Monday, June 1, 2020

Fr. Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie, MSP - Homily for Tuesday Week 9 Ordinary time - June 2, 2020

Tuesday 2nd June 2020
9th week in ordinary time year II
2 Peter 3:11-15,17-18, Mark 12:13-17
The Easter season has ended, and we begin the ordinary season of the calendar year of the Church. Nevertheless, we are to continue to ruminate the teachings of Jesus during the Easter season and rely on the help of the Holy Spirit to go through this period. We should also ask for God's direction and allow ourselves to be influenced by the Holy Spirit this season.
As I reflect on the gospel reading of today, the words of Jesus to the Chief priest  and scribes who came to ask him a question reminds me of an encounter with a police man on the highway. Before the lockdown, I was driving on a highway when I was stopped by a policeman. When he discovered that I am a priest, he said there was no need to ask for my vehicle papers and drivers license as he was asking from others, but he asked for my prayers. After praying for him, he asked if I had anything to give to Caesar. I just laughed over it because I did not want to waste more time with him, but he insisted that I give him something, quoting the words of Jesus that we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.
Many Christians have been very angry with the fact that the government had placed a ban on religious gathering during this Covid-19 pandemic. They believe that many governments officials are not Christians or even religious people, thus they have no right to meddle with religious activities. This was exactly the way the Jews felt in the gospel reading of today. Rome was the political power ruling over the Jews, therefore, they were required to pay tax to Caesar. Many of them were not happy because Caesar was not a Jew but a pagan. They therefore, were looking for ways to break the bonds with Rome and stop being indebted to them.
The Chief priest and scribes who came to Jesus today to ask if they should continue to pay taxes to Caesar, may have come with a genuine concern, but there was also an underlining ulterior motive in trying to make Jesus have problems with Caesar if he tells them to stop paying tax to Caesar. Jesus therefore made them to understand that as children of God, we still live in the same society with those who do not have the same religious inclinations with us; we are therefore not to despise them, but try and work with them while praying for them to be converted.
The statement of Jesus therefore which has been misconstrued in various ways, does not give us license to do evil in the name of giving to Caesar what belongs to Caesar. Christians do not fight with the government or make trouble with the civil authorities. Religion and politics are always on the process of dialogue, they both work for the betterment of humanity from the spiritual and temporal perspective respectively.
In your various places of work and encounter with secular policies, never forget that you are a Christian. Do your work with Caesar very well, but never forget that you are a Christian.
This is the concern of Peter in the first reading of today, that in whatever we do, only the thought of doing good which will earn us the new heaven and new earth promised by Jesus should motivate us and not pleasure or material gain. May God give us the grace to continue to be religious in the midst of the various vicissitudes of life. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP.

Fr. Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie, MSP - Homily for Monday Week 9 Ordinary time - June 1, 2020

Genesis 3:9-15,20, John 19:25-34
Apart from the celebrations that concern the persons of the Blessed Trinity, no other celebration is as numerous as that of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Liturgical calendar of the Church. At the end of the Second Vatican Council in 1964, Pope Paul VI had declared Mary, the mother of the Church. In the jubilee year of 1975, The Vatican also produced a special votive mass under the title, Beata Maria Ecclesiae Matre, which is Blessed Mary, Mother of the Church. It was finally in 2018, that Pope Francis declared that a memorial of Mary Mother of the Church should be celebrated on the day after Pentecost Sunday.
The role of Mary as Mother of the Church is very evident throughout the scriptures. The first reading of today from  the book of Genesis, presents us with the story of how Eve had failed us. Mary came and succeeded where Eve failed and she accepted to be the mother of our saviour and redeemer.
The title of Mary the mother of the church is very apt in the gospel reading. Shorly before he died on the cross, Jesus was surrounded with some people especially women who were crying at the foot of the cross. Jesus therefore called his mother, and handed her to John who represented the Church since he was the only Apostles present there. Jesus therefore told John to take care of his mother and told his mother to take care of his Church.
Mary continued her motherhood of the Church and showed it by following the Apostles to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was this same Holy Spirit  that worked in the life of Justin the Martyr, a pagan philosopher who converted to christianity at the beginning of the second century, and he was able to use his philosophical knowledge to teach the Christian faith until he was killed. Mary also continued to make herself known in the church as we have seen in many apparitions and devotions to her. She had intervened in many world devastating plagues, wars and disasters and has protected the church from many impurities and infirmities. As we enter the ordinary season of the Liturgical calendar of the Church, we commend the church and our lives to the protective arm of our Mother, especially at this trying time of Covid-19 pandemic. We ask for her intercession. May we truly experience her maternal love and protection in our lives.
Mary, Mother of the Church,  Pray for us.
As we enter a new season in the Church and a new month, I pray that God will make you experience something positively new in your life. Amen .
Happy new month
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP

Friday, May 29, 2020

Fr. Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie, MSP - Homily for Saturday Easter week 7 - May 30, 2020

Saturday 30th May 2020
Seventh week of Easter
Acts 28:16-20,30-31, John 21:20-25
It is barely three months since we have been indoors because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and many of us have been complaining because we cannot go out to do what we would like to do, especially career and earning a living. We all feel deprived of an essential part of our lives. As I reflect on this period, I can only imagine how those in prison survive. This is also the feeling as I go through the first reading of today. I also imagine how paul would have felt to have been deprived the freedom to preach the word of God. After spending sometime in prison during Felix, it was when Herod Agrippa came that he was judged and he made an appeal to Caesar. In the first reading of today we see that it was only after presenting his case to Caesar that he regained his freedom.
One can therefore also imagine what some Christians pass through in their course of living their faith in difficult places.  Paul was only able to go through all these because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He counted everything as rubbish in so far as he had Jesus (Philippians 3:8). The 50 days of Easter season will be coming to an end tomorrow as we conclude our novena to the Holy Spirit. In the Church's calendar, there is a vigil tomorrow to prepare us for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Sunday. We are therefore encouraged to spend sometime in prayer tonight and ask the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in us. God help us. Amen.
Fr Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie MSP

Fr. Michael Osatofoh Eninlejie, MSP - Homily for Tuesday Week 9 Ordinary time - June 2, 2020

Tuesday 2nd June 2020 9th week in ordinary time year II 2 Peter 3:11-15,17-18, Mark 12:13-17 The Easter season has ended, and we beg...