My Homilies

Homily of 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

1st Reading: Deuteronomy 6:2-6; 2nd Reading: Hebrews 7:23-28; Gospel: Mark 12:28-34

THEME: TO LOVE IS TO SACRIFICE OUR LIVES FOR GOD AND OTHERS.

The Love of God and neighbours are the greatest proof of our fidelity to God's Commandments.
Love is the greatest commandment

In our cotemporary world, many people are always longing for peace, tranquility, prosperity, happiness and God’s blessings in their lives. They always want to be loved and cared for, and also to acquire the best in the world. However, some of them fail to unlock the gate which paves way for such stupendous blessings from God, even when they know it.

In the FIRST READING, Moses explored the meaning of God’s commandment which should be obeyed, in order to gain divine blessings. He told the Israelites to always remember God (One Eternal and Supreme Being), who out of His infinite love and mercy, saved them from bondage in Egypt. He exhorted them with the great SHEMA. Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5).” He urged them to remain faithful to Him, have reverence for Him and not apostatize.

Meanwhile, this Shema is the Jewish confession of faith, which, together with appropriate prayers, forms an integral part of their morning and evening services; with a call to learn, to study and to observe God’s commandments. It is the bedrock of deuteronomic theology in which love is almost synonymous with obedience to God’s will, which paves the way for prosperity (physical & Spiritual), but disobedience to God’s will leads to curse and death.

In the GOSPEL, in response to the scribe’s cunning question, Jesus quoted the SHEMA as the greatest and the first of the commandments, and the second is: “You shall love your neighbour (God’s Creature) as yourself (Mark 12:31).” These underscore the basic inner dispositions of the disciples. Besides, to know and understand God’s commandments like the scribe, which are the prerequisite for gaining divine blessings and subsequently, eternal life; are not enough. But practicing them out of love, with great reverence and obedience gives us full access to divine blessings and eternal life. Yes, we should obey God out of love, and not necessarily for fear of eternal damnation.

Moreover, to have reverence for God means to place oneself in front of Him in attitude of self-giving and trust, and of acceptance of His divine will. This confronts us with great urgency, and demands a personal response, which is faith in God as well as reciprocating the love He has showered upon us, by giving us His beloved Son Jesus Christ, who, out of love, sacrificed His life in order to redeem humankind. To love Him also means to accept His gifts, share in His plan for humanity, that is, salvation of souls (salus animarum), and to become instruments of His genuine Love for humanity.

The SECOND READING highlights how Jesus Christ, the Superior High Priest, out of love and obedience to God, humbly and patiently sacrificed His life, and bore His sufferings in order to save humanity. His sacrificial death on the cross has obtained once and for all, an everlasting freedom for all mankind. Moreover, His priesthood (new order), which is heavenly, eternal and spiritual in nature, is being contrasted with that of the Aaron’s priesthood (old order), which was earthly, temporal and carnal. His self-offering for our sins is not to be repeated, unlike the old order where the high priests offered daily or yearly sacrifices for their sins and for the people, but His sacrifice has been made perfect forever.  

As a proof of God’s Love for us, Christ died for us even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). So, anyone who claims to love, sacrifices of his or her time, energy, resources, etc, should be the basis for such love. Remove the sacrifices, then there is no love, and where there is no love, there is no Christianity. These will definitely pave way for God’s blessings, prosperity and finally eternal life.

Finally, since Christ has suffered for us out of love, we too should emulate His footsteps and reciprocate that love, by obeying God’s commandments which hinge on: love of God and love of neighbour. In fact, the proof of our love for God is the love we show to our fellow human beings. For we cannot claim to love God whom we have not seen while we hate our fellow human beings, it is not true (1 John 4:20). Loving our neighbor means to sacrifice our life for their wellbeing, and to always forgive them when they offend us. These are what pave the way for stupendous blessings from God and eternal life at the end.

Therefore, I pray that the Almighty God, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, may grant you the grace to Love Him and your fellow human beings sincerely, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

My Homilies

Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

1st Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-9; 2nd Reading: Hebrews 5:1-6; Gospel: Mark 10:46-52

THEME: CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST HEALS OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.

Poor governance, marginalization, nepotism, tribalism, and downplay of justice, equity and fairness, have been the major factors that stimulate community feuds, insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and violence resulting in gruesome killings and destruction of properties in our society today. These have engendered incessant deterioration of affairs in many parts of the world, feeling of estrangement, hopelessness, discouragement and serious tension in the atmosphere. Consequently, many people have been wondering why these prevalent cataclysms persist, and also why God allows our society to remain in quagmire without any intervention. The answer is very clear: we are spiritually blind.

