We are entering Holy Week. It is the most sacred week of the year for Catholics. Within eight days, we experience Jesus being hailed as King, presiding at the last supper, betrayed, captured, scourged, nailed to a cross, and rising from the dead.
And yet, for those of us who have been Catholic for years, Holy Week can become nothing more than the last stretch of giving up candy, alcohol, or television. For others, it can signal the end of meatless Fridays. Maybe it reminds us that we need to shop for ingredients that will go into a Easter Sunday feast. And sometimes, it means we will be joined by those family members who only agree to join us for Mass a few times a year.READ MORE
Have you ever known a bitter, hurt, or heartbroken person who cropped someone out of a picture? Have you ever been that person?
Either way—you know what I’m talking about.
After the crop, the remaining picture might just look like an incredibly happy individual. And it was an incredibly happy individual, but now that picture represents what is no longer there.
I have one of those pictures.READ MORE
I am proud of you.
I know it might not mean much, but I needed to say it just the same.
I am proud of you.
We’ve been at this for about a year now. All of this. It was a Monday morning when we received word from the diocese.
Since that day—you’ve done your best to navigate through opposing political agendas, to sift through shifting medical directives, and to endure through the Church’s attempt to do the same.
I am proud of you.
You’ve done your best to maintain civility in relationships with loved ones whose approach to any of the above differed from your own.READ MORE
The fourth Sunday of Lent is called Laetare Sunday. That comes from the Latin “to rejoice or be joyful.” We need Laetare Sunday when we look at all the sadness and suffering in our world today. There is still terrorism, poverty and denial of human rights and religious freedom in the world. Recently, I made a decision to stop reading news about Nigeria because it is very depressing. We need to rejoice in something and today Jesus and St. Paul give us good reason to rejoice.
When we watch football games we’ve all seen that character in the end zone with orange, blue, and purple hair, holding up a sign that reads simply, “John 3:16.’ John 3:16 is probably the best known line from the Bible and it is in our gospel today. John 3:16 says, “For God so love the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but have eternal life.” That’s good news!READ MORE
Have you been watching my online Lenten Retreat on our parish YouTube channel? If not—it isn’t too late!
(And you’ll have to look for Week Three on the YouTube channel as it will be released after I write this, but before you read this.)
Now...here is a quick reflection on this weekend’s Gospel…READ MORE
When I was about 18, before I started training for the Priesthood, I dated a girl called Olivia. We dated only for about three months. Olivia is from a very traditional Catholic family. In Nigeria, parents do not allow their kids who are under 20 to date. So Olivia and I dated secretly. But sooner than later, her parents and siblings found out. They found out because she mistakenly left the Valentine card I made for her on her reading table. One of her siblings found it and reported her to mom and dad. Before this incident, Olivia and I were study partner. We were preparing for an examination. So, I lend her one of my books. For some reasons she stopped coming to the library where she and I used to study. There was no cell phone at the time. So I decided to pay her a visit so I could have my book back. When I got to the house and asked to see her, her whole family came out to finally meet this guy who was trying to corrupt Olivia. The looks I got from them was very terrifying. They were like is this the Clement? They spoke in their language and the only thing I could understand was those times they mentioned my name. I was so embarrassed. Well because of the pressure from her parents and older siblings, Olivia and I decided to end the relationship. We lacked the courage to nurture our beautiful relationship.READ MORE