‘Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him…and he was cured.’ Mk 1:41,42 There is a Problem There is a saying that a person who asks questions does not lose his way. The Israelites failed to ask questions after suffering a loss at the hands of the Philistines and the death casualty they suffered rose from four thousand to thirty four thousands soldiers in a single day. What was the problem? They had turned their backs on God. They we idolatrous and hypocritical as a people. Their priests were scandalous and sacrilegious. They worshipped God with their lips, pretty much like many people today, but their hearts were far away from him. Many people are satisfied to go to Church on Sundays. They have no qualms saying “I want to thank God…” when giving an acceptance speech. Underneath this robe of religiosity is the rot of sacrilege. We are not afraid of God, we have lost our sense of wonder and awe. Our lives betray a selfish, greedy and wasteful mentality. Yesterday on the radio, the senator noted for always making “commonsense” stated that Nigeria currently owes over 64 Billion Dollars  (over 23 trillion Naira) which amounts to 12% of our GDP. The reasons for the debts still remains: bad roads, no new schools, no security, no electricity or water supply. Nothing! Worse still, we are piling debts for our children and grandchildren to inherit. We are satisfied to either pay tithes on stolen more or simply lock it up in bank vaults. As a nation we are at once poor and wasteful. The wealth of a people is determined by the state of its poor and vulnerable ones and not by the riches of its privileged few.

There is a Solution
We have grown deaf to the Prophet Micah’s admonition to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). Religion without commonsense is stupidity. God has blessed our country in every possible way. He created us and gifted us with prudence (a fancy word for “commonsense”). He expects us to bend our knees in prayer and afterwards apply our hands to labour for our daily bread. He expects us to know that you do not call God out in the open and fail to acknowledge Him in private. You do not deep your hand into the fire and still believe you won’t get burnt. We are on a dangerous path, a suicidal one at best. Let us acknowledge our leprous state and ask God for healing as did the leper in the Gospel. The one who is sick must acknowledge his illness before medication is given. Let the fall of Israel to the Philistines serve as a deterrent to our senseless stubbornness.
Lord, heal us of stubbornness and the malady of sin. Turn our hearts to you and our eyes to our poor and suffering neighbour. Bring us back to the path of righteousness.
Today’s Readings
1Sam 4:1-11; Ps 44:10-11,14-15,24-25; Mk 1:40-45