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Category: 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 Homilies

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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Homilies

Fr. Lankeit’s Homily for Nov. 5, 2017

Today’s homily is from Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. Thank you for joining us today!

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The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Homilies

Fr. Steven’s Homily – Solemnity of All Saints

How do you become a saint?

To become a saint, you have to be human first. You have to recognize that we are sinners before God. Saints are able to recognize that we are nobody without Christ, being used as His instrument.

Everyone has a vocation to be saints.

——————-
Friday, November 1, 2019
St. Joseph the Worker Parish
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Homilies

Solemnity of All Saints Homily

By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

“The only trouble with celebrating this feast of All Saints is that, in some ways, we strive to be like them. And some of them are so beyond our reach — martyrs pouring out their blood, sometimes joyfully,” Father Perry tells us in his homily for the Solemnity of All Saints. “So what is the connection? How do we connect with this day?”

Homilies

TV Mass Homily 2014 11 02

Each Sunday at 6:00 a.m., FOX8 Cleveland broadcasts a half-hour TV Mass for the homebound Catholic community in Northeast Ohio. This video is the homily ONLY portion of the TV Mass from Sunday, November 2, 2014. The priest who celebrated this TV Mass is the Reverend Michael Williamson, Pastor, Saint Matthew Parish, Akron, Ohio.

Homilies

TV Mass Homily 2017 11 05

Each Sunday at 6:00 a.m., FOX8 Cleveland broadcasts a half-hour TV Mass for the homebound Catholic community in Northeast Ohio. This video is the homily ONLY portion of the TV Mass from Sunday, November 5, 2017. The priest who celebrated this TV Mass is the Reverend Gary Yanus, Judicial Vicar, Tribunal, Diocese of Cleveland.

Homilies

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time Homily (Year A)

By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor

“The best way to be for the interior of life of spirit — for there to be joy, and peace, and goodness, and wholeness, and connectedness, and valuing everyone and everything in this creation to which we belong — is to be servant to all,” Father Perry tells us in his homily for the 31st Sunday Ordinary Time. “And if we embrace deep within us that attitude, Jesus proclaims, that will be for us, spiritually speaking, one of the healthiest places we could be in our lives.”

Homilies

TV Mass Homily 2014

Each Sunday at 6:00 a.m., FOX8 Cleveland broadcasts a half-hour TV Mass for the homebound Catholic community in Northeast Ohio. This video is the homily ONLY portion of the TV Mass from Sunday, October 26, 2014. The priest who celebrated this TV Mass is the Reverend Michael Williamson, Pastor, Saint Matthew Parish, Akron, Ohio.

Homilies

Do You Love Me?

Join Fr. Lou Scurti for the 30th Sunday in ordinary time. October 26, 2014.

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Exodus 22:20-26
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 47, 51
Second Reading: First Thessalonians 1:5-10
Gospel: Matthew 22:34-40

Homilies

TV Mass Homily 2017

Each Sunday at 6:00 a.m., FOX8 Cleveland broadcasts a half-hour TV Mass for the homebound Catholic community in Northeast Ohio. This video is the homily ONLY portion of the TV Mass from Sunday, October 29, 2017. The priest who celebrated this TV Mass is the Reverend Michael Gurnick, Secretary and Vicar for Clergy and Religious, Diocese of Cleveland.

Homilies

Fr. Lankeit’s homily

Today’s homily is from Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral in Phoenix. Thank you for joining us today!

Please help support this critical outreach to our home-bound and elderly Catholics by making a contribution to help offset the costs of producing and broadcasting the Mass:

TV Mass
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Phoenix, AZ 85004

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Thank you and may God bless you!

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix was established Dec. 2, 1969, by Pope Paul VI. Led by the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, more than 1.1 million Catholics make this diverse, vibrant and faith-filled diocese their home.

Fr. Jude's Homilies

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!

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