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BY KENNETH C. ALIMBA

About This Booklet

Christians should be like Christ – walking the Narrow road that leads to life. This road is red with the blood of Christ and that of countless martyrs who have given their lives in service of the truth. We are weak, but Jesus prepares us to mature in the faith. So even when we face difficulties for him, he brings his consolation near us.

This booklet reminds us of who Christ truly is and invites us to look through the distractions to see what he truly represents for us and the world.

Warning

This is intended for print, so the language may show it.

Copyright

© 2023 Kenneth C. Alimba. No part of this booklet may be reproduced without the express permission of the author. I intend to spread the gospel, and I grant permission for reprinting but with conditions, so feel free to send us a message using the Contact Page.

PROLOGUE

How powerful is your faith? I know that your mind immediately went to moving mountains with prayers and commanding storms with your voice, and that is all colourful and nice, but that is far from the real power of faith. So, I ask again, how powerful is your faith? Seriously though, how powerful?

Your faith cannot simply end in being able to control external things and impose your will on the world; even if you “have” this elusive power (and you don’t), this isn’t what will bring you to heaven. It should be powerful enough to transform you into a living and walking image of Christ in the world. Your faith should be powerful enough for you to be alive and healthy in the Spirit, which enables you to become holy, functional, formidable and make consistent, God-centered choices in every situation.

Our choices are how we walk different paths in our journey through this world. So, sometimes, we arrive at a crossroads between material things and God, and we must choose which road to follow. We are asked If we would forgo all the material things of the world when they oppose our faith in God or choose God and make the Abrahamic journey into the unknown world that God “will show us” eventually. Can we be people of faith and prove our faith in choosing what seems like defeat when God demands it over a quasi-victory that puts us in enmity with God?

Because what we choose is proof of how powerful we indeed are in the Spirit. If we keep choosing evil, we are not alive in the Spirit, and our faith is probably dead or deeply unhealthy. But if we keep choosing good, then we are yielding fruits and are full of life and vitality.

So, how powerful is your faith? This and many of the booklets we will produce are geared towards propagating genuine faith, giving you the encouragement you need to practise your faith courageously and sincerely and connecting you to the real Jesus, the one that wants you to be holy and be like him and receive his Sacraments and have life in you. Not the “new one” that only wants you to pray for personal benefits or glory and control thunders and lightenings.

The Jesus we know is the one who loves and encourages us to love. So, it is my honest desire to preach this Jesus who has touched my heart, scarred it with his fire of love, and has refused to abandon me in my many sins. I wish that you, too, will encounter this Jesus who has since been right before your eyes, that your eyes too may be opened, your eyes of faith. So that you can begin to see who it is that stands before you and lives within you. Who it is that is lifted before your eyes Mass after Mass while most people treat this encounter with indifference. Who it is who acts in the Church, and who it is who sustains your very being. Who it is who is Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier of the world, and who, through our service, sets it on fire!

Please join me in my journey to spread the words and life of Jesus and his love to everyone.

God bless




THE SCAR

We are Christians, which means we are followers of Christ and imitators of his life. The title “Christians” was given to the early followers of this religion by observers, and at the time, this name was not as glorious as it might sound to some ears today. Some experts believe the term was one of ridicule, at least by some people who referred to Christ’s followers by his name, and this makes sense since following Christ was not marked with any form of glamour in the early stages of our history; it was a rather shameful thing as it directly signified the Cross and the naked ‘criminal’ crucified on it. Even though the people who ridiculed and persecuted the Church had no idea who Jesus was, it seems many of us today who claim to be members of the same Church have no idea either. 

For some reason, we carry the scar of this 2000-year-old ridicule and do everything we can to remedy it as though we should be ashamed. So we begin to preach prosperity, miracles, and many other things that distract from the truth of Jesus and the sheer ridiculousness of our Faith. But the facts are we believe that Jesus is God, who pre-existed all things and, in time, took flesh from a virgin who knew no man and was born without ruining said virginity. Then, he taught among the Jews and was eventually caught and killed like a criminal. He died, and his followers dispersed. After a while, they re-converged and could not find Jesus’ body in the tomb where he was buried, and what do you know? He rose from the dead! Does not all of these sound ridiculous when you want to get into the details of what we actually hold to be true? And the fact that they are true does not mean they cease being ridiculous because who would want to believe all of that? Maybe this is why God gave the apostles the power to work miracles to add a layer of proof so that it is easier to swallow. Still, the goal was that, in time, we would believe in the actual Jesus himself so much we would give up everything without needing miracles or anything else from Him other than his presence. However, some never stop chasing miracles and other gifts of God in place of God himself.

Wouldn’t it be easier to focus on miracles and wonders to distract from raw facts and brutal, drab truths like these? We have always found it difficult to see truth in simple words or beauty in simple works of literature and art. We need embellishments, literary equivalents of bejewelled pieces to get us to look at something for a second time and feel something. We cannot see beauty in the plainly dressed woman unless she wraps herself in so much artificial clay we can barely recognise her as human. So to us, if that beauty is not transcendental, we cannot hold onto it as such – but this is us chasing a human beauty that isn’t even human at all because if we wanted human, we’d look in the ordinary and the mundane. Even in Christian art, a saint is boring to many unless there’s an angel perched beside him or he is rapt in ecstasy or some vision. 

Holiness eludes us in the depiction of a man as ordinary as us, struggling with sin. We are too lazy to dig into the drab soil of the common and the ordinary in search of nourishment; we must be thrilled at every step. This quest for excitement keeps us away and unable to permeate the simplicity of the actual Jesus. This quest for trinkets makes us rejoice in his presence but only focus on the stuff hanging on his Head or the gifts in his hands. But we can never look at his bare feet, nor can we look at the ordinariness of his humanity and see His magnificence. We want to see a glorious king covered in precious stones commanding an army, but God has given us a peasant, a carpenter, washing the feet of a few fishermen and tax collectors! And this is who we worship, a lowly carpenter convicted as a criminal.

Oh, how much we will have to dig, and how far we will have to journey to find the treasure that this ordinariness must hide from the wise of the world. How lowly we must become in spirit to see the greatness of Jesus, who is the God-man; how amazing that the Father has consciously hidden the identity of his Son from those who only want fireworks but has chosen to reveal it to little children! We expected the warrior-God who quite literally “will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies” (Isaiah 42:13), but God has accomplished this in the feebleness of the infant new-born of Bethlehem whose existence could be wrapped in swaddling clothes but still casts fear in the hearts of the most powerful of the day. Whose hands were bared (cf Isaiah 52:10) and raised on the Cross in seemingly helpless death, but who this way conquered the world like a silent but mighty warrior. 

