Ash Wednesday: Bishop Onaga calls for renewal, love and charity

Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Most Rev. ( Dr.) Callistus Onaga, has urged Christians to live Christ-like life, imbibing the spirit of love for one another, knowing that they are mortals who will go back to God their creator after their sojourn on earth.

Pix: Bishop Onaga applying ash on the fore head of a priest.

He gave the charge in his hominly at the Ash Wednesday mass held at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Enugu, to commence the 2024 Lenten season.

Speaking on the significances of the day , Bishop Onaga, said, “ Today, we acknowledge our sins and express our desire for atonement. We also confront the sobering reality of our mortality, acknowledging that one day we shall return to dust.

 Pix- A Priest applying ash on the forehead of a Faithful

“Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a period of six weeks dedicated to prayer, fasting, and almsgiving,” he explained. “It is a time for spiritual purification, a journey towards reconciliation with God.”

The Cleric noted the three  cardinal pillars of Lent, which are, prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

He said, “prayer serves as a vehicle for spiritual purification, fostering a deeper connection with the divine.” 

Fasting ,he said, is a means of self-denial, enabling believers to focus their energies on spiritual growth and sanctification, while, almsgiving or charity, according to him, must be performed with sincerity and humility, without seeking recognition or acclaim. “It is a manifestation of love and compassion towards others,” Omaha said.

On the current situation in Nigeria, Bishop Onaga called for fervent prayers for the nation’s well-being, calling on all citizens to play their part in building a better society.

He urged everybody to imbibe  the spirit of love and compassion, particularly in the spirit of Valentine’s day, saying, “Let us strive to be vessels of love, knowing that love is the cornerstone of our faith and the pathway to a better world.”

Pix- A Priest applying the ash on the head of the Bishop

Highlights of the mass was the blessing of the ash made from the palm font used during the last year’s (2023) Palm Sunday, and application of ash on the fore heads of the Faithfuls, signifying that humanbeings were made from the dust and will go back to dust.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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