Nigeria: Bishop calls for an end to violence

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Nigeria: Bishop calls for an end to violenceIn his Good Friday message, Nigeria’s Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Oyo, Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, said anyone who is in a leadership position, at whatever level, has to make this world better.

Sacrifice for your people

“Good Friday calls on leaders in Nigeria and all over the world, be they politicians, religious leaders, traditional, family, business and economic leaders too, to work for a better world as Jesus did. Sacrifice for your people and seek their interest for Jesus laid down his life in total selflessness. He told us why he did this when he said, ‘The first among you must be your servant…The son of man has come to serve, not to be served and to lay down his life as a ransom for many’. Jesus is the one leader that the leaders of the world in every way can confidently emulate. Leaders of all categories should eschew selfish interests and greed in order to create a peaceful and harmonious world. It is a desirable thing for all,” said the Nigerian prelate.

End hatred, corruption, selfishness and racism

The Bishop, who is also President of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), pointed to the futility of wars and hatred.

“For people of all nationality and religion in the world, Good Friday condemns the current, ‘dog eat dog’ situation of wars, conflict, violence and bloodshed all over the world.

From the pulpit of the cross, Jesus cries out for an end to hatred, corruption, selfishness, racism, discrimination and wickedness. God is always good. He made a world that is good. Human beings must stop destroying the world and destroying one another. Humanity cannot win a war against itself. We must sit down and realise that we are of the same stock, children of one God and live accordingly. Every life that is snuffed out, every child that is killed is a defeat for humanity. Let us work together for peace, justice and let love return so that we can experience one world and one humanity again," the Bishop said.

Jesus’ death rebukes our sinfulness

Good Friday is the day on which Christians commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Out of obedience and love, Jesus shed his blood as remission for the sins of human beings, Bishop Badejo told Vatican News.

The Bishop explained that to see Jesus hanging on the cross presents the world with a powerful symbol that is essentially his visible rebuke for our sinful and wayward ways.

The cross is also a powerful weapon against evil

“Good Friday is a call to holiness, to obey God and do his will. Jesus did God’s will, difficult as it might be and laid down his life. Sin displeases God, and we are all called to repent and mend our ways with God and our fellow men and women. As is often said, the cross is a one-frame visual representation of God’s disgust over sin. We must seek to please God by shunning our sinful ways,” said Bishop Badejo.

Bishop Badejo, however, said all is not lost. “On Good Friday, Jesus calls on us all never to lose hope. The cross is a powerful weapon against evil if we live by its values,” he said.

Paul Samasumo – Vatican City