Saturday, 13 December 2014

HOW CHRIST COMES TO BE WITH US


By: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
While reading St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth (cf. Matthew 1:18-25), two verses from that passage struck me which opened up a new path for me towards an understanding of this passage. First, I felt that the climax of the story in that passage is in verse 23 when Matthew quotes from the Old Testament, ‘the virgin will conceive and bear a son, and he will be called Emmanuel, which means: God-with-us.’ I believe that quotation was a stamp, a seal, and a confirmation of who exactly Matthew is telling us about, his identity is ‘God-with-us’, for in the incarnation God came to be with us. That is what we celebrate at Christmas; that God came among us, dwelt among us, was like us, and was with us. It is also interesting to note that at the very beginning of his account Matthew already gives us a picture of the end or goal of Jesus’ coming to us which actually does not cease with Christmas but continues after the Resurrection, for at the very end of his gospel message, in his very last sentence he tells us that Jesus, God-with-us said, ‘I AM WITH YOU always even till the end of this world’, (Matthew 28:20)  I also noticed that Matthew begins in this way, ‘This is HOW Jesus Christ was born…’ (Matthew 1:18). Not ‘where’, not ‘when’, in fact, he doesn’t tell us where (in Bethlehem, in Judea), nor does he tell us when (during the days of King Herod) till chapter 2:1, what he concerns himself with in the first seven verses is HOW.

Thus, it seems to me that Matthew is not only telling us a literal story of how Christ came into the world, but, on a spiritual level, how he comes into our hearts and our lives. It would take us a great attention to detail in order to, sought of, pick out the clues the Holy Apostle drops for us as he narrates the Story, and this what I will try to do. I would also try to pay special attention to the person of Joseph because he takes the center stage in this story. So how is Christ born in our lives?

First,

Friday, 21 November 2014

A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MOTHER OF GOD

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba

Many may wonder what it is that I have come up with this time. We all know how everyone emphasizes a personal relationship or rather an intimate relationship with Christ; He is the one that matters, the reason for the seasons, the one who saved us. I mean, come to think of it, and was it the Mother of God that saved us? Was she the one who died on the cross for us? These questions can indeed be startling at first, and might lead one to want to question what it is exactly we Catholics do and the rationale behind it.

To explain this, I would like to start with something an early Church Father, St. Augustine said, ‘God created us without us, but He CANNOT save us without us’. This is a very important truth, which if we consider deeply the truths of the Bible, we would quickly agree with. When God wanted to save Noah and his family from the flood, he needed NOAH to build an ark. If Noah did not or rather refused to build an Ark, he would not have been saved. (Genesis 6:14-17). Also, when the Angel of God was sent to save Lot and his household from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, he needed Lot and his family to leave the city and never look back (Genesis 19:17), we know what happened to Lot's wife when she looked back - SHE COULD NOT BE SAVED (Genesis 19:26), even when the Angel dragged Lot and his family out of the city and asked them to escape to the hills and Lot insisted on going to the nearby city, the angel agreed but told Lot that he should hurry, that he can only save Lot and his household when they are in the city, if they did not arrive the city in time THEY WOULD NOT BE SAVED. (Genesis 19:18-22). When God wanted to save Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptians by making them pass through the red sea safely he needed Moses to stretch out his rod over the sea to divide it. (Exodus 14:16). And when in the fullness of time God wanted to save Man, he needed Man to first agree with a 'yes of faith' to that salvation but he also needed Man to give him flesh and blood, to give him a Man and Mary was the one who stood in for all mankind when that time came. That was the drama of Luke chapter 1 from verse 28. God needed the 'yes of faith' of Mary and she gave it when she said, 'behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your word...', then and only then, Luke tells us, did the angel leave her, (cf. Luke 1:38) she had agreed, she agreed for all of us; to accept the Savior as a son and to help God become Man for our sake.

