By Regina Igwebuike
Amawbia (Awka South LGA), April 3, 2021 (MOI) Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Obiekezie, Vicar St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia says Eucharist is the centre, source and summit of Catholic Faith.
Fr. Obiekezie said this in a homily on Holy on April, noting that the ceremony marked three outstanding events; the institution of Holy Eucharist, the institution of Priesthood and the exhibition of selfless sacrifice.
He said that the Eucharist draws one closer to God, increases ones grace, reduces the concupiscence of the flesh and gives eternal assurance to all who received it in the state of grace.
The cleric emphasised that only Catholic priests could celebrate Holy Mass and absolve sins as they stood in the gap between God and man.
He noted that the preaching of the Gospel was always mysteriously linked to persecution and to the embrace of some particular cross, which is non-negotiable, “the cross of our salvation’’.
Fr. Obiekezie urged Christians to always pray to God to renew deep within the priests the spirit of holiness, unite them in imploring God’s mercy for the people entrusted to their care and for the whole world.
Mrs Maria Maureen Odilatu, Parish Female Catechist urged all to carry their cross diligently in humble and total submission to the will of God.
She enjoined those who despised the cross to see it as a means to their salvation, emphasising that without cross there would be no crown.
Lady Catechist enjoined all to imitate the Holy family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph who made history through suffering as willed by God.
Earlier during the Cathedraticum on Wednesday, Auxiliary Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Jonas Benson Okoye said that the Chrism Mass reminded Christians that their oneness in Christ through baptism and His holy anointing made possible by the ministry of the bishop and his priests.
It was also a key moment in which the unity of the bishop with his priests together formed the Presbyteries was manifested and renewed.
Bishop Okoye explained that “priestly vocation is not a ministry where priests do their best for God rather a ministry, where priests leave themselves open to the spirit of God to use them and work through them.
“This is not priestly ministry for God but a divine ministry working through us the body of Christ. Priests are just mere instruments.
“Jesus Christ has made us a kingdom of priests to serve His God and Father. He has given us a share in His consecration to priestly service in His Church.’’
He prayed to God to help them to be faithful witness in the world to the salvation Christ won for all mankind as they put their lives on wire.
The prelate urged the Laity to pray for them for God to bless them with the fullness of His Love, making them faithful ministers of Christ the High Priest so as to lead the faithful to Christ the fountain of salvation.
Bishop Okoye thanked lay faithful for touching the lives of others especially at the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.
He advised those yet to take the vaccine to do so, explaining, “it is safe to curb the spread of the virus’’. Commemoration of the institution of priesthood, the blessing and consecration of three oils and Cathedraticum were part of the ceremony. (MOI)