Monday, April 29, 2019


Reflection for Monday of the 2nd Week of Easter
(Acts 4:23-31; Jn 3:1-8)

The Pharisees were known for their double standards. They were virtually jealous of Jesus and opposed Him at every given opportunity. Surprisingly, one of the leading men among the Pharisees visited Jesus secretly. His camouflage and stealth movement towards Jesus is true to their way of life. What is Nicodemus looking for? It is obvious a life of hypocrisy cannot satisfy.

Image result for nicodemus and jesus“This man came to Jesus by night.” Whatever made him to look for Jesus at such dark hour must be very important to him. He took the risk to find Jesus! Imagine the loneliness and silence of the moment as he tiptoed along the way... ‘Have you seen Him whom my soul loves’ (Cf. Song 3:4). The empty glamour of hypocrisy exposed Nicodemus within the hidden darkness of the night! So he risked his status and life to escape the pain of ‘nothingness’—the burden of hypocrisy.

He came in darkness to meet Jesus who is the Light! The prophecy of Simeon came to bare: that the secret thoughts of many may be revealed (Lk 2:35). Nicodemus confessed their hypocrisy, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God.” (Why then were you Pharisees opposing Him and accusing of blasphemy?) Jesus’ response was even more surprising...He was not interested in accusing Nicodemus or making him feel guilty, but He humbly and lovingly dispelled the ‘darkness’ he came with, opening to him the pathway to the Kingdom of God. “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

Hypocrisy does not target Heaven but it aims to protect a false self-ego. The world often create avenues that encourage us to be hypocritical: to package our outlook, to be politically correct, to adapt accent and be fluent in speech, to project religiosity and moral perfection, etc. It is unnecessary pain to carry a false self. Nicodemus got tired of denying Jesus, and sought Him out in the night. In the mist of the darkness of our lives, we can still find Jesus... Actually, it was the beauty of Jesus that drew him close. Through Nicodemus Jesus revealed more about Himself and the way to Heaven.

Our lives will be ready grounds for all forms of hypocrisy if our words and actions do not project that Jesus is the Christ. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’”

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church
Tedi, Lagos.
Monday, April 29, 2019.

Sunday, April 28, 2019


 Reflection on the Feast of Divine Mercy
(2nd Sunday of Easter)

Image result for Jesus Thomas
"My Lord and my God"
“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them.” The disciples were terrified as Jesus appeared suddenly in their mist. How could he pass through closed doors! If he were a ghost, his physical stature would be a mere mirage; and if he were human, He would not pass through closed doors! But here before them stood the resurrected Jesus, with real human nature assumed in His Divine nature. This grace of the resurrection awaits us...

“Peace be with you,” Jesus said to them. Imagine the silence that hovered around the enclosed room as they gazed at Him with utmost wonder! Wrapped in the great mystery before them, the disciples remained silent throughout the encounter. As Jesus proved Himself to them by showing them His hands and feet, they were glad but still remained silent. Who can fathom such a great mystery that warmed their hearts but kept their mouths shut! Every encounter with the resurrected Jesus draws us to a warm silence.

Now we contemplate Jesus, standing before the disciples, enclosed in the room but not confined within it—contained in the room but cannot be restricted by the walls. Materiality can restrict humanity but not divinity! So when humanity is mingled with divinity, then material wall can restrict it no more...There is no obstacle along the way; there is no barrier to hinder Jesus.

Image result for DIVINE MERCYThen, Jesus gave the authority to forgive sin to His Church, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” This mandate—the Sacrament of Reconciliation—contains God’s mercy and forgiveness but does not restrict it or limit it. Divine Mercy is made accessible and readily available to us. Jesus standing before the disciples becomes the ultimate ‘Icon’ of Divine Mercy! He invites doubting souls to come and have a feel, a touch of mercy.

“My Lord and my God” is the habitual response of all who encounter the Divine Mercy. The peace, joy and the ‘silence’ it gives is unfathomable. It is a new birth—a new life in Christ Jesus. Anyone who is in Christ Jesus is a new creation (2Cor 5:17). Their lives are not restricted by material things. They re in the world, but not of it (cf. Jn 17:14-16). They use things of the earth but not consumed by them. A life that participates in the Resurrection of Jesus knows no barrier. They cannot be confined by the wall of material things. However, Divine Mercy awaits us if we derail and get trapped in the world of lust, greed, and all sorts of addiction.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Faith unlocks this ever new horizon, and connects us to the grace of the Resurrection. The unfathomable Divine Mercy envelops us, and opens up for the whole world. And the response of faith that sustains us in this ocean of mercy is: JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU!

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi, Lagos.
Sunday April 28th, 2019
Feast of Divine Mercy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Reflection for Wednesday of the 5th Sunday of Lent
(Dan 3:14-20,24-25,28; Jn 8:31-42)

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship the idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. They remained true to their faith in God despite death threats by the King. Their faith was exemplary. And God sent His Angel to deliver them from the fiery furnace.

Faith in God liberates! “Stand up and go your way. Your faith has saved you” (Lk 17:19). But such faith that brings freedom must be true, which equally implies that it must be consistent even in the face of difficulties or opposition. “God is spirit, and those who worship must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24). True faith in God does not place the self or human need first; it is inspired by love of God, which has been poured into our hearts through Jesus Christ (cf. Rm 5:5).

“Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). Now, the faith that saves finds its concrete expression as authentic relationship in Christ Jesus. So we follow Him as the Way, and live out His life as the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6). In Jesus we have truth and freedom. But how can we to acquire them?

Jesus said in the Gospel of today, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31). Anyone who lives by the Word of God follows Jesus as His disciple. And he enjoys freedom. Sin enslaves! Dishonesty has locked many people in all kinds of bondage. The immediate effect of this, is inconsistency in thought, words, action and behaviour. Thus, ‘restlessness’ bespeaks of certain underlying dishonesty. “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn 8:34-36).

Let us be true to Jesus Christ today, and enjoy His freedom.

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi, Lagos.
Wednesday April 10th, 2019.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Saving Silence

Image result for the adulterous woman in the bible
Reflection for 5th Sunday of Lent
(Is 43:16-21; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11)
“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” The action of God to recreate and bring forth a new order is emphasized in the first reading from the prophet Isaiah. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy today in the life of a woman caught in adultery.

“Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” Jesus’ immediate response was surprising: Silence! It was such a great silence that its imprint was left on the ground. “Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.” It takes a lot of courage and power to be silent when surrounded by such bloodthirsty and treacherous people.

The sound of His silence roared; the dilemma of the accusers deepened. “And they continued to ask Him...” They needed words from Him to satisfy their treachery, but His silence became an arrow that pierced their hearts. By his silence, Jesus equally put Himself at a life-threatening risk since any of the stones could have landed on him. From the depth of His silence, He took upon Himself the death sentence of the woman and spoke on her behalf: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Now He has spoken, but ‘words of silence!’ The impatient and noisy accusers are drawn to silence, for their guilty consciences are exhumed. There was serene calmness hovering over all. The rhythmic sound of dropping stones filtered through the air. “They went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest...” The mark on the ground—the silence of Jesus—has won the day!

Then Jesus said to the woman, “neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” Jesus is not an accuser but a Saviour. And He does it with gentleness and power (cf. Mt 12:18-21). The woman goes home with a new life, as if she was raised from the dead (cf. Heb 11:19). Now every other thing counts as loss, except the surpassing faith in Christ Jesus, the righteousness of God that depends on faith and the power of His resurrection from the dead (cf. Phil 3:8-10).

Encountering the sound of silence of Jesus is power and victory!

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi, Lagos.
Sunday 7th April, 2019.

Thursday, April 4, 2019


Reflection for Thursday of the 4th Week of Lent
(Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5:31-47)
Today we hear about the great betrayal, when the Israelites denied God and worshipped the golden calf. After all the signs and wonders God did to deliver them, they could not exercise patience till Moses returned. The most annoying thing is that they transferred the glory and praise due to God to an idol. The testimony of man is short-lived...!

Image result for Jesus argues with the JewsIn the Gospel, Jesus emphasized that the testimony that inspires His works does not emanate from man. The Pharisees thought human witness and acclamation was necessary to prove the ministry of Jesus. But He explained that He relied only on the Father’s testimony. The testimony of the Father for Jesus is sufficient and necessary. It is within the Father’s testimony that Jesus carried out miracles and exercised His ministry.

Secondly, Jesus emphasized within today’s discuss that the Scriptures testify for Him. Thus, those who can accept and witness to Christ Jesus are those who have the love of God in them, and accept the revelation of Scripture. Actually, the work of Christ Jesus is to testify for the Father who had already testified for Him, and to fulfill the Scripture that bore Him witness. So how can such a work, like the healing of the man at the Sheep Pool on the Sabbath, be an offence against God!

As we trace the unfolding journey towards the Cross, we must apply our Lenten observances to deepen our love for God and the Scriptures. It is there we find the enduring testimony in Christ Jesus in which we are called to participate. Love of God and the Scriptures motivate us aright for right action. Human testimony—praise and popular acclamation—even from our most intimate friends or relations, cannot stand the test of time, and is open to all sorts of idolatry.

Let our words and actions be rightly motivated that we might witness to Him who witness for us, even on the Cross.

Fr Jude Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Ss Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo. Lagos.
4th April, 2019.
My Birthday