Last week I wrote about further reasons why everyone is important in our beautiful diocese. I got a constructive criticism on my emphasis on research (please keep them coming 😊) so, I decided to dedicate today to research. As the starting point of my existential approach to theology is Jesus, today’s post is on Jesus and research.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines research as (1) careful or diligent search; (2) studious inquiry or examination especially: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws; (3) the collecting of information about a particular subject.
The gospels are dotted with references to Jesus and research. First meaning (1): When the disciples wanted to send the crowds away, Jesus told the disciples to give them something to eat instead. Consequently, he asked: “How many loaves have you? Go and see. And when they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish’” (Mark 6:38).
(2) When Jesus sent out the twelve on a mission, he said to them: “And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart” (Matt 10:11). How can the disciples, on their first visit to a town, find out a worthy person among hundreds and possibly, thousands? Research. As in every research, some designs and tools help in the investigation. The apostles adopted the design and tools that Jesus established for them.
The sending of the 70 disciples is instructive in understanding Jesus’ research design. Jesus said to the 70: “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’. And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the labourer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house” (Luke 10:5-7). Hence, to find out a worthy person, the disciples need to continue visiting families (experiment) until they find someone who is hospitable and disposed to the gospel (criteria for experimentation).
(3) At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples: “Who do men say that the Son of man is? And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’. He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matt 16:13-16).
My dear brothers, research is indispensable to effective evangelisation. The Church does a lot of research before defining a doctrine, creating a new ecclesiastical zone, appointing people to ecclesiastical offices, and declaring one a saint. The scriptures remind us always that we will perish for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). The words of Francis Bacon are always relevant – “Knowledge is power”.
Pick up something about our beloved diocese and study. Yes, Okigwe diocese needs you because your knowledge and contributions are unique and very valuable😊.
May God continue to bless our beloved diocese.🙏🏾