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July 18, 2018

Christ the King: Inculturation in action at Mt Carmel Emekuku

Christ the King 2017 at Mount Carmel Emekuku
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Parishioners of Mt. Carmel Church Emekuku in the Owerri North L.G.A., last Sunday, joined other Catholics across Nigeria to celebrate this year’s Feast of Christ the King of the Universe.

The climax of the celebration was the procession by Christ’s faithful immediately after the Mass from the Mother Church premises a long the major road, terminating at the Emekuku High School, singing, dancing and hailing Jesus Christ as King.

The Cross bearer led the procession, followed by young children, Primary School pupils and Students, followed by members of the Mary League, Catholic Youths and Christian Mothers. Behind came the Chief Celebrant and Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Dr. Alex Okoro, who carried the Monstrance displaying the Blessed Sacrament, flanked by Knights of the Church while Christian Fathers took the rear.

One striking feature of the celebration was the message of inculturation, vividly showed in the choice of those selected to carry the canopy covering the priest carrying the body of the King (JESUS CHRIST) being celebrated. Only parishioners who are holders of the traditional title of Nze were assigned to carry the Canopy. Thus driving home the fact that the Church was always ready to integrate worthy African cultures into the Christian Religion.

The various security agencies, such as the Police and Men of Order and Discipline (MOD) ensured that the procession did not obstruct vehicle flow nor the oars and buses disturb the procession. The occasion was rounded off with a benediction at Emekuku High School.

In his Introductory remarks at the beginning of Mass, the Parish Priest, Fr. Okoro said that the choice of Ndi Nze (Members of the Eze-in-Council) as canopy bearers since the traditional ruler was unavoidably absent, was inconsonance with the age-long practice of the Royal Father being the First to receive the missionaries into any Community.

Preaching the homily later, Fr. Okoro stated that one distinguishing factor between the Kingship of Christ and earthly kings was that he won his throne without any physical fight, firing of gun or other man-made weapons. Whereas, earthly kingship last only for a while; that of Jesus Christ is for ever and millions of adherents to the Christian Faith are ready to die in its defence every day.

Fr. Okoro explained that what Christ founded was a Kingdom of Light, Love, Peace and Justice, whose emphasis is seeing Christ in fellow man. Drawing from the gospel of that Sunday, where Christ warned that whatever is done for or denied any of his followers is done to Him, whether it is food, drink, cloth, shelter or compassion.

“Whatever good you refuse to do for to a fellow man, it is Christ that you have denied it,” cautioned the homilist.

Fr. Okoro warned that at the Judgement day, what will matter most will be the good to fellow man, which anyone refused to render.

 


 

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