The church is guilty of implementing many progressive programmes recently, most of them to try to right this lawless society in which we live. The underlying factor, however, of most of these programmes is grounded in LOVE of your fellow man. In recent times our society, being continuously fed by greed and the almighty dollar has led to the loss of respect for each other and even some institutions, hence we have so many involved in criminal activity, corruption, and general lawlessness.
Many of the homilies delivered over the Christmas season by our priests dealt with the almost total absence of that single important ingredient–Love. But that love must be accompanied by several other virtues like humility, temperance, charity, and care. If we were all to take these seriously and make them part of our New Year's resolutions, wouldn’t we see the society revert to what it was many, many years ago? When everyone was eager to help the poor; when everyone was willing to help the sick and incapacitated; when love spread throughout our society.
Not like the present when robbers are of the firm belief that what is yours is also theirs and should be had even it means hurting or even killing you. This loss of respect for each other is reflected in the daily behaviour of people—anger that we cannot have some sanity returned to our people. Is there an underlying reason for this? Think seriously about it and then say “mea culpa’. It is a combination of our laxity in engendering respect, love, charity, and care in accomplishing our daily goals.
So that when we are formulating our New Year's resolutions, it might be revolutionary to include “a better you”. Now, this can mean many different things depending on where you stand. You can pledge to be more caring; more charitable; more forgiving; more helpful; show more empathy; be more compassionate and most important of all show more love to your neighbour and fellow man. Such a pledge would go long way in healing our broken society.
Therefore as we celebrate the beginning of a brand new year—2019—and all of our accompanying personal resolutions about being a better individual, observing good health norms, attending church more regularly and all such things, we must remember we are part of a society and fractured as it may be we each as Roman Catholics have an individual responsibility to make every effort to improve our communities.
As the new year grows older daily, it is incumbent on us to remember that our time is short or as “Living Faith” writer Karla Manternach reminds us “The end is always near. We have only so long to fulfil our calling on this earth and to live as disciples of Christ. Yet our God is not a God of endings. The dawn of a new year is also an opportunity to show our reverence for He who is, who always was and who always will be.
“Even as time marches forward for us, our God is eternal. God is endless love for us and all creation. May the knowledge of God’s love humble and embolden us to love and serve the Lord in the new year.”
To all my readers: A blessed and successful 2019.
Vernon Khelawan is a columnist for Catholic Media Services Limited (Camsel), the official communications arm of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain. Its offices are located at 31 Independence Square. Telephone: 623-7620