SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

Friday of the Second Week of Advent.
Isaiah 48:17-19/Ps 1:1-2,3,4 and 6/Matt 11:16-19.

Theme: Obedience is key

Obedience is key as we prepare for the coming of the Lord. Our response this day must resonate in our hearts and ears that those who follow the Lord would have the light of life.

The nuance of this is that there would always be clarity, warmth that lead to fruitfulness. Like the tree planted near river, it lacks no water because it has unfailingly unceasing supply of water. It’s leaves are evergreen. Such is our lives when we obey the Lord.

We must not be like the Pharisees and scribes that are unmoved by anything. They are oblivious to situations because of sheer hatred. We must listen to Jesus and avoid prejudices and stereotypes because these are inimical to our growth and development.

We must avoid frivolous and mischievous tagging. Social branding is inevitable though. However, we must not enter the arena of sheer hatred, pettiness and ineptitude.

Our obedience must lead us to associate with good people. We must try as much as possible to dissociate ourselves from insolent, wicked and sinners. Instead, we must meditate on the law of the Lord day and night.

Our obedience subsists in the consciously constant meditation on the law of the Lord. May it be our preeminent priority to meditate on the law of the Lord day and night.

We pray for the grace to meditate on the law of the Lord day and night. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s journey mercies for all travelers. God loves you precious one.

Have a wonderful day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

8 December Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Gen 3:9-15,20/Ps 98:1,2-3ab,3cd-4/Eph 1:3-6,11-12/Luke 1:26-38.

Theme: God’s gift of grace.

We celebrate today the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pursuant to the rules and degree of this celebration the liturgy allows us to sing gloriously the “Gloria” in thanksgiving to God for his wondrous gift of the Immaculate Conception; the beginning of our salvation.

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the four Marian dogmas. Pope Pius IX solemnly defined this in a papal bull “Ineffabilis Deus”. Briefly, the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived free from all stain of original sin. It is the most beautiful fruit of redemption wrought by her Son Jesus Christ.

We must note that the Immaculate Conception was occasioned precisely because of the Motherhood of Mary. The Motherhood of Mary is the foundational doctrine of all the Marian doctrines or dogmas.

The Immaculate Conception is the work and fruit of grace. God preserved her with grace, in grace and for grace. This is the fundamental preparation of the Virginal Conception of Jesus. We are told in the gospel pericope that Mary, the Virgin of Nazareth that she is full of grace. The nuance is that she has the plenitude of grace. The Greek “Kecharitomene” means plenitude or fullness of grace.

Essentially, grace is Jesus. Preeminently, grace is salvation(John 1:17). The Hebrew “yeshua” translated as Jesus means “God saves”(saviour). That is why Matthew posits in explaining the name Jesus “He would save his people from sin”(Matt 1:21-23).

God gifted the Blessed Virgin Mary such plenitude of grace to preserve her from sin. From the very onset of the sin of our first parents, God began the work of redemption. He clothed man with the garments of grace in Mary.

We have been called to be holy. St. Paul tells us that our vocation is that of holiness(Eph 1:4). Holiness is impossible without grace. Mary has the fullness of grace that is why she loves freely because she has the source of holiness in plenitude. Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, let us avail ourselves and say “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done unto me according to your word”(Luke 1:38).

Her humility is beautifully charming. She is simply simple. This is a condition precedent to effective prayer.

She is also a woman of courage. She dared to give her all to God. She placed herself at the disposal of divine grace and work unreservedly.

Effective prayer thrives on the wheels of courageous confidence.

By her Immaculate Conception she receives the grace of salvation. Indeed, by this singular honour, God clads her with the honour of being “Primus inter pares” in all things.

We pray that we may receive grace to be humble, simple, courageous and prayerful. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s grace for those experiencing delayed and unsuccessful pregnancies. God loves you precious one.

Have a hearty day.

9+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

7 December Memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.
Isaiah 40:25-31/Ps 103:1-2,3-4,8 and 10/Matt 11:28-30.

Theme: Unwavering faith.

The Holy Mother Church today celebrates the memorial of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Ambrose was born to an aristocratic Christian father who held the highest Government position, viz; Prefect of Gallia which included Gaul, Britain and Spain. The family returned to Rome after the death of the father. Ambrose studied law and his erudition charmed the Emperor.

