Rev. Fr. Daniel Iloka, the Parish Priest of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Enugu, has called on Nigerians to make peace, help the needy and draw close to God always.
Iloka made the call during Ash Wednesday mass service at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Uno Okpete Ogbete, Enugu in marking the beginning of Christian Lent season.
He said: “It is necessary to use the period of lent to make peace with God, learn to keep food on the table for the needy and turn away from sins completely.
“We are going into the lent season for the church and it lasts for 40 days, it is a time of suffering.
“Ash Wednesday marks the beginning mourning for our sins and also it reminds us that we are made of ash and will one day return to ash.”
Iloka said Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days and the Israelites endured for 40 days of journey to the promise land.
“The reason for the Israelites long journey was to discipline them, so it is expected that the lent season will discipline us against sin.” he said.
Iloka also urged Christians to use the lent to journey with Jesus Christ into a new life “as we are expected to pray all the time.
“Fast to holiness keeps us away from sin and to fast away our daily sins.
“The the most important fasting you can do is depriving yourself that sin that keeps you away from your creature.
“This is a period you make peace with your neighbours, help those in need and keep away from altercations and insultive words.
“Watch your back and ensure that your life is a thing of emulation to others and not the other way round.”
Iloka, however, urged Christians not to fast like hypocrites who allow the fasting written all over their faces.
He said: “This is the time of being cheerful while your fast and pray never allow your neighbour to know the good things you do to others.
“God in heaven sees you and will reward you.”