People must return to devotion to God and stop their indiscipline and selfishness to restore Trinidad and Tobago because irresponsibility is causing destruction, said Archbishop Jason Gordon.
“Children that have been well-disciplined by their parents understand if you do what is wrong, there are consequences for your actions. We are like a nation of spoilt children….”, he said last Sunday, December 5 during Mass at Living Water Community Chapel, Port of Spain.
There was a strong rebuke for the conduct which led to a recent substantial increase in Covid-19 cases. The country marked a new record high with 984 new cases reported last Friday, December 3 from samples taken over four days.
For December 5, there were 601 new positive cases reported from samples December 2–4, and 26 deaths bringing the total deaths to 2,262.
The new Omicron variant is expected to become the dominant strain, and health officials continue to urge the public to get vaccinated and take preventive measures.
Archbishop Gordon said people have grown accustomed to indiscipline over the past 50 years, but the country could not continue in this way for the next 50. “We really believe we can do what we want and there are no consequences coming our way,” he commented.
Archbishop Gordon referred to the saying ‘God is a Trini’ which caused some people to think they could do what they want.
Highlighting the problems of the drug trade, crime, recession and high food prices, he suggested that the real cause for despair was “citizens of this beloved country cannot grow up and take responsibility…that’s what Covid is forcing before our eyes. We have to grow up and we have to take responsibility”.
He added that no-one was coming to save the nation from Covid-19.
He anticipated increasing numbers of Covid-19 and daily deaths if people continue refusing to take responsibility.
“Even worse,” he continued, was doing the wrong thing without caring about the consequences to others. “There is a deep selfishness with this flagrant indiscipline,” Archbishop Gordon said.
Putting his statements in the context of scripture, he said the prophet Isaiah told the people their sin and lack of integrity caused their destruction. Beyond their exile, Isaiah told of restoration of the people. “Israel had to learn the lessons of her own sinfulness and …. learn obedience to the law is at the heart of her integrity and joy.”
The First Reading from the prophet Baruch is on the restoration of the people of Israel. However, they went through 70 years of exile before humbling themselves and turning their hearts to God. Archbishop Gordon hoped that T&T did not have to go through 70 years to be restored.
“The shortest way to restoration is recognising we’ve lived for the last 50 years in the outer regions, conquering the outer regions, in the houses, and business and doing this and that and the next, and having lifestyle…this challenge facing this planet and T&T is not in the outer regions—it is in the inner landscape of our hearts.”
He said Advent was a great time for people to free themselves from their shame of sin by accessing the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Inner cleansing is needed if Catholics were going to get the “outer relationship right”.
Peace can only come when people live as God calls them to live. The hope of Advent is heard in the gospel when John brings a message of repentance. Repentance, Archbishop Gordon added is a “conversion of the inner landscape”. —LPG