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Jan 22, 2018


Archbishop Felix Alaba Job, the Emeritus Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese has identified sincerity of heart filled with faith and endurance to do God’s will as necessary virtues that will bear fruits of a good Christians life that will ensure eternal life in heaven. He made this remark while facilitating the Annual Retreat to kick-start work by all the staff of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) and other agencies of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN).

The two-day recollection programme was attended by all the workers of the agencies of the Bishops Conference working in all parts of the country. According to the Archbishop emeritus; “retreat is a period of deep and sincere concentration and honest examination of what one has been, what one is at present and what one will want to be later.” He however added that the Catholic Retreat is not the type of retreat politicians in the country started having of recent.

The retreat facilitator who premised his topic of the first lecture of the retreat reflecting on how the staff spent the past year (2017) in the service of the Church and in relationship with their neighbours; stated: “When we come together like this for a retreat, we should become an oasis of hearts”. His words: “We have come not only on our own but as a body, we should be oasis in the desert, the desert of the noise of the world that does not grow anything.”

The Archbishop further stated that: “A desert of hearts are people who have hearts and are ready to rub minds and hearts, listening to the music of angels and allowing themselves to be served by Christ and his Mother Mary. When you listen to the music of angels and you dance to the music, surely, Jesus and his mother will provide you with more, much more than you can request”.

Archbishop Job urged the workers to reflect and reexamine their consciences on how they have spent the past year in their various offices; and how they have discharged entrusted duties, as well as how they have related with their co-workers, the people they serve and their neighbours.

The retreat facilitator noted that great use of life is to spend it for really worthwhile pursuits on something that will outclass adding that this will propel how the New Year will be spent. His words: “doing the will of God makes us live forever. We are equal creatures of God, sanctified by the Blessed Trinity but with different responsibilities.”

According to the emeritus Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese, “In reflecting on the past year, we have to think of the different gifts of God and how we have used these gifts in the past year in the discharge of our entrusted duties as workers of the Church and within the community we live.”

Expatriating on how each person as a creature of God, made in his image; could use his or her personal gift in the service of God and humanity for the common good of all; Archbishop Job urged all the staff to re-examine their conscience on how they have used the past year, adding that this will help them determine the way forward in the new year.

His words: “Did I perform my art of leadership or followership in the spirit of Christ who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for us all? Did I promote peace, justice, harmony and progress in my session of the vineyard of the Lord? What can I point to as my achievement something that has just passed, 2017?”

He added: “Have I been an instrument in the hands of the Lord or have I allowed myself to dance to the melody of the evil one? You know when you have an ability and you do not use it, it doesn’t progress in you. In fact it draws you back . What can I point to as my achievement something that will outlast me in the past year 2017? It is said nobody goes to heaven alone and nobody goes to hell alone. You must always take somebody along with you, whether you like it or not people see you and some will behave like you or do as you do weather you are right or wrong.”

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