YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY QUEEN OF NIGERIA
HOMILY THEME: JEWS & GENTILES : A CASE FOR ONE NIGERIA
BY: Fr. Ben Agbo
HOMILY: Tuesday, 1st October 2019, Feast of Our Lady Queen & Patroness of Nigeria :
* Is 11 : 1 – 10, Eph 2 : 13 – 22, Mtt 2 : 13 – 23.
Division, tribalism and xenophobic tendencies are not christian ideologies at all. Christ will never be happy with a country still full of tribalistic sentiments after many years of the release of the Christian gospel of unity. Today’s 1st reading says that ‘the wolf will get to live with the lamb and the panther lie down with the kid …No hurt, no harm will be done on all my holy mountains for the country will be full of knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea’. And in the 2nd reading the message of unity is even proposed in stronger words between the Jews and the Gentiles : ‘In Christ Jesus, you that used to be far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ..He is the peace between us and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart destroying in his own person the hostility that is the law with its decrees’. I can hear him saying something today about the hostility between the Igbos and the Fulanis ; between the Christians and Muslims ; between the Orthodox and Pentecostals ; between the Sharia law and the Christian tenets.
The Word of God unites us. I think separation will never solve the problem of Nigeria ; it will only relocate it and bring it closer. When the IPOB succeeds in getting their Biafra and the AFENIFERE succeeds in getting their Oduduwa kingdom, then shall the hen brood over the chickens with the heat of rancour and segregation ; within Biafra land for instance, the old Anambra and Imo rancour will begin again and even inside the old Anambra, the Agbenu and the Wawa discrimination will continue to rise ; and even inside the old Imo, the Mbaise and the Mbano will continue to fight. Separation is never really the solution to the problem of Nigeria but unity founded on a solid referendum of justice. We just recently lost under Goodluck Jonathan, an opportunity to enthrone solid democratic principles and we are back to a quasi military brand of democracy.
In today’s gospel we are told that Herod searched fruitlessly for the child Jesus to kill him but he was fooled by the wisemen. God continues to fool all terrorists against the children of God. I see a vision of Nigeria where both Igbos and Fulanis can dwell together without rancour ; where Christianity and Islam can go on together without acrimony ; where anybody can engage in cattle business and anybody can become the President of Nigeria irrespective of where you come from. But this can only happen if Christians will have the courage and wisdom to evangelize Nigeria. Cardinal Onaikon once said it and was grossly misunderstood by many, that if christians begin first to evangelize Nigeria, then nobody can Islamize or Fulanize Nigeria. On this first day of October 2019, we need to rededicate our Country Nigeria under the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary.
May she continue to teach us the virtues of humily, love and peace so that both Jews and Gentiles will be able to cohabit in this our country. May God bless you today!