Holy Family Sunday

Holy Family Sunday, celebrated at Holy Family Pastoral Area Church, Gossa, Abuja, 31.12.2023. Homily by Archbishop I.A.Kaigama.

Holy Family Sunday today brought me to the Pastoral Area of Gossa, around Lugbe , Abuja, created about three years ago and called “Holy Family Pastoral Area.” I decided to go there instead of the Pro-Cathedral because I will be celebrating both New Year’s eve and New Year’s day Masses in the Pro- Cathedral, so I opted to go to a church named after the Holy Family.

At 9 am when the procession started, the people were amazed to see the Archbishop. The Dominican priest incharge, Fr. Collins Akighbe, was however not surprised because he was hinted the night before. Even though many of the people had travelled home for the Christmas holidays, the Church was still packed full. The Church is situated on a land that does not belong to the members of the Pastoral Area. Their Church is temporary and not fanciful, it is a simple shelter. They can be displaced anytime. As usual, the people gave me a long list of their needs, such as money to buy a land for their permanent Church; to build a Church, to build a father’s house, and many other things.

This community seems to live in a different world from Abuja. Just less than five hundred meters from the high way leading to the airport, one sees people in appalling living conditions. During the sermon, I preached about living good and holy family lives, like the Holy Family of Nazareth. But how can these people lead quality lives that will produce good and holy citizens in the midst of such glaring social deprivation? The contrast between the fortunate Nigerians living in very lovely buildings at the centre of Abuja and those living in squalor a few meters away is scandalously disappointing.

Tears came to my eyes when I told them about the horrible Christmas massacres that took place in parts of Plateau State, where the criminals kept on killing even when the mother of a toddler who had the baby tied to her back was mercilessly slaughtered, with the toddler crying uncontrollably. This cruelty is without parallel anywhere in the world. Yet, our government will always tell us that they are “on top of the situation. ” Criminals who commit these dastardly acts are hardly ever apprehended or when arrested, they get released because some powerful and influential individuals have intervened because the criminals are from their religion or tribe. It is possible also that the security agents lack the sophisticated equipment comparable to those of the criminals. Yet we hear of billions and trillions of Naira being spent on issues of security. The question is, why can Nigeria not acquire sophisticated weapons to preempt the nefarious activities of these criminals or to be able to identify them and their whereabouts and to neutralize their efforts before they attack? I hope that it is not the case of money voted to purchase sophisticated security equipment going down the drain due to our usual culture of corruption?

After each brutal attack we are asked to piously pray, hoping that it will not happen again, not because anything has been put in place but because we believe that the “God of miracles” will do it for us! God’s logic is different from ours. He helps only those who help themselves.

These murderous crimes continue to send innocent children, promising young men, dynamic men and woman to their early graves. This is a tragedy of monumental proportions. We should know that people are laughing at the “giant of Africa” and her inability to decisively tackle criminals who pose such dangers to the people in the villages, towns, and the FCT inclusive!

I hope this new government will evolve some better strategic plans to deal decisively with this security abnormality. No need for excuses! Let our government aggressively deal with criminals who make the lives of Nigerians so nasty and brutish.

In a few hours we shall transit to 2024. May it be for all Nigerians a very fruitful year, filled with all that is of God.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *