LUSAKA Catholic Archbishop Alick Banda says the kind of tribal and hateful speech predominant in society does not inspire in the search for common solutions for a better Zambia but heightens resentment and hatred for one another.
In an advent message – 2019 Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace, Archbishop Banda said the full knowledge of the Lord comes from listening to the Word of God, as St Paul says: “Faith comes from hearing”.
“Our faith and indeed our knowledge of the Lord will bring about: enlightenment, purity of mind and heart, and inspiration to decency and magnanimity. However, the knowledge of the Lord – the Prince of Peace reminds us of our opportunity to a change of heart and the necessity for an honest conversion. It reiterates our duty to live peaceably with one another, and to cultivate the practice of reaching out to one another in love and respect; and building bridges of friendship and companionship,” he said.
Archbishop Banda said it reverberated the need to forgive and forget and that it fostered trust between individuals and groupings.
“As we await the birth of the Prince of Peace, it is our duty to cultivate a culture of speaking kindly to one another and about others. The kind of tribal and hateful speech predominant in our society, does not inspire in the search for common solutions for a better Zambia but heightens resentment and hatred for one another,” Archbishop Banda said.
“It can be so amazing how a little kindness would go a long way to setting the tone not only of a happy society, but also of a loving, caring and supportive society. Therefore, let us not praise and celebrate others when they are dead. The right time is now.”
He said this season of hope inspired people to develop a landscape that forgives and forgets.
Archbishop Banda said resentment and hatred were moral cancers that eat away at the enthusiasm to do good and to move on with life.
“Thus, it is imperative to do good at all times, regardless; by hanging out together with others, working cheerfully, supporting one another and putting our time, our talents and our treasures at the disposal of everyone and for the benefit of all,” he said. “The knowledge of Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace cautions us to be wary of the ‘dictatorship of relativism’ which threatens to obscure the unchanging truth about man’s nature, his destiny and his ultimate good. Let us be wary and guard ourselves against uncouth and abnormal tendencies to our Christian and cultural values of our nation.”
Archbishop Banda said it was necessary to value one another and not on account of one’s contributions but for what.
“In our advent message last year, we were concerned with the climate condition with its adverse effects threatening our common home; the unending political rivalry between the political divide – threatening peace and tranquility; the economical war between the West and the East making a toll on our emerging economy; the willful manipulation of information to suit interest groupings; and the degeneration of objectivity and civility in addressing issues. These matters are still haunting us,” he said.
“We are privileged once again with the Season of Advent, a providential time of waiting of the greatest miracle when God became man and dwelt amongst us (John l:14). This season as it were offers us a favourable time not only of waiting but also of preparing ourselves for the birth of our Lord.”
Archbishop Banda said advent was a period of hope that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, would reign over the land and bestow blessings.
“He will inspire peace and tranquility; and will cause growth trajectory. In an allegorical language, the prophet Isaiah gives us a glimpse of what awaits us: ‘Then wolves will live in peace with lambs, and leopards will lie down to rest with goats. Calves, lions, and young bulls will eat together… in peace. They will not hurt or destroy each other on all my holy mountain, because the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the sea is full of water’ (Is. 1 1:6-9),” he said.
Archbishop Banda said the season was therefore not only a time of waiting and preparing for the coming of the Lord, but also an invitation to the full knowledge of the Lord.
“May the Prince of Peace teach us to talk about things that have value and not necessarily the price. Instead of being cynical, let us be filled with admiration and respect for one another. In the face of fragmentation, we are called to restraint, responsibility and commitment, especially towards others, work and public property,” said Archbishop Banda.