As Christians marked Palm Sunday, the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin, has urged them to relive, emulate and share the love of Jesus Christ with their neighbours.
Abegunrin told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Ibadan that Christians should show Christ’s love to all, irrespective of their religion or race.
According to him, God loves humanity because humans were created in His image and likeness, and out of love, He sent His only begotten son to die for them.
The archbishop said: “Jesus Christ loves mankind so much that He willingly died for man shamefully on the cross.”
He urged leaders and stakeholders in government to be humble in the discharge of their duties towards the citizenry, saying that their humility should be accompanied with truthfulness.
“There is so much distrust in our land because our leaders, including religious ones, are not humble, truthful and loving.
“Jesus Christ rode the donkey among the people; he did not bully them. Those in government should respect the citizens and keep the promises of protection of lives and property.
“There is terror everywhere. So I advise government at all levels to learn from Jesus Christ on how to be close to the people and not to abuse their power over them.
“Rather, they should use their power to maintain peace in the land,” he said.
According to him, Palm Sunday signifies the day Christians celebrate the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem in order to suffer, die and resurrect for the sake of humanity.
He added that Palm Sunday marked the beginning of Holy Week in Christendom.
“The holy week is the one leading to Easter. The high point of the week is the Sacred Triduum, which comprises the celebration of Institution of Sacred Priesthood and the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist on Holy Thursday.
“It comprises the Veneration of the Wood of the Cross and the commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and lastly, the celebration of the Vigil of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave on Holy Saturday.
“All these spiritual and redeeming activities culminate in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday,” he said.
Abegunrin, therefore, maintained that Palm Sunday afforded everyone, particularly Christians, the opportunity of total liberation from sin and death by uniting mankind with the crucified Jesus.
He said that Palm Sunday also emphasised the supremacy and lordship of Jesus Christ on humanity.
A faithful, Mr Toochi Chima, said that Jesus came to save mankind, as prophesied by Zechariah.
Chima emphasised that the one and only sacrifice made by Christ could take away sin and cause death to pass over mankind.
“Jesus was matching to His death that brought salvation to us. Thus, without Palm Sunday, there would be no passover, no Good Friday, no Easter Sunday and perhaps no resurrection.
“This would have made our belief and faith as Christians baseless, futile and hopeless,” he said.