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Category: Fr. Jude’s Homilies

Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year B

Sunday, March 11, 2018, Fourth Sunday of Lent Year B
Rejoice…God Loves Us

Sometimes, the fourth Sunday of Lent is s called Laetare Sunday. Laetare is a Latin word that means “rejoice.” This is because the on this Sunday, the antiphon is taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 66:10-11). Even as we observe our Lenten sacrifices, we rejoice in anticipation of the joy that will be ours at Easter. Why should we rejoice? This is because The readings today remind us of the fact that despite our sinfulness, God never abandons his Children. The First reading insists on the fact that despite the unfaithfulness and the persistent pollution of the house of the Lord, God always sent his messengers because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. In his letter to the Ephesians 2:4-11, Paul reminds the Ephesians that in his great mercy, God has sent his Son, not to condemn the world but to save it. Jesus was raised up on the cross of suffering as the final effort of God´s surpassing mercy to save us from that awful eventuality.
Our Gospel today is one of the most quoted citation used on banners, on books, on posters, etc. We rejoice because this single verse reminds us that the heart of the Gospel is God’s love and our belief. But there’s more to today’s Gospel than that. To understand the Gospel of today it is good to situate it within the global context of John 3. Nicodemus, the Pharisee approached Jesus at night. He acknowledged him Jesus as someone who had come from God and he really wanted to be his follower.
In his dialogue with Nicodemus, there are three basic images we can meditate on: the necessity of being born again in order to live a new life in the Spirit; the sacrifice of Jesus which brings salvation to believers; and God’s immense love for the world, which he expresses by giving us his Son and to which the only appropriate response is for us to now love others as Jesus does, becoming ourselves channels of God’s love for the world. From this last image we may concentrate on the citation: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
God is love (CCC 214, 218-21), a love made visible by Christ in his sacrifice for us (CCC 606). If we understood God´s love, and how we separate ourselves from it by sin, we would weep as bitterly as the exiles in Babylon (Psalm). Lent is about our journey to accept God’s love for us, God’s divine presence in our lives. It is about accepting that Jesus is truly man and truly God. It is a journey to accept our own sinfulness and to be able to give that sinfulness back to God in asking for forgiveness. Lent is a great time to begin some serious spiritual reading, well-rooted in sound Catholic tradition, that will help us grow in the knowledge of God and of his saving love.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year B

Third Sunday of Lent
Cleansing our Temples
We have already completed two weeks of lent and now we enter the third week. Like the desert (Lent week 1) and the mountain (week 2), the Temple is a place of special encounter with God. But today unlike last week at the transfiguration, we are not going to see the glorious face of Jesus; we are going to see his angry face. Jesus is not happy with what he sees precisely because the way the Temple worship has been organised no longer reflects God’s original idea of a worshipping community. Jesus enters the temple area only to discover the selling of sheep, oxen, doves, and the money changers. He drives out the animals, overturns the tables coins spill out on the floor. The Jewish leaders want a sign “What sign can you show us” Jesus replies “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”. But Jesus was speaking of his own temple, his body. This was another step for Jesus on the road to Calvary.
It saddens us to see that today it almost seems as if we see in our churches the same thing that Our Lord saw. Some have been transformed into marketplaces with noisy liturgies. Sometimes our churches are very dirty and unkempt. Sometimes it seems that moments after having received the Body of Christ part of the community is already engaged in conversation as if they were in the central square of the town. Some are not even afraid to eat in church. Some go as far as answering their phone calls in Church. We cannot expound on the poor dressing codes that proliferate many places of worship in the name of “modernity”. This lack of respect for God, in his house, is what the Lord could not tolerate. The spectacle angered him. And we also are angered at times by what we see. But since many times getting people to change their ways is almost impossible, we leave “the temple” frustrated, asking the Lord to have mercy on all of us.
The Church must be a place of worship and especially after receiving communion we should spend a few minutes in conversation with the Lord so that we can thank him for everything that he has done for us and to ask him to protect us, and our families, once we leave the church.
In the same way, we must take care of our Bodies which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. In 1 Corinthians 6:19 it says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you’re not your own? We’ve been purchased at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” Just as Jesus had zeal for his father’s house, the temple in Jerusalem, we too are to have zeal for God’s temple THIS ONE, ourselves. We were made the temple of God when we were baptized. God the Holy Spirit dwells in us.
During Lent it is our duty to cleanse our temple of everything that does not belong there, just as Jesus drove out the money changers and the animal brokers from His Father’s temple. We must make a whip of chords, just as Jesus did. In our heart we make a whip of cords by our fasting and our alms giving during Lent. There are some fundamental questions we must ask ourselves concerning the cleansing of our bodies: How have we fasted so far? Are we abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent? How are we in alms giving so far this Lent? Have we gone to confession this Lent?

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Solemnity of the Epiphany

YOUR STAR MUST SHINE
The word “epiphany” comes from the Greek epiphainen, a verb that means “to shine upon,” “to manifest,” or “to make known.” Thus, the feast of the Epiphany celebrates the many ways that Christ has made Himself known to the world, mainly the three events that manifested the mission and divinity of Christ: the visit of the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12), the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:9-11), and the miracle at Cana (John 2:1-11).

Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Holy Family

Homily of the 31st December 2017, Holy Family Sunday

In most countries, Christmas is a Family Festival. Most families have re-united once again. It is within this context of Family union at Christmas that we reflect on The Holy Family of Nazareth, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Why do we call it “The Holy Family”? Obviously it is the most holy of families. Every member of this Family is Holy! It is the family of Jesus Son of God, whose mother, Mary was immaculately conceived through the Holy Spirit and was sinless all her life. It is equally the Family of Joseph who was Mary’s chaste spouse. It is the model of all Families.

In our modern world there are many attempts to destroy the family and if this takes place, then the society will obviously crumble. This can be corrected if we form HOLY FAMILIES. Being a holy family entails setting apart the family for the LORD. So for our families to be holy we have to choose that which is often contrary to the choices made by other families. We must keep immoral material, shows, etc out of our houses because we ask God to dwell there. We have to be very careful of where children are visiting or staying overnight because other families might allow immorality into their homes, or, simply, not supervise their own children. Being a holy family demands that our homes be places of prayer.

The Word of God must be central in our Homes. We can keep our Families Holy through the family rosary, family prayer at bedtime and we must make it a point to have family prayer before meals. This is very important because the family is the basic unit of society and the Church. It is in the family that we first learn to communicate, and that we learn what is good and bad. It is in the family that we learn what love is because it is in the family that we first receive love. It is in the family that we first learn to forgive and to pray. If they family is holy, then the Church is naturally HOLY. The future of humanity depends on the family because it is through a family that we all come.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

14th January 2018, Second Sunday in Ordinary time Year B
God’s Call and our Response
God wants to associate humanity (men, women and children) with the announcement of the Kingdom. The Call of Samuel reminds us that every person has a vocation. This entails that God calls individuals and destines them to accomplish their own irreplaceable tasks.

In God we live a life of grace. God calls and man answers. The young Samuel says: “Speak Lord, your servant is listening”. Without the disposition to listen, God keeps silent. When God speaks and man listens, the history of salvation is renewed. Samuel listened to the Word of God and announced it to the people. It is thus seen that the vocation, the call and the mission all go together. God never calls us for nothing. Each of us has a single and special mission to fulfill.

When we recognise Jesus as the Lamb of God ad seek to follow him. He accepts. It is thus an invitation to follow the Master in order to put our steps in His, on the road of paradise. It is only with him that the realisation of this project is possible.

To achieve the mission that God entrusts to us, a union of our hearts with Jesus is necessary. As Christians, we may ask: are we always able like Samuel to lead our brothers and our sisters where we found the good? We have the responsibility to direct our children to answer God’s call. John the Baptist in recognizing Jesus as the Lamb of God helped two of his disciples to follow the Master. Andrew having followed the Master Jesus also brought his brother Simon Peter to discover the Messiah, the Christ whom he had found Are we able to give the possibility to those whom we held by the hand to carry out their life, without us, following Christ as John the Baptist did it?

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 4th Sunday of Advent, Year B

Homily of the Fourth Sunday of Advent Year B
A thousand years before Christ, God made a plan! It really began with the prophecy of Nathan to King David. The latter had thought it was his pious duty to build a Temple to house the Ark of the Covenant. At first Nathan agreed with him, but then God spoke to Nathan and sent him to David with this message: “You want to build a house for me, but I will build the House of David. My son will come from you, one of your descendants. God had another plan. The plan began with a simple scene: an angel, Gabriel by name, appeared to a young girl, the Virgin Mary, and told her that she would have a child conceived not through a man, but through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.
We are part of the wonder of the plan. We are part of the wonder of the Word Made Flesh, the Wonder of Christmas. Each one of us has part of this plan. We might not be the founder of the dynasty like David, nor the mother of the Saviour like Mary, but we are called to lead others to Bethlehem, to lead others to our Lord.
God has a plan for each of us. He tells us in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—oracle of the LORD—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope. In many cases we may not always understand his plan, but we still need to be obedient as we try to fulfill it. Micah 6:8 “You have been told, O mortal, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do justice and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.
God has already fulfilled the plan of long ago, revealed to David. He will surely fulfill his promises and plans for us. O Come O Come, Emmanuel. Come and give us the strength and the courage to radiate your presence to a waiting world.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

3B Advent – Fr. Jude’s Homily

Third Sunday of Advent Year B
REJOICE IN THE LORD
Advent is, and remains a time to prepare for the Coming of the Lord and it is a time to be very vigilant. For two Sundays now, focus on preparation has been on conversion and repentance. The theme of joy is planted in the decorum of today’s liturgy with the entrance antiphon from Phil 4: 4-5: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Indeed, the Lord is near”. The 3rd Sunday of Advent known as Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is Latin for “Rejoice”. It is a reminder that as Christians, we are to be joyful people.
One of the greatest, though most neglected of all our Christian obligations is the obligation to rejoice. It is a command taken directly from our second reading of today Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians. Paul begins by telling us what we must do at all times. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Despite the widespread consumerism in today’s world which leads people to develop a covetous heart with no place for the poor, God’s joy must be felt. Pope Francis insists on the fact that “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set from sin, sorrow inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew” (Evangelii Gaudium 1).
This beginning of Evangelii Gaudium, within the fabric of the teaching of Pope Francis, rings out with surprising vitality, proclaiming the wonderful mystery of the Good News that transforms the life of the person who takes it to heart. We are told the parable of joy: our meeting with Jesus lights up in us its original beauty, the beauty of the face on which the Father’s glory shines (cf. 2Cor 4:6), radiating happiness.
On this note, the Gospel, despite its being radiant with the Glory of Christ’s cross constantly invites us to rejoice. We find this joy at the annunciation (Luke 1:28), the Visitation (Luke 1:47) and in the Magnificat (Luke1:47).
We really do have much to be joyful about! As Catholics, we have gained access into a holy family and a relationship with God. We have been given the opportunity for everlasting life and the assurance that we are loved and will be eternally cared for.
Through the Example of John the Baptist example, let us be that voice crying out in the desert and show the world the Joy that radiates through us. Like John the Baptist, may our faith radiate the truth, that no matter what trial, obstacle, or discomfort comes upon us, we deeply know that Christ is present, and that he will come again offering an eternal life of joy, love, and peace for those who truly embrace him.
The message of this Third Sunday of Advent is simple: Our lives must lead others to rejoice in the Light just as John the Baptist did.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

2B Advent – Fr. Jude’s Homily

Second Sunday of Advent Year B
PREPARE THE WAY OF VIP JESUS
Whenever there is a very important event, there is always need to prepare. This can be a sporting event, the visit of the pope, the president or other very important dignitaries. This entails making everywhere look neat and well kept. Roads are arranged, palm fronts and other decorations are placed especially within the path to be used by those involved. The striking thing is that money which was necessary to maintain the roads and other structures suddenly and miraculously surface.
The Good news we have today is that A VERY IMPORTANT PERSONALITY IS COMING! His name is JESUS CHRIST THE SON OF GOD (cf. Mk 1:1-8). Another part of the Good News is that someone has been sent to prepare the way of the Lord and to make straight his paths. John the Baptist already foretold by the prophet Isaiah (40:3) was this special envoy, messenger or harbinger who paved the way for Christ’s coming. He did this in the Following ways as John Rose Would attest:
1. By an austere lifestyle: he was clothed in Carmel’s skin, eating locust, wild honey and what he could find in the desert. He lived in the Desert and was the wild, ascetic prophet. His life was really his message. Seeing his attire, his food and his crude messages, the people flocked to him and he used the opportunity to preach to them and give them the Baptism of Repentance. In fact “All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins”.
2. By his Preaching about repentance: John’s preaching was centered on a change of heart, a radical change or what we can call a total metanoia. We cannot meet our VIP Jesus without preparation, without working for our conversion and without changing our lifestyle. In fact John makes us know the seriousness and the very importance of the person we are preparing to receive: “In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’” The precondition therefore to receive VIP Jesus is Repentance.
3. By His death: Though not indicated in our readings of today, from the story of John the Baptist we know that he paved the way for Christ’s coming by His death.
In effect the central message of today is that VIP Jesus is coming. The paths, the highways, the mountains and hills, the valleys that Isaiah talked about are all inside our hearts. John K. Aniagwu in his homily on the second Sunday of advent brings to our minds that the Mountains and hills in our hearts are our PRIDE while the valleys are our LACK OF LOVE. On this note, we must bring down our pride and fill out the valleys of our lives with an active love of God and Neighbour. Only then can we welcome VIP Jesus on His arrival.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf

