By Uchechukwu Enem
The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most. Rev. Peter Ebele Okapaleke, has urged Christians to repent of their sins and always be ready to reciprocate God’s Mercy on mankind. He made this statement during the Divine Mercy Sunday on 19th April, 2020, celebrated at Holy Family Spiritual Year, Okpuno, Awka.
The Bishop said the coronavirus pandemic was an opportunity for the faithful to show love and concern for the needy, who, he said, were greatly affected by the Pandemic. Noting that God’s mercy was abundant, he exhorted the faithful to use the celebration of Divine Mercy to repent of their sins and forgive those who offended them.
He reminded Christians that the Divine Sunday Mass was an opportunity to worship and reverence God; to thank Him for His kindness and love upon their lives; to ask for forgiveness of sins; and to receive God’s grace and other blessings within the celebration.
Citing the second reading from the Book of Peter, the Bishop reminded Christians to always appreciate God, even in their difficult moments, adding that such moments were an opportunity to deepen their understanding and be strengthened.
Reading from the Book of Revelation, 3: 20, the bishop told Christians to be willing to reach out to God whenever they fell short of His mercies. He told Christians that God was always ready and willing to stretch forth his hands to receive them when they ran back to him.
‘When we repent of our sins, God is at waiting for us to open the door to receive Him,’ Bishop Okpaleke added.
He noted that the celebration was a great chance for Christians to reflect on the merciful nature of God. Also reading from the Book of Luke 15 vs 20 on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He noted that the Parable of the Lost Sheep was an example of how God was always ready to receive the faithful when they ran to him.
He added that the mercies of God could not be compared to anything because it superseded all understanding.
He concluded by praying for Christians all over the world and called on God to help strengthen their faith, especially during the present COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.