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Nov 30, 2017


The gift of God to every human being is for the common good of all, especially the poor who are deprived of justice and love by the society. This assertion was made by Rev. Fr. Uche  Obodoechina in his homily at the celebration of the Mass to mark the first World Day of the Poor as directed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis.  

Fr. Obodoechina, who is the Deputy Executive Secretary of Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), the Non-Governmental Agency (NGO) of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) noted that the gift of God to every human being is for a purpose; and that God is always with us, watching our mistakes but helping us, even when we go astray.

 The homilist noted that each human being has a charism with which he or she is endowed with and uses same to work for the common good of all, either as a mother of father at home, or a worker in the office or in the community. Using the day’s gospel reading to buttress his point, Fr. Obodoechina noted that in the present day world, “God has made the world and has given us responsibilities to make it liveable and  to make it better for others and for us to realize our values and that nobody is without one.” He attributed the phenomenon and scientific development of the present day world for the ability of man to improve on the gift and talents God has given to man to continue the work of creation.

 His words: “God created the world not in this fashion.  The world in this fashion is the product of human ingenuity human skills, human talent, human knowledge and wisdom; human ability to think science and technology has come from the west to us as a sign of man’s ability to use God’s gift and talents given to us to improve the quality of our lives.”

 He continued: “So dear friends and brothers we must do something with our hands, our hands were not created for nothing this hands they are very important phenomenon it is this hand that shape the world in activity and we are answerable to God at the end of the day how far and how less we use our hands. a good number of us are lazy, and most of us in this country are also lazy that is the truth that must be said because we have a very wrong mentality of blaming others for our misfortune for our failures.”

Speaking on the phenomenon of poverty, Fr. Obodoechina noted that it is a complex issue with many dimensions which include; material poverty, intellectual poverty, inability to reason and take action; wealth without contentment and richness without peace of mind.

 Emphasizing on the challenges of many who are materially poor and for whom the Holy Father has set aside the day for reflection on their plights and providing succour for them; the CCFN Deputy Executive  Secretary declared: “the Holy Father is reminding us that a good number are poor because of act of injustice, some are poor because of our own greed that have taken so much of what belong to all of us and made it personal, there are those who are poor because of natural consequence of mishaps, of accident and all that but the truth of the matter is the poor exist among us and over the history of the Church so many have laboured to make better living condition for the poor.”

 Fr. Obodechina enumerated the activities of the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria and other similar non-Governmental agencies in Europe and America channelled and providing succour for this marginalized people and victims of man’s inhumanity; so that they can have good lives. He called on the faithful to respond positively to the clarion call of the Holy Father in this perspective and support the CCFN.

 His words: “Helping the poor is not only by giving gift, it could be our presence around them it could be our listing ear, it could be our sharing in their stories, especially those marginalised those at the fringes of our society those who are victims of injustice and oppression. They are many around us.

 He continued: “Those in prison without genuine cause because they have nobody to talk and see for them those who are isolated and deprived of their primary right of taking part in the processes that involve them these are part of the poor and these are our brothers and sisters.” He concluded: “One big way of assisting the poor is not to take part in their oppression, be conscious of the rights of others and the respects due to them it’s a way of respecting their dignity and preserving what belongs to them.”

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