– Governor Ugwuanyi thanks God for 8 years as Governor.
– Governor Elect, Peter Mbah urged to focus and work.
By Chikezie Ogbonna
The feast of Pentecost has been described as a celebration of the birth of the Church, the conquering of timidity through courage and resilience. This was echoed today as Enugu Diocese celebrated the Pentecost Sunday at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu, today 28th of May, 2023.
Also, the feast of Pentecost is the official feast of Enugu Diocese and incidentally marked the Thanksgiving ceremony for the incumbent and outgoing government of Enugu State led by Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as well as the Governor Elect, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mba who will be sworn in tomorrow 29th May.
In his welcoming message at the beginning of the mass, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga pointed out that the Pentecost Sunday is so significant in Enugu Diocese because it is the official feast day of the diocese. His Lordship warmly welcomed the dignitaries who graced the event from all the nooks and crannies of the state.
“We are celebrating the feast of Pentecost. We pray for security, peace and peaceful transition. Thank God for the outgoing governor and of course we will work together with the incoming governor”, Bishop Onaga assured.
Delivering his awe-inspiring homily, Rev. Msgr. Prof. Obiora Ike urged Christians to reflect on the grace of the Holy Spirit on a day like this.
“There is one only God we must worship. So when we celebrate the Holy Spirit, we celebrate the Trinity because the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. The first principle of God is unity. The person of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is distinct; Three Divine persons in One God. This is a mystery, the first mystery of our faith. It is the truth beyond human reasoning, God revealing himself to humanity.
When we celebrate this feast, we are celebrating the feast of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is active at the same time; he comes to lead us to the fullness of truth. To be truthful is to be straight, integral, to have an identity that is past, present and future.
The work of the Church is to proclaim the good news, to tell the truth, because God is love and truth. God is light and when there is light, darkness disappears.
Connecting the historical base for the celebration, Msgr. Obiora Ike noted that Christ became the symbol of that which has become our salvation.
“His death and resurrection conquered death. Jesus by dying has restored our life. It is the rebirth of the same spirit of God we found amongst the disciples; it is the same spirit who took fear away from them that gives us courage as Christians.
“In fact, the feast of Pentecost is the birthday of Christianity. On that day of Pentecost, the apostles spoke in tongues, and through the speech of Peter, 3000 persons were baptized”, Msgr. Obiora said.
Msgr. Obiora Ike decried the level of debilitating and harmful approach to life generally in our time. He pointed out how worthless life has become due to the growing wickedness amongst men.
“We have a situation in our world where we have reached the summit of everything that negates life. We kill cheaply and make life difficult. Jesus says I am the bread of life and that’s what is espoused on the altar, but, some people make themselves champions of hatred, death and everything that negates life. The values of the world need to be challenged by the values of the gospel”, he bemoaned.
Going back in time on the many development of the Church in Nigeria and Enugu Diocese in particular, Msgr. Obiora Ike while juxtapositioning it to the significance of the feast of Pentecost, noted that indeed Enugu diocese has come a long way, thus, there is every reason to celebrate God’s faithfulness in the diocese and beyond.
He heaped encomium to the first indigenous Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Johncross Anyogu and all other successive Bishops as well as the current Bishop, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga. Expanding the notion on the very foundation that has made the Catholic Church attain such greatness over centuries, he noted that there are four characteristics of the Catholic church according to the Catechism, namely, The Church is one, the Church is Holy, the Church is Catholic and the Church is Apostolic.
Msgr. Obiora Ike condemned outrightly the leadership lacuna and political quagmire the country is facing currently. He opined that the first place to empower the people is to empower the mind as he consciously shifted his reflection to both the outgoing and incoming government of the state.
Addressing Governor Ugwuanyi, Msgr. Obiora Ike said;
“Today is the day our Bishop and the government celebrate you. One thing I will give to Enugu state is the peace. It is relatively manageable because of its peace indices. You did well to give us peace, may peace stay with you. You didn’t inherit other people’s enemies and you were a jolly good fellow to all”.
Turning to the Incoming Governor, Dr. Peter Ndubuisi Mbah, Msgr. Obiora Ike advised him with incredible words of wisdom. Msgr. Obiora Said;
“To the new governor, You do not need anything from Ndi-Enugu, you have everything. You have shown us you have everything to sacrifice. The Holy Spirit of God will lead you. Get the Job done. We need you to work and transform our state.
“Avoid people who want wealth without work, religion without sacrifice, politics without principles, freedom without responsibility, knowledge without values, development without culture, Christianity without cross, leadership without service and authority without obedience.” Msgr. Obiora said.
The well attended mass had in attendance dignitaries comprising of the governor and his deputy as well as the incoming governor, his family and his deputy, top government officials in the state and officials of the diocese as well as Bishops of the sister Dioceses of Awgu and Nsukka.