Let’s Not Allow Recurrent Challenges to “extinguish our hopes”: Archbishop to Nigerians

Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama of Nigeria's Abuja Archdiocese. Credit: Abuja Archdiocese

The Catholic Archbishop of Nigeria’s Abuja Archdiocese has cautioned the people of God in the West African nation against despair amid recurrent challenges in the country.

In his Sunday, February 4 homily at St. Catherine of Sienna, Pastoral Area, Maitama II, Mpape of his Metropolitan See, Archbishop Ignatius A. Kaigama drew inspiration from the Readings of the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time to emphasize the need to “trust in the Lord.”

“The readings challenge us to courageously go on doing good rather than allow the prevailing difficulties extinguish our hopes,” Archbishop Kaigama said. 

Referring to the Gospel reading, he said, “In all our sufferings let us trust in the Lord, like Simon’s mother-in-law, that He may come to us, grasp our hands, and raise us up to health, give us inner joy and peace and heal our society.”

The Nigerian Catholic Archbishop expressed his awareness of the recurrent challenges the people of God in the West African nation were facing.


Nigerians’ challenges, he said, included “sickness, unemployment, insecurity, economic hardship, strained relationships, difficult marriages, loss of loved ones, etc.”

The Catholic Church leader went on to decry the increasing security challenge in Africa’s most populous nation, saying, “Farmers cannot go to farms and return safely; many sleep at night not sure to survive another attack on their homes.”

On the economic front, Archbishop Kaigama lamented, “the aggressive hike in the price of things due to the colossal fall of the Naira is to say the least very worrisome.”

The myriad of challenges can provide a justification for “a state of despair, confusion, hopelessness and doubt,” he said, adding that “in such moments we ask questions such as: God, where are you? Why me? What have I done wrong?”

“Our faith does not immunize us against suffering,” the Local Ordinary of Abuja since his installation in December 2019 observed.

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He continued, “As Christians, we must remember that in all the pains we bear, we are not alone. God is present, and He has healing and transformative power. It is in suffering that He tests our faith.”

Like Job, who trusted in God despite his loses and sufferings, the Nigerian Catholic Church leaader said referring to the first reading, there is need to remain “positive and optimistic”.

“We are bound to face many trials, but the question is, can we have the faith of Job?” he posed. 

Archbishop Kaigama, who started his Episcopal Ministry in April 1995 as the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Jalingo Diocese emphasized the need to establish and nurture a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ.

He urged the people of God in Nigeria to “call on Jesus to intervene in our sick bodies, families, society, to heal and mend broken hearts, severed relationships, and grant comfort to the neglected, sorrowful, and the very poor among us, above all, grant freedom and liberation to the many who are now the victims of the increasing cases of kidnapping.”


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