This Sunday’s Gospel Message from the Priest

2nd Sunday of Lent Gospel Message

Mark 9:2-10

The Gospel today, from Saint Mark, is the account of the Transfiguration of Jesus.  Jesus is changed in front of his own followers, at least some of them, so that they can believe that He is truly God even when they see Him undergo crucifixion.  At the heart of our Christian believing is this deep awareness that Jesus is born for us, that Jesus dies for us and that Jesus has indeed been raised to life for us.  This is not a philosophical argument but an experienced reality of the early Christians that we later Christians have come to see as true because of their testimony.

So our readings today are clear:  seek to do the will of God in all things, believe that Christ died and was raised from the dead for us and see in the Transfiguration of Christ that we also can be transfigured by our complete belief in Him.  Let us give all to the Lord and receive from the Lord whatever He sends us.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm


FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT GOSPEL MESSAGE

Mark 1:12-15

Last Wednesday we began the season of Lent, a favorable or opportune time, inspired by Scriptural references that speak of returning to God as something completely desirable and positive. Lent is the time to review our lives, reflect upon our thoughts, words and deeds, and concentrate our efforts more fully on the things of God. Lent is a reminder of what life is all about: not health, wealth and beauty, but liberation from slavery to sin, which means passing through trials to arrive on the heavenly Jerusalem, where we hope to enjoy God’s company forever.

Forty is a significant number throughout the Sacred Scriptures of our tradition. For example, the flood in Noah’s time lasted forty days. For forty years the Hebrews wandered in the desert before entering the Promised Land. Jonah the prophet preached for forty days to the Ninevites. At different times both Moses and Elijah spent forty days fasting and praying on the mountain.

In a great tradition, Jesus also fasted and prayed in the desert for forty days. Our Church to this day maintains the timeline of forty days of reflection, fasting, prayer and almsgiving, in preparation to celebrating the culmination of Lent, Holy Week at the end of the forty days, and then powerfully recounting and reliving the events of our redemption in Jesus Christ, called the Sacred Triduum, leading up to Easter Sunday.

To enter the desert is to recognize our fragility and fears. Only with the Holy Spirit can we be comforted and sustained in our efforts. As the Holy Spirit protected Christ in the desert, so we too count on the same kind of help. At the moment of his baptism, just prior to his sojourn in the desert, the Holy Spirit appeared in the form of a dove to accompany Christ in his work as Messiah.

In moments of our desert journey we too are assured of the presence of the same Holy Spirit and of final victory over death. This is promised us by the Sacrament of Baptism we have received. Only our own choice of rejection of God’s help, by our free will, can forfeit the promise made to us by God.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, cicm


6th Sunday in Ordinary Time Gospel Message

Mark 1:40-45

In the gospel, Jesus continues to heal. Today, He encountered a leper. Instead of avoiding or stigmatizing the leper, he touched and healed him. The humble petition of the leper touched him: “If you want, you can cure me.” As a compassionate savior and master, Jesus responded with both words and actions: “!Of course, I want to be cured!”

By healing the leper, Jesus makes a statement that the leper was not excluded, but that he was equally destined for salvation. Jesus was different from the Levitical priests whose duty was to pronounce judgment, stigmatize, and isolate the leper. On the contrary, He communicated the love and mercy of God in signs that speak more than words.

How should we treat the sick, the weak, the poor, and those rejected by society? We must show them mercy and help them as Jesus did. Through his mercy and compassion, Jesus is always ready to free us from whatever makes us unclean. Therefore, let us praise him: “You are my refuge, O Lord; you fill me with the joy of salvation”.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, CICM


5th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel Message

Mark 1:29-39

In today’s gospel, Jesus tirelessly went about teaching, healing, delivering, and empowering people. This includes the mother-in-law of Peter. Also, Jesus saw his ministry as a responsibility, not principally as a wage earner for him. So, above everything, he was passionate about it, and about the welfare of his people.

Like Jesus and Paul, we ought to see our call and mission as a responsibility, instead of a burden or a wage-earner, or solely for mundane reward. Wages or rewards does not refer to only money or material things. Deliberately seeking praise for our work and mission is a way of demanding wages too. If we do so, we have already received our wages. So, when we attract undue attention to ourselves for the work we do, it is also a way of gaining a salary for what merely ought to be our responsibility.

Jesus preached, healed, and delivered people from all kinds of infirmities and problems. No one encountered him with faith without being healed. If Jesus must heal us, we too must have faith in Him. The power of Jesus is still the same today. He is ready to heal those who come to him in faith. He is prepared to have a life-changing encounter with those who are prepared to approach him with humility. Therefore, let us “praise the Lord who heals our broken hearts.”. Also, If the good news must liberate us, we must believe it.

Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, CICM


4th Sunday of Ordinary Time Gospel Message

Mark 1:21-28

Gospel for this Sunday, we find Jesus teaching in the synagogue of Capernaum. The synagogue there, by the Sea of Galilee, is neither grand nor outstanding, and in its present state stands partly in ruins, with no roof on it. This fact, of being roofless, strikes me as underlining the fact that the message of the saving deeds of the Lord cannot in any way be bound or confined, but must extend to all the ends of the earth. In other words, there is no roof on Jesus’ message.

Our work is cut out for us as followers of Christ, challenging us to proclaim the Gospel by our lives. We should never give up in our search for God each day of our life, trusting in the loving help of the One who created us and who has sustained us to the present. At the same time, we need also to keep in mind that at some point we will all be exchanging time for eternity, one definition of the reality of death. May we be prepared to meet the Lord now and at the moment of the completion of our earthly pilgrimage.

 Fr. Wifridus Ngalla, CICM