Onika stays ready
June 2, 2020
Family, on mission, become what you are
June 2, 2020

This is a ‘re’ time

By Juliana Valdez

In the midst of the uncertainty, panic and fear of the COVID-19 pandemic, Divine Providence was at work to ensure that our Church, the Body of Christ on Earth, remained alive and active in the world.

Universally, the Church, while observing the protocols laid down by the governing and health authorities of the particular countries, continued to be a light in the lives of believers.

The clergy continued to do Holy Mass, encouraging the faithful to hold fast to the promise of Christ Jesus, reminding us of His words in Matthew 18:20, “Where two or three are gathered in my Name, there am I in their midst to bless….:”

In our corner of the kingdom here in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain, modern technology was relevant as it allowed the anointed servants of God, our priests, with our Archbishop at the helm to enter our homes through the television and livestreaming.

We were provided with spiritual food through the daily Masses, homilies and observances. It has also been a period of knowledge and enlightenment as the Archbishop sought to help us along this journey as we travelled through the Desert to the Upper Room.

Many have spoken about the effect those daily Masses have had on them in terms of keeping faith and hope alive. For some, it has been a period of revision and re-enforcement, others have claimed that it has been a period of new knowledge and understanding of the traditions and teachings of the Holy Church.

Through the Archbishop’s sharing, as we contemplated information received,  and the pertinent questions, all served to help us recognise that as the family of God, we could stand on His promise that He will never leave or forsake us (Matt 28:20) and that His Holy Church would never fall (Matt 16:18–19).

Some friends also shared that this period was for them a time which encouraged more family bonding through sharing, caring, praying together enabling them to draw closer as family.

As one person expressed, This has been a ‘re’ time, re-flection, re-newal, re-kindling of faith and fervour, re-igniting the fire of God’s love in our hearts, re-conciliation with God, ourselves and others….the list goes on!

Yet others have shared that this time provided the opportunity for them to put their spiritual lives into perspective, recognising that instead of God being first in their lives, He was fitted in as it suited us, hence His Grace encouraged us to ponder on the question, ‘Who is God for you?’.

Even as we continue to resume activities cautiously, we should not allow the graces gained during this time to be shelved. Instead, we should emerge a more Spirit-filled people, grateful for the mercy and love of God as communicated so powerfully through our Archbishop’s messages.

Our homes, families, churches, communities should emerge stronger, wiser and more desirous of living the message of the gospel as we were reminded by His Grace to strive for peace, unity, holiness and reconciliation.

Let us heed the plea of St John Paul II, “Catholic families, Catholic parents, Catholic youth, Catholic marriages, Catholic teachers, Catholic schools, Catholic churches…….become what you are!”

Let us continue to live with hope, faith and determination to discover and accept the silver lining behind this dark COVID-19 cloud, holding on to Jesus’ words, “Fear not, I am with you”.