Monrovia — On a day commemorating Fast and Prayer day in Liberia, a prelate says corruption has eaten up the Liberian society, becoming the daily bread why greed and selfishness are leading the nation into a place where its people are discussing same sex marriage, others depriving their fellow citizens of livelihood and other evil vices have taken over the country.
Catholic Arch Bishop Louis Ziegler delivering the Fast and Prayer Day sermon told a congregation, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other senior government officials that thousands of Liberians are compelled to fast because they do not have food to eat as a consequence of the greed by others who take what is meant for the common good.
"Today you and I are fasting; we are praying, what are we going to do tomorrow? What are we going to do in our offices? In the market places, in the streets, or wherever we find ourselves? Are we going back to business as usual? If that is the case, then there is no fasting, yes, we are fasting for only one day, or we have fasted for this week, that is not enough, what about our brothers and sisters who are compelled to fast every day, they are compelled because they do not have.
The Archbishop said Liberians take many things for granted, but those are the vices hurting the country "There are many abuses amongst us which maybe we take for granted, a nation that has God as its father is talking about and discussing same sex marriage, where are we going as a nation? Calling temptations on ourselves, corruption is our daily bread".
"Now this (corruption) is on all levels, it comes from the family throughout to the top. If I had the time, I would demonstrate, a little bit where it is, because when we talk about corruption, we only think about those only up there, but deep down there, it is there and is being practiced every day. Now where is the training ground for this? It is within the family; let us work on that, our conscience, for the conscience of this nation seems to be dead, dead to sin and it needs to be reawakened."
Corruption, the religious leader said is deeply rooted in every fabric of the Liberian society beginning with the family onward to the top, begging the congregation that if he had the time he could further demonstrate the high level of corruption in Liberia.
"Let us pay attention to the issues of hatred for another, for the issues of lying on one another; this is very serious in this country. The issue of corruption that has eaten up our society, the wicked words, the yokes and burden that we place on others, the self-centeredness that prevents us from responding to the needs of others, and that greed that keeps us only for ourselves", said the Catholic Prelate.
Said Arch Bishop Ziegler: "Now this is for all levels, it comes from the family throughout to the top. If I had the time, I would demonstrate, a little bit where it is, because when we talk about corruption, we only think about those only up there, but deep down there, it is there and is being practiced every day. Now where is the training ground for this? It is within the family; let us work on that, our conscience, for the conscience of this nation seems to be dead, dead to sin and it needs to be reawakened, We need to be grateful to God, the Almighty Father, we need to seek pardon for our many sins, we must pray for good and healthy living in this country. Not only pray, but we must also work towards that".
Greed Making Liberians Poor, hungry?
Archbishop Ziegler blasted that because of greed some Liberians do not care about others and are making others to become poor and go hungry.
Said the Archbishop: "Why are they poor? Why are they hungry? We may excuse ourselves and we say they are lazy to work, that does not say the fact. Why is it not because we are too greedy? We are too selfish to see? Is it not because we are so self-centered? For instance, if you use that fund given to you that was meant to be used for the common good and you use it for yourself, do you realize that you have the conscience that you are depriving thousand others of the good things of life".
He lamented that some individuals in the Liberian society take away what is meant for the majority leaving others in poverty and sending them to their early graves. "If you use that drugs or those drugs that were given to you to be used in the hospitals, clinics and you use it for yourself, do you realize the number of persons you are sending to their early graves? If you rape that poor little girl, that poor child, are you not aware that you have destroyed her life and many others? In all of these actions my dear brothers and sisters are acts of greed and because of greed we are selfish, because of selfishness, there is no love for God in our hearts", stated the religious leader."
Looking for Justice
The Fast and Prayer day preacher told the audience and the nation that God is looking for justice in the country, where every Liberian will have a share of the national resources of the state.
"God is looking for justice, God is looking for Love, God is looking for us to share with one another because we are made in the image and likeness of God. What we are to let go on this day of fasting is not only food and drinks, but to let go our greed and our selfishness".
In general, he said fasting is done in order to give praise and thanks to God and begin to love each other and do what is right as a nation and people. He challenged the President, senior government officials and the entire nation see the fast and prayer as a time for a change from the old ways of doing things.
"Madam President, my brothers and sisters of the council, honorable ladies and gentlemen, my dearest brothers and sisters and fellow citizens, it is clear that we know the kind of fasting that God wants from us and it is that God has requested from us today and the days and the months and years that will follow because this fast is not only for today, it should bring changes in our lives".
According to him, there are uncountable reasons why Liberians should fast and pray because there are many things Liberians take for granted.
Nation experiencing breakdowns
Archbishop Ziegler said Liberians need to fast and pray because the nation is experiencing breakdowns in the system. "Why must we fast? As a nation in this country, today, why should we fast? Do we have to? Yes, we have uncountable reasons why we need to fast; we need to call for a few days to give thanks to God, to praise his name but to sincerely look at ourselves as individuals and as citizens of this country. When a nation and its people start to experience some breakdowns in certain systems it is time to stop, to turn to God with full heart, mind and strength, -to examine itself to see where we are, as people of this nation".
He continued "My brothers and sisters, let us take a close look at ourselves as we give thanks to God, as we pray to move forward. Our life and style---our lack of respect for each other. Who are we? We insult each other other publicly, on the media, we insult our leaders and sometimes our leaders pay back. We have to stop, we have to look at ourselves, we have to make that change in our lives, we have deep hatred for each other, very deep, not only on the local level, but also on the political level, this too has to stop if we move forward as a people".
Fasting, Archbishop Ziegler said is medicinal as it is a medicine meant to cure a sickness and in this case that sickness is our sin, which if rightfully performed like the medicine that is given patients by doctors, fasting will bring changes lives of Liberians.