Monday, 13 April 2015

Divine Mercy!


Have u wondered how both Judas and Peter fared at the last hour? Did you notice that both sinned against Our Lord; Judas selling His master for 30 silver and betraying Him with a kiss, Peter on the other side denied he knew not 'the man.'
To Peter Christ was just a man, but to Judas he recognises Him still as his master. One would be moved to think that although both of them sinned, Peter's was the heavier one being that he wasn't just the newly appointed head of the Church, His flock, but because rather he had promised earlier and professed his love for his master as 'he would die with Him.' But in any case both of them sinned against our Lord and thereby wounded His heart of love. But let us take a look at how these two reacted to their sin in Matthew's Gospel in the 27th chapter beginning from verse 1. The Good book tells us that Judas was sorry for he knew he had sinned and so he first of all sought restitution by returning the money he collected. Notice now that prior to this, Judas had failed twice: first by collecting money from the Pharisees to surrender his Master, secondly, by sealing the betrayal with a KISS. Peter on the other hand had denied his Master three times of which Christ foretold. Now both were sorry for their sins for they acknowledged they had tresspassed. For repentance to be complete there must be a recognition of fault...(the sinner must admit he has sinned). Secondly there must be a heart of sorrow..(I.e to say, a sign that he is truly sorry for his sins) and finally, the sinner must confess truly with total regret and a promise never to go back to his sin. These were the talking points in the case of Peter and Judas. Peter immediately sought repentance and is evident as the writer says 'he cried bitterly.' The stress in his action seemed to show a true contrition of Peter and a heart of sorrow, one which was open to confession. But in Judas' case, although Matthew tells he was sorry and sought restitution, remember he had committed two faults, he rightly went back to the Pharisees and returned the 'blood money' as it was called. This was the first step he took. Now remember that by collecting the bribe, Judas atoned it by returning it back. But he had killed God with a kiss and just as he needed to atone for that, he was supposed to allow the Master welcome him back with a kiss of love.


Although Judas must have been heavily burdened with his sin, and guilt must have blinded his heart from seeking forgiveness, Judas probably taught he was doomed and could never get this mercy as he had not just sold his Master, he had killed God. He masterminded the killing and as such he was a killer. But Judas was faithless to have forgotten the words of his Master: 'come all you who are heavily Laden and I'll give you rest.' Peter surely must have remembered when he asked: 'master, how many times shall we forgive our brother who sins against us, seven times?' He knew all he had to do was CONFESS. Judas allowing the devil not only use him to betray his Master,but to harden his heart so that he'd not sought forgiveness and believe he was beyond pardon. This was what Christ warned about sinning against the Holy Spirit. And by rejecting grace, Judas condemned himself even when God would never have. He rejected and resisted forgiveness and so he couldn't get mercy. The difference between Peter and Judas is that; Peter focused more on the person he had failed, on the heart he had wounded; Judas whereas focused on the severity of his sin, he looked so much more on the consequence of his wrong doing and so he was blinded to confession. Peter was fully repentant, Judas was only remorseful.

And this brings us to the today's homily and solemnity. The Divine Mercy of God. God has overtime professed and proved His unending Love and bountiful Mercy and becoming like us was just incredibly unimaginable. Dying for us was the ultimate proof of that love. And so we must all be confident in approaching His throne of mercy, we must always trust in His love so that we don't lose sight of Him and become hardened just like Judas. There's no sin God doesn't forgive and just as His death cleared all debt and sin, we must remember His very words to His disciples.

'take heart and do not fear, for I've conquered the world.'

Peace be with you!

Happy Solemnity of the Divine Mercy of God.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

I Am Judas?

By: Chibuzor F. Ogamba

With the Lenten Season having come to an end and the glorious season of Easter approaching, I didn't want these profound moments to go by without sharing some of my meditations with you. Truly, this season has been really eventful for me, in ways that I did not expect. I have learnt a lot, and a lot has happened to me too.

But going through the activities that spice up our Lenten experience; the mass, the stations of the cross, confessions and other devotions, something did indeed cause me to pause and wonder a little. You know, most times we read the Bible- and this is something I have also learnt during the course of this season, most times we read the Bible and when we see Our Lord facing off probably the Pharisees and the Scribes or sinners we subconsciously prefer to hide behind our Lord and join him to point accusing fingers at those people. In our minds we are like, 'Yes Lord, tell them! Preach it! They are pharisees, hypocrites!' and we continue to go on and on. This happens when in reality we are no different from these people whom we think are worse off, and when we do these things we ourselves become what we accuse them of,

It is really important for us to always allow the Gospel to challenge us, especially in those instances when Our Lord speaks to sinners and pharisees, we should search deep in ourselves for those things which our Lord is so worried about in those people lest he also become worried about us too. This is really so especially in the case of Judas. A lot of people read the texts about Judas and they only worry their heads and hearts with things like, 'was Judas guilty or innocent? was it his fault? was he not predestined? Is he in Hell?'. We have not asked ourselves, what exactly did Judas do? why exactly was he a candidate for these discussions and not for example Peter who denied Jesus three times not even allowing the cock to crow twice.

There are two passages I would like us to ponder on, the first is John 13:21, 'When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in his spirit and said, 'Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me', and St. Mark adds in Mark 14:18, '-one who is eating with me'. There are so many ways in which this passage about Judas speaks to us and indeed represent what we do even as Christians. Imagine that you were at table with the Lord when these events were taking place, when He made this comment, and you need not imagine any further, we all are at table indeed with the Lord at least every Sunday, each time we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Lord's Supper, where we are indeed with all the Apostles that were at table that Night, and you have been with Our Lord throughout his ministry, his teaching, his works and signs, his entire life from Advent to Christmas, to his Baptism up to that moment at table, when he makes this statement, this statement, the thought of which caused him deep sorrow, one of us who is eating with him, one of us will let him down. 

Think about these things and let us ask ourselves, do we betray Jesus at all in our very lives? How many times have we been faced with choices, to either show him love by obeying his word or crucify him by sin, yet we consciously and subconsciously choose the latter? How many times do we go to eat with him only to come out and insult and disgrace him before those who hate him, deny him and tell those people to forget about him, that he has nothing to offer? How many times at all do we at least consider how he feels about our decisions, our company, our movements our lives? The list is inexhaustible, for our world is this way because we Christians many times model Judas and not Jesus.  Many people see a Jesus worth betraying in us rather than a Jesus worth defending, and so why should they believe anything you are saying? It is Aristotle who said in his Nicomachean Ethics that even the Wicked cannot trust the Wicked. Alas who is it worse for? You and I who eat at table with Jesus or the people who don't even know who he is.

Let us not forget the prophecy about Judas, that it was better for him not even to have been born and consider that in many ways  and in many things we do as Christians as young Catholics, It was better for us not even to have been born, not even to have been born again into the Kingdom of God. (cf Matthew 26:24).

Brothers and Sisters, we are indeed weak, and that is why we have the grace of the confessional and the Eucharist, Jesus himself wants to help us, he has come to give us Easter Joy, we need to repent like Peter for there is hope, and not continue like Judas in condemning ourselves, let us approach the confessional and ask for God's forgiveness and grace. He wants to help us. He wants to love us. Let us allow God to Love us. 

Hope I have not come out too harsh! Happy New Month My Brothers and Sisters!!!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

OUR SALVATION STORY AS RECORDED BY ST LUKE

                                                                                                   by: Ndionyenmah Prince Ugo

Birthdays are celebrated once every year, and it forms one of the most beautiful and memorable days in our lives. We live it like its the first, and we as well make of it like its our last...that's why one in every 10 well wishers joyfully phrase: "enjoy it," or "its your day," or "have a blast dearie." It is special not in the sense that it comes only but once in a year, but just like every other celebration, what makes it "your day" is that we get gifts from loved ones;gifts which could take any form as a "Happy Birthday" from an unlikely mate could mean a lot more than a gold wristwatch from a friend. In this, there are no celebrations without a celebrant; no gifts without a giver(wellwisher) and no "happy Birthday" without life.


In a few hours we would be celebrating. The atmosphere sets a perfect tone for this event. Christians are joyful and non-christians alike share in the love that comes with Christmas. And then we are taken back by one of the Apostles to 2000years ago, in the first chapter of his Gospel beginning from the twenty sixth verse, where the story of our salvation was born.



Luke's Gospel is known for its carefully arranged happenings of the events that unfolded - just as his Gospel begins telling Theophilus so (Luke 1:1-4). Another unique feature is the awareness of Luke to the reactions made in conversing, as he's careful to note the mood. place, person...
Luke starts this beautiful story in the 26th and 27th verse of his first chapter beginning like this:

 "And in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary."


It is very clear here that a message was sent, and being that it required a sender, a message, a means, and a receiver, for it to be perfectly communicated, it was God who sent the angel to a certain virgin in Galilee, Mary, of which every word the Angel spoke were the very ones from God; and just as Jesus would later on insinuate, "His words are life."
It would look uncommon and indeed the very knowledge of it  could be startling, it was no different as at that time and to Mary herself. Although Angels are beautiful and enjoy somewhat of God's glory in heaven, it is even more wonderful and graceful to be God's adopted children through Christ (one privilege the Angels in heaven so lack) but it was so rare and unheard of for an Angel to adore a creature; (for Mary was only a handmaid of God Luke1:38), this was the case; that the angel Gabriel would honour Mary with his words. And indeed, it was God who honoured her. In her home the Angel Gabriel appeared. Mary might have been busy when the Angel came, or she might have taken some rest but whichever way we assume, Luke potrays the scene as Mary to be all alone in the house. And just like any other visitor, his first words were greetings.


    "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!".  Luke 1:29


If I'd go in full explanation of this text, I'd be writing out of context. But

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,

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”.