A lmighty God, I pray for my country Nigeria and its people, as they go to the polls tomorrow.
That you have blessed this country immensely is without doubt.
But that it has been crudely managed for decades is not in doubt either.
I pray first for the current government and for the opposition party, for the grace to know the critical nature of this election;
to understand that the craving of the people for something better goes beyond the two gladiators of the leading two parties;
to be forthright in promoting and defending the people’s will, and to enable the necessary paraphernalia to make it work.
May they enable peace and eschew violence. May no human life or dignity be a price for winning an election.
Ipray for the people themselves, grant them an enlightened vision to decide rightly and maturely, and the grace to rise up to the call for a better nation, with its necessary sacrifice.
May the people know that this election is only a beginning of another level of journey we must all make together to change the country for the better, and to expect and monitor outcomes from their government.
In a special way I pray for the intelligentsia and religious leaders who are, in a big way, influential to the people’s conscience, for the light to see light, not shirk their duty for lack of courage or outright ignorance, or be pocketed by vested interests inimical to the people.
May this group of people specially realize what a source of hope they are to the nation. In them you have reposed knowledge, may they use same to guide the people right. May our people not die for lack of knowledge.
Finally I pray for whoever rightly wins this election: for vision, strength of character, political will, selflessness, and a determination to serve with distinction, surrounding himself with the very best of minds and will, taking this nation to its rightful position.
Through Jesus Christ who is our Lord, who has come that we may have life and have it to the full. Amen.
He knew where his salvation lay. He understood that he was a lamp, and he was afraid of being quenched by the wind of pride.
To say I am grateful to the Source of us all, in whom we live and move and have our being, and to you friends, brothers and sisters, with whom we seek this Source, is an understatement.
Surely this birthday, as somebody rightly said, is the best of the past. I could not possibly ask for a better gift. Thanks to our common Source and to you all.
Fr. Victor Amole, PhD
“You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison… Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.” -John Chrysostom
With these words of John Chrysostom, popularly known as John of the golden mouth, we launch “Words of the Fathers”, a series of profound and illumining thoughts of the Fathers and early saints under Rooting for Change. May their words shed even more light on our contemplation of the eternal Word.
Do you want to honour Christ’s body? Then do not scorn him in his nakedness, nor honour him here in the church with silken garments while neglecting him outside where he is cold and naked. For he who said: This is my body, and made it so by his words, also said: You saw me hungry and did not feed me, and inasmuch as you did not do it for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did not do it for me. What we do here in the church requires a pure heart, not special garments; what we do outside requires great dedication.
Let us learn, therefore, to be men of wisdom and to honour Christ as he desires. For a person being honoured finds greatest pleasure in the honour he desires, not in the honour we think best. Peter thought he was honouring Christ when he refused to let him wash his feet; but what Peter wanted was not truly an honour, quite the opposite! Give him the honour prescribed in his law by giving your riches to the poor. For God does not want golden vessels but golden hearts.
Now, in saying this I am not forbidding you to make such gifts; I am only demanding that along with such gifts and before them you give alms. He accepts the former, but he is much more pleased with the latter. In the former, only the giver profits; in the latter, the recipient does too. A gift to the church may be taken as a form of ostentation, but an alms is pure kindness. Of what use is it to weigh down Christ’s table with golden cups, when he himself is dying of hunger? First, fill him when he is hungry; then use the means you have left to adorn his table. Will you have a golden cup made but not give a cup of water? What is the use of providing the table with cloths woven of gold thread, and not providing Christ himself with the clothes he needs? What profit is there in that? Tell me: If you were to see him lacking the necessary food but were to leave him in that state and merely surround his table with gold would he be grateful to you or rather would he not be angry? What if you were to see him clad in worn-out rags and stiff from the cold, and were to forget about clothing him and instead were to set up golden columns for him, saying that you were doing it in his honour? Would he not think he was being mocked and greatly insulted?
Apply this also to Christ when he comes along the roads as a pilgrim, looking for shelter. You do not take him in as your guest, but you decorate floor and walls and the capitals of the pillars. You provide silver chains for the lamps, but you cannot bear even to look at him as he lies chained in prison. Once again, I am not forbidding you to supply these adornments; I am urging you to provide these other things as well, and indeed to provide them first. No one has ever been accused for not providing ornaments, but for those who neglect their neighbour a hell awaits with an inextinguishable fire and torment in the company of the demons. Do not, therefore, adorn the church and ignore your afflicted brother, for he is the most precious temple of all.
Saturday Week 21, Office of Readings.