IBADAN, NIGERIA -
Members of the Catholic Biblical Apostolate of Nigeria (CBAN) have been challenged to effect positive changes in Nigeria, through total commitment to the mission of spreading the Good News of Christ without counting the costs.
The call was made by the Catholic Archbishop of Ibadan, Most Rev. Felix Alaba Job in his homily at the opening Mass for this year`s CBAN 2012 Plenary Assembly, held at the Ss Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija Ibadan, Oyo State. The four-day programme, with the theme: Lord, I believe, Help My Unbelief; which started on Friday, August 24, is being attended by about 150 delegates from most of the Archdioceses and dioceses in the country.
Noting that with total commitment to the mission of their apostolate, CBAN members and indeed all Catholics can positively influence a better Nigerian nation, Archbishop Job told the delegates that by being less self conceited and giving `themselves in totality to Christ,` they can make the country better through contributing their own quota in their respective areas.
Describing the theme of the plenary as most ideal in the present Nigerian situation, the Archbishop noted that the greatest problem of man is self deceit and asking God for everything `without being grateful for what we have received and not willing to give anything to the Lord in return for what is received.`
He stressed the importance of faith and `total commitment and dedication of our lives to Christ,` if `we are to sincerely follow the injunction of Christ `to be `the Salt of the Earth and Light of the world.` Assuring that God will definitely provide the needs for the mission, Archbishop Job called for the re-examination of conscience by all on how sincerely we have served the Lord. `In your soul, person and heart, how faithfully have you served the Lord, he asked.` He continued: `What do you give in return to the Lord for the blessings and graces he has given you. What are we giving the Lord in thanksgiving for his goodness to us?`
Archbishop Job urged the faithful to make the best use of the coming Year of the Faith to `re-examine our faith in Christ and how to follow him and what type of faith we have.`
Commenting on the activities of CBAN in the country, Archbishop Job called on the members to evaluate how they have been serving the Lord, with sincerity of purpose and commitment, as the apostles, who carried out their mission unto the point of death. `How openly and with joy are we carrying out the biblical Apostolate mission in Nigeria?` he asked.
Noting that carrying out the mission of Christ successfully is not determined by the number of agents but by the commitment and sacrifice of the dedicated few, as was the case in the time of the apostles, Archbishop Job called on the members of the organization, to reappraise their performances and be re-invigorated for the challenges of the new evangelization era in the country, amidst the obvious challenges in different aspects of life.
While urging the delegates to maximize the opportunities of the assembly to rededicate themselves to the biblical apostolate, the Archbishop said: `We should abandon ourselves to the work of God and be re-evangelized in the way to reach out with the word of God. We should ask for the love of God that is docile, give generously to the Lord without counting the costs and give ourselves entirely to the work of God, then miracles will happen in our country, Nigeria and in our lives in abundance.`