This Sunday’s Gospel Message from the Priest

4th Sunday of Easter Sunday Gospel Message

John 10:11-18

The Gospel today brings us to the image of the good shepherd. Jesus is speaking to us directly when He says: I am the good shepherd.” This is a man who is God and who is willing to give His life for me. Even today, many of us Christians find it difficult to believe that anyone would willingly die for us, especially when our lives are still such a mess! But at the very center of our faith, we find the words of Jesus: “I am the good shepherd.” Jesus looks for His sheep, He looks for those who have strayed, He calls us by name, and He invites us to be with Him and to follow Him.

All these readings and this Christian experience is so personal and invites us to respond to a God who loves us in the Risen Lord Jesus. Today we can commit ourselves once again to the Lord. We are invited to speak of our faith, even though it may seem small and hardly existence to us. We can say words such as these: Lord, I want to hear your voice! Lord, I want to follow you even though I am so unfaithful repeatedly. Lord, I trust in you! It is only you who can save me! Heal me, Lord, for I have sinned against you. Let me know your face and I shall be saved.

Let us give thanks to the Lord in this time of Easter and again rejoice in the faithful love of God, who constantly seeks us and invites us once again to live with divine life.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm

3rd Sunday of Eater Gospel Message

Luke 24:35-48

The joy of today’s readings is for the person who knows that he or she is a sinner and needs forgiveness and expiation. A sinner who is being converted should be able to say: I would like to think of myself as a sinner! I want to know the loving presence of Jesus Christ saying: I forgive you your sins! I want to know conversion so that my life becomes turned around and focused on God and not on me. I want truly to be sorry for my sins. And at the same time, I want to feel confidence in God and because of God’s love, confidence in my own life. I want to be able to choose for God in every aspect of my life.

This is salvation for us! It is Jesus Christ who makes this inner awareness of God’s love and forgiveness possible in life. It is Jesus Christ who makes us humans capable of giving ourselves to others in love.

Like the disciples in the Gospel, we can meet the Lord. Like them, we can become convinced that he is not a ghost, but a living being present in our lives today. By listening to His words in the Scriptures and meditating deeply on his actions and life, we come to know how God is present in Jesus and how God is present in us. We can give thanks to the Lord for this great day of salvation. We learn to rejoice in the suffering and death of Jesus because He rises from the dead and gives us the possibility of life. We learn how to rejoice in our own sufferings and daily deaths so that we too can rise with Him and see the glory of divine life at work in our every day world.

This time of Easter is a time to renew our awareness of sin, so that we are renewed in the hope of salvation. We can learn to confess our sins once again in the Holy Sacrament of Reconciliation so that we become more alive humanly and divinely. Let us give thanks for the forgiveness of sins and joyfully repent of all that separates us from God.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm

2nd Sunday of Easter Gospel Message

John 20:19-31

In today’s Gospel, Jesus greets his disciples with the gift of peace. Jesus then commissions his disciples to continue the work that he has begun; as Jesus was sent by God, so Jesus sends his disciples. He gives his disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit so that they will be able to accomplish this task. Jesus’ words to his disciples also highlight the integral connection between the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit. With the grace of the Holy Spirit, we can share forgiveness and reconciliation with others.

Thomas, the doubting disciple in today’s reading, represents the reality of the Church that comes after this first community of witnesses to Jesus. All but the first disciples of Jesus must believe without seeing. Like Thomas, we may doubt the news that Jesus, who was crucified and buried, appeared to his disciples. Our human nature seeks hard evidence that the Jesus who appeared to his disciples after his death is indeed the same Jesus who was crucified. Thomas is given the opportunity to be our representative in obtaining this evidence. He gives witness to us that the Jesus who was raised is the same Jesus who died. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, we are among those who are blessed, for we have not seen and yet believe.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm

Easter Sunday Gospel Message

John 20:1-9

Today’s gospel tells us that Jesus left the linen cloths with which he was buried in the grave when he resurrected. In order words, he did not cling to any “worldly” thing or allowed them to pull him down. So, there are two questions we need to ask ourselves this Easter. The first is: Did I resurrect with Christ this Easter? The second question is: What have I left in “my grave” this Easter? If we must rise like Christ, we must be equally ready to detach ourselves from all unnecessary mundane things that we are strongly and madly attached to. Jesus understood and obeyed the natural law which holds that for one to rise up he must leave something behind. If we fail to do this, the law of gravity which Jesus himself understood and obeyed might prevail against us.

The core message of Easter therefore, is that today, day we like Christ, have risen above all the obstacles that held us down in the grave. It is a message that, even though death and the grave were parts of God’s salvation plan, they will not last for eternity (Ps. 30, 5). It is a blessed assurance that God is faithful to his promises, and will deliver us from all the perilous situations. It is also an assurance that our day of glory will surely come. Today is indeed, “a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it (Ps118, 22).” Alleluia, Alleluia!

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm

Palm Sunday Gospel Message

Mark 14:1-15:47

Each year on the Sunday before Easter, Christians around the world celebrate and commemorate what is traditionally called Palm or Passion Sunday, when we recount the events leading up to the betrayal, crucifixion and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Holy Week is the high point of the Liturgical Year, culminating in the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection next Sunday. This is thought of as the busiest but also the richest week in the Christian calendar.

The Sunday Liturgy of the Eucharist (Mass) on Palm Sunday begins with a re-enactment of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. After hearing the recounting of this event from the Gospel, everyone processes into church carrying blessed palm or olive branches, singing joyful songs in praise of the Lord who saves us.

Our procession with palm or olive branches and hearing the words of Scripture regarding the life, death and ultimately the resurrection of Christ, is not something from the remote past meant to remind of what occurred long ago, with little relevance for the present. Rather, all that we celebrate throughout Holy Week is a clear reminder that God is with us now, working on our behalf and that the power of the resurrection of Christ has a daily and real effect in our lives. We are to be convinced that the working of the Holy Spirit in us and with us is an undying source of grace and now and always. This means that we are called to acclaim the Lord not merely with our lips or just on certain days of the year, such as Palm Sunday, but with our lives, each and every day.

May this Holy Week 2024 find us renewed in zeal for the things of God, for love of God and neighbor, eager to celebrate next Sunday the Passover of our Lord, the central mystery of our Christian faith, the Resurrection of Christ. We are called to die with Christ so that we might rise with him as well. May God illumine and guide our steps today and throughout our lives.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm