NAKEDNESS AND NUDITY, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Genesis 2:18-25, Mark 7:24-30


“Now both of them were naked, the man and his wife, but they felt no shame in front of each other.”

QUOTES: Openness is not an invitation for sellout. It is a game of trust. Hiding one’s identity is pretence.

I had a friend when I was in the seminary.  We were not allowed to eat in between meals as at that time. However, my friend formed the habit of concealing beverages in his room. And if anyone knocked on his door he would say, “Wait, do you want to see my nakedness?” Whoever understood the language game then must surely know that he was eating in between meals. Seeing his nakedness simply meant finding him out.

To be naked before someone is something more than showing him or her our body uncovered. It is about giving the person the privilege of knowing some personal facts about us. Nakedness entails openness before someone we see as a confidant. To be naked can mean being oneself without pretence.

Moreover, when two people in love are open to each other, they are building trust. In openness, we know each other’s weak points and strengths, and this gives room for proper understanding. For husband and wife to live peacefully, they must be naked before each other. For true friendship to exist, there must be ground for trust. Though, giving ourselves to others in openness is a risk, no true friendship exist without true life sharing.

However, one becomes nude when one opens one’s body to seek attention or for public opinions. This is obscenity and it has a lot to say about our integrity and the values we live by.

Everyone is entitled to his or her privacy. And an intrusion into someone’s private space is a breach. Even in a true relationship, when one takes to nudity to get attention from a partner, it may produce the wrong result. And when nudity is meant to target the general public, it questions the integrity of the one involved.

Generally, , it takes special sacrifice for someone to leave his or her private space and attend to the need of others. While in the region of Tyre, Jesus did not want anyone to know that he was around. He needed his privacy at the time. Unfortunately, a Syrophoenician woman came to intrude into his privacy by pleading for her daughter. Despite Jesus attempt to dissuade her, she persisted and got what she wanted.

Hence, we may not know how much we do at times when we sacrifice a bit of our privacy so as to help others. We can be flexible in order to save some emergency situations around us. Nevertheless, we should also be cautious the same to respect people’s privacy.  No one has exclusive right over another’s space.

Above all, before God, we are all naked. He knows everything about us.  He understands us and loves us. As we live true to ourselves, as we open up to him,may  his love fill us and heal whatever is delicate in us through Christ our Lord. Amen.




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