The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Most. Rev. (Dr.) Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo has called on leaders in Nigeria and all over the world, to steer clear of self-centeredness and insatiability so as to ensure a peaceful world. Bishop Badejo specifically asked politicians, religious leaders, traditional, family, business and economic leaders, to work for a better world like Jesus did. “Make sacrifice for your people and seek their interest for Jesus laid down his life in total selflessness. He told us the reason why when he said: “… The first among you must be your servant…The son of man has come to serve, not to be served and to lay down his life as a ransom for many” (Matt.20:28). Jesus is the one leader that the leaders of the world in every way can confidently emulate.
Leaders of all categories should eschew selfish interests and greed in order to create a peaceful and harmonious world. It is a desirable thing for all,” the Chief Shepherd stated. Addressing Nigerians at the Good Friday celebration in our Lady of Assumption Cathedral in Oyo, the Prelate noted that Good Friday is the day Christians commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. “Out of obedience and love, Jesus shed his blood as remission of the sins of human beings. His death shows God’s desire that sinners may not perish but repent and enjoy eternal life. At the point of death Jesus said “It is finished”. Jesus paid the price so that among us all violence and bloodshed may stop.
We adore you O Christ and we praise you: because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world. “Good Friday is a call to holiness, to obey God and do his will. Jesus did God’s will, difficult as it might be and laid down his life. (Phil 2). Sin displeases God and we are all called to repent and mend our ways with God and with our fellow men and women. As is often said, the cross is a one-frame visual representation of God’s disgust over sin. We must seek to please God by shunning our sinful ways.” According to Bishop Badejo, “For people of all nationality and religion in the world, Good Friday condemns the current: “dog eat dog” situation of wars, conflict, violence and bloodshed all over the world.” He underlined, “From the pulpit of the cross, Jesus cries out for an end to hatred, corruption, selfishness, racism, discrimination and wickedness.
God is always good. He made a world that is good. Human beings must stop destroying the world and destroying one another. Humanity cannot win a war against itself. We must sit down and realize that we are of the same stock, children of one God and live accordingly. Every life that is snuffed out, every child that is killed is a defeat for humanity. Let us work together for peace, justice and let love return to experience again one world and one humanity.” Bishop Badejo emphasized the need for people to love one another and entrust their lives to Christ. “Good Friday reminds us to love one another. Share your goods with one another in love. Love is the most powerful tool with which to create a better world. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that all who believe in him might be saved (Jn 3:16). Love demands that we work for justice and fairness to all. Love begets love and we have nothing of we have no love.
We shall be the better for it. “On Good Friday we must remember Jesus’ call to us to carry our cross and follow him. The world is not perfect and there will be pains and sorrow but we have a model to follow: Jesus Christ. It is the only thing Jesus asks us to carry as his disciples. He did not ask us to carry our wealth, degrees, titles or position but the cross. If anyone wishes to be a follower of mine let him carry his cross and follow me. That is all (Mk 8:34-35). The significance of this fact must not be lost on us. In difficulty, do your best but never despair. Carry your cross and follow Jesus. There is a reward to it.” Good Friday commemorates Jesus’s sacrificial death on the cross. It is traditionally marked by fasting, penance, prayer and public veneration of the cross by the lay faithful. The tradition of the veneration of the cross dates back to the late 4th century when St. Helen, mother of Constantine, discovered a fragment of wood believed to be from Christ’s cross on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The lay faithful came forward to reverence the cross as a sign of respect, and the tradition continues to this day. Stressing that the cross is a powerful weapon that puts the devil to flight, the patriarch told the lay faithful never to lose hope. He said, “The cross is a powerful weapon against evil if we live by its values. The blood that Jesus shed on Calvary will never lose its power. Christians are enjoined to hold firmly to the cross with faith and trust in God, while doing good to all. The cross we carry shall end with the joy of Easter. That is our calling and destiny