From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Most Rev Ignatius Kaigama, has cautioned some Men of God against taking dangerous paths in their work with God and Men that could lead to disgrace, suggesting that they be real and not sensational in their pastoral engagements.
Archbishop Kaigama, in his Sunday Homily delivered at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Abuja, frowned at situations where some Men of God tried to take certain dangerous steps in the cause of their work even when their faith could not carry or sustain the move.
He said: “The Gospel of Mark refers to Jesus being tempted by Satan, but it is in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke that we learn the details. The devil asked Jesus to turn stones into bread, to use his power to meet his personal needs, namely, to put on a sensational display of power, in a self-gratifying manner, to satisfy his human hunger. Doing so would have been a dangerous distraction and diversion from Jesus’ path of obedience to God. So, Jesus disarmed the devil by saying, “Man does not live on bread alone.
“On another occasion, the devil asked Jesus to display his power by throwing himself from a high cliff but Jesus resisted the suggestion. This is unlike a pastor who wanted to prove to his congregation that he was an anointed man of God and could enter where lions were being kept without being harmed. He did, but ended up as lunch for the lions!
“Similarly, a pastor claimed that the bullets in the gun would do him no harm. He pulled the trigger and was shot stone dead!. Men of God should not be sensational but realistic. The devil promised Jesus the kingdoms of the world, only if Jesus would bow down and worship him. But Jesus refused. Unfortunately, some believers fall into the temptation to worship the devil in order to become rich or to acquire power to fight juju or evil spirits.
“Like coronavirus, the devil is very real and prowling round the decadent society like a roaring lion. He puts in the heart of political, religious and traditional leaders the greed for material riches and love for power. Leaders today are only concerned about fraudulently perpetuating themselves in power and the acquisition of riches to the detriment of the people they lead.
“We must emphatically resist the devil who continually tempts ethnic and religious groups to be selfish and myopic, husbands and wives to be morally deviant and unfaithful, youths to be recalcitrant and violent, kidnappers to dehumanize fellow human beings for money, militant herdsmen to destroy food crops, religious fundamentalists to kill for reasons they don’t even understand and bandits to unleash terror on innocent citizens.
“While millions of Nigerians are unemployed and poor, the devil and his agents have no problem with lack of work. They are very busy causing confusion in homes and offices.”