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JESUS CHRIST, PERFECT MODEL FOR EVERY STAGE OF HISTORY

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Pastor's Corner with Fr. MarkThe emerging theme of today’s Liturgy of the Word is the expression of the anthropological dream of God.  The Lord shows in very clear manner how He wishes His favorite creature, man, would be.

 

IN CHRIST GOD REVEALS TRUE IDENTITY AND DIGNITY OF MAN

Since the desire of God is that humanity comes to an end of integral felicity, the Word of God became proclaimer of the profound ethical and religious demands of God pushing the believer not to simulate his religiosity in pure, simple external observances, but rather to be converted to the authentic style of life which God demands from His own.  This is a true fraternity which is explicit in the fulfillment of moral duties to the neighbour and in the respect of the more elementary rights of existence (1R).  It is truly noteworthy that from the beginning of His salvific plan, God wants to help man, with His formatory intervention into a people, a community of men jointly responsible and united in faith.

But the salvific project of God does not stop here.  The scarce correspondence of the old people to the desires of God is superseded radically by the advent of absolute novelty of Jesus Christ, the New Man, perfectly correspondent to the desires of God and indeed the perfect model of every future anthropological realization.  This, in fact, is the identity and dignity which God wants to give to man.  Jesus taught in practical way how to have an authentic religious relation with God and with men.  He showed in these two directions the possibility for man to substantially modify the state of human affairs.

He realized all this with His death and resurrection, canceling ‘a radice’ the incapacity of man to meet up with the demands of the Father’s project of love.  It will be therefore the participation of the Christian in the paschal mystery of Christ, which will constitute him into the being of God, an object capable of operating in history with efficacy and salvific relevance.

 

THE RELEVANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN FOR HISTORY OF THE WORLD

From that moment a new phase of divine economy springs up: that of the mysterious assimilation of believers into the being and action of Christ, through the Sacraments by the work of Holy Spirit of God in the Church (LG 7).  In such a way the members of the new people of God become capable of transforming the world from within, not depending on human wisdom or earthly anthropological projects but having as irremovable fundament and propulsive energy the reality and power of God.  This is why the tasks of the Christian in the world is not to flee from it, or to condemn it but to re-orientate it to God, to help it to re-discover the sense of human existence in the world and in history.  This is the scope to realize thanks to their participation in the priestly, prophetic and kingly function of Jesus Christ (LG 31-36).

The two similes of salt and light used by Jesus in today’s Gospel have this precise significance: the disciple of Christ has an immense dignity and an un-renunciable task, to be sacrament of Christ, evident sign that reveals the salvific reality of God for men in his time.

And this has, in effect, happened.  Christianity has been the salt of the world, has many times preserved the world from putrefaction, has, for centuries given the savour of eternity and salvation to human history.  It continues to be more than ever, the vital nucleus of the true story of humanity, a nucleus that has stopped, who knows how many times the negative judgment of God on a world broken up and out of course.  This preserving function is not enough, there is need to overturn the otherwise negative destinies of humanity, but involving all men in such a work.

If Jesus did it once and for all, it is exceedingly necessary that the community of Jesus Christ, the living place where new men are generated and function, actualizes always more in history that integral salvation, especially in our times when tragic realities of auto-destruction seem to overwhelm the human community because of the deep loss in which man is struggling.

 

THE CHURCH, NEW WORLD AND RECONCILIATION WITH GOD

All this should not appear as an exaggeration which Christians make of themselves.  We should be very conscious that we can change the destiny of the world that we have, as the Fathers of the Church said, the hands on the rudder of history, but only because we recognize that Jesus Christ is Salt of the earth and light of the world.

If Jesus Himself communicated to His disciples His being Salt and Light, based on the Word of Jesus, Christians should imitate St. Paul: to propose to the world a radical solution, not political or economic but that which stands before every ideology and strategy: the Person of Jesus Christ in His integrity i.e. Jesus Christ, crucified Son of God and of Man, perfect synthesis and anthropological model for every stage of history.

The Church, holy and sinful, from which sinners are not turn away but in which they are continuously reconciled with God and the community, basing on the effective humility of her human composition, will exclude every vain pretension of efficiency, in the recognition that her earthly mission consists in bringing all men to God and God to all men.  This is why Vat II named her most important Dogmatic Constitution “Lumen Gentium”, that on the Church.  The preface of “Lumen Gentium” says it is not the Church but Christ who is this Light reflected in the face of the Church which should illuminate all men.

The task which awaits the Christian is, therefore, precisely that of Jesus Christ: to reconcile God and man.  To give to man that extraordinary identity and dignity which makes him member of God’s family, direct collaborator in the realization of the project of God, Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier of man.

A dignity and identity which man would never have dreamt of but which the initiative of divine grace gives him unconditionally and continuously.

God bless you!

 

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USAID begins Covid-19 testing in Imo rural areas

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USAID averts 25,000 unwanted pregnancies in Ebonyi, Kogi

…Umuagwo Varsity of Agric kicks-off October

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun Covid-19 testing in the 27 Local Government Areas of Imo State, “in a bid to reduce the impact of community spread of the virus in the rural areas of the state.

The Imo State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba disclosed this in Owerri while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Weekly Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday.

Chief Emelumba said so far, the USAID officials have carried out reasonable number of testing in Njaba LGA and reported that all those tested came out negative and that the council prayed that the result from other Local Government Areas will be the same.

He announced that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has approved the take off of the Imo State University for Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Umuagwo in October this year.

According to him, the approval underscores the efforts which the Imo State Government ably led by Governor Hope Uzodinma has made towards the establishment of a second university for the state.

Recently, the NUC panel was in Imo State to carry out the necessary verification exercises on the state facilities, human and physical infrastructures.

Mr. Declan Emelumba, who was flanked by the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Bernard Ikegwuoha, Commissioner for Health Dr. Damaris Osunkwo and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku, informed that the Executive Council is happy that something new is happening in the Education Sector of the State.

Emelumba said that the Imo State University of Science and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo will take off by October when other universities would be resuming for a new academic session.

In the same vein, the Council has approved the immediate relocation of Faculty of Engineering Imo State University Owerri to its permanent site at Okigwe, stressing that Government has put all processes and facilities on ground to ensure the immediate take–off of the faculty.

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

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Imo Governor’s aide visits Oziza FM  Staff, Ogechi Iwu in hospital

The Chief Press Secretary and Media Adviser to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku has visited Mr. Ogechi Iwu, a journalist with Osiza FM.

The media man is hospitalized at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owerri over complications from diabetes that led to his right leg being amputated.

Mr. Nwachuku said the visit was to show solidarity on behalf of Governor Uzodimma to his professional colleague, assuring him of their prayers, particularly that of his principal, and the prayers of Mr. Iwu’s numerous friends and well wishers who are touched by his plight.

“I am here on behalf of my principal to associate with him in this time of health challenge and to encourage him not to see the sickness as a death sentence.”

Oge Iwu at fmc

L-R: Chief Akaraonye, Mr. Oguwike Nwachuku with Ogechi Iwu during the visit

Mr. Nwachuku urged Mr. Iwu to continue in the high spirit he saw him and trust God for his total recovery “because healing is a thing of mind and when a sick person is in high spirit the patient gets recovered quickly.”

The spokesman of the Governor promised to bring the plight of the journalist to the attention of his principal, and assured that the Governor will, in his usual manner of one with milk of human sympathy, show concern over Iwu’s plight.

Earlier, Mr. Iwu thanked the CPS/Media Adviser, the State Chairman of NUJ, Imo State, Chief Christopher Akaraonye and other journalists who were on the entourage, for coming to identify with him on his sick bed, and assured that God in his infinite mercy will quicken his recovery.

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

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Bishop Ugorji heads IMSU Governing Council

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma has inaugurated a new Governing Council, for the Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri.

At the inauguration ceremony on Monday, August 31, the governor named Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji as the Chairman of the Governing Council and Pro-Chancellor of the University.

Other members of the Council include: Chief Leo Stan Ekeh, Chief Tony Ezenna, Prof. (Ven.) Chinedu Nebo, Sir. Louis Ezeigwe, Chief Engr. Ernest Nwapa, Dr. (Mrs.) Uwandu Uzoma, Ugoeze Victoria Adaku Ekezie, Prof. Adaobi Obasi (Vice Chancellor) and others.

Speaking at the inauguration, Governor Uzodimma said the choice of the members is to infuse fresh air into the university because “It is in dire need to bounce back to reckoning.”
He added that the choice of the members was because they have carved a niche for themselves in their chosen fields of endeavour and that they have earned solid reputation as men and women of substance in their individual trade, indices that qualified them for the appointment.

He challenged the members to bring their reputation to bear on the University, bearing in mind the task for good quality scholarship in Imo State University as well as service to humanity.

The Governor urged the members to deploy their individual accomplishments, excellence, expertise, passion for service as effectively as necessary to actualize the dream of his administration of having a highly reputable University comparable to the best Universities in the World.

He also requested the Council to “restore in words and deeds the motto of Imo State University, which is Excellence in Service”.

“Imo State University currently is a classical example of a failed University,” Governor Uzodimma said but strongly believed that “with a star studded Governing Council such as the one inaugurated there is no doubt that Imo is on the track to realize the dreams of her founding fathers.”

He further enjoined the Council members to quickly hit the ground running and come up with policies and programmes that will reassure Imo people that the University that made them proud 20 years back is on track as he assured them of Government partnership in this regard.

In an acceptance speech, on behalf of the Council, the Chairman, Most Rev. Ugorji who is the Catholic Bishop of Umuahia thanked the Governor for the absolute confidence reposed in them by giving them the assignment and acknowledged that though the task is daunting he has a strong belief that with the calibre of members of the Council and support of the management, staff and students the University will be returned to a centre of excellence which was the dream of the founding fathers.

He said that Imo State University deserves the best and that he and his members as inaugurated will work acidulously to ensure that the target of the governor in making Imo State University one of the best universities in Africa is realised.

He congratulated fellow members and promised that God’s willing, they will not fail the government and people of Imo State.

Present at the inauguration were the Deputy Governor, Prof. Placid Njoku, the Speaker Imo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chiji Collins, the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmas Iwu, and other members of the expanded State Executive Council.

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