Wednesday May 9, 2018 Weekday of Easter (6) Vestment: White Today’s Rosary: The Glorious Mysteries


Entrance Antiphon
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will tell of your name to my kin, alleluia.

Collect
Grant, we pray, O Lord, that, as we celebrate in mystery the solemnities of your Son’s Resurrection, so, too, We may be worthy to rejoice at his coming with all the Saints. Through our Lord…

FIRST READING
“What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.”
A reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 17: 15.22-18: 1)
In those days: Those who conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens; and receiving a command for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they departed. So Paul, standing in the middle of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To an unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring. ’ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the Deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, a representation by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead.” Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, “We will hear you again about this.” So Paul went out from among them. But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them. After this he left Athens and went to Corinth.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 148:1-2.11-12.13.14
R.
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Or: Alleluia.

Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts. R.

Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all judges of the earth,
young men and maidens as well,
the old together with the young. R.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted,
his splendour above heaven and earth. R.

He exalts the strength of his people.
He is the praise of all his faithful,
the praise of the children of Israel,
of the people to whom he is close. R.

ALLELUIA John 14:16
Alleluia. I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor, to be with you forever.Alleluia

GOSPEL
“The Spirit of truth will guide you into all the truth.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 16:12-15)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “1 have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Gospel of the Lord.


REFLECTION
Ignorance is a great weapon used by the devil. It is opposed to truth and knowledge. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Ignorance can make someone to place priority in the wrong place or mistake a blessing for a curse or a creature for the Creator. Ignorance prevented the Athens from knowing the true God. Their ignorance was excusable because they had not received the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to lead anyone who accepts him into the complete truth. The Holy Spirit makes culpable ignorance inexcusable and every Christian a constant learner. Have you received the Holy Spirit?

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AN OPEN LATER TO THE GOVERNOR OF PLATEAU STATE -BY LAGYA CHINDONGNAAN QRACKER

Lagya Qracker Chindongnaan
An Open Letter to the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Rt. Hon. Barr. Simon Bako Lalong, on his decision to welcome the Creation of Cattle Ranching/Colony for Fulani Herders in the State.
Sir,
It did sound so weird/insecure when we (Plateau citizens) heard after your meeting with Chief Audu Ogbeh (Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources & Rural Dev.) in Abuja, 9 weeks ago making a comment which I quote,
“I happen to be one of the persons that keyed into the ranching policy when it was introduced.
‘‘We saw some lands in Plateau & we provided them for the implementation of the policy.
“We also heard about the introduction of another one, that is the cattle colony & I said let me still come back again. We will also key into this policy.’’
SBL, Jan. 11th, 2018. Vanguard.
I’ve got some few questions for you Sir.
Whose lands are going to be given to the Fulanis to rear their cows?
Ain’t the Fulanis have their ancestral lands that they inherited from their parents to use it for pasturing their animals?
Can’t they go back to their State(s) to rear their cows in any manner they want it (ranching or open grazing since cattle rearing is their major Income Generating Activity (IGA) )?
If they must rear them in other states, can’t they buy the lands from individuals who are willing to sell/rent/gift/borrow it to them?
Must Federal Government forcefully collect pieces land (which I know must be very fertile) from lawful owners in all States to give a particular ethnic group to run their personal businesses/IGA at the expense of rightful owners?
Sir, you can recall that the proposed cattle ranching/colony, when announced was met with stiff resistance & total rejection from indigenes of your State, as well as various individuals, pressure groups in Nigeria & even beyond.
You’re of the knowledge Sir, that in our dear State & in almost all States of Nigeria, land is acquired through inheritance, renting, gifting, buying or borrowing. You can attest that our major economic activity in the State is farming, but we’ve never ask FG to collect lands from any State to give us to farm our yams, potatoes, maize, g/corn, g/nut, or to rear our pigs, goats, sheep, cows, birds, rabbits, fishes et.c. just to mention a few.
Rather in places/State we go to, we try & establish strong ties with the people & acquire lands thru peaceful/lawful processes. Knowing sure that my people (Kwalla from Quaan-Pan) are predominantly farmers thereby making us nomadic as we do wander around neighbouring States in search of greener pastures.
Can’t Fulanis practise same? Or could it be that cattle rearing is of special interest/benefit to the Government of the day to an extent that lands must be forcefully given out for it?
What do the country & the land owners stand to gain from it?
Lastly, if lands must be forcefully given to a particular ethnic group to farm/rear animals across the 36 States for their personal business/IGA, then I’ll rather call it a “CONQUEST” Mission by/for such a tribe.
I, Lagya Chindongnaan Qracker said
# NoToCattleColony
# YesToCattleRearing
I’m writing for my beloved Kwalla, Quaan-Pan & Plateau State as a whole with a believe that am not far from the truth if at all am not there.

