A Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Andrew Abhulime on Sunday urged Christians to refrain from all sinful conduct and likened the dreaded coronavirus to the damage caused by sin to human soul.
Abhulime said this in his homily at Saints Joachim and Anne Catholic church, Ijegun in Ikotun, Lagos, on the third Sunday of Lent, which focused on repentance.
He urged Christians to avoid sin, which had the potency to destroy both body and soul.
“I am worried that many care less about their souls and place more emphasis on material gains and wealth.
Quoting from the scriptures, the cleric said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and every other thing will be added unto you’’.
According to him, even the dreaded disease can be wiped away by the mercy of God.
“He has assured us to fear he that can destroy both body and soul, which is evil.
“God will fill our emptiness, restore our challenges with His Grace, if we turn away from evil deeds,’’ Abhulime said.
He called for repentance to have God’s favour.
“There is so much evil in the world today, killing one another, hatred, fornication, stealing and destroying family values.
“The world is almost shut down because we are so much scared of contacting coronavirus that will only kill the body but that virus, sin, that will kill both body and soul, we neglect.
“People are praying to God not to get infected with the coronavirus, yet man does not have reverence for that God that we are looking up to,” he said.
The cleric said that the readings of the Sunday were centred on humility and repentance as the Samaritan woman repented when she encountered Jesus.
“The world is a comedy; we keep on chasing shadows; and leaving out the true food of eternity – water and bread of life.
“Jesus has promised us today that He will give us the living water and real bread of life if only we’ll repent of our sins and evil deeds,” he said.
The cleric also appealed to the faithful to break the barriers of division amongst their ranks, saying it was the mission of Jesus with the Samaritan woman.
“Today, Jesus broke the barrier of tribalism, favouritism and separation between the Jews and Samaritans as Jesus, a Jew, helped the Samaritan woman with everlasting water.
“He demonstrated it with associating himself with the Samaritan woman at the well. She who was seen by all as a great immoral sinner had audience with Jesus,” Abhulime said.
He, therefore, urged different ethnic groups to desist from downgrading women because of their gender, saying that instead, they should associate with them and not relegate them as second class citizens.
“Jesus Christ did not look down on the woman at the well. Even the disciples saw his association with her as strange but Christ had a message for us.
“Do not treat anyone with contempt. There should be no division based on tribe, race nor sex.
“Everyone is equal in the sight of God,” he said.
NAN reports that Catholic faithful commenced Lenten season on Feb. 26 for 40 days, which would end on Palm Sunday, April 5, with the beginning of Holy Week climaxing on Easter Sunday. (NAN)