Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Abuja Archdiocese has assured the faithful that the Corona Virus pandemic is not strong enough to overcome the faith and sharing of genuine love. The Archbishop gave the assurance in his homily at the celebration of the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at the Twelve Apostles Church, Abuja, recently.
Pointing out that the Divine Mercy Sunday brings to fore the mercy of God shown on us in different ways, especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Archbishop Kaigama declared: “The ravaging corona virus even though brought the whole world to its knees, is not powerful enough to infect or bury our faith; the social distancing is not enough to disorganize our Church and take away our sense of caring for one another as the Christians of the early Christian community did in today’s first reading in Acts 2:42-47. The early Church grew every day because of the acts of mercy shown by its members sharing genuine love.”
The Archbishop Stressed that in spite of the challenges of the pandemic, the Church remains intact and stronger. He admonished the faithful: “You are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Please keep the Church going in your hearts. The Church is not just a physical building. If anything, this tragedy is a kairos, a time God has set aside for all of humanity to know that He alone is the Lord. ‘I am the Lord your God; you shall not serve any other God but me’. You may be physically separated from one another, but please be spiritually bonded, in communion.”
Stating that the period of the Corona Virus pandemic is very special and providential for all humanity, Archbishop Kaigama asserted that it provides an opportunity to start loving and caring for the poor, the needy and the marginalized in the society; adding that our hearts must be burning for “the love of God and our neighbour”. He urged the faithful to cultivate the culture of silence and intense prayer.
The local ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese declared: “This is time to practice and develop the culture of silence, a time to develop a deeper interior life, a time to read the word of God more and make it our daily bread; a time for intense prayer, a time to love without boundaries and to take our religion to a higher level; not just a superficial, external worship but the concrete application of what Jesus taught us about love, peace, service, forgiveness, etc.”
Adding that this is the time for perfect contrition, Archbishop Kaigama admonished the faithful to encounter God more devotedly and that social distance should not create spiritual distance. He added that the people should support the efforts of the Government to alleviate the sufferings of those in need through the provision of palliatives and other things that will make life worth living the vulnerable people in the society.
His words: “With the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitating the lockdown of some States and restriction of free movements among other measures that have been taken to combat the spread of the virus, many Nigerians are in dire need of food and drink, and many more may soon exhaust their meagre resources that sustain them. The number of those who need material support and palliatives are on the rise.”
He concluded: “We should radiate God’s mercy to others by our corporal and spiritual works of mercy, by our kind and supportive words, and by our prayers for all our brothers and sisters. By virtue of your baptism, you are missionaries of mercy. This is the right time to ask God for mercy and to also show mercy.”
(SOURCE: CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE OF NIGERIA)