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2020, Aug 19
The joy of the kingdom of heaven is worth sacrificing everything in this life for, the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev. Ignatius AyauKaigama has admonished. The Archbishop gave the advice in his homily at the celebration of the Mass for the 17th Sunday of the Church Ordinary Time, Year 2020; at St Agnes Parish Church, Wuye, Abuja. The local ordinary of Abuja Archdiocese added that, as Christians, we can attain this eternal glory by sacrificing to build an egalitarian Nigerian nation where peace, justice and holiness are held sacrosanct. Premising his homily on the readings of the day, Archbishop Kaigama noted that seeking the mundane things of the world like power, wealth and other good things of life cannot lead us to eternal glory in heaven. Using the first reading on the life and wisdom of King Solomon, Archbishop Kaigama declared: “The lesson from this story of Solomon is for us to understand the development and welfare of people, and to avoid promoting unjust economic structures that widen the rich-poordivide; a leader must be guided by divine wisdom, not mere intellectual knowledge.” He continued: “Like Solomon, leaders, whether religious, traditional or political, should have a truly compassionate, sensitive and understanding heart. Despite Solomon’s wisdom and the fact that the Lord appeared to him twice (3:5; 9:2), his political decline came because he did not remain faithful and obedient to God in serving the interests of his people.” Archbishop Kaigama emphasized that “A leader guided by divine wisdom respects human life, gives each person a sense of belonging, promotes an equitable distribution of available resources, recognizes the potentials in others and brings the best out of them in the interest of the common good. A wise leader equally is conscious of seeking heavenly things which endure forever.” He described as mind boggling the critical crave for power by political and religious leaders as well as the manipulations to achieve these powers, adding that: “ In the process, there are threats to life, unjust judicial pronouncements, buying votes or electoral and security officials, promoting the dubious interests of godfathers, dealing unfairly with political opponents and when power is "captured", the accumulation of so much wealth at the expense of the ordinary people.” The Archbishop noted that the first two parables of the Gospel reading clearly indicate that “we cannot take our treasures of material things, political power or achievements with us to eternal life.” He declared: “This should make us realize that the kingdom of God is both a gratuitous gift from God and the fruit of searching on our part. The third parable about a drag-net tells us about judgment and eternity, where every man and woman would be judged according to their deeds on earth.” The Abuja Archdiocese local ordinary told the faithful that hope and love are treasures, but the greatest is love, because it is the only one that endures for eternity. He also spoke on the three types of wisdom that exist–“wisdom of this world, and wisdom of the devil and Wisdom from above which is acquired when we are connected to God through prayer and always being in His presence”. He assured the faithful that with God, nothing is impossible and all challenges, calamities, violence and diseases like Covid-19 and othervices in the world are surmountable. He noted that in spite of the myriad of pervasive corruption, in the country, especially in government offices, all hope is not lost as there are still some Nigerians of repute whose virtuous lives give hope of a better Nigerian nation in the future.


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