By Chikezie Ogbonna
Christians have been called to espouse their true friendship to Jesus in consciously living a life reflective of his personality and message.
The charge was made today by the Auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo as Christians all over the world observed the Palm Sunday signifying the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and also marking the beginning of the Holy Week.
Enugu Diocese, joining the global Christian community observed a colourful Palm Sunday Celebration led by The Bishop of the Diocese, Most Rev. Callistus Onaga alongside His Auxiliary, Most Rev. Ernest Obodo.
In his homily titled Friends and Betrayers of Jesus, Bishop Obodo who noted that the Palm Sunday with its attendant colourful display is an act of faith which signifies that the Lord will pass through us. He said that by the virtue of the persecution and death of Jesus, many things were exposed.
Such revelation identified both the friends of Jesus who certainly are imperfect and his betrayers.
According to His Lordship, the trial and death of Jesus exposed so many things. “The first is Peter who denied him and the second, Judas who betrayed him”, he said.
Peter, according to the Bishop, represents Christians who deny Jesus in their daily affairs of life, through commiting sins, bribery and corruption.
Making reference to the just concluded election, especially the 25th February Presidential election, he noted that of course, Christians who participated in the recorded widespread voter suppression and result manipulation are like Peter who denied Jesus.
According to Bishop Obodo, however, when Peter recognized his sin, he cried, confessed his sin and asked for forgiveness. Thus, His Lordship observed that the Lenten season gives us the opportunity to reconcile with God and repent from our sins.
“Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of Silver. Judas represents many Christians who commit sin and refuse to repent from their sins nor forgive themselves”, His Lordship said.
Making reference to the cardinal sins against the Holy Spirit which are; despair, presumption, impenitence or a firm determination not to repent, obstinacy, resisting divine truth known to be such, and envy of another’s spiritual welfare, His Lordship noted that these unfortunately are evident amongst Christians today and they are the reflection of the life Judas.
According to His Lordship, the crowd is the next set of the people who are incoherent. He referred to the very crowd who out of emotions and sentiments echoed for the crucifixion of Jesus at the time.
He said, “We must learn to moderate our passions. We cannot be here nor there. We must not be inconsistent with our convictions and always do the right thing even when every other person is doing otherwise.”
The Bishop charged Christians to always stand by Jesus whether the situation is favourable or unfavourable.
“Just as the crowd chose Barabbas instead of Jesus, this happens now as people will rather choose evil over good just because of the gratification they will get from it.
“We should always love by the consciousness to locate ourselves as the friend of Jesus instead of his betrayers. And let this Holy Week lead us to true repentance and rekindle our faith to serve Jesus better, cutting across all facets of our life and existence”, His Lordship prayed.