|CHURCH ALIVE - Jul 8|
|2012 - Editorial|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 14:17|
It ought to be clear that the crime problem we face has not developed overnight. It arose incrementally in and through all the institutions of our society – bit by bit, one misstep after another – over decades.
But there is no room either for despondency, complacency or cynicism. The change that we desire will come about with the right disposition and behaviour, and with some sacrifice.
When some were ready to gloat over the reduction in serious crime at the end of last year’s state of emergency, Archbishop Joseph Harris pointed out that the SOE would not bring a long-term solution to the issues we faced. He said then that change would only come when people’s hearts are changed.
Changing hearts is a work that God does, and we must believe that he wants to accomplish this work in us. The Church teaches, “The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart. Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him. …God gives us the strength to begin anew” (Catechism of the Catholic Church n.1432).
It is in this context that we must see last Sunday’s March for Jesus, which turned out to be a mammoth gathering of people anxious to demonstrate their deep concern for the nation – for the way in which crime, in all its forms, has made inroads into the lives of all citizens – and to ask God’s help and implore his mercy. From three starting points people walked in prayer to the Queen’s Park Savannah where praise and worship continued.
The well-publicised march brought Catholics from all parts of the country together. In a year when several activities have taken place to highlight Catholic identity, Sunday’s march gave good indication of a Church that is alive.
Marches of this kind, however, must surely do more than give visibility to the Church. They must serve to rouse those who participate, as well as those who look on, to take a sincere look at their personal lives to see where evil has encroached and to stir each one to fulfil the responsibility he or she has been given – in the home, in our neighbourhoods and in the workplace.
In his taped message to the crowd at the Savannah on Sunday the Archbishop said, “Since all of us are nationals, since all of us live in this country, all of us are called in our own lives to see whether or not we are in fact living by the values of Jesus Christ.”
Today’s Gospel gives an account of Jesus’ return to his hometown of Nazareth where he is not accepted, among a people who clearly believe they have all the answers. St Mark states, “He could work no miracle there” (Mark 6:5). Jesus is amazed at the people’s lack of faith.
There are no quick fixes to our present problems. It is to be noted that the promoters of Sunday’s event saw it as a way of making Catholics in their parishes better equipped for evangelisation, getting them ready for action. Fixing our problems requires spiritual renewal and a rededication to the task of nation building. The 50th anniversary of Independence presents us with a good platform for this to begin.________________________________________________________________________________________ **DISCLAIMER**: User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Camsel/Catholic News or its staff. Camsel/Catholic News accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments. Please help us keep our site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option. Camsel/Catholic News reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed. Before posting, please refer to the Comments Policy under Resources