A year of divine intervention
We thank God for the opportunity of seeing the New Year 2018. It is a great privilege for you and I to witness yet another year. If you look back at the past years, so many things have happened; some good, some not too good, and some bad. Many who started the year with us have passed on to the great beyond.
Like you and I, they commenced the New Year with high hopes, believing that they would soar to greater height. But alas! They never saw the completion of that lofty project they had been working on. Are we better than them? No. We are still alive by God’s grace.
Last year was particularly challenging for us as a nation. With the economy biting hard, so many people could not make ends meet. So many people lost their jobs, loved ones and so many hopes were dashed. On the other hand, despite the challenges that befell our national life, many still had course to celebrate in the past year.
So many were promoted at their places of work; some who were jobless gained good employment while so many spinsters and bachelors married their life partners. What does this tell us? At every point in time, there are those that would be rejoicing and those that would be sorrowing. That is the hard fact about life.
Life is never very smooth all the time; sometimes it would be rosy and sometimes challenging. Whatever may be your experience last year, you must have learnt these lessons about life. However, no matter how difficult or interesting the last year was, it is time to forge ahead in this New Year.
The year 2018 is going to be a very interesting one by all reckoning. Already, as usual, so many prophets and prophetesses are already predicting about what the year would offer. Some are already predicting doom and destructions. Some predictions are neither here nor there, while some leaves much to be desired. As Christians, we should not be guided by such predictions.
Our eyes should be focused on our Creator Who knows the end from the beginning. No one can say authoritatively that this is what God would do tomorrow because no one can instruct Him on what to do. What we should do is continue to pray to Him and seek His intervention. He is a merciful Father.
In this year, we need to seek God like never before, judging from the orgy of violence that permeates the land. The activities of Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram and Badoo cult members leaves much to be desired. We pray that God will bring their evil activities to a standstill this year. Even then, the actions of some members of the political class are far from encouraging.
For the love of money and power, so many of them act in ways that are unexpected of God’s children. And so, we are imploring on all to be very vigilant and refrain from being used as thugs or agents of violence. We must be ready to stand up for what is right.
Our failures in the past to speak out against injustices have led us to this sorry state. We cannot afford to remain mute in the midst of suffering and injustice. But seek for your right in an appropriate way, through the constitutionally approved way and not through violence.
Restructuring is now the new mantra. We must, individually and collectively have a say in what will become of our future. God is telling our leaders, especially those who have not been too faithful to the demands of their offices to rise and make amends before it is too late. Many of them know the right thing to do but are reluctant to do so because of personal gains. We must keep on disturbing them until they do the needful. We must begin to claim with confidence the promises of God for us: “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great…” (Gen: 12:2). Position of authority, like every other thing in life, is transient.
One who is placed in a position of leadership is only a gatekeeper and a servant to all. Like Christ, Who though has everything yet chose to humble Himself in all things, our leaders are not to lord over others but to serve in the spirit of truth and justice. They are to pay attention to the yearnings of the electorates who mandated them to represent the interest of all.
And for the citizenry, we must not lose hope but join hands to build a better nation. However, we must be ready to hold our leaders accountable for their actions. We must be active participants in the onerous task of building a virile nation for us and the generations coming.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.
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