Witnessing in the political arena

By Rev. Fr. Evaristus Chuma Nnamene

At the end of every Mass, we carry Christ whom we have received as Word and as Food to witness to Him at all the different spheres of our lives. One of the areas that ask for urgent witnessing is our political arena. Witnessing to Christ in our political arena is of paramount importance.

This is because the political arena is the pivotal point of our society. It is because of its importance that the Political Enlightenment Commission of Nsukka Diocese floated a political summit for all those vying for posts in the forthcoming 2015 elections.

The event took place last Saturday 8th November 2014. The podium of the Cathedral Church Nsukka was filled to the brim by politicians drawn from different parties who are vying for such elective posts to represent different parts of Enugu State and particularly Nsukka area at different strata of government.

The occasion was a golden opportunity for each of them to showcase his/her manifesto, and woo potential voters to pick interest in them, and vote them into power. Those politicians who gathered were mostly Christians. Some of them were Catholics, and others were Christians of other denominations. It was likely none of them was of the African Traditional Religion. What a boost to Christians!

Apart from those who had never held elected offices - who just wanted to be elected for the first time; there were others who were vying for reelections. Those vying for reelections have been in office for about four years or more. If you had opportunity to come one on one with any of them, what would you tell them? What would you ask them of their stewardship?

You may probably find yourself asking them one of these questions: How far have they brought the light of Christ to those leadership positions they occupy? For those of them who are Catholics, has the Holy Eucharist ever been of relevance to them? What is the light they have brought to governance that could be associated to the table where they are fed at Mass?

In the distribution of the dividends of democracy, how far has the light of Christ been allowed to shine through the process to guarantee justice, far play, and equal rights? How far has that light guaranteed the distribution of amenities beyond party and loyalist lines - to include every citizen, and every community?

It is really when answers to the above or similar questions are given in the positive that we imagine we have solid witnessing to Christ in our political arenas. The teaching of Pope Paul VI about modern man is even more relevant today because of the obvious fact that our lifestyles are overshadowing our voices.

According to him modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses (Evangelii Nuntiandi n. 41). We need to take the message of Christ to our political arenas because to us belong the duty and responsibility to sanitize our political arenas. Everyone - both the leaders and followers have respective roles to play. Adjust your sleeves let us get it done.

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