 This does not mean that God has no capability to do these things, but that because He gave man free will for man to give a free consent and assent to him, he could not save man if man did not want or will to be saved. He created man to love him, and love is not forced from another, it is freely given. Whenever we consider this, we begin to understand the pedestal on which God has placed us from the very thought he had of us in his eternal mind, the destiny which he predestined us above all his other creatures. God willed to cooperate with us, to reason with us, to dwell with us, as friends, as a family. That has been God’s desire from before time began. Isn’t it beautiful? God loved us so much to the extent that he wanted to work with us, he wanted us to have a share in his creative and sanctifying work, in fact a share in his divinity and throughout the Bible that is precisely what he does; he enters into our human family and becomes part of it. Mary was that gateway through which he fully entered into our human family.



Sunday, 7 September 2014

PETER'S BOAT

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

After a long while dearest friends I would like to share with you my meditations on Luke 5:1-11, which was the gospel reading in the Church two days ago. Actually I have written a reflection on this passage on this blog under the caption, The Virtues of a Fisherman, where we considered the virtues worth emulating, portrayed by the Holy Apostle during this event. We established that these virtues are actually important ones which a lot of us in our day need to acquire.

But taking a look at this passage once again I wish to share with us, quite a few other things. First, there is something about the boat. Over the years, spiritual reflection on this passage and on the entirety of scripture has come to see this boat as representing the Church, and there are a lot of things that tell us that right from this passage. 

First we see that Jesus entered the boat ‘while the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God’. (Luke 5:1). This is very significant because that is exactly prophetic of Jesus founding his Church in order that he can teach and feed the people, to feed us with the Word of God, the words of Divine Wisdom, of truth and of Love that flowed from his sacred lips, but also to feed us Himself who is the ultimate and definitive Word of God (John 1:1), in the Eucharist.  Secondly, we also see that it was none other’s but Simon’s boat which he entered to teach the People the Word of God. This is the same Simon whom he appointed Chief Steward over his Church in Matthew 16:16-18. There is therefore little wonder that after the huge catch was made, He told Simon Peter, ‘Do not be afraid, henceforth you will be catching men’. (Luke 5:10), a further illustration that the just concluded miracle was only a prototype for what Peter and the other Apostles were going to be doing for Jesus in the establishing, consolidating and peopling the Church of God, the new Kingdom of God, which Jesus came to found.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

HAVE YOU LOST HOPE? (The Mystery of the Confessional)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Many of us, there are who have not being frequenting the confessional. We know quite a lot about how the Church requires of us to go for confession and we probably have not lost touch in believing, strongly believing, that God forgives us when we make a sincere confession. But that is not the problem, the problem seems to be that we do not trust ourselves so much not to commit those sins again. Many of us are tired of visiting the confessional again and again and again, having to confess the same sins, probably and most of the time to the same priest. Apart from the shyness and feeling of humiliation, those of us who have gotten past that still despair, and begin to ask what exactly the need is to go for confession when I may be back here again with the same offenses when I promised earlier that I would not sin again.

My dear friends, the good news is that when you promised at the confessional that we would not commit those sins again, we promised that we would not commit them again, not by our own power, but by the help of God’s grace. This we should never forget. It is all about grace; the supernatural life and help God is pleased to grant us through the merits of Jesus Christ in order to attain that perfection of the Divine Sonship to which he has called us. I say this because most of the time we leave the confessional scared, we want to remain in that state of grace, but we are still scared, scared because we have forgotten that we have the grace of God, and that what we should only do is to cooperate with that grace and not rely on our own strengths. For left alone, my dear friends, we cannot please God, we cannot avoid sin, especially with the weaknesses of our fallen nature and with the temptations all around us, both the ones we know and the ones we didn’t. This fright most of the time, prevents us from approaching the confessional, because we do not want to appear insincere in our relationship with God.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

