A three day Novena to St. John the Baptist by members of the St. John Society of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, Aboru, Ipaja Deanery of the Archiocese of Lagos recently preceded the Thanksgiving Mass by members to round-off the weeklong activities. Concelebrating the Mass were Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Daniel Nwankwo, Parish Priest, the celebrant and Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Dare Ogunleye, Associate Parish Priest. In his homily, Rev.Fr. Ogunleye quoted the Psalmist “Give thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever”. He congratulated the members of the St. John society for putting together a memorable and eventful activity to mark their Patron Feast Day. He welcomed the invitation to be part of this year’s Feast Day of St. John the Baptist. On the impact of John the Baptist on our Christian life, Fr.Ogunleye, enumerated faith, hope and love. Furthermore, on who John the Baptist was the homilist pointed out that everybody is familiar with the event leading to his birth and concluded that the man, the society has been celebrating, John the Baptist was a Jewish Priest, Islamic Priest and a Christian Saint and Martyr.
Noting and admonishing the lay faithful to uphold few lessons for their Christian life and learn from the life of St. John the Baptist beginning with proper parenting, certainty of one’s identity and role as a catholic, a Christian, a father, mother and member of the society. Other lessons the homilist enjoined the congregation to imbibe from the life of St. John the Baptist are: self-knowledge to fearlessness, Christians bear witness to humility the mother of all virtue, Martyrdom is the Crown of Christian life and finally inclusiveness of the Christian life. He concluded by thanking the Parish Priest for his support and all the lay faithful of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, saying in Yoruba “e ko wa je pe” meaning “you will shepherd us long”.