From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Catholic Churches in Nasarawa State Sunday joined their counterparts worldwide to celebrate Palm Sunday which marks the beginning of Holy Week activities to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ on Good Friday and Easter respectively.
In Lafia, the state capital, at St William’s Cathedral, the celebration began with a procession in the church premises with strict adherence to the COVID-I9 Protocols, unlike the year 2020 Palm Sunday which was celebrated via online platforms, due to the lockdown imposed by government, following the out break of COVID-I9 pandemic.
In his sermon, the Cathedral Administrator, St William’s Cathedral, Rev Fr Alfred Azige, compared the sufferings of Jesus to the challenges confronting Nigeria, noting that the country currently facing challenges of Insecurity ranging from banditry, kidnapping, terrorism among others.
Fr Azige stated that the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem witnessed a huge crowd rejoicing with him but He was later crucified by the same people who celebrated him.
“Jesus today entered into Jerusalem with a huge crowd welcoming him as he entered Jerusalem but later condemned him to death. We hear the crowd shouting “Hosanna Hosanna Hossana” and a few days later shouting out “Crucify him.” Therefore, the glorious entry is not the focus of today’s liturgy but his suffering and crucifixion on the cross.
“He was betrayed by one of his disciples. He suffered the pains of being condemned on the cross as a common criminal.
“The question to ask ourselves today should be, is there God when we suffer? Christianity without a cross is nothing. Jesus came to assist us with our sufferings and suffering brings endurance.
“The situation in Nigeria has made us to continue to ask if God is still with us but we should unite ourselves with God and believe and trust in him,” he said.
He therefore, called on Christians to draw closer to God by not denying Jesus as his disciples did when he was arrested.