In his first Laventille Devotions’ homily as archbishop last Sunday, Archbishop Jason Gordon touched on three main themes: the importance of free will; living the Gospel values; and the core message of Our Lady of Fatima. The overall lesson was one of individual Catholic responsibility to the whole.
Reminiscing on Archbishop Anthony Pantin, Archbishop Gordon opened his homily reminding those gathered that the first local archbishop was always faithful to the devotions.
He framed his first theme on the Feast of the Ascension, being celebrated that day, where he imagined the course of the world had Jesus not ascended, and been around to prevent major, negative events in world history which had lasting repercussions.
“He could have stopped so much foolishness in the world…He could have put us all on the right path whenever he wanted.” This however would have stymied individual practice and proclamation of faith, as Jesus, if he still lived, would have been the fallback to fix: “…we would not have had the challenge to grow up in our faith, to take responsibility for the faith, and take responsibility to go out into the whole world proclaiming the Good News to all creation.”
Archbishop Gordon recounted the context of Our Lady’s visit to the three children at Fatima, emphasising the important message that was to be disseminated throughout the world. The message was that through prayer, fasting and penance, “…the world will be saved from many a dark night….”
If things were going wrong in every sphere of society (family, community, country) then these are a consequence of not living the gospel values, that is, “…not living as disciples of Jesus Christ”.
The transformative power of prayer was entrusted to each individual, he said. “….We have the power through prayer to bring conversion to hearts and to bring people into deep conversion of living the gospel message.”
He asked pilgrims to look in the mirror to see what a lukewarm Catholic looks like, and recognise that the time had come, in that honest introspection, to end duplicity and the disconnection from “those who are hurting most in society”.
Each person was called to “be spectacularly holy”, and the pattern for holiness was Our Lady. “Let us ask Our Lady to do with us what she does so beautifully…transforming our lives so that we can resemble her more and more each day.”
Frs Harold Imamshah and Trevor Nathasingh concelebrated with Deacon Mike Smith assisting. GRACE led the music ministry. The next Laventille devotion is scheduled for June 10. —SD