duty, and not occupy a position just for the pride of being called father, sister, pastor, evangelist, minister etc.

So, what Jesus is denouncing here is earthly pride. He wants us to be true to our Christian calling. It must not make us proud and arrogant. Also, He wants us to be true to the message of eternal life. It must rule our lives, and must not be employed to exploit, oppress, or mislead others. Rather, it must bring them peace and joy, while giving glory to God.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!