The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, has charged Nigerians to envision a nation where optimism is a tangible reality that can actively be shaped by their actions with the help of God.
Rev. Kaigama also said Nigerians must renew their commitment to creating a better future for themselves and the nation.
This is even as he urged Nigerians to extend a helping hand to neighbours, friends, and family and to create a network of support that uplifts especially those in dire need.
He added that small acts of kindness have the power to ripple through communities, bringing comfort and rays of hope to even the darkest corners of the country.
The cleric, while lamenting how Nigerians face crushing poverty and joblessness, urged them to draw inspiration from the stories of the poor family of Nazareth – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who, against all odds, rose above their circumstances.
He stated these on Monday in his 2023 Christmas Message, saying that though it is not a celebration to ignore the challenges but to remind that, like the bright star in the sky that led the Magi to adore the Lord, hope can also guide the nation through the darkest nights, in the face of economic uncertainties and the burden of inflation.
He, therefore, urged all to find solace in the knowledge that their collective strength and resilience can weather any storm together and overcome the hurdles before the country emerges stronger and more united than ever.
He said, “Let us envision a nation where hope is not a distant dream but a reality that we can actively shape by our own hands and actions with the help of God.
“In the general hopelessness that may permeate our daily lives, let us remember that change often starts from within. Each one of us has the power to change ourselves and contribute to a positive shift in our country. This noble obligation is for both the leaders and the leaders. As we celebrate Christmas, we must renew our commitment to creating a better future for ourselves and our fellow Nigerians.
“Let us resolve to extend a helping hand to our neighbours, friends, and family, creating a network of support that uplifts especially those in dire need. Small acts of kindness have the power to ripple through communities, bringing comfort and rays of hope to even the darkest corners of our land.
“In the face of crushing poverty and joblessness, let us draw inspiration from the stories of the poor family of Nazareth – Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who, against all odds, rose above their circumstances. Despite our deprivations this Christmas, and the coming year.
“In the spirit of hope, let us look forward to the coming year with optimism and determination. The challenges we face today are tough, but they are not insurmountable, and together we can forge a path towards that greater tomorrow we all long for.”
He noted, “Christmas has come not to ignore our challenges but to remind us that, like the bright star in the sky that led the Magi to adore the Lord, hope can also guide us through the darkest nights. In the face of economic uncertainties and the burden of inflation, let us find solace in the knowledge that our collective strength and resilience can weather any storm. Together, we can overcome the hurdles before us, emerging stronger and more united than ever.
While lamenting that many Catholics are very worried that there is going to be a deviation from the teaching of the Church on marriage, assured them that “this will not happen. I know that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith released a declaration, Fiducia Supplicans, approved by the Pope on the church’s understanding of blessings, especially of those living in “irregular situations.”
He urged them to hold on to their faith with great tenacity and not to allow arguments or controversies to distract or confuse them, especially in the light of the document about the blessing of those of “same-sex” orientation.
“Be reassured that marriage is still that “exclusive, stable and indissoluble union between a man and a woman, naturally open to conceiving children,” and the Church “remains firm” in teaching that marriage can be contracted only between one woman and one man,” he said.
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