Palm Sunday: Christians pray for peace, religious tolerance, improved economy

Palm Sunday procession at SS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael Catholic Parish Church, Gadumo in Lokoja... yesterday.

Palm Sunday procession at SS Michael, Gabriel and Raphael Catholic Parish Church, Gadumo in Lokoja… yesterday.

Palm Sunday is the weekend marking the last Sunday before Easter. The sacred Christian celebration commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, where he rode into town on a donkey as crowds of people gleefully greeted him and spread out palm branches in his path.

At many Palm Sunday church services, common traditions include processions with palm branches, the blessing of palms and the construction of small palm crosses. It is significant because it represents the beginning of the Holy Week, also known as Passion Sunday, part of the Christian calendar that focuses on Jesus’ last days before he was crucified.

A Methodist Church Cleric in Enugu State, Rev. Charles Nwaegbo, has urged Christians in the country to use the Holy Week to pray for an improvement in the nation’s dwindling economy.
Nwaegbo made the call during a sermon to mark the Palm Sunday at the Central Methodist Church at Uwani in Enugu.

He described Palm Sunday, which signifies the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem as “a journey of an accomplishment and victory by Jesus Christ.

“This is a period to sow seed of reconciliation and not seed of discord; a period that we should pray and seek God’s help to revive our economy, which is in bad shape,” he said.

The cleric offered special prayers for the leadership of the country and urged the people to make sacrifices in the interest of the nation.

In the same vein, Rev. Fr. Anthony Chukwuemeka, the Assistant Parish Priest, Church of Assumption, Chongo-Pyel, Jos, has urged Nigerian leaders to emulate Jesus Christ’s leadership style. The cleric said this while delivering a sermon to mark the celebration of Palm Sunday in his parish.

Chukwuemeka said the kingship of Christ brought love, peace, unity, tranquility and salvation to the world, adding that there was the need for those in leadership positions to emulate this.

He said Christ was truly a king, yet his kingship was not anchored on wealth accumulation, siphoning of public funds and killing of innocent people for personal gains.

‘’Today we have seen how people heralded Jesus, calling him King and Messiah. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey rather than a horse to show the difference between his kind of kingship and that of the world; to bring peace and salvation to humanity.

‘’A donkey in Jewish tradition signifies peace, love, kindness and royalty; these are the virtues which Jesus’ style of leadership was built on. So, our leaders, both political and religious, must emulate Christ as they steer the affairs of this nation.

‘’If our leaders will shun corruption, primitive accumulation, religious bigotry, ethnic jingoism and sectionalism and embrace truthfulness, our nation will be great,’’ he said.

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