Man is from God and is redeemed by God’s own son, Jesus Christ. Man is precious and because he is precious, God has plans for him in the world he created and that is why Jesus had a programme for man. Anyone who fails to be involved in this programme will not be himself. He will suffer from spiritual frustration. God’s plan for us is that man must worship him in truth and love. He must work hard to better the world around him. Those who always find the best in people are doing well because that is the only way to maintain spiritual sanity with Jesus. When we create a space for Christ in our lives we are inviting others to our lives. The Christ in us will help us establish a spiritual rapport with people. By so doing we build the culture of neighbourliness and love.
When we do not care about our neighbours it shows we neither know Christ nor God. When we realize the Christ in us, we begin to see women as an extension of God’s creation. We will not see them as sex objects. When we really allow Jesus reign in our lives our spiritual horizon is expanded. We no longer live any kind of life that alienates others or a life that dehumanizes others. We see life as a place where everyone has a right to live anywhere and transact his business and help build a strong and spiritual society where everyone obeys and fears God who created the universe.
Man must not forget that God gave him power to transform the world for his own advantage and for the glory of God. When man lives outside God’s plan, he experiences disharmony, spiritual frustration and alienation. This is because man no longer lives with Christian’s ethics. He breaks the rules. He is no longer living a life that reminds him of Christ and God, who created him. Because of this funny life, he can kill his neighbors, do dirty businesses and destroy the relationship between him, his neighbour and his God. What belongs to all of us, he will hijack it and call it his own. He can even destroy religion by polluting people’s values and replacing them with the devil’s values by hostile attitude towards his fellow Christians. He brings confusion everywhere because he has not created a space for Jesus in his life. We have many of such people in the world today. We have them in families, in schools, in communities and in the church.
They come to church but they are not looking for Jesus, they are looking for people who will be in their camp to help them recruit others to be on the same wavelength with them. Look at Nigeria today. She is experiencing hell because of people who do not want to create a space for Christ and God in their lives. People are living their own life at the expense of the spiritual. People betray their friends. People make their Priests fight each other by giving them wrong information in order to attract favour. They do not know how long that favour will last. When you get what you want through wrong means, there is a moral collapse. Is it not because there is a moral collapse in the Nigerian society that Nigeria is what it is now? There is no respect for the “Sacred” anymore. People can talk about their Priests as they dissect their next door neighbours whom they have been nursing grudges for years.
There is no more moral compass. People fight God. Those who fight God refuse to know that it is because they have messed up their lives and have nothing to fill their emptiness. To fill the emptiness in them is to gossip, fight others who remind them of their past lives that are full of negatives. Living negative life drives us crazy and makes us look different in the society. It closes the door of spirituality. When spirituality in us is destroyed what are we living for again? Man must rethink and create a space for Christ in his life. Life without Christ and God is absurd. When we have no spiritual base we have lost everything in life. You may have everything in this world but you are not going to be happy. Man must live together and avoid obstruction of Justice. Man must know that the universe belongs to God. The lands we have belong to God.
We cannot say “this is our Land, it is not yours”. God only allows us to retain the radical ownership of the land. We are renting them because our stay here is transitory. We know those who snatched lands from the poor in the Old Testament and how God dealt with them. You know King Ahab who has a dirty footnote in history. Those who fight for lands are fighting an endless fight. Lands have driven many to wars and early graves that leads to tribal extinction.
• Very Rev. Monsignor Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and Social Justice and Peace Advocate