Fr Steve Duncan observed that when Christians truly start living and witnessing for Jesus, their circle of friends become very small. But he affirmed that even when a Christian is the only “powerful” witness in the family, at the workplace or in school, something great can be accomplished. “Don’t hold back!”, he urged.
“One woman said ‘Yes’…If today we honour her, it is because we recognise the role and the contribution she made to our salvation and we can’t forget that. Generation to generation shall call her blessed [for] not only fulfilling the words of scripture but also bringing home to each of us the reality that the witness can never be erased.”
The Arima/Malabar parish priest made this exhortation to action at his first Laventille Devotions, Saturday, October 13. The 2018 series of Marian Devotions at the Laventille Shrine commenced May 13 and culminated October 13.
In delivering the homily, Fr Duncan discussed the Devotions’ theme Live and witness to Jesus in our midst. He referenced Luke 11:27–28, adding that the blessing directed at Jesus was immediately turned into a challenge to listen to the Word and keep it.
“That challenge to focus not so much on the Mother but on the message of the Blessed Son through the Blessed Mother, which remains today, 101 years after the miracle of the Apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the three shepherd children of Fatima in 1917…. The words of Jesus calling us to conversation even to this day.”
Further analysis of the passage, he identified, highlighted the “central focus” to love God, “for this is the only way to end sin”. Sacrificial nature, Fr Duncan said, emerges when we listen to the words of Jesus. “Stop sinning. Sinning produces wars among us; greed and spite and hate. Wars!”
He then called on worshippers to pray for conversion of hearts. “Pray that when anyone may be prompted to commit crime, or error or act of violence, pray that the Word of God will connect with that heart and cause a turn around so that the assignment of the evil one might be cancelled….”
Fr Duncan acknowledged that many Christians either hold the Word or “choke the Word”, the latter preventing transformation of lives and becoming true witnesses to Christ.
He again referred to the gospel reading, inviting worshippers to ask: “Am I living for Jesus? What is the quality of the Christian witness that I give?”. He added that it was one thing to talk about Jesus, “but quite a horse of a different colour to live in Him.” – KJ