Fr. Jude's Homilies

1B Advent – Fr. Jude’s Homily

Homily for the First Sunday of Advent Year B
Happy New Year to you all! It is not the 1st of January! It is worth mentioning that we are turning the page today into a New Liturgical Year of the Church: Year B. This begins with the Season of Advent: A time of Preparation extending over four Sundays before Christmas. The word ADVENT comes from the latin ad venio “to come to” and adventus, “coming” or “arrival”. We are anticipating the Adventus Domini, the “coming of the Lord”.
The Advent season is filled with preparation and expectation and the getting ready for Christmas. It is a season of waiting and longing, of conversion and home, meditating on the incredible love and humanity of our God in taking on flesh of the Virgin Mary. We will read most often during this season the prophesies of Isaiah. The readings will be focused on key figures of the Old and the New Testament who were prepared and chosen by God to make the incarnation possible.
This decorum of preparation is planted in the readings of today. Isaiah expresses our intense desire as we wait for the Lord. “O that you would tear the heavens open and come down”. (Is 64:1). The Son of Man will be coming to judge the living and the death. We do not know when he will come. The secret is known only to God. No one knows about that date, day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Mt 24:26).
Today’s Gospel taken from the end of Mark’s apocalyptic discourse in chapter 13 encourages us to adopt the attitude of staying “awake” and being on “guard”. This entails an attitude of perpetual vigilance and being constantly on the watch. Death is no respecter of men and it is always ready to take us at any time. On the radio and other news media we keep on hearing of Death Announcements. This means that we must be ready at all times to meet the lord at our death and also every day in our lives.
The second coming of Christ is eminent! After ascending into heaven, while the disciples were still gazing into the sky, they were told “O men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus who had been taken up into heaven will come in the same way (Acts 1:10-11).
The Church has given us this time to ready our hearts for our Lord, making sure that we do not lack any spiritual gift as we wait for the Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:7). We must ponder the words of Saint Charles Borromeo on Advent: “Each year, as the Church recalls this mystery, she urges us to renew the memory of the great love God has shown us. This holy season teaches us that Christ’s coming was not only for the benefit of his contemporaries, his power has still to be communicated to us all….The Church asks us to understand that Christ, who came once in Flesh, is prepared to come again. When we all remove all obstacles to his presence he will come, at any hour and moment, to dwell spiritually in our hearts, bringing with him the riches of his grace”.
MARANATHA! Come Lord Jesus into my Life!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe

Homily of the 26th of November 2017
Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe

Today, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe. Nowadays there are not many kings around. In many countries, we no longer speak of Monarchy but of Democracy. Nevertheless we in some of our traditional societies especially here in Cameroon, we still have chiefdoms and fondoms. A King, Chief, Fon, Queen, President or Leader is a symbol of unity and service. He has the task of Caring and seeing to the welfare of the people under his dominion.
The first reading likens the leader to a shepherd who cares for his sheep. This fits into the Kingship of Christ based on service. Christ is the King who will look after his flock himself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall Christ will keep his sheep in view. He shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. At this backdrop, Jesus confidently attests “I am the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11).
Jesus turned down a tempting offer of Glory and Territory at the beginning of his ministry (Luke 4, 8-11). In so doing he turned down the seducing glories of the leaders of this world. He constantly bucked the pressures of the crowd. Once after feeding he crowd of over 5000 people they wanted to take Jesus by Force and make him king (Jn 6:15). Jesus turned it down. Jesus is not in any way denying his kingship! Jesus is King! He asserts it clearly in front of Pilate: “Yes, I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came to this world, to testify to the truth” (Jn 18:37). In today’s Gospel, Mathew depicts Jesus as a true Leader and King. Jesus had an undeniable power with which he calmed and quieted angry storms. He even walked on the lake. Despite this, he used his power compassionately for others. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, pardon sinners etc. Many countries and associations have been rendered miserable, hopeless, and have fallen from grace to grass because of corrupt leadership.
The Great Roman Empire despite its mighty army with sword, guns and canons have failed. The British Empire is today reduced to a small country. The Great French Empire under the Powerful Napoleon is today a thing of the Past. But the kingdom of Christ, founded on love and justice is still growing stronger.
Our shepherd King Jesus invites us to build up a Kingdom based on Justice, Love and peace! We must alleviate the distress f the suffering millions of the world! Our hearts must reach to those who are in great need for they are not far from us. Only in this way will our leadership be pertinent. The following words published in a parish bulletin and beautifully quoted by Vima Dasan in his book His Word lives can be our daily manna this week:
I was hungry and you formed a humanitarian club and discussed my hunger. I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel and prayed for my release. I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance. I was sic and you knelt and thanked God for your health. I was homeless and you preached to me of the spiritual shelter of the love of God. I was lonely and you left me alone to go and pray for me. You seem so holy, so close to God. But I am still very hungry and lonely and cold.”
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang , cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time A

Sunday November 19, 2017, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Theme: Being faithful in small things

In His Parable of the Talents, Jesus teaches that we must use our gifts wisely. During Jesus’ time, a talent was an amount; thirty kilogrammes of precious metal, but in the Parable of the Talent in our Gospel today, when Jesus speaks of talents He is referring to God-given abilities to each of us. Since Jesus’ time people have come to understand the word “talent” in this sense.
Before going on a journey, a wealthy man entrusts his fortune to his servants for the time he would be away. Two of the servants use the money wisely to earn income for their master. However, the third servant does not put the money to good use to the master’s displeasure. The man who receives one talent buries it. Jesus calls him “wicked” and “lazy.”
The story becomes more interesting if we look at the reward or compliments given. Even though the first servant with five talents made five more and the second servant with two talents made two more, they both receive exactly the same compliments: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things. I will trust you with greater things. Come and join in your master’s happiness.” (Verses 21, 23)
The gifts we have received are not ours alone. God has given them to us to serve Him and others. Each of us has something to give. We can give our money and time to charity, be a friend to someone who is sick or lonely, do volunteer work, or be a peacemaker, teacher or minister. We may unselfishly give our time to our spouse, children or parents. We may choose a service-oriented occupation, or we may just do our everyday jobs with integrity and respect for others.
The master represents God in this parable and the servants represent us. The English word talent, which means our natural abilities, is derived from this parable. The parable’s lesson is that we must use our talents, abilities and wealth to serve God. If we do not use our gifts wisely, God will consider us to be wicked and lazy like the third man in the parable. He compared himself to others and was afraid to fail. So he did nothing. That was the problem. He instead buried his talent.
Whatever God has given you, thank Him and ask for His help to invest it as best you can. Mother Theresa said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” She did not talk about doing great things, but doing little things with great love. Today Jesus is asking you to do small things with great love.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang , cmf
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Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Sunday, November 12, 2017, 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Theme: Wisdom: Be ready to receive Christ when he comes
We must have once found ourselves in a situation where we suddenly lacked fuel for our cars or generators, for example. Even now, many cars and machines are designed with warning signs of imminent seizure.
However, people still run out of fuel. It may also be when we forget or neglect to pay our bills in/on time, or run out of airtime when making an important call. Some of these situations can be very embarrassing.
In today’s gospel, it is not fuel or airtime that is lacking but olive oil. Olive oil was the fuel burnt in lamps in Jesus’ day. At the beginning the five foolish virgins did not really “run out” of oil; they never had it at all.
The bridesmaids in the parable were given an opportunity to be ready for the wedding in the groom’s house later that evening. The groom had already sent word to the bride that the wedding would be later that day. They knew the wedding would take place. But five of them did not bring oil. They had an opportunity during the day to get a supply of oil but they did not bother. Those who were able to anticipate their Oil need are described as wise and those who could not are described as foolish.
The truth is that wisdom is actually very difficult to define. It is the first and highest gifts of the Holy Spirit. It makes the soul responsive to God in the contemplation of divine things. Where faith is a simple knowledge of the articles of Christian belief, wisdom goes on to a certain divine penetration of the truths themselves. Built into wisdom is the element of love, which inspires contemplative reflection on these divine mysteries, rejoices dwelling on them, and directs the mind to judge all things according to their principles. The first reading actually personifies wisdom and it is addressed as a woman who is ready to make herself available to anyone who earnestly goes in search of her.
Wisdom goes beyond mere intelligence. Wisdom is not brilliance; it goes beyond that. It involves a deep clarity of judgement that moves us to speak and act only after listening to God. The Parable of the Virgins make us understand that for a Christian Wisdom entails being ready to receive Christ any time He comes.
The Gospel’s response to the delay was to insist, nevertheless, that Jesus would return unannounced and unexpected, and to repeat the mantra, “Keep alert, stay awake, be ready!” A wise person, knowing the importance of Jesus in his /her life, will make efforts to be ready every time. Let us therefore pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us understand the importance of Christ in our lives and be ready to receive Him when He comes.
Rev. Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang , cmf
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Fr. Jude’s Homily for Christ the King of the Universe

25th  November 2018 : Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe
Jesus Christ the King: Born to bear witness to the truth
In our world where truth finds no place in our dictionaries and in our day to day living, Jesus attests that his kingdom rests on TRUTH. This is like going contrary to the waves. Today’s leadership and politics has LIES as a foundation and TRUTH is relegated to the background. In a postmodern world that denies that truth can be known, Jesus’ assertion of TRUTH in the Gospel has a preeminent place. Contrary to the philosophy of our time, Jesus attests that there is such a thing as absolute, objective, knowable truth in the spiritual realm. Such truth is true whether you feel it’s true or not. It’s true whether you like it or not. It’s true whether you believe it or not. In the dialogue between Pilate and Jesus, the latter attests firmly: ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’ What is truth? 
From the Greek word aletheia, truth literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing being hidden or obscured. It evokes “firmness,” “constancy” and “duration.” John MacArthur, in his book, The Truth War, drawing from the scriptures, offers this definition of truth: “Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, glory, and being of God. Even more to the point: truth is the self-expression of God…. Therefore God is the author, source, determiner, governor, arbiter, ultimate standard, and final judge of all truth. 
The trial of Jesus almost two thousand years ago was based on LIES. Jesus, the Truth was judged by people who were devoted to lies like Annas and Caiphas. Many false witnesses came forward to speak against the Truth, yet nothing could be proved and no evidence of wrongdoing could be found. Regardless, Caiaphas declared the Truth guilty because the Truth claimed to be God in the flesh, something Caiaphas called blasphemy. Jewish Sanhedrin pronounced the Truth should die. However, the Jewish council had no legal right to carry out the death penalty, so they were forced to bring the Truth to the Roman governor at the time, a man named Pontius Pilate. As the Truth stood before Pilate, more lies were brought against Him. His enemies said, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King” (Luke 23:2). This was a lie, as the Truth had told everyone to pay their taxes (Matthew 22:21) and never spoke of Himself as a challenge to Caesar. Pilate condemned the truth to death. Even to the point of death, Jesus Bore witness to the truth. 
This feast of Christ the King is about bearing witness to the truth.  It is about integrity.  Jesus Christ is the truth, and the way, and the life (cf. John 14). We are called to follow the style and modus operandi of Jesus. We must accept the truth as the value of discipleship. The Bible calls God “the God of truth” (Ps. 31:5; Isa. 65:16). It is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2). We are to “practice the truth” (John 3:21). We are sanctified by God’s Word, which is the truth (John 17:17). We are to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

November 18, 2018, Thirty third Sunday in Year B
Preparing for the End time with Love

Generally people obey rules for two reasons; one is positive while the other is negative. One is out of love, commitment and appreciation while the other is out of fear of being punished. In some countries for instance, some people scramble for their seat belts while driving when they sight Road Safety Workers on the way; this is obedience out of fear of punishment rather than appreciation of the need for safety. We should be moved to be in heaven by our love for God, our appreciation for His goodness and commitment to doing His will than the fear of going to hell and being eternally punished. We should be sustained by heavenly faith than by hellish fear!
Any end time preaching or reading frightens so many people. The Readings of today present us with end time episodes. As the liturgical and calendar year draws to an end we are reminded that we are in this world for a moment! There is an end in view. The readings speak about the end of time but with a particular emphasis: those who trust in the Lord, and who live His life to the best of their ability have nothing to fear. Today’s readings tell us that God is in control. We do our best to give ourselves to Him. The basic message, though, is, “Do not be afraid. Trust in God. He will care for you.” We need to do our best to get out of the fear mind set and live as people of the faith we profess.
Perhaps many of us are not inordinately concerned about the end of the world. But each of us does have certain areas of fear in our lives. Some are afraid due to their health or that of a loved one. Maybe we are going to die sooner than we expect. Everyone dies sooner than she or he expects. Should we live in panic like the pagans, or should we trust in God to care for us?
Despite the natural disasters referred to in the Gospel, where darkness dominates all, good news is announced to us. We shall see the awaited one, the Son of man. He will gather his elected children from the whole world. There is no privileged place from where God’s children are to be selected. The entire earth is holy and so no place is cursed. The moment when these events will occur is not known to us, it belongs to the mystery of God and it is useless for us to worry about. The important thing is to remember that if heaven and earth will pass away, the Word of God will not pass. Our main concern, the Gospel tells us is to listen to this word, to live by it. In any case we should be more concerned about eternity than the fear of the end of the world which is sure to come but at a divinely appointed time not by human predictions. The question that could be more productive is: “How ready I am if the Lord should come today will I be saved severed?” We must prepare for the End Time with Love!
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

November 11, 2018, Thirty Second Sunday in Year B
Giving from our Hearts!
A saying goes that “Wrapped in love, the tiniest gift becomes a treasure”. This entails that an offering is never too small when it is given from the heart. When you offer anything in love it will never be too small. This is so because the biggest gift is the one given from your heart. The readings of today present us with two widows who teach us that we must give from our hearts whether we are rich or poor!
When the books of Old Testament refer to the poor they often list three categories of people: the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Deut 14:29). The Hebrew Scriptures constantly invite people to be sensitive to the needs of these three types of vulnerable people: the stranger, the orphan and the widow (Ps 94:6; Jer 7:11).
At a time of scarcity, Prophet Elijah, as recounted in the First Reading of today, instead of helping the widow, requests help from her. The poor widow generously offers the prophet the last bit of food that she had. The Lord God blesses her generosity, abundantly: “The jar of meal was not spent nor the jug of oil emptied” (1Kings 1:16). The widow chose to do the virtuous thing. She gave that which she really needed. She gave from her need, all for a Greater Need, for the Need for God. And God rewarded her as she and her son survived the drought and famine.
The Gospel also presents us with the example of a widow from which the English word ‘widow’s mite’ has become popular. Jesus is sitting in the Temple with his disciples, in the area where people made donations to the Temple. Some would come with large sums of money and made sure that others would see them. The widow by putting her two little coins gave from what she herself really needed, but caring for God’s house meant more to her than her own needs. She had a Greater Need, the Need for God in her life.
God first, then the rest! Here is what the Lord wants: “Seek you first the Kingdom of heaven and its justice, and all the remainder will be given to you”. Isn’t our God provident? This truth as we see was tried out by the widow. We see in her the attitude of total abandonment to divine providence, responsibility and freedom, certain that God will provide. In fact this eloquent attitude expresses the faith as total dependence on God. This we must understand it once and for all if we want to gain salvation.
A question that we can all ask ourselves then is: what is it that I am still holding on to – that prevents me from totally surrendering myself to God? The widow’s gift dripped rich in meaning because “she has given everything she has.” In other words, she gave from her heart. Jesus is emphasizing that our gifts have meaning and impact based on the way they are given, not merely based on their size.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for All Saints Day

Homily of the Feast of All Saints, 01st November 2018
Universal Call to Sainthood
There is a popular idea that a saint is someone who never does anything wrong, is good and pure to the core and lives a perfect life of holiness. On this note we put them in stained glass windows, carve statues of them and erect churches in their names. We have pushed them so far from us as we can place them. On this note we hear people say that they can never be as holy as them. We wonder if the saints ever lived to experience the stresses of everyday life.
Who can be a saint? Although the exact number of saints is unknown, we know of course, that the greater majority have been members of religious orders. We love them and we admire them; we wish to imitate them. But how can a mother with small children, a wife with a difficult husband, a young bride with in-law problems, can they too become saints?
We very often tend to forget that we are all called to holiness whatever our commitments may be, whatever our vocation, whether to be married, single, consecrated. By virtue of our baptism, we have a universal call to sainthood which is not limited only to priests and religious, but to all. In effect Saints are our kindly and generous friends, consoling companions and ready and willing intercessors with God. They were not exempt from the countless trials and hardships we are going through in our own day.
In fact, the Sermon on the Mount says to us that being holy is to enter into the happiness of the kingdom of heaven. So first holiness is a mystery of happiness. In truth, the blessed par excellence is only Jesus. He is, in fact, the true poor in spirit, the one afflicted, the meek one, the one hungering and thirsting for justice, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemaker. He is the one persecuted for the sake of justice. Holiness demands a constant effort, but it is possible for everyone because, rather than a human effort, it is first and foremost a gift of God, thrice Holy (cf. Is 6: 3).
In effect, all of us can become saints, single men and women, mothers and fathers, soldiers and servants, doctors and lawyers, priests and religious, the humble and the noble – all who have met the difficulties and challenges of the secular life and triumphed over them. Their virtues are to be admired, but most of all imitated. The example of the Saints encourages us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of October 28, 2018
‘Master, let me see again.’
This phrase, ‘Master, let me see again’ in our Gospel today shows that Bartimaeus was not BORN BLIND. He always had the opportunity of seeing and he lost his sight. We can therefore appreciate the enormity of what Jesus did for him. It was like giving him back his life. He wants to SEE AGAIN. He knows and understands that if he lets this opportunity go by, there will not be another chance. He heard that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by, so he called out to him louder and did not heed to the rest trying to silence him. 
The first reading from the Prophet Jeremiah tells us that a day will come when the lame will walk and the blind will see.  And certainly, that day began with Jesus Christ.  Certainly, this is one of the teaching in today’s Gospel.  Bartimaeus sees.  The great days that Jeremiah had prophesied had begun. But, perhaps this Gospel reading is deeper than a demonstration of the powers of the Messiah to give sight to the blind.  Perhaps, it is speaking about seeing with the eyes of faith. 
Those whose souls are blind to the Presence of God cannot follow him.  Only those who are willing to take a step of faith, a leap of faith, and seek out the Lord can follow Him. Spiritual blindness is lack of faith, unbelief. Someone who says that there is no God, for instance, is definitely spiritually blind. Psalm 14:1 says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is not God’”. At the conclusion of the long reflection on the healing of the Man Born Blind in the ninth chapter of John, Jesus says, “I came so that those who are blind may see.”  
Jesus is concerned to heal us not only of our physical blindness but also he is concerned about healing us of our intellectual and spiritual blindness. Over the centuries, therefore, the Church, the exact n Body of Christ has been in the forefront to battle to eliminate all three forms of blindness: physical blindness through health care services, intellectual blindness through education, and spiritual blindness through evangelisation and catechesis. 
Let us avail ourselves of this opportunity to come to Christ. The Good News is that Jesus is always passing by. He can heal and take away whatever ailment or handicap weighing us down. Bartimaeus did not heed those who tried to dissuade him. May we never allow societal influences debar us from coming to Christ.
 Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of October 21, 2018
The suffering servant leader
In the most crucial period in Jesus’ life and ministry, Jesus revealed that suffering through the cross was the inevitable means to attain Glory. Our Gospel today reveal how James and John were tactically vying and scheming for the best seats in his kingdom. Their intention was to flank Jesus on the right and on the left hand. The other apostles who did not express this feeling were also indignant. It is not impossible that they too were eying these positions but never had the courage the other two had. It is clear that the disciples had the common misconception that leadership role over others comes with glory, power, and positions of honour.
In most cases we want to be recognized, appreciated and put on our right positions especially when we are leaders. Jesus’ reply to the sons of Zebedee epitomized the importance of servant leadership. Being leaders or ministers meant being the servants of many. True leadership is to be found in serving others. In serving others, there is no ulterior or selfish motive attached.
The lesson we can learn from Jesus is that he modeled the true servant style of leadership. This is found in service. He, being the Lord incarnate, had the humility to bend down and wash the feet of the disciples thus teaching them the true measure of leading by first serving others (John 13:12–17).
Serving others entail drinking from the cup of suffering Jesus drank. Great musicians and artists will pass through long and rigorous periods of practice and deprivation of comfort to prepare a trilling public performance of 15 minutes. Leaders are great servants who have passed through moments of trials and suffering to attain their greatness.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of October 14, 2018,
The Cost of Discipleship : please complete the race
Following Jesus is a challenging and an expensive venture. It is not only expensive monetary wise. It takes one whole being. Jesus’ preaching and teaching left deep impression on people and many were drawn to follow him for various reasons. Some came for healing, others needed peace, some others wanted to have position in the society and yet others just wanted an adventure. True discipleship had its consequences. In effect discipleship does have its price.
Jesus will always show the consequences or the naked truth of following him and being his disciple. In the Gospel today Jesus does not mince words to portray the cost of this discipleship: We are presented with a rich, energetic and enthusiastic young man coming to fall at the feet of the poor prophet, Jesus. He was not only a wealthy man, he was a devout follower of the law. By the kneeling gesture, the young man portrays a sign of submission and surrender. Jesus naturally love him. God loves each and everyone of us personally. Loving the man, did not entail not telling him the truth. He needed to make a radical turn. It hurt the man to hear he was to give up what he had. His following of Jesus required a total sacrifice of everything. It was total and radical. It was clear to the young aristocrat that he could not serve God and money (Luke 16:13). Who owned the young man’s heart? It is clear that despite his efforts to keep God’s commandments since childhood, his health had a stronger grip on him. He ran towards Jesus but could not complete the race because the cost leaving his wealth to follow Jesus seemed just too high for him to bear
Are you running towards Jesus now? Do you really want to follow him? Are you making conscious efforts to follow all the laws to the letter? Then you are on the right track already. That is good news. Let me sound a warning bell: the cost of discipleship is too high. It entails sacrificing some moments of pleasure to be involved deeply in things concerning God. It may require you to fast, to pray longer hours, to give up some of your wealth to the poor. It is a race already begun. We follow God because we have seen that his Wisdom is better than riches. We must complete this race no matter how challenging it seems to be.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
‘Save the Family’
The readings today insist on unity in marriage and family. In effect from creation, by instituting the sacrament of marriage, God willed that man and woman should be together and form a family. In our society where some marriages end up in divorce even on trivial matters, the Gospel becomes very pertinent. Jesus reiterates the fact that family is the fundamental unit of society because “A society built on a family scale is the best guarantee against drifting off course into individualism or collectivism, because within the family the person is always at the centre of attention as an end and never as a means” (Cf. Compendium, n° 213). To this effect, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18).
From the texts that narrate the creation of man (cf. Gen 1:26-28, 2:7-24) there emerges how — in God’s plan the couple constitutes “the first form of communion between persons”. Eve is created like Adam as the one who, in her otherness, completes him (cf. Gen 2:18) in order to form with him “one flesh” (Gen 2:24; cf. Mt 19:5-6). Then the Bible says, “For this reason a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and the two become one flesh”. It is so important that all the books in the world cannot contain a complete reflection on it. With so much confusion and outright distortion on the meaning of the family it is worth noting that the Christian family is a good moment to review the basics and importance of family.
In his post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family Familiaris Consortio Pope Saint John Paul II observes that in the modern world, the family has been beset by the many profound and rapid changes that have affected society and culture. While many families are living this situation in fidelity to those values that constitute the foundation of the institution of the family, others have become uncertain and bewildered over their role or even doubtful and almost unaware of the ultimate meaning and truth of conjugal and family life. However, we must value of Marriage and of the Family.
Our readings today make us understand that family and marriage are willed by God in the very act of creation, interiorly ordained to fulfilment in Christ and have need of His graces in order to be healed from the wounds of sin and restored to their “beginning”. On this note, we must protect and strife to save the family whenever there is a drive to drift it from its “beginning” as willed by God.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Homily for the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Humility in Following Christ
Despite his rebuking of Peter and teaching his disciples that he is to be handed over to those who will kill him, and after three days he will rise, the disciples do not understand what he is talking about. Their minds are completely elsewhere. Even as he predicts for the second time the betrayal and death await Him in Jerusalem, they continued to dream of sharing His glory when He declares Himself as the Messiah in the holy city. The question that bothers them in their discussion is which of them will have the highest place in the Kingdom. It even gives rise to a quarrel.
It is easy to laugh at them, but the laugh is on us. Called to follow Christ, we worry about tiny advantages and securities as if Christ never was. Jesus appeals to the disciples’ ambition: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Indeed Jesus often appeals to our low level of thinking to inspire us with the ambition of imitating him, who came “not to be served, but to serve” (Mk 10:45). By doing this, Jesus makes a great teaching on Humility.
When St. Bernard was asked what the four cardinal virtues were, he replied: “Humility, humility, humility and humility.” Humility is the most misunderstood virtue of our times. The humility is synonymous with weakness. Being humble doesn’t mean suppression of one’s personal attributes or abject self-depreciation. The humble person knows his/her places and takes it. The humble person if he/she is supposed to rule – rules; and when he/she is supposed to serve, serves. But even in his most triumphant moments, the humble person remembers that all he/she is and all that he/she has is from God.
Christ remains our best model for humility. In the Gospels Christ chose the most humble. He chose the sick over the healthy…the weak over the powerful…the poor over the rich. He didn’t select scribes and scholars for his apostles; he picked a fisherman and a tax collector, a doubter and a betrayer. He encountered a woman begging for scraps from God’s table, and he performed a miracle where every crumb was collected and saved. He drew to himself those who were broken and needed healing, from the blind and the crippled to the possessed and the spiritually lost.
Jesus often found more among those who, in the eyes of the world, seemed to be less. He also expects us to think in the same way and to be humble when following him.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of September 16, 2018, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
The cost of following Jesus
Most of us follow Jesus without even knowing who he is. Jesus therefore reveals himself to us today. There is a movement from a more general question ‘Who do people say I am?’ to something more particular: ‘But you,’ he asked ‘who do you say I am?’ To this question the disciples through the intervention of Peter recognised Jesus as THE CHRIST! Unfortunately they had a dream of a Messiah who would restore the kingdom of David by military might, casting out the Roman oppressors. Jesus however brings them to understand the Messiah as a suffering Son of Man who would be rejected and killed and then rise.
Following of Jesus Christ is serious business. We may have proclaimed a message of faith like Peter who recognises that Jesus is the Christ. When Jesus says he is going to suffer and be killed and then rise from the dead, Peter says NOW WAY! Following Christ then is not just a matter of knowing the beliefs of the faith. Christ is calling us to more than this. He is calling us to be completely sold on His Kingdom. He is calling us to put Him before everything else in the world. That means being mocked because we take our faith seriously. That means being hurt because we refuse to join a crowd that is more pagan than Christian. That means being spat on, and hit in the face, and even dying for the sake of Jesus Christ.
There are people in your neighborhood, at your work, in your schools, who mock you for your beliefs. There are people who boast that they are good, but who are furious with you when you say that you are not going to get drunk, take drugs or do that which belongs only within the commitment of marriage.
Following Jesus is always going to have a cost to it. That is because good is always going to be opposed by evil. To make matters worse, evil may appear to be the norm, the manner of living of a majority. It is just the minority who do that which is wrong but who try to convince others that their actions are what everybody is doing. Still, the vocal minority can wear on us. That coupled with our constant need to control ourselves, can lead us away from truth in the black hole of sin.
It takes courage to be a Christian, a real Christian. It takes courage to be a Catholic, a true Catholic, one who is not going to compromise on the Truth that is Jesus Christ. It takes courage to sell out for the Lord. It takes courage to live the Lord’s words in today’s gospel” “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” If we are not ready to embrace suffering, which Christ are we following? But He did promise us this: if we follow Him, He would be with us, supporting us, caring for us, and winning the final battle over evil for us.
Father Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of September 9, 2018, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Ephphatha, Be Opened
In today’s Gospel, Christ’s healing touch restores sound and speech enabling a man to hear and to speak plainly. In our Gospel, there is a very important and wonderful word used. The wonderful word here to the deaf man was of course the Aramaic “Ephphatha” or “Be opened”. Biblical experts tell us that this was the only word Jesus spoke in this Gospel. In its deepest meaning it sums up the whole message and the whole work of Christ. The Evangelist Mark writes it in the same language that Jesus pronounced it in, so that it is even more alive to us.
Because humanity is inwardly deaf and mute as a result of sin, God became man in the person of Christ so that we “become able to hear the voice of God, the voice of love speaking to our heart, and learn to speak in the language of love.” (Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican Radio, September 9, 2012)
We should make Ephphatha part of our own vocabulary whenever we run into situations where people are uptight. Specifically, we should say “Ephphatha” to the old who are closed to creativity and change, to all who have lost their sense of humor and turned sour and cynical, to co-workers so that they stay open to challenges and surprises, to ourselves so that we live with eyes open to God’s wonders, ears open to God’s wisdom, arms and hands open to hug and help and heal.
We should use Ephphatha in our houses, in our business places and wherever we go. The world proposes so many things for us to listen. When we listen to the trash all around us, we deafen our ear. Jesus is speaking every day to us. He wants us to open our heart. We must bear it in our minds that according to Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. We must be able to respond like Samuel: “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening!” (cf. 1Samuel 3).
From healing this man, we learn that Jesus is very attentive to the needs of those around Him. He meets them and heals them. He does many wonder works but avoids public display or being praised. The ecclesial community ought to do the same. We are ambassadors of goodness, of mercy, of fraternity, of Christ’s affection; but we should never seek praise or recognition in the things we do. Such things, besides being unimportant, are a nuisance to our call; the call to follow Christ, to preach the good news of Jesus, to proclaim the values of the Kingdom, to work towards the construction of a more just world; that is what matters. Jesus’ attitude is a direct contrast to the practice of healing seen in our today’s healing miracles all advertised on TV Screens.
Christ is there to heal us! Ephphatha! Be Opened!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of September 2, 2018, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Trip to the Confessional
With the Cholera and Ebola Virus which raked so many in the African Continent we hear of the importance of disinfectants. Hand sanitizers have gained a lot of economic publicity nowadays. One may PRAISE the Pharisees and Scribes who observed the disciples of Jesus eating without purifying themselves. Every society and its peoples are defined by certain traditions. Traditions, taken broadly constitute the assemblage of all that constitute their worldview and values-religion, laws and customs. All societies demand the strict respect of their respective traditions. It is against this backdrop that we understand the question presented to Jesus today on why his apostles do not follow the Jewish ritual laws: they eat without washing their hands. Jesus uses the occasion to teach that authentic faith should not be replaced by external rituals.
Jesus insists on the fact that the law of charity rules and directs all other commands. The law of love is to will the good of the other. This includes willing our own good by not doing evil. The law of love wants to reform our heart or interior dispositions and gives us the grace or power to do so. On our part, it requires our cooperation and effort. This calls for some soul searching. What is the state of my interior dispositions, from which arise all sin.  
This Gospel reading says to us that we must not identify our religion or being religious with just performing external acts like: going to church on Sundays and attend Mass, saying prayers, reading the Bible or giving to charity because these do not guarantee us holiness. What is the most important is the love in our hearts that motivates us to what do what we do. We go to Mass and we pray to God because we love Him so much. We give charity to those in need because we love them. If our hearts is filled with bitterness and pride, then all these external acts won’t make us holy before God and enter His Kingdom.
Jesus further touches SIN which flows from the interior of our hearts. He mentions them and insist that they affect our society. Some priests are considered village idiots for preaching about sin. It is no longer fashionable to refer to such unenlightened concepts. But, as Pope John Paul II says, “It is not we who have written the Gospel.” Pope Pius XII said, “The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.” Pope John Paul II preached, “Secularism preaches there is no God and therefore no sin. Psychology advises us to resist our feelings of guilt. Sociology instructs us to lay all blame on society and think of ourselves as victims…  Theological cliques jump on the bandwagon and define sin away.”
Clearly the Teacher looked upon sin not only as a social evil but also a personal decision. Christ, someone has put it succinctly, gives the sinner but two options – either to be forgiven or be punished. Jesus challenges each of us to look right into our hearts. God knows very well what is hidden in our hearts. We may do a lot of external purifications but the heart is far from God. We must make a trip to the confessional!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of August 19, 2018, 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Jesus the Bread of Life
 
In the First Reading, we are provided with a tender image of God. God, the Divine Wisdom is like a woman serving a meal of rich food and choice of drink that offers understanding to those tempted by foolishness. We must be humble enough in order to understand that when God feeds us we are great. However, it is foolishness not to accept God to feed us because. God’s feeding gives life. 
Children need to eat, and they need to eat well. We are the children of God. We need to take the food our Heavenly Father provides so we can grow. Wisdom has set the banquet and calls to us: “Come, eat my food and drink my wine.” Ephesian also call for wise living in the face of evil times. In effect both the first and the second readings lead us to Jesus, the embodiment of God’s wisdom who gives us the bread of life. On this note, this is the fourth of five Sundays devoted to the Sixth Chapter of John, the discourse on the Bread of Life. 
Our Gospel reading gets right to the heart of its Eucharistic message: Jesus says, “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you will not have life within you.”
God gives us good food. Good food is a pre-condition of the physical body to be alive and healthy. Scientists tell us the various and marvelous ways in which our bodies are nourished by the foods that we eat. Christ’s discourse on the gospel text of today points to the fact that we equally guarantee the purity of our souls and its’ consequent destiny by spiritual nourishment. It is Jesus’ own body and blood that guarantee our eternal life. Through material substances, specifically, under the species of bread and wine, the believer participates in a heavenly reality and enters into communion with the risen Christ. The church defines a sacrament as something material that symbolizes and brings about a spiritual reality.
In the Super of the Lord, the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, we really receive the body and blood of Christ. The risen Christ becomes for us then, the food of eternal life.  We must be wise enough to understand this truth about the Eucharist. In effect the Spirit of Wisdom, gift of the Father and the Son, leads us to forsake foolishness and to enter more deeply into understanding the will of God for us and for our world. Jesus sets the table for us, calling us to come and eat, to enter into deeper communion with him. May we eat well so that we can have the strength to do the work of the Kingdom.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday 12 august 2018, 19th Sunday in Ordinary time YEAR B
From Physical Bread to the Word of God
In the Old Testament, God nourishes his people in the desert. He also intervenes to nourish his prophet and to give him strength for the journey he has to make. Elijah’s life vividly reveals a caring God, a God who feeds his people. When Elijah was to travel long distances at the time of famine God sent ravens to feed him and he drank from the brook.
This special attention of God for the hunger of men foreshadowed the bread of life which was to fill their hunger of living eternally. The true bread descended from heaven for this purpose is Jesus himself, sent by the Father to give eternal life to those who eat it. It is communion with and to life of God. As Christians, and more so, Catholics, we have the privilege of partaking in the Most Holy Eucharist on a daily basis. This daily participation of the bread of life prepares us for the heavenly banquet.
The language of the gospel is very graphic. Jesus speaks of himself as the bread that comes down from heaven and calls on us to eat this bread. When we hear that kind of language we probably think instinctively of the Eucharist. Yet, it might be better not to jump to the Eucharist too quickly. The Lord invites us come to him and to feed on his presence, and in particular to feed on his word.
In the Jewish Scriptures bread is often a symbol of the word of God. We may be familiar with the quotation from the Jewish Scriptures, ‘we do not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ We need physical bread, but we also need the spiritual bread of God’s word. We come to Jesus to be nourished by his word. The Father draws us to his Son to be fed by his word. The food of his word will sustain us on our journey through life. When we keep coming to Jesus and feeding on his word, that word will shape our lives.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is talking about our becoming more alive, more humanly alive.  He sees it happening by our coming to him, our believing him. Faith as we are told comes by hearing. Today he used the metaphor of himself as bread – as the bread come down from heaven, as the bread of life, as the bread that ensures our living, beyond death, forever. Coming to Jesus and hearing his word incites believe in our hearts. In effect we must move from eating physical bread to eating the Word of God. Jesus himself said: Man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (cf. Mathew 4:4)

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday 05 August 2018, 18th Sunday in Ordinary time YEAR B
WANT BREAD OR BREAD OF LIFE?

From last Sunday we began five weeks of Gospels from the sixth chapter of John talking about the theology of the Holy Eucharist. Last Sunday we heard about the multiplication of loaves.  In today’s Gospel the people who had been fed search for Jesus.  What did they want? Free Food or Jesus the Bread of life? They really don’t want Him.  They want free food. 
Jesus uses this as an opportunity to speak about the food that really matters, the Bread of Life that God provides.  He tells them about a gift of food that they knew very well, the manna in the desert during the time of Moses.  This was seen as the greatest gift of God.  It was His daily testimony of His love and care for His People until they arrived at the Holy Place He would give them.  Jesus mentions that they ate the manna, but they were still hungry.  Jesus would provide food that would not leave them hungry, the Bread of Life.
By doing this, Jesus invites them to make a step further: to be rather passionate of this food which lasts eternally. He invites them to be passionate of that food which is given to us by grace, and by the heavenly Father only. This food is not similar to that which Israel ate in the desert as manna: it is the living bread descended from heaven to give life to the world. Jesus is the person who received grace from God to bring life to the world. The eternal food as the body of Christ draws us closer to him, the only way by which eternal life can be guaranteed to us.
So we come before the Lord this and every Sunday, or perhaps for some of us, every day, and we say to the Lord, “Feed me.”  But do we really want to be fed?  The food that God gives demands a total commitment to Him.  It is called the Bread of Life.  We often, rightly so focus on the “bread” part as we discuss the Eucharist.  It is the “life” part I want us to consider. Jesus is life and he gives life.
The Second Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of Learning Christ or Learning from Christ. We are invited to open our hearts and minds to learn not only the truth about Jesus as One sent by the Father to bring new life, but also to learn the truth that is Jesus who says to us: I am the way, the truth and the life (cf. John 14:6).
At the end of today’s passage, Jesus said: Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Entrusting ourselves to Jesus enables us to get in touch with our deepest hunger, our deepest thirst, our deepest heart desires. Once in touch with them, we begin to see the sheer superficiality, the emptiness, of so much that drives people. In effect, Jesus is Bread that nourishes our physical hunger, but above all HE IS THE BREAD OF LIFE.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of July 15 2018, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time:
The Missionary in the Face of Rejection
In our last Sunday’s gospel we meditated upon the rejection of Jesus by His own townspeople. The first reading of today presents us with the actual rejection of Prophet Amos in these terms ‘Go away, seer’…. The Prophet does not allow this violent refusal of himself to frighten him. He does not suspend his mission because the closed minds of his persecutors cannot block him. He courageously insisted: “‘I was a shepherd, and looked after sycamores: but it was the Lord who took me from herding the flock, and the Lord who said, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”’ Am 7:15
Despite all the rejection Jesus had as portrayed in last the Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 6:6-1) he continues his mission and from among His followers, chooses the Twelve, His band of intimate friends. The Twelve together with the other disciples are Jesus’ true family and community.
The Gospel reading today reading reminds us that Mission is at the heart of the Church. After Jesus chose his disciples, he taught them who he is and what they needed to know. After they had gotten a basic understanding and consciousness of his Mission, he sent them out, giving them authority to preach, heal and act in his name. 
The disciples are sent out into the world to liberate man long held captive by the devil. They would have to preach, cast out demons and heal the sick. They were vulnerable and, like the prophet Amos in our first reading, their message of repentance was their only real resource. If the people showed them hospitality it would mean that they were also receptive to Jesus’ message. If they were rejected, so was Jesus’ message and they had to leave, shaking the dust from their sandals to symbolise their departure from a place where God’s Word was not welcome and provide a clear sign for all to see and understand. Jesus did not let opposition and other setbacks discourage him and neither should we. That is the challenge of today’s gospel.
By virtue of their baptism and confirmation, every Christian is commissioned to a ministry of love and justice We are called today to a serious examination of conscience on the contribution we are making to advance the spread of the Gospel and in preaching salvation from Christ. Let us be bearers of the Gospel, for that is more honour to us than the advantages of being a follower of Christ.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of July 22, 2018, 16th Sunday in ordinary time :

