Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaThursday, December 25, 2014
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ow time flies! Christmas is here again. Christmas hymns are on the air everywhere. The Christmas Carol overcomes the darkness of the night. The Christmas tree is blooming. The Christmas bell is ringing and calling us to come and adore Him. Make haste, let us join the Magi to go and adore the new born King lying in a manger. Bring your gold, frankincense and myrrh. Pope Francis is in the fore-front. Bishop Paulinus Chukwuemeka. Ezeokafor of Awka Diocese follows, with Auxiliary Bishop Jonas Benson Okoye beside him. I can see Bishop Peter Okpaleke of Ahiara Diocese in their midst. Father Amobi Chukwuma is smiling angelically behind them. The priests and religious join the procession. The Choir sings. The People of God in their thousands are everywhere. Santa Klaus is dancing. The Angels are seen coming down from heaven. They are singing, "Glory to God in the highest!" What a beatific vision! I am intoxicated with happiness. It is Christmas. Come, let us adore Him!

At Christmas, God became man. The Word took flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary and was born to redeem the fallen mankind from the gully of sin. By disobedience to God's command, man lost his glory and was driven from Paradise. As a child I did nasty things which merited me some strokes of cane from my mother or my father. At times because of disobedience to my parents, I was denied food and driven out of the room. I cried outside like a professional, calling on my parents for mercy. Out of pity, my father or mother came out to wipe away my tears. I was sternly warned not to do such nasty things again. Then they served my meal. A good mother or father gives you some lashes with the right hand and consoles you with the left hand. In the same way, the merciful God punishes us for our offences, but welcomes us back if we show remorse.

The Incarnation is the greatest love God has for mankind. It is also the greatest miracle. If you were a prince or princess, could you abandon the royal kingdom to take seat among slaves, eating from dungeon with them, in order to save them? If you were Jesus, could you leave heaven to come down on earth to suffer, just to redeem sinful mankind? God is so kind. Therefore at Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Saviour of fallen mankind, the Lord and King Jesus Christ. He is our only hope. We glorify him. We adore him. Jesus, "na you biko!"

Unfortunately, we are no more celebrating the Messiah. Rather we celebrate ourselves. Modernism, materialism and egocentrism have taken over the crib. We are corrupt. Christmas is now a social affair. It is time for various social activities and merriments. Instead of adoring the Saviour, we adore our houses, our cars, our stomachs, etc. A certain man after being over-drunk on Christmas day, exclaimed, "If this is Christmas, let's have it every day!" He ended up sleeping in the market place that very Christmas day. Very early the next day, which was Boxing Day, his family found him snoring at the market place. They just loaded him in a wheel-barrow and brought him home. On reaching home he opened his eyes for the first time and asked, "Where am I?" His furious wife gave him a dirty slap for disgracing the family. The man jumped up from the wheel-barrow and shouted, "Happy Christmas!" The wife angrily replied, "Shame to you!"

On Christmas night, some of us adore darkness rather than the Light. God is Light. The Devil is synonymous with darkness. Darkness is frightening in my childhood days. When I was sent on errand at dark, I complained of being afraid because the evil spirits would catch me. But today evil spirits and some of us dine at the same table without qualms. As some of us go to Church to adore the Lord at Christmas Midnight Mass, others stay outside the church in dark corners adoring the devil through fornication, lesbianism or homosexuality. Some throw fireworks at Jesus Christ who has come to salvage us. Some steal during the Holy Night. Those who have good intentions to adore the Lord at Christmas Night are molested on the way to the Church. Some guys in that Holy Night seduce young girls. Some boys and their girl friends go about naked in the name of Christmas. Few years ago, in a town not far from here, a girl and her boy friend during that year's Christmas Holy Night went to a hotel and soaked themselves in liquor. After series of sexual acrobatic that night, they drove home senseless on a motorbike. There was a big gully on their way home. Because of the high percentage of liquor in their brain, they thought that the gully was an expressway when they saw it. As they sped along, they were together singing, "Come let us adore him!" Their sung was short lived. Their adoration ended up deep inside the gully, both dying at the spot. The vultures in that town used their meat to celebrate Christmas and New Year in the animal world during that year's Yuletide. When they were discovered, only their skeletons, clothes and broken motorbike were the remnant.

At Christmas in some places, the PhD holders do not go to sleep. Are you a PhD holder? What type of PhD do I mean? It is simply, "Pull him/her down." This type of degree is awarded in Shoel School of Demons. At graduation, certificates are awarded to successful candidates. Please look at your certificates well to know if you have this type of PhD. Their motto is: See, kill and rejoice. Their symbol is human skeleton. No wonder some people who go home for Christmas do not return to their places of abode alive. Many have gone. As you eat and drink during Christmas period, beware of PhD holders! Thank God I have only Masters Degree. I want to master good and avoid evil.

At Christmas, some adore money by selling at exorbitant prices. Commuters hike transportation fees to get rich over night. The drivers involved therefore over-speed at the detriment of passengers' lives. They forget that life has no duplicate. Armed robbers and kidnappers search for their prey as their own Christmas celebration. For them, money is greater than human life. The men in secret cult sacrifice their wives, children and wards in order to be rich. When they go home for Christmas celebration, they are the talk of the town. They use Naira notes and Dollars as foot-mats. At social occasions they spread money like leaves falling from trees. Even in the church they are respected for being the highest donors. There was a story of a very popular and flamboyant man who built a magnificent Chapel of Prayer in the Church at his hometown. Tongues were wagging because of the donor's dubious life. One day he went into the Chapel he built and knelt down, pretending to pray. The anger of God struck him inside there and he became mad. In few minutes he was seen dancing naked in the market-place and confessing his evil deeds. The villagers surrounded him, raining abuses on him. Today he is the chairman of Mad People's Association.

My dear people, a stitch in time saves nine. Let us use this Christmas period for sober reflection. Are we on the right track or are we running outside the track? What is Christmas for you and me? How many Christmas have we celebrated? Is it quality or quantity that matters? When we were in boarding school in my secondary school days, soup was never sufficient. Consequently, some of us top the soup with a cup of hot water. For such students, quantity, and not quality, matters. Have we decided to celebrate qualitative Christmas this year? If so, come, let us prostrate and adore the Lord and nothing else. May God forgive our past evil deeds done in the name of Christmas! Merry Christmas!!