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Month: May 2022

ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN UNITE US TOGETHER IN TRUTH!

HOMILY OF 7TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THEME: ONLY THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN UNITE US TOGETHER IN TRUTH!

(1st Reading: Acts 17:55-60; 2nd Reading: Revelation 22:12-14, 16-20; Gospel: John 1:20-26)

In our contemporary society, most times, to express what one sees as the “truth” could be detrimental, especially when it threatens long-standing norms. For instance, if you tell the truth that conflicts with political or religious ideologies and principles, conventional and professional opinions, you will be marginalized, rejected, attacked, ridiculed and criticized even by members of your own religion or those with vested interests in the opinion you uphold; or you may be killed, despite guarantees of freedom of speech which is stipulated in our country’s constitution. Sequel to these undeniable facts, many people seldom speak the truth for fear of being rejected or even killed, thereby allowing things to go wrong. But should we compromise the truth so as to avoid criticisms or persecutions?

In the first reading, Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, courageously highlighted the historical truth of the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ, and thus confronted the Jews for obnoxiously killing the ancient prophets as well as their resistance of the Holy Spirit. Subsequently, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus Christ standing at the right hand of God. These statements infuriated the Jews, which led to his killing.

Surprisingly, while they were stoning him, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them(Acts 7:59-60). What a compassionate request! This was exactly what Jesus Christ did during His Crucifixion! Of course, the Holy Spirit was instrumental to this extraordinary reaction, otherwise Stephen would have cursed or prayed for God’s vengeance upon his enemies.

Undoubtedly, trials and tribulations are sufferings resulting from oppressions or persecutions. They are basic elements that make up the negative valence of affective phenomena. Most times, they can help one to grow to the full stature of maturity or perfection. Unfortunately, many people think that those who are always encumbered with a lot of tribulations are accursed. It is not always the case!

As a matter of fact, Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have tribulations. But be courageous; I have conquered the world(John 16:33). However, the kind of tribulations that are meritorious are the very ones we suffer for the sake of love of Christ. For our sufferings and struggles of this present life, even torture and death to our bodies, are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us (Romans 8:18).

Moreover, our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world for the redemption of the whole human race without any discrimination or segregation. His aim was to reconcile and unite every person to God, so that there would be one family of God, or sheepfold with one Shepherd. He wanted unity and love for His followers so much, and that was the reason why in today’s Gospel, He prayed seriously for His disciples as well as those who would believe in Him through their words. The climax of this Priestly Prayer comes as He prays that all believers may be one as He and the Father are one:  “May they become perfectly one so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me(John 17:23).

Unfortunately, the disunity among Christians has been a veritable scandal, because it was not willed by Jesus Christ. Although the Universal Church established “ecumenism” to promote dialogue with Christians of other denominations, which is aimed at progressively narrowing the divisions among Christians until we become one again, in accordance with the intention and prayer of Jesus Christ for His followers. Yet, there seems to be more divisions, hatred, acrimony, rejection of truth and also persecutions among Christians. The evidence is clear; “many Christians lack the Holy Spirit, and do not care to invite Him to take control of their endeavours.” For the Holy Spirit engenders brotherly love, peace, patience, faith, hope, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, justice, equity, fairness, unity, trust, etc.

In the second reading, Jesus Christ stated categorically: “I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he or she has done.” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates(Revelation 22: 12-14).

Therefore, since all our actions will be judged accordingly on the last day, then we should strive daily towards fulfilling our LORD’s wish and prayer of unity and love among believers anywhere we find ourselves. Also, ensuring that we have cordial relationships with God and our fellow human beings; and by promoting justice, equity, fairness, love, peace, unity, forgiveness, etc. in our society. However, we can only succeed when we constantly seek the intervention of the Holy Spirit in all our endeavours.

Finally, since Jesus Christ earnestly desires the unity and love of all believers, then we should strive daily to make it a reality through our constant prayers, words and positive attitudes towards others, even our enemies (Luke 6:27). As Christians, we cannot but speak the truth always, for God is truth, and truth is life. Compromising the truth in order to please people implies that we prefer to follow the devil, the father of lies.

Though people may attack us for proclaiming and upholding the truth, but once we trust in God Almighty, He will surely vindicate us through the Power of the Holy Spirit. So, let us not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which we were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). For only Him can unite us together in truth, peace, harmony and love.

PRAYER:

May the Power of the Holy Spirit penetrate your innermost heart so that you can courageously proclaim the truth at all times, and always live in unity, peace, harmony and love with one another, and at the end of your life, may you gain eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

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

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ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST!

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!!!

