Most Rev Gabriel Abegunrin, the Archbishop of Ibadan Catholic Archdiocese during his Palm Sunday Message said Palm Sunday which also means Passion Sunday, is the beginning of the most important week of the year which is the Holy Week, and so urged the faithful not to allow the current crisis as a result of covid-19 trouble them.
He presided over the ceremony at St Mary’s Catholic cathedral, Oke Padi, Ibadan on 5 April, 2020.
“Today, we remember as we celebrate Jesus’Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem- The humble king.”
Because of the restriction on public religious activities in the state,
the celebration which was on streamed on social media for the church’s faithful to watch.
With just few lay faithful in attendance, the mass was concelebrated by Very Rev. Fr Gregory Oyelami, the Vicar General and Cathedral administrator as well as his assistant, Rev. Fr Christopher Areoye.
The Prelate noted that, though, Palm Sunday is a celebration that people gather together and take a walk with Jesus to commemorate the Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. “Even as we don’t have the opportunity to walk as usual today, the memory remains the same and we believe He is still with us.”
“Our salvation is summarised in this Holy Week, that is, His Suffering, Death and Resurrection. Our loud singing Hosanna shows our readiness to witness to Him.”
The Chief Shepherd of the Catholic Church in Ibadan explained the Bible readings of the day in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, reminded and give believers imploring the faithful not to lose faith in God in spite of what was happening.
“Jesus is asking us in this difficult time as He asked Peter, do you love me? Do we love Him even as we stay at home?”
Has the Covid-19 situation affected our faith negatively or positively,” he asked.
Furthermore, the prelate interrogated the faithful saying, “Are we doing more for Him in prayers, patience, perseverance, charity to the poor, being kind in deeds and words and in witnessing to what we are celebrating in good and firm faith?”
He however enjoined the believers to be more focused in their Christian duties and renew their commitment to prayers, almsgiving and forgiveness of people offences.
“Let us be open to the Holy Spirit that He may lead us out of this darkness into the light of Christ, our Lord and Master.
He prayed that the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ would heal and cleanse the world of her present evil and those to come.
Again, the Archbishop prayed that the faithful’s stay at home following the direction of government and health practitioners would bring about their safety and deeper relationship.