The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, has called on Nigerians to love and tolerate one another for the nation’s stability and economic development.
Mr. Onaiyekan made the call in Abuja during Tuesday’s midnight mass when he confirmed 140 candidates at the St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Nyanya, near Abuja.
The confirmation is one of the seven sacraments through which Catholics train in the process of their religious upbringing.
According to the the doctrine, during the sacrament, they receive the Holy Spirit and become adult members of the Catholic Church.
Mr. Onaiyekan said that Nigeria’s multi-lingual nature notwithstanding, citizens must remain one as brothers and sisters.
He urged Christians to emulate the life of Jesus Christ by being their brother’s keeper, adding that Pope Benedict’s message for 2014 was that all should see each other as humans.
“When we fail to love, respect and tolerate each other, the country will be witnessing difficulties in everything”, he said.
Mr. Onaiyekan said that when God’s people sincerely prayed, He would grant them their wishes and make life comfortable for them.
“God has been merciful to us, so we should thank Him because in spite of the difficulties, our situation is not as bad as some countries across the world”, he said.
Mr. Onaiyekan urged Christians to live a life worthy of emulation, which would positively influence people’s life, saying that any little action taken by a true believer could have tremendous impacts on others.
He said those confirmed had received the Holy Spirit and so urged them to live good Christian lives.
“Go into the world and renew the face of the earth and be a good Christian; you have been made Christ’s soldiers on earth”, he said.
The cardinal urged parents to raise their children in the way of the Lord, to enable them to live as children of God; and prayed that the country should witness peace in the New Year.