THEME: DO NOT BE AFRAID: CHRIST KNOWS WHAT IS IN MAN
The theme of this reflection is drawn from one of the sayings of Saint John Paul II at the start of his Pontificate in 1978. And there can be no better time to re-echo those words than now that it seems the fire and division declared by Jesus in the Gospel text of today is burning already in different parts of the world especially in our country Nigeria with the ENDSARS protest.
Born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland, Pope John Paul II’s early life was marked by great loss. His mother died when he was nine years old, and his older brother Edmund died when he was 12. Growing up in this challenging conditions, matters got worse when Krakow’s Jagiellonian University where John Paul was studying was closed down in 1939 by Nazi troops during the German occupation of Poland. Wanting to become a priest, John Paul began studying at a secret seminary run by the archbishop of Krakow. After World War II ended, he finished his religious studies at a Krakow seminary and was ordained in 1946. John Paul became the bishop of Ombi in 1958 and then the archbishop of Krakow six years later. Well regarded for his contributions to the church during the Vatican Council II, John Paul was made a cardinal in 1967 by Pope Paul VI. He eventually become Pope at a time of Political unrest and instability in Poland his home country. He fought until stability and peace was restored. He didn’t fight with ammunitions and metal weapons but with the weapon of prayer, pen and voice. And his voice was heard clearly by the four corners of the world.
His words to all who struggle for political and economic stability and progress like the youths of our country Nigeria remain the same: “ Do not be afraid. Christ knows “what is in man”. He alone knows it. Many of us today do not know what is within us and what lies ahead of us. We are so uncertain about our future even in our struggles. We are assailed by doubt, a doubt which turns into despair. Many are already death in the ENDSARS STRUGGLE in Nigeria. Let the words of John Paul speak to us: Do not be afraid. Christ knows what is in man.
As we continue the struggle, we must always bear in mind these words of St. John Paul: Social Justice cannot be attained by violence; violence kills what it intends to create. May St John Paul II help us to build a better Nigeria and the world. Amen!
GOOD MORNING! GOD BLESS YOU TODAY!