Tuesday, V week of Lent, Year A

I Am!

Readings: 1st: Num 21:4-9; Ps: 101; Gos: Jn 8:21-30

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, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com 

Today’s Gospel, contains profound reflections on the mystery of God which surrounds the person of Jesus. The Pharisees want to know who Jesus is. So, they asked him, “Who are you?”

Jesus speaks about His departure “I am going away; you will look for Me and you will die in your sin”. Indeed, they will look for Jesus, but will not find Him, because they will look for Him with mistaken criteria.

According to Christ, the Pharisees live in sin and will die in sin. To live in sin is to live far away from God. They imagine God in a certain way, but God is different from what they imagine. This was why they not able to recognize the presence of God in Jesus.

Today, Jesus seems to be sounding a last warning to the pharisees as well as to us. It is a sincere plea of a caring messiah who is willing to save his people. However, it appears that they could not see His point because of their ignorance and stubbornness. They could not even see that God himself has come down to help and save them.

As we come close the Paschal celebration, Jesus is trying to tell us that, in fact, He is one with the Father, and was sent by Him to share the good news of His kingdom. It is when we see Jesus lifted up on the cross that we will realize who he really is, and why he came.

On the cross, we see the triumph of love over evil. We also, see our best help in coping with the reality of evil especially, the present predicament of our world. This will remind us that our salvation costed Christ a lot, and then, our heart will comprehend the extent of his love for us. Then, we shall know that truly, he is: “I Am.”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

Martes, V Semana de Cuaresma, Año A

¡Yo Soy!

Lecturas: 1ra: Nu 21:4-9; Sal: 101; Ev: Jn 8:21-30

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 Evangelio de hoy contiene profundas reflexiones sobre el misterio de Dios que rodea la persona de Cristo. Los fariseos quieren saber quién es Jesús. Entonces, le preguntaron: “¿Quién eres tú?”

Jesús habla de su partida “Me voy; me buscarán y morirán en su pecado”. De hecho, buscarán a Jesús, pero no lo encontrarán, porque lo buscarán con criterios equivocados.

Según Cristo, los fariseos viven en pecado y morirán en pecado. Vivir en pecado es vivir lejos de Dios. Se imaginan a Dios de cierta manera, pero Dios es diferente de lo que imaginan. Por eso no pudieron reconocer la presencia de Dios en Jesús.

Hoy, Jesús parece estar sonando una última advertencia tanto a los fariseos como a nosotros. Es una súplica sincera de un mesías cariñoso que está dispuesto a salvar a su pueblo. Sin embargo, parece que no podían ver Su punto debido a su ignorancia y obstinación. Ni siquiera podían ver que Dios mismo ha bajado para ayudarlos y salvarlos.

Al acercarnos la celebración pascual, Jesús está tratando de decirnos que, de hecho, es uno con el Padre, y fue enviado por el Padre, para compartir las buenas nuevas de su reino. Es cuando vemos a Jesús levantado en la cruz que nos daremos cuenta de quién es realmente, y por qué vino.

En la cruz, veremos el triunfo del amor sobre el mal. También, veremos nuestra mejor ayuda contra la realidad del mal, especialmente, la situación actual de nuestro mundo. Esto nos recordará que nuestra salvación le costó mucho a Cristo, y entonces, nuestro corazón comprenderá el alcance de su amor por nosotros. Entonces, sabremos que realmente, él es: “Yo soy.”

¡La paz sea con ustedes ¡

¡Maranatha!

Monday, V week of Lent, Year A

Go, and sin no more!

Readings: 1st: Dan 13: 41-62; Ps: 23; Gos: Jn 8:1-11

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, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com 

In today’s Gospel, we see the encounter of Jesus with the woman who was going to be stoned. Because of His preaching, Jesus disturbed the religious authority. For this reason, they looked for every opportunity to accuse, and kill Him.

Thus, they brought before Him a woman caught committing adultery. They asked Him, “What is your opinion?” However, it was a trap. If Jesus had said, “apply the Law”, they would have said, He is not a good man, because he supported the killing of the poor woman!” If He had said, “Do not kill her”, they would have said, “He does not even observe the law!”

So, under the appearance of fidelity to God, they manipulated the law, and wanted to use the woman to be able to accuse Jesus. Of course, Jesus did not condemn the woman under the law, because what condemned her already was her sin.

Also, he did not condemn her, because those who were accusing and condemning the woman were not better than her. Did Jesus support the fact that the woman committed adultery? No! Rather than condemn sinners, his mission is to redeem and restore their dignity for the kingdom of God.

