– Bishop Ayah Stresses the Need to be Thankful to God.
By: Cosmasl Essiet
The 2023 Uyo Diocesan Harvest, which started at the Stations, Parishes, and Deaneries in the Diocese, came to an end on Saturday, 9th December 2023, as the faithful thronged into the Bishop James Moynagh Pastoral Center, #2, Dominic Utuk Avenue, Uyo, to celebrate the DIOCESAN HARVEST / BAZAAR.
The Holy Mass, which had as the Chief Celebrant, the Bishop of Uyo Diocese, His Lordship, Most. Rev. Dr. John Ebebe Ayah, assisted by the Vicar General Adminstration, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Donatus Udoette, and Director of Communications in the Diocese, Very. Rev. Fr. Dr. Justin Udomah and con-celebrated by members of the Presbyterium, started at about fifty minutes pass the hour of nine in the morning.
In his homily, the Bishop thanked all the faithful of Uyo Diocese, and indeed, everyone who came far and wide to take part in the Eucharistic celebration. Recognizing the many uncertainties surrounding life and the many tragic occurances in the world, he noted that all we owe God is gratitude, for sparing our lives inspite of these. Continuing, he said, “we are gathered here as a diocese to thank God for everything that he has fine for us, for the Vocations to the Priesthood, Religious Life, and Family Life”.
Stressing the need to be thankful to God despite the troubles of life, the Cleargy man noted that, the fact that we are alive is enough reason to be thankful to God, ” take for example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the death toll that was recorded in this part of the world cannot be compared to what was experienced in other parts of the world.” So, instead of worrying about life, we should rather be thankful to God for His never-ending love. We cannot worry about life more than God Himself who gave us life and is in charge of all human affairs.
Preaching further, he noted that, there is nothing we have that was not given to us by God and that, there is nothing that happens in our lives if God did not approve of it, hence, as Christians, we must accept, in faith, whatever befalls us. Our faith in God must not waver, it must be firm despite the many troubles of life, “God can never disappoint us, He never fails us”, he admonished.
The Harvest (proper) was quite colourful as individuals, groups, Parishes and Deaneries filled out in their different uniforms, dancing in thanksgiving to God and presented various financial and material gifts to God.
In his concluding remarks, the bishop was effusive in his thanksgiving of those who were in attendance, and for their various gifts to God, even as he prayed that God should continually shine his countenance upon us even as we keep praying for a better Nigeria.
Asked during an interview with the Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the harvest, Rev. Fr. Daniel Edidiong C. Ukpong , after the Mass, if he could consider the harvest a success, Fr. Ukpong told this writer that “the harvest was a huge success and we return all the Glory God, for without Him, we can do nothing. Fr. also expressed his sentiments of gratitude to his team of “very committed members”, and everyone who made the day a success. He noted that, the journey wasn’t without some bottlenecks, but ‘I’m happy that we were able to weather the storm.”