By Olivia Obijiaku
The Director of Seat of Wisdom Academy (SWAZ), Bassawa Zaria, Rev Fr (Dr.) Julian Ibe has called on the faithful to emulate the twelve apostles of Jesus who were called out of so many disciples. He made this call in St Enda’s Catholic Church on the Feast Day of St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr, Friday, 21st January, 2022.
The clergyman built his homily on the day’s Gospel reading of Mark’s account of the call of the twelve apostles asserting that one cannot give what they do not possess and those who do not learn from the Master have nothing to offer and summing that learning from Jesus qualifies one to bear witness to Him and His Good News.
“We are all called to learn under the feet of the Master, so that He can send us as apostles.” Fr Ibeh informed. “Jesus had many disciples but He called twelve from among them and sent them out to bear witness to Him. Bearing witness to the Truth is not easy because it comes with many challenges. He sends us to bear witness and that is where martyrdom comes from.
You stand out if you bear witness to the Truth and the world will hate you for that. The truth has gradually become false in our world today and falsehood has become the truth. You appear to be foolish when you choose to stand for what is right because the world hates the Truth. So, there is a tendency for them to hate you if you choose to stand out because your witnessing is a judgment against them.
They will come against you on social media if you speak against immorality but they would applaud you if you go naked – but we must show them that God’s standard is different from that of the world. The world may have the power to legalize what is evil, but if stealing was a sin in the Old Testament, it is still a sin now. So, stand as a light to the world and be a witness to the Truth – that is what Christ teaches and that is what we are sent out to do!”
Intimating that St. Agnes was martyred for shunning immorality at a time when it was the order of the day and distinguishing that a disciple is someone who is called to learn while an apostle is a messenger who has been sent on a particular mission after a period of learning, the priest called on the faithful to make the best of their studentship under the Perfect Teacher so that they may be among the chosen and sent.