There is virtue in selfless service to the people

While the events of Good Friday were about the ultimate sacrifice paid by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary, today is much more significant in that it marks His resurrection after defeating the power of death. In the words of the Australian Catholic Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, “all the blood and tears of the world” that were “gathered up on the Cross” will give birth today to “the songs of joy which are unique to Easter, music that reaches beyond all our disappointment, disillusionment and depression”.

As we rejoice with Christians all over the world, there is a lot in the Easter story that resonates not only for them but indeed for all humanity. The sacrifice, love and mercy that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ exemplified are some of the enduring values of Easter that transcend doctrine and they are worthy to be reflected upon by all Nigerians, especially at a time like this when we are increasingly suffused with rhetoric of hate and incitement to violence. Easter indeed demands that we all rise above bitterness by becoming beacons of hope and peace wherever we find ourselves.

We are well aware that, just like Christmas, Easter celebrations have not only become mundane but have also taken on traditions that sometimes seem to overshadow the real essence of the season. Yet it is important to pause and reflect on the central message of Easter which is about the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross so that adherents of the faith would enjoy the blessing of joy on earth and the promise of eternal life.

This enduring message which is about love can be transmitted by sharing with the less privileged of our society not only material possessions but also through simple gestures like kind words and sincere smiles. Unfortunately, that is where we fail most miserably. And the tragedy of that failure can be seen in the poverty and deprivation of majority of our people. But to the extent that with Easter, death did not get the final word and an empty tomb was not the end of the story, there is still much more that we can all do and hope for in Nigeria.

Therefore, as we mark the triumph of the risen Christ, people in authority in our country, at all levels, must begin to imbibe the lessons of Easter. Jesus Christ is such an eloquent testimony to the virtue of selfless service to the people. Throughout His earthly sojourn, He lived among the people, spent his whole life with them and shared in their anxieties, hopes and aspirations. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, consoled the sorrowful and wept for the dead. He remains a model for those who would lead, especially at a time when human miseries continue to worsen.

Christians stake their eternal destiny on the message of Easter which is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ who demonstrated a remarkable form of servant leadership, by washing the feet of His disciples in the days preceding His death on the Cross. What Easter then demands of them, and indeed all of us, is the need to shun unbridled individualism. It is only when we adopt this selfless attitude that we would be able to focus attention on other people, their safety and welfare as well as the optimal allocation of scarce resources for effective implementation of policies for the greater good of our society.

As the message of a resurrected Jesus Christ continues to give hope, peace and strength to people around the world, we wish all our readers a very happy Easter.

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It is only when we adopt selfless attitude that we would be able to focus attention on other people, their safety and welfare as well as the optimal allocation of scarce resources for effective implementation of policies for the greater good of our society