The Apostolic Nuncio said that King David was forgiven with the birth of the would-be King Solomon who restored the peace that had been lost.
“Solomon is the man who restores the lost peace and even builds the Lord's temple,” he said, and added, “The same can happen to any Church leader when they enjoy privileges and lose sight of God. This happens when the struggle for power, wealth and desires take root.”
“To live like God doesn't exist happens to all of us. We give importance to power, money and other desires while God takes the last place in our lives. God is only called upon when it's convenient, sometimes when we have to look at death in the eye,” he said.
According to the 60-year-old Catholic Church diplomat, members of the Clergy and women and men Religious sometimes fall in the same temptation to yearn for material gain.
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“When we claim to have given our lives to Jesus, are we always honest with ourselves? When we do a lot of development projects and claim it is for the glory of God, is this always so? Do we always involve God in the development projects? Sometimes, the projects are more about me, about my legacy than for God,” he said.
The Nairobi-based Archbishop added, “A leader who struggles with sin and their weakness should listen to the story of David and know that there is always consolation in the midst of darkness.”
Like the Archdiocese of Kisumu that is starting a new chapter with the incoming Archbishop, a new chapter was also opened in the scripture with the coming of Mary and Joseph as the foster parents of Jesus, Archbishop van Megen said.
He said that the clan of Joseph, however much important it might have been, “doesn’t really matter in the Gospel.”
The Dutch-born Apostolic Nuncio added, in reference to Joseph’s royal and Priestly descent, “The whole long genealogy, the whole family tree doesn’t really count… This might be a message for all of us that when you want to be a leader in God’s Church, you have to step away from your clan, your family, your tribe and your personal interests.”
“A leader in the Church, whether a Christian faithful, in a Congregation, a Priest or Bishop, is not called to represent his family, his clan. He's called into a new family. He becomes a citizen of the kingdom of God,” the representative of the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan said.
A leader, he further said, is not called into a life of comfort or a place to develop his career.
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“A leader in the Church should follow the example of St. Joseph and be a steward of the Church. One has to be aware that he's called to the service of the Church,” the Nuncio said.
He went on to emphasize, “Nothing of the Church belongs to the Bishop; but on the contrary, the Bishop belongs to the Church.”
Addressing himself to the newly installed Local Ordinary during the March 19 event, the Apostolic Nuncio said, “Dear Archbishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba, may St. Joseph be your intercessor and your example. May he intercede for you in your delicate task of leading the Archdiocese.”
“May you give your life for the Church, and may you be supported by the Christians of the Archdiocese of Kisumu and the Clergy of this great Metropolitan city, which you are called to serve. St. Joseph, protector of the Holy Church, pray for us. Amen,” Archbishop van Megen implored.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.