Blog & Pastor Letters

The Catholic Christian and the Body of Christ

06-06-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

I have visited several Catholics in private homes, hospices, and hospitals in need of the anointing of the sick and communion in my priestly practice. In discussing the Catholic faith with them, they always tell me, ‘Jesus is important to me.’ The sacraments of the anointing of the sick and Holy Communion bring Jesus to those in need of God’s presence especially when sick and cannot attend Mass. While anointing brings healing to their souls, the Eucharist strengthens them to bear the pains of suffering.

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Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit

05-30-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The teaching of the Church on the Most Holy Trinity is clear. The Trinity is a tripod of three persons in one God. They are not three gods but three persons in one God, undivided in unity and equal in majesty. The history of this teaching goes back to the promulgation of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D. when Emperor Constantine called an assembly of bishops and leaders of the Church.

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The Church and Constant Renewal by the Holy Spirit

05-23-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

I remember attending Mass in my community as a young man, with Latin as the main language. You can imagine my confusion singing in Latin while having a limited vocabulary of English as my fourth language. With three native languages in my head, I could hardly follow Latin, but the rhythm and rhymes amused me so much that I could easily mumble everything with the congregation. With some Latin, I felt I belonged to the Church just like the missionaries who promoted it. One Sunday, the Irish priest surprised everyone. He announced at Mass that the choir could sing in their native language and beat the drums. He began to preach to the people in their native language. The reforms he was bringing impressed me. The congregation was more impressed so much so that subsequent Sundays witnessed large crowds in the pews. The Catholics invited others because the renewal considered by the Irish priest recognized their language as part of the language of the Universal Church.

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Conclusion— Apostolic Exhortation / Veneremur Cernui - Down in Adoration Falling

05-16-2021Weekly ReflectionBishop Thomas J. Olmsted

104. If God were to offer to do an amazing work to foster faith in the Church and in the world today, what would we ask? We may like to ask for signs and wonders, lightnings and fire, like the pillars of cloud and fire as in the Exodus with Moses. Or we may ask for Eucharistic miracles like bleeding or levitating hosts to deepen our faith in the Eucharist. Perhaps we would simply ask for cultural circumstances to be more favorable to religion.

105. None of this would do any good with respect to faith. Saint John Henry Newman in a sermon entitled “Miracles No Remedy for Unbelief” recalls the Lord’s words that the Israelites “refused to believe in me, despite all the signs I have performed among them” (Numbers 14:11); and that chief priests and pharisees called a council to put Christ to death because he “is performing many signs” (Jn 11:47). Newman’s sobering conclusion is that “nothing is gained by miracles, nothing comes of miracles, as regards our religious views, principles, and habits”. He knows that too often we find our ourselves having gone “year after year with the vain dream of turning to God some future day”. What should we ask from God, then, to strengthen faith?

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Christianity and the Jesus Open-Door Policy

05-09-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Hiking up to the zenith of Mont Sinai is a daunting task. I began the climb from St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of the mountain with other pilgrims from different parts of the world. It was cold and chilly. The monks told us there has not been snow for a long time. Anyway, the snow began to melt, and we were told it was safe to start the climb. Meanwhile, they gave us hot tea to warm us up and we were dressed up in all kinds of protective gear. I wore mine carefully and covered my head allowing only my eyes the honor of directing my sight.

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Christians and the Image of Jesus as the True Vine

05-02-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is a must read for all Christians. Lewis was an Oxford University professor who became an atheist and later converted again to Christianity. After his reconversion he decided to write the little treatise on Christianity based on his radio interviews on the common beliefs that Christians share without going into the complications of theology, dogma, or doctrine. Lewis intended with his book, to present the Christian faith in simple forms without offending theologians and leaders of the Christian faith. He wanted those who professed atheism as a way of life, to reconsider conversion just as he did.

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Vocation, Jesus the Good Shepherd and My Work

04-25-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

Every career in life is important. From astronomy to zoology, there is something positive to be developed into a venture that yields a living wage. If what we do gives us contentment and happiness, it is necessary to commit ourselves to making that profession an enviable one. Is the priesthood or religious life considered professions? It is not exactly. The call to priestly and religious life is not exactly a profession; it is a vocation tailored for service in the Church. For this reason, every fourth Sunday of Easter is set aside to pray for vocations. Good Shepherd Sunday is also known as Vocations Sunday to remember those already serving in the priestly or religious life. It is also for all Christians to reflect about their contributions to the human family through their professions and careers.

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Repent and be Converted

04-18-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The message of Pope Francis on Easter Sunday stated in part, “The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail. But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.” In his message, the Pope encouraged peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and prayed for the restoration of normalcy in conflicted areas. He also urged an end to bloodshed in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Nigeria, South Sudan and various parts of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo. He prayed for the victims of the Kenyan college attack where 145 students were killed.

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Faith Removes Doubt

04-11-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The Code of Canon Law (Can. #747 par. 1) states, “The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine it more closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right, independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also using the means of social communication proper to it.” What this means for the Church is that preaching, teaching, and admonishing the flock are important ways of nurturing the Christian faith.

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Jesus, the Empty Tomb, and the Apostles

04-04-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

The long journey of Ash Wednesday has ended today with the celebration of Easter. Jesus is risen from the dead, he is no longer in the tomb, he is alive, and he lives forever! We can now sing alleluia for Jesus has overcome death against all the expectations of his executioners. They thought that he would be dead and forgotten, but he proved them wrong by rising from the dead to live forever. Imagine the heavy stone put at the entrance of his tomb to disallow anybody rolling it to steal the body. Yet the stone was rolled back, and nobody could explain how this happened, not even the soldiers guarding the tomb.

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