“God heard their groaning, and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. God looked upon the Israelites and took notice of them” (Ex 2: 24-25).
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I stumbled on a very disturbing post on social media by Reno Omokri, a former media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, themed: You don't need church wedding t ...




In the name of the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Abeokuta, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our website. I do hope the site serves your needs during this visit.
 
As you encounter our diocese in this medium, I pray God's peace and blessings on you and your family. Do remember our diocese in your prayers. God bless you.
 
Most Rev.Dr Peter Kayode Odetoyinbo
Bishop of Abeokuta Diocese
 
 

 

MESSAGE OF HIS LORDSHIP MOST REV. PETER ODETOYINBO FOR THE 54th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

          “That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2)

“What we have heard and known, what our ancestors have told us, we shall not conceal from their descendants but will tell to a generation still to come”.  (Psalm 78:3-4)

 

The Church celebrates yearly on the Sunday before Pentecost; World Communications day, as a day set aside to celebrate the progress and achievements of the communication media and focus on how it can be annexed to promote the Gospel, peace and harmony in the world. This year like every other year, The Holy Father Pope Francis has addressed the Universal Church, the media and indeed the whole world; inviting us to focus on Story-telling. He addressed us passionately on the type of stories to tell, as stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together.

  1. 1.      Our Story

As your Bishop, and joining my voice in communion with the Holy Father, I would like us to reflect individually on the question: HAVE WE A STORY TO TELL? This question is informed by the current challenge in the world, the Covid19 pandemic that has taken over every communication outlet including Mass media known to be powerful forces shaping how we perceive the world, ourselves and our leaders both political and religious.

This question is of course rhetorical, and can lead to further questions like- should we have a story to tell? Of course to this we will confidently answer- Yes, because we are disciples of Jesus whose life is the perfect story of God’s love for humanity. The Life of Jesus, the Son of God is full of stories that are consoling, comforting, encouraging, loving and compassionate. Stories that reveal God’s love for humanity and his plan for the world, (Cf. Jn. 3:16) our stories should not be different; we cannot but weave it around love and the life of Jesus the Son of God. 

  1. 2.      The Story of the Time

The time has been a challenging one, with the Covid19 pandemic, we hear and experience different versions of the story daily, from conspiracy theories to statistics of deaths and new cases, the fall of vibrant economies to rising unemployment, the poverty in the land, and the responses of the World Health Organization (WHO), world bank, the Nigerian government and political leaders, all of these stories create suspicion, panic, anxiety but then the story is not all negative and tainted, we also hear stories of efforts of government, groups and individuals towards helping others through the distribution of palliatives, these are good stories that please God and binds humanity. We should tell more of these stories of hope and solace, of sharing and love, stories that reminds us of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection to save the world. (cf. Matt. 14:13-21)

  1. 3.      The Family Story (Domestic Church)

From the beginnings of time, God’s story has always prevailed, even when Man in ignorance and arrogance attempts in words and actions to create a bad story, God ultimately knows how to bring a good ending to it. The sin of Adam was a bad story that brought condemnation but ultimately Jesus’ sacrifice is a good story that brings justification (cf. Rom. 5:18; 1 Cor. 15:21-22; 1 Cor. 15:45-49), the story of Job is another example of God’s ultimate win in the battle against good and evil, and a bad story turn good. In every of our experiences God always have a good story for us. One of our good stories in the experience of COVID19, is the opportunity given to the family (domestic Church) to flourish, many families can share from their rich encounters of Jesus in their homes. For some they did not give him a space and for many others they experienced His warmth. Family time and bond became stronger, love grew, family prayer time intensified. Many shared with God their story during this lockdown, stories of hunger, pain, anger, bitterness, poverty, death etc. just in the same way Job shares his story (Job 27:31). When this is done with gratitude like Job, it will certainly be a good story and this experience shall pass and in the end be a good story to share to our children and descendants to come and tell God.

  1. 4.      Can we now tell a story of love?

What was our story before this crisis? A lot of us will agree that our story before this pandemic was characterized by ingratitude and wastefulness, we exploited the earth and all its resources, we devalued human life and made a cheap commodity of it, our stories was not all good but it can be better.

What is our story during this crisis? Let it be love, reach out to someone, St. Maximilian Kolbe saw the need to sacrifice himself in place of another, by so doing creating a beautiful love story, Pope John Paul II at his canonization called him a “Martyr of Charity”, let us make our stories equally beautiful, that we may tell generations to come, about our love stories and inspire them also to love like Christ, for that is the only way to understand that ‘human stories is in a certain sense a divine story’ (Pope Francis)

What will our stories be like at the end of the current world crisis? Will it be like Jesus’ story, would we have re-enacted the Good Samaritan episode, would we still care for the handshake and hugs, the visits and long conversations or would love die in us? Would we show the earth more care and tenderness or continue to exploit her, would we rewrite our stories for good? Definitely we will re-write our story and love and care for each other better, and the earth and heavens will rejoice at humanity come together.

  1. 5.      Gratitude

I would like to express my gratitude to all of our media practitioners, those who work tireless to ensure that we are well informed and carried along in the fight against the Corona virus, portraying the good sides of this experience, in the care and concern of the government, families, sacrifices of Doctor, Nurses, Security agents, etc. the prayers offered by Priests and Religious leaders all over the world, to end this pandemic thank you for all your sacrifices, you and your activities are already a good story. I also charge all media men and women to continue to disseminate stories that are good and promote harmony unity and peace, shunning all forms of bigotry, discrimination and exploitation with the use of the media.

Finally, we turn to our Mother Mary, who interceded for the couples at the wedding in Cana and brought sweetness into their story, Mary who bore in her womb the best love story in the history of creation, who shared in the suffering of Jesus Christ, even to the cross, to continue to inspire us and intercede for us, that our stories may be one of love and lead us to enjoy always the abiding presence and love of Jesus Christ, who rose that we may live forever.

 


 
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