The Rev. Fr. Paul Sobande MSP, Assistant Pastor of the St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Kakata, Margibi County, has urged members of the Catholic Men’s Organization and other Christians to pray without ceasing.
In his reflection during the Annual Retreat of members of the Archdiocesan Catholic Men’s Organization (ACCMO) held in Kakata, Margibi County on 17th May (which fell on the Seventh Sunday of Easter), Father said: “Prayer was such an important part of Jesus’ life that his disciples begged him to teach them how to pray. The gospels show Jesus going to the wilderness and other quiet places alone, and praying in the garden before his death. John’s gospel (John 17:6-19) devotes chapters to Jesus’ prayer for his disciples.”
According to him, Jesus showed Christians the intimate relationship which existed between him and the Father, saying Jesus addressed God as “Abba” – a word which roughly means “Daddy”.
The Priest informed members of the Catholic men’s organization that Jesus also taught his followers that this same relationship was available to all of God’s children. “So, this intimate relationship is the first foundation of Christian prayer,” Father Sobandesaid, further explaining that Jesus prayed for his disciples when He said: “Keep them safe that they may be one just as you and I are one… (May they) have my joy in their hearts in all its fullness. Dedicate them to yourself by means of the truth.”
He then expressed dissatisfaction about the fact that too often Christian denominations see themselves as competitors for membership and people’s allegiance, thus sometimes failing to recognize fellow disciples also seeking to find the mind of Christ and do the Father’s will.
“In this week of prayer for unity, we need to give thanks for all those churches seeking the truth of God, recognizing the particular gifts they bring in his service, confessing our failure always to value them, and praying for their faithful witness in the world,” Father stressed.
“You the Catholic Men of the Archdiocese of Monrovia take up time to pray with your family because the family that prays together stays together in time of temptation, frustration, disappointments and the struggle of this world. Let us men emulate the good examples of our patron saint, Joseph the worker,” he emphasized.
The Catholic cleric attributed the proliferation of many Christian churches and divisions in some churches to greed and the failure of Christians to cooperate with Jesus. “So what happened to the prayer for unity which Jesus prayed before ascending to heaven? Why has there been so much division and disunity in Christianity. The answer is that we human beings failed to cooperate with Jesus in his desire to make us united. Owing to greed, hatred, pride, and selfishness, many of us have decided to go our separate ways and found other “churches” other than the Church founded by Christ himself.”
He said the ranks of those who profess Jesus as Lord continue to divide every day to the point that there seem to be more “churches” than human beings in the world, urging all Christian to “pray that Jesus’ prayer for Christian unity may become a reality in our parish. Like Jesus, let us be GATHERERS and not “SCATTERERS” in the house of the Lord. Amen.”
The ACCMO Annual Retreat was organized to provide members the perfect venue for reflection, prayer and unity among all men of the various parishes of the Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Monrovia.
The Gathering was also intended to demonstrate the willingness and commitment of ACCMO members to work together as a team for a stronger and committed Catholic Church.
The ACCMO is the umbrella organization of all CMOs in the Archdiocese of Monrovia.-Edited by George Barpeen