Receive the Holy Spirit

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

We celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, the birthday of the Church, the day on which the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles in Jerusalem and transformed them from fearful and traumatized disciples to fearless witnesses to the Gospel and animated beneficiaries of the new covenant.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Most Holy Trinity. He proceeds from the Father and the Son, he is equal to, yet distinct from, the Father and the Son. In Old Testament Hebrew, He is Ruach Yahweh, the breath or wind of God who was present with God at creation (Genesis 1:26), He is the initiator of Divine order (Genesis 1:2), the Sanctifier, the One who affects renewal, the Advocate, our light and guide, the One who empowers all that the Father chooses. In the second account of creation, when God made man, it was by breathing His Spirit into him that God bequeathed life to Adam (Genesis 2:7).



05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

“GO, THEREFORE, AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS.” We celebrate this weekend, the feast of the Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ into Heaven. This feast is ordinarily celebrated forty days after Easter on the Thursday of the sixth week of Easter, but in most Dioceses in the United States, the feast is moved to Sunday in order to lend this important feast the Grace of the Day of the Lord: Sunday.

Acts of the Apostles from where we have our First Reading provides a concise account of how the day played out. Within the forty days after the Resurrection, Jesus made multiple appearances to His Disciples and, through the Holy Spirit, instructed them.


If you Love Me, You Will Keep My Commandments

05-14-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Today we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter, and in two weeks we shall be celebrating the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on Pentecost. This is precisely why the Readings at the liturgy this weekend revolve around the effects of the coming of the Holy Spirit on members of the early, and post- Resurrection, Church.


The Early Church and The Church of Our Time

05-07-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

History is full of attempts by human communities to bridge the gap between the physical and the spiritual, the human and the Divine, through building of physical structures called temples. One of such temples was built in Jerusalem by Herold the Great, being completed in AD 66 and razed by the Romans in AD 70. The early Christians, and particularly the authors of the New Testament texts in this weekend’s Readings, were very familiar with this Temple, yet they were profoundly convinced that God had begun the construction of a new and greater dwelling for Himself in their own time, consisting not of gathered stones but of an assembly (ekklesia) of human beings, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone. This is why the Readings of this weekend revolve around the theme of the building of the Church, the new sanctuary that is founded on the Apostles with Christ as the cornerstone and all of us as members.


I Came So That They Might Have Life And Have It More Abundantly

04-30-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Fourth Sunday of Easter has come to be known as Good Shepherd Sunday, chiefly because on the fourth Sunday of Easter each year, the Gospel Reading is taken from chapter 10 of St. John’s Gospel where Jesus declared Himself the Good Shepherd. We can observe that the readings revolve around the theme of the shepherd hood of Christ and its consequence on all of us who make up His living flock.


He Was Made Known To Them in the Breaking of the Bread

04-23-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Gospel passage for the Third Sunday of Easter presents the story of how the Resurrected Jesus revealed Himself, through the scriptural hermeneutics and the breaking of bread, to two of His disciples, Cleopas and his unnamed companion, who were going to a village called Emmaus. As they journeyed, they discussed recent occurrences in Jerusalem including the reported resurrection of Jesus. St. Luke reports that Jesus “drew near and walked with them” but they could not recognize Him. The stranger (at least in their eyes at that moment) wanted to know what they were discussing. They offered a concise summary of the events surrounding the Resurrection, “informing” Jesus about the crucifixion of “Jesus the Nazarene,” His death on the cross, their seemingly dashed hope that He would be the salvation of Israel, the discovery of the empty tomb by some women among them, and the subsequent investigation and confirmation of the story by some of the Apostles.


Whose Sins You Forgive Are Forgiven Them

04-16-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

We celebrate today the Second Sunday of Easter. On May 5, 2000, St. Pope John Paul II decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter, the Octave of Easter, would be known and celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. The feast was established by the Pope after he canonized St. Faustina, a humble Polish nun to whom Jesus revealed His message of Divine Mercy. On this Sunday, reflecting on the immensity of God’s unfathomable mercy towards creation, we reiterate our constant need for it and express our unflinching trust in Divine Mercy.


