From Aloysius Attah, Onitsha
The Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Onitsha, Most Rev. Valerian Okeke has counseled Nigerians to get closer to God , intensify prayers and refuse to join the men and women of violence in any form.
In his Easter message titled “If God be for us, who can be against us” Romans 8: 31, delivered yesterday at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity Onitsha, Archbishop Okeke described Easter as a season of hope .
He said the event of the resurrection of Jesus assures us that God keeps His promises and for that, humanity have reasons to believe and reasons to hope.
He said to live without hope is to cease to live and to exist without meaning noting that in the face of the many challenges facing our society today, especially the increasing insecurity, killings, destruction of properties, economic difficulties and many more, the virtue of hope seems to be fading gradually. “Hope seems to be eluding us. However, nothing brings hope back to life like the Easter event. Christ has risen from the dead. It was from the darkest depth of the tomb that the joy of Easter arose. The message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ silences the hopelessness of the tomb” he said.
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, let us fix our eyes on him who is the author and finisher of our faith. Let us intensify our prayers and be closer to God. As we pray, we work; we do the needful but not to join the men and women of violence. Always remember that this difficult time will pass, the difficult people too will pass but God has the final word. God who raised Jesus from the dead can handle our problems” he said.
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Archbishop Okeke who celebrated Easter with the inmates of the Onitsha Correctional Centre also charged them to praise God no matter their condition.
Presenting various gift items to the inmates, the Archbishop charged them have faith in God as only God can do what no man can do for them.
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Accompanied by a retinue of priests and the religious, Archbishop Okeke also reminded the inmates that the invisible hand of God can roll away any stone blocking their destiny just as He did it during the time of Jesus resurrection by rolling away the stone blocking the tomb where He was buried.