In the FIRST READING, due to the triviality of God’s instructions given by the prophets, the Israelites were captured by their enemies (brutal leaders), and were sent to exile where they suffered grievously. They became spiritually blind and thus, wandered away from God’s marvelous light into darkness for a long period of time because of their sins. When their situation aggravated, they cried bitterly and entreated the LORD to have mercy on them. Subsequently, out of His infinite mercy and love, God later answered their prayers, and through prophet Jeremiah, promised to restore them; that is, the blind, lame, downtrodden etc., back from hopelessness and slavery (blindness) to freedom (sight).

Certainly, this is the same predicament that is bedeviling our contemporary society. When any nation trivializes God’s instructions, He steps aside and allows them to wallow in darkness (spiritual blindness). This is evident in the book of Psalms: “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! Then I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes (Psalms 81:11-14).” Undoubtedly, we all have neglected God’s instructions, and have become spiritually blind; that is why He allows our enemies to subjugate us. However, if we can humble ourselves and entreat the LORD like the Israelites, then our restoration would come speedily.

In today’s GOSPEL, the promise made by God for the restoration of Israel in the first reading, has been fulfilled in the healing of Bartimaeus (blind beggar). He had been in that hopeless situation for a very long time, waiting eagerly for divine intervention. When he heard that Jesus Christ was passing by, he did not want to miss that opportunity, even when people discouraged him. Hence, he cried out immediately: “Jesus, son of David, have pity on me!” When Jesus asked him what he wanted, his response was, “Master, let me see again” (Mark 10:51). Through his faith, he was miraculously healed, and instantly, he regained his sight through Christ, the light of the world (John 8:12).

Obviously, Bartimaeus here symbolizes the deplorable situation of humanity; especially those who lack faith in God; those that are sinfully malodorous, or those suffering grievously, but are sincerely longing for liberation. Sometimes, like Bartimaeus, there could be obstacles (societal problems) which may tend to frustrate us in our life journey. We usually encounter a lot of discouragements accruing from poor governance, marginalization, injustice, unemployment, hardship, sickness, wrong advice etc., especially from people that are very close to us, who may even want us to remain in perpetual agony.

Nevertheless, we should not be discouraged by such dissuasions, rather we should continue to make persistent efforts like Bartimaeus, who had strong faith and trust in the gracious mercy and healing power of Jesus Christ (Holy Eucharist), and never allowed himself to be silenced or discouraged by the crowd. Consequently, his perseverance and open confession earned for him the miraculous restoration of his sight. So we should have faith, hope and trust in Jesus Christ who has the power to deliver us from such deplorable conditions, that is, our spiritual blindness, in order for us to see clearly and to love sincerely. For whenever we fail to love God and our fellow human being sincerely, then we are spiritually blind.

Fortunately, as elucidated in the SECOND READING, God has given us an eternal High Priest in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who offered once and for all, His own body on the cross as a sacrificial lamb for the sins of all humankind. Since sin breaks the relationship which exists between God and man, and creates a barrier between them, hence, Christ’s sacrifice restores that relationship and removes that barrier (Hebrews 9:11-28).

Moreover, Jesus Christ, having gone through the experiences of humankind and understands humanity in all its strength and weakness, He is always sympathetic with her. That was why towards the end of His public ministry, He instituted the Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist as a sacramental expression of His paschal mystery. The priesthood is not an office which someone takes upon himself; it is a privilege and a glory to which he is called. This ministry of God among men is neither a job nor a career but a calling (Hebrews 5:4).

Therefore, an ordained priest is appointed on behalf of people to deal with the things concerning God, especially to offer sacrifices to God and to shepherd people’s souls. He acts in the person of Christ (in persona Christi Capitis). His three primary duties (munera) which are modeled by Christ Himself, are: (1) To Teach (munus docendi), based on Christ’s role as a Prophet; (2) To sanctify (munus sanctificandi), based on Christ’s role as a Priest; and (3) To Govern (munus regendi), based on Christ’s role as a King. Hence, through these duties, the priest heals people from spiritual blindness when he prays for them; preaches the gospel to them; baptizes them; celebrates the Holy Eucharist; absorbs their sins at the confessional; unites couples in marriage, and anoints the sick among them.

