Nothing can separate us from God
Life is not always rosy. Some days come with lots of fun and joy, while some come with much misery and sadness. Each day we wake up, we pray to the Almighty that the day may bring us happiness. No one wants to be visited by sorrow. But it does come, whether we like it or not. Each of us has, at one time or the other experienced much sorrow. It could be as a result of the death of one’s parents, siblings, spouse or colleague. It surely happens. And when such occurs, the impact can be very devastating. Not everyone is blessed with an in-built mechanism to bear loss. There have been cases of people that have lost their minds as a result of bereavement. No wonder then that is necessary for the strong to always remember to give a helping hand to the weak. As Christians, we are expected to always be ready; for good and not so good. Whatever happens to us, we must hold on tight to God.
Presently, the country’s attention has shifted to Ozubulu in Anambra State, where some worshippers were gunned down by unidentified men during Mass. The country is yet to come to terms with this dastardly act, which has further smeared our country’s image. What on earth would make one take the lives of innocent worshippers in the house of God? Where have the perpetrators kept their sense of reasoning? Does this mean their consciences have been numbed, such that they no longer have human feeling or fear for God?
So many explanations are currently being proffered as possible cause for the Ozubulu slaughter. I know the police are still investigating the matter, and I hope and pray that they quickly get to the root cause of the incident. However, whatever may be the root cause, it is not enough justification to cut down innocent lives in that fashion. These are defenceless men, women and children, who had earlier left their homes to fulfil their Sunday obligations as Catholics. They all had dreams of how they intended spending the day; dreams of what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives. They had loved ones who looked up to them or who are responsible for their welfare. One cannot claim to appreciate the depth of bereavement the families of the dead would be going through at this moment. It must be harrowing!
The attack on St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu is an affront to God. And no man dares God and remains the same. The Pope shares in the pains of the bereaved and injured and has sent words of consolation. The entire Catholic Church in Nigeria has also condoled with the people of Anambra State, the Ozubulu community and the families of the injured and deceased for their great loss. It is during a period as this that our faith as Christians must be upheld. No amount of intimidation or harassment can or should make us lose our faith in God Almighty.
Like the Bible say, ‘And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, [b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all Creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39.
I pray that the perpetrators of the horrendous crime have a change of heart and repent of their sins and desist forthwith. As a nation, this is a wake-up call for us all to draw nearer to God and appreciate the sanctity of human life. No amount of wealth or pleasure can be compared to one single life. It is sacred.
Very Rev. Msgr. Osu, Director, Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos.