By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Ahead of the November 6, 2021 Anambra State governorship election, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (CADEK), Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke, has warned the electorate against selling their birthright for mere peanuts, lest they suffer the aftermaths of bad governance.
Bishop Okpaleke gave the warning in his homily of the Holy Mass to mark the Golden Jubilee Marriage Anniversary of Sir William & Lady Rose Umeojilinnaka, KSJI, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Uga, Aguata LGA, Anambra State, last Sunday, October 17.
Inviting all to reflect on the Book of Hebrews 12:15-16, the bishop advised the people not to sell their birthrights in any circumstances so as not to be caught up by the predicament of Esau.
‘See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; that no one be immoral or irreligious like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal,’ Bishop Okpaleke stated.
Basing his reflections further on the gospel of the Sunday from Mark 10:35-45, on how the sons of Zebedee, James and John, requested to take the pride of place beside Jesus, the Catholic prelate decried what he said was the devouring quest for political positions and power which had filled Anambra State and Nigeria ahead of the guber election.
The bishop urged the electorates to ensure they participated in the election with their conscience and vote in the best candidate who would improve the state and the welfare of humanity for the better.
Most Rev Okpaleke extolled Sir William & Lady Rose Umeojilinnaka for holding on to the marital vows they exchanged fifty years ago. He described them as an exemplary and ideal couple who had stayed together, expressed the strong faith they had in God in visible and tangible ways, and raised their children in the faith.
While impacting the blessings of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on the couple, Bishop Okpaleke, who presented the celebrants with gifts of chaplets of the Holy Rosary, prayed God to continue to guide, protect and direct them to remain steadfast in faith.
Fides gathered that the golden jubilee couple are parents of the Dean, Nanka Deanery, Rev Fr Christian Umeojilinnaka, who is also the Vice Chairman of Association of Diocesan Priests, Catholic Diocese of Ekwulobia (ADP-CADEK).
Highlight of the event was the re-exchanging of marital vows by the couple, fifty years after.