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2020, Apr 22

The Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Adewale Martins has called on Christians, especially Catholics to stay on the path of righteousness and live for the common good, as the universal Church relives the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Archbishop Martins made the call in his homily at the celebration of the Easter Sunday Mass, at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos on March 12.

The Archbishop stated that by the resurrection of Christ at Easter, death has been swallowed by the victory of Christ; while the victory of the tomb has been swallowed by Christ’s resurrection. He therefore urged that the faithful not despair but allow the power of the resurrected Christ to relive in them.  Using the experience of the women at the tomb on the morning of the resurrection day, Archbishop Martins stated that there are many things we cannot do by ourselves. His words: “We worry and fret over so many things - economy, Covid 19, family matters and many others. Never lapse into despair; as nothing is impossible for God to do.”

Stressing the importance of the resurrection to the Christian faith, the Archbishop declared: “It is a sin if we do not believe that God can solve all our problems.” He added that, after Covid-19, we shall come together to praise and worship God.

Archbishop Martins noted that one major aspect of Easter is the renewal of Baptism. He stated that during lent, we review how to live our Christian life, purge ourselves of sins and return to our original innocent life before we started sinning. The renewal of baptism, he remarked, is a call to show our love for God. 

Urging the faithful to live the new life of Easter with greater intensity, the Archbishop enjoined them to recommit themselves to God, live in his way, let Jesus live in them and reject Satan. He added that Easter is the time to remove ourselves from any trace of dining with the devil; proclaim our faith and let our faith rule our heads and life.

While wishing the people a happy Easter celebration, Archbishop Martins urged governments at all levels, the Church and other stakeholder groups to respond positively to the fall-out of the Covid 19 pandemic, by reaching out to the needy, condoling with the bereaved and praying for the dead. He also commended the medical personnel for being on the frontline in the battle to put an end to the scourge, and urged the government to reciprocate their sacrifice adequately.  

In his Easter Vigil Mass homily, Archbishop Martins described Christ as the light that makes darkness to disappear; adding that the Easter Vigil Mass brings to our minds, the first vigil of the Passover night when the Israelites, before then, have been living in fear in the bondage of the Egyptians. He added: “Our present situation is similar to this as we have to follow some daily rules to stay alive” as a result of the global CoronaVirus pandemic.”  He described the Paschal Candle as a symbol of Christ as light of the world; and the only light that can guide us in this world.

He pointed out that the readings of the night remind us of the journey of the human race from the beginning at the creation of the world to the time of the salvation of Christ; noting that the whole exercise was not accidental but deliberate. He urged: “We must stop playing god. Respect the dignity of the human person instead of using him as a pawn in a chess board”. He averred that the challenges of today are as a result of the struggle to rule the world but in the process, the dignity of the human person must be respected and those in position should stop playing god. He added that by following Christ, the truth, the light and the way, we should not be afraid because our Lord and Master is in total control.


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