THE INDISPENSABLE TRUTH FOR TODAY !!! (2 COR. 4:6-17; MATT. 16:24-27)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Looking at today's readings, a particular theme resonates, from the first reading to the Gospel. This is a theme that is so essential to our Christian life, and so fundamental that it is indispensable. Unfortunately, many today look on it as unchristian, following the Gospel of men instead of the Gospel of Christ, corrupted in thought and deed by the hedonistic mentality and philosophy of today's world. Speaking of hedonism, it is no little wonder that St. Paul, the apostle we would be hearing from first today, in his second letter to Timothy in the 4th chapter, and in the 3rd verse, warned Timothy, that a time is coming when people would no longer endure sound doctrine, but would surround themselves with false teachers to please their itching ears. (cf 2 Tim. 4:3). We, today, contrary to what our forebears in the faith; the holy ones of God, lived and practiced in their relationship with God and in their journey of Sanctification by the Spirit unto perfection through the merits of the finished work of Christ accomplished in his crucifixion, suffering and death of the cross, we now do not consider this particular element of our faith life necessary, sometimes we adopt a minimalist perspective and philosophy in not wanting to do 'so much', especially one that would cost us our comfort, and so we sink into inner lukewarmness and tepidity. That is why it then seems as though Christianity has lost it's flavor, it's sweetness of old.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

A BRIEF MESSAGE TO CATHOLICS…

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Well, today my plan is not to list out the whole of the beatitudes to you. In fact, today my word goes out to all Catholics. You as a Catholic need to come to realize what tremendous riches that you have been called to participate in as a Catholic Christian. You as a Catholic need to seize upon the treasures God himself has been willing to adorn his Church, You as a Catholic need to live in harmony with the entire family of the Church, to really encounter Christ in His fullness. I say this because I am aware that a lot of Catholics out there are persecuted, now I do not mean, necessarily being killed but I mean being scorned and rejected, and treated like a piece of shit, just because you are a Catholic. Do not allow these things to get to you, and do not even think of retaliating because that is not the Christ way or the Catholic Way. The Catholic way s to rejoice that you have the opportunity to share in the persecutions of Christ, that you have the opportunity people are looking for to suffer with Christ and so reign with him.

Monday, 7 July 2014

THE LORD IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

In Psalm 145:8, today’s responsorial; we are told that the lord is gracious and merciful. And what other Bible passage to accompany it than from Hosea. It is from Hosea, precisely two chapters from the one we read today Hosea 9, that I first heard God talking so compassionately to Israel, about how he had loved Israel and how Israel had broken his heart. In today’s reading we see that He calls Israel his wife, and he is the husband, what Love! And sincerely, this is but a tip of the iceberg as to the vast and boundless ocean of his Love and Mercy. God is madly in love with us! He himself is love and he has loved us from the very beginning of our existence, in fact it was precisely that Love that willed to bring us into existence in the first place, a love that is himself, he had been offering us himself from the beginning and has not ceased to offer us himself, and like St. Paul says, nothing can separate us from that infinite love of God. He himself makes sure that nothing does, especially, in the sacrament of Penance, where he has guaranteed that we would experience his healing touch in our Souls, wiping away all stain of Sin, that we may encounter his Divine Mercy.

What kind of faith do we have in the Love and mercy of God? In today’s gospel reading in Matthew 9, from verse 18-26, we see a woman with a hemorrhage and a man whose daughter had died, confident that the love of Christ was over and above all of these things that plagued them. The official said to Jesus, ‘ My daughter has died, but come lay your hands on her, and she will live’. Confidence! The woman with the hemorrhage said to herself, ‘If only I shall touch his cloak I shall be cured.’ These two set good examples for us as to the kind of confidence we should have in the love and mercy of God. May that be the path on which we tread as we discover the vast riches that he is pleased to offer us in him.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A KING ON AN ASS; AN EASY YOKE

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Today my dear friend the Lord comes to us on an ass, on a donkey, a King on a donkey. This is what we read from the first reading from Zechariah 9:9-10. Of course, this image reminds us of the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and how our King was going to be seated on his throne in Jerusalem, on a donkey, the poorest of animals. Not on the magnificent royal horse, but on a miniature beast of burden, a donkey. There are two things we need to learn from this. First, we see how ordinarily he comes to us, how it is in an ordinary and poor fashion that he comes to us, not in a majestic manner. Most times we feel that the Lord would come to us in something of a noise, of sirens and convoys, and other times also we feel that the Lord needs some royal preparation from us, as though he wants to visit us in festive moods alone, and in high spirits. But today we learn that Our Lord wants to come to us in every mood, in fact, in our ordinary life, in our day to day activities, in the little things that color and busy our lives, that is where God wants to meet us, ordinarily.

