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!

Sábado, IV Semana de Cuaresma, Año A

¿Quién es este Jesús?

Lecturas: 1ra: Jer 11:18-20; Sal:7; Ev: Jn 7:40-53

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 que hay opiniones diversas y mucha confusión entre las personas con respecto a Jesús. Sus parientes pensaron algo, y la gente pensaba algo diferente. Algunos dijeron: “¡Es un profeta!” Otros dijeron: “¡Lleva al pueblo desviado!”

Algunos lo alabaron: “¡Es un buen hombre!” Otros lo criticaron: “¡No es educado!” Cada uno tenía sus propios argumentos, tomados de la Biblia o de la Tradición. Pero nadie se acordó del Siervo Mesías, anunciado por Isaías.

Incluso Cristo mismo, sabiendo que muchos están confundidos acerca de su personalidad preguntó a sus discípulos: “¿Quién dice la gente que soy?” Esta pregunta es muy relevante hoy en día. ¿La gente que vivía con Jesús estaba desconcertada de quién era, un profeta o el Mesías? Esto demostró que les hizo una gran impresión.

Sin embargo, no podían atreverse creer o aceptarlo como el Mesías. Muchos todavía no reconocen la grandeza de Cristo. Aquí hay dos maneras de acercarse a Jesús: algunos lo oyen, ven cómo vive, y lo aman y disfrutan de él. Otros vuelven a sus libros y discuten sobre sus calificaciones o perfil.

Tener el don de la fe en Cristo significa tener el don de la oración. Esto significa que tenemos el don de poder estar en contacto con Jesús a través del poder de su divinidad. Esto es más que “pensar en Jesús”, pero nos abre a la realidad de una estrecha amistad con él de acuerdo con nuestras personalidades.

Hay una pregunta importante que el Evangelio de hoy provoca para todos nosotros como cristianos. Nicodemo recuerda a los fariseos que la ley no permite que las personas sean juzgadas sin escucharlas primero. Los soldados vinieron a arrestar a Cristo, pero cuando lo oyeron hablar, se sorprendieron y lo dejaron.

Así que, la pregunta es, ¿hay alguien en mi vida a quien he condenado sin escuchar su versión de la historia?

¡La paz sea con ustedes!

¡Maranata!

Friday, IV week of Lent, Year A

God’s time is the best

Readings: 1st: Wis 2: 1a, 12-22; Ps: 34; Gos: Jn 7:1-2.10.25-30

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 informs us that Jesus visited Jerusalem more than once, but not publicly, because in Judea the Jews wanted to kill Him. However, even when they noticed him in public, and wanted to arrest Him, “no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

There are two important lessons we must learn from today’s gospel. This is especially in light of the current situation facing us and our entire world right now. The first point is that, although Christ is God, he took precautions and was very prudent and wise.

Ordinarily, one would expect that as God, he will just go to Judea publicly at this time. However, “he did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him. Being human, he saw the signs of the time and followed it prudently.

Christ knew there was an imminent danger waiting for him out there and he took the necessary precautions to avoid it. Of course, he knew he was going to die. However, it was not yet time, because he has not completed his mission.

Today, we are equally faced with an imminent danger of the COVID 19 pandemic. So, like Christ, we must be wise and prudent in order to defeat this imminent enemy. So, rather than live in fear, let us live wisely and prudently. This is what we need now, not fear. It will not make any sense, if we live in fear, and yet, die of imprudence.

The second lesson is that, every thing works according to God’s plan and time, and not according to the plan of men. Therefore, in John’s Gospel, the one who determines the hour, and the events which will take place, are not those who have the power, but God himself.

God determined even the hour of his own son’s death. He wrote the script. So, He did not give his enemies any opportunity to rewrite his script for the salvation of humanity. Like Christ, we still have a mission to complete here at God’s time.

So, let us ask God to make us wise and prudent in this dangerous time we are living, so that we might be able to fulfill our mission here on earth at God’s own time, because, “God’s time is the best!”

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!