The resurrection of Jesus gives us and sustains in us the undying hope which the gospel message gives. The hope that goodness will triumph over evil, light over darkness, truth over falsehood, life over death. Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, in the Holy book the Bible, God asked Cain in the book of Genesis chapter 4 Vs 9, where is your Brother? The reply from Cain was quick and sharp, “I do not Know”, “am I my brother’s Keeper? “But the Lord did not let him go rather he said listen, the sound of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Then what followed was a curse on Cain.
My dear Brothers and Sisters, as we celebrate the Easter which is the feast of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, we recall that the Lord suffered and went to the Cross to liberate men from sin and death. Jesus accepted the Cross to save the human race. Jesus suffered and died to win eternal happiness for us who are his brothers and sisters. In other words, Jesus died to give us life. He died to be his brother’s keeper.
Today in Nigeria, there is too much violence, we battle with kidnappers, bandits, killer- herdsmen, Boko Haram insurgents, not to mention, political violence coming from those who see political office as do or die battle.
I hereby call on all Nigerians and all men and women of goodwill to be their brother’s and sister’s keeper. If you believe that there is only one God who created all human beings then stop killing others because they are your brothers and sisters. The blood of our brothers and sisters being killed by herdsmen, by bandits, by boko haram and kidnappers are crying to God for vengeance. If we want a glorious future, let us work for it today. If we want a better country let us be our brothers’ keeper.
I urge the government to look into our security structures. As the saying goes, if you build good walls around your house or your palace and fail to build the character of your gateman – if your gatemen are murderers and thieves then you are still living with the enemy in your palace, your beautiful walls notwithstanding. In the spirit of Easter, following the example of Christ who sacrificed himself to save mankind, let us make the necessary sacrifices to be our brother’s keeper. When we become our brother’s keeper, we will share in the victory of Christ who triumphed over suffering and death and rose from the dead. Again, Be your Brothers’ keeper.
May the Lord bless you as you do so, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen Happy Easter
MOST REV. VALERIAN M. OKEKE Archbishop of Onitsha