- East Africa
Photo The New Times
Cardinal Antoine Kambanda, Archbishop of Kigali has warned Christians against jumping on the bandwagon, urging them to stick to what is right, even when they are to stand alone.
The message was contained in the prelate's sermon while leading mass on the Eve of Easter Sunday, which was broadcast on Rwanda Television, and Pacis TV of Catholic Church in Rwanda.
He cited the biblical message where Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jacob, who stuck with Jesus even after he was condemned, up to the time he was crucified where he eventually died.
They were not intimidated by the fact that majority at the time supported Jesus' condemnation.
Those women, he said, showed a good example of how to stick to what is right and shun the wrong irrespective of the numbers that have embraced it.
“These women gave us a strong example of clinging to Jesus even when other people mock at you; you rather stick to the truth of Christ because he is the rescuer,” he said, advising people against fearing the ‘eyes’ instead of fearing sin and death.
Kambanda said that sometimes a Christian fears being judged and follow others in sin, just because they are majority.
“You realise that some people are letting sin, hatred, discrimination, misbehavior, and ethnic segregation reign,” he said.
And, destruction of marriages is being accepted, Kambanda said, pointing out that there are countries where people are surprised at the older spouses still in union.
“They see it as unusual as if they (the older married couples) are the ones who have a problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambanda told Christians that wealth and wellness in this world is not complete because a person who enjoys them is bound to die as their lifetime is limited.
“No one escapes death forever; it dwarfs all the attempts of humanity including scientists trying to fight it,” he said.
Why death and suffering
Kambanda said that sometimes people encounter problems, suffering and diseases such as the current Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged the world, and even death.
He said that death is associated with sins such as jealousy, adultery, pride, selfishness, greed, discrimination, among others.
“All this that happens to us, especially with death being their culmination, and we wonder why God let that happen yet he is almighty and loves us,” he said.
He said that God created a person who he loved, and still loves, and cherished him/her by enabling them to live in paradise.
However, he said that the person was tempted to desire to be equal to God so that he/she is no longer under the governance of God, rather be independent.
Yet, God had given to the person everything to lead a decent life, including the power to govern all the creatures and resources in the world.
He said that Easter is a reason for joy because it symbolises the victory of Jesus over death, which implies that as he resurrected, the deceased righteous will also rise from the dead to have a happy everlasting life.
On Easter Sunday, Christians will be allowed to attend church but in observance of the standard operating procedures in place to fight Covid-19.
Among the measures include having a congregation of not more than 30 per cent of the capacity of the church. - The New TimesEmmanuel Ntirenganya,