The Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin has advocated a violence free 2020, in order to facilitate peace in all facets of life, in the society, the country and the universe. This admonition was the kernel of the homily of the Archbishop while celebrating the new Year day Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral Church, Oke -Padi, Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to Archbishop Abegunrin, the new year is an opportunity for Catholics and all Nigerians to resolve and turn a new leaf and change their wrong ways of living; renew their love for God and their neighbours; be committed to living the faith and promote peace in their environment, the community and the country at large.
Stressing the need for peace in the country and the world at large, the local ordinary of Ibadan Archdiocese noted that peace is the gift of Christ to the world, hence the Church celebrates World Day of Peace on the first day of the new year. He declared: “Let us simplify our lives, our importance;”; adding; “non-violence is the style of politics for peace advocated, advocated by St. John XXIII in his encyclical, Pacem in Terris; and it is still relevant today.”
The Archbishop continued: “Violence for violence cannot bring about peace; but as observed by Pope emeritus, Benedict XVI, there is too much violence, too much injustice and we have to counter these evils with more love and more goodness.”
Addressing the faithful at the praise worship and adoration service to usher in the new year; Archbishop Abegunrin urged the faithful to reflect of the what they have done in the past year in all ramifications; and be grateful to God for the successes and failures of the year.
According to him: “It is a thing of joy always to end a year and enter a new year. Our life is precious and we believe in God”, as this gives us the hope of a better future.”
The Archbishop continues: “Let us be confident in our prayers and good works; Christ is truly alive! Let us leave somethings behind to go with the old year. We must eschew jealousy, hatred, quarrels, laziness, untrue stories, cheating, conspiracy, lying, character assassination, bring him down syndrome”
While admonishing the faithful to allow all evil thoughts, words and acts to go with the old year, Archbishop Abegunrin urged them to stop being passive Christians, work and pray; forgive even their enemies, embrace simplicity of life, humility, kindness and love everybody.