" ITREALMS: Southern Kaduna: Killings of Christians at genocidal levels, says Fr. Ebido - ITREALMS

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Southern Kaduna: Killings of Christians at genocidal levels, says Fr. Ebido - ITREALMS

20th Sunday in Ordinary Time (August 16/20) 
Your Daily BlessingMay God anoint your mind and heart to know and do what is right always. Amen.

Narration: We are living in very difficult times. For most of us, we are concerned about this pandemic called Covid19 because it threatens our lives, and our source of livelihood. 

It has already killed hundreds of thousands around the globe, and rendered many millions jobless. In Nigeria, our currency is sliding down to ridiculous levels and inflation is spiraling out of control to the point that ordinary food items are gradually scaling upwards where the poor cannot get them. 

In the midst of this problem, some of our brothers/sisters are constantly in harm’s way: thousands have already died in the hands of Boko-haram, bandits or kidnappers; but none of these seem to equal the danger we face from herdsmen. 

The reason is simple: they spell danger that is hidden in plain sight. I was talking with someone from Abakaliki (a town in Ebonyi State, Eastern Nigeria) recently, and he said that growing up in his village, so many years ago, they have always been afraid of the herdsmen, because he heard then that “they kill and rape people.” If this is the case in a border State, is it not fair to conclude that this evil has incubated for a long time, and now come to maturity? People are now killed on daily basis, and most times we know who did it; and no arrests made, no punishments. 

The gradual extermination of Christians in southern Kaduna is one that has reached genocidal levels. Others are still small, but will increase if we do nothing.

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Sermon: The first reading today (Isaiah 56:1, 6-7) says, “Observe what is right, do what is just; for my salvation is about to come, my justice about to be revealed.” We look with eager longing for God’s justice to be revealed! In the meantime, we are called “to observe what is right” and “do what is just.” 

To “observe” is what a scientist does in the lab: he/she ‘watches’ carefully, taking record of what is happening to the specimen. We should ‘watch carefully’ what is happening to understand if it is ‘right,’ so that our ‘response’ will be just. 

We will make a mistake if we do not take time to “observe” because it implies the need to dedicate time to ‘investigate,’ ‘reflect on,’ ‘plan a response’ or ‘strategize,’ instead of just ‘praying about’ the situation as we often do. 

When we take-time to do these preliminaries, we will be in a good place to make an informed decision about our actions so that we are ‘responding’ and not ‘reacting’ to our situation. 

However, it is no longer in doubt that our political leadership has been compromised, and lost their ‘moral voice,’ it is now an imperative for religious leaders to become more visible in leading the charge against this menace on our common heritage. 

They should have by now ‘observed’ what is happening, and it is time to do what is ‘right and just.’ Perhaps God will show us his mercy, as implied in the second reading (Rom 11:13-15, 29-32) if they should leave their comfort zone and do the job of true prophets they already claim to be by virtue of their office. 

Let us pray therefore for more bishops to lose their fear and speak out boldly! There is hardly any living soul in Nigeria that does not fear the power of the ‘voice’ of authentic men of God when ‘intentionally directed at them’. Their ‘united’ and ‘individual’ “voices” is the game changer we NEED NOW. Pray it comes!

Prayer: Dear Lord, lose the tongues of our men of God, and religious leaders at all levels. Let them speak out, for evil is over-running our land with no prophet in sight! Send us a leader, or even leaders, anointed by you for our times! Amen.

🙏🏽©️Fr Augustine Ebido, O.P.

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