Homilies & Reflections

One thing I ask of the Lord. This I long to dwell in the house of the Lord,
all the days of my life.

2022-02-09 - I AM A SINNER! A reflection for 5th Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year C. Author: Rev. Fr. Modestus Mgbaramuko

Readings: Is 6:1-8; 1Cor 15:1-11; Lk 5:1-11

Our sinfulness humbles us, but God’s mercy overwhelms us. God’s mercy calls us as God’s chosen instruments, and this often happens despite our unworthiness. The action of God’s grace and mercy in choosing not simply the righteous or duly qualified is a significant lesson for us today. However, by abundantly empowering all those he chooses, God offers everyone the chance to renew and reform. Then one can have the voice to sing of God’s thrice- adorable holiness.

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, God of hosts,” is the chant on our ears today. Even as it echoes in today’s first reading, we chant it in today’s worship and for all times. The triple affirmation of God’s infinite holiness is and should always be the human response to God’s love. That was how the prophet Isaiah came to terms with his call and ministry. The scenario is also a reminder of God’s closeness to us, his people. Thus, all who feature in our readings today – Isaiah, Peter, and Paul, are joined in their sincere acknowledgment of God’s holiness and human sinfulness.

 “I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips” (Isaiah). “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Peter). Or, as Paul admits: “I am the least of the apostles; I persecuted the Church of God, and I hardly deserve the name apostle” (Paul). All these scenarios must instruct us. Yet, as God asked Isaiah to the mission, so does Christ invite Peter, receive Paul to the apostleship, and numbered the persecutor as a chosen instrument of mine” (Acts 9:15).

God’s care and God’s love, so excellent in its mystery, remain so different from our judgments. That God accepts us, forgives us, and includes us continues to be so unfathomable for our minds. God qualifies those he chooses for the sake of his thrice-adorable holiness. We should refrain from judging people merely by their mistakes and misdeeds. That God befriends us and refuses to depart from instructs us to bear with one another. Using the encouraging words of true friends, the good examples of peers, or the sheer resilience that we see in those who struggle with life’s vicissitudes, God repeatedly calls us to ‘hang on and to ‘try a bit more. As with Simon Peter, the holiness of God confounds us with abundant harvests so that we, too, can bear witness to hope in our troubled times and divided families.

With Peter, learning more about resilience, trust, and hope in today’s Gospel confronts us with the truth about Christ for our lives. In our Christian life, we must bear in mind that, often those whom God calls and uses as instruments in the vocation to family life, the religious or priestly life, are not always worthy. Those we trust dearly sometimes are deceitful. Often, we fail our loved ones, fail ourselves or God in the conduct of our lives. We give bad examples, support, and affirm pettiness in our so-called friends and remain complacent in the face of malice. But let me be clear here: God never ceases to be God on account of any person’s mistakes or failures.

Today, surrounded as we are by the many instances of arrogance and incidents of bad examples, we must now rise up to making the effort that the holiness of God demands. We need not allow our unwillingness also to become our unworthiness. Looking again through today’s Gospel, we consider how Peter knew the night-time well enough as the fisherman’s golden time for fishing. As professional fishermen, Simon Peter and his boat crew knew that they had toiled all night long and caught nothing. Yet, the weakness from toil was never allowed to overturn the willingness of faith. Beyond Peter’s faults, he was a man of faith. He dared to trust God, for he said, “...but Lord if you say so, I will pay out the nets (Lk 5:5)”.

My brothers and sisters’ faith in God is the crowning glory of our human knowledge and human wisdom. Without the “But” of faith, our knowledge avails nothing! May God heal the lousy breath of unwillingness that often refuses to give faith a chance in our lives. And may our cherished freedom as individuals now stand up in our collective reality as the children of God.


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Date: 2022-09-08 - 2022-09-10

The Catholic Diocese of Umuahia wishes to invite everyone to join in celebrating "THE NATIVITY OF OUR BLESSED VIRGIN MARY"   From Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th of September 2022.   Venue: Mater Dei Cathedral at Marian shrine.   Time: 4:30pm on Thursday and Friday.   Saturday (Grand finale) - 9:00am

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logoThe Diocese of Umuahia was erected on June 23, 1958 with Most Rev. Anthony Gogo Nwaedo C.S.Sp. as its first Bishop and Most Rev Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji as the second Bishop. The diocese was carved out from the then Diocese of Owerri. Since its inception, two other dioceses: Okigwe (1981) and Aba (1990) have been excised from it. Its present area of about 2,460.40km2 spans six Local Government Areas: Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Ikwuano, Bende, Ohafia and Arochukwu.

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