The challenge of the CoronaVirus scourge has been described as a clarion call on the family as the Domestic Church to be more vibrant and move closer to God, by making Christ to be alive in all Catholic homes. This admonition was made by the Catholic Bishop of Bauchi Diocese, Most Rev. Hilary Nanman Dachelem Cmf, in his message on the celebration of this year’s Easter season and cessation of liturgical activities due to the CoronaVirus pandemic. The message was titled: Let Christ Be Alive in Your Homes.
According to the Bishop; “The Spirit of the Lord is alive and active. It cannot be suppressed, caged or extinct by any persons, authorities, diseases or demons. Though we are threatened by Coronavirus, we belong to Christ.”
He continued: “Even though Cocid-19 places a challenge on our public worship, there can be no shutdown or lockdown on our family prayer. This is the time to intensify our family prayer. This is the time to develop the Domestic Church. All the families make up the bigger or larger church. If the domestic church is weak, the larger church will also be weak. If the domestic church, the family/home is strong, the bigger /larger church will be strong.”
Calling for the strengthening of the Domestic Church, in the present situation of the CoronaVirus scourge, Bishop Dachelem, listed the activities expected of the family as the domestic Church. These include: setting aside time for daily prayer in the home; setting aside particular space/area that every member of the family will gather and following the guidelines of service without the priests as directed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).
Other guidelines given by the bishop are: “taking the Word of God more seriously by daily meditation and reflection and meditation; proper instructions and guidelines on the moral conduct and behaviour of the family as a family of God clearly spelt out and “making Christ alive in your life by focusing on the new life of the gospel. Let us share, ruminate and relive the Gospel injunction in the family.”
Bishop Dachelem urged the faithful to: “Remember that Jesus is the Strength of the family. Jesus is the Provider of the family. Jesus is the Healer of the family. Jesus is the Protector of the family. Jesus is the Happiness in the home. Jesus is the One who keeps families ever united. Jesus is the One who sees us through trials. Jesus is the One who helps us take wise decisions. Jesus is the Refuge of the family in times of challenges. Jesus is the Light of the family who helps us to illumine the light for others to see.”
Noting that this is the time of seriousness with prayer, the local ordinary of Bauchi Diocese urged the faithful to open wide their doors that Jesus may enter in. “If he enters, he will elevate your family and make it a special one,”, the bishop declared. He concluded by admonishing the faithful to pray the Rosary daily as “it has become our strong weapon against the evil one”.
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