MOST REV. VALERIAN M. OKEKE
DREAMING OF PEACE
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus, and all men and women of goodwill. I bring you warm greetings of peace.
Facing the realities of the moment, the challenges of corona virus pandemic, the growing economic downturn world wide and the near hopeless situation generated by massive unemployment, violence and youth restiveness, I borrow from the words of our Holy Father, Pope Francis to earnestly appeal to all men and women of goodwill to dream of peace and a better future. In his recent book titled, “Let us Dream,’’ His Holiness assures us that it is the path to a better future.
The old adage tells us that whenever a dream is kept consciously before us it turns into a goal. And when the goal is broken down into small practicable steps it becomes a plan. Consequently, when the plan is backed up by actions with consistency, perseverance and prayer the dream comes true and becomes a reality.
My dear brothers and sisters, let us dream of a better Nigeria, a more peaceful Nigeria. Let us dream of a Nigeria where brotherhood will be the norm. while ethnicity, discrimination and marginalization will be relegated to the dustbin of history. Let us dream of a future Nigeria, where Boko Haram, bandits and men of violence will be sad stories of the past, totally repugnant to the sensibilities and modus operandi of the young and old of the present. Let us dream of a Nigeria where people will not be identified or stigmatized by their religion, their place of origin or mother tongue.
The Bible tells us; Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you (Cf. Matt 7:7). Therefore, let us seek peace and we shall find peace. The Angels sang at the birth of Our Saviour, glory to God in the highest and peace to the men and women of goodwill. Let us show goodwill by dreaming of a better future, a Nigeria filled with peace. The axiomatic law of nature will turn our dream into a goal, the goal into a plan and the plan when backed up by action, consistency, perseverance and prayer will turn our dream into reality. The Venerable Fathers of the Second Vatican Council have advised us that peace though a gift from God,( at the same time) requires human positive consistent actions. Let us today embark on actions that will bring peace. Let us dream of peace, plan for peace and make peace actions our habit. If you can dream it, with God you can make it happen. For nothing is impossible with God. May God bless us with a more peaceful Nigeria and a better world filled with peace through Christ our Lord. Amen
And may God bless all of you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Given in Onitsha, at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, on the 24th day of December 2020.