Rev. Fr. Donatus Chukwuedo, in charge of the Church of the Ascension Catholic Church Asaba, has said Catholics in the country and all over the world are using the Lenten period to mourn the unabated killing of Nigerians by the Boko Haram sect.
He said this on Wednesday at the opening mass of this year lenten season at the church of the Ascension Catholic Church, Asaba.
Rev. Fr. Chukwuedo said Catholics were mourning noting that the faithful were adorned in black attires.
The priest decried killings and shedding of innocent blood unabated
furthermore, Chukwuedo said that the federal government was doing little or nothing to keep a check on the situation.
He prayed that God would intervene in the affairs of the country.
Chukwuedo who noted that with a united church, the issue of persecution would be a thing of the past, also called on Catholics to be prayerful and accommodate other Christians.
He said, “We begin the Lenten season with fasting, prayers, and almsgiving and above having pains in our hearts for our sins, we must repent. This is the best time to repent.
“The ashes should be a reminder of our nothingness before God, acknowledging our frailty, looking up to God for His intervention.
“We are crying, we are mourning, we are tired and sick of the killings going on in our country and putting on black clothes on a significant day as this is our own way of calling on God to save us and we are mourning with the families of those who lost dear ones.
“These are killers, deriving joy in spilling human blood; whenever they kill, they cheer themselves; Christianity is under threat; Christians should be united to fight the common enemy, we should stop fighting ourselves.
“As Catholics, we should practice Catholicism by our actions, showing love to all.
“Catholic is the mother church and every other Christian is free to attend the activities of the Catholic Church; Pentecostals are free to attend the stations of the cross because, if Christians should stand up and speak with one voice, these killings will stop.
“The love for money is affecting the truth of the gospel and many are founding churches without considering the need to be united as children of God because Islam is not a religion of peace.
“No religion should be preaching and celebrating violence, killing and promising rewards for those who kill the innocents.
“If members of Boko Haram do not repent, God will send them to the pit of hell, they should repent and those who say that they are our leaders should make practical efforts to stop the killing, terrorism; no one should derive joy in the suffering of others.
“How can you shut down where food is coming from and open the borders to those who are coming to kill and maim? Who are the bandits? Who are the faceless people that are attacking us? Where are they coming from? What is its mission?
“We ask God to heal us, we ask God to save us through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
This year’s Ash Wednesday was very solemn, the hymns were those rendered during funerals.
Meanwhile, pains in the hearts of the worshippers could be felt as they were almost in tears after the Holy Mass.
The holy mass was marked with the symbolic rubbing of ash on the foreheads of the Catholics by Rev. Fr. Chukwuedo and assisted by his deputy, Rev. Fr. Solomon Ugwummadu.
Lenten season is a reflection season of 40 days, looking forward to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
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