|Father Harvey: March with Jesus - Jul 8|
|2012 - News|
|Friday, 06 July 2012 14:46|
Page 1 of 2
“I want to suggest that the real challenge is not to march for God one Sunday a year or whenever a cause comes up. The Christian vocation, the religious vocation, is to march WITH God every day of your life. To march, to walk, to journey with Jesus in all the places where he wants to be in Trinidad and Tobago today, tomorrow, in this Jubilee year of our Republic.”
Acting Vicar General Fr Clyde Harvey issued that challenge last Sunday to the thousands who converged on the Queen’s Park Savannah in an ecumenical March for Jesus 2012.
Delivering the feature address, Fr Harvey said marches were usually associated with a cause but God was not a cause: “He is the first cause, the cause of all causes.”
He added, “We think of ourselves as being in war in which we march to win. Christian faith tells us that the victory has already been won in Jesus Christ.”
Fr Harvey, the Vicar for Clergy, touched on several national issues, including crime: “Crime is not only about fighting a war against. It is also about winning the peace WITH OUR YOUNG MEN when the only experience of peace they know is gambling, sex or playing a sport under the patronage of their gang leaders or drug dealers.”
He said in recent times, Christians and others have focused on the hot button issues of abortion and same-sex unions, issues which must be discussed “in a spirit of mutual respect”.
He asked: “What about the other critical issues which are destroying our land? What about the corruption that plagues us? Why do we always have to wait for some foreigner to come and ‘expose we business’, even as they take millions of our dollars to London and elsewhere?
Fr Harvey pleaded for understanding in the case of pregnant mother of nine Kezi Doughty, who has been sentenced to five months in jail for abandoning her children. Her lawyer has appealed the sentence. Fr Harvey said Christians must be willing to engage those in need or else risk being called hypocrites.
“Who will march with Jesus into the lives of the mothers imprisoned because they failed as parents…. We put Kezi in a cell and think that we are solving the problems of her family. Surely we can do better.”
Deborah de Rosia, of Eternal Light Community, later announced that part of the collection would go towards helping Doughty’s children and others in need.
Fr Harvey urged Christians to march with Jesus, with God, into the Police Service – where good officers were trapped by the corruption around them; into hospitals to support young medical professionals who wanted to make a difference but were being victimised by the system; into schools to right the wrongs; and into churches, mosques and mandirs to find the right balance between prayer, praise and Spirit-inspired acts.
In closing, Fr Harvey spoke of the need for faith and courage: “March on, we will. March on, we must. We will never join the ranks of those who say T&T gone through. T&T ain’t gone through. T&T waiting for men and women of faith, courage and vision to WAKE UP. Wake up T&T!”
While the march ended at the Grand Stand, Queen’s Park Savannah, there were three starting points: the Croisée, San Juan; Morvant Junction; and Jean Pierre Complex.
The event was broadcast live over i95.5FM, with sound trucks transmitting the broadcast to marchers as they headed for the Savannah, where a 200-member choir and musicians conducted by Winson Garcia led the singing and prayers were offered for the nation.
The day’s programme was divided into segments: Invocation to the Holy Spirit, Cleansing, Warfare, Repentance and Healing, Mercy, and Outpouring.
Intercessory prayers were offered for family life, children, youth, the judiciary, parliamentarians, educational institutions, religious bodies, the protective services, for an end to crime and violence, for unity and racial harmony, and for the poor and homeless. Different archdiocesan groups and commissions led the prayers, joined by representatives from other churches and religious denominations, including the Anglican Church, Salvation Army, Methodist Church, and Muslim, Spiritual Baptist and Baha’i faiths.
Patron of the March, Archbishop Joseph Harris, sent greetings via a pre-recorded message played at the start of the walk. The archbishop returns tomorrow, Monday, after receiving his pallium from Pope Benedict XVI. (see pages 3&5)
Archbishop Harris said T&T seemed “to be going downhill” because of a lack of values and called for personal introspection. Citizens needed to “consciously decide to live the values that Jesus Christ brings,” he said, noting that these values were universal. “We all need to come together to build this nation…and place these values at the centre of our lives.”
The short programme at the Grand Stand ended with participants holding hands or locking arms while singing God Bless our Nation. – RS