St. Joseph's Parish

  • PDF
  • Print

Twenty-First Sunday Of Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Isaiah 22: 19-23     Romans 11: 33-36     Matthew 16: 13-20)

For some of us, to be a religious person is a whole ballgame of nuisance; we find ourselves in a bondage of ever-increasing precepts and rubrics. But all these feelings towards religion are a result of the misconception and misunderstanding of what truly is religion. Religion in its raw and purest sense has nothing to do with rules and regulations; it is all about a total surrender and abandonment of one’s will to the will of the Supreme and the Omnipotent God. The rules and regulations are just ancillary means to enhance the willingness and the need of creatures to be in sync with the Author and Creator. To execute this properly, some of us our chosen to be leaders who are just first among all who have an equal claim to the strength of God.
Leadership as a means of an authority has nothing to with an imposition of someone’s will on others to the detriment of another person’s freedom; rather, it is a means to free people from the self-imposed imprisonment because of the lack of knowledge of the essence of the revealed truth. There is the need for those who have been chosen to be leaders to help others come to know of the truth for which the leaders have been chosen: to educate people in order to liberate themselves from mental, spiritual, and material slavery. Without a leader as an authority in our lives, there will be so much chaos as to the interpretation and analysis of the revealed truth. This breeds extremism and syncretism: either we view the truth from the point of view of our subjective and relative inclination, or we mix up everything out there and swallow them hook, line, and sinker without any due diligence in deciphering each interpretation. But we cannot just live as if there were no absolutes about the revealed truth; we just need our carefully chosen leaders to guide us through to understand the revelation of the Truth that has been handed down to us throughout the ages. We need some solid foundation for the society which can easily be accomplished if our leaders were to be faithful to their calling for their subjects to be led out of their imprisonment of lack of knowledge of the Absolute Truth.

  • PDF
  • Print

Twentieth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Isaiah 56: 1, 6-7     Romans 11: 13-15, 29-32     Matthew 15: 21-28)

 

The gift of Faith that is given us is meant to be activated with Trust. Trust takes away all doubts that prevent us from activating our faith in God by an act of belief. Believing in God makes us benefit the abundance of joy and happiness that are contained in faith.  Our belief is how we assent to the Truth as a sign of our dependence on an invariable and inviolate constancy.  For our sake and salvation, we have been given the gift of faith to trust and obey in the promises of Christ: to seek the kingdom of God.
Some of us are chosen to be instruments to help many more others to come to the realization of trusting and obeying the promises of Christ. But if we fail to do so because we gloat in doubt, others will still receive the promises of Christ regardless of our inability to lead. We are just tools to accomplish God’s work; God ignites and activates the gift of Faith in anybody, no matter how we estimate and evaluate others who manifest the result of believing as a result of activating faith by trusting in God. Serious daily prayer life will obviously lead us to this realization, for in prayer we tune all our attention to the dependence on God’s will. This is what obedience literally means: to listen or give ear.  The more we pray the more we learn to depend on God’s providence which is enduring.

 

  • PDF
  • Print

The Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(1 Kings 19: 9, 11-13     Romans 9: 1-5     Matthew 14: 22-33)

Indeed, we are a Church Militant; we struggle each and every moment to make good lasting choices.   Perhaps, it is in our best interest to go through all these ups and downs so that we may unravel the mysteries that surround us to know, love, and worship God. The desire to explore in order to know and understand who and what we are leads to an establishment of beliefs in God on our part, as we either affirm or negate the gift of FAITH we have meant to help us know, love, and worship God. God alone is the Ultimate recipient of all recognitions and acknowledgements; it is the otherwise that always leads us to denying and doubting God.
God is not what and how we think; rather, we are what and how we think of God since God is the SUBJECT and not the OBJECT of our thinking. Therefore, all our endeavors to know and understand our circumstances, which we technically refer to as SCIENCE, in conjunction with the gift of Faith, should lead us to a sound belief and a better understanding of the nature of God which we always take for granted. We do not need to go through major crisis or experience a miracle before we believe in God; even now, our very being is a cue for us to affirm the presence of God. The proper combination of faith and science eventually helps us to have a glimpse of the AWE and TRUTH, God. But this approach needs a total self-abandonment and trust to the rhythm of redeeming grace.

  • PDF
  • Print

The Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Isaiah 55: 1-3     Romans 8: 35, 37-39     Matthew 14: 13-21)

The attempt to satisfy the constant cravings our carnal desires place on us may cause us to misapply our free wills, which in turn may lead us to transgress from the path to salvation. Satisfying the inordinate desires for their own sakes without any regards to their obvious consequences, may jeopardize the relationships we have with God, neighbors, and inner selves. We may seem to be at a loss as to how to remedy this situation of ours. The answer is written all over the places: to allow God’s will be done in our lives as we cooperate with the generous promptings of the Holy Spirit. Here is where a life of daily prayer is encouraged.
With a life of daily prayers, we commit and abandon our total cares into the hands of God trusting that he may provide us with all our needs and wants according to his holy will. In fact, God has already provided us with all that we need for our corporal and spiritual well-being and redemption; we only have to trust in his goodness through patient endurance so that we may experience the fruits of what he has provided us.  Unfortunately, sometimes we are so blinded by our self-sought and self-designed happiness that we fail to even recognize the very things that are designed to bring us lasting happiness. May the Amen to every prayer of ours be a reminder that God is in control of our lives, and that God is our BOSS and not a TOOL to use only when we are in dire need, and reject when we feel good.

  • PDF
  • Print

Seventeenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

 

(1 Kings 3: 5, 7-12     Romans 8: 28-30     Matthew 13: 44-52)

God made us perfect in his image and likeness without any fault; it was us who, because of the reliance on the satisfaction of the flesh, rather chose to wound our perfect nature. As a result, we could not help ourselves; everything we did went from bad to worse in a topsy-turvy manner. At an appropriate time, God sent us help by making Jesus pay for the price of our iniquities and transgressions that ever-worsened the already incurable wounds caused by our inordinate desires. Thus, a process to bring perfect healing through Redemption by the precious blood of Christ was given to each one of us. Those who acknowledge the problem of our imperfection and the need to rectify the problem always seek the help of God to achieve that goal; others who do not care about the future of their souls keep on holding fast to the ever-deceiving and fake satisfaction of the flesh.
We are a Church Militant pulled in direct opposite directions by the grace of God and the temptation of concupiscence, like someone being pulled by two strong horses in two opposite directions. Sometimes we settle that we are what and who we are because we have been destined to be so.  But this is the defeatist approach by someone who has no faith, trust, and hope in God’s graces. With such an approach we shall not even dare to ask for God’s favors. No wonder many people are not having private prayers, let alone having communal prayers as a church! We ought to trust in the power of the grace and mercy of God we have received through Jesus’s redemption and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The moment we come to this realization of totally placing our trust and will in the Lord, we shall begin to have a foretaste of the life of heaven, for nothing mundane will ever be an obstacle to deter us from the love of God.

 

 

  • PDF
  • Print

The Sixteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time -A

  • Written by Fr. Emmanuel Famiyeh

(Wisdom 12: 13, 16-19     Romans 8: 26-27     Matthew 13: 24-30)

 

Since our lives are full of choices with their attendant consequences, there is not much we can do to force people to be like us; we can only teach and encourage them to be better than what their current situations are.  Any appearance of forcing anyone to live a life based on our designs will be an affront exhibition of turning ourselves into gods, for we shall be taking the place of God as the ultimate judges over people’s lives.  But, who can be like God?
If we fail to pursue holy lives, how do we expect others to be holy? What efforts have we made ourselves to live the life of Christ so as to cause a positive change in people’s lives?  The energy we use in trying to change and rearrange others can be put into a better use if we were to spend the same energy to change and rearrange our personal lives towards God. In this case, our lives will be a beacon of hope, faith and charity to those we consider lost. We should never undermine the clemency of God, for God’s favors are never exhausted, as we learn from the Book of Lamentations. It is only by a life of serious prayer that we can come to this understanding.

 

Page 1 of 12