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The challenges facing the world have been attributed to the refusal of the people to listen to the voice of Christ the Good Shepherd and follow his ways. This assertion was made by Rev. Fr. Augustine Okochi, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Education Secretary at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN).

Fr. Okochi made this remark in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the fourth Sunday of Easter, held at St Gabriel Chaplaincy, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Durumi, Abuja. His homily was titled: Listening to the Voice of the Good Shepherd.  

His words: “Our world is broken because it does not listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd. Our lives are miserable because we fail to listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd; we often follow our own wills or the voices that appeal to our base sentiments and engage in all kinds of spirituality-destructive behaviour, which in turn fetch regrets and misery and endanger the salvation of our souls.”

Noting that if the faithful listen to the voice of Jesus, no earthly phenomenon can frighten them into despair; Fr. Okochi added: “The peace that we seek is found in listening to and saying yes to the voice of God. The fulfilment that we seek in this life is also found in following the leadership of the Good Shepherd.”

The homilist further stated: “In the midst of our present Covid-19 induced anxiety, the voice of the shepherd speaks to us gently and yet powerfully – beckoning us, individually and collectively, to take courage, to turn back to God, to do away with sin in whatever shape or form – abortion, murder, theft, lies, corruption, fraud, hatred etc.”.

Fr. Okochi therefore called on the faithful and Nigerians in general to use this period of the challenges of Covid-19 to reconnect with Christ the Good Shepherd; adding: “It pains God that we have become wayward …” Noting that the more God tries to come close to us the more we distance ourselves from Him. He therefore urged the faithful to reflect on the goodness of God, believe and listen to the voice of His son, our Lord Jesus Christ.


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