ABUJA, APRIL 10, 2020 (CISA)-Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama has urged religious leaders in Nigeria to use this time when churches and mosques are closed to preach sermons that promote interdenominational coexistence.
“The message of solidarity, fraternity, forgiveness, reconciliation and our common humanity should ring from our Mosques and Churches (even without congregations) more loudly than ever,” he said in his homily during Chrism Mass at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral in Abuja on April 9.
According to Archbishop Kaigama, this is a chance to explore other ways of pastoral service and evangelisation in the absence of public liturgical gathering.
“Obviously, God wants us to travel another path which leads to where God is worshipped in spirit and in truth. The multiplication of houses of worship, the ubiquitous and splendid worship structures and the loud noise that keep people awake all night in the name of religion should give way to the practice of religion that only helps all adherents to sincerely fear God and which translates into the genuine love of neighbour,” he said.
Archbishop Kaigama called on priests to honour their vocation not only by maintaining a sound relationship with God but also reaching out to the unreached, the neglected, marginalised, stigmatised and socially deprived.
“We all know that these are times of great stress, anxiety and fear. It is a time that calls us to listen to ourselves rather than preaching to the people from the pulpit only; to look inwards and to draw more than before, the attention of our people to consider the things that are above, not only the things that are upon the earth,” he said calling on those who were present during the chrism Mass to renew priestly commitment and service.
Chrism Mass was celebrated by limited number of participants to avoid a huge congregation in solidarity with the Nigerian government which is advocating for physical distancing to reduce the spread of Covid-19.