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Bishop Peter Odetoyinbo's Christmas Message, 2017


God is with us!

In this season of great joy when we celebrate anew the beauty of God’s love for humanity, the kindness and mercy of God towards all of us by sending His only-begotten Son to us in order to redeem us, I rejoice with the entire Catholic faithful in the Diocese of Abeokuta and indeed the world at large. May the Joy of Christmas be felt in every heart and home.

It is possible in these trying and turbulent times in our country to begin to doubt the closeness of God to us. The realities that stare us in the face are enormous and frustrating; increasing acrimony and hate speeches, exposition of corrupt public officials and subsequent escape of prosecution, bloodletting, insurgency, kidnapping and killings especially of Priests and Religious, agitations, armed & intellectual robberies, high unemployment rate, high cost of food products and other items, bad roads, hunger and poverty in the land, and epidemic of diseases among others. As people of faith, we must concentrate on the message that God passes to us at Christmas which is, He has remembered His people and has come to free them (Luke 1:68). The coming of Christ to take on our human flesh is strictly for the purpose of redemption. The creator of the world has come among His creatures in order to redeem them. Therefore, if God is with us, if God is among us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

I am convinced that God is with us in our daily struggles for survival. God is with us as a nation in this period of national rebirth and rediscovery. While the call for restructuring from various sections of the country is a welcome development, the terms of such call are yet to be clearly defined. Our God is a God of peace and so, let every section of the country that is aggrieved tow the path of peace in their agitations.  The greatest restructuring we can ever experience as a nation is that of the heart. The frequent calls for cessation and youth restiveness in some parts of the country portray the country as treading on the edge of collapse but with Jesus the Prince of peace among us, I enjoin every Christian and Nigerian to join me in purging our hearts of evil deeds, and in becoming doers of the word of God that we listen to daily. Every Nigerian must recommit himself/herself to being an instrument of peace, sowing love in place of hatred, joy in place of sadness and hope in place of despair.

May Christ, the reason for this season be with you always.



+Most Rev. Dr. Peter Odetoyinbo

Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta.

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