Amid Life’s Challenges, “remain focussed on Christ”: Bishop in Zambia in Lenten Message

Bishop Benjamin Phiri of Zambia’s Ndola Diocese. Credit: Ndola Diocese

Bishop Benjamin Phiri of Zambia’s Ndola Diocese has called on Christians to nurture a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and maintain their focus on Him amid “many” life’s challenges. 

In his 2024 Lenten Message, Bishop Phiri cautions Christians against sinful lifestyles.

“Remain focussed on Christ, regardless of the many political, social, economic, and spiritual challenges that we are going through,” he says in his message published Sunday, February 18.

Describing the challenges the people of God encounter as “insurmountable”, Bishop Phiri urges steadfastness in the ways of the Lord, and adds, “The angels of God are and shall remain administering to us.”

“God will always watch over his faithful,” says the Church leader who has been at the helm of Ndola Diocese since his installation in August 2020.


He goes on to caution against following the value system of “the world today”. He says, “The world today in the name of modernity or progressive thinking is presenting to us different situations of sin, such as corruption; drunkenness; and social aggrandizement; among other vices that are apparently eye-catching to us.” 

“Like at the time of Noah, these worldly pleasures are (blinding) us from seeing and responding to the real love of God that shall give us eternal satisfaction,” Bishop Phiri says, and continues, “Suffering or walking with the suffering Jesus entails abandoning our wicked ways in order to offer ourselves totally to the service of God and His Church.”

The Catholic Church leader, who started his Episcopal Ministry in January 2011 as Auxiliary Bishop of Zambia’s Chipata Diocese underscores the need to resist temptations in the example of Jesus, who, in the Gospel of the First Sunday of Lent, was driven into the desert by the Holy Spirit and was tempted by Satan.

The Lenten Season, Bishop Phiri says, “is a moment when we have to emulate Jesus in resisting different temptations of our time.”

“The Book of Genesis (9:8-25), reminds us of the fact that we are a covenantal people, who are destined to bask in the love of God. This love puts us into the bosom of the providential care of God,” the Zambian Catholic Bishop says in his 2024 Lenten Message.

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He adds, “This is the more reason why we need to rise to the occasion of this season of purification that God has granted us, to rid ourselves of all sinful earthly entanglements.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.