THEY SANG HOSANNA To the Son of David but few days later, they cried crucify him. Do not allow the sorrow of you tomorrow  kill the joy of your today. When they were shouting hosanna, Jesus knew it would not be long before they crucify him, yet he remained focused: one thing at a time. Jesus has shown that we can overcome persecutions if we are steadfast and accept God’s will for us.

After twelve years of marriage, Iyabo was sent packing from her matrimonial home, by her husband, Kehinde, for her barrenness.  She was also refused accommodation by her two brothers much later. Worst still, Kehinde emptied her account and married her closest friend. She was tempted to seek succor from a native doctor but resisted it when it down on her that the devil wanted her to abandon her faith in God out of frustration and live unholy life.

She thought of the experience at Golgotha when all and sundry watched Jesus humiliated without identifying with him nor protest against his crucifixion. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” Lk 23;34.  So, rather than curse her friend, husband and brothers who earlier benefitted financially from her before they abandoned her, she reluctantly pardoned them while she prayed amid tears and pains.

“If the world hates you, remember that the word hated me before it hated you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world, because the world loves its own.  But you are not of the world since I have chosen you out of the world, because of this, the world hates you.” Jn 15:18-19.

Many Christians are facing persecutions at an alarming rate and there is the tendency to abandon their faith due to what seem unending and unbearable challenges. Some have started selling their children; some have to kill their spouses for flimsy excuses; some take to corruption in the highest order.

If only we realize that God has his mark on all that happens to his people, we will have the courage to wait on him irrespective of the odds. So, develop the right attitude towards persecution: be steadfast and believe in the God of mercy and compassion. He is faithful and does not change. Jesus did not give up his hope in the Father even when his apostles and friends abandoned him on the day of his crucifixion.

God’s plan for us is everlasting while devil’s plan is tentative. If you are able to resist his temptation, God will manifest his grace and miracles in your life. Lekan Adebisi who was alleged to have stormed St John‘s Primary School, Agodo, in Ogun State and hacked two pupils (Mubarak Kalesowo and Sunday Obituyi) to death on Monday, March 12, 2018 said,  “It was due to frustration. When hunger gripped me and it became unbearable, I thought of my life and concluded that it was a bad life. Then I grabbed a machete. I was prepared to face the consequence”

When the odds are against you, retreat and analyze your situation to get to the root of your problem. Then, go to Jesus who suffered for our sake and knows what it takes to survive the test of time. The Psalmist said in Psalm 80:7, “God of host, bring us back; let your face shine on us and we shall be saved.” The Divine Mercy Prayer is beautiful especially in this regard. Thus: “Look kindly upon us and increase your mercy in us , that in difficult moments, we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to your holy will which is love and mercy itself.”

Two deacons were ordained after 15 and 19 years in the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka on 3rd April, 2016. The newly ordained Rev. Fr. Lambert Ejionueme said that despite the challenges  of staying for 19 long years without ordination, he was confident that one day he would become a priest. Rev. Fr. Michael Nwanbueze said that it was the grace of God that kept him for the long wait (15 years), adding that nobody would suffer their kind of fate again in the diocese. “Amen!”

While Mr. Nnadiogo, 47-years-old accused his wife, Chika, 32 of infidelity, she told him repeatedly when they had disagreements, that he was not the father of her children. When he could no longer bear the insult, he killed the four children, ages between two and ten and his housemaid, Ogechi, 18-years-old and took his life on February 24, 2018 in Obosi, Anambra State.  May their souls rest in peace!

No one has ever suffered humiliation like Jesus, yet he did not fight back but accepted the will of his Father for him: the redemption of mankind. When you are in tribulation, remember that God is greater than your mountain of problems: you don’t have to take your life and the lives of your innocent children.

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