This hope was lost when our first parents disobeyed God. The kind God sent his only son to repair the damage caused by the sin of Adam and Eve. He came; he brought new meaning into our lives. He made us to regain our son ship with God. He started empowering us through the gospel of life, giving us hope to forge ahead in life and be partners in spreading the gospel. He preached by example. He saw humanity is disarray because he is a compassionate man. He began to rebuild human relationship that was full of hatred and discrimination. He made us to be proud of ourselves through his love and wants us to spread this love to our neighbours even those not from our kindred. He made us to share that love with others and even share what we have with the ‘HaveNots’.
His exceptional power attracted many people. That is why he is being talked about all over the world. A man different from us makes us to be proud of who we are irrespective of where we come from whether you have money or not. He was a friend with all, even sinners. He is a transcultural man, who has neither fixed neither address nor life of comfort. He came for a mission and he fulfilled his mission. He faced the challenges of our time, even the crooked politics of that time, the politics of hatred and religion. He faced the religious bigotries. Even his disciples who knew him very well were still playing politics of power, money and compromise by not speaking out. The politics of money like Judas and politics of who will be in charge. This is a man. On hearing of his birth, King Harold was frozen with fear and would not like to lose his power.
The kings and politicians of today are always afraid of hearing about someone more unique than themselves and they will want to get rid of the person. King Harold tried but couldn’t succeed because this is a man who came for a mission and had not concluded it. In today’s world, no one can destroy his mission because he was sent. So coming towards the end of his mission, me made us to know how to love and respect one another and how our needs can be answered by God who sent him. His life was very mysterious. This very man was condemned along two criminals hung on the cross with him. One of them saw something unique in Jesus and he said, “Remember me in paradise” because he knew Jesus was wrongly condemned.
Their action to Jesus showed the inhumanity of man, the social injustice of the world and the flaws in the Judiciary of that time. Up till now, the Judiciary has not changed. When Jesus died, they thought that would be the end of everything. He resurrected after 3days, there was great jubilation and the doubting Thomas were in confusion. The resurrection gave us hope of dying to a new life. What a great Christian legacy? That is why one of the preachers of the century said “we are all creatures of hope”. We can’t live without hope. We can’t even rise and go to work without hope. Hope empowers us to look for the future. Our life does not end here; we are born to everlasting life through this Jesus we are celebrating his resurrection. It’s not only his resurrection but our resurrection.
Those who live their own lives at the expense of the resurrection who knew how Jesus lived his life and continues to live lives of contradictions and refused to show milk of human kindness to others, who avoid the truth, might end up like those of Jesus’ time. They were obstructing his mission. Up till now, there are people still betraying Jesus. We betray in our homes, in our marriages .We betray him in politics and different Administrations. We betray him with the way we treat our brothers and sisters. We betray him in leadership. We betray him at the bars over a bottle of alcohol. We betray him by voting the wrong person in politics and collecting money.
What a life is this? Are we here to celebrate a rite, recalling the past and blaming people who crucified him? Are we here to celebrate the risen Jesus? Are we not part of these? We are in a world of, worshiping money and a personality cult. This is the syndrome of Nigeria today. We have forgotten the truth of Jesus, we chase after those who have money at the expense of the resurrection.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a social Justice and Peace Advocate.