We are all Missionaries

The word Mission was used in the 1590s to denote the sending abroad of Jesuits. Hence the latin word missionem from the nominative mission means the act of sending, dispatching, discharge for service. Missio is also a noun of action from past participle stem of mittere “to send”. Our Church right from its inception is a Missionary Church and the word Mission Characterises us. We are all Missionaries. This is not confined to those who join a missionary religious orders. In fact, with our baptism, we are all called to be missionary, to help bring about the Kingdom of God on earth through the circumstances of our own lives.
Pope Francis insists that Mission is a passion for Jesus and at the same time a passion for his people. Also in his message for the 2015 World day of Mission he insists that mission is part of the “grammar” of faith, something essential for those who listen to the voice of the Spirit who whispers “Come” and “Go forth”. Those who follow Christ cannot fail to be missionaries, for they know that Jesus “walks with them, speaks to them, breathes with them. They sense Jesus alive with them in the midst of the missionary enterprise” (quoted from Evangelii Gaudium, 266).
We are all Missionaries. Your mandate remains the same with The Twelve; to evangelize the people and make things better for them, but through various approaches; as medical doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, labourers, priests, etc. We may spread the Gospel through Parish ministries, including teaching children the faith as a catechist, being a Lector at Mass, getting involved in social justice initiatives, or helping people to understand the faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Simply living in the spirit of Jesus Christ is a powerful witness to those around us and marks us out as a missionary in the modern world.
The Gospel tells us about the mission of the twelve. They completed the prescribed work and Jesus gave them a vacation time. Jesus presents himself here as the Good Shepherd who knows his sheep and is attentive to their needs. The rest that Jesus gives them shows us that there is a time for work and another to relax. We see also the pastoral care of Jesus who agrees to stop the rest to take care of the crowd. The disciple must be available to share the Word.
Refusing mission is tantamount to allowing the sheep without a shepherd. But we cannot continue riding the willing horse to death. There is no course for laziness, we are all Missionaries and we are all called to evangelise at all moments. Resting time and prayer time are like stopping our cars to put fuel and to service it. This gives us more strength to embark on the never ending work of evangelization.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday, July 08 2018, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Theme: Over Familiarity

In our world today many people call themselves prophets. Though they lack the proper spiritual preparation for such a daunting ministry, they prowl around deceiving God’s people. Some even go to the extent of calling themselves “fortune-teller” prophets because they predict the future. In today’s first reading, however, Ezekiel gives a kind of mission statement and litmus test for all prophets. From the Hebrew standpoint, prophets are simply God-inspired humans who give good and bad messages to God’s people. We know they are inspired because Ezekiel explains it this way, “The spirit came into me and made me stand up, and I heard the Lord speaking to me”.

We can therefore deduce that prophets are receptacles for the Holy Spirit. They do not preach from their own minds and imaginations, but directly from God. These messages are neither intellectually seasoned, nor do they have hidden agendas.

From the statement, “Son of man, I am sending you…” we learn that prophets are sent. They are not just given a message and told to keep quiet. They are sent to pass on messages to very challenging groups as epitomised in the story of Moses sent to liberate the Israelites from Egypt amid Pharaoh’s great persecutions. Jonah was also sent on a difficult mission to Nineveh to non-believers and foreign conquerors.

In most cases, they are persecuted, insulted and even rejected. This is why in his Second Letter to the Corinthians St. Paul says he is content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints for Christ’s sake. St. Paul sees that it is often in human weakness that we can be the strongest in our spiritual lives. Whether prophets are listened to or not, whether they are persecuted or not, God assures them that “this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them”.

At the Beginning of His public ministry, Jesus made it clear to His listeners that he was a receptacle of the Holy Spirit and that He had been sent (cf. Luke 4:18). Like other prophets, from the beginning of His ministry Jesus encountered opposition to His preaching and activities. Like the Old Testament prophets, Jesus communicated and revealed God’s message to the people; a message which was often unpopular and rejected, not only by the elite and religious leaders who had their interests to protect, but also by ordinary people, even, as seen in today’s gospel, Jesus’ own family members.

Jesus’s family members found it difficult to accept His popularity in Galilee in so short a time. So they therefore rejected Him altogether. The few who knew Him were too used to His family to believe in Him. Today’s text is also a challenge to our faith. Is it not possible that after many years in the church we have lost reverence for God? What is your personal experience? Has your familiarity with God or the things of God become a barrier in recognising His divinity? Be careful!

By Rev. Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh Basebang, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Sunday, July 01, 2018, 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Theme: “Your faith has saved you.”

Jesus manifests His saving power in two inter-knotted miracles. Physical healing brings to mind our salvation as He says, “Your faith has saved you.” According to Leviticus 15:19 a woman was considered unclean and would also make unclean all those who touched her. She was therefore prohibited from mingling with others. Her faith, however, drove her to break the Law of “Purification” and risk a scandal. She heard these consoling words, “Your faith has saved you”.

We can ask a very philosophical cum theological question today. Who is responsible for a miracle? Does it come from the faith of the one who asks or from Christ who works the miracle? Or better still, with our news media filled with “Miracle Workers”, who is the author of miracles, the one asking or the self-acclaimed miracle worker of Christ? If a miracle depends solely on a person’s faith or that of the self-acclaimed miracle worker, then what is the difference between the faithful who asks God for a cure and the one who goes to any soothsayer or “Ngambe” healer? God is the Sole master of every situation. The collaboration He expects of us is to live our faith.

The people coming to Jesus were, of course, far from recognising Him as the Son of God, but they were convinced that God would give them some blessing through this prophet and holy man. Their faith prepared them to receive bodily and spiritual healing. How can God heal those who refuse hope? Jesus’ power stood out. He was conscious that healing power had gone out from him. “Your faith has saved you’” This can also be translated as your faith has made you well. In fact, that woman risked all and finally saw how much God loved her.

The same is true for the second miracle about the raising from the dead of the little girl in Jarius’ house. Jesus tells Jairius not to be afraid but to only believe. But how much faith does a man need not to give up even when he knows his daughter is already dead! But Jesus tells us today, “believe only”, as He has power even over death. Our faith is in Jesus Christ, who is true God and true Man (CCC 423). Born of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ is “the eternal Son of God made man.” “From His fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” (Jn 1:16) (CCC 423).

“Your faith has saved you.” Lord I have faith, Save me!

Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Birthday of John the Baptist

Homily of Sunday 24 June 2018 : Birthday of John the Baptist
Imitating John the Baptists virtues: humility courage and faithfulness

Today, the Church commemorates the birthday of John the Baptist. His birth marks a marks a turning point in the history of salvation. He is considered the last of the Old Testament prophets and the beginning of the New Testament prophets.
John the Baptist was the popular forerunner of Jesus. He acts as the precursor – the one that came to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. His birth brings joy not only to the family and the Jewish nation in particular but to the entire humanity. The name he is given is John and not Zechariah because his role transcends familial history and traditions. Every Christian like John the Baptist has a vocation to be a harbinger of the Good News.
On the day of his birth people wondered: ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ they wondered. The Gospel of today tells us that the hand of the Lord was with him. He grew up and his spirit matured. He became one of the most courageous and faithful prophets to ever exist. The personality of John the Baptist looms very large in the Gospel narratives. Apart from preparing the way of the Lord (Lk 1:76), he is the voice that preaches repentance in the wilderness (Mt 3:1-12); He had the privilege of baptizing Jesus (Mt 3:13-17); he came with the spirit of Elijah (Mt 17:13), etc. His courage will lead him into a fiery condemnation of Herod’s immoral acts which will eventually cost him his freedom and his life. That is the ultimate price to pay for being a preacher of the Gospel, a Christian.
He remained faithful to his calling even to offering his life and giving his head in a little girl’s plate. It must mean that the fidelity that God promises his prophets may be for eternity and not prevention from physical harm or death. We are called today to free ourselves from our morbid fear of death, which often paralyses us from speaking and acting prophetically.
One thing to learn from John the Baptist is his humility. He would always reiterate his lowly position in the face of Jesus. John is only a messenger sent to prepare the way of the Lord. He uses the metaphor of the bridegroom and his attendants to depict his relationship with Jesus. The bridegroom’s attendant is happy just by hearing the voice of the bridegroom. As the one that comes from heaven, Jesus has the full authority of God. And anyone who believes in his words will have entry into the kingdom of God. But there are some questions for reflection. Can one compare the humility of John with that of any modern day “man of God?” Can there be a combination of power and humility again among us? Is any of the so-called modern day miracle workers ready to accept the authority of the other? Can such people claim to be messengers of the same God as John the Baptist? As we aspire to be Children of God we must emulate the qualities of John the Baptist by being humble, courageous and faithful.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of Sunday 17 June 2018, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B
Being the soil ready to receive the seed.
A seed in biological term is a plant’s or animal’s unit of reproduction, capable of developing into another such plant or animal. It biblical parlance, it applies to a person’s offspring or descendants. We understand why the prophecy goes that a seed shall shoot from the stock of Jesse……Jesus Christ is interpreted as the seed of David. In another understanding a seed is the cause or latent beginning of a feeling, process, or condition. There are many other definitions of a seed. Jesus hinges today on the biological understanding to talk about the kingdom of God. In most cases we know that the seen is often smaller than the resultant plant or tree. One wonders if such small seed could give rise to such a large plant.
Scientists today have sought to produce improved seeds that could also improve production. They have developed many strategies too of improving not only the seed but also the soil that receives the seed. The gardener or the farmer caters for the seed so that it produces good results.
The main question in today’s Gospel is this: What can we say the kingdom of God is like? We may be tempted to see and compare this kingdom to one of the most successful and affluent “world powers”. Jesus however takes us back to something very small which has the capacity of growing into bigger things. He compares the kingdom to a see. He even goes far as to compare it with the smallest of the seed, the mustard seed.
The seed of the kingdom has already been prepared by God. It is good seed. It is the best seed. It only needs the soil that is ready to receive the seed. If the kingdom of God is to be planted, then it is planted in us. How do we improve and cater for this soil so that it can receive the best of the seed that can ever exist. The fruits we bear will be tantamount to how we, as the soils have made ourselves ready to receive the seed.
God has wants his kingdom in us to grow into the biggest shrub and biggest branches so that birds of the air can find shelter in its shade. The poor, homeless, sick, marginalized, etc around us are in need of our shelter. We must not think we are too small to do this task. Who will do it if you don’t? At our baptism God sowed this seed of the kingdom into us. We must be the good soil in which the seed of the kingdom will grow.
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homilly for the 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of Sunday 10 June 2018, 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B:
Jesus the contradiction
In the Gospel, we see Jesus on the one hand being accused of being out of his mind and on the other hand he is accused of being possessed by the chief of demons known as Beelzebub. Jesus for so many people is a sign of Contradiction. For example, in our world people are used to revenge, violence, wickedness, Jesus however uses passages which we do not normally want to hear like : “turn the other cheek” or “love your enemies”. In today’s world, power and riches determine our respect and consideration for people; people are more comfortable following those with power and influence rather than the meek and humble. It is in this world that Jesus teaches: Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, Blessed are the meek and humble. In such a context it is easy for people to say, he is out of his mind.
While we are used to hearing and using the expression, Blood is thicker than water, Jesus tells us today that the waters of baptism are thicker than the blood of family. He constitutes a new family not based only on biological affinities but on being children of God.
Jesus lived in a context where charlatans used magical powers to perform miracles. We now understand why the Jews and authorities of his day thought he was possessed by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. In Today’s Gospel the authenticity of the power of Jesus is being questioned. With the new style of ministry brought by Jesus, we see that he is clearly on his way to a head-on collision with the religious establishment who were the the gatekeepers for orthodox Jewish faith and practice.
The same contradictions which some people see in Jesus can be applied to those of us who are his followers. I can imagine the people who want to always do good and keep on having nicknames attached. In some contexts bribery and corruption are the order of the day. In so far as you are giving and receiving bribe, you are considered a “normal” person. The moment you decide to be honest and avoid corruption people start asking you: are you normal? Are you out of your mind? Many will not understand why you should be going to church so often, keeping your prayer moment. They will ask you : are you the new Virgin Mary we have? Etc.
The Gospel of today teaches us that we should be attached to Jesus and learn from him. The Beelzebub today is found in each and everyone of us. In some cases due to intellectualism, we dismiss any divine intervention in our lives seeing it as mere coincidence. In other cases, we discourage and mock at those who want to be attached to Christ. We cannot be for him and be against him. If we are far from him, then we are in a divided kingdom. If we are with him, then we are one with him. Let us not be afraid of doing good even if many around us are doing the wrong thing.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Corpus Christi

Homily for Corpus Christi: God Feeds His People
The Bible gives us many episodes of God feeding His people. In fact, the word food appears more times in the Bible than the word prayer. When God feeds us we have strength. When the Devil feeds us we are ruined. In the Garden of Eden, our first parents preferred the food offered by Satan and were condemned. Jesus, however, gave us the food of our redemption at the Last Supper. The Eucharist however, is not only based on the “Last Supper” that Jesus had with his disciples, but is also influenced by a long history of special meals celebrated by ancient Jews and early Christians, both before, during, and after Jesus’ lifetime. When God asks for the release of the Israelites from Egypt, it is to go and celebrate the Passover. On this note the Israelites shared the Passover meal before leaving Egypt (Ex12:1-28). This constituted their spiritual and physical strength on the journey. They were to celebrate this Passover meals annually, as recorded in Exodus 12:43-51; Leviticus 23:4-14; Numbers 9:1-14; 28:16-25; Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

When they were hungry, they complained to God and he fed them in the desert with manna, quails and water. This gave them strength during the 40 years they spent in the desert. “The Israelites ate this manna for forty years, until they came to the settled land; they ate manna until they reached the borders of Canaan” (Ex 16: 35). The lives of King David and the Prophet Elijah tell us even more: When David was hungry; he ate consecrated bread with his men before continuing his expeditions. This instance gives us a hint on the spiritual preparation prior to partaking in the Eucharist: So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from the LORD’S presence and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away” (cf. 1 Sam 21: 4-7).

