By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
As the Catholic faithful throughout the world celebrated the Solemnity of Ascension of Jesus Christ, the Director, Archbishop A.K. Obiefuna Retreat, Pastoral and Conference Centre, Okpuno (ABAKOREPACCO), Rev Fr Polycarp Chimaobi Okoye, has described the solemnity as the celebration of the multiplication of the presence of Jesus Christ.
Rev Fr Okoye, who stated this in his homily of the Holy Mass to mark the 2021 Solemnity of Ascension of Jesus Christ at the Good Shepherd Chapel of (ABAKOREPACCO), on Ascension Thursday, May 13, noted that Christ ascended into heaven so as to multiply his presence everywhere for his people.
According to him, Jesus Christ ascended and sent the Holy Spirit so as to, through the Spirit, explain to the faithful the teachings which they did not understand to them, and to enable his people to encounter his transforming presence everywhere and every day of their life.
On the Solemnity which the Church celebrated 40 days after Easter, the priest explained that ’40’ which represented ascension, the years which the Israelites spent in the wilderness and other remarkable events in the Holy Bible, signified waiting. Fr Okoye added that Christ’s Ascension, 40 days after Easter, was a call for the faithful to wait and prepare so as to ascend into heaven as Jesus Christ did.
The director flayed those who spent time moving around prayer houses, burning different types of candles and drinking various types of oil in search of instant miracles to desist from such attitude, which, according to him, were contradictory to the teachings of Christ.
Pointing out that the reality of life was to do good on earth, the Catholic priest charged all to spend their life doing good on earth just as Jesus Christ instructed, and not to waste their time on things which were ephemeral. He encouraged the faithful to remain steadfast in prayers and good works with their worshipping community, noting that when they did, they would encounter Jesus Christ, even in seemingly difficult situations.