As Christians around the world celebrate Palm Sunday amid COVID-19 Pandemic, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama has expressed optimism that the Coronavirus is bound to be over as Christ triumphed over death.
Archbishop Kaigama stated this at the 2020 Palm Sunday Celebration at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria, Pro-Cathedral Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Archbishop Kaigama, who delivered his message through the social media, enjoined Christians to comply with the orders by the government with respect to the pandemic.
“The Holy Week which is the peak of our Lenten observance begins today with this Palm Sunday celebration. During this week we are going to be journeying with Jesus as he makes his way to Jerusalem and then to Calvary where He will pay the supreme sacrifice to save us from our sins and the sins of the whole world.
However, remember that in the Eucharist we pray for the living, the dead, those who are present for the Mass, those far away like our brave soldiers in the North East doing security work and now many of you who are at home watching or listening, either because you are sick or elderly or because you are obeying the restriction orders by the government to stay at home as a measure to curb the ravaging coronavirus.” Archbishop Kaigama said.
Kaigama also lauded Media Practitioners as a great asset in fighting the spread of the COVID-19 as well as Medical workers.
“I appreciate the presence of media practitioners here from different media houses who are a great asset in fighting the spread of the coronavirus virus.
“They are our great bridge, getting relevant and authentic information to you and you can see how important their role is in linking us at this Eucharistic celebration here to you by bringing this Holy Mass to you either directly or through the news they will give about it later.” He said.
The Archbishop comforted Catholics who could not attend the mass because of the restrictions saying it is due to the peculiar situation prevailing in the Country. He urged them to be at peace as he prays that soon a cure can be found and all their anxiety will be over and they can resume normal spiritual and pastoral activities.
“Hosanna means save us. We cry out to Jesus to save us from our sins and eternal death as well as the coronavirus. We are carrying a heavy cross in the world today.
“Our prayer is that as we come to the end of the forty days so shall we experience the end of the coronavirus. We should continue to say the prayer of Pope Francis to MARY during the corona pandemic.” The Archbishop said.
He also commended the measures put in place by the Nigerian government to curb the pandemic while stressing that funds should be used with maximum prudence.
”Since this is the peak of the Lenten season, if we procrastinated, this is injury time. Do more: alms, prayer, fasting. Government apart from imposing understandable restrictions of movements in order to minimize the spread of the coronavirus must ensure that people don’t suffer lack of food, water, electricity and basic medical care.” Archbishop Kaigama said.
He called on the church to sacrifice from the little it has in solidarity with those infected or affected as well as those who stay home with very little to survive on.
“I call on everyone to act fast Catholic; including the clergy and the religious to make personal sacrifices. All men and women of goodwill should help with whatever they can. Let us act fast. No time to waste For the sake of the sorrowful passion, Jesus have mercy on us and on the whole world.” Archbishop Kaigama added.