It is also in this ordinariness of our lives that we find our burdens, things that cause us anxieties and worry, things that cause us to plan and disturb ourselves, things that cause to keep late nights and burn midnight candles, these things are not in high lives that we don’t live, but in the ordinary lives that we live, these are precisely the things that characterize us, that define us. That is precisely the door which he knocks on. Like the priest said to us at Mass today, it happens that when God comes to meet us in our ordinary lives we are not around to meet him, when he comes and knocks it happens that we do not open the door for him to enter and help us with our burdens.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

WHAT DO YOU THINK GOD WANTS FROM YOU?

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba

In Psalm 85:9, the responsorial for  today, we hear “The Lord speaks of Peace to his people”. And for some days now we have been reading from the Prophet Amos, who was sent to Israel, the Northern part of the divided kingdom to preach to them a message of repentance, to come back to their God. The kind of repentance Amos preached was what I would call a bit more thorough, because this time it concerned a change of heart and a questioning of conscience in the worship of God. This time the people of Israel had not stopped offering sacrifices to God, they had not another God in place of God, like Baal, but there was a lot of injustice and unrighteousness, even when they did not do all these.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

YOU ARE PETER!!! (MATT 16:18)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Dearest friends, I wish to share with you a little meditation on last Sunday’s Bible reading. On that day we celebrated the solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, two great apostles indeed. But let us take a look at the gospel passage from Matthew 16:13-19. Here we see Christ himself commissioning Peter to be the rock on which his church is built. A lot of arguments have arisen against this, arguments that, for me, really do not hold water, given the simplicity of the text. But let us look at this text and shed some light on them.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

WHO ARE THE “SONS OF GOD” IN GENESIS 6:2?

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Hello friends, I recently started a study of the bible with St. Paul’s Center for biblical theology, and since then it has been all ‘eye-opening’ for me. This is because, not only had I discovered new things about the bible that I never knew in my life, I also realized some views I held to or assumed which were probably due to my reading religious materials that were not Catholic during my childhood. I mean like the famous ‘My book of Bible Stories’ which up until some years ago I did not know was written by the Jehovah’s witnesses.  Anyway, part of the things I realized was the identity of the ‘Sons of God’ in Genesis 6:2. Up until some years ago, I had assumed or rather learnt that these were Angels of God, obviously with no biblical proof whatsoever , though later I began to wrestle with the text, as that particular interpretation didn’t seem to cohere with the rest of the early chapters of Genesis.

Monday, 2 June 2014

STAY WITH US… (LUKE 24:29)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Dearest friends, I have just returned from a retreat, a very wonderful experience of having to leave the daily activities of this world and our daily struggles to be alone with God, to ask ourselves certain questions and to make resolutions on how we are going to forge ahead in our journey to become saints, to become holy, which is precisely the will of God for us. We all should really try it once in a while, to retreat and be with our Lord in prayer and having to hear him speak to us.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Now You have got to see this Video!!!

Hello Friends...I came across this video that gives a wonderful explanation of Mary and the various biblical truths relating to her.. deep in Scripture and yet very exciting...

I learnt some more things there. It would be something you would want to share to friends and family after watching...

Are you a Catholic on fire for the Gospel and for the defence of the truths of the Catholic Faith and want to get a quick and yet profound summary of the biblical teaching on Mary?? then this video is for you....

Are you a non-catholic seeking to know where and how from scripture, Catholics hold Mary in high regard...and what exactly the Bible has to say about it?? Then this video is also for you!!!

I wouldn't want to feed you with the details...check it out and see for yourself...