Finally, we should always give thanks to the Almighty God who has given us victory in Christ Jesus, the eternal High Priest, who is able to heal our spiritual wounds and restore us from hopelessness and slavery to freedom (1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:11). So, we need to avoid the occasions of sin, which tend to subject us to deplorable conditions. Even when we sin, we shouldn’t hesitate to meet a priest for confession and absolution. Also not to create more obstacles for those in difficulties, but to render our help to them. To forgive those that have offended us since we have received healing from God. However, we cannot achieve this on our own effort, but through the help of the Holy Spirit. For when the Holy Spirit heals us from spiritual blindness, then we will be able to see clearly to understand what it means to follow Christ faithfully.

Therefore, I pray that the Almighty God, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, may heal you from your spiritual weakness or blindness, and then shade His divine light up you, so that you may see His wondrous deeds clearly in order to Love Him and your fellow human being sincerely, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The Almighty God Loves and Cares for you…

CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST HEALS OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rev-fr-benjamin-okala/message
  1. Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
  2. Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  3. Homily of 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  4. Homily of 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  5. Homily of 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
My Homilies

Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

1st Reading: Isaiah 53:10-11; 2nd Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; Gospel: Mark 10:35-45

THEME: POSITIONS OF HONOUR DEMAND HUMBLE SERVICES TO ALL.

Power, authority and positions of honour are what many people always aspire to attain in life. Whenever a new regime is about to assume office, many people would begin to lobby so as to secure political appointments as ministers, commissioners, ambassadors, chairmen, etc. Unfortunately, some of them see those attainments as opportunities to show off, enrich themselves, and trample on others, rather than rendering humble services. They might become indignant whenever they notice that other ambitious persons are also craving for that same position, and thus, may plot to eliminate them.

Meanwhile, many Sundays ago, we have continued to witness the ambitiousness and wrong conception of Jesus’ disciples as regards the messianic Kingdom, despite Jesus’ three predictions of His passion (sufferings and death) to them. Since they were already anticipating an earthly messiah, they never envisaged Jesus Christ to come and suffer any misfortune here on earth. That was why Peter wanted to dissuade Him when He spoke about His sufferings and death (Mark 8:32).

In today’s GOSPEL, due to the same wrong conception of the messianic Kingdom, James and John requested that Jesus grants them prestigious echelons in His glory. They wanted to begin early to lobby for top ministerial positions before Jesus Christ establishes His earthly kingdom. Consequently, the other disciples became indignant with them for being so greedy and selfish, since they themselves wanted such positions. This was evident when they were arguing who was the greatest among them, so as to define who holds the principal post of honour among themselves, during Jesus’ regime.

Having observed their ignorance and the emptiness of their self-preoccupation, Jesus Christ took the occasion to educate them on discipleship and leadership, and also to clarify the kind of Kingdom He was going to establish. That His sufferings and death would be the necessary prelude towards its establishment. So, anyone who wishes to have a seat in His Kingdom, must be prepared to follow the same route of suffering (Mark 8:34).

Furthermore, Jesus Christ also instructed His disciples about the demands of His Kingdom. That the power concepts of the ordinary are radically inversed. For Him, leadership means servanthood. Anybody who wants to hold any position of honour or authority over others must be the humble servant of others, and consider himself or herself as a slave of all, and not to seek his or her own gain. This may sound preposterous, but that is part of the demands of Christ’s Kingdom, which He demonstrated when He washed the feet of His disciples (John 13:1-17). This implies that, those at the helm of affairs (political and religious), as well as those seeking for such prestigious positions are the very ones to do the serving and not the other way round, any other contrary view is fake (Matt. 20:26).

In the FIRST READING, prophet Isaiah clearly enunciated the doctrine of expiatory sufferings of a sinless servant. That, out of His infinite love and mercy for humanity and her salvation, Jesus Christ, voluntarily went through an excruciating humiliation and suffering, and offered His life in atonement for her sins, in order to reconcile her back to God. Hence, since Christ has sacrificed His life for humanity to live eternally, those in positions of honour, especially Christians, must be ready to bear any obstacle, trouble and trial they may encounter while discharging their duties as part of sharing in Christ’s sufferings (1 Peter 4:12-19).

Certainly, there is always a purpose for every difficult situation we may find ourselves in life. Perhaps, God may want to use such situation to teach us some lessons, or He is trying to prepare us for a greater task ahead; or it may be a way of atoning for our sins or that of others. Nevertheless, a constant gaze at the crucifix should always make us realize how little we are asked to suffer for our own salvation, when compared with what Christ suffered in order to redeem us (Hebrew 12:2).

Finally, today’s SECOND READING urges us to always stand steadfast in the faith. For Jesus Christ, the merciful and faithful High Priest, who passed through many trials and sufferings for our sake, yet without sin, has entered Heaven before us, and is preparing a place for us. He is always sympathizing with those who struggle along with moral weakness. So, let us be confident and always approach the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Therefore, as Christians, let us be mindful of the following:  

  1. That leadership means servanthood, that is, those who are seeking for prestigious positions must be ready to lay down their lives in humble service to others, and not the opportunities to show off, enrich themselves, and trample on others.
  2. That power or authority is like grains of sand, the more we grab it, the more it leaves our hands. So we must not lobby or be ambitious in the acquisition of any prestigious position.
  3. That suffering for Christ’s sake is a necessary condition for attaining God’s Kingdom (John 16:33). So, we must be ready to bear any obstacle, trouble and trial as part of sharing in Christ’s sufferings.
  4. Whenever there is a misunderstanding among members of any given society, group, organization, family, etc., their respective leaders should always, with justice, equity and fairness address the issues in a diplomatic manner, just like Christ did among His disciples in today’s gospel.
  5. We must always endeavor to frequent the sacrament of reconciliation so as to be purified from our sins and be confident to stand before God on the last day (1 John 1:9).  

Therefore, I pray that the Almighty God, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, may grant you the grace to always endure the challenges and sufferings you encounter in life, and to always render humble service to humanity to the glory of His Holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The Almighty God Loves and Cares for you…

CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST HEALS OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rev-fr-benjamin-okala/message
  1. Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
  2. Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  3. Homily of 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  4. Homily of 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  5. Homily of 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
My Homilies

Homily of 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

1st Reading: Wisdom 7:7-11; 2nd Reading: Hebrews 4:12-13; Gospel: Mark 10:17-30

THEME: TRUE WISDOM: OUR GUIDE TOWARDS HEAVENLY RICHES.

Our world is a multifarious environs, where many people live below acceptable living standards. Many people struggle daily so as to achieve their desired dreams of becoming wealthy or influential personalities in the society. Invariably, wealth seems like an end goal to happiness for some people, because being wealthy would mean for them, the end of their undesirable living conditions. Consequently, they become so engrossed in their pursuit of earthly possessions, which are transient, but have no time for God (the source of true happiness and wisdom).

In today’s GOSPEL, Jesus Christ gave a startling proclamation of the radical demands of the Kingdom of God, and the utter impossibility of attaining it through human efforts, except by the grace of God. Surprisingly, His response to the rich man’s question: “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” That, “No one is good, except God alone”, seemed to have engendered a conundrum among the disciples, concerning His divinity. However, He only wanted to correct an impression: that, the preacher must never draw people’s attention to himself or herself, but to God, so as to avoid self-glorification (Ps. 115:1).

Moreover, Jesus Christ applauded the rich man for having observed God’s commandment right from his youth, but still, wanted him to be free from any hindrance towards gaining eternal life. Hence, He asked him to go and distribute his riches to the poor, and then come and follow Him. Unfortunately, the rich man was infuriated, and then went away. This made Jesus Christ to exclaim: “How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the Kingdom of God…it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than rich people to enter God’s Kingdom (Mark 10:23-25)!”

Meanwhile, Jesus Christ is not saying here that acquisition of earthly riches, which are also gifts from God (James 1:17), is bad in itself, but to detach ourselves from them; always putting them at the service of the poor, willingly and generously, and not to allow them become our obstacles towards gaining eternal life.

Certainly, the necessary condition for following Christ more closely is total submission to His precepts, and detachment to earthly riches, which often tend to distract us from actualizing God’s purpose for our lives; for no man can serve two masters (God & wealth) at the same time (Matt. 6:24). But, for us to achieve this, we need True Wisdom, which King Solomon acquired in the FIRST READING. It was an answer to his fervent prayers, and he valued it more than the riches and honour of this world. For him, Wisdom (a gift of the Holy Spirit), is the breath of the power of God, an unending radiance, a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty, which brings with it, the really good things for humanity’s genuine welfare.

Unfortunately, many people lack True wisdom, and that is why they are overambitious, jealous, selfish, hateful, unforgiving, deceitful; and always craving for wealth at all cost, as if they will remain in this world forever. This is the reason St. James said, Anyone who lacks wisdom, must ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given” (James 1:5).