JUDAS (THE TRAITOR )EPISODE 30

JUDAS EPISODE 30 ..

I hadn’t had time to take the drugs I bought when I lost my footing and fell with a thud just before the glass doors held a jar by the janitor. I heard distant voices in the background and someone shutting the door, followed by silence. My eyes opened and squinted again from the bright lights that hit my retina and gave me a tough time recognising that I was in a hospital ward. I tried to sit up but my head refused to follow my will. It felt like lead against my skull. I groaned from pain and bit my lower lip as the thoughts of my last few conscious hours flashed back. Tears trickled down the sides of my eyes on to the bed as I sobbed. Thankfully the door opened and a young nurse walked in with a broad smile that felt like home. The name tag on her uniform read Sabatnelly. “How are you feeling?” She asked while placing a hand on my forehead. “Where am I?” I ignored her question. “You don’t have to worry about anything madam.” She grinned and felt my pulse. “You’re at Dr. Fly’s hospital. We have been waiting for you to resuscitate since a gentleman brought you here some few hours ago. He said you slumped at a pharmacy nearby. You know…. NGFM’s Place.” Her voice was soothing, I thought. “I need to leave here at once.” She had gone to use the intercom to inform the doctor I had regained consciousness. I made to stand up and felt the pound on my head intensify. That was when I also realised I was on drip, hence had my right wrist fastened to the edge of the bed. “Don’t do this to yourself madam, at least not until the doctor has certified you are okay. We need to identify you please.” She spoke with such calmness that defied my thoughts of a typical trained Zambian nurse. She didn’t appeal to me like those that would spank and yell at someone for not pushing so hard in the delivery room. “Look, I just need to leave as soon as possible.” I winced. “Lemme just leave here please.” “Please madam, the gentleman who brought you here said he’s under instructions…” “Instructions from who?” I defied my pounding head to rant. “…From the manager at NGFM Place, where you lost consciousness.” I sighed with relief and relaxed. Sabatnelly seemed relaxed as well. “Can I have my phone please?” “Yeah sure. We would have reached out to someone but we’ve not been able to identify you, besides your mobile phone has been locked or we would have reached your…husband or anyone else.” She said as she handed me the phone. I wanted to wonder how she knew I was married when I remembered I had my rings on. I didn’t know who to talk to. My family was out of it as I didn’t want to cause any form of panic. I didn’t care about my status anymore, I needed help and was going to ask for it, even if it meant putting it up on social media. I wasn’t the first after all. When I unlocked the phone, I realised I’d had twenty nine missed calls, Vincent alone called me twenty times. I was sure the others were from his friends. “Thank God.” Sabatnelly looked at me inquisitively as I was glad they hadn’t taken any of the calls to inform Vincent about my location. “I’m sorry we missed the calls that came to your phone. That’s why I was asked to come and get the phone. “There’s no problem at all.” If only she knew what was on my mind. I called the only person that could understand what plight I was suffering at the time, the only person I should never have called. What face did I have. What guts? But that was the Hobson’s choice. The shock in Nelly’s voice was almost palpable but the love and wanting was perspicuous. “Hello love,” her soft voice emanated benignly as the line clicked open. I lost my vocal cord and my senses turned off. Eishhhh! something happened… WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 31

