The Saviour born to us is not an external agent acting on our behalf, but One seeking a place in our hearts so that we can act on His behalf, individually and together, many “virtuous branches” becoming a presence of integrity, justice, love, peace inserted in the reality of this present world.
This was the view of Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown in his 2018 Christmas message to the diocese. The full text was published in the Christmas edition of diocesan weekly, Catholic Standard, December 21.
Referencing Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord”, Bishop Alleyne commented that the storyline in many books and films is about a saviour, a superhero, someone who will save the day, and restore order, security, peace and right relations where they have been compromised.
He however observed that in Jesus’ time, and before, the people of Israel expected the coming of a Messiah and some imagined that this Messiah would take on a military, regal or political role to liberate the people from oppression and misery.
Likewise, in Guyana, “there is much discussion and debate, at various levels in society, about a petroleum ‘saviour’ that is due to appear in 2020. Many are looking towards this coming to be saved from financial difficulty, limited opportunity, unstable and threatening circumstances, not to mention the underlying hopes that some part of the abundant wealth will come their way”.
Bishop Alleyne said in the discussion on oil revenue, a recommended approach to evaluate its “saving” capacity is to pay attention to the outcome in other countries which experienced a similar windfall. The evidence, he said, strongly suggests that revenues managed well through transparent initiatives in service of the people and for the common good worked best for all concerned.
Ultimately, he hoped that “this will be the case for Guyana”. “But the Saviour born to us is not in the image of the hero in the storyline moving in on behalf of others to save the day. The Saviour born to us is seeking a place in our hearts to defibrillate, to arrest the arrhythmia brought on by the trends and influence of the world and restore the beat of integrity, peace, justice, love, in sync with His own,” Bishop Alleyne said.
Bishop Alleyne said in the days ahead, the real boon and treasure and saving grace that would bring prosperity to Guyana are people living their integrity and honesty and dwelling in confidence.