Wake up, defend your faith – Fr. Okoro charges Christians
Christ’s faithful have been charged to wake up and defend their faith wherever it is threatened. This charge was given by the parish priest of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church Emekuku Owerri, Rev. Fr. Dr. Alex Okoro, while preaching the homily at a Eucharistic celebration, Sunday January 29, 2017. The occasion was the First Quarterly meeting for 2017 of the Owerri-Ngor Okpala Fraternity of Knights of St. John International (KSJI).
Fr. Okoro reminded Christians, that considering the numerous unjustified attacks on them in some parts of the country, it was time to bring out their swords in defence of their faith, as Christ did not ask his followers to throw theirs away but to safeguard them for self defence in times like this.
The homilist, who urged the people of God to live a righteous life, with clean hands and avoid lies, referred to the First Reading of the day, where the Prophet Zephaniah assured all those who seek refuge in the name of the Lord of their peace and safety.
He further explained that the Israelites of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon, whom the prophet was addressing, were no others than the Igbo race.
Fr. Okoro who warned that “enough is enough”, pointed out that no tribe in Nigeria believes more in one Nigeria than Ndigbo, whose investments are scattered throughout the entire country. “In as much as Christians want peace, Muslims should stop taking us for granted by all these incessant attacks and killings”.
He challenged Christians to therefore show their faith by the way they rise up in its defence and also urged politicians to speak out against all forms of injustice irrespective of the political party they belong to. “If you cannot say no, your yes is useless” he warned.
Fr. Okoro who warned that the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of man, regretted that since religious crisis started in Nigeria in 1943, Christians have always been on the receiving end with hardly any Muslim arrested and prosecuted.
The Mt. Carmel parish priest called on Christ’s faithful present to join the Noble Order of Knights of St. John International, and commended the role knights play in the Church. He specifically recalled that Knights take the Catechism of the Catholic Church more seriously than other group of Christians.
Speaking at the end of Mass, the Chairman of the Owerri-Ngor Okpala KSJI Fraternity, Sir C.C. Amadi informed the congregation that it was the turn of the Emekuku members of the Order to host their Quarterly meeting which rotates among the parishes in all the local government areas concerned.
He explained that from providing them with the opportunity for membership drive, such occasions are used to raise funds for the host parish and to encourage the parishioners in their faith. Sir Amadi assured them that membership was open to every married practicing Catholic and that one does not need to be a saint to be admitted. Any Catholic who is prepared to offer his 3Ts (Time, Talent and Treasure) in the service of God is qualified, said Sir Amadi. They must however live exemplary life.
The Fraternity organized a second collection, kicked off by the knights and their ladies and joined by other faithful. The KSJI donated Another highpoint of that day’s celebration was the unveiling and blessing of a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary donated by Noble (Sir) & Lady Lucien Ohale.
The parish priest prayed for God’s abundant blessings on the family of Ohale.