News : MASS OF THE CHRISM 2016Posted on: 2016-03-26
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese
It was a day filled with happiness and joy when the Catholic Bishop of Oyo, Most Revd Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo; the Emeritus Bishop, Most Revd Julius Babatunde Adelakun; all the priests, religious and the entire faithful gathered at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Cathedral to celebrate the Mass of the Chrism. At the beginning of the Mass, the Chief celebrant, Most Revd E.A. Badejo welcomed everyone and reminded all present the purpose of the gathering on this day, Tuesday, 22 March 2016, namely; to consecrate the oil of Chrism, bless the oil of Catechumen and the oil of the sick and the priests renewing their promises of ordination. The Bishop prayed for the priests who are working elsewhere, either on studies or working in other dioceses; and for God’s blessing on the priests present and the entire congregation. The first reading was taken from the book of Prophet Isaiah 61:1-3.8-9, second reading from the book of Revelation 1:5-8 and the Gospel of Luke 4:16-21.
In his homily, Very Rev. Fr. Paul Olawoore (the Dean of Ogbomoso Deanery) congratulated the priests and the consecrated persons for the celebration of the day. He called the attention of the people to the response to the Psalm of the day (Psalm 89) "I will sing forever of your love, O Lord”. Why do we sing of His love, he asked? The second reading gives us the answer that “He loves us and has washed away our sins with his blood, and made us a line of kings, priests to serve his God and Father”. In spite of our situation, the Lord still counts us worthy to sing His praise. Because of the love God has for us, he had already planned for all we need on earth. He cares for our body as much as he cares for our soul.
He continues by saying that in the First Reading, Prophet Isaiah foretold the work of Christ “to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken; to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in prison; to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.” This promise is not just fulfilled in Christ but Christ also transferred it to priests. Who is a priest then? Everyone wants to bear that special title this day. The pastors, the traditionalists etc are today addressed as priests Then, what is the identity of an ordained priest? A priest is an ordained Christian minister. Someone ordained and not someone who conferred the title on himself. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”, Jesus said and that same Spirit he gives to the minister. Jesus breathed on his Apostles in the Upper Room and said “Receive the Holy Spirit and then, go out and preach the Good News”. There is continuation of that mission of Christ, if not, it would have ended 2000 years ago with the Apostles. The mission of Christ to set free is the mission of the minister and we must continue in that mission.
Moreover, for priests to be effective in this ministry, the blessing of oil of Chrism comes in. It was used to anoint the priest at ordination and every baptized Christian too at baptism, which means that the mission of Christ to set free belongs by extension to all the baptized; just that in the battle field, there must be a commander, which is an ordained priest in this regard.
Fr. Olawoore continues by exhorting the priests that “before we renew our commitment, we must ask ourselves how far we have gone in this work? What role have I played to bring this mission of Christ to the people? The mission of Christ is the mission of the Church and the mission of the Church is the mission of all Christ’s faithful”. We must know the value of what God has called us to, in order to participate effectively in His mission. We must not forget in this year of mercy that the works of mercy; corporal and spiritual must be done. The world is not in peace today because people do not show mercy to others. “Blessed are the merciful, they shall receive mercy” (Mat. 5:7) Jesus said, Fr. Paul Olawoore added.
In his own address after Holy Communion, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo congratulated all the priests for the renewal of their commitment. He congratulated the people also for been part of it. He thanked the Religious for the effort they are making in their different apostolates. He encouraged the people to pray for priests because the world of today is becoming more and more challenging for them. Our Lord Jesus Christ declared in Luke 4 that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him; therefore, without the Spirit of God, priests can do nothing.
The bishop of Oyo called the attention of the people to be vigilant especially about the recent happenings in the country. The senate debated a bill on “Equal Opportunities for women” and when the bill was not passed, some people were protesting. The Catholic Church has always been in support of the equal opportunities for men and women but before we protest against passing of the bill, we must study the bill and know what the content in all about. One of the things in the bill is that women should be allowed to do anything with their body including abortion since the body belongs to the woman. But we must not forget that our body does not belong to us but to the Lord since it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It was also considered in the bill that comprehensive sex education should be taught in schools (Primary and Secondary) and the content is what many adults even consider as immoral. He concluded by saying that “the culture we have today is packaging sin and calling it equal opportunities. The people who were protesting have been heavily paid from Europe and America and we should be careful before we put ourselves into serious trouble”.
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