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Palm Sunday: Kaigama enjoins Christians to renew their commitment to serve God

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The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, has advised Christians not to judge and condemn but to renew their commitment to stay with Christ Jesus.

He said that Christians` victory lay in their endurance of hardship, suffering and pains.

Kaigama made this known on Sunday during a pastoral visit to St. Michael’s Parish, Jikwoyi, for the Feast of Palm Sunday where he also administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 121 candidates.

Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem where palm branches were placed in his path, before his arrest on Holy Thursday and his crucifixion on Good Friday.

It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent.

According to Kaigama, the highest demonstration of the love of God for humanity is captured in John 3:16 where it is stated that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten so that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.

He also said that the undefiled and unconditional love Jesus showed us was the same love we are to show to the poor, the lowly, the marginalised and the less privileged in the society.

“From the story of the suffering and death of Jesus, we understand that suffering is part of our human existence.

“Sometimes in the midst of what we suffer we tend to
think that God has forsaken us but God does not neglect us.

“The suffering we sometimes undergo is meant to help us get to where God wants us to be.

“Whenever we see ourselves going through some forms of suffering, let us remember that our Lord Jesus Christ had the same experience, but emerged victorious.

He urged Christians to unite their sufferings with His in order to also share in His glory.

“Jesus teaches us humility today. We are told that Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, a symbol of peace.

“Jesus`s humility contrasted with the majesty of worldly leaders, who would ride on horses and sometimes over the prostrated bodies of their foes.

“By this, Jesus is teaching leaders to live simply and to give up a lot of their excesses for the good of their people,” he said.

The archbishop said the poor and needy, largely the victims of bad and corrupt governance, were often made to suffer and sacrifice for the comfort of their
leaders.

He further said they were victims of social, economic, political exploitation and manipulation.

Kaigama said the corrupt leaders sought their personal interests instead of what brought progress, national growth and sustainable development.

He advised leaders to show their followers, especially the youth, the example that wishing and dreaming big alone were not enough to make them who they wished to be.

He advised leaders to let the youth understand that they could only achieve this through hard work and honesty.

“The victims of kidnapping, banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria are crying and asking: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken us?”

He said that it was the same cry in the hearts of many Nigerian youths and students who were forced to stay at home due to no fault of theirs.

Kaigama, however, said that in spite of the pains and fears, Nigerians were hopeful of triumph someday, somehow, by God’s grace.

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