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Mercy amidst darkness: A call for redemption in T&T

By Rosemarie Sant, CN contributor

Fr Trevor Nathasingh has lamented that the state of sin in Trinidad and Tobago now puts this country in a worse state than the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah. “I often say to God, if You don’t act against us, it’s because of Your extreme mercy, for we have reached a state of sin in this nation worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. The fact that God has spared us shows His mercy is being poured out upon us.”

Fr Nathasingh, parish priest at St Paul’s RC Church in Couva, spoke of the spate of crime in the country. “I am in the parish where last week we had two firebombings and two persons died. Before that, I was in the parish known as the killing fields (Laventille/Morvant). Here in Trinidad and Tobago, we have forgotten that human life is sacred. We have forgotten the sanctity of human life, choosing instead to turn a blind eye to the atrocities unfolding around us,” he lamented.

In the face of such darkness, he urged faithful to be agents of mercy and to extend forgiveness and compassion even to those deemed unworthy. “Mercy is not a moment; it is a ministry,” he reminded them. “We are called to be the mercy of God in a world that knows not His love.”

Delivering the homily at a Mass at the La Vega Shrine to commemorate Divine Mercy Sunday, Fr Nathasingh urged the congregation to turn back to God and let mercy be their guiding force. “While you and I have breath, we have a responsibility to make this mercy of Heaven known.”

He urged people to stop being “judgemental, stop practising hate, bitterness, and envy, and practise mercy and love.”


Beacon of divine mercy

The Divine Mercy celebration, which began at 10 a.m., was organised by the Gran Couva/Tabaquite parish. As he addressed the overflowing gathering, Fr Nathasingh observed, “We have journeyed from every corner of this island, drawn together by the beacon of divine mercy. Today, we gather at this shrine to honour the mercy that sustains us, a day set aside by the Church to reflect on the boundless compassion of our Creator.”

Drawing from his own life as a testimony to God’s mercy, Fr Nathasingh said after serving 35 years as a priest, “I have tasted the mercy of God, I have known the love of God, and I know it is as real as you are before me.”

He recounted the early days of the Christian community, a time of fellowship and unity where caring for one another was not just a duty but a way of life. “They were there for each other, bound by a love that transcended mere words,” he explained. “Their actions spoke volumes, so much so that if we were to emulate them today, we might be deemed fanatics.”

Reflecting on memories of a time many years ago when the Charismatic Renewal was first sweeping through the land, igniting the flames of fervent devotion, and when many people thought they were fanatics, he exclaimed, “Thank God for Archbishop Pantin! He was a beacon of wisdom amidst a sea of scepticism, as we formed communities dedicated to serving the Church.”

Turning to the scriptures, Fr Nathasingh noted that the Acts of the Apostles are a testament to the power of unity, of people coming together as one to build the Kingdom of God.

“Every time we leave the church, we are entrusted with a task,” he proclaimed. “A task to go forth in peace, to love and serve, to glorify the Lord and bear witness to His divine presence.”

But he also acknowledged the challenges facing the Church in modern times, lamenting the challenge of bureaucracy and the decline in fervour. “We have become complacent, trapped in routines and rituals that lack the fire of true devotion,” he confessed. “And as a result, we have seen our numbers dwindle, our influence wanes.”

Fr Nathasingh pleaded with the faithful to reclaim their zeal, embrace spiritual sacrifices, and embody the love of Christ in their daily lives. “We must be a light shining in the darkness, a beacon of hope amidst the turmoil of the world,” he declared.

As his sermon drew to a close, he urged, “Let us not squander this day of grace. Let us go forth from this place, filled with the mercy we have received, and let it be the guiding force in all that we do.”