Father Paul was an old priest who had a catechist called Andrew. He trusted Andrew so much, and Andrew respected Father too so much. He quickly assigned Andrew to most of the villages’ churches under his parish, so Andrew could conduct mass in his place. When Andrew was gone, he will linger around to cuckold him with his wife. Andrew had heard it from the villagers, but he decided not to fight back; after all, he was helping himself with the nice wine that Father used in conducting communion services. Father Paul quickly realized that the wine was finishing faster than he used it, so he will turn the bottle upside down and draw a line to mark the level of the wine. He will turn the bottle back and sit it on its butt as bottles are usually placed. Unfortunately, Andrew did not know the wine was being marked. Although only Andrew had access to the wine room, Father Paul decided not to confront him. He was confident that he would find the truth during absolution, and at that moment, he will rebuke the wine thief. Andrew on his part was not happy that Father was using cuckolding him. He felt that Father at least owes him an apology,. The more the apology delayed coming, he felt justified to drink the wine because that was the only way he could balance the equation.
Finally, during the end of year confession, it was Andrew’s turn in the concession box. Andrew had confessed all his sins, but he did not mention the wine. He felt it redeemed by Father sleeping his wife. Father waited until Andrew was done. “Andrew have you finished?" Fathe Paul asked in a soft but stern voice. “Yes, Father!” Andrew replied. “Andrew!” Father called. Andrew answered, “Yes Father!” “Have you finished?” Father asked again. Andrew once more replied, “Yes Father!” “Andrew, this is the third time I am asking you this; have you finished?” Father insisted. Andrew sensing something was wrong said to him, “Father, I have forgotten the rest.” Father said, “Andrew, if you have forgotten, I will remind you. Who used to steal my wine?” Andrew quickly retorted, “What?” Father repeated again, “Andrew, who used to steal my communion wine? You are wearing out my patience!” Father repeated sternly. “What???” Andrew asked as if surprised. Father again repeated himself, “Andrew, who used to steal my communion wine?” Andrew replied, “What? My father!” Father got irritated and said, “Andrew it seems as if it is difficult for you hear me. Please, come and take my seat. You ask me the same question if I will hear."
So they exchanged positions, and it was Andrew’s turn to ask Father. Then Andrew took a long deep breath and began, “Father, who used to sleep with my wife when I am not there?” Father said “What?” Andrew said, “No, Father Paul, don’t be in a hurry. Attentively listen to me. Who used to sleep with my wife when I am not there?” “What? Andrew!” Father shouted. Andrew again patiently repeated the same question as if teaching a new born how to read by counting the words for Father Paul to hear well. “Father- when –I- am –not- home- who –used- to -sleep –with- my –wife?” Father said, “What?” Then Andrew replied, “Father, didn’t I tell you that when someone is standing down there, he does not hear very well the questions that come from up here?” Father got up and told Andrew he has forgiven him for stealing his wine, and Andrew told him he has forgiven him for sleeping with the wife.
Folks, we sometimes hear well when it is others' peccadilloes. However, we know ourselves that we are not better. We know that we have skeletons ourselves that we are hiding somewhere. Let us learn how to remove the log from our eyes before thinking of taking away the specs from our neighbor’s eyes. Let us learn to assume responsibilities on our failures, so that we will no more do the same thing. Let’s stop counting the sins of others when we are doing the same things.
Until then, don’t judge people on things you are guilty.
Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk