Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin of Ibadan Archdiocese has described Corporal Works of Mercy as the greatest of love and virtues adding that this should be imbibed and practiced by all Christians on daily basis. According to him, authentic love, as ordained by God is a daily occurrence and not an annual event.
The Archbishop made the admonition in his homily at the celebration of the Mass, on the feast of St Valentine Day, at the St Gabriel Catholic Church Chaplaincy, Durumi, Abuja. Noting that the love of St Valentine was beyond that of amorous relationship, the Archbishop stated: “The kind of love I would love to preach today is the Corporal Works of Mercy, having mercy on one another and putting smiles on people’s faces, whether it is Valentine day or not Valentine day.”
He continued: “The valentine of the Lord is a daily one, not an annual one. The Lord has his own valentine everyday not just annually on February 14.But, as human beings, we are so weak that we cannot compete with the Lord. “
The Metropolitan of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province continued: “It would be wonderful that we learn how to love, how not to reject everything that is not pleasing to us; for us to accommodate each other’s errors; how to tell somebody in the kind of brotherly and sisterly language that you have this errors; not turning every error into a fight or quarrel.”
The Archbishop also used the occasion to express concern about how some privileged rich Nigerians and their children flaunt their wealth by spraying money at parties to the chagrin of the poor majority, particularly in this period of recession in the country; instead of using their money to make life worth living for the poor, the underprivileged and the marginalized in the society.
He noted that such people by that singular unethical act can lead others to begin to sin, either to steal or to commit suicide, or to be crying in the backyard saying “is it not the same God who created us”. He added: “The way w do some things sometimes is not the way of love; we use it to taunt others, make them angry and make them cry. The Archbishop advocated that those who spray money at parties, particularly during this time that the country is going through economic recession, should be arrested and jailed.
Archbishop Abegunrin emphasized that authentic love comes with consideration for one another; “the weak one considers his weakness, the strong recognizes his strength, but when we come together, we support each other in our weak areas and that is when our love becomes a bit perfect and we can live together happily”.