As our LORD JESUS CHRIST ascends into Heaven, and promised to send us the Comforter who will be with us till the end of time (Acts 1:8), our minds are to be focused on the things of Heaven in anticipation of that special inundation of the Power 💥 of the Most High God, through fervent prayers, forgiveness and love of one another.

May the Power of the Holy Spirit 🔥 protect and empower you and your entire family to bear authentic witness anywhere you find yourself, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Peace of Christ be with you…

HAPPY ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST!!!

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True Love is Sacrifice empowered by the Holy Spirit

HOMILY OF 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THEME: TRUE LOVE IS SACRIFICE EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

1st Reading: Acts 14:21-27; 2nd Reading: Revelation 21:1-5; Gospel: John 13:31-35

Many people have written different wonderful and classical definitions of love in their own level of understanding. Most times, however, they only talk eloquently about love, but in the actual sense, they do not understand its implications not to talk of practicing it. For love goes beyond mere feelings or what most people imagine; it is action embellished with mercy, kindness, compassion, care and sacrifice for the welfare of others no matter what it may cost, even in the face of persecution.

In the first reading, Paul and Barnabas were very happy to proclaim the Gospel of Christ during their first missionary journey despite suffering severely from the Jews. No wonder they were “courageously strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the Kingdom of God(Acts 14:22).

Undoubtedly, the secret behind the successes they recorded, in spite of all the persecutions and hardships that encroached them which they patiently endured, and always ready to sacrifice their lives for God and for humanity, was because of the Power of the Holy Spirit they received which propelled and strengthened them. Of course, the reason is very clear: They were motivated by the love of Christ, and were hungry for the salvation of souls. That was the main reason why they never despaired when faced with tribulations and hardships.

In the Gospel, Jesus Christ says to His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another(John 13:34-35). But how can this be new? Does it mean that people were not required to love before the time of Jesus? Certainly, the Jews had two commandments of love enunciated in Deuteronomy 6:5 (love of God) and Leviticus 19:18 (love of neighbour). Even Jesus Christ affirmed them to be the first and second greatest commandments of the law (Matthew 22:37-39). So how is the commandment given by Jesus new?

Meanwhile, the Jewish commandment of love was “Love your neighbour as yourself”, that is, the way you treat yourself. Even some people do not love themselves not to talk of loving others. But Jesus’ New Commandment is: “Love one another even as I have loved you” (John 15:12). So, how did He actually prove this? Jesus Christ made it clear to His disciples: “A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends(John 15:13). Subsequently, He practically demonstrated His new commandment of love by His sacrificial death on the Cross for the salvation of our souls (salus animarum). His disciples understood this sacrificial love very well and demonstrated it in an exact manner; and that was why they were called Christians at Antioch, because they were doing exactly what Jesus Christ did (Acts 11:26).

Unfortunately, some people who claim to love, reject sacrifices, pains, persecutions, insults, etc in the process; forgetting that they are the conditio sine qua non (necessary conditions) as well as the consequences or elements of love. They always think that love is all about what they can gain from their friends, which engenders momentary happiness and enjoyment that is void of hurts and pains. Yes, they may be right to some extent, but that is only 20% of what love is, which is a selfish one, the other 80% of what love is all about is sacrifice imbued with sufferings, which is a selfless one.

It is worthy of note that, the purest form of love is sacrifice, which is the expression of selflessness, and it is far more than anything related to the physical body. Sacrifice goes beyond what most people imagine. Unlike other kinds of love, selflessness does not care about what it gains or whether it is worth it.

True love is to sacrifice one’s own comforts, energy, time, resources and talents for the sake of others; being merciful and compassionate, as well as giving a listening ear to the poor, weak, depressed, etc. Where there is no sacrifice, there is no love, and where there is no love, then there is no Christianity. Only those who are possessed by the Power of the Holy Spirit would be able to endure sufferings and pains for the sake of others, and thus derive their joy when people’s lives are touched positively.

Moreover, once we allow Jesus Christ to dwell in our hearts, definitely we shall receive His Power to love selflessly, which is the Holy Spirit. Without this, we may be acting like the stone-hearted Pharisees who lacked human sympathy, and always laying more emphasis on the external observances of the law to the detriment of humanity. For the presence of the Holy Spirit engenders love, happiness, joy, peace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, endurance, and pushes away the frontiers of hatred, pains, anxiety, animosity, etc., amidst all sufferings. Once He is present in our lives, then He will wipe away all tears from our eyes; just as was revealed to John in the second reading: “The New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God(Revelation 21: 2). Surely, this Book of Revelation is full of visions, which attempts to describe in symbolic language, the past, the present and especially the future.

Finally, as Christians who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, we are called to love selflessly as Jesus Christ did. Nevertheless, we may not necessarily offer our lives to be crucified or martyred physically, but to sacrifice or deny ourselves certain things we need in order to save the lives or souls of others, even our enemies (Luke 6:27) no matter what it may cost us. However, we cannot achieve these with our own ability, but relying on the Power of the Holy Spirit through fervent prayers. For when we allow ourselves to be possessed by the Holy Spirit and motivated by the love of Christ, then, that is the only time we will have inner joy and peace even amidst our sufferings for the sake of others.

When we must have passed through difficulties and challenges in carrying out our duties with love of God and humanity, then at the end of our lives here on earth, we shall gain eternal life, and enjoy the New Heavenly Jerusalem where God will wipe away all tears from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more. For there shall be true unending joy, happiness and peace.

PRAYER:

May the Power of the Holy Spirit strengthen and protect you and your family, so that you will be able to selflessly sacrifice your life for the sake of others amidst all tribulations, and at the end of your life here on earth, may God welcome you into His Heavenly Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

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

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Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd caring for His Sheep

HOMILY OF 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C (GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY)

THEME: ALWAYS LISTEN ATTENTIVELY TO THE VOICE OF CHRIST, THE GOOD SHEPHERD!

1st Reading: Acts 13:14,43-52; 2nd Reading: Revelation 7:9,14-17; Gospel: John 10:27-30

The Almighty God created us for a good purpose which is to fulfil His Divine Will. For God says: “Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, the plan of good and not disaster, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you” (Jeremiah 29:11-14).

Besides, we cannot understand the Will of God properly, except when we pay attention to His Voice. This implies that, for anyone to fulfil God’s Divine Will effectively, he or she must be docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit; for guidance, direction and information on how to actualise that good purpose.

Meanwhile, in the Catholic Church, the fourth Sunday of Easter every year is known as “Good Shepherd Sunday” or “Vocation Sunday” simply because the Gospel reading is centered on Jesus Christ being the Good Shepherd. It is also a day set aside to pray seriously for vocation in all facets of life, particularly that of the priesthood and religious life.

Although, the image of a shepherd and his sheep may not be familiar to people living in urban areas, but not with those living in rural areas, especially where nomads inhabit. It is obvious that Jesus Christ was very much familiar with the image of shepherd and sheep than we are because He used it so very often. The shepherd commits himself to care for the sheep, to lead them to fresh and green pastures (Psalm 23:2), to defend them against the wolf and other potential predators (John 10:28).

Moreover, the sheep for their part, are expected to listen to the voice of the shepherd and follow where he leads. They are to follow him alone, and not strangers. Although, the sheep may refuse to listen to the voice of the shepherd, thereby choosing not to follow him. If and when that does happen, the sheep are exposed to grave danger from the wolf and other predators.

Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who knows, guides and guards His sheep (disciples) with His life such that no one can snatch them from Him; for His sheep will listen and follow Him. The description of a good shepherd laying down his life for his sheep alludes to the Servant offering his life as a sacrifice according to Isaiah 53:10 which says: “Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain. If he gives his life as an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his life; through him the will of the LORD shall be done.”

Certainly, discipleship is not only adhering to particular religious rules or devotions, but recognition of the master’s voice and following His guidance. Now, the question is, do we listen to our Shepherd? Always … or only when it suits us or it is convenient, doesn’t cost us much? If and when we do listen, do we follow where he leads? Or do we prefer to go where our own whims and caprices, appetites and fancies lead us? Even while Jesus Christ was in the world, He was always listening attentively to the voice of His Father; “Early in the morning, He would go to the mountain to pray alone” (Mark 1:35), and “would not do anything or make any judgement except what He hears from heaven(John 5:30).

Undoubtedly, one of the easiest ways of hearing from God is through the scriptures. For the book of Amos says that, “God cannot do anything without you revealing it to His Prophets(Amos 3:7). He speaks to us in diverse ways, but the problem most times is that, either we do not know actually when He is speaking to us or we are not ready to listen to what He is telling us to do. Unfortunately, this could be as a result of many distractions in our contemporary society accruing from social media, bad governance, global economic meltdown, unemployment, poverty, discrimination, persecution, insecurity vis-à-vis banditry, unknown gunmen, insurgency, etc.  

However, amidst all these distractions, God is still speaking to those who are attentive to His Voice and are diligent in obeying His commands. For no one can separate us from the love of God, not even hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, etc (Romans 8:35-39).

For instance, permit me to recount my vocation story: My vocation to the priesthood is a Divine Call, and was born out of attentive, diligent and conscious listening to the Voice of God through the Scriptures on a daily basis. I never dreamt or planned to become a priest one day, as a matter of fact, I am the first son. Also, I had already studied engineering in the university, and after that, I got employment and was working comfortably in a reputable company in Port Harcourt.

At a point in 2007, I started having an inner yearning and a driving force to serve God in a very special way, and that became a disturbance to me. As if that was not enough, I started having dreams and visions where I became a priest and was celebrating Holy Mass. Initially, I trivialised the dreams and visions, and even suppressed them.  Subsequently, many people started asking me why I did not want to become a priest. One of them told me that anyone who has the Spirit of discernment would see priesthood boldly written on my forehead, that my own is not hidden.

Surprisingly, even one of the ladies I was thinking of settling down with as a wife, gave me a shock of my life the day I came to propose to her. After preaching in her family house, she joyfully exclaimed:  “I will go to Seminary schools and tell them that one of their brothers is here; that something is wasting away.” That I supposed to be a priest. I tried to ignore and discard these unprecedented disturbances about priesthood because, I saw myself unworthy to be called to such Sacred Ministry, but the revelations continued unabated; more than eighteen (18) different times. I never knew that God was using those people to talk to me.

After several fervent daily fasting and prayers/ meditations in the Chapel before the Holy Eucharist, booking of Holy Masses, going for desert experiences for more than 6 months and finally engaged in indoor prayers, God showed me beyond reasonable doubt that He was the one calling me. One of them was, a day when there was a downpour with heavy thunder and lighting, I just said a short prayer: “Lord, if you are the one that has been speaking through the mouth of all these people about priesthood, let this rain stop.” Shockingly, the rain stopped instantly. When I eventually entered the seminary, I began to pass through moments of excruciating challenges and persecutions, just like Paul and Barnabas in the first reading, but by the grace of God, I surmounted the challenges.

Finally, if we constantly and attentively listen to Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd, and follow where He leads, He will definitely direct us to God’s plan and purpose for us in the world. Surely, He promises us eternal life, and we shall never be lost because no one will ever be able to snatch us from Him. “No one” includes Satan and all the forces of darkness and evil that serve his cause.

Also, God has entrusted us with the responsibilities of shepherding His sheep in different capacities. Therefore, are we good shepherds in our families, work places and among our friends such that they listen and follow us? Can we accept sacrifices, endure insults and persecutions for the sake of our sheep, just like the multitude of Saints enunciated in the second reading: “…who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb(Revelation 7:14)? So, let us always listen and follow Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd who emptied Himself for us.

PRAYER:

May the Holy Spirit continue to guide and direct you in all your endeavours, and protect you from every persecution and harm, and grant you the grace to always listen attentively to the Voice of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

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

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HOMILY OF 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C The Almighty God Loves and Cares for you…

TRUE LOVE IS SACRIFICE EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.Today, Jesus Christ gives us a New Commandment of Love. Does it mean that people were not required to love before His time? Certainly, the Jews had two commandments of love of God and of neighbour. So how is the commandments given by Jesus new? True love is to sacrifice one’s own comforts, energy, time, resources and talents for the sake of others; being merciful and compassionate, as well as giving a listening ear to the poor, weak, depressed, etc. For where there is no sacrifice, there is no love, and where there is no love, then there is no Christianity.Please Tap the link below 👇 to read and understand more…*https://frbenokala.com/2022/05/14/homily-of-5th-sunday-of-easter-year-c/—Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/rev-fr-benjamin-okala/message
  1. HOMILY OF 5TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C
  2. HOMILY OF 4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C (GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY)
  3. Homily of 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year C (DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY)
  4. Homily of 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.
  5. Homily of 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

SERMON OF 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

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The presence of God radiates tremendous Power that brings about divine protection against all kinds of evil metaphysical powers and attacks, both in the physical and spiritual realms. His presence infuses the Spirit of Courage/ Boldness and Holy Fear upon those who sincerely and diligently seek Him. Also changes every ugly situation, and thus restores whatever has been damaged or lost. Once the power of God’s presence is eminent, total victory in all circumstances is certified.

Power of God's Presence

HOMILY OF 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C

THEME: GOD’S PRESENCE DISPELS FEAR AND ENDOWS US WITH DIVINE POWER!

1st Reading: Acts 5:27-32, 40-41; 2nd Reading: Revelation 5:11-14; Gospel: John 21:1-19

The presence of God radiates tremendous Power that brings about divine protection against all kinds of evil metaphysical powers and attacks, both in the physical and spiritual realms. His presence infuses the Spirit of Courage/ Boldness and Holy Fear upon those who sincerely and diligently seek Him, as well as changes every ugly situation, and thus restores whatever has been damaged or lost. Once the power of God’s presence is eminent, total victory in all circumstances is certified.

