‘Lay down life to save others as Christ did’ – Fr. Albert Amakyi to seminarians.

Rev. Fr. Albert Amakyi, in his homily on good shepherd Sunday/ Vocations Sunday, entreated seminarians of St. Paul’s Seminary, Sowutuom, to lay down their lives just as Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, who laid down his life to save others.

Christ feeds us when we pray, when we listen to his words, and receive his body through the Eucharistic celebration, and when we Catholics avail ourselves in the sacrament, He feeds us and makes us strong.

The Church marks good shepherd Sunday or vocations Sunday to publicly recognize and pray for vocations in all its forms.

In his homily, Rev. Fr. Albert Amakyi said that a shepherd leads the flocks in pastures, unlike the cow that the shepherd stays behind, with the sheep the shepherd leads, and the role of a shepherd is to protect the sheep even when he walks through the valley of darkness, the shadow of death.

You need a loving, caring, dedicated and committed person to be the shepherd “if you are the shepherd, you have to feed the foolish creature, protect a foolish animal, is a huge task”, he said.

He said that as the good shepherd, you must be ready to face some tasks “our God, looking at his situation, promised and sent his own son to be that good shepherd”.

“Jesus is the good shepherd, he has the welfare of the sheep at heart” and that “Every one of us is called in his own way to reflect Christ, a good shepherd”.

He said that we all know the various way which we can lay down our lives for others, “I admire parents when it gets tough and they sell precious Jewry, clothe to pay school fees for their children, I admire our mothers when it comes to sacrificing so that their children will live”.

To the seminarians, he said, “My dear seminarians, you want to become shepherd it demands laying down your lives for the sheep, sacrificing your comfort and bringing your sheep to Christ.”

He further urged all always to go back to Jesus, the good shepherd, whenever we go the wrong way, and he will always accept us where he will lead, feed and protect us.

“Today the Church prays for vocation to the priest and the religious life, my dear seminarians, people are praying for us priest that we will be true shepherd, people are praying for you that you will be pastors after the heart of Christ, work very hard so that you will be wonderful priests”, he urged.

Emmanuel Obah, the SRC president of St. Paul’s Seminary, speaking to Catholic Digest, had this to say, “I was in class three around the age of nine when I had the inner conviction, the desire that the Lord was calling me into the vocation of priesthood, so I was living in an anticipation of that, working hard and participating in church activities that will help me to be able to respond to this calling. Along the line, after completing SHS, I was confused about this calling, so I continued to the university, and while I was at the university third year, I felt within me that the Lord was still calling me to the vocation of priesthood. After completing the university, I applied to the seminary, and God being so good, I got the admission. Here I am so far responding to this calling, and I am in my final year of Philosophy (Philosophy 3)”.

Emmanuel Obah encouraged young men and women not to delay in responding to God’s calling, “I believe vocation involves risk, and we as young men and women, God is calling us to continue the mission that he has established on earth,” he said.

By Theresa Kpordzo

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