A very important lesson for us today is that, this episode reveals that Jesus is the light which makes the truth shine. He opens up the secret that exists in each person. That is, in the intimate depth of each one of us. God knows us very well, we can not hide from him.

In light of Jesus’ word, those who seemed to be the defenders of the law saw themselves full of sin. They recognized their unworthiness, and left with shame without casting any stone at the woman. So, the woman considered to be guilty and deserved to die, stood before God, absolved, redeemed and with her dignity restored.

God is always giving each of a new opportunity. So, after saving the woman Christ told her: “Go, and sin no more.” That means, you have been pardoned, but you must become a better person. This Lent, Christ is saying the same to us.

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

Lunes, V Semana de Cuaresma, Año A

¡Vete, y no vuelvas a pecar!

Lecturas: 1ra: Dan 13:41C-62; Sal: 23; Ev: Jn 8:1-11

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 en: canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com

En el Evangelio de hoy vemos el encuentro de Jesús con la mujer que iba a ser apedreada. Debido a su predicación, Jesús perturbó la autoridad religiosa. Por esta razón, buscaron toda oportunidad de acusar y matarlo.

Por tanto, trajeron ante él una mujer que había cometido adulterio. Le preguntaron a Cristo: “¿Cuál es su opinión?” Sin embargo, era una trampa. Si Jesús hubiera dicho, “aplicar la Ley”, habrían dicho que, no es un buen hombre, porque apoyó la matanza de la pobre mujer”. Si hubiera dicho, “no la maten”, habrían dicho que él no respeta la ley.

Así que, bajo la apariencia de fidelidad a Dios, manipularon la ley, y querían usar la mujer para poder acusar a Jesús. Por supuesto, Jesús no condenó a la mujer bajo la ley, porque lo que la condenó ya era su pecado.

Además, no la condenó, porque aquellos que la acusaban no eran mejores que ella. ¿Apoyó Jesús el hecho de que la mujer cometió adulterio? ¡No! En lugar de condenar a los pecadores, su misión es redimir y restaurar su dignidad para el reino de Dios.

Una lección muy importante para nosotros hoy es que, este episodio revela que Jesús es la luz que hace brillar la verdad. Abre el secreto que existe en cada persona. Es decir, en la profundidad íntima de cada uno de nosotros. Dios nos conoce muy bien, y no podemos escondernos de él.

A la luz de la palabra de Jesús, aquellos que parecían ser los defensores de la ley se veían llenos de pecado. Reconocieron su indignidad, y se fueron con vergüenza sin lanzar ninguna piedra a la mujer. Así que, la mujer considerada culpable, y merecida de morir estaba delante de Dios, absuelta, redimida, y con su dignidad restaurada.

Dios siempre nos da una nueva oportunidad. Así que, después de salvar a la mujer Cristo le dijo: “¡Vete, y no vuelvas a pecar!”. Esto significa que has sido perdonado, pero debes convertirte en una mejor persona. Esta Cuaresma, Cristo nos está diciendo lo mismo.

¡La paz sea con ustedes ¡

¡Maranatha!

Saturday, IV week of Lent, Year A

Who is this Jesus?

Readings: 1st: Jer 11:18-20; Ps: 7; Gos: Jn 7:40-53

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, cancilleriadfh@gmail.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com 

In today’s gospel, we see that there are diverse opinions, and much confusion among the people regarding Jesus. His relatives thought something, and the people thought something different. Some said: “He is a prophet!” Others said: “He leads the people astray!”

Some praised Him: “He is a good man!” Others criticized Him: “He is not educated!” Each one had his own arguments, taken from the Bible or from Tradition. But nobody remembered the Messiah Servant, announced by Isaiah.

Even Christ himself, knowing that many are confused about his personality asked his disciples: “who do people say I am?” This question is very relevant today.  The people who lived with Jesus were puzzled as to who he was, a prophet or the Messiah? This showed that he made a big impression on them.

However, they could not dare to believe or accept him as the Messiah. Many still don’t recognize the greatness of Christ. Here are two ways of approaching Jesus: some hear him, see how he lives, and love and enjoy him. Others go back to their books and argue about his qualifications or profile.

To have the gift of faith in Christ means to have the gift of prayer. This means that we have the gift of being able to be in touch with Jesus through the power of his divinity.  This is more than just “thinking about Jesus,” but opens us to the reality of a close friendship with him in accordance with our personalities.

There is aver important question that today’s gospel provokes for all of us as Christians. Nicodemus reminds the Pharisees that the law does not allow people to be judged without a hearing them first. The Soldiers came to arrest Christ, but when they heard him speak, they were amazed and left him alone. 

So, the question is, is there someone in my life whom I have condemned without listening to their side of the story?

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!