The Easter celebration has been described as an invitation to Christians to come out of the closed door of fear and instability in the faith; because, by the resurrection of Christ, sin and death have been overcome. This admonition was given by Most Rev. John Oyejola, the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese in his Easter message to the faithful of the diocese, on March 12.
In the message titled: Peace Be With You: Our Hope is Unfailing: Bishop Oyejola spoke extensively on the Peace greetings of Christ when he appeared to the disciples after resurrection and how he breathed the Holy Spirit into them and empowered them to forgive sins; the need for Christians to come out of the closed doors of fear and sin and never be afraid.
According to the bishop: “Easter Sunday marks the resurrection of the Lord from death”; and his resurrection remains “the landmark event that defines our faith; the core of Christian message stands on the resurrection of Jesus Christ”. He added that “the reality of the resurrection of Christ portrays undying hope that after darkness comes the bright sunlight; and that Easter is a celebration of joy of eternal life given by God freely to his beloved children. The bishop further stated that the message of Christ at Easter is a message of life, peace, hope, healing, restoration and assurance of eternal life.
Speaking on the challenges of the CoronaVirus pandemic, Bishop Oyejola declared: “As the whole world struggles to make sense of the tragedy the outbreak of Covid19 has unleashed on the world, and as we Nigerians are making effort to combat it and keep it in check until it blows away into oblivion, I urge you dear people of God to remain calm, firm in your faith and courageous in bearing the banner of the resurrected Christ. Christ offers us his peace that the world can neither give nor take away from us”.
He called on the faithful not to be afraid because the darkness of natural evil that coronavirus stands for will give way to the dawn of a happy and healthy populace. “Just like the darkness of the tomb before the resurrection of the Lord, we are all experiencing lockdown, stay at home and social distancing practice, all these are necessary for our well-being and safety”.
Bishop Oyejola declared: “… as Christians we must remember that Christ endured three days in the tomb before his glorious resurrection. We shall all come out of the coronavirus lockdown with renewed faith, steadfast love of God and better appreciation of our fellow human beings created in the image and likeness of God.” He concluded: “Courage my dear people of God, Covid19 will pass away, but Easter joy is everlasting. Our hope in Christ never fails or disappoint us!”
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