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Divine Mercy Celebration Invitation to be Channels of God’s Forgiveness: Nigerian Bishop

Bishop Emmanuel Badeojo of Nigeria's Catholic Diocese of Oyo. Credit: Catholic Diocese of Oyo/ Facebook

Divine Mercy Sunday celebrated in the Catholic Church on the second Sunday of Easter is an invitation for Christians to be channels of God’s unending mercy and forgiveness, a Nigerian Bishop has said.

In his message following the event that was marked on Sunday, April 11, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese calls upon the people of God in the West African country to become apostles of mercy, maintaining that God’s mercy and forgiveness are the gifts that the world needs the most today.

“Today let us … make ourselves the channels and instrument of God’s mercy and forgiveness,” Bishop Badejo says in his reflection shared with ACI Africa Tuesday, April 13.

He adds, “The world needs God’s mercy; our country needs God’s mercy to conquer greed, corruption, tribalism, indiscipline and wickedness. We all need God’s mercy.”

Seeking to explain the social gaps in Nigeria, Bishop Badejo makes reference to the reggae singer, Jimmy Cliff who, he says, once sang, “Too many people are suffering, too many people are sad. Too little people have everything while too many people have nothing.”

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“We pray for God’s mercy and God needs agents to carry his mercy to the world. Be an apostle of mercy and mercy shall be poured down on you,” the Nigerian Bishop says, and adds, “We ask the Holy Spirit to turn you too into an instrument of God’s mercy. Yes, we can!”

In his reflection on Divine Mercy Sunday, the Local Ordinary of Oyo who doubles as the President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) highlights the need to thank God for His mercy, for Jesus, for the Holy Spirit as well as for the people in the society who do the various works of mercy.

He also highlights the need to thank Pope Saint John Paul II “who activated that celebration in the year 2000 to hold on the Sunday after Easter Sunday” and adds, “Nor must we ever forget Sr Faustina Kowalska through whose inspiration it came to be.”

“Divine Mercy Sunday reminds us of God’s mercy, of many ways in which God’s mercy is gifted to the world and the reasons we have to be thankful and also forgiving.”

Making reference to Psalm 136, Romans 9 and Exodus 33, he adds, “We who are alive must focus on giving thanks to God the Father who alone is the source of mercy. (We must) give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his mercy is without end.”

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“We thank Jesus Christ the son who is the mercy of the Father for God so loved the world that He sent His only son that all who believe in him may not perish but may have eternal life,” Bishop Badejo continues in his reflection shared with ACI Africa.

As for the Holy Spirit, he notes, the people of God have a comforter who he says is the instrument of God’s mercy.

“Let us also thank all those through whom Divine Mercy is brought down to us. They are all channels of Divine Mercy,” the Bishop says and highlights the examples of parents, teachers, guardians, Priests and the Religious.

Other people that Bishop Badejo says are channels of God’s mercy include Catechists, prayer leaders, doctors, nurses, health workers and all who work for charity and care.

He also expresses gratitude to church associations that are directly committed to the work of mercy, including the Legion of Mary, St. Vincent de Paul, the Pro Labore Dei and Caritas and groups that reach out to prisoners.

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“We pray, thanking God for them,” Bishop Badejo says, and adds, “Don’t forget good politicians, journalists, security agents, judges, lawyers and civil servants either. We still have some around us. They need our prayers and goodwill too.”