The Catholic Church in Zambia says it is concerned with the lack of faith in God among some Christians as people focus more on secular and material things.
Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) ZCCB Secretary General Rev. Fr. Francis Mukosa said there are worldwide fast spreading processes of de-Christianisation sustained by secularisation and materialism that are negatively affecting Christianity.
In the Advent Message 2021 themed “Be on Your Guard!” ZCCB Secretary General Fr. Mukosa stated that there is a crisis of faith among Christians.
Fr. Mukosa, the head of the Catholic Secretariat in Zambia, is now urging the faithful to renew the way they speak to one another, act, their attitude and deeds.
“My fellow Christians, when we look at the world around us with a critical eye, we are able to realize the worldwide fast spreading processes of de-Christianization sustained by secularization and materialism. Some of our Christian faithful have lost their faith in God. While some are more concerned about making sure they do not lose what they have on this earth than to allow God to take a lead in their personal lives and that of their families, others are preoccupied with accommodating modern ideologies on life, marriage and the family. This has led to a generalized crisis of faith,” he stated.
“Some Christians among us do not get involved in aggressively reaching out to the lost, hurt and scattered “sheep” because either they have lost their faith or they have not been sufficiently initiated in the Christian faith. All this justifies the urgency for a New Evangelization in which every Christian faithful is expected to play an active role. The lack of faith Jesus talked about in the parable narrated in the Gospel of St. Luke 18:1-8, is the one motivated by fear; that is, the lack of trust that God really cares about us, individually and collectively, and will take care of us and our needs if we decide to walk with him and let Him have His way into our lives (especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic and its adverse effects). Indeed, there is urgency to reconstitute a society that is God centered.”
“However, we often miss Advent’s power because this period is usually full of preparations for secular Christmas parties. Each year, the businesses around us serve to distract us from having an Advent Season that truly prepares us for the celebration of the coming of the Lord, with its full meaning. However, my humble prayer for all of you is that this Advent Season might be a period of constant prayer and reflection,” Fr. Mukosa wrote.
“My dear brethren, as we wait for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ we are at the same time called to be prepared. And through the Gospel passage of St. Mark, Christ is saying to all of us: “Be on your guard” (Mk 13,33). But what are we expected to do? What are some of the concrete actions that we could execute this Advent Season?”
“To begin with, we need to renew the way we speak. St. Paul exhorts us that: ‘No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as the occasion offers, and do good to your listeners’.Our speech reveals what kind of a person/Christian we are. To illustrate this, St. James talks about the power of the tongue,” Fr. Mukosa said.
He added:”The tongue has power to direct – our word can lead others into the right or wrong. The tongue has power to destroy – the tongue is a small member of the body, but it can cause great destruction. The tongue has power to delight –with the mouth we can bless God, we can build and save someone. Secondly, we need to renew the way we act. As the saying goes: “Action speaks louder than words”. St. Pope Paul VI once said that today we don’t need good teachers, what we need are witnessing teachers.”
“Thirdly, we need to renew our attitude. We have so many attitudes that need to be renewed like boastfulness, faultfinding, misbehavior, indifferentism, work culture and others. Fourthly, we need to renew our deeds. If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. On the other hand, if a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to be confident. If a child lives with praise, he learns to be appreciative. Therefore, we should always be mindful of the people around us in all we do,” Fr. Mukosa said.
“Christians, the Lord expects to be welcomed when he comes. Let us take advantage of this season of Advent to get ready for that great day. The rest of the world may sleep, but we, “the children of light and day”, must stay awake; always on the lookout for the master’s coming; always on our guard,” he concluded.