July 22, 2024
Diocese News Ekwulobia Diocese News Nigeria Vatican

Christmas: Cardinal Okpaleke encourages Nigerians to be worthy ambassadors of Love

Christmas: Cardinal Okpaleke encourages Nigerians to be worthy ambassadors of Love
Padre Mike Nsikak Umoh, CSN

In a nation that has known so much suffering, pain and disappointment, caused largely by failure of government, the soothing words of the Prince of the Church, Peter Cardinal Okpaleke at Christmas comes to give hope and strength.

In his 2022 Christmas message, the Cardinal laments the embarrassing level of insecurity and economic hardship in the nation which has led to wanton loss of lives and means of livelihood. He notes that the ugly situation “has deteriorated to the point of triggering off feelings of hopelessness” among the people.

Cardinal Okpaleke however inspires hope in the people, in spite of the damning situation, urging them not to lose hope in God. “In spite of the difficulties we face in our country, I kindly call on you, dear people of God, to be joyful and thankful to God for the gift of Himself to us at Christmas.” “May we remain firm, for our God is one who always triumphs in all situations.”

“Let these [ugly situations] not dampen our spirits. May the joy of Christmas not be solely dependent on such external factors, as significant as they might be,” he encourages.

The Cardinal further exhorts the people to take advantage of the Christmas season to “strengthen their grip on God and reflect on his love for us.” “Christmas is a celebration of love: the preeminent love of God for us in his magnanimous gift to us of His only begotten son, our Lord Jesus Christ, such that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life (Jn 3:16; cf. 1 Jn 4:9).”

Rather than despair, Cardinal Okpaleke calls on the people to be worthy ambassadors of love in the world by moving away from their comfort zones to bring joy and hope to others. “Let us do away with hatred, selfishness, greed, and insincerity that have combined to keep us where we are today as a country, and embrace love for one another regardless of tribe, tongue, region, religion or even political affiliation. This should be our disposition as we approach the general elections early next year.”

He adds that, “The condition of the weak in our society must prompt us to offer help. Give to the poor; share your bread with the hungry; help the broken hearted and make the downtrodden find reasons to continue to live; assist families experiencing great difficulties to cope with the challenges of our time; care for the aged, and be a friend of children, especially the orphans; fight for justice for the oppressed and be kind to all. These are ways to show that we appreciate the love God has shown us,” he concludes.

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