OBEDIENCE IN FREEDOM:RESPONDING TO MALIGNANT CLERICALISM AND PRETENTIOUS COLLABORATION IN THE CHURCH TODAY.
Odedience in Freedom :Responding to Malignant Clericalism and Pretensious Collaboration
(Reflections on the Readings of the 26th Sunday, Year A by Fr. Ken Evurulobi)
Obedience - a very strong inescapable and irresistible persuasive force of love on the will of rational man, the rejection of which is equivalent to nihilism or fatalism – involves the appreciation of a cosmopolitan agenda which strategically incorporates and incubates one’s own potentials for freedom in a very manifest way more than one can conceive or envisage by oneself alone. When this agenda has to do with a secular society, it is expressed in a democratic government. When it has to do with a religious or spiritual society, it finds expression in the church. However, whether it has to do with religious faith or with a secular society, cosmopolitan interest or a private interest, the will of God for the society as well as for the individual is the best and most superior option for life. That will- the divine will is a finely refined product of Absolute Love which God offers to all in freedom.
As the omniscient, God knows and adequately manages the affairs and needs of the human society. And as a Father, he knows and effectively manages the affairs and needs of the family – the People of God. Thus, if in God every legitimate interest, both collectively and individually, religious and circular, is adequately accommodated and effectively managed; and if in this way the will of God is the most superior option for all peoples and at all times; and if democracy is defined as the government of the people by the people for the people, then God himself is the greatest democrat. The democratic trait associated with God is catapulted to the level of the Absolute, both in secular society and in the church by the facts of divine omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. It is about the most authentic appreciation of our interests and needs in their totality as well as the immediacy of attention to and satisfaction of these interests and needs in a very realistic manner across the length and breadth of the universe. Indeed, it is about the source and the diligent exercise of World Power.
Ultimately, obedience is a positive response in freedom to the force of love. The second reading (Phil. 2:1-11) says:
“If love can persuade at all…or the spirit we have in common…”
Love is the strongest force in the world and the most powerful reality. Whosoever possesses it possesses a World Power; it is not coercive, usurping, autocratic, dictatorial and corrupt. Neither is it imperialistic nor colonialstic. It is about World Power both in its acquisition and in its exercise. In love as an existential reality, the real character of Power and its claim to obedience are dramatized – the ability to persuade rational beings to yield to and allow themselves to be ruled by a superior will. While it vehemently disassociates itself with indoctrination and fundamentalism and as it unceasingly seeks to liberate itself from the falsifying grips of emotions and sentiments, it has to do with a willful surrender to a superior – superior revelation, superior vision and superior mission - which has the character of objectivity.
A harmonious interplay of love, obedience and power requires first and foremost, the capacity in a person or a group to weigh spontaneous convictions, and in each case to proportion evidence to convictions, to resist the refracting and alluring power of bias, prejudice and pride, and in each case to proportion evidence to convictions and at the same time to be ready to exchange the calm assumptions originally rooted in bias for the perplexities of a disturbed mind.
The difference between the first son and the second in the gospel of today (Mtt 21: 28-32) is clearly established in their different approaches to and the level of appreciation of the demand for obedience which the force of love placed on their freedom as a condition for proper evaluation of the measure of responsibility and dedication in their lives by their father who also is the Father of the Ngwas and the Ohuhus, the Igbos and the Hausas, the Americans and the Arabs, the Christians and the Muslims. If the motto as well as the primary resource “In God we trust” has brought America to a position of power and placed her at the center-stage of world affairs, then the United States of America is in trouble because of selfishness and unbelief. In this regard, America is the trouble in the world and the problem with herself. Today, all the terrorist enclaves in the U.S. are on the alert in readiness for an action that will reduce some locations in America to rubbles- the equivalent experience of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in old Japan. The code for the attack is B.B. The digital formula is 222222222.
God said he is going to hand America over to her enemies for attacking the Church in respect of the Celibate Priesthood as demonstrated by the Suit against the Holy See at the International Court of Justice.
The first reading of today represents God’s long outstanding entreaties with the U.S.A over the condition of the American Church.
Personally, I am a victim of clerical abuse of the most bizarre type, but then I am still in the church, and I am professed in obedience to the faith, because in the words of Benedict XVI in his days as a cardinal, “that’s the only way of being a Christian”. Suggestively, people must learn to identify the source of their grievances and frustrations, and must evolve legitimate ways and means of redress, and this is if the term “forgiveness” does not appeal to their person. But to attack the established and tested faith of the Church for reasons based on selfishness and unbelief and the transfer of loyalty to Satan is an attack directly on the heart of freedom and an arrogant challenge of the power of God. Thus, as the Archangel Uriah blew the trumpet of fire, and with fierce balls of fire swallowing up the whole Capitol building in Washington, and as the other three Archangels- Michael, Gabriel and Raphael swiftly turned their backs against the Capitol building now fully engulfed by fire (which signifies that God has turned His back on America), Mother Mary stood up from the altar of Eucharistic Adoration in my little room at Amuke Village which also serves as my chapel. And I followed her gaze to something- three other similar episodes were playing out some other places in styles. I sighed and muttered these words unto myself “Poor America! Qui da casu?”
And the sorry sight was hurriedly entered into a history book.
And as I meditated on these readings in relation to the terrible issue of divine justice and wrath around 2 am this Sunday morning (Sept 25, 2011), the Vision about God’s own Country came up again with greater clarity and force. I watched a horror movie titled “Skinning the Lion Alive”- a powerful attempt to stop the already perceived winner of the American Presidential Elections by Satanists, but in actual fact, it was a coup against the President of the United States of America by the World Union (Satanists) in an effort to steal American armory and influence which are considered very effective in their bid to conquer the world and establish a World Government. Unfortunately, they never bargained that an Osama Bin Laden was alive and a member of the American Union.
Indeed, America must withdraw the Suit against the Holy See and submit to God as a manifest sign, among others, of true repentance. Our Lady of Fatima is very emphatic on this.
She must come to appreciate the fact that, according to a commentary on the Book of Genesis in the Interpreters Bible, greater living goes beyond such squinting calculations as mathematical accuracy and scientific predictions. It follows profounder impulses of the soul. A bird that flies without listening to its instinct telling it when to fly and where to perch perishes. And has not God given us the impulse of Faith upon which wings we can climb and soar like the Eagle.
By voting in favour of the Palestanian bid for Statehood, President Goodluck Jonathan has, consciously or unconsciously, detonated a Boko Haram time-bomb the explosion of which would have reduced Nigeria to rubbles and colored the cynical expectations of frustrated political bigots as well as raise these to the status of a legitimate exercise in democratic and regional agitations. Again, it has opened new vistas for a re-negotiated return of Nigeria to the leadership position in respect of Africa and the International Community. With it also, the BB of an “I” has been reduced to zero and confined to the zoo. The “I” that remains is only a tissue of lies which is built on culpable ignorance, tucked away in the very dirty armpits of insipid plutocracy, sustained by arrogant indoctrination and concretized by the Boko Haram menace. With this landmark in foreign policy initiative, Googluck Ebere Jonathan could choose to be the new face of a more credible Absulami Abubakar or the renewed picture of the “stepping aside” experience in this rewound episode of the 1999 transition to civil rule in Nigeria. This is just 12% of the secrets of Jonathan’s survival for one year as revealed by the Our Lady of Fatima. But the heavy attack on America will have the capacity to cancel out and upturn this success to a curse because by then the B.B has become a ghost. That is, the initials IBB will be turned upside down to indicate its true and only nature - the Wicked Accuser and a companion to our friends out there in the fundamentalist enclave. Caught up in this dilemma of traitor and friendship, on which side will Nigeria fight?
Obedience in Freedom
OBEDIENCE IN FREEDOM
Even at 12, Jesus was found in the Temple living above the Wisdom of the World, displaying a wealth of knowledge and handing out the sentence of liberation to those he met despite the tall figures of sycophancy and idolatry he discovered to be ruling characters of the managers of the Temple Trust, and about whom the people have been tutored to compulsorily accept and reverence, if not worshipped like Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael – the Archangels. The Word made Flesh and divine intelligence as issued by his Heavenly Father were his only instruments of defense in his only instruments of defense in his head-on confrontation with Satan – the Wicked Accuser and the hostility of the Jews. In the Eucharist, and through the instrumentality of the celibate priesthood, the WORD is still with us and very active, and is still being witnessed to by little boys and girls including the sexually-abused children. The difference between Jesus Christ on whom attempts on his life began the day he was born as a baby, and these victims of clerical abuse is that he told his own story as an adult on the Cross for the purpose of liberation and the enthronement of the kingdom and not to the International Court.
When my ordeals started and I turned to Our Lady for explanation, he told me to accept my lot and not to be a coward or an escapist because God was going to use my situation as a sentence of judgment against the World. Thus while my predators celebrated, rejoiced and voiced out their satisfaction, I myself mourned and groaned. But Mummy made me to understand that those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap.
Pilate would demand to know the Truth from Jesus Christ in an act of total pretension and mockery. “Truth?” Jesus muttered! From the time of Herod, the Pharisees in a criminal collaboration with Pilate and through history, what actually has the world done with the truth? The World has abody of truths to grapple with and keep her busy either in deeds or as objects of study. Indeed, no sign will be given to this generation except the sign of Jonah.
Sold. Betrayed. Abused. Dehumanized. Rejected. Abandoned. Incarcerated. Imprisoned. And buried while still alive. That’s my story as a dedicated priest for fourteen whole years in the Church despite my weaknesses as a human being. My only savior is that my family and I believed, not in any human being, but in Jesus Christ through the Church as explained to us by Mother Mary. And so to those children of abuse including myself and my family, God insists through the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary that all of us, you and I, go to the Farm. For God is still God. God is still in his Church. God is still the Supreme Judge. All powers belong to him. And He rewards each man accordingly.