The President of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and Archbishop of Benin, Most Reverend Augustine Akubeze has charged Christians to utilize the Christmas season to develop the capacity to listen to God who speaks in silence.
He gave the advice in his Christmas message made available through the National Director of Social Communication, Very Reverend Father Michael Umoh.
Archbishop Akubeze, who said that Christmas reminds Christians that God is always around, urged them to ensure that the word ‘‘Emmanuel’’ remains a constant refrain in their mouths, adding that man should not despair in any situation because, according to him, God is always available.
He emphasised that God spoke through various means at various times in the past, but His final words came through Jesus Christ who himself affirmed that listening to Him is the best path.
Also in his Christmas message, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Reverend Ignatius Kaigama said Christmas is the clearest reminder throughout human history that God has been concerned to enter into personal relationship with man.
According to him, God’s perseverance to reach us at all costs is divine, and its realization should fill us with awesome gratitude to God for His great love.
Archbishop Kaigama said the amazing thing about Christmas is that God did not send prophets or angels to reveal His love, but came by Himself to demonstrate that love to mankind.
He lamented that this year’s Christmas had brought in what he termed “the throes of woes and distressing circumstances far beyond human control”, since in every part of Nigeria, hearts are heavy with suffering and many deaths as a result of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry, as well as the depressing economic situation, with inflation spiraling out of control, which according to the Archbishop, is further crushing the ordinary man who had already been drained of joy, peace and hope, especially with the nagging presence of the COVID-19 pandemic.