Jesus was, and still is, a scandal and disappointment to many. Jesus’ victory was foretold many years before his birth, and the Israelites awaited in lively hope for him, but many did not recognise him upon his arrival. Because many people assumed they understood God’s mind perfectly, as though they could guess what God was thinking in carrying out the specifics of his promises. They knew God would triumph over the world in the Messiah, and he did, but some of them never saw it. They knew He would be King over all he is, yet so many people still don’t see it.

To most Christians, Christ is but a distant idea – something other, someone slightly far removed at best, or at worst, an enemy of our fun lives. If he keeps being theoretical, everything about him would remain so. His commands will have no practical bearing on our lives, and his way remains impractical to us or a relic of long gone past. Jesus is transcendent to us in a way that destroys even the efficacy of his name – Emmanuel – A God who is with us and is one of us.

But we want Jesus nearer; we sense this intense need for closeness with him when tragedy strikes when we crave the order of his power over the chaos of the many unknowns of life. Even then, we do not crave after the person, but for what he can do, for his power and not for him. Because no matter how many blessings we seem to receive, we never really try to be close to him but only seek after the gifts he offers.

In truth, for the faithful follower of Jesus, no one can be nearer than Him. And His laws are a true light for one’s steps as they are genuine manuals for living a fruitful and fulfilling life.

THE SCANDALS OF JESUS

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his Father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” Matthew 10: 34-35

From the birth of Christ, he has been a cause of strife and pain to many; he did not come so that everyone can have peace, especially not the kind of peace that comes to your mind upon hearing this word. The peace that Jesus brings comes at the price of blood. To understand this, we begin with his birth and the horror wrought by Herod upon hearing that the King of the Jews was born. The number of babies killed is unknown, but there were multiple deaths, great mourning, and fear. 

Next, we examine the incident of the Temple during the visitation, the words of Simeon that greatly hurt the mother of Jesus. Christ was a cross for his mother to bear and a great blessing for her singular role as a special partner in the world’s redemption. But the burden of doing good is heavy for the commoner; you become a thorn in the flesh of many and, simultaneously, a great source of blessing to the world forever. Then imagine what it must be to be Jesus, whom the whole forces of evil fought vehemently against, causing deaths to many associated with him. 

We examine the encounters with the people who had fixed ideas about what a good person or a prophet should look and behave like. Jesus was not either – he was a source for concern in the least or a dire threat at most. And to those who loved him, he was nothing more than a rabbi or another prophet and this much they believed, and some because he fed them, some because of his miracles, and others because of his commanding tone. But none of these people knew his real identity, and when it got tough, they all ran away.

When Jesus revealed himself in the Temple, “they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.” Luke 4:29. Jesus was not who they had on their minds; he fell terribly short of who they expected. Yeah, we know the Messiah was coming, but how can it be you? You are not even shiny, aren’t you the Son of Joseph?

In John 6, Jesus feeds thousands with a few loaves and the people had their fill with plenty of leftovers. One of the more mind-boggling miracles of Jesus, and in this passage, the people acknowledged, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”. And they even tried to make him King forcibly. And isn’t this sad? All it took for anyone to acknowledge that God sent Jesus, even though they didn’t have the whole picture, was Jesus giving them food. Not all the words he spoke or other signs he worked. Even Jesus acknowledges this later in the chapter: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (verse 26).

And further down during his self-revelation, again, the people are scandalised, and they ask, “Is not this Jesus, the Son of Joseph, whose Father and mother we know? (verse 42). There are two things of note here: it seemed the people would rather a stranger spoke in this manner to them; his physical birth was too much of a drawback for many. And Jesus was not worried because the overarching point was that only a few were the people his Father had given him – those whose faiths are true. And those are the ones that he will never lose, in keeping with the will of the Father.

But Jesus kind of made it worse, didn’t he? He launches into a talk about eating his flesh and drinking his blood, even though the people had had their fill of his message when he claimed, “I come from heaven.” Now it is: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink” (53-55). And even his own disciples who had walked with him for long walked away saying it was too difficult a teaching to follow, and this is understandable. Again, Jesus falls short of the expectations of man.

The people to whom is entrusted the moral riches of the centuries, the chief priests, the Pharisees and other learned men, hated Jesus. Even after years of contending with the evils of their times, they didn’t know the image of the good even when Goodness Himself stared them right in the face. They condemned him for a litany of reasons, and Jesus scandalised them with his association with prostitutes, beggars, thieves, tax collectors and other people seen as sinners or leppers seen as cursed. These men had read and explained the coming Messiah’s nature and mission but missed a few things. Turned out, the ‘few’ things they missed out on were the most critical part of the whole. Most people’s understanding of God was exclusionary, but Jesus spread his arms to everyone. They understood God in the strict and often mindless following of rules. Still, Jesus gave the freedom to the people to understand and follow the spirit of the law by understanding the hierarchy of laws and the centrality of the love of God and charity towards our fellow men.

The last scandal of Jesus was his death. The Jews expected the Messiah to be a political saviour because they suffered under Roman rule. That is why a character like Simon Bar Kokhba gained a tremendous following because he revolted against the Roman empire and sought to establish an independent Jewish State. All these happened about 60-70 years after the death of Jesus. The point is the Faith in him was strong, and many believed he was the Messiah to come and follow him. They did, until he failed in his mission, and Faith in him began to wane. Eventually, he died, some claiming he died in battle. The point is, in his heyday, he resembled, for many Jews, a more acceptable image of a messiah. 

Even the Apostles believed that Jesus would eventually call his army or send fire from Heaven or whatever weird thing because they thought it was a matter of time before he took down the Roman empire in physical battle. Some people argued that Judas thought there was no way he’d be taken and killed, so he decided to make some free money for himself. And Peter, drawing his knife, felt this was when Jesus was going to do something physical, but both men were sorely disappointed, as did the rest of the party. When he was killed, his entire assembly dispersed because then what was the point? Even Peter, the prince of the Apostles, got the rebuke of his life for trying to dissuade Jesus from his death; he was told, “Get behind me, Satan” Matthew 16:23. 