Remarkably, according to St. James, True wisdom is the power to discern truth, and practical knowledge of the deep things of God; a knowledge turned into humble actions in the decisions and personal relationships of everyday life. It is pure, peaceable, gentle, obedient, merciful and faithful (James 3:17). So, a wise person learns to give things their proper importance and value, and is able to make choices according to the plan of God, which can be known through a deeper intimacy with God. He or she always forgives those who have offended him or her, no matter the gravity of their offences, in order to be free from any heavy burden, which may prevent him or her from gaining entrance to God’s kingdom.

In the SECOND READING, we are warned to always live, act and think wisely as true Christians, if we want to gain eternal happiness. Since our secret thoughts and motives are always known to the omniscient God, who will be our judge on our day of reckoning.

Finally, as Christians, we should note that:

  1. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Provb. 1:7). So, a truly wise person is one who is always submissive to God, and avoids self-glorification.
  2. True Wisdom can only be gotten through constant studying of the sacred scriptures (Spiritual Sword) and fervent prayers. These will make us to be closer to God, to always know His will and the guidelines on how to actualize them.
  3. Too much acquisition of earthly riches do not guarantee true happiness. Therefore, we must always travel light, and not allow our earthly riches to come in conflict with the Will of God. But always be ready to sacrifice our resources (time, energy, talents, money, etc.) for others.
  4. To always be patient in sufferings and challenges for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Not to be ensnared by the attractions of this world, its wealth, position of honour and pleasures.
  5. Since we offend God daily by our sins, yet He forgives us, and wipes them away when we repent, so, we must always let go and forgive others from our hearts (Matt. 6:12-15).

Therefore, I pray that the Almighty God, through the Power of the Holy Spirit, may grant you angelic wisdom so as to always discern the truth; and the grace to detach from earthly riches, and always use them in helping the poor, for the sake of the Heavenly Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The Almighty God Loves and Cares for you…

CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST HEALS OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rev-fr-benjamin-okala/message
  1. Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
  2. Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  3. Homily of 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  4. Homily of 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  5. Homily of 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
My Homilies

Homily of 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

1st Reading: Genesis 2:18-24; 2nd Reading: Hebrews 2:9-11; Gospel: Mark 10:2-16

THEME: CHILDLIKE ATTITUDE IN MARRIAGE: A GATEWAY TO GOD’S KINGDOM!

Some of the prevalent problems confronting our contemporary societies, mostly accrue from marital issues, of which; pride, selfishness, unforgiving spirit, discontentment, insincerity, comparison, communication gap, discord etc., are invariably the main causative factors. Many spouses are living in regrets, or under the yoke of a vow they wished they had never taken. Unfortunately, they feel the best option for peace to reign is to divorce each other; which has become commonplace in our society. However, this is contrary to God’s intention about marriage from the beginning.

Meanwhile, the FIRST READING of today deals with the institution of marriage, which is a divine and sacred institution, an indissoluble bond that has stood the test of time. As the scripture says, “… a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).” For God willed that husband and wife should be one in every sense; and by creating the duo, He called them to an intimate communion of life and of love in marriage. Undoubtedly, this shows the equality of woman with man – one complementing the other, and their lifelong union in a monogamous marriage are historical truths.

However, due to the proud, selfish, unforgiving and insincere attitudes of some Jews, as well as their hardness of hearts, they compelled Moses to allow them issue a woman a certificate of divorce, which became widely practiced among them ever since the time of Moses. But, this was a violation of God’s law, as is clearly revealed in the first reading. Consequently, with the same mentality, the Pharisees cunningly questioned Jesus Christ on the issue of divorce in today’s GOSPEL, so as to know if He would contradict the Law of Moses, as indeed he did, and thereby to formulate a charge of heresy against Him. But in response to them, Jesus Christ, not only reaffirmed the original plan of God concerning marriage bond (Gen. 2), but upholds its sanctity by raising it to the dignity of a sacrament, giving spouses a special grace to live out their marriage as a symbol of Christ’s love for His bride – the Church.

