By Regina Igwebuike
Amawbia (Awka South LGA), Dec. 1, 2020 (MOI) The Chaplain, Government House, Rev. Fr. Patrick Okafor has observed that we as Christians need to be vigilant as no one knows the time that the Son of Man will come.
Fr. Okafor spoke during a homily at St. Mathew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia to mark the Advent, the new liturgical year for the Catholic Church across the globe on Nov. 29.
Advent from Latin ad venio, “to come’’ is a liturgical season anticipating the Adventus Domini, the “coming of the Lord, Sun of Justice’’ to kindle our hearts with His Light and His Love.
Fr. Okafor said that the new liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of the Advent.
According to him the Church not only wishes to indicate the beginning of a period but the beginning of a renewed commitment to the faith by followers of Christ.
“It is a time of prayer and part of penance that is so powerful, rich and intense.
“The Advent gives Christians a renewed impetus to genuinely welcome the message of Christ, who has been incarnated for us.
“The liturgy of today spurs us to an awakening in our Christian life, putting us in an alert disposition to wait for the coming of Christ.’’
According to him, it is a period of vigilance and waiting that prepares us to welcome the Word Incarnate, who will give the “Light’ to the womb of the Virgin Mary.
The cleric urged the faithful, not only to celebrate a historical memory but to repeat this memory in their lives and in the service of others.
“This period is filled with preparation and expectations, everyone getting ready for Christmas shopping, others forgetting the real essence of the season.
“We must start our journey to ascend the mountain of the Lord, to be illuminated by His words of peace and to allow Him to lead us.’’
The chaplain adds: “to achieve this, one has to change one’s conduct, abandoning the works of darkness and don the armor of light’’.
Fr. Okafor then implored Christians to be charitable, especially this period of COVID-19 pandemic with its economic challenges. He urged Christians to preserve the spiritual focus of Christmas amid the prevailing secular and consumer-driven society. (MOI)