Be more dedicated, committed to the mission of the Church, Bishop Odetoyinbo tells Priests
The Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Abeokuta, Most Rev. Dr. Peter Odetoyinbo has called on Catholic Priests to be more dedicated and committed to the mission entrusted to them despite of series of oppositions, uncertainties and frustrations that may dissuade them from carrying out their duties faithfully.
Bishop Odetoyinbo, who made the call in his homily at this year’s Mass of Chrism, held at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Cathedral, Itesi, Adatan Road, Abeokuta, charged all the priests to evaluate their ways of life and attitude to various realities in the light of the life of St. Joseph whom Pope Francis described as “a beloved father, a tender father and an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows”.
The Bishop described St. Joseph as “a man with great sense of dedication, commitment and faithfulness to his role as a father and to the mission entrusted to him by God. He was courageous enough to face the unknown and he manifested total surrender to God’s will”.
“Priests are called to also emulate the life of St. Joseph, and see their priesthood in the light of fatherhood of St. Joseph, for they are rightly called ‘Father’. They must love and care for God’s flock as Joseph did for the Holy family. My dear priests, just like St. Joseph, God has also chosen and reposed so great a trust in you, by entrusting you with the mysteries of the word and sacraments. From among many, he has chosen us, and we must note take such privilege for granted”.
Bishop Odetoyinbo added, “We must prove ourselves as faithful stewards to God and to the Church. Let the example of St. Joseph be imprinted in your hearts as you exercise your priestly ministry. Emulate Joseph’s act of patronage by being a father to all without discrimination, without fears or favour, but with the sincere heart of a father has towards his children. Be a father to God’s flock that has being entrusted to you and nothing short of this. Live your priestly life in charity to the Church, and this will be clearly manifested in the service and sacrifices you render in the Church and to God ultimately, thereby dispelling all acts of selfishness in the way and manner you exercise your duties. Guard safely the inheritance of the Church that has been carefully placed in your hands; the mysteries of the word and sacraments, the Church’s property and patrimony, and the souls of the faithful”.
“Ward off contagion of error and corrupting influence, first from your lives, and that is an invitation to stand in truth and in faithfulness to your priestly call and identity. Do not be cajoled by the peer influence, factions, distractions and external noise that attempt to infiltrate your mind with negativity about your vocation”.
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