The Assistant Priest of Saint John Paul II Parish, Kubwa, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Rev Fr Peter Okonkwo has called on Nigerian leaders at all levels to emulate Jesus’ leadership style of a true servant leader and to be accountable as stewards to those they lead.
Rev Fr Okonkwo made the call at the parish annual celebration of Christ the King.
In his words: “Today we remember that Jesus died for us as a way of leading us and at the same time it calls for the leaders of Nigeria as well as world leaders to emulate from Jesus how to be true Servant Leader and how to be accountable as a steward and how to be good shepherd to be able to defend those they are leading.”
He also enjoined the faithful to extend the Kingdom of God to the society, such as kingdom of Justice, love and peace to make it a better place, and to live lives in conformity with Christ their best Leader amidst other political, traditional and religious leaders.
“What it implies for all of us is that having passed through all the seasons of the church, we have experienced Jesus that we are able to declare Him as the King and Controller of our lives. We learn from Jesus Christ how to lead, a shepherd is the king who is the servant of those he is leading, he takes care of them, also as a Good Shepherd, He laid down His life for those He is leading, that is why He didn’t mind going to the cross for those He is leading for their salvation,” he added.
According to the church’s history, the celebration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, commonly referred to as the Feast of Christ the King was instituted in 1925 by Pope Pius XI.
It marks the end of the Catholic liturgical year and the beginning of a new year which is the Advent, in preparation for Christmas.
The day is also used to celebrate the gift of the Eucharist, which is also called the Blessed Sacrament.
It is a day set aside to celebrate and remember Christ’s kingship over all creation as well as remind us that all humankind must submit to Christ’s rule.
During the celebration Catholics go on procession, singing praises as well as dancing, while a priest carries the Eucharist in a Monstrance to pray for peace. The celebration ended with the Benediction.