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.

2023-02-22 - 22nd of February 2023, Ash Wednesday Author: Fr. Camillus Nwaigwe

*22nd of February 2023*

*Ash Wednesday*

_Joel 2:12-18_

_2Cor. 5:20-6, 2_

_Mtt. 6:1-6, 16-18_


*Lent; A journey of spiritual renewal*


Today is Ash Wednesday. A day which opens up the season of Lent. Lent is taken from the old English word 'Spring time's or 'Season of Spring'. It is like a period of retreat where we are given 40 days to prepare spiritually. It is a six week period of prayer, fasting and almsgiving observed by the Church. In this season we journey with Christ in his sorrowful passion, so as to rejoice with him at resurrection. 


*Forty(40) in biblical numerology*

The number forty is very symbolic in the biblical understanding both in the Old and New Testament. It was mentioned 146 times in the scripture.

It signifies an important time, a period of testing, trial or probation. We can take a few insights;

✓Moses spent 40 days and night with God at Sinai(Ex. 24:18).

✓Jonah warned Nineveh for 40 days.

✓Elijah travelled for 40 days without food or water at Horeb.

✓Jesus was led into the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and was tempted by the devil(Mtt. 4:2, Mk. 1:13).


*The Readings*

In the *first reading* of today we hear a call for repentance. The people who turned away were told to return to the Lord with acts of mortification and fasting.

St. Paul continues his admonition in the *Second reading* when he called on the people to be reconciled with God.

In the gospel, Jesus warns that the signs of repentance that we do must not be done as a show off. He talked about prayer, penance and almsgiving; the three pillars of Lent.


*We receive ashes today, why?*

The reception of ashes could be traced to some biblical incidents which connote repentance. It is wonderful to note that the ash here serve two purposes, an act of remembrance and a sign or witness for others.

•Like the people of Nineveh who did penance in sackcloth and ashes, our foreheads are marked with ashes. We are reminded of the need for repentance.

•It is a humble reminder that life passes away from this earth. Hence points to where we started, and where we will return.

•The signing of the cross is a pointer that we have been claimed for Christ and by his cross, we were redeemed.



• *You must give up something at Lent*: What is it that is having a grip on you? Part of the messages of Lent is giving up something(Fasting). What are you giving up this season of Lent so as to journey with Christ? It could be excessive acquaintance with social media, it could be anger issues, lust etc. Lent is a season of giving up whatever is holding back our relationship with Jesus. What is weakening your faith in Christ? 

• *Relent during this period of Lent*: Fr. Bob looks at Lent as a time for _relenting_, which could also be seen as slowing down. It is a time we slow down in living. We may have been so engrossed and consumed by the world. At Lent, we slow down to take stock of how well we have fared in our relationship with God.

•As we are signed with ashes today, it has a very strong implication for us. It does not mean a return to dust as our final destination, but just as the palm used is a residue from the Passion Sunday, and Christ died, was buried in the dust but resurrected, our ultimate destination is to share in his risen life.


_Pray, fast, give alms_


*We adore you oh Christ and we praise you, for by your holy cross you have redeemed the world*

(Fr. Camillus Nwaigwe)


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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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