JESUS CONTINUES TO SCANDALISE

At every step, the assumption is, “Oh, we didn’t understand before, but now we do”, but then something else stumps everyone. Jesus is rarely ever anything we assumed or imagined. And if the people who were physically close to Jesus misunderstood and were scandalised by their misunderstandings, is it any surprise that we who are historically farther away can misunderstand?

We can view Jesus objectively, considering many historical records about his life to form a more realistic image of him without being carried away by one act or another. We are supposed to be amazed at his works, his miracles and the marvellous things he did, but the awe should not shroud his true identity but reveal him ever clearer. Being drawn to his gifts and his powers outside of him is a sign that we are not responding to the actual calling he extends to us. Jesus was a revolutionary, and his revolution was more moral than political. Even though a moral revolution will always translate to a revolution in every sphere of existence, his establishment of his kingdom did not come as the Apostles expected. Jesus is King over all the earth in that he is the singular most important historical figure ever, and his name is on every lips. That is first. And he established a kingdom, but let’s paint a picture.

When Peter and his company first arrived in Rome – it was a diverse and cosmopolitan city with various cultures and beliefs. There was a place for everyone’s beliefs, no matter how weird, but one thing was essential: the Emperor of Rome was the ‘son of god’ and the highest priest; this was a significant element of the Roman imperial cult and religion during that period. When Peter started preaching, it was about a God who alone was to be served and who was the only true God. And Jesus is the true Son of God, not the emperor. Christians were a small part of this mighty city, a clog in the well-lubricated wheel of the longest-lasting and one of the most powerful empires in human history. But this tiny insignificant clog started inching into the people’s hearts, and Emperor Nero became worried. 

He once viewed Christianity as a sect within Judaism, but that wasn’t the case; Christians became disruptors who did not cower under their rule. During Nero’s reign, the great fires that engulfed Rome were attributed to Christians. As a result, they were arrested, burned, and thrown to wild animals in the Colosseum while thousands cheered as these creatures tore the followers of Christ limb from limb. Even though the fires had no connection to Christians, some have speculated the emperor himself may have started it to justify his arrests and killings of Christians.

You would expect the numbers to dwindle, but against every natural explanation, the numbers grew instead. More people joined them, and more people died. Many sang as the fires engulfed them, to the frustration and awe of the emperor and the people. The persecution lasted several years under different emperors with varying degrees of severity. But God slowly made the empire the centre of his Word for the world. The conquering of the empire without a single sword or bullet, that today Rome is the seat of Christianity and the most powerful, oldest and organised institution in the world, existing for over 2000 years and defying every human expectation or understanding. Now, there is a moral empire whose sole concern is the spread and defence of truth throughout the world, where once reigned a kingdom of iron bending the knees of men, is one of moral and free election bending the wills of men to God alone. To us, this took an awful long time; to God, it was a day’s job.

DEGREES OF RELATIONSHIP AND KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS

Insofar as there is free will and intelligence, there will be gradation of perfection of relationships and knowledge. How well we know Jesus and ourselves will directly translate to how we relate to him. The knowledge of God will inform who we call upon when we pray since it is possible that many Christians to whom the Son of God has revealed himself still call upon a false god. Many people have different false conceptions of God that do not reflect the truth of his nature. Even though some people love to say that we all worship the same God, the only reason this is even remotely true is that God ignores our ignorance and answers us in some way anyway. 

But the fact of our idolatry is indisputable; most of us do not know God at all, and if this is the truth, we cannot say that the one to whom we pray is, in truth, God. The last time I exclaimed, “What God are they praying to?” someone told me about her friend whose prayer point was centred around “God” helping her return to a sexual relationship she once enjoyed with her now estranged boyfriend. And this is more common than you think – some things people pray for have explicit sinful purposes attached to them. Do these reflect a proper knowledge of God? Do these people then worship the One True God or one of their inventions and imaginations?

It is worth mentioning that we can never know God perfectly; no one can, not even Angels who stare at him all their lives, know God the way God knows himself. Insofar as we are creatures, we will fall short in our understanding. The fact that we are creatures in time limits what we are capable of, but when we get to Heaven, our knowledge of God will be “Complete” in the sense that we will know God as much as we humans are designed to know him, and in the degree that each individual soul can contain. But we will be complete. But while we are on earth, we can know God to a great degree when we give in to his love and commit to living a life of truth and virtue. The longer we live this life, the more we grow in the knowledge of God, who is Truth.

As children, my brothers and I imitated our dad and how he related to his guests. We’d say some of the things we had heard him say and try to copy his posture, handshake, laughter and other mannerisms of his. But the weird thing was we could also generate new words, things that he would say in new scenarios that we had not yet heard him say. From the millions of things we had heard him say previously, we could imitate even his very mind and express his voice in new situations. And this is something truly amazing about imitating people. The more people are exposed to a character, the more they can relate to their words and even generate seemingly new words that perfectly reflect the mind of the one being imitated. I cannot express the wonder of this point enough. 

This is why I encourage people to understand the point of tradition before discarding it as some new invention. God utilises the human ability to imitate, tell stories, emulate postures and repeat words in his creation of Christian worship. We can point to this or that and say, “Oh, I saw Paul doing this”, but eventually, we get this ‘sense’ this isn’t what Paul would do even without asking him because we have been with him long enough to know.

This reminds me of the condition St Peter gave for Judas’ replacement “Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us” (Acts 1:21-22). What kind of witness would the person be if they didn’t actually witness anything? Furthermore, how can he know to tackle questions as they arise if he didn’t capture the ‘spirit’ of Christ, that is, if he cannot express the will of Jesus to people as clearly and surely as possible? The fantastic news is that the tradition of emulation, telling and retelling stories, and watching Jesus has been passed from generation to generation. So today, our understanding of the person of Jesus is rooted firmly in Apostolic tradition in union with the Scriptures, not only based on one, and this is a powerful and complete deposit of Faith. We rely on the writings in the Scriptures and a tradition of observation and verbal preaching, but also the Holy Spirit alive and active in the Church.

Today, our relationship with Jesus is genuine since it is directly related to the reality of the historical person himself, not some made-up romanticisation of the character of Jesus. We may romanticise our speeches about Christ, but they never form the bedrock of our Faith and professed beliefs. Looking back at the teachings we have received for thousands of years about him, we can see how he “grew” among us, not diminished by repeated telling and explanation of his nature. We delve deeper and deeper into his mysteries, which granted do not only bring us more clarity but cause us a great deal of confusion, too, since we can never really approach God, even though Christ, without a great deal of confusion and fear. The only thing constantly increasing as we know Jesus more, the real Jesus, is our joy and willingness to serve him and proclaim his name.

Every Church will have a way of expressing their knowledge of Jesus in physical rituals and prayer, in their expression of worship, or at least what they understand as worship. When we speak of some of these terms, the assumption is we are referring to the same things. When some protestants call Catholics idol worshippers for having statues or praying to saints, we risk assuming we use the term ‘worship’ in the same way or all understand what worship means. Once, I heard people trading arguments on the subject; my concern was the terms. I asked, ‘What do you think worship means’ and that ended that argument very quickly. He thought he knew what it was, and everyone else felt the same, but no one had ever bothered to articulate it in words or even in solitary thought before then. It was, to them, one of those words we use to describe a bunch of things we think we are doing right without knowing what it means specifically.

This also reflects how people know Jesus, blobs of undifferentiated and unspecific thoughts about him. It is, at best, a knowledge of Jesus, knowing him from far away, not a knowledge that is alive and shared within the community vested with the blessing of being the custodian of the Faith received through his ministry. We are lucky to be part of a community that shares a bond with Jesus that is more than symbolic but actual, real and physical. Because Jesus has touched us, really touched us through Apostolic succession and the Eucharistic species. This is a knowledge that is intimate and as close as it can get. In a sense, it is a knowledge coming from ‘inside’ of Christ, who is the Head of the assembly of believers. Nothing is more intimate than this since we can glimpse Christ’s will and interior life.

All our knowledge about Jesus today has been perpetuated through the unbroken chain of the Church’s ministry. This encompasses the meticulous preservation and compilation of Scriptures into the Bible, the unwavering conservation of oral tradition, and its faithful transmission across the ages without any alteration. It extends to the dedicated service of the Apostles and the Bishops ordained throughout the centuries, who have continuously passed the torch of their power and authority to their successors for over 2,000 years. Without the Church’s steadfast, ceaseless commitment, Jesus would be relegated to the annals of history, a figure long forgotten.

REMEDY 

The goal would be to know Jesus as intimately as possible and be numbered among those he calls friends. This title is not as peachy as many may think but is packed with responsibility and danger since it would mean standing unflinchingly for the truth in a world of lies.

To know Jesus would be to integrate oneself into a living community of believers with historical ties to the historical Jesus: The Catholic Church. It is the height of arrogance to think that we can adequately know Jesus as closely as we should without the institution tasked explicitly with preserving the teachings of Christ, his established hierarchy, and the sacraments for millennia. There is no other way to know Jesus, and with him the Father, than being part of the assembly. Like Saul, Jesus wants us to “rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:6). Everyone will serve and receive instruction from those who served with Jesus and were instructed by him and this will go on until Christ comes again. 

Intimacy with Jesus reaches its peak with the development of a darling relationship with him in the Eucharist. When the soul of the faithful hungers night and day for the nourishment of the Body and Blood, and the communion of love that makes her burst into a bigger and bigger flame with each visit. Her knowledge of Christ grows daily, as she knows herself as much to bring herself down in front of her Maker and Redeemer. Even in the world, her attitude is one of great joy and gratitude for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist, in Holy Orders and in all Sacraments, of gratitude for his gift of himself in the Church who is entrusted with the sharing of the merits of his death on the Cross and the sufferings of the Saints. To this soul, the task of preaching the word of Jesus takes centre stage, and keeping his commands becomes a delight to her, a task so sacred it cannot be neglected.

Our task is to know Jesus, fall in love, and be transformed into him. Like him, we will be broken for the good of our souls and the world. This “breaking” is the sacrifices we offer God when we forgo the greatest honours, riches and relationships that threaten our relationship with our sole Prize: God. Whenever we are at a crossroads between the world and its riches and pomp and the narrow, difficult road of the Cross, we choose the latter without regret and with the quickness of a lover aflame with love. This transforms us to become truly formidable in our service to God in the world. We become virtually invincible to those who want to manipulate others, who use all manner of techniques to lure souls away from decency and morality, away from God. We also become formidable in bearing many good fruits and flourishing in virtue. We become masters of our wills, gaining the freedom granted only to those in Jesus: freedom to be truly alive and connected to the truth. This is what it means to know Jesus intimately and not merely to know of him from afar. The fire of Jesus transforms us into little living flames of His love, forever flaming upward!

HEALING

Jesus also becomes our source of healing in the Sacrament of reconciliation through the ministry of the Church. When we fall into sin, in our brave fight in the world, we return to the Lord in his priest for healing that we inevitably receive when we are contrite, humble and honest about our failings.

Please read “Sin Confession God’s Mercy and Purgatory” to better understand the power of confession and how to use this gift for the good of your soul. The booklet will be published in print, so you can call and request a copy or visit www.kyfaith.org and see if it has been published online. All are free of charge.

GOD AND MAN

The central Christian claim is that Jesus is God, even though not every Christian believes the same thing about the specifics of this claim. In my discussions with some non-Christians over the years, especially my Muslim friends, they have argued against this claim, stating that Jesus himself never claimed to be God. This would be true if you were expecting Jesus to say, “Hey guys, I am God”. But many of his utterances would make no sense if it was not understood in that context. Jesus constantly spoke in the person of God in many things he said. No human person can say, “I am the way, the Truth and the Life.” that is insane because no one can claim not simply to be filled with Truth or Life or to know the Way but to BE.

But let us examine something else. During the Burning Bush encounter with God in Exodus 3, Moses made a commonsensical enquiry into the name of God.

Verse 13: Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

Verse 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”

You have to understand a few things:

God has no contemporaries, so God does not need a name since a name is given to things that are part of our universe or experience so that we can distinguish them one from another. Since there is no one like God, or nothing even close to being in a similar category, there’s no name for God, strictly speaking. God chooses to identify himself with the patriarchs but then calls himself “I AM“. This is a phrase denoting him as Being itself: He is the One who IS. He does not exist here nor there; in this way or that way, he IS. And from him comes everything with being and existence. So, God is existence, he is stability, he is faithfulness, and he is love. This is all he conveys with this name.

