Preaching to Catholics at Saint Monica’s Parish, Maza-maza, Lagos, Father John Paul also told faithful to use the Lenten period to draw closer to God and live above sin.
Members of the public have been admonished to desist from always spotting and complaining about the faults of other people, but look inwards to identify their own wrongs and make a decision to change for good.
That way the leadership challenge facing most societies and all other obstacles to nation building would be effectively tackled.
The admonition was given today by the Rev. Fr. John Paul while celebrating the 6Am Holy Mass at St. Monica’s Catholic Church Maza-maza in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos State.
In a homily entitled, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, father John Paul remarked that because some people’s hearts are corrupt and filled with evil thoughts, such persons never see the good in other people. Consequently, he said such persons’ words lack the ingredients for peace and unity as they often say things that condemn and malign others, while not seeing the own inadequacies.
The charismatic priest advised that to have a good heart, people should emulate the lifestyle of Jesus Christ by being humble, pointing out that it is only in humility that one can realise his or her inadequacies, repent from evil doings, live alright and accommodate other people’s shortcomings.
According to Father John Paul “The thoughts form the foundation in our hearts. Whatever comes out of your heart shows who you are. This is why the Bible says that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”.
“People who say A but mean B, are hipocrits. They are the cause of the problem we have in our society.
“We are all after to judge others but not ready to work on ourselves. The log in our eyes has made us to be spiritually blind, that we only see the bad in others.
“We should be willing to humble ourselves”. Jesus humbled himself and he is now exalted high. That’s why Jesus is calling us today, for us to bear a good fruit.
“Make sure that what comes out of your mouth defines you as a good child of God.
“Jesus is knocking on the door of our heart and he is asking us, what are those things that have blocked us from seeing clearly? He wants us to bear a good fruit.
“As husband and wife, there is nothing you say that builds peace. “Let what comes out of our heart be the things that will build and sustain unity in our families, church, societies and the world at large.
“Jesus says he is the way, the truth and the life. Let us follow him to amend ourselves and our hearts , so that we will begin to have a better heart that brings forth words of wisdom and unity, not only seeing the faults of others”, advised Fr. John Paul.
On Lent which commences with the Ash Wednesday Celebration this week, the cleric enjoined faithful to resolve to participate fully in the prescribed spiritual exercises that come with the holy season, especially turning away from sin.
He said while it is advised to abstain from food and meat during the Lenten season, the best form of fasting is to identify one’s habitual sins and do everything necessary to avoid them.
Father John Paul encouraged participants in the Mass to pick up a copy of a publication on Lent by Archbishop Adewale Martins adding that the article is rich enough to help adherents get the best of the holy season of Lent