The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) and Archbishop of Benin City, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze has called on the faithful to live and put their trusts in God; as putting same in the hands of men could lead to frustration. Archbishop Akubeze gave the admonition in his homily, delivered during the celebration of the Palm Sunday Mass at the Holy Cross Cathedral, Benin City, Edo State.
According to the Metropolitan of the Benin City Ecclesiastical Province who used the readings of the Mass, especially the Passion narrative; to expatiate on the Salvific Mission of Christ, noted that the riding of Christ on a Donkey and use of Palm fonds on the first day of the Holy Week; not only remind us of the identity and mission of Christ but also remind us of our lives as human beings.
According to him, the Palm Sunday reminds us of three truths. “First, they remind us of human inconsistency, how quickly people can affirm you today and despise you tomorrow. How today’s acclaim can become next month’s ridicule. If we live our lives dependent on human acclaim, popular opinion, we are building on the wind. We are bound to become sad, disappointed, depressed and frustrated. Our lives must be dependent only on God’s approval.”
The second point adduced by the CBCN President was that the Palms place us within the Passion account as all the characters involved are human beings and their actions are still inherent in our actions as human beings today, in one way or the other.
The Archbishop added: “Thirdly, the Palms remind us of Christ’s love. Despite all the people did to Him, Jesus died for all of them. His love, His truth, His forgiveness, His grace are foundations on which we can rely. Despite our failures, our weaknesses, our shortcomings; we can still have a new and strong life because of his Love.”
He therefore called on the faithful to return to God’s love by asking for compassion and forgiveness for all our sins and offences and request for the grace to live a holy and humble life.
Archbishop Akubeze also called on all Nigerians, especially Christians to see the challenges of the Corona Virus pandemic that is presently ravaging the world as a clarion call to return to God and respond positively to the needs of the poor in the society, as the ultimate of fulfilling the Lenten Season obligations of prayer, forgiveness and charity.
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