Jesus did call himself God in many places in the Gospel. When he said, He and the Father are one. When he forgave sins, too, which is the prerogative of God himself, no man can forgive sin. But then he goes and says :

“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58. That isn’t how anyone speaks unless “I AM” refers to the ineffable divine name (YHWH) given in Exodus 3. And it is. In many other places in the Gospel, Jesus speaks in this way and in a manner that cannot be interested any other way than by concluding He believed himself divine. It is obvious Jesus did.

Jesus is the physical manifestation of the invisible God, the incarnate Word of God, who existed for all eternity. He is YHWH who spoke to Moses in the burning Bush, who created the world, and who in time comes to redeem and sanctify it. And we can say these even though creation is attributed to the Father, redemption to the Son and sanctification to the Holy Spirit. But the Trinity of God means that God is united in will and action. And because they are one in nature and being, there is a reciprocal indwelling in one another. The Father is in the Son, the Son in the Father, the Father and the Son in the Spirit, and the Spirit in the Father and the Son.

But the humanity of Christ is completely assumed by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in the hypostatic union so that his humanity and divinity unite without reduction of the divinity or outshining of his humanity. God the Son’s perfect divinity and Jesus’ entire humanity exist in Christ. So we can say that Jesus is human because he has a body and soul like us, but we cannot say that he is a human person because He is the Second PERSON of the blessed Trinity who takes a human nature to himself in Christ. So He is one Divine Person with two distinct natures: human and divine. Hopefully, this is clear.

So anytime Jesus says “I AM”, it should fill you with fear, awe and thanksgiving for the implication that the Eternal God Himself walks amongst his people. Whenever I pray the Joyful mysteries, the third mystery moves me very deeply: the nativity, the birth of the God-man, and how it must be for Mary to hold God in her arms and quite literally look down on Heaven (I think I got this idea from “World’s First Love by Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

JESUS WAS NOT A NICE MAN

Side note: my definition of “nice” relates to the need to please people, and that is a hard thing to combine with the call to please God, seeing as the latter should be our one and only concern. Now, back to the point:

Some people have argued that Jesus was just a nice man or a mere prophet, and I usually wondered who would read the words of Christ and come to such a ridiculous conclusion. It is either Jesus is who he said he is, or he is a dangerous man. Because what nice man can lead billions to believe he is God for fun? Or what? What prophet at any time confused the people into worshipping him instead of the God he came to preach?

Jesus was indeed a prophet and a man, but he was not only those because he is also God. The point of his incarnation was that God and Man would meet in him and be reconciled. So in him is divinity and humanity so that we could pass through him, the bridge builder and reach God. God alone dying for the sins of the world would not make sense, nor would man alone dying for man’s sins. What made salvation possible was the hypostatic union of God and Man in Christ – so that the death of the God-man becomes a source of great power and universal healing transcending time.

We cannot fall into some sort of religious relativism with the attitude of “Oh, it does not matter what religion you belong to”or” We are one of many religions, so”. No, we cannot fall into such an unfortunate way of thinking because what we have is singular and unique and nothing like it. Nor can we be bullied into thinking there’s no difference between the Church founded by Christ and the one founded by one man a few years ago. However, on the other extreme, we cannot also be religiously tribalistic that we condemn others and say, “Go away; God belongs to us”. We can know our unique identity as the New Israel and be grateful for being called to such a royal priesthood in his Church, a community with the authority of the Apostles. We can have these sentiments and still be open to communing with our friends who fall outside our faiths and offer them counsel, discussions, friendship and prayer without being swayed or engaging in fights. We know that even though we are privileged, God does not belong to us, but we belong to Him, and everyone else is our sibling in God because we are all His creation. It is the will of God that all be saved, and we will be stewards in working for the salvation of all through our examples and words.

THE DANGERS OF DISCIPLESHIP

The price for being a Christian is not money or prestige. It is death, at least if you do your job right. It might not be only literal death; it can be losing your job for standing up for the truth. Or losing anything else of great value to you, it is stepping up to the challenge when you are asked if anything you have is of greater worth than your love and loyalty to God, and you choose God every time, no matter the cost. The idea that the journey of the follower of Jesus is tinselled with diamonds and roses is one of the biggest lies attacking the truth of Jesus’ message and corrupting the minds of many believers. Because if we believe the highest thing in our order of values are the things of the world or even the gifts of God, we run the risk of throwing away the Creator of the world, the God from whom those gifts come when we are at a crossroads between those created goods and the Creator himself.

But the believer’s path is the narrow road that very few find (cf Matthew 7:13-14). It is difficult to find and even more challenging to follow; why? It is hard to find because, firstly, can you imagine a ‘school’ or a road that leads one on the path to becoming an Angel or Saint? It must be challenging to find such a treasure, seeing that no part of human achievement can equal this, not even the possession of every created thing in the world. It is the will of God that such a road be hidden from the eyes of the wise of the world so that the perverted wisdom that informs men that the highest pursuit is in the gratification of every desire will prevail and that their own pursuit will condemn them as they turn to literal beasts in their consumption of created goods. It will then become a testing ground for the saints in training, who will remain steadfast in proclaiming the truth of God amid the blindness of the men who only see and live for their selfish pleasure.

It is difficult to follow because it is a road that leads to untold riches, and it is, again, the will of God that is difficult. It is a road where one must pass different trials and tests to be rewarded. No reward comes accidentally to anyone – it is a road that tests the resolve of everyone aiming for the eternal reward of Heaven. So, how do we know you are sure you want to follow God? The answer lies in passing through trials and tribulations that tempt you to your breaking point to quit and give in to the world.

During the last days of Christ on earth, all of the evils he had fought all his life converged in one great battle against him. He suffered injustice from authorities, hunger, thirst, rejection from his clan, and denial of close friends. He faced all manner of evil, but he interrupted this cycle of evil and counter-evil that people have lived with for ages; this drive to pay evil with evil, and he conquered it by returning with his forgiving love. This was a perfect way to express his loyalty in doing the will of God, and through this apparent defeat, God enacted the greatest victory of all over the world and its evils. This is why the Apostles used the imperial “Euangelion”, which means “Good news” or “Good message”, in their proclamation. At the time, this was a way kings proclaimed their victories in wars. But the Christians saw this victory of Christ over all the evils of the world as the greatest of all victories, so they cried out in triumphant celebration of his death and resurrection, for which they, too, chose death rather than doing evil themselves. They chose, like Christ, to interrupt the evil that reached them with Goodness and forgiveness even in their deaths. So, Stephen’s suffering met with gentle forgiveness and love. And I argue that his forgiveness and prayer probably contributed to the mercy shown to Saul that led to his conversion. God himself declared of Saul, “I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” (Acts 9:16).