Be part of the New Evangelization by sharing this as well for others to see...




Tuesday, 13 May 2014

THE VOICE OF THE GHOST AND THE DIVINE ENCOUNTER

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

As my friend and I were meditating on the scriptures this evening, we came to the passage in Matthew 14:22-33 where Jesus walked on the sea. Many of us have come across this passage countless times and there is even a song in my language that relays the events in this encounter on the sea.

But today, as we were sharing our thoughts on the passage, some things struck me. In verse 26 we are told that when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear. And continuing we read that immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, “Take heart, It is I, have no fear”. And then Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me to come to you on the water.”

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

CHRIST PAID IT ALL! BUT THERE'S SOMETHING LEFT!!

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Dearest Brothers and Sisters in Christ, it is my wish to inform you of a great mystery, a deep reality ever so present in our lives and in our experience as Christians. You may probably know this but Christ died for us all. He died for you and for me so that through his glorious resurrection we might be brought to life in him. On the Cross in John 19:30, the Lord cried out, ‘It is finished’. And so he had won for us our redemption, the eternal sacrifice had been consummated.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

THE BIBLICAL PURGATORY (PART 2)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Hello Dearest Friends, after much delay on my part I have undertaken to continue my meditations with you on the Biblical Purgatory… It has been a nice experience really, and ever since the last part, some of you have waited for where I was going with the explanations from Scripture. I am sorry for having waited this long to share this with you. A lot of things have happened since then. But without wasting much time, let us begin.

In our last meditation we saw straight from scripture the nature of the God that has called us to be together with him. We established from Heb. 12:29 and from 1 John 4:8 that the Lord our God is A CONSUMING FIRE OF LOVE. We also established from scripture too that our Christian calling involves our being drawn into that consuming fire of love, and that in the process that fire tends to burn away all the exigencies that prevent us from full and perfect communion with him. That is the process of Sanctification wrought in us by the Holy Spirit whereby the merits of Jesus Christ on the Cross are applied to our Souls. Finally, we established, again from scripture, that this process of sanctification involves self-denial and mortification, ‘selling all we own’, and then carrying our crosses and following our Lord. In that part we frequently made use of the word ‘to purge’ which means to purify to describe the process of our sanctification which we have outlined above. May I humbly inform you that it is from this same word that the word “Purgatory” is derived.

Friday, 25 April 2014

CATHOLIC DEVOTION TO MARY-MY DEBATE WITH MY PROTESTANT FRIENDS...GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is nice to be back here to share my thoughts with you. Before I begin to share my meditations with you. i have decided to share with you today something i found while going down memory lane...This is a debate or argument I got involved in some 2 years ago with my friends.. this happened after i put up a post on facebook. Please enjoy... I have decided to omit the surnames of the people involved.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

THE BIBLICAL PURGATORY (PART 1)

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Today, dearest friends in Christ, I wish to delve into the issue of purgatory which is a very profound issue. This issue is not only profound, it is also interesting. One of the things that interest me about purgatory is that it is a Christian belief that is entirely biblical, every single aspect of it, speaking from an apologetic point of view, yet, a lot of Christians do not believe that there is a purgatory. There are two reasons why I think this is the case. The first is that what they know as purgatory, or what they think they know as purgatory, is not what purgatory is at all. And so, they have a lot of misconceptions, and worse, they cling to those misconceptions, without finding out in reality what the Church really says about it. The second reason stems from the first, and is that people have been corrupted psychologically with a lot of bias about purgatory, and about doctrines taught by the Church of God. This has in a way, blinded any objective research or approach to this profound belief. I, therefore urge you dear brother, dear sister to be, in a way, demystified, to simply forget everything you thought you knew, which opposed this belief, and please join me on the journey to appreciating the marvel of the biblical purgatory.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

SUFFERING


IN THE BEGINNING God created the world in such a way that all creations would have contact with one another constantly so that His glory may be seen through them. A tree cannot grow to bear fruits solely by sowing, but with the co-operation of the combining factors of the earth’s greatest: light, water and air to photosynthesize its food for a healthy growth, therefore it fulfills its goodness. Same with man whom created in the lover’s image was made to have a direct and constant contact with love. So that being and remaining in that love, he may become like unto that which is loved --- reflect that image of God his creator; God, being perfect goodness.
Genesis chapter 1 and 2 recorded that God after seeing all that He had made it pleased Him for it was good. Thus, God created and since He is perfect goodness, His creations were perfectly crafted.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Mass in Mark 6!!!

