News : Chrism Mass 2015

Posted on: 2015-04-19
Source: Comms Dept, Oyo Diocese


Bishop Emmanuel Ade Badejo, the Catholic bishop of Oyo,  reminded the faithful of the diocese in his homily on the occasion of the Chrism Mass celebration at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Asogo, Oyo, on the 31st of March, 2015, that "we all put on Christ as Paul confirmed for us in Galatians 3:27 through the Sacrament of Baptism". 

The Local Ordinary illustrated this with the story told by the famous Russian writer Leo Tolstoy of a harsh king who asked his priests and sages to show him God so that he might see him face to face. None of them could meet his desire. Then a shepherd, who was just coming in from the fields volunteered to take the task. From him the king learnt that his eyes were not good enough to see God. Then, however, he wanted to know at least what God does. "To be able to answer your question, the shepherd said to the king," 'we must exchange our clothes'. Somewhat hesitant but impelled by curiosity about the information he was expecting, the king consented; he gave the shepherd his royal robes and had himself dressed in the simple dirty robes of the poor man. Then came the shepherd's answer: "This is what God does." Indeed the Son of God, true God, shed his Divine splendour: "He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men; and being found in human form He humbled himself even unto death on a cross (Phil 2:6)."

Addressing the priests, the Bishop further said that the Chrism celebration confirms and recalls the truth that we are ministerial priests, ordained forever in the order of Melchizedek of old. He called upon them therefore to live the priesthood day by day without selfishness, deceit, grudges or competition, for so the Lord intended it to be. He further reminded the priests that priesthood is meant for service and that is why today, the priests shall renew our "yes" commitment to the priesthood and our fidelity to Jesus Christ represented here by the Bishop. The renewal of commitment to priestly service he said, is a reminder to us of the need to persevere and be steadfast (in the areas of brotherhood, to unity, to holiness, love and service).

Addressing the faithful, the Local Ordinary said that renewal of priestly commitment to service invites the religious, the married or single, politicians, businessmen, medical personnel, artisans, students etc also to be faithful in their own commitment for we serve the same God, participate in the same priesthood (1Pet. 2:9)  and we are all called to holiness of life.

Today he added, we specially bless oils, namely; Chrism, Oil of catechumens and oil of the sick. All of them he said, are instruments for our ministry and are meant to lubricate our relationship with Christ - to sanctify and soothe our lives.  The Oil of Chrism which is the blend of Olive oil perfumed with balsam is specially blessed during the Mass of Chrism and is used during administration of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination to the Priesthood and episcopacy (Cf. Is. 61:1-11, 1Pet. 2:7-10) and also used by the Bishop to anoint and consecrate or dedicate a Church, Altar, Terbanacle or Crosses on the walls of a Church. The Oil of the  Sick which is plain Olive Oil is used for healing (Lk. 10:34; James 5:14).  And the Oil of Catechumens which like the Oil of the sick is also plain Olive oil used to anoint the Catechumens during initiation and baptism. It is also employed during a coronation of Christian monarchs.

He concluded reminding the Priests and the people of God that the indelible character of our sacramental anointing is not a burden to us but a blessing. It is a privilege. We have been signed in Christ and we can no longer be lost to the evil one. There is no other religion other than Christianity in the world with such a belief of a close relationship between God and man. Let us all remain faithful. For us priests to be faithful we have to have the love of Christ and His Church otherwise the burden becomes too heavy. We must learn to celebrate the Liturgy well and appropriately. Be men of prayer and of service for that is what it means to take on the mantle of Christ. To all he said, anything that happens, it is God who wins.

At the Mass, the people of God from all over the diocese presented gifs (Cathedraticum) dancing with heart full of joy on deanery basis. It was indeed a day of togetherness.