He was appointed governor of the Northern Italy at 33. He was outstanding in character. At this time, he was a catechumen and through the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit was named the Bishop of Milan.

A short period after his baptism, he was ordained a priest and then on 7th December 374, he was consecrated Bishop of Milan. He died on 4th April, 397.

Remarkably, it was through the preaching of St. Ambrose that converted Augustine. He was powerfully instrumental in the life of St. Augustine.

Our preparation is that of hopeful expectation. This demands tenacity.

Isaiah says they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. We shall soar as with eagles’ wings; we will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint(Isaiah 40:31).

We must develop the virtues of Eagle that is fearfully fearless. Ours is unwavering faith.

As we await the joyful coming of the Lord. We are called this day to humility and meekness. It is these virtues that can earn us celestial heritage. “Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the land”(Matt 5:5).

Unwavering faith flies on the wings of humility, tenacity and meekness.

We pray for the grace of faith, humility and meekness. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s grace for those sitting for examination. God loves you precious one.

Have a blissful day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

6 December Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent.
Isaiah 40:1-11/Ps 96:1-2,3 and 10ac,11-12,13/Matt 18:12-14.

Theme: Tender treat

It is ordinary responsibility or duty of a shepherd to provide for the needs of the sheep. When David prays that “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want”, the nuance is that there is unceasingly unfailing providence in God. God’s providential grace does not allow him to make us lack anything.

It is therefore in the genetical and biological makeup of shepherds to feed the flock by leading them to pasture.

This provision for the needs of the sheep, Isaiah tells us “in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, leading the ewes with care”(Isaiah 40:11).

Primarily, like a shepherd, the Lord comes to gather us together. It must be our primary responsibility as leaders to gather people together and not scatter. We must unite and not sow seeds of discord.

We must treat the lambs with sweet tenderness. Let us speak words of comfort to them to encourage and lift them up. The sheep that is lost needs words of comfort to be able to come back to the fold.

The sheep that is lost needs extra care because the sheep is weak and feeble. Our words must build and comfort them in their despondency and bondage.

As we prepare for the coming of the Lord, let us remember that the Lord comes with power to search for the lost sheep to bring us comfort and salvation. Ours is to be obedient sheep.

We pray for the grace to be obedient sheep to receive the tenderness of the Lord. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s healing for the sick. God loves you precious one.

Have a pleasant day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

5 December Monday of the Second Week of Advent.
Isaiah 35:1-10/Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12,13-14/Luke 5:17-26.

Theme: Journey of faith.

We begin another working and academic week.

Traditionally, this week is the week of faith by the lighting of the second purple candle which is also called “Bethlehem candle”.

The gospel pericope gives us a pictorial presentation of unweavering faith. Some men brought a paralysed man on a stretcher to Jesus. This action of unrelenting faith of these men demonstrates to us the following virtues.

Faith is always preceded by trust. The men trusted in the power of Jesus. Trust is a condition precedent to unwavering faith.

Faith thrives on the wheels of courage. The men were full of trusting courage that moved them to make a journey to Jesus.

Faith must enable us to be innovative and proactively preemptive. The men of courage had to find new ways or methods to reaching Jesus. Obstacle was just an avenue to be innovative. It is said, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

As we embark on the path of innovation we must be focus on our goal or target. Let us be resolutely determined on our faith journey.

As we embark on this journey of faith, the Lord would grant us expeditious and speediest miracle.

Jesus deals with the root causes of our predicament; sin. Forgiveness precedes healing.

We pray for the grace to grow in our faith discourse. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s grace for those sitting for examination this week. God loves you precious one.

Have a blessed day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

4 December Second Sunday of Advent.
Isaiah 11:1-10/Ps 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17/Roms 15:4-9/Matt 3:1-12.

Theme: Journey to Bethlehem

We are eternally grateful to God for his providential grace and for ushering us into another week.

Today is the Second Week of Advent and the second purple candle is lit. This is the “Bethlehem candle”. It is week of faith because this candle is the candle of faith. The Holy Mother Church calls us to make a journey of faith in our hearts like Mary and Joseph made a journey to Bethlehem. This candle must remind us to step out to prepare adequately for the coming of the Lord.

We must travel lite. We must avoid the sins that have become burdensome to us.
We must be focus on our goal; Bethlehem.
We need the gifts of the Holy Spirit which are the sources of righteousness or holiness to be able to chart the path of holiness.

We must have the urgency to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

John the Baptist makes a clarion call of repentance. Our preparation must have for its primary goal, repentance. We must seek to repent.

Repentance means charting the path of holiness or righteousness. This Isaiah said; “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”(Isaiah 40:3). We are called to straighten our winding ways of corruption, sexual promiscuity, lies, inordinate desire for wealth, examination malpractices, oppression, cheat, speaking insultingly with people with impunity etc.

For the people of Israel God sent John the Baptist to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. He had the moral rectitude and courage to chart the course of repentance. By our baptism, we are also prophets to be God’s voice to call people to repentance. We must have the moral rectitude to call others to repentance.

The effects of repentance must be good fruits. It must be demonstrated in our lives the fruits of love, peace, gentleness, joy, self-control, truthfulness or forthrightness, simplicity, humility, forgiveness, and patience.

We must remember that God through our baptism has given us the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be able to chart the path of holiness. Ours is the spirit of power, love and self-control(2Tim 1:7).

We are configured in Jesus to possess such gifts. He gifts us gratuitously these priceless gifts; source of holiness. We are given the grace or gift of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, might, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord to be able to comprehend celestial mysteries and have the courage to live it.

In all these, preeminently, our focus must be righteousness or holiness. The Lord shall judge with justice. The nuance is that the standard of judgement is nothing but righteousness or holiness.

This path of righteousness shall have for its effects invincible security. There is no fear. There is harmonious celestial living. Enmity turns into friendship, hatred into love, trust rules.

Let us prepare our hearts as we embark on a journey to Bethlehem of our hearts this week.

Let us make our paths straight through the sacrament of penance and reconciliation, personal prayer, reading and studying of the Bible and doing good.

We pray for the grace to prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s strength for the clergy and the religious. God loves you precious one.

Have a blessed day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

3 December Memorial of St. Francis Xavier, Priest.
Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26/Ps 147:1-2,3-4,5-6/Matt 9:35-10:1,5a, 6-8.

Theme: Be a witness

We bring the First Week of Advent to a close, providentially, with the memorial of St. Francis Xavier.

The Holy Mother Church celebrates today St. Francis Xavier calling to mind the stupendous achievement of his missionary spirit and passion for souls. He proclaimed the Gospel in India, China, and Japan, bringing 30,000 souls to Christ.

Today, Jesus sends us to go out to proclaim the gospel. We are called to witness to Jesus.

Essentially and preeminently, the Church is missionary. The Second Vatican Council posits this profound statement thus “The Church is missionary by her very nature”(AG#2). Christ through the Mass each day, sends us out as apostles, first and foremost like the gospel pericope, to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Evangelization is efficaciously fruitful when it begins with “missio ad nos” before “missio ad gentes”. We must seek to evangelise ourselves first before we go out to evangelise others. In other words, we must seek personal conversion before seeking the conversion of others.

This is what St. Francis Xavier did. Let us emulate the pastoral zeal of St. Francis Xavier to seek out the lost sheep in our homes, Church, workplaces etc.

St. Francis Xaxier was born in Navarre, Spain. He studied in Paris where he became one of the original seven members of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Society of Jesus.

We pray for the grace to witness to Jesus. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s journey mercies for all traveling for the Priestly Ordination today. God loves you precious one.

Have a blessed day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

2 December Friday of the First Week of Advent.
Isaiah 29:17-24/Ps 27:1,4,13-14/Matt 9:27-31.

Theme: God is able to transform us.

The week of Hope is gradually folding up and introducing into the week of faith. The Church gives us glimpses of this faith we need to demonstrate in our lives as we await the coming of the Lord.

God is faithfully powerful. He is able to transform our barrenness into fruitfulness. In his opportune time, God does everything beautiful and good(Eccl 3:11).

Faith must lead us to strategically position ourselves. Like the blind men, all we need is to strategically position ourselves for his providential grace.

Our position must enable us to endure the obstacles; crowd, delays. Sometimes, as we wait our problem also exacerbates instead of improving for the better. Ours is to endure because in a very little while, the Lord would transform our despondency into unmatched success and stupendous achievement. He is ably powerful to grant the speediest breakthrough.

Patient-endurance is key. Let us be patiently enduring people. It pays to wait because God is faithful and powerful.

The Lord would open the eyes of our lives; work, relationship, marriage, education and vocation. Light brings clarity and warmth. May every coldness we are experiencing be transformed into warmth and may there be clarity in all we do.

May the Lord open the eyes of our faith to be able to strategically position ourselves for his blessing. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s healing for the sick. God loves you precious one.

Have a wonderful day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

1 December Thursday of the First Week of Advent.
Isaiah 26:1-6/Ps 118:1 and 8-9,19-21,25-27a/Matt 7:21,24-27.

Theme: Solid foundation.

We appreciate profoundly the goodness of the Lord for ushering us into another new month. We thank God for bringing us into the last month of the civil year.

Ordinarily, Advent is the season of preparation for the coming of the Lord. The Phase I focuses on the Parousia. This preparation demands that we are of immensely solid virtues.

Such virtues Isaiah prescribes for us as; justice, trust and faith. These three virtues that would charm the Lord to keep us in peace.

Justice, trust and faith would earn God’s presence and protection for us.

Essentially and primarily, these virtues are “actions not words”(Facta non verba). We must listen to the Word of God and put them into productive use.

Our defense or security does not depend on how much we listen, encounter, dine or our affiliation or association with Jesus but the consciously conscientious effort to live the Word or to witness to Jesus.

We must strenuously endeavour to make justice, faith, and trust our foundation. These can guarantee our admittance into the Kingdom of God; our homeland.

These can be through personal(devotion) and communal prayer(daily Mass), daily reading and studying of the Word of God, penance and reconciliation, spiritual and corp works of nercy.

We pray for the grace to be able to be filled with justice, faith, and trust. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s grace for those experiencing delayed and unsuccessful pregnancies. God loves you precious one.

Have a hearty day.

+Padre Petros Paulos+

SPOKEN WORD

SPOKEN WORD

30 November Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle.
Roms 10:9-18/Ps 19:8,9,10,11/Matt 4:18-22.

Theme: Courageous step

The Holy Mother Church celebrates today the feast of St. Andrew. This and Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary are feasts within Advent that allows us to sing the “Gloria” which ordinarily is prohibited in this season. The caveat is as a result of the stupendous contribution of such people to salvation history and the degree of the celebration; feast and Solemnity.

St. Andrew preached and witnessed to Jesus as far as Greece. He was martyred on an X-shaped cross.

The word of faith demands that we be carriers of it. Without preaching faith is not nurtured because faith comes by hearing

St. Andrew was a vehicle that carried the word of God to Greece and sowed the seed of faith with his blood. Let us also be vehicles of God’s word wherever we find ourselves.

According to the Matthean account, Jesus called Peter and his brother Andrew together at the Sea of Galilee to be fishers of men(Matt 4:18-22). John records that Andrew was a disciple of John prior to his call to be a disciple of Jesus. It is he who found the Messiah and brought his brother to Jesus.

We must also strenuously strive to bring others; children, spouses, workers, bosses, students and lecturers, to Jesus. This is a courageous step we need to embark on to bring change to people. It is only Jesus who has the power to change our story of despondency; unceasing failure, disappointment, delayed and unsuccessful pregnancies, financial turbulence and bankruptcy etc.

We must know our gifts and talents and put them into effectively productive use. Our fruitfulness does not depend on quantity of what we have but the quality and effective use of it.

St. Andrew was seeking solution to problems. He said to Jesus; “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves of bread and two fish”(John 6:9).

We are called to be proactive and preemptive. We must find problem but ours is to problem solvers

Let us emulate the example of St. Andrew to bring our brothers and sisters, friends, workers, spouses, students, parishioners and priests to Jesus in prayer to transform them.

We pray for the grace of courage. May He bless and keep us all.

We pray for God’s blessing for children. God loves you precious one.

Have a wonderful mid-week.

+Padre Petros Paulos+