DIOCESAN DAY OF THE SICK

By Matthew O. Eze



On the event of this year's episode of the annual diocesan day for the sick, the Bishop of Nsukka diocese, Most Rev. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah has said that many of the problems people go through today result from other people's sins and not necessarily from the sufferers' own sins. The father Bishop made this assertion during his homily at the special Mass cum prayer session held to cater for the health needs of the catholic faithful entrusted to his pastoral care.

In his words, “every sin we commit has its consequences on other people's life and many of our problems are the consequences of other people's sins.” He cited instances of medicine dealers who produce and sell substandard medicines directly or indirectly to patients, and reckless road users such as keke riders, commercial cyclists (okada) and motorists who out of their own recklessness have confined some people to hospital beds as some of the instances of how some people's evil and bad deeds have caused other people’s problems.

Underscoring the importance and the significance of the sacrament of reconciliation (confession) in the spiritual healing exercise, the Prelate said the event had to start with confession as administered by the Priests earlier before the start of the Mass to prepare the sick for God's forgiveness which he described as the beginning of healing.

He said that some Christians have been crippled and paralyzed by varied sins such as fornication, adultery, greed, excessive love for money, to mention but a few. Thus, he urged those who are still spiritually healthy not to abandon such Christians to their fate but that they should intercede for them and take them to God in prayer trusting that with faith He will heal them accordingly.

The Father Bishop admonished Christians to always pray for the will of God to prevail in all their situations saying that even when they ask for His will to be done, they should also ask Him for the strength to be able to accept His will. In other words, that even as they pray to God for healing, if it be His will to heal them, they should also pray for His strength to endure the ailments should it persists. He added that rather than waste time blaming God for sufferings and difficulties, we should offer them to God in prayer. He prayed that God should enable them to see the things they suffer as their own share in Christ's sufferings for mankind rather than as a divine punishment.

The Prelate expressed disappointment over how Christians attribute every ailment they are afflicted with to poisoning and spiritual attacks even in this era when Lab scientists and medical technologists are available to diagnose the root cause of their ailments. He also identified lack of faith as one of the reasons Christians hop from one prayer house to another in search of miracles, adding that such an act of faithlessness has often time made them fall prey to the antics and deceits of self acclaimed men of God who often cheat them out of their hard earned money in the name of bringing solution to their problems. Towards the end of the Mass, the Father Bishop declined giving opportunity to people to step up to the sanctuary to give testimonies saying, “let us give thanks to God through our life, that's the only testimony we need to give. While acknowledging all those who participated in making the event a reality such as the Priests, especially those of them who were early to hear confessions; the ambulance operators; the Choir; the doctors and nurses; camera men as well as everybody who attended the event, the Bishop announced that the next year's episode would hold on the 13th of February 2021.


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