The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama has described the resurrection of Christ as a strong reminder that we must submit totally, unconditionally and honestly to God; adding that the practice of religion as an outward act of piety is not enough. He made the assertion in his homily at the celebration of the Easter Sunday Mass held at the Holy Trinity Church, Maitama, Abuja; on Sunday March 12, 2020.
According to the Archbishop, “Easter is an invitation to faith, faith in a surpassing mystery”. He added: “This faith teaches that because Jesus is alive forever, the victory of evil and the cruel plans of men can only be temporary.” He continued: “It teaches us never to give up on the virtues of patience, perseverance, hope and trust in God. The Easter message is that God does not forget or forsake us, and that the darkest hour is just before the dawn.”
Urging the faithful not to give up on the present challenges facing the country, Archbishop Kaigama admonished them to practice the religion of the heart not religion of the head, or mere outward show or as an intellectual exercise of repeating doctrinal phrases that sometimes trigger fundamentalism and inter-religious violence.
He noted that, amidst security, religion and socio-economic challenges bedeviling the country; the COVID 19 crisis has introduced a crippling climate of fear, taking away almost every aspect of life we hold dear.”
The Archbishop commended the Governments, the health workers and other stakeholder groups for the positive response and collaboration at combating the rapid spread of the CoronaVirus scourge in the country. He added: “… as we pray to God to intervene and save us, we must do our part to help our brothers and sisters in need”.
In his homily at the Easter Vigil Mass, Archbishop Kaigama stated that: “If Christ has not risen from the dead, our hope as Christians would have been shattered; adding: “For this, we must remain steadfast in prayer and unwavering hope. Hope is that Christian virtue and basic elements that keeps us moving.”
Stressing that the resurrection is a call to evangelization, the Archbishop enjoined the faithful to bring the good news of salvation without fear to others by words and actions. “The message of Jesus is not a message until it is preached or shared”; he added.
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