By Gid Ahanonu and Emma Onumah
The Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri was agog last Sunday as Christians in Diocese marked the Palm Sunday.
They waved their palm fronds and shouted Hosanna in the highest all through the Palm Sunday procession.
Christians all over the world mark Palm Sunday in commemoration of the historical, solemn but triumphant entry of Our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.
Our reporters who covered the event described it as very colourful and solemn.
Preaching at this special service, with the theme: “Diocesan Harvest of Thanksgiving and Pilgrimage of Divine Sovereign Intervention”, the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D, recalled the event leading to this annual celebration by the Christendom, and urged Christians to endeavour to have a redemptive encounter with Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, adding that, Jesus borrowed a donkey, promising to return it shortly, and indeed fulfilled His promise.
Bishop Okorocha, posited that when you are a friend to Jesus, He would not only defend you but would ensure that you do not become worse off because, according to him, for Jesus to befriend you, He would ensure that He knows you in and out.
The Prelate, who expressed gratitude to all who have given at various times and in diverse ways, towards the completion of the Cathedral building, scheduled to be dedicated on Saturday 6th May, 2017, noted that the Lord loves a cheerful giver, and advised that, when anyone is giving to God, he or she should do so as if he or she is doing so alone, stressing that one should give as unto the love one has for Christ.
According to him, as you are giving to God, first of all, make sure you have reconciled with your brothers and try to be your brother’s keeper. He warned that anybody who replaces good with evil, evil, he said, would never leave his home.
While urging all people of God to praise and honour God, the Diocesan, expressed concern that, the moment your confession conforms with what God expects you to do, you will instantly be rejected by the world, and they would start calling you names. The Bishop in the cause of his homily made references to the Scriptures via Mark 10:48-49, 11: 2-3 etc.
Earlier in a brief report on the state of the completion of work in the Cathedral, the Chairman of the Cathedral Building Implementation Team (CBIT), Sir Baldwin Onozie, informed the congregation that remarkable progress has been made in every sector of work, with some areas recording up to eighty-six percent or more.
Sir Baldwin observed that the Lord Bishop, and his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Okorocha (Mama Owerri), have spent quite a lot of their personal funds towards work on the building project, as lovers of good jobs, such that when they, as CBIT members, introduce any idea on the work or materials, the Bishop would help them to brighten such ideas, to make the work come up better.
The CBIT Chairman disclosed that among other things, the Bishop and wife alone, had taken up the construction of the marble altar table, and the erection of a Lady Chapel inside the Cathedral.
The CBIT Chairman, Engr. Baldwin Onozie, read the Old Testament Lesson from Zechariah 9:9-12, while the New Testament Reading, from Philippians 2:5-11, was taken by the Lord Chancellor of the Diocese of Owerri, Hon. Justice Chioma Nwosu Iheme, Ph.D
Highlights of the service include the pronouncements of Rev. Canon Chimezie Onyenuma, Administrator in-charge of Alaenyi-Ogwa Archdeaconry, and Rev. Canon Obinna Oke, Administrator of Achi-Mbieri Archdeaconry, to be preferred as Archdeacons, while Reverends Unaeze Ukaegbu, Bishop’s Asst. Chaplain, and Rev. Dr. Festus Opara, are to be made Canons at a date yet to be announced by the Bishop.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha Ph.D has urged Christians to see the Holy Week, as a period to seek for forgiveness for a life of injustice, greed, corruption and all other societal vices, confronting mankind every now and then. He also said it is a time for self examination by all people of God.
Bishop Okorocha Ph.D, who made this declaration in a radio programme, “Evangelical Hour” last Tuesday charged all people of God to first repent in order to appreciate the essence of forgiveness.
Bishop Okorocha spoke on “The Message of “Holy Week’ for the Healing of Our Nation”, asked Christians to take advantage of the Holy Week, to know that they should live beyond their immediate environment, and to run on the track of Jesus looking up to Him every time of their life, adding that, in Jesus, there are things that the ordinary eye cannot see.
Fielding questions from callers, the Bishop noted that self-repentance can help to revive the economy of this nation if we all repent and trust in God.
He deposed that Nigeria, as a nation, should desist from ‘the mad man’s dance’, a situation where you move two steps forward and three steps backward.
Some of the callers extolled the Bishop for his wonderful gospel teaching through the evangelical programme, and prayed God to give him more strength, knowledge and vision, as he continues with the programme, while others expressed the view that if all would do their best and come to God, things would be better for all of us.