STORY -SHATTERED DREAMS EPISODE 8

EPISODE 8 “Wouldn’t you have your seat, Mr. Coker?” Patricia asked with a smile as she waited in vain for Michael to speak. “What do you want Miss Williams?” Michael asked in return, still not moving his position; he could almost be mistaken for a mannequin. “Ooohhh, eager right? Why don’t we sit calmly like two adult so we can talk properly?” Pat threw back, matching his calm perfectly. “If the vague rumors and news are correct, nothing about your visits are calm, so why don’t we get in the mood right from the beginning?” Patricia raised her brow and smiled. “I love a man who doesn’t beat around the bush.” She murmured and still got no facial expression from Michael. She wondered how Alexander managed to fall for such a cold man. Well, what a shame! “It is good that rumor is a familiar subject to you because I am here to get out the facts from you. The news taking over the entire country and beyond is the fact that you are gay; what do you have to say about this?” For the first time ever, Michael moved away from the massive glass which was facing her because of its position behind Michael’s large table. Michael moved to the small portable fridge and extracted a pack of juice and a glass. For a second, Patricia actually thought he did not hear her question and when he took out the juice, she also thought he was finally making an effort at being hospitable but when he filled a glass and raised it to his own lips; she swallowed her fury and disgust and kept a straight face. “Is that why you flew to Nigeria from Canada? To meddle in my affairs and find out if I am gay?” Michael finally said, sitting. “Oh, you are not big enough to bring me from Canada” she said factually, looking disgusted. “But meddling in your affairs is my business just as stocking people’s phones with irrelevant and annoying offer messages is your business” she dropped. “At least I don’t read my customers’ messages, listen to their telephone conversations or ask them to tell me about their private lives” Michael said as he dropped into his seat. “Well, meddling is my business. But I am not here to discuss what I do; it is pretty obvious to everyone who knows me. I am here to talk about who you are… or rather, what you are” she grinned. “You know what? My being here is not only professional, it is also personal. Tell me, why did you go out with my cousin when you knew you were obviously interested in an asshole?” Michael raised his eyes to hers sharply. “You should have known what you were getting yourself into; I protect my own, I always do” “Well then what are you doing here then?” “To confirm if the rumors are real, there are facts; on net. I must say that you have a…” she ran her eyes from his chest to his eyes. “… nice physique.” She said with disgust. “It does not look like you need a confirmation, it is obvious that you have drawn your conclusions, why waste time here? You can write your reports on all the rumors you have.” “Oh no Mr. Coker, I don’t work that way. I have never come up with a broadcast that was later judged false and the same goes for ‘Tellers’. We speak the truth” she boasted proudly. “Yeah right, well, you are just wasting your time because I won’t feed you with any ridiculous story” “Oh, you will Michael Coker, you can count on that. You know me right? Truth cannot be hidden from me, especially, not one that is very open.” She stood up and made for the door. “I wonder; did you dress so enticingly to seduce the answers out of me?” Patricia turned speedily and pinned Michael with a glare but he raised his glass of juice to her in salute and she had to bring down her anger before it skyrocketed, she opened the door and went out, closing the door as gently as her temper could allow her. ********** ********** Alexander tapped her foot restlessly on the floor as she waited for Teresa at Regs Restaurant. She knew it was just a few minutes past twelve and she should not be so testy but she couldn’t help it. She checked her wrist watch again and picked up her phone to call Teresa again. She glanced through the large restaurant and saw few people. The restaurant was a good environment which also gave a certain level of privacy. The call went unanswered and she almost jumped for joy when she looked up and saw Teresa coming into the restaurant. She waved at her and Teresa quickly saw her and made her way to the seat. “Hey babes, how are you? Sorry I am late” she said, dropping her bag and lowering herself to the chair without the usual hugs and kisses that the two ladies often shared. Alexa was grateful for this too, she was in no mood for pointless pleasantries. “Better late than never” Alexa said. “I’ll second that. Now spill it, I almost could not breathe since you called me, what is happening?” Teresa said hastily. Teresa had thought a million times of how to tell her closest friend her predicament but now that it was actually happening, she was at a loss. “How do I tell you this?” “Alexander, you better open your mouth and spill it” Teresa warned, already tired of the long suspense. “I am scared Teresa, I am doomed.” Alexa ran her hands through her hair and bent her eyes. Teresa groaned and raised her eyes heavenwards. “I am pregnant” “What?” Teresa yelled suddenly and heads turned in the restaurant to look at them. “Alexa, how can you say such rubbish?” she said, trying to reduce her voice. Alexander swallowed heavily. “Control yourself idiot, people would hear you” Alexa took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself. “What do I do Teresa?” “You are not being serious, are you?” “I found out about two nights ago and almost died Teresa; my parents, how would they hear this? Our family name… oh God, this is worse than a shipwreck?” “Have you told Michael?” “No! Never! And I won’t tell that bastard anything” Alexa said with her voice rising. “You never told me you both had problems, what did he do this time?” Teresa asked, not happy that a lot had happened and she was just hearing about it. Teresa choked. “What?” this was the second time she would exclaim. People turned to them again and she swallowed. “What else are you hiding from me Alexa uhn? Too many things are hidden from me” she said bitterly. “Does this look like fun news to you? Is it good news that I am pregnant for a gay?” Alexa took a deep breath. “It is all over the net Teresa, it is not hidden” “Wow… what do we do now?” Alexa exhaled and put her head in her palms. A waiter approached the two ladies with a smile. “Good afternoon madam” he greeted Alexa and proceeded to do the same to Teresa before turning to face Alexander again. “Ma, I was asked to give you this” he said and stretched a picture. Alexander’s mouth dropped open as she stared at the picture in the waiter’s hand. Teresa peeked and gasped. The waiter, seeing the commotion, dropped the picture and started retreating. “Come back here, who gave you this?” Teresa asked, taking the picture in her hand. “A lady did but did not tell me her name. Please excuse me” The guy hurried off, leaving the two ladies to stare at the picture of a wedding which not only had Michael as an attendant but as the groom. ********** ********** Felicia had been about to enter Reg’s Restaurant when she sighted Alexander from afar and stopped. It had come as a surprise that Alexander was there but she did not want to meet the woman yet, it might ruin her plans, but she could not let the opportunity slide. A brilliant idea had struck her and she had opened her purse and removed the picture she always kept in it. She had called the waiter, tipped him and watched as he walked to Alexa’s table with the picture in his hands. When the picture was successfully delivered and she saw the reactions, she smiled and turned. She instantly called Sophia. “Hey babes… I know but Alexa is in the restaurant… yes, meet me at Tantalizers instead, there is a new development” ********** ********** Belina waited for Felix and her anxiety rose with each passing minute. She had a feeling that something very defaming was going on. The thought of the report that Felix would give almost drove her mad with anxiety. Her intercom rang and she instantly picked up. Her secretary told her that Felix was waiting and she heaved a sigh, telling her to show him in. When Felix entered, he greeted Belina but would not meet her eyes. “How did it go? Did you get what I asked?” Felix swallowed. “I don’t know if I should tell you this ma’am” “Of course you would tell me what you found out, that is why I sent you” “You would not like what I have to say ma” Belina sighed. “I know that already, now spill it” ********** ********** Alexander got home about two hours later with a terrible headache. She did not think she could handle anything anymore, all she wanted to do was cry herself to sleep. She hadn’t noticed her mum’s car outside but as she entered, she saw her mum pacing the sitting room. “Good afternoon mum” she greeted with a frown. “Is everything ok?” Belina’s eyes shot her a thousand bullets as she stopped midstride to stare at a daughter she could not identify. She was glad that the maid was not home because she did not need to worry about being heard. Belina marched towards Alexander and watched as fear creaped to the eyes of her daughter but she couldn’t care less. Alexander shrank as her mum approached with a thousand thoughts floating through her head. Belina hadn’t reached Alexander when her hand swung out and connected forcefully with Alexa’s cheek. Alexa whimpered and even Belina’s hand vibrated from the force of the slap. “How dare you?” Belina yelled. “How dare you do this to us Alexa? After all I taught you, after all the values I instilled on you, after all the love and care that your dad and I gave you; is this how you pay us? By dragging the family name in the mud? Tell me” Belina yelled. “Mum, I am sorry” Alexander cried. There was no use pretending again, it was obvious that there was nothing to hide again. “You are sorry?” Belina cried out. “Oh, so now you are sorry. When you found out, why did you not tell me? You lied to me, telling me that Teresa was traveling out while you went out to meet her and unburden yourself. What happened to the time you always came to me with your troubles?” “I am sorry mum, how could I tell you such a thing” Alexa cried as she crumbled to her knees. “I was scared of what you would do if I told you that I was pregnant” Alexa sobbed. Belina gasped and froze. What is going on? She wondered. For several seconds, only Alexander’s sobs filled the silence until Belina got her speech back. “You are what?” “I am so sorry mum, I never meant for this to happen” “You are pregnant?” Alexander raised her eyes to meet her mum’s shocked and stricken gaze. “Didn’t you know?” Alexa was more alarmed now. The door opened and Richard entered. He stood stupefied at the scene before him. “What is going on here?” he asked but no one could answer, they were all dealing with various levels of shock.