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2020, Aug 19
Nigeria has no business being a poor nation, if those privileged to be at the helm of affairs have been compassionate like Christ and used available national resources to make life worth living for the majority of Nigerians, especially the poor and the needy.This assertion was made by the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the 18th Sunday of the Church year 2020; held at St Theresa’s Church, Bwari, Abuja. The Archbishop therefore called on all Christians to remain steadfast in their faith and be Christ-like in compassion by using the resources at their disposal for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Premising his homily on the compassion of Jesus, Archbishop Kaigama used the readings of the day to assert that “compassion is the ability to understand and feel the sufferings of another person; be able to put oneself in the shoes of other persons, to know the pains they are going through; and like Jesus be able to assist these people without considering their ethnic, religious or status differences.” Archbishop Kaigama, pointed out that the second reading of the day indicated the sympathy of Jesus for our human weaknesses and the reality of God’s love, while in the Gospel reading, moved by compassion, He fed over 5000 men with five loaves of bread and two fish. Expressing concern about the insensitivity of man to fellow man being sufferings; Archbishop Kaigama declared: “Jesus calls us to become sources of transmitting God’s providence and generousity to the poor, the hungry and the needy.” He added: “The little we have is not too little. It is enough to go round. … If in charity we give the little we have, God’s providence will multiply it for the receiver.” Making reference to the unfortunate situation of the Nigerian nation; Archbishop Kaigama contended: “If sharing the little we have should be the attitude of Nigerians, Nigeria should have nothing being the so-called ‘poverty capital of the world.” The vast difference between the rich and the poor will not exist. The basics of life will be available to all; shelter, food, portable water, roads, electricity, education, basic health care etc.” He urged the faithful to allow the readings of today about the generosity and compassion of Jesus to remind them of the need to share the little they have with those in need. He continued: “Those managing public resources should ensure that what we have goes around. It is uncharitable to accumulate funds that belongs to the poor or to inflate the price of contracts for projects meant to serve the public. If such is done, we end with substandard structures and shortchange those for whom such projects are meant to alleviate their poverty.” Archbishop Kaigama further noted that the first reading clearly indicates the unfathomable love of God for humanity through the free gift of nature and allnatural things like the air, oxygen, water, sunlight and moonlight, hence the invitation to come and buy things free without paying any money. He admonished the faithful, that in the present situation of different challenges, including the Corona Virus pandemic, they should remain solidly rooted in faith and use the resources they have judiciously and equitably to the benefit of all mankind. The local ordinary of Abuja further admonished the faithful to seek the food of everlasting life, through spirituality of life; saying: “So, as Christians, we must work with the realization that physical food can only quench bodily hunger but the food that eternally endures is the Eucharist.”


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