By Ononye VC

Thousands of faithful gathered at the Basilica Square,Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity,Onitsha to partake in this year’s Chrism Mass on Maundy Thursday where the Metropolitan Archbishop,most Reverend Valerian Okeke presided as the Chief celebrant with the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha,most Rev Denis Isizoh and hundreds of other priests were present.While delivering a sermon,the Archbishop dwelt extensively on the theme of his homily which was aimed at clarifying the role of the holy spirit in the lives of Christians.The Archbishop described the Holy spirit as “man’s helper and friend”.According to him,the mistaken notion that the Holy Spirit is an instrument of destruction is wrong and misleading.”The Holy Spirit is man’s helper and friend.Holy Spirit is not a weapon used for something crooked.He is the third person in Trinity,”the Archbishop said.The Archbishop further explained that the Holy Spirit has the power of transformation and not destruction adding that all sacraments cannot be conferred without the the Holy Spirit.”If anyone continues with his bad character like selfishness,greediness ,arrogance,fighting and doing the wrong things,it means that the Holy Spirit has left the person,” the Archbishop pointed out.

The Archbishop prescribed a way through-which Christians can enter into good relationship with the Holy Spirit.This he said,include trying to be devoted to Him and always invoking Him before doing anything and also reciting the novena of the Holy Spirit.Earlier on his introductory remarks, Archbishop Val Okeke who started with songs of praise titled,”Restore in me the joy of your salvation,”gave thanks to God saying that God has been faithful to him and the entire congregants for keeping them alive through all the various pandemics that ravaged the world.”We owe a big thank you to God for keeping us alive.If you have the attitude of gratitude,you will attain beatitude,” the Archbishop pointed out.Gratitude he pointed out,adds nothing to our greateness but adds to our grace,the Archbishop said.”If you look into your life,you see a lot of things God has done for us in our lives.It is also this year that God uplifted me to 20th Episcopacy and 40 years of priesthood”.While thanking the faithful for their commitment and sacrifice,the Archbishop said,”you the faithful are the proverbial soap which makes the water to foam.Without the lay faithful,perhaps there would be no church,”pointing out that the faithful have been” wonderfully inspirational and unprecedentedly supportive.”Highlight on the mass was,renewal of vows by the priests,offertory procession,blessing of the chrism oil and cathedraticum where various individuals,societies,organisations and parishes presented gifts to the Archbishop.The Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Parish led by Rev Fr Nwokedi Ezumezu,the home parish of the Archbishop came tops at the Cathedraticum with presentation of 200 cows.

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