Elijah’s life vividly reveals a caring God, a God who feeds his people. When Elijah was to travel long distances at the time of famine God sent ravens to feed him and he drank from the brook (1 Kg 17:2-7). When the brook dried, God made a widow at Zarephat to feed him (cf. 1 Kg 17:8-16). Even when he escaped from the wrath of Jezebel, God sent ravens to feed him and this gave him the strength to travel for 40 days for his encounter with God: He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food; he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb” (1 Kg 19:2-8).

In the New Testament, God’s caring character comes alive in Jesus Christ. Jesus fed his disciples and a great multitude. He was even accused of being a glutton. He fed the 5000 in Galilee (Mark 6:30-44; Matt 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). He also fed another crowd of 4000 people (Mark 8:1-10; Matt 15:32-39). All this was done with physical bread. From the episode of the feeding of the 5000 people in the Gospel of John chapter 6, a great Eucharistic theology is developed in which Jesus says that His Flesh is real food and His Blood is real drink. Put otherwise, we find in those episodes interpretations of the formal institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper. Jesus left us a memorial of his life, death and resurrection. He ate the Last Supper with his disciples (Mark 14:12-27; Matt 26:17-30; Luke 22:7-39; cf. 1 Cor 11:23-25). He ordered his disciples at the Last Supper to break bread in memory of him.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus we strongly believe in Transubstantiation. This is the point at which the bread and wine cease to be bread and wine, but are changed in substance into the body and blood of Jesus. We know and believe in the real presence of Jesus in the consecrated bread for he did not mince words. From food, the Eucharist has become an element of Adoration. Because we adore Jesus and since we believe He is present in His body, soul and divinity in the Eucharist, then adoring the Eucharist means adoring Jesus.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Pentecost Homily

Homily of Father Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf

Homily for Pentecost Sunday
Outpouring of the Holy Spirit
We retain from our creed that the Holy Spirit is GOD. There are different names of the Holy Spirit? “The Holy Spirit” is the proper name of the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Jesus also called him the Paraclete (Consoler or Advocate) and the Spirit of Truth. The New Testament also refers to him as the Spirit of Christ, of the Lord, of God – the Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of the Promise. He is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.  He is the helper sent by Jesus to teach us everything (Cf. Compendium number 138). Already, in the compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church number 47, we are made to understand that The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. He is God, one and equal with the Father and the Son. He “proceeds from the Father” (John 15:26) who is the principle without a principle and the origin of all trinitarian life. He proceeds also from the Son (Filioque) by the eternal Gift which the Father makes of him to the Son. Sent by the Father and the Incarnate Son, the Holy Spirit guides the Church “to know all truth” (John 16:13).
The Holy Spirit has always existed right from the beginning, from the time of creation all through the history of the Israelites. But what happened in the Acts of the Apostle can be termed the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT or an abundance of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring renewed the face of the Earth. They were gathered in Jerusalem on that day, according to what is written in the Acts of the Apostles: “devout Jews of every nation under heaven” (Acts 2: 5). Here is made manifest the characteristic gift of the Holy Spirit: all understood the words of the Apostles: “each one heard these men speaking his own language” (Acts 2: 6). 
The Holy Spirit gives understanding: Overcoming the “breach” begun in Babel – the confusion of hearts, putting us one against the other – the Spirit opens borders. The People of God who found its first configuration on Mt Sinai, now becomes enlarged to the point of recognizing no limitations. The new People of God, the Church, is a people that derives from all peoples. The Church is catholic from her beginning and this is her deepest essence. This is all due to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 
At Pentecost the church celebrates that day when the earth witnessed the powerful outpouring of the spirit of God. Today the spirit of God seizes men and women and allows them achieve more than what they are naturally capable of. The Spirit is descended on the disciples who lived in the fear of the Jews from Christ himself. The spirit transformed them into untiring missionaries. The gospel of Christ has impregnated the world since the coming of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is driven by the strength of the Spirit, which is like an engine of change. The Spirit continues to blow in our world today. He is bringing conversion, healing, and multiple spectra of miracles. Have you experienced the presence and the power of God’s spirit?

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 7th Sunday of Easter, Year B

Homily of the 7th Sunday of Easter B, 13th May 2018
Consecrated to love and unity
This time between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday is kind of a mini-Advent for the Church, it is a time of waiting for God the Holy Spirit to come to us in a more powerful way. It is a time we must consecrate ourselves to the truth and to the love of our brothers and sisters. It is a time of intense prayer and waiting for the Holy Spirit to be born in a deeper way in our hearts…. Christ is seen today therefore at prayer.
Our Gospel today presents us with the priestly prayer of Jesus. The passage presented ends with Jesus praying for the consecration of his disciples (Jn 17:19): Consecrate them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, and for their sake I consecrate myself so that they too may be consecrated in truth.’ Consecration is the rite by which a person or a thing is made to belong completely to God. Mathias today in the First reading who was witness to the resurrection was chosen to take over the ministry and the apostolate which Judas abandoned. He was made to belong completely to God by his being officially listed as one of the twelve apostles. Through our Baptism, we belong completely to God, we are terribly consecrated. We must show this consecration through the love and unity we portray towards our brothers and sisters.
In the second reading of today, John invites us to love. John puts emphasis on the inseparability of love of God and love of neighbour: For us Christians, love is q debt. We are condemned to love for several reasons. God so much loved us until he gave us his son to die for our salvation. God’s love remains the model and reason for us to love abundantly too. To love God first and then our neighbour. God is called love and when we love he dwells in us just as Christ and the Father dwell in one another in a communion of love. Love is the substance of this new brotherhood that emerged from the teaching and life of Christ. In these last days of his on earth, Jesus seems to suspect that after him his disciples will be divided and therefore he requests the father to keep them united and faithful to his name. It is the love of one another that forms the cement of this unity.
Jesus, who this past Thursday Ascended into Heaven, is coming soon back to us. On Pentecost Sunday He will come into the hearts of the disciples in the Upper Room, bringing them “His reward”, the Holy Spirit, with Him. The Spirit will consecrate us to Love God and to Love our neighbours. The Spirit will fill us with gifts that will enable us to live always united.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 6th Sunday in Easter, Year B

Homily of the 6th Sunday of Easter B, 06th May 2018
The command to love through the power of the Holy Spirit
God’s love knows no bounds! It cannot be reduced to a particular race, tribe, people or nation. In effect “God does not have favourites, but…anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him”. To concretise these words of Peter, God through the Holy Spirit descended on all the listeners. This entails he Holy Spirit is at work in the life of men and even beyond the borders of the Church. Saint Peter being convinced of this truth engages the Church in dialogue with a pagan family, that of the centurion of the Roman Army. God is love; he does not make distinctions among his Children. Knowing that he loves us freely, we must love one another equally without any condition; in other words, our love must extend to our enemies. To love is to remain faithful to the commands of the father by achieving the mission of Christ.
To love is not just a simple choice, it is a “command”. Jesus is quite specific: This is my commandment, that you love one another. Here He is not talking in generalities. The idea behind the word “command” is more precisely a firm insistence. Jesus wants us to focus on the deepest truth of himself, without which we are in fairyland. An epistle of John makes precisely this point in relation to God: Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. As with God, so with Jesus. The word “command” can at first sight seem so unsatisfactory, it may be hard to find a better word.
Genuine love for Jesus will make us ready and willing to deny ourselves and undertake any difficult mission or task with joy; we are even ready to lose our reputation, risk our lives and die for his cause as the martyrs and the saints have done. Without obedience our love is pretension and without love obedience is mere slavery. Without the Holy Spirit it would be impossible to continue in love and obedience to the truth in a world that is under the power of the father of lies. Therefore the lord promises to send us the supernatural counsellor, the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit to teach us the truth.
Jesus” love is so intense for us that he will not leave us as orphans. The Holy Spirit will continue teaching and guiding us in the way of love. Jesus lays down his live for us so that we can be able to do the same to our brothers and sisters who need us. The challenge is to live lovingly. Where do we begin? In the gospel passage, Jesus invites us to abide in his love, that is, to spend time with him, to hang around, to soak in his love, to bathe in it – and to let his love transform us: helping us to see, and to energise and empower us to change, to grow and to love maturely – as friends. Let us ask God for the grace to become aware of the presence of the Holy Ghost in our lives and to be open to his guidance so that our life can become meaningful and joyful, full of love to our neighbours without distinction.

Jude Thaddeus Langeh
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B

Homily of the 5th Sunday of Easter, 29th April 2018
Bearing fruit
The liturgy today stresses on the importance of bearing fruit. Jesus compares us to branches on a vine. He calls himself the vine – and us the branches. As part of the vine, we are truly alive and we produce good fruit – we do good things – but when we become separated from Jesus – we begin to wither and can’t really do anything good at all – and if we go on too long like this – we will die. But if we turn back to Jesus in time – and become reattached – and allow his love to flow through us as sap flows the vine and its branches – then we will live and produce the beautiful fruit of good works and praise unto God’s name. The Gospel goes on to speak about bearing fruit. If the branch is united to the vine, it bears much fruit. If the branch is not united to the vine, the branch will wither and die and there will be no fruit.
In our first reading (Acts 9:26-31), Barnabas also bears fruit and shows a Christian love that is not just words or mere talk but something real and active when the Church in Jerusalem doubted the genuineness of Paul’s conversion and Barnabas introduced Paul to them assuring them of his conversion. (Some years later (Acts 11:25-26) Barnabas would again introduce Paul to the Church, this time in Antioch from where Paul would begin his preaching journeys. We all know what a difference Paul made to the Church. And it was Barnabas who prepared the way for Paul.) So what a difference it makes to the whole Church when we bear fruit and love with a Christian love that is real and active and not just words or mere talk.
Jesus is the center of our lives holding us together. Jesus asks us to make our home in him so that we can bear fruit. Are we bearing fruit for the kingdom of God? Is our Christian love real and active or just words and mere talk?
God calls us to make His message real in the world. He calls us to be witnesses of the Resurrection.  He calls us to bring His Love to the world.  He is not calling us just to be in His presence.  He is calling us to transform the world with His Presence.  Husbands and wives, parents and children, neighbours and friends, priests and laity, all are called to live the Life that matters so completely that others are attracted to that Life.  The Life of Christ is a magnet.  When people experience this Life in others they want it for themselves.  These people, those who turn to God, are fruit.  Our union with God draws them to Him.  They are the fruit we have been called to bear. We must bear fruits in our homes, in our schools, in our Small Christian Communities.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

Homily of the 4th Sunday of Easter, 22nd April 2018
The Good Shepherd
The fourth Sunday of Easter focuses on John 10: the Gospel of the Good Shepherd. This image is one of the most primitive, the most enduring and the most endearing images of our Lord. It is found first of all in the Old Testament. “The Lord says this: I am going to look after my flock myself and keep all of it in view. As a shepherd keeps all his flock in view when he stands up in the middle of his scattered sheep, so shall I keep my sheep in view. I shall rescue them from wherever they have been scattered during the mist and darkness. I myself will pasture my sheep… I shall look for the lost one, bring back the stray, bandage the wounded and make the weak strong…I shall be a true shepherd to them” (Ezekiel 34:11ff: Also cf. Jeremiah 23:1-4a; Micah 2:12-13). The 23rd Psalms, which is traditionally attributed to King David, is probably the most beautiful literary expression of the comparison between a shepherd’s care for his sheep and Yahweh’s faithful, merciful love for His people. It is also one of the most beloved Psalms, “The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I will want.” (Psalm 23)
Many parents hire maids to look after their children. In most cases, these Maids are often poorly paid and maltreated. In revenge they torture the children put under their charge. There is the story of this 22 year old Ugandan maid Jolly Tumuhiirwe who molested in several ways an 18 months “innocent and helpless child”. Worried parents, who installed a hidden camera to film the situation when they were at work, were shocked to see the footage showing the maid throwing their 18-month-old daughter to the floor. In the video, Tumuhiirwe was seen trying to force feed the child, before slapping her hard. After the girl vomits, the maid throws her facedown on to a hard floor, then hits her with a torch on the bottom. She then kicks the child’s face and stomach before putting her entire weight on the girl’s back, and then drags her out of the room, apparently unconscious. This video has received widespread publicity on social media. Tumuhiirwe represents the band wagon of bad shepherds who molest their sheep.
Jesus on the other hand is the Good Shepherd cares for each one of His Sheep. He lays down His life for His sheep. Jesus sets himself apart from other shepherds by identifying himself as the good shepherd. A good shepherd has several characteristics that impact our lives in a significant way. The good shepherd demonstrates sacrificial love. One of the marks of a good shepherd is overwhelming and steadfast love that knows no bounds to its expression. Such love will stop and nothing in order to enable itself to be known. A natural expression of love is concern. Jesus says that as a good shepherd he cares for his sheep. He wants the very best for them. The prophet Jeremiah echoes this thought when he says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
This duty to be a good shepherd particularly falls on bishops, who are the pastors or shepherds of the faithful of the dioceses entrusted to them. While Jesus Christ is the good shepherd, every Christian who exercises any responsibility toward others also has the duty of acting as a good shepherd. For example, every teacher, coach, and supervisor has a duty of care toward the children under them.
Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

Homily of the 15th of April 2018, Third Sunday of Easter, B
Peace be with you
The Risen Lord in our Gospel today proclaims a message which is highly needed in our world today: PEACE BE WITH YOU! Can there really be peace? Peace have been menaced these days in the world by the canker worm of terrorism, Boko Haram, Al-shabaab, unstable governance, dictatorship, violence, corruption etc. We think of the refugees who are displaced because there is no peace in their countries and towns of origin. At the level of the family peace has been sacrificed on the altar of broken marriages, disobedient children, land and property dispute, jealousy etc. These are dark moments of our lives which the illuminating light of PEACE can dispel.
‘Peace’ features so much in the prayers and the vocabulary of most world religions. It is so common even in secular conversations. Peace is reechoed in the Gloria: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of goodwill ; In the prayers after the Pater Noster: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days; followed by the prayer for peace: Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles, Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will…; The peace of the Lord be with you always; We end the “Lamb of God” saying, Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace”; In dismissing the congregation, the priest says, “Go in the peace”. Many prayers in the Church have the word PEACE. We know the great prayer of peace of Saint Francis : Lord make me an instrument of your peace!
The apostles were abashed by the passion and death of their Jesus. In this dark moment of their life, with the absence of their Master, what message could be more consoling than the message of Peace? There are moments in our own life when things seem to be going out of control. The consoling words of peace are also for us.
Christ has given us peace and we must give this peace to the world. What kind of peace do we give to others today? The same NGOs that fight for peace in the world through great conferences and colloquims, happen to be the same multiplying and trafficking arms. The world proposes false peace! Jesus Earlier in the course of his farewell address to his apostles: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; but he added ‘not as the world gives do I give to you” (Jn. 14:27).
We give peace during mass to our neighbours when the priest invites us to “offer each other the sign of peace”. Do we really mean Peace? If you turn round and meet your “enemy” in church, can you give him TRUE PEACE? This should not only end in church. As Christians, our very presence in the world must bring. Peace to our neighbourhood, to our homes, our places of work, our schools, and in the streets! The world will become a better place. PEACE BE WITH YOU!

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Divine Mercy Sunday

Homily of Divine Mercy Sunday

The Church community as the central place for God’s Mercy

Every second Sunday of Easter, the Church Celebrated the Feast of Divine Mercy. Pope Saint John Paul II instituted this feast after the revelations of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina. Our Lord had said to her : “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.” (Diary, 699).
On this great day, we celebrate the richness, meaning, participation in and application of God’s mercy for us. This mercy of God finds its fulfilment and its apex in the Community. The readings highlight the central place of community. It is within the community as portrayed in today’s Gospel that Jesus commissions the apostles to forgive sins. The Gospel helps us to grasp the full sense and value of this gift of God’s Mercy within the Community.
The Evangelist John makes us share in the emotion felt by the Apostles in their meeting with Christ after His Resurrection. Our attention focuses on the gesture of the Master, who transmits to the fearful, astounded disciples the mission of being ministers of Divine Mercy : “He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained’ “ (Jn 20:22-23). Jesus entrusted to them the gift of “forgiving sins,” a gift that flows from the wounds in His hands, His feet, and especially from His pierced side which he showed the doubting Thomas. From there a wave of mercy is poured out over all humanity.
The Church provides us with the Sacrament of Penance to help us benefit from God’s Mercy. In effect, there are three things that make up our approach to confession: Contrition: this entails being truly sorry for our sins, for our offences against God and neighbour; Confession: This involves stating in words, to God, what we know we have done wrong. On this note we must tell everything that is sinful that we can remember. Satisfaction: this comprises showing our intention to make up, even in some token way, for the effects of our sins. On this note a penance prescribed by the priest. (Cf. Evangelium Bible Diary 2015).
The World needs God’s Mercy to Change everything. During the first Angelus after his elections, the Holy Father Pope Francis stated: “Feeling mercy, that this word changes everything. This is the best thing we can feel: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. (Angelus, March 17, 2013). With the special Jubilee of Year of Mercy proclaimed by our Holy Father, our attention must be focused upon the merciful God who invites all men and women to return to Him.
Our Church Community remains the cadre in which this mercy of God is nurtured, catered for and is dispensed to all. As members of one family and community, the Church, may we implore at all times the Mercy of God for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. May Mary, Mother of Mercy and Saint Faustina help us to always have trust in Jesus Christ our Redeemer. May we fix our Regard on the Merciful Jesus and repeat with devotion: JESUS I TRUST IN YOU.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Easter Sunday

EASTER SUNDAY

Alleluia, Jesus is Alive!

Alleluia resounds again in this holy season beginning with this great FEAST of FEASTS: EASTER SUNDAY. Joyful news! Easter news! Our Saviour is not in a tomb for dead people. He’s alive. He’s risen! He’s risen indeed! Alleluia.
On Good Friday millions of people throughout the world gathered to venerate the Cross of the Lord. Without Christ, epitomised by Good Friday, we are lost, confused, and overcome by sinfulness. There is a seemingly triumph of falsity over truth, of injustice over justice, of evil over goodness.
• Jesus was falsely charged of crimes he did not commit, and unjustly sentenced to a death he did not deserve.
• Jesus was betrayed by his very good friend and apostle. He is deserted by his trusted companions.
• The people he loved demanded his crucifixion and chose to have the bandit Barabbas released in his place.
• To crown it all, we saw Jesus scourged, mocked, led on the death march, nailed to the cross where he dies after a few hours and hastily buried in a tomb.
Easter comes up with a different story as shown in the utter joy depicted in the beautiful readings from the Word of God in the Church’s liturgy. They remind us of the immense difference between the absence of Christ and His risen presence. The Resurrection renews and restores good over evil, salvation over sin and life over death. Easter teaches us that Death is not the end of the story. Jesus regains his eternal glory with the Father. He is the Lord, who will prevail over all humankind, his enemies included. For us his embattled followers this is good news.
The Resurrection is first and foremost, a faith reality. The Truth and Belief in the resurrection is also founded upon a historical data of mankind. Thus today, to see, to testify and to believe are strong expressions to guide our meditation. Jesus shows himself, eats in company of some of his disciples and gives them certain recommendations. Those who saw Him, return testimony to those who want to understand it. To understand the celebration of today as Saint Paul says, we must see the rising from the dead event as belonging to the category of realities that are above, mysteries beyond our comprehension. To make this simpler, we are celebrating the resurrection. After being in the tomb for three days, Jesus was resurrected. Because of His resurrection, our faith is not in vain. We too, because of the resurrection of our Lord, may have eternal life.
Alleluia! Praise the Lord! Jesus is alive! Alleluia!

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion

25th March 2018, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion, Year B
“Hosanna” …“crucify Him.”
Palm Sunday which is actually the sixth Sunday of lent is the feast commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem as recorded in all four Gospels. It is the great doorway leading into Holy Week, the week when the Lord Jesus makes his way towards the culmination of his earthly existence. This Sunday begins the Passion Week, or Holy Week. On this note it is also called Passion Sunday. In some cases it is referred to as Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. The principal ceremonies of the day are the benediction of the palms, the procession, the Mass, and during it the singing of the Passion.
The twin words “Hosanna” and “crucify Him” depict the decorum of the liturgy today. The Gospels especially that of Saint Mark read today make us understand that that Jesus had set out towards Jerusalem in company with the Twelve, and that little by little a growing crowd of pilgrims had joined them. Jesus rode on a colt fulfilling the Prophecy of Zechariah, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9). The “great multitude” following Jesus spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Those who went in front and those who followed were all shouting, ‘Hosanna! Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessings on the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heavens!’
The joyous expectations of the crowd will lead to disappointment. “Hosanna!” will turn to “Crucify him!” five days latter (Matthew 27:22-23). There is thus a glaring paradox in all this triumphant songs! The people who celebrated Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a colt will abandon Jesus during his painful exit carrying a cross on his back. These same people who today shout Jesus as their King would soon cry out for his crucifixion.
True enough, our distance from the event causes us to merge the two crowds into one and assume it was the same people who shouted “Hosanna” that also cried “crucify Him.”One can make a clear difference between the two groups or two tendencies in the crowd. It was the jubilant Galileans who shouted “Hosanna” and the aristocratic, superficially religious ingrates of Jerusalem who wanted to appease the Romans who cried “crucify Him.” In this last group we can see the Pharisees and other hypocritical religious leaders Jesus did not mince words to attack.
It is also clear that there were some who were playing the role of “two side cutlass” or double edge sword. We are often related with the two crowds. On the one hand we shout “Hosanna!” But on the other hand, are we really shouting “Hosanna!” or with our thoughts and our actions, are we shouting “Crucify him!” We may ask ourselves this question: Does the way I live my life say to the world, “Hosanna!” Or does it say, “Crucify him!”? While God gave us his only Son out of love, we gave him back our cry of “Crucify him!” through our many sins. We must stand fast with Jesus. Let every fiber of our being shout out Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 5th Sunday of Lent, Year B

Sunday, March 18, 2018, Fifth Sunday of Lent Year B
Lent, the hour with Christ
The hour of Jesus is a noticeably prominent theme in the Gospel according to John. The first part of the Gospel of John, that is Chapter 1-11 stressed that the hour of Jesus had not yet come. In effect, the narrator and Jesus himself emphasize several times that his hour had not yet come (2:4; 7:30; 8:20). With Chapter 12 from which our Gospel passage is taken, the evangelist now says that the hour is at hand. Hour sometimes refers simply and literally to a short period of chronological time (a 60-minute period during the day). “Jesus’ hour” refers more broadly and metaphorically to the climactic event of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which the Fourth Gospel also refers to as his “glorification” (12:23; 17:1). Paradoxically, the “hour” of Christ’s death on the cross is simultaneously His greatest humiliation and glorification (John 12:23, 27).
While the Gospel tells us that people are coming to Jesus like the Greeks, Jesus is more concerned about his death. Among the many nice points in today’s Gospel passage, we shall concentrate on the following verse : “unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest”. (Jn 20:24). Jesus shows the necessity for his death by an example familiar to all his hearers, the grain of wheat must be buried in the earth and lose its own individual life in order to produce new wheat in abundance
In talking this way, Jesus was telling his listeners that his death was absolutely necessary if there was to be a new life. We can call this “a law of sacrifice”, meaning that one can come to a greater life only by dying to a lesser one. Talking about the grain of wheat, Jesus is actually telling us that he is like a seed. Let us look at His life: Jesus had to die and be buried in the earth for three days, then on Easter Sunday rise glorious. Therefore we understand that God works through a process of suffering-dying-rising-from-death. Jesus is telling us that His death was absolutely necessary if there is to be a new life.
Lent is the “hour”, the appointed time given to us by Church to follow Christ more closely. As Christians, we are to share in the suffering of Jesus Christ. During lent, we must deny ourselves of our comfort zones, we must die to sin, and then we can rejoice with Christ at his resurrection. That is the process we are invited to follow in this period of lent.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year B

Second Sunday of Lent
Go up to the Mountain
In this second Sunday of Lent in particular and in the Lenten season in General, the Church invites us to ponder deeply on the significance of the paschal mystery, that is, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We are invited to go up to the mountain to manifest our faith and union with God. The first reading of today tells us of the test to which Abraham was put when ordered by God to offer his son, Isaac, in sacrifice on the mountain. This foreshadows the sacrifice of the Only Son of God, Jesus Christ. It is one of the most moving accounts in the Scriptures. Part of it has been left out in today’s reading to avoid it becoming too long. The full story as portrayed by Gen. 22, 1-19 will help us get light and strength in our moments of trial.
Abraham’s faith flickered and almost failed when he thought God was asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. But Abraham trusted God. And God didn’t let him down. God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. In a similar way, God tests our faith. But if we trust God, as Abraham did, God will not let us down. In the end, God will bless us, too, beyond our wildest dreams. The Apostle James puts it this way: “Happy is the person who  remains faithful under trials, because when he succeeds in passing such a test, he will receive as his reward the life which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12)
Lent is also the passage by mount Tabor, that of Transfiguration. The life of Jesus that shall end in the Cross is connected with this heavenly visit he receives on this mountain. God reassures him of his mission of salvation. Jesus is given some encouragement by the Father to go on as He shall be with him. The event on this mountain reveals to us what will arrive at Jesus. As Moses and Elijah were led by God to the Holy Mountain, to witness his glory (Ex 33:18; 1K 19:9), so the apostles are led apart by Jesus; they too climb the mountain and there Jesus manifests his glory to them. In the transfiguration, the Holy Apostles were introduced into a new range of ideas, into a new sphere of contemplation and into the glimpse of a new heaven.
The transfiguration is one of the most important manifestations of God in the New Testament. Some scholars call it the “summary of all revelation”. In effect, Moses and Elijah, the spokesmen of the Law and the Prophets (in a word, all of the Old Testament) present the Christ of the Gospel to the apostles Peter, James and John, those who will be responsible for the preaching of the Gospel.
More than mere vision, today’s gospel reading is an excellent example of the ingredients that would normally constitute prayer – be it of intercession or praise or thanksgiving. It tells us that prayer is a response to Christ’s invitation to come up the mountain, that is, to leave behind for a while our ordinary, everyday concerns and place ourselves quietly in the presence of God. It is an invitation to be alone with Christ. The climax of the story is the command from the cloud: “This is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him”. Prayer consists above all in listening, in hearing the word of Jesus.
Like Abraham, Elijah, Moses and the apostles, we are invited in this season the go up to the mountain of encounter with God. Particularly nowadays when so many of us live in a noisy environment with our senses constantly under assault and our minds distracted. In such a world we can easily become spiritually deaf to God’s voice – and indeed spiritually dumb: unable to utter a prayer either for ourselves or for anyone else. We should not only remain on the mountain like Peter “building three tents” but we are invited to preach the message of the Cross and resurrection and invite more people to GO UP TO THE MOUNTAIN
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 1st Sunday of Lent, Year B

Homily of the First Sunday of Lent

Resisting

Since last Wednesday we began a very important period in the Church : Lent. It is a forty-day penitential season spent in preparation for Easter. Forty is a symbolic number indicating a special time of preparation before a substantial meeting with God. The Ashes we received at the beginning of lent reminds us that our bodies are made of dust (Gen 2:7), and upon death they return to “dust and ashes” (Gen 18:17). During this time, emphasis will be made on conversion and on Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. This will empower us to fight against temptation.

The first Sunday of lent generally focuses on this theme of the temptation of Jesus. The account of the temptation we are given in the Gospel of Mark reads almost like a telegram-it is sounds staccato. There are just two verses compared to the lengthier and fuller eleven verses of Matthew and thirteen of Luke. Mark doesn’t bother about the content of the various temptations, he simply states the fact bluntly: he remained forty days, and was tempted by Satan. The wild beasts are traditional symbols of evil and like Satan they prowl around looking for any signs of weakness.

The Gospel of Mark underlines the theme of 40 days. Just as Jesus was tempted in the desert after 40 days of stay in the wilderness, we too are taking a period of 40 days to enable us to resist temptation like Jesus. Therefore, in the face of these temptations undergone by Jesus, the majority of us would not have resisted even for one minute. Much more, we would have justified our decision with many excuses, so that we would be convinced of having made the good choice. Which human being can resist the temptation that offers us power and dominion and wealth? The politicians and business men among us understand this better and could be in the best position to tell us. We should learn that evil has its nest in our heart, it does not come from outside. We do not have another solution but to open our heart to the presence of God who saves us.

The Church gives us the liturgical season of Lent to help us to endure the time of testing whenever it comes. In Lent we are invited to undergo some small hardship as a spiritual exercise, as a strengthening and a preparation for that real time of testing that awaits us. We are encouraged to resist temptation. As Pope Francis tells us in his Lenten message for 2015 this is possible by following these words : “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8)

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of the 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
This Sunday’s gospel tells us of Jesus’ cure of a man afflicted with leprosy (a term referring to any repulsive skin disease). A leper comes to Jesus and begs to be cured. Moved with compassion, Jesus touches the “untouchable” and cures him. He then sends him to a priest so that he can be reinstated into the community.
Leprosy, a contagious skin disease suspected by the contemporaries of Jesus had very little toleration in Israel. In Mark, we have the manifestation of the formidable freedom and the force of Jesus with respect to this disease. The patient advances towards Jesus and expresses his faith to him in a remarkable and simple manner: “if you want, you can purify me” Jesus is moved by the distress of man. Jesus touches the leprous one and says to him: “I want it, be purified.” Jesus is the one who seizes our infirmities, cures them and reintroduces us within our social framework. Jesus does not shout to heal as our televangelists do on TV today. His Word is once, effective and final. After curing the leper, Jesus had admonished him not to publicize what had happened. All Glory was given to God as the Second reading admonishes us to do everything for the GLORY OF GOD.
Since the Church is the means by which Christ extends his mission for the sake of God’s kingdom through history, healing will be an essential characteristic of its service. Christians, through the urging of Christ’s compassion, must bring healing to the world’s sickness, making possible medical care even for the “untouchables” of our own society. In the Catholic tradition, Christ’s compassionate hand touches the sick in a special way through the sacrament of anointing. This is done through the prayer, laying of hands and anointing of the Priest. By sending the leper to the priest for confirmation of healing, this shows the place of the priest as healer. But to be effective in this ministry of healing, the priest is advised like Jesus to withdraw to a “lonely place” like Jesus to pray. We are told that Jesus was concerned about the mistaken notion people had of his mission: “Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone…you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled” (6:15-26).
Dear Christians, Christ is always ready to deliver us from our sickness and pains. Jesus prayed to be delivered from suffering and death; nevertheless, as things worked out, he trusted in God’s love through the experience of his suffering, abandonment, and dying. In our time of trial, as the Letter to the Hebrews tells, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. “For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12-2)

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Homily of the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary time

Jesus is our Divine Healer.
In the Gospel presented today he heals Simon’s mother-in-law of a fever. He heals people with all sorts of illnesses including possession which refers both to diabolic possession and psychological, or psychiatric illnesses. Jesus heals so many people that he has to find a solitary place in the desert for a few moments of union with his Father. But even then, Simon Peter and the others find him and make him go back to work.
Simon’s house also turns out to be a place of healing for many other persons. This passage teaches us some lessons: that we have a duty to present all those who are sick or suffering one problem or the other to God in prayers; we also learn that no one-believer or non-believer is immuned from life’s many problems. All men are prone to the sharpest of afflictions, one time or another. The good news is that Jesus is there to heal us.
Jesus heals. He heals the pain not just of the people of the past, but the pain of the people of today. Some receive physical healing immediately. Others receive healing in stages. Some receive a clear miracle. Others who have dedicated their lives to continuing the healing ministry of the Lord, have developed their own skills and intelligent to be vehicles of the Lord’s healing. The union with the Divine Healer is the reason why our doctors, and our nurses, and all care givers deserve our respect.
All who call out to the Lord are healed. Some are healed physically. Some are healed emotionally, able to accept their condition in life. We need to call upon the name of Jesus. All those who called upon Him for healing in the Bible did receive it. Jesus himself is a great healer and physician. Believers have a great tool for healing: THE NAME OF JESUS. The name of the Lord Jesus Christ heals. We must be able to invoke this name for our healing because it is so powerful.
Ananias also used this powerful name to heal Paul (Acts 9:34): “…Jesus Christ heals you.” After his healing, Paul became a chosen instrument that will bear the Name of Jesus to the Gentiles (Acts 9:10-19). In the 15th verse of the same chapter it is more clearly stated: “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.”
Jesus is our Divine healer. He can heal everyone, even you! Doctors may have said that you can never be healed! Why not call upon the name of Jesus?
Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

21st January 2018, Third Sunday in Ordinary time Year B
The Call for Change and Repentance
The call to repentance cuts through many pages of the Sacred Scriptures. It is necessary that we understand the cry of God who invites us to conversion and to be His disciples. Our world, following the example of Nineveh, is in full development of diverse mentalities and ideologies that it is now difficult for us to distinguish Christ from the Antichrist. The Ninivites were led to conversion only by the words of Jonas and we have more than Jonas.
Jesus who appears after the departure of John to announce Gods Good News of Salvation also calls for a sincere repentance. It is better understood in the Greek word metanoia which literally means a change of mind. Repentance means that anyone who was in love with sin comes naturally to hate sin. In Jesus’ clarion call for repentance he calls those who are to work with him and be part of the mission’s team. Those he calls are very simple. He took ordinary men and with them he changed the world.
We have the Christ who says to us “follow me”. We should therefore give up our nets, give up our boats of comfort and make an option for Christ. Jesus calls us for a specific mission or role. Victor Frankle will insist that “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life”. The underlying factor in the call of Jesus is that we must be the change we want for the world. There is a need to convert the world, but we must convert ourselves. Briefly, we must give up our old ways, change our ways and believe in the Good News. In effect, it is a call for change and repentance.

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Solemnity of Mary Mother of God, New Year

01 January 2018: New Year Blessing, Solemnity of Mary Mother of God
A blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, or divine will. The opposite of Blessing is Curse. In its strictly liturgical sense, blessing may be described as a rite, consisting of a ceremony and prayers performed in the name and with the authority of the Church by a duly qualified minister, by which persons or things are sanctified as dedicated to Divine service, or by which certain marks of Divine favour are invoked upon them
Throughout sacred Scripture, we find how God issued various blessings. In the account of creation, God blessed all the living creatures and especially Adam and Eve, telling them to be fertile, to multiply and to full the earth and subdue it (Gn 1:22, 28). After the flood, God blessed Noah and his sons (Gn 9:1ff).
The first reading in this first day of the year begins with the blessing that the Lord Gave Moses for the Israelites. This is indeed the blessing that God gives to all humankind: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
Christ entrusted His saving ministry to the Church. Because of this the Church has instituted various blessings for people as well as objects to prompt the faithful to implore God’s protection, divine assistance, mercy, faithfulness, and favour. On this note, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1669) states, “Every baptized person is called to be a ‘blessing,’ and to bless. Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons)”
Priests are the ordinary ministers of blessings, asking God’s help for those people being blessed or dedicating something to a sacred service; the priest’s blessing is imparted with the weight of the Church and therefore has great value in the eyes of God. The blessing of a layperson upon another, such as a parent blessing a child, is an act of goodwill whereby the person implores God’s aid for the person; the value of this blessing in the eyes of God depends upon the person’s individual sincerity and sanctity.
At the beginning of this year, we recommend that parents should pronounce blessings to children in their home. Of all the tools God gave you to raise a child, the most powerful is your tongue. Here’s how to use it for good. From the opening words of the Bible, the power of the spoken word is in evidence. In essence, words are not only the means by which creation is made, but they are also the substance—the stuff—of which the tangible realm is shaped. “And God said” appears in the Genesis text; and the next thing, what God said appears in our world. Proverbs 18:21 teaches us, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
Early in the Bible, the power of God’s people to speak blessing upon one another is clearly shown. Noah blesses Shem and Japheth for their respect, rather than mockery, of his dignity as their father (see Gen. 9:26-27). You Have the Power to bless! Always use numbers 6: 22-27 to bless your children: “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord let his face shine on you be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.”
Happy New Year!!!

Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for Christmas Day

Christmas Day
The Good News! Rejoice and be glad for the Word was made flesh and dwelt among God. History has been broken; God has taken our human condition. He lives among us in our daily chores, sharing our joys and sorrows. It is Good News! The People walking in darkness have seen a great light! Christmas is the Feast of the Light. In the darkness of our hearts, Christ the Light has found a befitting dwelling. Yes, it is Good News, a baby has been born! This baby has changed the course of history.
All attention now is drawn towards humble Bethlehem, to a humble manger. The Angels are already rendering the “Born House” song, GLoria In Excelsis Deo. The Child is worshipped by Angels, by His own parents, by poor shepherds and even by the animals! This is the humble beginning of a change in our human history. All other histories before were just prefaces and other histories and stories after this remain will only be footnotes.
Where do you place yourself in the above history? It is only through humility that we can partake in this God’s humble intervention in our history. And shepherds on the hillside heard a sky full of angels crying out, “Glory to God in the highest and Peace to People of Good Will.” Peace to you. Peace to your families. Happy Christmas to you all!

Fr. Jude's Homilies

Fr. Jude’s Homily for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Homily of the 29th of October 2017, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, A

Loving God and Loving our Neighbour

Love resumes the whole of Christian Scriptures, Revelation and all the Laws of God and the Church that exist. Loving God and loving our neighbour is the heart of our daily lives, the springboard of our actions, the basis of our decisions, the reason for our prayer life, the motivation of our lifestyle and the very reason why we live together on earth. Responding to the question of the Teacher of the Law today: ‘Master, which is the greatest commandment of the Law?’, Jesus stressed the direct relationship between love of God and love of neighbour.  He explained that the rest of the laws are based on the two.  They are like the hinges on which the entire law hung.

The first letter of John beautifully presents God as love:  “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him” (1 Jn 4:16). In the same light, it is out of love that God sent us his Son: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should … have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). We love primary God; but it is inseparable from our love of others or all humans. Christian love also assumes attitudes of goodness and compassion to the more fragile, weak and broken human persons as recommended by the First reading.

In the Gospel of today, Jesus unites two key passages in the Old Testament to give a smooth synthesis of LOVE: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord, and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut 6:4-5) and “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev 19:18; cf. Mk 12:29-31).

How do we love God? By keeping his commandments found in the sacred scriptures especially as resumed in the Decalogue or Ten Commandments. But how do we love our neighbour? Still found in the New Testament, particularly in Mt 25,  we can follow what the church calls the Corporal Works of mercy : To feed the hungry; To give drink to the thirsty; To clothe the naked; To harbour the harbourless; To visit the sick; To ransom the captive; To bury the dead. Jesus also shared in the story of the Parable of the Good Samaritan to love everyone especially those who are in need even our enemies. 

After such beautiful readings in today’s liturgy, we are challenged to put this love into practice. This recommendation can be our litmus test: make a special effort to love the person whom you find it difficult to love.

Fr Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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