He further added that, “…what God has joined together let not man separate.” This implies that conjugal union is indissoluble, and whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another, commits adultery (Lk.16:18). Meanwhile, the affirmation of marriage has long been a concern of the Church. Having steadfastly defended the indissolubility of the marriage bond through the centuries. Thus, in one of his encyclicals, Pope Pius XI averred that: “it is an immutable and inviolable fundamental doctrine that marriage was not instituted or restored by man but by God; …hence these laws cannot be subject to any human decrees or to any contrary pact even of the spouses themselves (Casti Connubii, 31st Dec. 1930, no. 5).”

Moreover, according to the teachings of the Church, for a marriage to be valid, Consent has to be established between persons who are legally capable of marriage (viz. psychologically mature, baptismal status, degree of relationship, potency, etc.). Matrimonial Consent here means, an act of will by which a man and a woman, by an irrevocable covenant, mutually give and receive one another for the purpose of establishing a marriage (Can. 1057). Meanwhile, the consent needs to be both true and lawfully manifested, which involves each spouse actually intending what he or she says. But if someone deliberately consents to marriage, but in reality denies his or her internal consent to marriage, in that case, excluding the marriage itself or some essential part of it, that consent is said to be Simulated or a Pretense, and the marriage is invalid, because of the grave defect of consent. So if the consent is not valid, no marriage is created and the consent is null and void (Can. 1095-1103), otherwise every valid marriage is indissoluble.

Unfortunately, due to the little value some people attach to marriage in our contemporary world, many couples today often resort to divorce on any slightest provocation or little challenges, even when some of them know the implications. So, when couples fail to resolve their marital issues in a healthy and constructive manner, their children may be influenced negatively.

Interestingly, Jesus Christ gave us the antidotes to marital issues in the Gospel. That, “anyone who does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child, shall not enter it.” This implies that couples should develop childlike attitudes for peace to always prevail in their marriages. This is because Children (not corrupt ones) are innocent and simple, they do not hate, discriminate or argue unnecessarily, but love sincerely from their hearts; they forgive easily and would be quick to say I am sorry without holding grudges against anyone. Their hearts are very clean, and can easily tell you their minds without reservations. No wonder, in the Beatitudes, Christ said to His disciples, “Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God” (Matt.5:8).

Furthermore, in time of trouble, children easily trust their parents, and are full of hopes. Christ also emphasized this in the Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:3).” To be poor in spirit means, to put your trust, not in your own ability, but in God Almighty for His guidance and assistance. Proverbs 3:5 puts it clearer and says, “Trust wholeheartedly in God and do not rely on what you think you know, acknowledge Him in all you do…” This is God’s intention for creating human beings in His own image and likeness, so that they would reflect His attributes on earth like children.

In the SECOND READING, we are called to emulate Jesus Christ, our Master, who in spite of all the suffering He passed through, yet persevered and brought us salvation.

Therefore, couples should always note the following:

  1. Everyone partner has a dark history: No one is an angel, therefore, avoid digging one’s past. What really matters is the present life of your partner, so focus on the present and the future. Always forgive and be tolerant.
  2. Marriage is not a bed of roses: Every shining marriage has gone through its own test of hot and excruciating fire. True love is proved in time of challenges. Always be patient.
  3. Do not compare your marriage with another: People can never be equal. Be contented, work hard and with time, your marriage dreams shall come true.
  4. There is no perfect marriage: Every marriage is imbue with plethora of challenges. It is like a Computer or Vehicle with a hard disk or engine, respectively. If these parts are not properly maintained, they will crash or breakdown.
  5. Always Pray together: A family that prays together, stays together peacefully.

Finally, marriage is a divine and sacred institution, which is indissoluble. Therefore, couples, or prospective couples should always pray very hard and make serious inquires before entering into this life time bond. To be happy in marriage is not to have a life without troubles, but to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, and love in discord, always bearing with each other. It is not only to enjoy the smiles, but also to reflect on the sadness; not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures. It is confidence in the face of criticism, even when unjustified; courage to always say I am sorry, and the ability to always say I love you. When one partner makes mistakes, he or she should humbly admit them, apologize and start all over again. Instead of opting for divorce in difficult times, couples would later discover that to be happy is not to have a perfect married life. But, to use their tears to irrigate tolerance, and their losses to train patience.

Therefore, I pray that your marriage or family may be sustained by the Power of the Holy Spirt, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

Rev. Fr. Ben Okala, C.S.Sp.

Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The Almighty God Loves and Cares for you…

CHRIST, OUR ETERNAL HIGH PRIEST HEALS OUR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rev-fr-benjamin-okala/message
  1. Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
  2. Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  3. Homily of 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  4. Homily of 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
  5. Homily of 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.