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A time to repent and reconcile with God – Bishop Onaga on Ash Wednesday

By Chinenye Dike 

The Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga has called on Christians and Catholics in particular to utilize the opportunity of Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season, to repent of their sins and reconcile with God.

His Lordship spoke in his homily today 22nd February at the Ash Wednesday evening Mass at Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu.

Describing the Ash Wednesday in his homily, His Lordship said that it is a time when Christians have the opportunity to repent of their sins.

He explained that the Lenten season is one of somber meditation rather than celebration which is evident as they adorn the purple colour which is also used on the altar as it represents grief.

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He reminded everyone that every Friday there would be stations of the cross to represent the agony Christ underwent to secure their redemption. He exhorted them to take part in the stations of the cross and all other endeavors undertaken in search of Christ.

His Lordship  urged all to utilize this time as an opportunity to repent and reconcile with God.

According to His Lordship, the Lenten season marks the start of Christ’s mission, which is to bring people to redemption through his death and resurrection, as such, every good Christian will utilize this time to think and work on their own salvation.

His Lordship charged all to fast, cut back on their vices, reflect on their transgressions, and make amends with God.

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He advised all to realize that earth is only a temporary home because everyone must depart at some point, which he further urged all to always conduct their lives in this awareness.

He used the example of Job and his family bathing themselves in ash as well as Jonah’s experience to illustrate the symbol of ash and how it represents a sign of repentance.

His Lordship however, denounced the fear and apprehension that the separatist movements have unfortunately instilled in the people they are fighting for. 

According to the Bishop, such an approach is not appropriate as it is negatively affecting the lives of people in the region already. This he noted has become counter productive to the very freedom they claim they are fighting for.

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In strong terms, His Lordship condemned the incessant sit-at-home orders. According to him, it has never produced positive results since it began. 

However, His Lordship expresses his hope that those responsible for the instability in the Southeast would repent. He further urged all to vote on election day in order to fulfill their civic duty.

Furthermore, His Lordship prayed for everyone’s conversion and asked God for his salvation.

 

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