It bears the weight of the Cross of Christ on the entrance, a mark of sure and certain death. Who in their right mind would want to follow such a road or walk through this gate? This road is red with the blood of Jesus and the millions of martyrs who have gone before us, so there is nothing physically attractive about following this road, at least not initially. Does this sound extreme? It is because it is. For goodness sake, your master was hung naked on the Cross and left to bleed out and die! All his apostles were brutally tortured, and most of them were killed. If this does not make you afraid of your calling as another Jesus on earth, as another apostle of his truth, then you have no idea where you are.

In faith, you are a direct descendant of the Apostles, disciples and martyrs who represented Christ in their many circumstances. You, too, are called to be another Christ; with your lips, you shall worship God by speaking the truth, even when it is inconvenient or dangerous. You may be killed for your honesty, but that is the only road for anyone with ears for the call of Jesus. Because of this narrow road, you will reject wealth acquired by evil means, even amid want or poverty. All these are forms of this ‘death’ we mentioned; it is a resignation of one’s life to God for his use and pleasure. There is nothing more formidable than a man who lives only for God. As St Irenaeus says, “The glory of God is man fully alive”.

With your hands, you will toil in the vineyard of the Lord as we await his return, and with your feet, you shall race to do good, showing your love for God in how you treat your neighbours. 

As this poem attributed to the great Teresa of Avila says:

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has nobody now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has nobody now on earth but yours.”

You must be a light to all in darkness and constantly reform your own life. Your entire consideration begins and ends with finding and doing the will of God in this world. Being to the world a light, set on a high standard and shining uninhibited for the good of all. This is the narrow road that very few men find. Be Jesus and walk it to the end. 

THE BEATITUDES

We are all familiar with the eight beatitudes taught by Jesus on what is today known as the “Mount of Beatitudes”. There, he delivers some of the most revolutionary teachings the world has ever heard, a controversial, liberating, and confusing teaching. But to many, this teaching holds no real practical value, so when Jesus says, “For they shall …”, people generally do not wonder what the practical connection is between the virtue advocated by Jesus and the reward he promises for said virtue. So, it becomes one of those confusing teachings of Jesus to many. But in truth, there is a practical dimension to those teachings and understanding that angle can be valuable to those who wish to follow Jesus more closely. Here’s my insight on those.

BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT: FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

Poor from the Aramaic word ‘ányâ (Hebrew’ anî) (bent down, afflicted, miserable, poor), but it is not simply economic deprivation but poverty of spirit, which is the voluntary act of bending oneself down rather than being forced by circumstances. There is a sense in which it is also about economic poverty and exposure to injustice from the rich, but this alone does not get one a place in Heaven; what does is the disposition of the heart of him who humbles himself. Humbling oneself gives a person’s service its moral character and allows one to be shaped in the image the Lord wants, one which will merit one paradise in the end. Spiritual rigidity, pride, remaining unchanged in one’s ways, and being closed off to the actions of the Spirit of Christ who wishes to act with us in us are all vices this beatitude opposes.

This beatitude also means detachment rather than simply about being in difficulties. Detaching oneself to one’s own possession or even the pursuit of possession means they are poor in spirit, free from the control that material things tend to have on people. It means that one does not place the acquisition of wealth at the pinnacle of one’s hierarchy of values. Because, and here’s the practical part: If you put money and other material things at the top of your hierarchy of values, that, therefore, becomes your God. Whatever sits on top of that ladder is your master since all your considerations will begin and end with whatever is on top. So you can pretend to be holy in many things until you are paid big enough money to do something immoral. Then you can say, “Ah, I will confess later and be forgiven.” this means that God is not sitting enthroned at the pinnacle of your life, which is a sign that your soul is not headed for Heaven. But the person who is poor in spirit cannot compromise on their principles because money does not move them as much as the Spirit of God does. So they can be hungry and poor, but they would never give up God for anything. Theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.

As I write this, I remember St Winifred, who Caradog decapitated for refusing his advances, and St Charles Lwanga, who chose death rather than sin, St Maria Goretti, who at age 11 resisted sexual advances and was stabbed for preserving her purity. St Agnes of Rome, St Thomas Aquinas and many others chose the difficult road of the unknown or death rather than offend God by engaging in fornication. This means that at the top of their values is the burning desire to please God above everyone else, and when it was time, they chose death rather than offend Him.

The other part is that being detached from material things means that one uses them very effectively. To purchase a reasonably good life for themselves and a life that enables them to work for God effectively. Using their wealth, they can source clean water for people, pay for others’ education, and use their popularity (if they are) to sway the government in a good direction in service of the poor and forgotten. They can become stewards, sharing their finite riches and acquiring Heaven’s supernatural and eternal riches.

BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, FOR THEY SHALL POSSESS THE LAND

Meekness has a negative connotation to some people who confuse this with being a pushover or a doormat. Meekness isn’t a weakness but a sign of great strength. Since it is restraint in the face of evil shown to oneself, having the power to cause harm but choosing instead to conquer evil with good acts. According to St Augustine, the meek overcomes evil with good (On the Sermon on the Mount, Book I).

This is also an exhortation on the proper use of worldly power, that one is never addicted to it. Meekness, in this sense, would mean the emptying out of one’s self so that you can become a source of God’s power in the world, a source of grace, building, gathering and great love to the world.

BLESSED ARE THEY WHO MOURN: FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED.

All the beatitudes presuppose holiness, so the person who mourns is bereaved of a good or something counted as a good or comfort by the world. This, of course, cannot be a sinful possession but a licit worldly enjoyment forwent for the kingdom of God or taken away in the line of God’s service by those who oppose virtue. And God says that these people will be comforted.

But it is also the act of divorcing oneself from the addiction to good feelings, whether physical, emotional or psychological. While these things can be good, chasing them as the sole object of our desire is a recipe for disaster and a sure way of dethroning God as the sole focus of our wills. It means that if any of the things we enjoy are ever threatened because of the truth we preach if we have become addicted to any feeling, we will deny God and choose those feelings.

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT HUNGER AND THIRST AFTER JUSTICE: FOR THEY SHALL HAVE THEIR FILL. 

