Cleric urges Christians to eschew violence, embrace peace

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Rev. Fr. Alphonsus Obiekezie, Vicar St. Matthew’s Catholic Church, Amawbia has called on Christians to eschew violence and embrace peace, especially this trial moment across the globe.

Fr. Obiekezie said this in a homily to mark the first Sunday of the Lenten season on Feb. 21.

He advocated that Christians in the face of temptation should run to Christ with confidence and seek His help.

According to him, one should be deeply rooted in the scripture, the wisdom of the Biblical version and the teachings of the Church to be able to strongly resist the devil, the world and the flesh.

He said that the Lenten season challenges all to embark on the journey of conversion, reminding all of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness.

“The season calls us to live the wilderness to experience Jesus, walking the same long, hard road with Him to Jerusalem and to embrace a discipleship of humility, weakness and vulnerability.’’

The cleric noted that Jesus was tempted yet He did not sin, emphasising that “temptation is an ongoing battle in which each victory makes one stronger and the devil discouraged’’.

Fr. Obiekezie explained that one could be tested through passion, presumption and possessions, cautioning all not to be swayed by worldly things, into which Satan wanted to drag all into annihilation with him, emphasising that they were ephemeral.

He said that the way Noah’s Ark was made of wood was used to save his family, likewise Christ saved mankind on the cross, noting that personal effort was required to always be in tune with God.

“This is a period of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, a period to believe, welcome God into our lives and allow Him to make His dwelling among us.’’

He, then, urged all to remember their Christian faith and calling in life, to be genuinely followers and disciples of the Lord.

These he said entailed rejecting the vanities and excesses of life, adopting a more humble lifestyle not driven by ego, greed, desire and other vices. (MOI)

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