Christian Religious Leader: A Call to Order
I had once engaged Rev.Fr X.M in a conversation on why priests (religious leaders) rarely give people lifts, he said it was because the priests often carry the Holy Eucharist in their cars, and that is why the priests do not give lifts. Beautiful defense, is it?
But what can one say about the beautiful girls I often see in Pastors/Priests cars? Or are these girls more Christic than Christ himself? When did girls become Christlike, that they are the only gender worthy to be given lifts by these Pastors/Priests?
So, whenever these priests, whose lips have been purpled by the Holy Wine and whose hearts have been reddened by Christ’s blood say to me ‘The Lord Be With You’, I reply ‘And You, where Are You?’.
Do You Know?
Once upon a time, I had some discussion with my friends who are/were undergoing formations to become priests/pastors, and the discussion went from one topic to another.
Finally, it landed on the types of cars each of us would like to have, if we were ordained priests/pastors. My comrades each listed cars ranging from Bentley, Toyota Solara, Nissan Murano, Acura ZDX and other small very fast cars (very costly too).
When it fell on me to name mine, I said I would like to have Toyota Sienna XLE. Surprised by my choice, they all broke into laughter and the laughter was as disastrous and deafening as Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.
When they recovered from the fit, some jokingly inquired if I was planning on starting a commercial transport company, others made fun of my choice and while pointing out that my choice car was for family alone; except you are planning to have a family, they concluded.
Yes, I am planning to have a family, a family of Christ, my parishioners and members, who I will readily offer some lifts at all times; and Toyota Sienna is a perfect car for that. And tomorrow, if these sets of students are ordained priest/pastors, whenever they say The Lord Be with You, I will reply And You, Where Are You?
“The Lord Be With You” – And You, Where Are You?
A priest happened to be going the same way, and when he saw the man, he passed on the other side (LK 10:31-32)
Peace has always been the way people of the Christian faith greeted one another. The very first mention of Salem in the bible can be traced back to Melchizedek, who was priest and king of Salem (Gen 14:18).
Though some versions of the bible write that Salem and Jerusalem were one and same place, Biblical scholars could see that the land which was ruled by Melchizedek was peaceful (possibly because he was a priest of God), thus the right need to call the land Salem.
In the new testament of the Bible, upon his resurrection, Jesus came and stood among them and said Peace be with you (JN 20:19). Interestingly, this was said three times. It is a common knowledge that any declaration made, as of the old (and in these times), three times, the person says the truth.
This was exemplified in the denial of Jesus by Peter. After Peter declared three times that he knew not Jesus, he was troubled no more. Significantly, these three ‘peaceful greetings’ destroyed and made whole the damage caused by Peter’s denial. Thus, Christ expected that we would start on a fresh page, afresh – and then act like him; what Archbishop Obinna of Owerri Archdiocese, Imo State calls ‘being Christic’ (pronounced Kryistik).
And so, the early disciples imitated Christ (and were called Christians) in all things. So, to greet one another, they would say Salem – that is, imparting Christ’s peace, who himself was called Prince of Peace (Is 9:6).
In the Contemporary Time
Passed down to us, of this contemporary time, Catholic Priests and protestant pastors use this format of greeting over their parishioners/members. It is worthy to note that this greeting has been reserved for the ordained only. That is our first mistake!
A graver mistake and neglect is that of the people who have this greeting reserved for them – the priests and the pastors. As P.C Umeh, in one of his poems Ambassadors of Poverty ridicules the bad leaders as ‘having their heads abroad and their anuses at home’, I ridicule these priests/pastors who say the Lord be with you when they themselves are very far from the people.
Christian Religious Leaders
How can the Lord be with us when you drive exotic cars, passenger-less , along the streets ,see your parishioners standing under the sun and waiting for taxi- then like the biblical priest and the Levite, you look the other way. Hypocrisy!
Priests/Pastors be wary! Do you not know that you have been set apart to offer sacrifices to God, from the rising of the sun to its setting (Malachi 1:11)? Why then do you not keep yourselves clean, pure and blameless?
If you upset God with your immoral lives, He may say ‘I am not pleased with you and I will accept no sacrifice from your hands’ (Malachi 1;10). That you may keep your lips upright, so that when you bless the people, the Lord is really with them- and so are you.
How can you accept foodstuffs and other material things from your parishioners yet when you see any of them hungry, at worse near your kitchens, you run to grab your guns (Matt 5:42). Do you not know that you have been sanctified by the truth (John 17:18), and that you have been made holy?
So, before you bless others, be sure that you yourself are holy and near to the people (Matt 7:3). Your call is a call to service, and not mere recital of words of benediction.
As priests, you should be near the people always; let spiritual welfare of the people always be your concern- just as you sympathize with our own weaknesses (Heb 4:15).
You have been selected to be near us, with us and for us (Heb 5:1), that is why we ask our most heavenly father, the Almighty, to give to you the ‘dignity of the priesthood’! May you priests/pastors not make fun of these prayers you have received.
You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruits (Jn 15:16). Jesus has chosen you priests/pastors and has commissioned you to serve among us (Matt 10; 6; 16), do you then refuse to answer or obey our lord who you did in your hay days confess to love?
Be with us! Emmanuel – God is with us; and if you must act like God and of God, at least we should be comforted that you priest/pastors are with us.
So, before you kiss your parishioners in your churches, or touch their penises and vaginas; climb on their backs or spray insecticides in their faces – all in the name of deliverance, ask yourself DO I DO AS THE LORD WANTS?
Take a little of that insecticide and spray on your faces – how does it feel? Before you ask them to bring unto the lord in proportion that he has given them, ask yourself IF I USE THIS TO BUY PRIVATE JET OR GUCCI, DO I PLEASE THE LORD?
These things are acts you do which make God turn his face away from you, making you run the race alone. They are also acts which make your parishioners run away from you and puts you far away from them; so that when you say THE LORD BE WITH YOU, they would reply AND YOU, WHERE ARE YOU?