‘CHRIST, CROSS AND CROWN’- Most Rev. Dr. Hilary Paul Odili Okeke’s Sunday Homily for his Pastoral Visit at St. Lawrence Parish Osumenyi, as he confers on eighty seven candidates the sacrament of confirmation.

Sep 17, 2018

The Bishop emphasizes these three basic Christian values in his homily as he made reference to the gospel reading of today. The gospel he said captures the dramatic scene where Jesus poses the question of ‘who do people say that I am’ to his apostles. After much random responses, Peter’s reply as he was directly asked was ‘You are the Messiah’. Christ at this juncture never wanted Peter to let anyone know about his answer. When Christ did miracles as well, he also wanted that not to be made open to more ears. This attitude of Christ shows that he is not a proud, bragging person; and does not have an attitude of showmanship. We, in line with this should as well imitate Christ since we all are ‘alter Christus’ that is ‘another Christ’ bearing the very imprints of his humanity. Our lives here on earth should be modelled according to the mind of Christ. Christ humbled himself and became obedient even unto death, and because of this God exalted him.

The cross in this regard becomes a symbol of suffering for us Christians. Christ while on earth foresaw his going to Jerusalem to suffer, be crucified and eventually die. And as he narrated this to his apostles, the same Peter rebuked this very fact of his suffering as Christ looked at him and said ‘Get behind me Satan’. This very response of Christ to Peter reminds us Christians that suffering is a necessary path to salvation. We should be ready to always carry our cross and follow Christ, who is our model. We should always be ready to die for Christ because of our faith in him. Doing the will of God is not a bed of roses but a rocky path of choking thorns. But even after all these; we are assured of the crown for which he promises us at the end. This crown becomes the fulfilment of all God’s promises of the glory to come, where we together with the saints will rejoice forever.


Catholic Diocese of Nnewi
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Anambra State, Nigeria                     

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