In the Gospel, however, after the death of Jesus Christ, Peter and other apostles were so filled with fear of what the future may hold for them, and that was why they wanted to go back to their former occupation (fishing) before they were called by Jesus Christ. Meanwhile, Jesus Christ had chosen Simon Peter to lead His Church prior to His passion. He had even changed his name from Simon to Cephas (Peter, meaning Rock), and promised that He would build His Church on that Rock (Matthew 16:17-19).

Unfortunately, when Jesus Christ was arrested, due to fear, Peter denied Him, not once but three times, even before an ordinary maid. Ironically, Jesus Christ had earlier warned Peter that he was going to do just that, but Peter had boasted that he would never do such a thing. Certainly, fear can make us put respect for human beings before our respect for God. It can also bring about a grave loss of our sense of the sacred, for example unworthily receiving Holy Communion, until we receive Divine Mercy through sacrament of reconciliation. This is the reason why we should not boast with our human capabilities, but only with God (2 Corinthians 10:17). Also to have remorse whenever we offend God and then make efforts to reconcile with Him immediately.

Surprisingly, after the resurrection, Jesus Christ would have been fully entitled to take away the leadership of His Church from Peter. He could have concluded that Peter was so unreliable, that it was risky to entrust him with the responsibility of being in charge of the Church. But Jesus did not do that. Instead, He gave Peter a chance to reverse his threefold denial with a threefold profession of true love for Him. Thrice He asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Thrice Peter said, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Three times Jesus said to him: “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep,” “Feed my sheep.”

Meanwhile, Jesus Christ simply wanted to reassure Peter that he would still be in charge of the Church; the leadership of the Church would not be taken away from him as a result of his tripartite denials. He also wanted to let him understand the manner in which he would carry out such great responsibility as the Supreme Pontiff, which are: compassion, mercy and tender loving care (TLC).

The Power of the resurrection dispels the darkness of fear, filling us with the awesomeness of God. This sense of awe creates in us the fear of the Lord, which is indeed the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). It is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit that makes us to respect God and not want to offend Him in any way, and also courageous witnesses of the gospel in all situations.

Moreover, this power can only be experienced fully by those who love and obey God sincerely. Just like Peter in the first reading, after experiencing the Mercy and Power of God’s presence, he was empowered and, thus became a changed person. The same Peter who denied Jesus Christ in the presence of an ordinary maid due to fear of being arrested, now confronted the high priest himself, and told him to his face: “We must obey God rather than any human authority… we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:29-32). He then proceeded to give testimony of the resurrection to the entire Supreme Council of the nation of Israel, the Sanhedrin. What a transformation!

That is exactly what can happen to anyone who experiences the Mercy and Power of God’s presence. He or she can be so thoroughly transformed or converted – to use a more technical term that he or she will do great things for God. That was what happened to Saul of Tarsus after his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. The same thing happened to Augustine of Hippo after his conversion from a wayward life, and also Mary Magdalene, who was totally transformed after receiving the mercy of God, no wonder she was the first to see Jesus Christ after His resurrection.

Undoubtedly, the Sacrificial Death of Jesus Christ has redeemed us from eternal damnation, and through Him we have obtained seven powerful gifts enunciated in the second reading, through the voice of many angels surrounding the throne and the living creatures and the elders; they numbered myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive Power and Wealth and Wisdom and Might and Honour and Glory and Blessing!(Revelation 5:11-12).

Finally, it is also worthy of note that, apart from the Holy Mass which is the easiest way to experience God’s presence in the Holy Eucharist (Real Presence of God), “Praise” is another way of attracting the Power of God’s presence. For the scripture says: “God is enthroned at the praises of His people(Psalms 22:3). Paul and Silas were freed from prison through the Power of Praise (Acts 16:25-26); same goes to Jehoshaphat and Joshua who gained victory over their enemies through Praises (2 Chronicles 20; Joshua 6).

Therefore, we can easily attract the Mercy and Power of God’s presence and be free from fear only when we constantly obey God’s commands and always sought for His mercy (constant confession) whenever we offend Him. When we do these, no force would be able to stop us and we will not be deterred by anything, because we shall courageously be obeying God rather than human authority, just like Peter and his companions, with compassion, mercy and tender loving care (TLC).

PRAYER:

May the Power of God’s presence transform, protect and empower you to courageously obey God, and thus achieve great exploits, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen!!!

Peace of Christ be with you…

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

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