The person who loves God speaks the truth and defends it at all costs; they seek after what is true and just. But they also hunger for a world of justice and peace, and the promise of ‘having their fill’ can only be that they will someday live in such a world. It can also be that they will possess God, who is Truth and be filed with him, which is Heaven on earth and similar to the previous interpretation. As I was writing this, I remembered something I wrote a while ago, and I will share parts of it in this section since it is related to the Beatitudes somehow.

AN ANATOMY OF HEAVEN AND HELL

The refusal of communion is a symptom that something is damaged inside a person. But it is more like someone willfully chooses this damage to happen. They choose immediate gratifications over and over, causing minor to major damage in their souls over the years until they cannot rejoice in the light, truth and community, which should delight the eyes and the heart, yield pain and cause them to choose more seclusion and selfish withdrawal.

So, this wilful election to be cut from the community means that one is opposed to the essence of Heaven, which is love and communion. Hatred and other manifestations of selfishness indicate that one prefers isolation. And this preference isn’t something many people notice on the surface, but it is the truth. Selfishness means that one can only choose one’s own gratification or good. But they also desire the good of others, but only when it benefits them personally, and if it doesn’t, then one does not care about their choice. Some may even wilfully choose to hurt others when the personal gain is simply the pleasure of watching others get injured.

So, why is the person in Heaven happy? They are people of order and justice, and they see it manifested perfectly in their faces for the first time. They saw justice for what it was and its beauty, desired it directly and achieved it. So, this achievement is a source of affirmation and satisfaction. They saw God at the centre of the world and creation and sought him as the fountain of Love, Order and Justice, and now they are filled to the brim with his presence.

But why are the people in hell unhappy? Well, maybe because they now have no one to manipulate. And because they have been people of chaos but desired chaos only as a part of a false order, they thought they had for themselves only. But for the first time, they stare at the face of nothingness, oblivion and chaos, and this isn’t what they thought they wanted. And the conflict, the lack of union with others, brings them so much grief. But not as much grief as being away from God, who is objectively the Highest Good.

BLESSED ARE THEY THAT SUFFER PERSECUTION FOR JUSTICE’S SAKE, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.

I have said this many times: discipleship is dangerous, but that is part of what we have bargained for. Those who follow Jesus speak the truth unabashedly, which means that people will oppose them to the point of persecution in many different forms. The Apostles understood this, which is why they rejoiced when beaten for preaching the truth of Christ (Acts 5:41). The follower of Jesus is detached from everything so that he is free to love God properly and man for the sake of God. His love for God is absolute, and his love for man is appropriately ordered and never takes centre stage to avoid the perversion of love in many different ways. Removing God causes love to become selfish and disordered. The confusion today stems from divorcing love from God, the source of true and pure love.

Death to self is the weapon of the followers of Christ – they are to pick up their crosses every day and follow. The path of the Cross leads to persecution and bloodshed, but the crown of glory is forever. It is a product of God’s infinite mercy and justice.

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL: FOR THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY.

This one does not need a lot of explanation since it is commonsensical, at least more immediately perceived as such than most of the others. If you are merciful, you are going to receive mercy. But there is more than meets the eye in this beatitude; we will dig a little to find it. Firstly, mercy is one of God’s most prevailing characteristics in relation to us humans. No matter how many times we have failed God throughout our salvation history, he walks with us still. St John puts it perfectly: “Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). This love is a love that is properly ordered, it is a love that first of all loves God above all else, and loves man for the sake of God. So when we love our fellow man, it is proof that God is in us, and if God is in us, that itself is an enduring act of mercy. So technically, forgiving one is proof of this indwelling of God because the injury of the heart can cause permanent bitterness and the quest for revenge. We look at the attitude of Christ on the Cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not.” (Luke 23:34). And that of St Stephen mentioned earlier. It is a love that is of God, a love and forgiveness that gives no conditions. This, indeed, is difficult, much more than you can imagine. But with the help of Christ, we can do all things.

This beatitude reminds me also of Our Lord’s prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive”. Mercy is a feature of the divine, and anyone in God inherits this gift and gives it freely and gratuitously, just as God does.

BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART: FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD

For some reason, this is my favourite of all the beatitudes; I don’t know if that is a proper thing to say, but that is the truth. Purity of heart is more than just chastity, even though it is that too; but it is more about the single-mindedness in pursuing what is true and Godly. A heart without a single ulterior motive, with no confusion from worldly passions or the greed that comes with want or having. It is a heart completely free, with no attachments; this is the heart that only sees God because when everything is chaotic and noisy, they still see God sitting squarely in the pinnacle of their world, shinning brighter than the noonday sun, and gazing lovingly on the soul that gazes at Him. “Seeing God” also means seeing the truth in daily matters; when a heart is single-mindedly interested in the truth, the result is that they find it. The faithful’s only concern is ordered toward pleasing God alone, and everyone else who is pleased along the way is a happy accident and not the object of her desire at all. This is the perfection of the will: to seek only that which pleases the Divine Majesty!

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS: FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD. 

God is the Creator of the world and is the power behind the cohesion of creation, its unity and attraction to communion. Everywhere, man seeks out fellow man for fellowship, collaboration, and union. God is a gathering force who drives all he has made together to forge the human race ahead. So it makes sense that the people in God be like God who gathers. Just as Jesus put it someplace in a somewhat controversial manner, “Whoever does not gather with me scatters” Matthew 12:30. In his priestly prayer, he says, “Father that they may be one”. It is the will of God that we are one, and whoever is in God gathers, and this is a way of being like the Lord himself, of being truly a child of God.

LOOK TO JESUS CRUCIFIED 

One of the powerful things about Jesus is that he practised ALL that he preached so perfectly that his actions exemplified his words. St Thomas Aquinas, the great angelic doctor, gives us some insight into the beatitudes; he suggests that if we want to be fulfilled, we must love what Jesus loved on the Cross and despise what he despised.

On the Cross, he was poor in spirit, humbling himself and voluntarily accepting the shameful and painful death of the Cross for the sins of others. He is meek, choosing the path of nonviolence and exhorting his Apostle to sheath his sword. He mourns the evil of the world and is abandoned and alone. He hungers and thirsts on the Cross, figuratively and physically, but he gets no satisfaction for the thirst on his parched lips. He also thirsts for justice; he remembers his mother and ensures she is cared for even in his agony. He gives his mother to us, to the Church to be ours. He exemplifies perfect mercy by accepting the task of saving humanity, of being the Lamb of God who is slain. On the Cross, too, he shows mercy to Dismas, the penitent thief who asks for mercy. He also asks the Father for mercy on those who had spent hours mocking him and doing everything they could to destroy his dignity by hanging him naked like a common criminal on the Cross. Yet he has mercy on them.