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Many of us have heard about and most probably have read the Gospel according to St. Mark 6, especially from verse 30, where St. Mark narrates the feeding of the five thousand. But I don’t know if we have seen what I was privileged to see in that passage the night I read it. I tell you, ever since I saw it, my approach to the mass and my scriptural understanding of the Eucharistic Mystery has improved. So, it has pleased me to share this with you. And I would be quite glad if you would reach a bible beside you, open it and read through that passage as you read this post.

What struck me about this passage and indeed some others was that there are two events narrated in the feeding of the five thousand.

Jesus teaches the crowd (Mark 6:34)

Jesus breaks bread (Mark 6:41).

These my brothers are the two parts of the Mass!!!

The Liturgy of the Word, where Christ speaks to us and teaches us many things, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, where Christ breaks the bread of His Body.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Song Of A Sinner

How beautiful is this day for it is the Lord who made it so. He tells the Sun to give its heat again, and the atmosphere it's weather. O! How wonderful is this day for He fills the birds in the skies whose songs are like a morning hymn. The leaves He bathes with the dew, and so they flourish with every pride. For I am healthy and strong this morning; only last night did I sleep very weak and weary. And then who says this day isn't perfectly crafted...who says eachday isn't a gift. Show me the man who hates this life and let me be a proof that life is worth living.

Are offenders of the law ever congratulated? Do they ever receive an award from the judge for being law breakers? But even in my filth I'm loved. I slept a sinner and woke up a greater one. The Almighty has blesses us with eachday; this is the foremost of all His gifts.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

About Mary and the Communion of the Saints!

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

The Path to God is not a straight line ,it's a Circle.

The Catholic Church has affirmed and will always affirm that Christ Jesus is the only mediator between God and Man,(1Tim 2:5) and He stands in need of no other in his mediatorship, He alone is the mediator of the new covenant. And this by shedding his blood on the cross of calvary,by being the lamb that was slain.

But why did Christ do this? To save us from our sins? Yes! But not just that, He did this also to unite the Trinity with Humanity, that we may become part of a new family,a family of God's people,part of his body, what St. Paul likes to call the Church.

And so the whole of Christendom is all about a family ,a family of not only God's people but also God's Children, Sons and Daughters of God.

In this family which has Christ for its center we have not only those alive on earth but also those who have gone before us,because this family cuts across the barriers of death. Like St. Paul would say in his letter to the Romans,Death,where is your victory, Death where is your sting????(1Cor.15:55)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

In Wait for Christmas

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

We in the Church are in a season called Advent. The beginning of the Church's New Year. The Season that ushers in the joyful season of Christmas. It is in this season that preparations are made towards a fun filled and wonderful Christmas.

When I say preparations, I do not fail to realize that though most times these preparations are restricted to preparing the body, family and friends for Christmas, it also involves preparing the Soul for Christmas. Which is a very important part of these preparations. In Catholic Churches presently, a lot of retreats are going on, to help the members of the body of Christ retreat and prepare their souls for what is to come.
But what exactly is to come? Christmas? Yes. But not only Christmas. One of the reasons the Church encourages the devotions during this season is to also prepare us for the second coming of Our Lord, He came once when He was born and we are glad, but the more we commemorate the birth of he who has ascended, the more we should prepare for his coming again, so that we may also greet him with the same gladdened hearts with which we did greet his first coming.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

CHRIS OKOTIE I CHALLENGE YOU!!! MY REPLY TO THE REVEREND CHRIS OKOTIE.

