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August 18, 2018

Divine Mercy Apostolate, Owerri Archdiocese, celebrates Year of Mercy

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A cross section of the Divine Mercy members during Mass

As Catholics world over celebrate an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which was launched by Pope Francis on December 8, 2015, members of the Divine Mercy Apostolate of Owerri Archdiocese were not left out, as they on Friday 22 July embarked on a Pilgrimage to Assumpta Cathedral to pass the symbolic Door of Mercy.
Preaching during the benediction, Rev. Fr. Divine Ekebe who reflected on the story of the adulterous woman condemned by the Pharisees but forgiven by Christ, observed that if we were in the position of the Pharisees we would have condemned the woman too notwithstanding that we are not perfect ourselves. “One of the things we are good in doing, is condemning people, we don’t see the good in people”. Continuing, he said humans look at the physical aspect of things while God looks at the heart. We have dressed very well, taken good care of our bodies but have we taken care of our souls like we take care of our bodies?, he asked
Fr. Ekebe said that God is ever ready to forgive us. He maintained that nobody is righteous and that if God should count our iniquities nobody will be worthy to stand in His presence. If so why should we count the wrongs done to us by others? asked the priest. He recalled the statement of Pope Francis that “God keeps forgiving Even though He sees how hard it is for His grace to have roots in the paths and rocky soil of our hearts, he never stops sowing His mercy and forgiveness”.
When we show mercy to one another, God recreates our hearts, to be good vessels again, no longer leaking; by showing us mercy, God has created us anew, we are no longer old creations, we have been recreated like when we were baptized.
Fr. Divine pleaded with Christ’s faithful to always be repentant and never to see their sin as unforgivable.
According to Pope Francis some of the saints we see now were once great sinners. So we should come back to God in humility because one of the reasons we go to confession is to show humility, if you are not humble, you can’t go to confession”
Christ poured His blood for the forgiveness and remission of the sins of men, if He can give His life for us on the cross of Calvary, then it is in our hands as baptized Christians to pass on this God’s grace, and mercy to each others.
God through the church is telling us in this year of mercy to make sure this mercy reaches everybody, since we ourselves have been shown mercy, stressed the cleric.
He urged everyone to join the apostles of Christ to spread this Gospel and also bear witness to the Gospel. Through our actions, by showing love and mercy to others, we keep spreading the Gospel, said the priest.
He advised the Divine Mercy members to start putting into action, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that they recite in their prayers. He said that being Apostles of mercy means touching and soothing the wounds that today afflict the body and the souls of many of our brothers and sisters and that in curing their wounds we profess Jesus, we make Him present and alive.
Fr. Divine noted that the Divine mercy is a special society in the church and it is a privilege for one to be a member.
Preaching at the Holy Mass, Fr. Divine reflected on the Gospel which centered on Mary Magdalene whose feast was also being celebrated. He noted that Mary Magdalene used her life to bear witness to the word of God.
He observed that in some of the most significant occasions in the life of Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene was present. She was always with Christ both in good  and bad times. According to the priest, even when Peter and John came to the tomb and discovered that Christ was no longer there, they went away but Mary stayed back until she saw Christ. Does your soul thirst for Christ? The priest asked the Divine Mercy Apostles, adding if your soul thirsts for the Lord you will see Him for He is always with us.
The chief celebrant of the Holy Mass Rev. Fr. Dr. Cletus Eboh later thanked the priests present and the Divine Mercy Apostles, reminding them of the gains of the pilgrimage and urged them to remain steadfast in the Lord.
The Archdiocesan Leader of Divine Mercy Association, Mr. Modestus Orisakwe, on behalf of the Association thanked the priests and all attendees including non-members of the sodality and urged them to join the group.
In a chat with our reporter, Mr. Modestus observed that they are the first sodality to pass through the Door of Mercy as others came as parishes and so urged other sodalities to follow suit. He also disclosed that over 70 Divine Mercy centres in parishes in the Archdiocese were present at the occasion.
It would be recalled that the celebration started with a procession from Obiri Odenigbo to the Cathedral, through the Door of Mercy, followed by benediction, confessions, Holy Mass and ended with Divine Mercy Prayer at 3pm..


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