Catholic Diocese of Nsukka marks official closing of jubilee year of


By Victor Ishiwu

The Bishop, priests, Rev. Sisters and the entire members of the Catholic community of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka on Sunday, 13th November, 2016 joined the rest of the Catholic Communities around the world in a ceremony marking the official closing of the door of mercy.

The event was characterized by the closing of the "Doors of Mercy" that were opened in various deaneries within the diocese by the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey. I. Onah as was directed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Addressing the congregation at the beginning of the Holy Mass Father Bishop said: "My dear friends, after a long journey lasting about a year, we have come to the end of a celebration that reminds us of the importance of mercy in our life as Christians."

Reminding the attendees that God is a merciful Father who treats and takes all as his own, Bishop Onah noted that the Church invites all to emulate God by being merciful like Him. He remarked that the Church has reached the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, saying it has been a very special year of extra ordinary mercy especially in Nsukka diocese.

He called on the attendees and the entire Catholic faithful around the world to approach the sacred mysteries with humility acknowledge their sins and know that God's cleansing balm is always available for those who do so.

"Today, you are reminded never ever to lose hope in a provident and merciful Father no matter what sinful condition or miserable condition you may find yourself. Today, I urge all of you to have the courage to pick up the broken pieces and give God another chance," he said.

According to Father Bishop, the spirit of the day was that of thanksgiving and joy. He noted: "We are all in this together and it is this spirit of being together in our journey to see the Lord that the Pope wanted to emphasize when he called on all of us to come out and march through the heart of God's mercy."

Bishop Onah further remarked that even though the Doors of Mercy have been closed, nobody can stop God from being a merciful Father. He said: "The Church has the powers to plead with the Father to throw open the door of mercy and grant pardon to those who do not deserve it but we do not have the powers to close God's heart from being merciful."

He further explained that God's merciful heart remains open and he keeps on inviting his children to embrace his mercy because he does not want the death of any of his children. Quoting a verse in the bible, Father Bishop added: "For God so love the world that he gave his only son so that anybody who believes in him will not die or perish but will be saved (John 3: 16) God's heart remains open."

He called on the Christ faithful not to give up in their search for God's mercy. He said: "We are being reminded today by Prophet Malachi and in the gospel by Jesus himself that at any rate there is a dead line. There is nothing on this earth that you build your hopes on that will not pass away." Standing firm on this, he implored all to embrace the things which are above in the heaven; things that will last which is God's kingdom.

The opening of the Doors of Mercy is meant symbolically to illustrate the idea that the Church's faithful are offered an "extraordinary path" toward salvation during the time of jubilee. Thus, those who pass through the Holy Doors would be able to receive a plenary indulgence under the Churches stipulated conditions.


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