Bishop Hillary Okeke of the Catholic Diocese of Nnewi says living a life devoid of sin is the best way to prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas.
Okeke made the call while delivering his Christmas Message at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Cathedral, Nnewi on Sunday.
He said Christmas was a great time for great celebrations which many people indulged in extraordinary entertainment, including heavy drinking, dances, and musical entertainment.
He said genuine Christians should rather see the period as a time for solemn celebration of the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
“We as Christians should prepare ourselves fully to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
“Most of the people hold Christmas as a time for enjoyment and social celebration; Christians are expected to see Christmas as a special time with Jesus.
“A time to do like the Magi (Wise Men) who were led by the star to meet him in the manger and paid him homage with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh,” he said.
Okeke also admonished Christians and non-Christians alike to eschew all forms of sinfulness, noting that only holiness could make one see God.
He said that the faithful should embrace the sacraments by going to confession and receiving him in the Holy Communion, adding that Christ had died for humanity and they were now new in Him.
According to him, going to Jesus Christ at Christmas should be the worship of the Lord Jesus and not seeking for entertainment and enjoyment, we need to encounter Jesus to receive the graces from Him.
“He’s coming again is a mystery but it is very certain that he will come again, people who prepare themselves for His coming again will benefit from his second coming.
“Many people, including some who call themselves Christians commit these sins: sexual immorality, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, sensuality and masturbation.
“We are invited to prepare well for Christmas by repenting and keeping away from sins, however materially and physically gainful and helpful they are, so we must see ourselves as being dead to sin but alive for God in Christ Jesus.
“As we prepare for Christmas, let us abandon sins completely and live in holiness,” he said.