Dr. SimonMary Asese Aihiokhai was born in Nigeria. He received his undergraduate
education in philosophy at the Spiritan School of Philosophy, Nigeria (1997). He began
his initial studies in theology at the Spiritan International School of Theology before
migrating to the United States to continue it at Saint John Seminary, Camarillo,
California, where he earned a graduate degree in theology with a focus in medical ethics
(2007). He obtained his Ph.D. in systematic theology from Duquesne University (2013).
Dr. Aihiokhai is currently an associate professor of systematic theology at the University
Since the risen Christ embodies the gift of hope for those who follow the post-resurrection Christ, our reading of the Johannine narrative on the encounter between the risen Christ and the followers ought to open our hearts to encountering difference as an opportunity to replicate the gift that the followers received – openness to difference as the means by which God chooses to make God present in our world.
When we work towards the eradication of structures that perpetuate poverty in our communities, those that divide us, systems that perpetuate classism or any form of caste system, we each become the light that others see around them. This is also how we embody the glory of God as was experienced by the shepherds in the Lukan narrative.
The disruptive presence of Nehemiah in spaces that are intended to erase his identity allows for a broader understanding of God’s word. While religious laws may sometimes be exclusionary in their nature, a higher law, one that is grounded in one’s fidelity to God through the way one lives one’s life, allows for radical inclusivity of all before God.