The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Oyo, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo on Friday in Ibadan urged the Christian faithful not to make merry during Christmas without helping indigent people.
He advised in his Christmas message entitled: “No real Christmas in conflict and on empty stomachs.’’
Badejo stated that the world needed the spirit and essence of Christmas which is love, peace and harmony in the face of strife, conflicts, bloodshed, hunger, suffering, abuse and injustice all around.
He urged Christian faithful to focus on Jesus by focusing on fixing the world that he came to save and make people’s lives better.
According to him, Jesus Christ is the central character; the reason for the season and that is why Christmas was adapted from his name.
“He came for peace; let us all work for peace. He brought God’s love; let us all spread God’s love. Spare a thought and do something this Christmas for the poor, the sick and the suffering, the oppressed, victims of violence, greed, racism, tribalism and so on.
“Look at the manger and see how peace and harmony still elude us today and play your own part to create a better Christmas for all around you. Jesus Christ came into the world to destroy all the discomfort of humanity, especially sin. All who claim to celebrate Christmas must do the same,’’ he stated.’
The bishop added that the joy of Christmas would surely sound hollow to people caught up in wars in Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Gaza, Sudan, Congo, Tudun Biri in Nigeria, and other parts of the world.
“Jesus came so that all may be saved and so Christmas indicts all leaders and statesmen and women who are supposed to be saving people from trouble. A statesman is a politician who puts himself at the service of the nation; a politician, in contrast, is a statesman who puts the nation at his own service.
“Our world, our country and our land need to be relieved of selfish politicians and be endowed with Christ-like statesmen. No matter how beautiful our carols may be, if we do nothing to save others from misery and suffering our Christmas cannot honour God.
“If our souls do not sing of true love and peace, our Christmas carols, even when accompanied by a billion trumpets and a million musicians can never be big enough for the King of Kings,’’ he stressed.
Badejo also urged world leaders to synergise and intervene in the case of many children being killed in the war in Gaza.
According to him, the holy innocents are still being massacred like in Herod’s time and world leaders are playing mere politics.
“Sadly, we have made little headway to attaining the peace that Jesus came to bring,’’ the bishop lamented.