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Jan 22, 2018


Catholics have been admonished to imbibe the humility of John the Baptist and respond positively to the call of God by using their individual gifts from God for the good of humanity. This admonition was given by Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu in his homily at the celebration of Mass at St Gabriel Chaplaincy, Durumi, Abuja, recently.

Speaking on the theme Doctrine and Faith, the Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), urged the faithful to “in humility be open to the lessons the readings of this Sunday propose to us”; pointing out that the readings of the day focus primarily on the call from God and the need to respond positively to this call. He however cautioned that there are different types of calls, and admonished the people to be careful not to respond to calls that are not from God.

With regards to the first reading which focused on the call of God on Prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh and call the people to repentance, Fr. Madu noted: “it is striking to note that God was concerned with the salvation of another nation other than Israel; in fact a nation that had been brutal toward the chosen people. He added: “This demonstrates the universality of divine compassion and willingness to forgive.”

The second reading and the Gospel of the day, the homilist continued, also reflect on the different callings of every human being in the service of humanity at the instance and glory of God. He further explained that all these readings point towards repentance and conversion, turning away from evil and other vices. Speaking extensively on how Christ called his disciples for his evangelization apostolate on earth and how the first apostles responded with faith as well as the role of John the Baptist in this mission. The homilist noted that: “Down through the ages, the prophets looked forward to the future. They encouraged the people to turn away from their lives of sin and dedicate themselves anew to the reign of God”

Stressing that, just like as it was in the days of old; Christians of today are called upon to respond to the call of God to love and serve Him for the good of humanity. He however warned that they must embrace repentance and the virtues of humility, love, compassion patience, perseverance, kindness and accept of the superiority of Christ, as John the Baptist did.

The CSN Secretary General who is also the Chaplain of the Chaplaincy declared: “God’s call to discipleship is pertinent and unrelenting. As Disciples of Christ and ambassadors of God, we are called not only to enter the reign of God but also to promote and spread it; to bring with us the good-news of salvation wherever we go and whatever we do.”

He concluded: “As demanding as it may be, we should be grateful that God does not give up on us. Therefore, having been called by God, we should now begin to live our lives in a totally different way, guided by the values of the reign of God rather than those of the world that is passing away.”

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