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Aug 14, 2020


Rev. Fr. Francis Ike, Dean of Satellite Deanery, Lagos Archdiocese, in his
admonishment, maintained that living a good Christian life, amidst the
vices and challenges of earthly temptations require patience and emulating
other virtues of God. He made the remarks in his homily during the
celebration of the Mass for the 16th Sunday of the Church Year, 2020; at
the Holy Cross Cathedral, Lagos.

Speaking on the theme *His Patience is Great* Fr. Ike used the Gospel
reading of the parable of the Wheat and the weed, to emphasize the need for
patience for Christians to live a meaningful life in a world full of evil
and vices. He declared: “The readings of today call us to a deeper
reflection upon our attitude in the midst of evil and wickedness. The Lord
invites us to be like Him, he wants us to be forgiving, merciful and
compassionate like Himself …”

Pointing out that the universal mission of Christ is the salvation of all
human beings, irrespective of their spiritual or otherwise status, the
homilist called on the faithful to take advantage of God’s patience as
accentuated by the parable of the Seed and the weed, to change from ways of
sin and frivolities, in order to attain eternal life in heaven. In his
words: “The message of the parable clearly refers to the universal mission
of Jesus to save all men. Just like the church is composed of the good and
the bad, the beautiful and ugly, the slim and fat, the tall and short, the
just and sinners; both will co-exist until harvest time when the Just, the
Just Judge will sit on the judgment throne to separate the good from the
bad; the righteous going to eternal glory and the bad to be eternally
condemned in hell. We are therefore giving opportunity for renewal and
repentance for God is a patient God.”


Fr. Ike reiterated, “Despite our knowledge that good and evil co-exist, our
attitude towards evil should not be that of indifference. The worse sin
towards our brother and sister is not to hate them or to be indifferent to
them. If we passively accept evil or remain indifferent to it, we are
culpable like those who perpetuate it. The Lord is calling us today to do
our best or make effort to stop, remove evil and wickedness in whatever
form and wherever we can. We all have in us the wheat and weed aspect of
our lives. The Holy Spirit comes to help us in our weakness and transforms
our weeds to wheat. We must wake up from our spiritual slumber lest the
devil takes advantage of our weakness.”

Noting that the spate of evil in the country is alarming and frightful, Fr.
Ike called on the faithful to remain steadfast and oppose actions and
forces that undermine their faith, belief or religion. Again, he said,
“Apart from the forces of the devil, we have also the forces or power of
the society, that of the physical and social which we live in, within the
power of the society is political power vested on those elected to govern
us. We therefore call on all those in power to do the needful in fighting
evil in our society.”

His words: “The incessant killings, rape, kidnapping, cultism, robbery,
assassination, internet fraud, unlawful and unwarranted arrest of innocent
citizens, police brutality, corruption and embezzlement of public fund, to
mention but these few must be checked. These are indices of evil in our
world and we must not fold our arms and watch them consume or choke us. Our
security agents must wake up to their responsibilities.”

The homilist also used the occasion to stress the need for communal worship
as a vital means of calling for God’s intervention on the Corona Virus
disease pandemic and urged the Government of Lagos State to lift ban on the
opening of places of worship in the state; stressing that “There is no
justification to open most institutions in the state, while the spiritual
institution – our churches remain closed.”

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