The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Most Rev. John Oyejola, has urged priests to be watchful, endure all afflictions and be dedicated to God’s work.
Oyejola gave the advice in Lagos on Sunday while delivering a sermon at the 10th Episcopal Ordination Anniversary of Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo.
He further urged priests not to give people short term answers to their problems, but rather give them something that would give them meaning and joy at the end of their challenges.
“Priest should always remember that man was ordinary clay before God breathed His life into him and gave him life.
“It is also necessary to always return spiritually to the moment of their consecration in order that they might be reminded that we were nothing before the grace of God made us something.’’
‘’Exaggerations of self-importance resulting from pride will destroy humanity,’’ he said
Oyejola also urged Badejo to keep in mind the exaltation of Christ and the examples of all generations of the church, from its very beginning in the care of the poor.
“Let the priests and the people of God learn and are inspired by your example to genuinely live and care for the poor as you arouse your conscience and promote charity actions.
“Though the diocese may be humbled financially, it can be rich with love.
“As Shepherd, let all who listen to you be sensitive to the miseries of the poor and willing to make sacrifices to bring them comfort and consolation.
“Let everyone be convinced that where there is charity and love, there God is. Encourage your priests to teach catechism to the lay faithful for them to properly understand the Mass.
“Regardless of our gifts, our strengths and weaknesses, our known and unknown successes and failures as servants of Christ, all that keep us going is the depth of our love for Christ.
“I believe in these last 10 years as the Chief Shepherd, the faithful in the diocese have come to realise that your choice as the chief shepherd was planned by Christ.
He commended Badejo for his accomplishment, adding that the efforts had brought vitality to the work of evangelisation in the diocese.
“We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to give your insight and the inner energy to attentively give more of yourself to the ministry of shepherding the people entrusted to you.
The cleric also urged the faithful to be accountable stewards and followers of God
“To you people of God in the Diocese of Oyo, are you aware that you are on a mission of making disciples for Christ?,
‘’You are also to build his kingdom of peace and love, kingdom of Oyo justice and peace.
“No time for wrangling and quarrelling, the message is urgent because the time before us very short. Get to work and be accountable to your stewardship.’’