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

Dear Sir, I am trying so much at this point to phrase this write-up with a certain sense of respect because you rightly deserve it as an elder. But sir, did I hear that you uttered atrocities in your church, and about the Catholic Church? Tell me sir, are these your words: “All Catholics will go to hell”, “They are not Christians and have never been”, “The Pope is an anti-Christ and the Catholic Church will soon declare for Satan”, “They don’t believe in heaven. They believe in purgatory, the purgatory they invented”?

If the above are not really your words, then, I am sorry, you may ignore the following, but if they are indeed your words, Mr. Okotie, then I am sorry you may wish to consider the following:

First, your case reminds me of the pitiable and miserable condition of many Christians in this country, and indeed beyond. The deceit in which they have been plunged into in the name of Christ is indeed appalling. The desire for God has been shifted to the desire for pride, for success and for wealth, which the so called pastors and preachers preach in many forms, but this time instead of God being the end, He has become the means. A lot of times I hear people quote the passage of the scriptures that states: “Seek ye first the kingdom of Heaven, and its righteousness and every other thing will be added unto you”. Matt. 6:33, and yet give to this passage another meaning, one that focuses the attention more on the things to be added than the God to be sought. And so they read into the passage, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, BECAUSE every other thing shall be added unto you’. Not only that, people no longer desire or seek for sound doctrine, for the truth of scripture, but are comfortable wherever it is said that all is well, wherever miracles are performed, or wherever their conscience finds an apparent peace as a result of not being pricked by the word of God that is indeed sharper than a two-edged sword.(Heb 4:12). This reminds me of the fact that it was even prophesied by the apostles and writers of the scriptures, and that of St. Paul especially, in 2Timothy 4:3, “For a time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings”.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Did Jesus Lie??? John 7:1-10

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

According to the CCB, In John 7, Jesus moves people to question his identity. It is better to question than to belong to a group that does not question because they think they already know. The brothers of Jesus were like that.

In verse 4 we read 'Show yourself to the world'.. These brothers of Jesus were the families and towns people of Nazareth cf Mark 3:31. These people were to enter the Church after Jesus' resurrection, and thought themselves important merely because of their former association with Jesus; but at that time they were still very far from understanding his mission. They wanted Jesus to he known for his miracles, but Jesus chose rather to reveal himself to those who could enter into the mystery of death that leads to glory.
In verse 6 Jesus replies My time has not yet come. Let us note here two types of persons, one type lives according to their plans, and the other type allow themselves to be guided by the Spirit. For the former, one time is as good as another; because they have no experience of the calling of God, they act impetuously and when they feel like it. Those who are guided by the Spirit wait for signs indicating that this is God's time. Whatever is undertaken in God's time will bring glory to God.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

THE OATHS THAT SHOULD NOT BE TRUSTED!!!

by: Chibuzor F. Ogamba
 

‘Antiochus felt that he was being treated with contempt, and he was suspicious of her reproachful tone. The youngest brother being alive, Antiochus not only appealed to him in words, but promised with oaths that he would make him rich and enviable if he would turn from the ways of his fathers, and that he would take him for his friend and entrust him with public affairs’ 2 Maccabees 7:24

I beg you my child, do not fear this butcher, but prove worthy of your brothers. Accept death, so that in God’s mercy, I may get you back again with your brothers. cf 2 Maccabess 7:29

‘Women received their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, that they might rise again to a better life’ Hebrews 11:35

Dearest friends in Christ, some of the above passages are from the readings which the Church presents to us today. Actually, there are so many things which I would like to pour out from my heart, but I actually do not know where to start. But I strongly do not know if you would fully understand anything I am going to write here today, if you have not read 2 Maccabees 7. Some of you my dear readers, might be non-catholics and do not consider Maccabees as inspired word of God, but whether you do or not, the fact is that the time of the Hasmanean or Maccabean dynasty and the reign of king Antiochus Epiphanes once was in the history of the Jews. And this was shortly before the Romans conquered the Jews, about a century before Our Lord was born. However, I will go straight to the main reason why I set out to write this reflection.