This Man God Raised on the Third Day and Granted that He Be Visible

04-09-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

On this day we celebrate the glorious Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead. On Good Friday, we commemorated the Passion and Death of Jesus on the Cross. We recalled the event when the Divine Redeemer willingly offered Himself as a sacrifice that would pay our debt of sin, reconcile humanity to God, and effect the restoration of our friendship with our Creator. We know that He had promised not to remain in the grave but to rise from the dead on the third day so as to destroy death, the consequence of sin, and afford us hope for a life with Him in eternity. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, fulfilled this promise on Easter Sunday.


Hosanna to the Son of David!

04-02-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

We celebrate on this day, the triumphant and Messianic entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, an event that ushers us into the Holiest Week of the year during which we shall celebrate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. There are two Gospel Readings on Passion Sunday. The First, which is read outside the Church building before the procession, tells the story of the triumphant entrance of the Messiah into Jerusalem.

In humility, alluding to the kind of Messiah He was going into Jerusalem to be, Jesus preferred to ride on an ass rather than the conventional horse that was the standard means of transportation for Kings and warriors at that time. St. Matt hew recounts that His Disciples honored Him by spreading cloaks and branches from trees for Him to ride on, while acknowledging Him as the Son of David, the One who comes in the name of the Lord. In our time, Jesus desires an entrance into our hearts and lives (Revelations 3:20).


I Am the Resurrection and the Life

03-26-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Season of Lent is approaching its close and we are on the last of the trifecta of lengthy Gospel Readings from St. John in the Liturgical “Year A”. Next Sunday is Palm Sunday which will usher us into Holy Week, and as we draw closer to Easter, we find the Readings revolving around the theme of Death, Resurrection and Life.

The First Reading, taken from the Prophet Ezekiel, is God’s own interpretation of the “Dry Bones” vision; shown to the Prophet where Ezekiel was instructed to prophesy life to the vast army of dry bones which received restoration of flesh and came to life as soon as the Prophet did as he was instructed. Here (in the First Reading), God reveals to the Prophet the meaning of the preceding vision. God was going to terminate Israel’s hopelessness in exile and effect a restoration that would see Israel returned to her ancestral habitat. Israel’s exile is interpreted as some kind of death, so real that all that is left of her is a mass of disjointed skeletons. Through the power of God’s Word, God’s Spirit will resuscitate and restore Israel to her pre-exilic state where she enjoyed liberty on her own land. Through this, Israel shall know that God is the Lord.


You Were Once in Darkness, But Now You Are Light in the Lord

03-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Beginning last weekend, using the Gospel of St. John and forming a trifecta of liturgical weekends, the Church introduced us to the mysteries of the Sacraments. This is to increase the understanding of the Catechumens about the mysteries they are about to receive, and to the Baptized, a renewal and recommitment to the fruits of the Sacraments. The Readings last weekend exposed the mysteries of sanctifying Grace which Christ bestows on all believers through the Sacraments in order to graciously grant them eternal life. This weekend, the Readings are themed around anointing and light.


God is Spirit and Those Who Worship Him Must Worship in Spirit in Truth

03-12-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

Water is among the most essential needs of a human being, the absence of which is very likely to ignite an irrepressible thirst that can only be satisfied by it or a similarly drinkable liquid. On their way to the Promised Land, the people of Israel had to journey through deserts that lacked sources of drinking water. The people grumbled against Moses who turned to God for a solution to the problem. The Lord instructed Moses to strike a rock with his staff and the people drank the water that flowed from it. The physical thirst of the Israelites in the desert was a sign pointing to a greater thirst, our thirst for God Himself which cannot be satisfied with physical water. In Psalm 42:1-2, the Psalmist puts it succinctly, “like the deer that yearns for running streams, so my soul is longing for you my God.” Like Israel, we often mask our real longing for God with the deal for pleasure and material things.


This Is My Beloved Son...Listen To Him

03-05-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

The Season of Lent is always an important annual segment of our journey of faith. For this reason, we are invited by the Church, through the Readings, to reflect on the beginning of the journey of faith embarked on by Abraham our Father in Faith, and the defining moment of the Transfiguration, Jesus’ theophany after which Scripture reports “He set His face towards Jerusalem” (LK 9:51). Both journeys provide a living standard by which we, as Christians, can measure our own journey of faith.