Palm Sunday: Catholic priest urges Christians to shun love for money

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By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

As Christians celebrate Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, the priest in charge of St Joseph Catholic Church, Nyon, Makurdi, Rev Fr Gabriel Tyoga, has admonished humanity against inordinate love for money.

Fr Tyoga gave the advice at Mass during his homily on Sunday.

The cleric who reflected on the betrayal of Jesus Christ by one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, said, when if Christians develop inordinate love for money, they are ready to kill, steal, tell lies and commit all sorts of atrocities just to fill their pockets, which means they are not better than Judas.

“Some of us in a bid to acquire wealth, power or fame betray people, harass others, abuse privileges, turn the truth upside down and sell expired and substandard goods including drugs. These actions are no less than the betrayal of Judas.

“Like Judas, Jesus has also called us to be his special friends. We sit round his table and dine with him each time we participate in the Eucharistic celebration. Therefore, let us try not to betray him in the way we live our lives.

“On another note, while we recognize that most of us are like Judas, betraying Christ through our actions, we cannot fail to also recognize the fact that most of us are also suffering betrayal from our friends.

“Some have been betrayed by their spouses, lovers, friends, relatives and those dear to them. Some have had to suffer betrayal on account of their openness or charity or trust reposed on people,” he said.

Fr Tyoga therefore, encouraged Christians to look inwards and see how much of Judas they have in them.

“Like Judas, is there anything we value more than our union with Christ? Like the crowd, are we always sincere in our chants of ‘Hosanna’?

“Do we truly recognize Christ as the Son of David especially when there are forces pushing us to deny him? Like Peter, have we denied Jesus when we should have proclaimed him?

“If we find ourselves wanting, let us not be discouraged because it is for our sake that Christ died. Like Peter, let us weep sorrowfully for our sins and repent of them.

“Therefore, as we begin the Holy Week, let us strive to join in the activities and also try to reconcile our broken relationship with God.

“My dear friends, Let us try, instead of betraying Jesus, let us obey and solidify our friendship with him.

“If today, I am still ruled by money, if I betray others like Judas Iscariot, if I am still stingy, if I am still proud, if I neglect my prayers, if I often act to please the crowd like Pilate, it means I haven’t grown at all during these 40 days of Lent,” Fr Tyoga admonished.

He prayed that the holy week will bring true repentance and God to vindicate Christians when they are betrayed by family and friends.