Homily for the Solemnity of Our Lady Queen of Nigeria
Theme: Our lady’s intercession ends hostility and brings the peace of Christ to us.
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Tuesday October 1 2019
SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY QUEEN AND PATRONESS OF NIGERIA, OCTOBER 1ST 2019
READINGS: Isaiah 11: 1-10, Ps. 72, Ephesians 2: 13-22, Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23
The Universal Church in her liturgical calendar celebrates the feast of St Theresa of the Child Jesus on 1st October but the Local Church of Nigeria as patriotic indigenous people celebrates the Nation today on her independence. The Church prays for our nation since in October 1st, 1960 the Bishops of Nigeria consecrated Nigeria on her independence day to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Queen and Patroness of Nigeria. As Nigeria celebrates her 57th Independence anniversary, the Church again re-consecrates this nation to the same heart of Mary. The Church reminds our Blessed Mother that this nation has been handed over to her heart the very day it got her Independence because of the trust we have in her powerful intercession. The Church knows that anything handed over to Mary is safe and protected, is under divine supervision and has peace. Mary our Mother is known as the Queen of Peace and whoever and whichever nation that is consecrated to her would have hostility of the world ceased and peace inaugurated.
Beloved, we thank God for the gift of this nation and the gift of our great intercessor the Blessed Virgin Mary who has been seeing this nation through many trials and almost impossible situations. We all know that this nation has been always in the closest vicinity of war and disaster but Mary’s intercession has seen us through them and maintained our peace and unity. Without this woman I do not know what would have befallen this nation especially in the 2015 General election when war was imminent and prophesied by many people including foreign countries. Even since two years now, this nation has been under crisis and sitting on the cage of gun-powder with many holds of peace eroded. We see many tribal dissatisfactions, sentimental cries and ethnic hatred and hate speeches. We have seen insurgence, Boko Haram, clamour for cessation, menace of Fulani Herdsmen and other undemocratic governing principles. Nigeria has been plunged by politician into economic meltdown and hardship as many go to bed hungry. There are kidnaps and killing of priests and religious, and persecutions of Christians in many places especially in the Northern part of Nigeria, corruption and immorality, ritual killings and assassinations, clamour for legalization of abortion, culture of disrespect of elders, leaders and culture of sacredness are almost wiped out. Our health and educational systems are in shambles and many things anger the youths to take up arms and fight. Beloved, in all these situations facing Nigeria peace has been the gift of Christ to us, peace that the world cannot give. Mary our Mother the Queen of Peace has continued to intercede for this nation for peace and this nation is more than ever admonished to take up the arm of the Holy Rosary especially in this month of October to fight all these battles as she did in the battle of Lepanto and in the peace of Fatima.
Beloved, the first reading today reminds us that the Son of Mary Christ Jesus came up as a shoot from the root of Jesse to spring up peace for his people. He came to us with the spirit of understanding, wisdom, counsel and might, knowledge of God and the fear of the Lord. He brings us righteousness and faithfulness so that hostility which the ancient devil brought us would be destroyed and peace inaugurated as signified by the peace that would exist between the wolf and the lamb, leopard and the kid, calf and the lion, the child and the dangerous snake and the little child shall lead them in peace. Mary gives the world the Spirit of his Child Jesus to make us forgive one another, receive one another and forget the trespasses of the past and then move together as children do. She asks us to remove animosity and hatred which her Son shall destroy on the Holy Mountain. So all those who were far off the threshold of peace are brought back now to Christ who is now our peace with his Mother the Queen of peace. They both create in us a new people of peace making us have the heart of reconciliation with each party, tribe and ethnic groups. Paul reminds us today that in this nation Nigeria no one is a stranger or should be made one but that we are and should be citizens of this great country. We are saints and members of this common household of God called Nigeria.
Beloved, let us hear the voice of God calling us like it did Joseph telling all of us to rise and take this Nigeria and her children and citizens to a spiritual Egypt for safety from the hands of the evil ones who want to destroy us. There are many Herods (Leaders, politicians and supposed elder statesmen) that have the mission to sink the ship of Nigeria. The Lord has prophesied to give us peace and respite and this has to be done with the cooperation of all and sundry through devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. Looking at the troubles of insecurity that has worsened and the spate of killing even priests and religious in Nigeria one wonders the essence of celebrating Independence. With the myriads of troubles that time should have overcome and that are humanly avoidable and redeemable it becomes unbelievable that Nigeria is 58 years old today with nothing to show.
We pray that the devotion of the few faithful Nigerians of which you should be one of them would grant us the powerful intercession of Mary whom we honour as our Queen and Patroness. May this peace signified by the roles of Mary and Jesus flourish in our days especially this turbulent moment of the Nigerian history, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf