PAINT-Tings: Unveiling Creativity
September 29, 2023
Shine in the world…Jesus Explosion Revival 2023
September 29, 2023

Forgiveness – the key to life

Fr Trevor Nathasingh lamented the scourge of hate in society which he says has led to unforgiving hearts and causes people to want to kill.

Delivering the homily at the Independence Day celebration held on September 17 at the Christ the King Church in Miami, Florida, Fr Nathasingh, who is the parish priest of St Paul’s RC Church in Couva, urged people to make the choice to forgive.

“Without forgiveness, human society will descend into massive chaos, and I think that is where we are. All over the world, there is chaos, there is pain, there is suffering universally, and I believe we are in a time of divine judgment.”

He noted that while what he was saying “does not sound nice for us to hear”, it is the stark reality of what the world is facing.

“The psalmist tells us ‘the heavens declare the glory of God’, but from the heavens also come wrath and anger against the misdeeds of humanity. We see it all over the world, but we could change it if we are willing to learn the power of forgiveness,” he said.

Declaring that the world has descended into a place of “violence, into a place of anger,” Fr Nathasingh urged Catholic faithful to let go of their anger and unforgiving spirit, to consider the weight of it if they should die.

He noted that in Trinidad, “we love to tote, we behave like bachac [an insect]; we carrying things,” but he said the onus is on all of us to set our hearts and spirits free of unnecessary burdens.

“It will do us well to ponder our last days and it will set us living right because we will be reminding ourselves that I am not going to be around forever and there are things we need to put right, there are people I need to say sorry to, there are people I need to be reconciled with, there are people I need to forgive,” he said.

Observing that many families are split apart for stupid things and some people do not attend the funeral of their parents because they are angry with them because of property, jewellery, and other things, Fr Nathasingh urged an end to hate because of the hunger for possessions.

“What anger does is make you a prisoner of yourself. Anger makes you forget that there’s an end coming. You get so angry that you forget to even make peace with your saviour and death comes and swallows you.”

Talking about his experience in the community of Laventille/Morvant where he was parish priest for seven years, Fr Nathasingh said: “They would kill for $500. No joke, for $500 they will take a job to kill a man. In seven years, I buried 92 persons who were murdered.”

It is symptomatic, he said, that something has gone terribly wrong with us as a people: “Our world needs mercy. But the world will find mercy when believers in Jesus Christ make a decision to live and practise mercy. It is not going to happen otherwise.”

Admitting that it is not always easy to forgive, especially when people hurt you, Fr Nathasingh urged that we pray for the grace of forgiveness.

He also urged everyone to pray for Trinidad and Tobago and the United States, “because there is a lot of unforgiveness among us, a lot of anger, a lot of hatred, a lot of enmity and what is even more sad it is perpetrated by people who say they are Christians.”

Before the final blessing, Fr Nathasingh was presented with two proclamations, one from Mayor Daniela Levine Cava and the Board of County Commissioners, Miami-Dade County- Distinguished Visitor Proclamation, and another from Kevin D Chambliss, Representative of the District 117, Florida House of Representatives. Received in this proclamation were congratulations on his 34th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood as well as the State of Florida Distinguished Visitor’s Recognition. —CN contributor