Every Human Being wants a better living. If human beings were to see God face to face, they would have poured their hearts to Him who designs their destiny. There is no need of dabbling into horoscope to know our destiny. Once you are born your destiny is grounded in God. There is no guessing work, no going to fortune tellers or “Babalawo” to know your destiny. With years passing away, ourlife rolls away and every year is full of struggles, our ups and downs in life, and no one likes to remain the same. Man needs a change after scrutinizing his life in the year that is ending. Man’s hope is in the God of tangibility, the God that deals with his problems here and now. Not God of “ex- Machina” but he is a God of patience and a God of concern in spite of our atrocities. He is a God that does not deal with us as we are and does not judge us according to what we do, otherwise nobody can escape his judgement. The creatures of God operate a New Year ritual where they re-affirm their loyalty to God.
Every person expects God to come into his life situation and bring newness of life to him and prosperity. Nobody likes to experience again what had happened in the past, especially bitter experiences, just like the Israelites that say “we cannot go back to Egypt again”. So, the ritual of the New Year is very spiritual and existential and it involves humility before God to forget our rotten past and contradictions of life. It is a time for sober spiritual reflection and sincerity of heart, to God of mercy to help us resolve the contradiction of our lives. In his “Sitz in leben” (life situation), he says good bye to the past and embraces a life rooted in justice and peace. He promises to avoid divide in the community of God and dehumanization of individuals created by the God whom he is supposed to serve. There are many miserable people today in the world; it is not God that caused such situation. There are many people who cannot eat three square meal today, there are many people who lost their shops and means of livelihood, and it is not God that caused such situation.
There are many people whose rights are trampled upon by oppressive regime. There are many people who assume the position of authority through wrong means and fabrication of lies. All these people are expecting God to allow them enter the New Year and live. The rich would beg God to allow them enter the New Year and continue to live their lives. But continues a life of intimidation of the poor and continue amassing wealth at the expense of the poor? If man reflects honestly, and sees the New Year as a crossing over to new life, new way of thinking, acting and new ways of seeing each other globally, “life go better.” Man promises to change and in a twinkle of an eye, he goes back to his former way of life because he is not sincere, or because he didn’t make proper New Year resolution. If man, makes an honest New Year resolution there would be less conflict, less xenophobia, less racism, less killing of others and less political bickering. If our politicians really make New Year resolutions and keep them, there would be new concern for everybody.
Also if the Christian politician goes to new year mass and hears the priest preaching about the qualification of entering into a new year, he can come out to be a good politician who understands that being in power is to empower people to be who they are and not intimidate them by their wealth and power. In the senate, the Christian politician does not gang up with those who have no respect for human rights and their fellow citizens wallowing in poverty and misery. The Christian politician is in politics to help his constituency strive for a better life. His own conflict of interest should not jeopardize the life of his people. If he is voted when he was in PDP he should not change party as he changes his dazzling cars for social respectability. Bad politicians package well when there is economic depression and when they feed the poor, they tend to have power over them.
When there is divide in public opinion, in administration and lack of including God in their decision, how can we say we are honest with him? This New Year is a year where we can cooperate with God and make Nigeria a better country, where our country men will feel happy and when Nigeria’s National Anthem is recited anywhere, they stand firm singing the national anthem without mimicking it. This year would be a year when all of us would make positive resolution that would lead to a change of hearts both individual and the government.
Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate