12 Apostles Celebrates As Parishioners of the Cathedral of 12 Apostles celebrated their harvest and Bazaar under the theme “Harvest of Grace and Mercy”, his Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan urged all to show mercy to one another.

In his homily, the Cardinal said that the Church began her New Year by the first Sunday of Advent on which day the parish also celebrated her harvest and bazaar thanksgiving.

He explained that “Advent is a time of preparation to encounter and welcome the Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas just as thinking towards the arrival of Jesus also reminds us of the second coming of Jesus as reflected in the Gospel reading of the day”.

Cardinal Onaiyekan reminded all the faithful that Jesus will come again and advised the faithful to be ready to receive Him, adding, “Christ may come now while some are alive or much later but be assured that His coming is certain, He will come again to judge the living and the death, keep that in mind”.

His Eminence also advised the faithful that whatever they do in their everyday life should reflect in the fact that they will account for it before Jesus on their last day as indicated in the parable that the just will be separated as the sheep is separated from the goats when the trumpet shall sound.

“The King will come and we shall be at His right hand if we are constantly in union with Him and do our best as Christians”.

He reminded the faithful that nobody is perfect but by making efforts and constantly reviewing and renewing themselves as well as constantly reminding themselves of their infidelities, imperfection and doing all to receive God’s mercy and pardon which is an ongoing process; they shall be accepted by God.

He said these form the main message of the Year of Mercy which has just been concluded by the closing of the Door of the Holy Year of Mercy by His Holiness, Pope Francis.

Cardinal Onaiyekan urged all to continue with the attitude that accompanied them in the Year of Mercy for the years that lays ahead “namely an attitude of recognition of our infidelities and weaknesses and deep faith in the mercy of God which is above all our imperfection that nothing is beyond the mercy of God”.

He expressed concern that this does not encourage sin in anyway but that people should get up if they fall in sin, “do not wallow in sin”, he said, adding that “every day is the day of mercy, every month is the month of mercy and every year is the year of mercy”.

He reminded the faithful that the mercy of God is upon all people and urged all to show mercy to others, saying “be merciful as your heavenly father is merciful”.   

He explained that the believe in the mercy of God naturally demands that all should be merciful to their neibours just as indicated in the Lord’s prayer and as Jesus said, “if you do not forget others their sin, your heavenly father will not forgive you”.

His Eminence pointed out that “people may have wrong you big or small but better find a way of quenching the fire of hatred in your hearts and meet your offender face to face and extend the hand of fellowship and forgiveness and be amazed how much people are looking forward for reconciliation”.

He asserted that “our hearts are much more joyful and peaceful if we relates with each other with a kind attitude and muture forgiveness” even as he urged the faithful to also be humble enough to accept forgiveness when it is been offered, adding that, “it means playing down the pride in us which is very hard and being humble”.

Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed hope that, if the atmosphere of forgiveness and love exist, the love of God will abound to all people and reiterated that the preparation for the coming of the Lord at Christmas is a symbol for the preparation of His final coming on the last day.

He concluded by blessing the children and prayed God to bless them to grow well.

Also speaking, the anchor for the 2016 Harvest and Bazaar, Rev Fr. Gabriel Ekpe MSP said it was a pleasant thing to celebrate the mercy of God that has been faithful to the children of God up to this moment.

He urged all to imitate the Biblical King David by committing their resources in building for the Lord and assured that God will not forget their gifts.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Pius Etokhana called on all to be generous in giving.

In his goodwill message, the 2016 harvest and Bazaar planning Committee Chairman, Hon Dan Okolo reminded the faithful that even though the parish is one of the oldest, it is still worshiping in a batcher.

He urged all to donate generously at the first harvest of the parish geared towards constructing a befitting Church that will be a master piece in the heart of the Central Area of the Federal Capital Territory.

Earlier, the Parish Priest, Rev Fr. Sebastian Musa had appreciated the parishioners for their magnanimity in the activities featured in the parish during the Extra Ordinary Year of Mercy and prayed God to reward them abundantly.

He called on all to be humble and contrite of heart in approaching God in His mercy with thanksgiving as they celebrates the harvest and bazaar adding that “our thanksgiving adds nothing to God but increase His mercy in us”.

Highlight of the occasion was opening of dishes, bazaar sales etc.

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