Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaSunday, June 8, 2014




ho is God? How can we describe Him, since He is indescribable? The Catechism of the Church says that God is a spirit. He is invisible yet He sees all things. He has no beginning and end. In other words He is the Alpha and Omega, that is, the Beginning and End. He is a mysterious God, who created Heaven and Earth. He is both the Creator and the Animator. He is Omnipotent and Omnipresent. The Philosopher Aristotle describes God as the Unmoved Mover. That means that He moves all things, but no one can move Him. Can we call Him "Onyilingugba?" ( No one can grab Him). He is incomprehensible.

I asked a group of people if God is a man or a woman. The women unanimously said that God is a woman because He is caring. But the men interjected that He is a man because He is powerful. Are all men powerful? What of women who beat their husbands? A certain man receives blows from his lawful wedded wife whenever he provokes her. This man cries like a baby before his children. The children console him always. The little one went to her mum one day and pleaded, "Mummy, daddy is crying. Please stop beating him." So, God is neither a man nor a woman, because He has no masculine or feminine gender. As a spirit He has no flesh.

One certain day a teacher was teaching Elementary two pupils about God. She told them that God is Father. One of the pupils who was fuming, raised her hand up and said, "Anti excuse me!" The anti pointed at her to stand up and ask her question or make a contribution. The little girl said, "Anti, God is not a father because my father is very wicked." The Anti and the whole pupils burst out laughing tearfully for over thirty minutes. Is the little girl not correct? God is a loving Father and not a wicked Father. Please let us clap for the little girl who is now a Reverend Sister in the Congregation of Daughters of Divine Love.

Yes, God is great! Is He not? His greatness cannot be measured. Psalm 48:1-2 says, "Great is God and most worthy of praise in the city of our God, the holy mountain, towering in beauty, the joy of all the world." He is the Father of all human beings, both good and bad. Good people glorify the Lord. Bad people cause Him headache. Good people are blessings before the Lord. Bad people are abominable before the Lord. The Lord does not condone evil. The second command in the Decalogue asserts, "You shall not misuse the name of God your God, for He will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses his name" (Exodus 20:7). Do you know Mr Nonso Mgbe? He was a 25-year-old suspected kidnapper from Azia town in Ihiala Local Government Area of Anambra State. According to the Nation Newspaper of Tuesday May 27, 2014, Nonso was believed to have been responsible for the death of a former commander of the special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of Anambra State Police Command. He was also the brain behind other high-profile kidnap cases. He built a modern storey bungalow at Azia with his ill-gotten money. In front of the bungalow he inscribed: "GOD IS GREAT." What an insult! The Holy Writ has this to say: "Disaster to anyone who amasses ill-gotten gains for his house, so as to fix his nest on high and so evade the reach of misfortune! You have conspired to bring shame on your house: by overthrowing many peoples you have worked your own ruin. For the very stone will protest from the wall, and the beam will respond from the framework" (Habakkuk 2:9 - 11). So, it happened that the Anambra State Governor Chief Willie Obiano has vowed to rid the state of criminals. Consequently, Nonso Mgbe was spotted. He died in a gun-battle with the police. Later, his ill-gotten bungalow was demolished by government officials. A report says it all in these words: "As Mgbe's storey building was being demolished, villagers shook their heads" (The Nation, Tuesday May 27, 2014). God is great!

The greatness of God should be manifested in good deeds and not in evil. Often evil men seem to thrive while the good suffer. Hence the Prophet Jeremiah contemplates on the prosperity of the wicked. He puts this question before God: "Your uprightness is too great, God, for me to dispute with you. But I should like to discuss some points of justice with you: why is it that the way of the wicked prospers? Why do all treacherous people thrive?" (Jer. 12:1). But the Psalmist answers it all: "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' Their deeds are corrupt and vile, not one of them does right" (Psalm 14:1). Let us not be discouraged. The prosperity of the wicked is only temporal. It pays to be good and God-fearing always.

Do you know that evil people pray for success? A group of armed robbers before going out for a robbery operation knelt down and prayed that God may see them through. They went for the robbery but none of them came home alive. I have a personal encounter with an armed robber who approached me to pray and bless him as he was about to join his colleagues in a robbery operation at the Enugu-Onitsha expressway. According to him, he was afraid to undergo the operation. He was an only son. I saw his gun protruding from his pocket. If you were in shoes, what would you do? Courageously I swallowed the fear in me and I admonished him not to embark on the crime. But he promised me that he would stop after that particular operation. Immediately he knelt down for my prayer and blessing. Well, I prayed for him in Latin, asking God to make him change his heart. And I blessed him. He shook my hands and left. As he was leaving, I pitied him as he was walking like a ghost. Indeed he took part in the robbery operation and he fell by police bullets. Oh, what a misfortune! God is great!

As I was writing this article, there was a-breaking news that the Catholic Diocese of Awka in Nigeria has been blessed with a new Auxiliary Bishop-elect Monsignor Jonas Benson Okoye, a native of Adazi-Nnukwu in Njikoka Local Government of Anambra State. He was ordained a priest in 1992. By God's grace he will be ordained a Bishop in August 2014. God is great! Msgr JB Okoye was indeed endowed with the spirit of bishopric when he was conceived in his mother's womb. He was born a bouncing baby boy on 25th January 1963 in Kaduna. He grew up handsome, tall, huge and hardworking. He is as tall as Melchizedek the patron of Bishops. In fact, the skull-cap and mitre fit bishop-elect Jonas Benson Okoye. One day in a certain church where a bishop was to preside at the Eucharistic Sacrifice, for entrance hymn the choir sang: "Lee nnukwu ukochukwu..." (Behold the high Priest). As they saw that the bishop in question was very short, they changed their hymn to "Lee mkpumkpu Ukochukwu...." (Behold the short Priest). If you wish to know what transpired later, kindly see me in person for the rest of the story. Indeed, Bishop-elect Jonas Benson Okoye was created on a Monday morning when God had much time in his work of creation. On my own part, I was also created on Monday but late in the evening. That is why nature cheated me. Bishop-elect Jonas Benson is a high priest by birth, stature and qualifications. I wish him God's guidance and a successful apostolate in the Lord's Vineyard with the substantial Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Chukwuemeka Ezeokafor. God is great!