By Fisayo Akinduro
& Jimoh Ahmed
Christians in Ondo State yesterday joined their counterparts across the world to celebrate this year’s Palm Sunday with processions.
Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter when Christians celebrate the triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem and was greeted by the people waving palm branches.
For Christians, it is a reminder of the welcoming of Jesus into “our hearts and their willingness to follow him.”
The Hope gathered that palm fronts were made in-form of cross and placed at the entrance to mark the Palm Sunday.
The Catholic Bishop of Ondo Diocese, Bishop Jude Arogundade in his palm Sunday homily admonished christians to reflect on the trials of Jesus Christ and become the best christians God asked them to be.
Arogundade gave the admonition during the Palm Sunday celebration at the Scared Heart Cathedral in Akure.
The cleric who noted that the trial of Jesus was the foundation of salvation, said prayers and fasting should be centered on Jesus Christ who gave up everything for the salvation of the world.
While speaking on the betrayal Jesus encountered, the Bishop said christians, most especially Catholics have betrayed the church.
“Peter, who was the chosen one, betrayed Jesus. How many times have we betrayed and run down the church. How many times have we run down ourselves?
“Sometimes we say words that are not complimentary against the church and the sacraments.”
He urged Christians to have sense of holiness, humility and prayer, asking God for forgiveness.
He noted that the Holy week reminds christians that they are under trial every day, hence the need to proclaim their identity as followers of Christ.
At the Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic Church, Akinjagunla Ondo, worshippers took part in the service marking Palm Sunday after which they embarked on a procession.
Also at Saint Patrick church, Ondo, hundreds of people shouted ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven with palm fronds in their hands.
Addressing journalists during the procession, Fr. Eric Adewole, said in the face of challenges, Christians and indeed all Nigerians still have reasons to thank God, while urging Nigerians not to give up on their faith for a better country.
Also, the founder of C&S, Apostle Daniel Oluwanisola said that Palm Sunday reminds Christians that the reign of Christ is greater than what the mind of man could ever conceive or plan.
Primate (Dr) R.B. Ogunlana of Mountain of Blessing Church of Zion, Ondo admonished the congregation to imbibe the spirit of Easter as they celebrate Palm Sunday, noting that the birth and death of Jesus would be in vain if christians fail to exhibit Christ-like behaviours.
Speaking with The Hope, Mr. Matthew Akinyemi said Palm Sunday is a day that people remember and celebrate the day Jesus entered into Jerusalem as Saviour and King.
According to him, for Christians, it is a reminder of the welcoming of Jesus into our hearts and our willingness to follow Him.
He, therefore congratulated Christians on Palm Sunday, which he said was symbolic.
Mr Francis Adedoyin also encouraged Christians not to relent in praying for the state and Nigeria.
Prophet Seun Olumuyiwa of Celestial Church Christ, Imole Ayo parish, Ore charged christians to emulate the virtues of Jesus Christ as they celebrate Palm Sunday.
In his sermon at Saint Patrick Anglican Church, Ijebu Owo, Reverend Canon Sunday Fashanu, asked Christians to imbibe the lessons of Palm Sunday and allow Jesus in their hearts and willingly follow His teachings.
Fashanu charged them to be peaceful at all times and remember that Jesus preached peace and such, they should be an embodiment of peace.
In the same vein, the Vicar of the Emmanuel Anglican Church Cathedral, Edo, Ikare Akoko, Revd Canon Isaac Awowole called on those in government and leaders in Nigeria to be of good example to the people.