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Beyond Witnessing

A New Way of Humanising the World

Peter Chidi Okuma

The Poor and poverty-related issues and questions are in vogue. Humanitarianism is in. Yet so many mouths are hungry and poor – even «more hunger» than never. What is responsible? Aren’t there enough theories to end poverty like that of Jeffery Sachs: The End of Poverty. How we can make it happen in our Lifetime? Or those of Dambisa Moyo and others? Are resources not really enough and those directly concerned not doing enough in «doling out» help? Are we not donating enough? This author has x-rayed the theories of poverty and world poverty in particular through the purview of Jeffery Sachs. The author discovered that we need to go beyond witnessing today in order to really make true and lasting impact on the lives of humans. As he suggests through a combination of what he calls the «Christian Metannarrative hermeneutics» and the Mother Teresa of Calcutta model: «We are called to live the love of God, not to feel the love of God. We live this love through prayer and action. Our work is the fruit of our prayer, so that if our work is not going well, we must examine our prayer life. If we neglect our work or are harsh, proud, moody, and angry, then we should examine our prayer life. We will see that something has gone wrong there.»

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Chapter Three

Extract

3.1 The Semantics of Witnessing Back to the Old Testament the prophets were clearly agents of rebuking the obnox- ious and immoral structures of their times. One recalls the person of the Prophet Amos who spoke against injustices meted out to the poor and the downtrodden by the rich and most powerful (Amos 5:14 – 24). A similar prophetic effort is what one witnesses in the Prophet Hosea (Hosea 11:1 – 9). In the personality of Christ one witnesses the ensemble of the Old Testament prophecies and ipso facto the taking of this prophetic witnessing to its highest echelon. Even as Jesus himself attested: “I have come not to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many (Matt 20:28).” Christ-event for human- kind was in itself a prophetic witnessing par excellence. The Apostles of Jesus after the Ascension of Christ had equally the same clar- ion call: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). But it is worth noting that the Apostles of Jesus could not at any point in time accomplish this task of witnessing without devoting themselves to prayerful devotion as the basis and strength of their witnessing in word and concrete action. And this position gets its clear light and authenticity from the argumentation of John Paul II when...

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