....Charges Christians to Lead Life of Sacrifice, Love
By Abuchi Onwumelu
As the Awka Diocesan Catholics joined their counterpart all over the world last Sunday, 25 November, 2018 to celebrate the feast of Christ the King otherwise known as Corpus Christi, the Catholic bishop of Awka Diocese His Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has charged Christians to always live the life of sacrifice and love, noting that the celebration is part of reason why the Universal Church appears so thick, rich in culture and tradition.
Bishop Ezeokafor who stated this while delivering a homily at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Awka, explained that the actual period for the celebration was in June every year but do to excessive rainfall in Nigeria at the time the Universal Church decided to shift it to November when the rain must have been subsided.
He however said the celebration usually start with a procession by the adherents from their various parishes to the Cathedral where they would all assembled needed rain – free weather, adding that it was done to remind the people of God about Christ‘s triumphant entry to Jerusalem.
'Today Sunday, 25 November 2018, is the date we set aside for the celebration of Corpus Christi procession. Actually this procession would have taking place in June, that is the proper time. We now do it as the feast of Christ the King in November .
'While in other parts of the world it is done in June because of the rainy season in Nigeria, the universal Church said no, let us remove it because it is something we do in the open ground and it involves movement of people.
'You know Christ came into this world suffered, died and was buried and then he rose again and the Church continues , ‘Bishop Ezeokafor explained.
He recalled that Christ rode on a horse to enter Jerusalem as the King and the Church recognizes Him as the King of the Universe noting that as Christians Christ remained their King and redeemer.
Bishop Ezeokafor enjoined Practicing Catholics to always turn out en-masse to Herald the arrival and triumphant entry of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem whenever it was time for the celebration and for them to always regard Him as the undisputable King of kings, noting that the Bible stated that in the name of Christ Jesus all knees must bow.
Bishop Ezeokafor noted that it was important for Christians to emulate Christ in character in order to win souls for Him.
The man of God, further said even though Christ had departed the world but he was still present among them in the Holy Eucharistic, saying that the Universal Church deemed it wise to always commemorate His historic and eventful stay on earth
Different Parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Awka, converged on Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the final benediction signaling the climax of the feast of Christ the king
Each Parish in Awka and environs, in a procession, amidst various musical displays, thanksgiving and adoration arrived the Cathedral with their individual monstrance conveying the holy Eucharist.
In an interview, one of the leaders of the Knights of Saint Mulumba Professor Amobi Ilika said the event was a double celebration where the presence of the body and blood of Christ among Christians was celebrated together with His kingship.
For his part, a one-time Grand President of Knight of Saint John International Awka Commandary, Brigadier General Godffery Muotolu who traced the origin of the feast of Christ the king, described it as one of the important feasts in the Catholic Church.
The event which featured liturgy of the saints, art of reparation and litany of sacred heart of Jesus climaxed with benediction.