He is also pure in heart, the single-minded one whose sole purpose is to do the Will of the Father and not his own will. Jesus, throughout his life, expressed to his followers that doing the will of God is his food. And on the Cross, he perfects this obedience to the Father and becomes food for the souls of those who seek God. In him, we are reconciled to the Father; he is the perfect peacemaker, for he takes on the world’s blame and gives us a new life, a fresh start with God. Finally, he is the Just one who is unjustly judged and condemned for no evil. Consider the magnitude of this crime on the part of the Jews who killed him: they condemned a completely innocent man, a good man. But more than that, they condemned Goodness Himself and put him to death. Jesus is the Just; he is himself Justice but was still unjustly condemned to death on the Cross. He conquered the world in his moral revolution and war, becoming the path to righteousness and a shining example for those who wish to know how to act.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU

Are you seeing a pattern yet? God wants you to become like him in loving good and evil people, His friends and enemies alike. Love is not a feeling, so you do not need to feel tingly about those who do their best to harm you. But love is the ability to will the good of others, especially when you have nothing to gain from it. When we talk about purity of heart, purity of intention is part of it. Why you do what you do matters, so if you are only showing love to those who are positioned to return it, are you really loving? If you give money to those who might be able to return it to you someday or offer you other forms of payment, is that really charity? Charity involves giving so that you lose something completely, not so that it circles back later.

This is why I kick against those who preach that God gives you money back when you give. Charity is a commandment; it is your duty as a follower of Christ. It is not some extra stuff you do; it is essential to your calling as a disciple. So, if your sole reason for giving is to receive, you are doing it entirely wrong. God’s gifts belong to him; you use those gifts to make life livable for yourself and those around you and, if you can, the larger society. This is a commandment from Jesus to you and me.

God indeed does bless you when you give, but it is not necessarily material. God gives you his presence and love when you grow in charity. There is nothing more valuable than the spirit of God. When you have tasted God’s fire in your soul, you will understand why some Saints gave away everything to have more of this fire, undiluted and undisturbed by any material pursuits. While you should not be like the saints in this regard if you work in the world, there has to be a good level of detachment that will enable us to function properly as a steward of God’s riches in our lives. All our riches, whether material, spiritual or mental, belong to God; we have to give them freely and trust in our God, who loves us more than our little minds can comprehend.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW?

What do all these mean for you right now? Well, firstly you have to be hungry for more Jesus. At least I hope there’s a fire in your heart right now, and you must do everything you can to fan it into flame.

Revisit your relationship with Jesus, and see if you have fallen into a dangerous pattern that has caused you to become numb to your sins or ignorant of the efficacy and power of the Sacraments. Whatever the devil can do to remove you from the proper reception of the Sacraments, he will. I encourage you to read “Sin Confession God’s Mercy and Purgatory” on www.kyfaith.org or in print. We discuss the proper reception of the Sacraments there. The Church’s teachings on those are straightforward, so do not have your personal catechisms, but accept Church teachings as coming from God for the good of your soul.

Begin a life that responds to the call of Jesus in many ways. Oh, I want you to join my mission and support me; I hope you will accept. I need any skill you have, no matter how unrelated to evangelism you might think it is. My mission is to educate the public on the reasonableness of Faith and the powerful transformation that Charity, motivated by true Faith in Christ in his Church, brings, how the vision of Truth can transform your life and bring you clarity and fulfilment. I intend to design a curriculum to teach young people how to lead by serving. In the family as parents, and in society as politicians, so that everywhere we can bring God back into our communities and find peace again in our world. I will also need financial support to do these things full-time eventually and build physical structures for education, camping, homeless shelters, kitchens for feeding the hungry and health centres for the sick and the addicted. And hopefully, we will be able to create a praying and social community for Catholics in every region of the country and the world. Because after training disciples for Christ, they need to be sent, but they need to maintain a healthy community as a social tool for support in the mission alongside the deep commitment to the Eucharist. Everything I will do will be supervised by the Diocese where it is located.

When I was teaching kids years ago, I used to tell them the first thing I’d love to see when I died was the face of Jesus smiling at me and the open arms of Mary, to whom I am consecrated, coming to welcome me. And I tell you, nothing will earn us that place quicker than actively working for Christ in love, sharing his word and tending to the world. 

I want to help people discover the will of God for their lives, too, and help them learn how to listen to and respond to the voice of God. 

When you notice something missing in your parish or immediate community, the Spirit of God calls you to do something about it. You can be a victim and complain endlessly about something missing, or you could roll up your sleeves and fix it. 

As for me, I have seen my country is broken and needs serious work. I am responsible for this brokenness because I am part of the society that produces broken people, and my participation in evil, no matter how little, has contributed to this structure of evil enveloping us. So, I intend to roll up my sleeves and do something about it. This booklet is my first step, and forming the apostolate/mission/ministry (whatever it will be called) is the next step. I have led an extraordinary life, and most of my years have been spent preaching the word of God and forming young people. Some of my life has been spent in horrible vices, too, but the Lord is gracious in his patience that this fire has not yet died completely. I attribute this grace to the tenacity of Mary, who is a great help to the most needy souls.

So, let the world rejoice in the generosity of Christ, let us turn their faces to the consolation of the light of God who is Love and Mercy, let us bring them close to the fountain of living waters in the Sacraments, and let us educate our young men to be courageous, saintly fathers and pillars of society, and our young women to be virtuous, symbols of unmatched spiritual beauty, intelligence and holiness. 

Let us do something for God together. So that Jesus can smile on us in the end and welcome us into his kingdom as we serve him in the world and love him in our neighbours.

God bless you.

Let us Pray

O love eternal, my soul needs and chooses you eternally! Ah, come Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with your love! To love – or to die! To die – and to love! To die to all other love in order to live in Jesus’ love, so that we may not die eternally. But that we may live in your eternal love, O Saviour of our souls, we eternally sing, “Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus, whom I love! Jesus, I love, Jesus, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

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Kenneth C. Alimba

Kenneth C. Alimba is a Catholic who believes that the only RIGHT way to view the world is through the eyes of God - so he spends his life teaching people how to attempt to make this a habit as he tries to do the same.

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