“Pray for Nigeria as you go on pilgrimage” – Catholic bishop charges faithful

Thu, Dec 7, 2023
By editor
3 MIN READ

Religion

THE Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo on Thursday enjoined Catholics embarking on the 2023 Marian Pilgrimage (Oke Maria 2023), to pray for total transformation of the Nigerian economy.

Badejo made the call in his message released in Ibadan and entitled: “Marian Pilgrimage 2023 and Advent: We are never left alone.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2023 Marian Pilgrimage of the diocese holds from Dec. 8 to Dec. 9 with the theme: “And the mother of Jesus was there (John 2:1)’’.

Badejo prayed that Nigeria would experience total transformation from the family level to communities and to the Church.

He observed that Nigeria must pass through steps of faith and work which the household of the couple in Biblical Cana went through before the Lord Jesus Christ intervened.

Cana is the location of the wedding at which the miracle of turning water into wine took place in the Gospel of John.

The location is disputed with the four primary locations being Kafr Kanna, Khirbet Qana and Reineh in Lower Galilee and Qana in Upper Galilee.

“The couple did all the Lord told them to do and filled the jars with water. They did all they could to change the situation. Are we doing the same,’’? Badejo queried.

“We must go to `Oke Maria’ pilgrimage with this expectation and attitude, and sustain the hope of Advent in our people unto Christmas.

“It is this expectation for better days that we must give one another urging ourselves not to be weary and to trust in God’s promise.

“Our `Oke Maria’ pilgrimage calls upon us to remain faithful and trusting with confidence, that we are never left alone,’’ Badejo added.

He stressed that the Oyo Diocesans’ `Oke Maria’ pilgrimage holds annually at the beginning of the Advent Season, and “is tailor-made for the current situation in Nigeria’’.

“Politically, economically and socially we are all in a desperate mood and we need help; divine help.

“Mary the mother of Jesus was at Cana at a moment of desperation, shame and hopelessness for the couple.

“She saw the impending embarrassment of the wedding guests having no more wine. This was about to ruin the joyful mood of the celebration. Then she intervened. (John.2:3).

“The couple of Cana was only lucky that they had invited Mary because like a good mother, she did not even wait to be solicited before offering help by calling on her Son.

“Who else would she have called on?

“Her presence changed the story of the wedding at Cana from disgrace to accolades leading to a revival of the joy, faith and admiration for the bridegroom.

“Mary told her son `they have no more wine’. Then Jesus took over.

“It all ended up with the president of the feast declaring to the bridegroom: `Everyone serves good wine first and the worse wine when the guests are well wined.

“You have kept the best wine till now” (John 2:10),’’ Badejo said. (NAN) 

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December 7, 2023 @ 15:28 GMT|

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