By Donna Mitchell and originally Published by the Western New York Catholic
(Re-posted with permission)
Living in the spirit of God was the key message at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mass celebrated at Blessed Trinity Church in Buffalo on Sunday, Jan, 20.
Father Victor Ibhawa, pastor, expressed a warm welcome to all the parishes in Central City Vicariate, thanked concelebrants Father James Loiacono, OMI, from Holy Cross, Buffalo, who served as homilist; Father Daniel Ogbeifun from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Harris Hill; Father Peter Ekanem from St. Martin de Porres, Buffalo; and Deacon Miguel Santos, also from Holy Cross. Father Ibhawa most importantly expressed appreciation to the people of God for traveling through a winter snow storm with wind chills below zero to attend.
Once Mass started, you could sense the increased warmth, inspiration, welcoming embrace of community, and movement of the Holy Spirit in song, psalm, liturgy and ministry.
The homily was candid and had a realistic, timely, authentic delivery. Father Loiacono said, “Dr. King not only spoke for his people but for all people who were struggling under discrimination and exploitation.” He also mentioned that “Dr. King inspired one of the most righteous movements in that era” and “to really be people of the Kingdom of God, and to really understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, look at Dr. King’s life. He did it in the flesh by what he said and by what he did, up to the moment he gave the full measure of what he was, and what he stood for; up until he was assassinated in April 1968.”
Again the homilist reiterated, “It was not only for his people but for all people in the United States of America. … We should listen, see, and imitate if we are truly children of God.” Father Loiacono reminded everyone that we should be focused on God and His kingdom and not the values of this world. Furthermore, he clarified how Dr. King lived in the Spirit of God, His grace, and being keenly focused on the kingdom of God.