By: ECM’s Stella Kaferapanjira
Catholic children in the country have been advised to accept the love of our Lord Jesus Christ by praying together and offering services that help to preach the gospel to the whole world so that they grow into fully formed citizens and Christ loving generation.
This was said by the Bishop of Karonga diocese, His Lordship Martin Mtumbuka when he presided over the celebration of Epiphany Sunday, a feast for children as missionaries of the gospel to the whole world.
During the event, the Bishop encouraged Children to let the spirit of praying together, reading the bible and serving others grow in them so that they become well-founded Christians in Jesus Christ who will always protect them
“Epiphany Sunday is of great significance in the church as it confirms that the Church loves and cares for you our dear children as Jesus Christ does. He was revealed to non-Jews and he has also been revealed to us and as children, you should learn to open your hearts by praying together and contribute the little you can together with all the people of good will which the Holy Father, Pope Francis uses to preach the gospel to the whole world through various pastoral and humanitarian endeavors”. Said Bishop Mtumbuka
The Bishop also condemned bad practices commonly happening in the surrounding communities of the diocese and the country at large. He cited the killings of old people by community members alleging they are Witches. He said such bad practices being witnessed by children affect their spiritual and mental human dignity and said people doing those illogical and inhumane acts should stop.
“Witchcraft beliefs are a result of ignorance and poverty. People believing in that are lowly educated and have very low level of critical thinking. I urge each and every parent to properly take care of their children by giving them education and guiding them spiritually so that they grow into fully formed citizens of the country. Said Bishop Mtumbuka
On his part the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) National Director, Rev Fr. Vincent Mwakhwawa said children should grow in true faith and never be carried away by harmful practices and beliefs the world exposes them to.
“We want children to grow in and with love of God from the bible and that is why this year is the year of the bible in the church. The Church is helping children to grow with the Spirit of love and concern for others emulating the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Said Fr. Mwakhwawa
He continued that children are facing many challenges as a result of being exposed to bad behaviors and practices like violence in their families, some are denied access to education and are married off at younger ages. This day helps parents and all the people to appreciate the dignity of children and know that children have the capacity to serve in the Church and they need to be protected and be raised in the holistic manner.
This year’s epiphany Sunday was cerebrated under the theme: Children are Baptized and Sent to Preach the Word of God. National celebrations were held at St. Joseph the worker Cathedral in Karonga diocese. Through Epiphany Sunday and missionary childhood, Children Pray for fellow children, offer services for fellow children and contribute money for fellow children who are in need In various parts of the world.