Clothe the naked (continued)

By Rev. Fr. Eva Chuma Nnamene

Irrespective of the injunction to clothe the naked, there are those who go naked out of choice. Those who chose to be naked will really refuse to be clothed. So there is no need bothering about clothing them. Because they are sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, as people say, they chose to be nude. They are nudists. However, in last week's edition we mentioned the necessities of clothing. We pointed out that clothing is one of our basic needs are humans.

Because it is a basic human need, all human beings ought to be properly clothed. To be properly clothed is to wear the appropriate clothe. It is not to wear rags, torn, worn or tattered clothes. Poverty is often the reason why people are not able to wear appropriate clothes. Though poverty may not the reason for all cases where people are not appropriately dressed, it is one of the genuine reasons people are naked or not properly clothed.

Sickness is another reason. Sickness causes psychosomatic disorganization of the person, and as such give rise to inappropriate clothing. Lack of civic education is also another reason. When people are not properly educated on how to comport themselves and necessary daily hygiene, they are bound to be unkempt and inappropriately dressed.

Whatever is the cause of inappropriate clothing, we are invited to clothe the naked. We must not ignore the causes of inappropriate dressing, though. But let us look at the challenges of clothing the naked. One major challenge is the difficulty of parting with what we own. For some people it is difficult to give out what they have. But Jesus laid down His life for us (John 15: 13).

He laid a new commandment for us (John 13: 34). Some people who give with much difficulty might end up giving the naked those worn out clothes they dumped or may have overgrown. Mother Theresa of Calcutta was one person that found fulfilment in clothing the naked. She spent her lifetime visiting slums, and sharing all those basic human needs. She knew the poor were not only found in Calcutta. Jesus said you will have the poor always with you. So she said:

Stay where you are. Find your own Calcutta. Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right there where you are - in your own homes and in your own families, in your workplaces and in your schools. ... You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have the eyes to see. Everywhere, wherever you go, you find people who are unwanted, unloved, uncared for, just rejected by society - completely forgotten, completely left alone.

True, the poor are found everywhere. Fish out those who are naked in your community and take care of them. Those who are naked are debased. They feel like subhuman beings. They are degraded. Some of them have lost their sense of self-esteem. The worst is some those who are properly clothed have no regards for them. But our Jesus came for the poor, the downtrodden and the forgotten. And as Christians we are called to care for them too.

In response to the Nimbo massacre and consequent humanitarian crises arising forthwith, many Christians have rushed to their assistance. Some quickly took them into their homes at Nsukka and environs - providing food, clothes, money and other useful materials to reinvigorate them. These charitable gestures fall in line with the Gospel message of Christ; they are shining examples of the invitation of Pope Francis during this Holy Year of Mercy. Let us go do it today.

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