By Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

Fr Joseph Panabang SVD

1. We were passing by Osobeng Waterfalls, Asesewa, Ghana, which hurtle hundreds of feet into the depths below. Everyone wanted to stop to view such a majestic and beautiful scene. While with the altar boys now enraptured by the sight I remarked, ‘What a nice place to throw down misbehaving altar boys’. They stared anxiously at each other.

2. I was trekking to one of our far-flung villages. Deep in the bush and in the middle of a one-way road, a mini-truck was parked. After half an hour waiting, I was getting impatient. Taking out my breviary, I began praying until I was disturbed by a man asking, ‘Who is that stupid driver blocking the road?’ I flared up. ‘I am the one’, I said. But the man showed no sign at all of being offended, insulted or even peeved. Closing my prayer book, I looked up exclaiming, ‘So, Lord, this is what you mean by “if they throw stones at you, throw them bread”?’

3. We noticed our hens didn’t want to lay their eggs in the baskets we had prepared for them. The parish priest Fr Mietek Sagan SVD from Poland, suggested we put one ping-pong ball in each basket to deceive them. It worked. But the color of one ping-pong ball was no longer immaculately white after being ‘incubated’ twice.

4. ‘Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God’ was the text that Sunday in Asesewa, Ghana. ‘Tettey in Krobo’ is a popular name that means ‘first-born male’. ‘Mawu’ is the word for God. Trying to localize the text, I said, ‘Give to Tettey what belongs to Tettey and to Mawu what belongs to Mawu’. After Mass I overheard some of the faithful saying, ‘Father Joe was talking about Fr John Tumawu SVD from Ghana’.

Father Joeker