Nigerian leaders have been urged to be more focused to the purpose of their mission and not be swayed by praises or insults, as Nigerian Catholics join their counterparts across the world to celebrate the triumphant entry of Christ into Jerusalem.
The Parish Priest of Christ the King Catholic Church, Kubwa, Reverend Father John Oluoma made the call in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
In his words: “Just know that the people can hail you when they are getting what they want from you but when they no longer get what they want, their chant can turn to ‘crucify him, crucify him’. So for leaders, praises are not the reward for leadership.”
Father Oluoma also encouraged Christians to emulate the life of Christ , who was passionate about the salvation of mankind.
“Christ was passionate about something that will cost him His life yet it does not reduce the passion he had for the salvation of mankind, and he so passionately went to Jerusalem, suffered and died for sinners,” he said.
“And to those who are led, they should know that sometimes, what they want, might not be what they need;l so they need to go beyond the physical and look at things from their intrinsic value so that they will not also fall into the trap of those who will sing Hosanna to the son of David today and then tomorrow crucify him.
They must look beyond the leader himself and know what he represents and what he is doing, for the bible says by their fruits we shall know them,” the clergyman noted.
Father Oluma also called on Christians to avail themselves of the opportunity that this season offers and have a change of heart and stop immorality.
“We should be touched in our hearts and mean what we say to the Lord. So Christians can be like those crowd, who come to the church and we say all those good things-praise the Lord, peace be with you, I love you and all that, then into the world turn into a different leaf altogether, so we become like the people who chant Hosanna but on Good Friday we say Crucify Him, Crucify Him, that shouldn’t be.”
Palm Sunday is the biblical story of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the event kicks off Holy week which is about the trial, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the end of Lenten period.
Special services and blessings of the palm frond for next year’s liturgical season of lent on Ash Wednesday and processions with praises like Hosanna in the highest, were held in the churches to mark the event.
Christians are also reminded of the victory of Christ over death during Palm Sunday, in preparation for the celebration of Easter.