From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
Former Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments, Vatican City, Rome, Francis Cardinal Arinze, has called on public officials and political office holders in Nigeria to work for the common people and desist from pursuing selfish interests.
The Cardinal who spoke yesterday while celebrating Christmas Mass with the parishioners of Regina Caeli Parish, Umuoji, Anambra State, urged Nigerians at all levels to embrace peace, avoid hostilities at all times and live a life of selflessness.
“The commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ brings us peace because He is the Prince of Peace. The child born at Bethlehem is the Son of God made flesh to save mankind. Let us love one another. Public officials, work for the people not for yourself. See what you can do for this country and don’t be asking for what you can get for yourself. May God bless you all and all Nigerians and give us justice and peace in the country” he said.
He also lamented that the Nigerian society is filled with disputes in every area including families, land matters and among communities. He called on marriage partners to make themselves instruments of peace in their homes by loving each other and promoting love and togetherness, which would foster peace in the larger society.
The Parish Priest, Regina Caeli Parish, Umuoji, Rev. Fr. Cosmas Maduekwe while welcoming Cardinal Arinze said the parish considered his visit as a great privilege and blessing among all the parishes within the Umuoji area.
“This is the first time I’m staying so close to the Cardinal since my priesthood life and my first time of hosting him too. We are elated in the spirit because his presence here today marks something beautiful and symbolic. This parish is viewed as the smallest in the whole of Umuoji and if we go by the mystery of Christmas, Bethlehem was marked as the smallest of the towns but town still produced Jesus Christ. I see a connection here because, being a parish still struggling to build a family, I see us being that people just like Bethlehem that would make something great happen in this community,” he said.