By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Most Rev Peter Ebere Okpaleke, has described the current global coronavirus pandemic as a call to every individual to seek repentance, and live out in totality, the mercy of God.
Bishop Okpaleke, who stated this in his homily in a concelebrated Holy Mass transmitted live to mark the 2020 Divine Mercy Sunday on April 19, observed that the coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, might be a warning from God due to man’s sinful nature.
He however, urged all not to despair, but for their own good, embrace the total mercy of God, who, according to him, was a Merciful Father.
The bishop noted that the Divine Mercy of God had manifested in the lives of His people from past generations and to the present.
Basing his reflections on the readings of the Divine Mercy Sunday and other portions of the Holy Bible such as the Book of Prophet Jeremiah, the bishop x-rayed the various periscopes that illustrated the ever mercy of God.
He exhorted all to replicate the mercy of God in their relationships with others, urging them to strive for forgiveness and charity, and by so doing, be instruments of God’s Divine Mercy.
The Catholic prelate identified the evangelisation of the word of God and the teachings of the Church as ways through which all were called to repentance, noting that even in the sinful nature of man, God had continued to call him to repentance.
Bishop Okpaleke, who further based his reflection on the story of the prodigal son in the gospel of St Luke Chapter 15:11-32, illustrated the ever mercy of God.
He urged all to spread the mercy and love of God to all, especially to the poor and the vulnerable, who, he noted, were adversely affected by the current coronavirus and the attendant lockdown.
Bishop Okpaleke tasked all to carry out stable works of charity based on love in society.
This was even as he offered the Holy Mass for the lasting mercy of God in the world and upon HIs people, especially as all were under the threats of the current global pandemic.
The Holy Mass which was celebrated at the Chapel of the Holy Family Spiritual Year Seminary, Okpuno, Awka South LGA, Anambra State, was transmitted live on ABS FM 88.5 Awka and ABS FM 90.7 Onitsha.
It was also streamed live in Fides Media Facebook Page and Anambra Broadcasting Service Facebook Page.