- An Oyo-based Catholic Bishop, Emmanuel Badejo, has urged Nigerians to pray for the release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Dapchi girl in cpativity
- The cleric made the appeal in his Christmas message to Nigerians on Tuesday, December 24
- Badejo said that the celebration of Christmas will be incomplete if Christians don't pray for the release of Leah Sharibu
Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo has appealed to Nigerians to pray during this Christmas season for the release of people undergoing various persecutions.
Legit.ng gathered that the bishop specifically urged them to pray for the release of Leah Sharibu, the Chibok and the Dapchi girls and others still with their abductors.
He made the appeal in his Christmas message made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, December 24.
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He said that their Christmas celebration would be incomplete if they did not remember those who were still in the captivity of their abductors.
He said: “Christmas must remind us of the refugees and migrants and displaced people, for Jesus himself was one of them.
“Our Christmas must not pass without consideration for the poor for Jesus who came to us, including the poor.
“A Christmas of true worship will focus our compassion on persecuted children, families and peoples because the baby of Bethlehem himself suffered persecution.”
The prelate said that Christmas messages were rolling in, crafted in the image and likeness of their authors.
“However, none can be better than the very first one delivered by the angels at Jesus’ birth. Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men who are God’s friends.”
He said that Nigerians’ messages to God’s glory and peace on earth would be essential to the Christmas event, and to why Jesus came, when they remembered the less privileged and others in need.
“Only then, in our little efforts to give succour, can we find true joy, love and peace for having done our bit for the least of our brothers and sisters regardless of where, when and by whom Christmas is celebrated,” he said.
Badejo said that people would then be giving joy to the world by helping to destroy sin and wickedness wherever they were found.
''Oh, how so much we need those blessings in our lives and country today! Oh worship the King, all glorious above…” Joy to all in spite of current hardship. Merry Christmas to all. God bless Nigeria,” he said.
Badejo said that all other messages without considerations for the poor and the needy were mere commentaries.
He said that the authentic spirit and message of Christmas were being challenged in contemporary times by what he described as overwhelming consumerist, buy-and-sell culture.
''It is also compromised by our pervasive entertainment mentality which abhors contemplation and sobriety.”
He reminded all that the first task of Christmas is to worship and adore the baby-Jesus, God-made-man, the King.
“That is why the words of the original carols were… “O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord”, “Come and worship Christ the King of Kings.”
He said that too many carol events happening currently in the society were more of rallies, party and entertainment than worship.
He said that people were celebrating dignitaries, orators, musicians, comedians and artistes rather than Jesus, the “Beacon of the season.”
“We lash about in vain but only true worship of the King of kings can restore our sanity and humanity, make us grateful, repentant and generous. We paddle here and there but our canoe stands still.
“Only true, sincere worship of God will make us loving and compassionate and make us realise that God, indeed, so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son for our salvation, ” he said.
Also, Rev. Fr Tony Onyebuchi Umana of St. Thomas Catholic Church, Papa- Ibafo in Ogun, advised his parishioners to be humble and righteous in their lifestyles for them to meet the new-born baby, Jesus Christ.
The priest in his homily during the Mass on Tuesday said that the wisemen and the Maggi saw Jesus because they were righteous.
“Herod and his men did not see the new baby because of there deceit and negative intentions,” he said.
Umana implored the parishioners to always look up to Jesus at everytime so that he could transform their lives, businesses and careers.
“Jesus touched the various tools of the trade being used in his days from the inherited curses of the old and changed them into articles of blessings for those using them till date,” he said. ( NAN)
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Nigeria’s minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, described Leah Sharibu, who was abducted with some others in Dapchi by the terrorist Boko Haram group, as a daughter to the country.
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