By Leela Ramdeen, Chair, CCSJ, & Director, CREDI. Visit rcsocialjusticett.org for our columns, media releases and more.
Today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year, we celebrate the Solemnity of Christ, the King of the Universe. Each time we say the “Our Father”, we pray “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done…”
It is you and I, His instruments here on earth, who have to act as servant-leaders to ensure that His Kingdom of justice, peace, truth, love and forgiveness become a reality. We have our mandate in Luke 4: 18–19. We are the ones He has sent to “bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.”
The downtrodden are all around us. Do we have eyes to see and ears to hear their cries?
Today is also the ‘International Day for the elimination of violence against women’— “one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today (it) remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it…Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development” (UN).
There is much we can and must do in the areas of prevention, education and support. In the face of widespread violence against women and girls, while we need to strengthen legislation and policies to deal with this scourge, we ourselves must rise up and become advocates; speak out for the voiceless and for those who live in fear of violence; work within our faith community to develop educational programmes and support structures; mobilise communities to be their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Remember, perpetrators need help also.
Here is the poem by Mikayla Weekes who placed 3rd at CCSJ’s & the Youth Commission’s Spoken Word competition:
Caring for Creation
“Through him all things were made, without him nothing was made that has been made.”- John 1:3
On the first day he made,
The second … the third… the fourth … the fifth… the sixth,
The seventh day he rested,
But creation couldn’t be contested,
Because everything was perfected,
You see the real question is
Do we care for God’s creation?
For preserving our nation for future generation,
Or are we just polluting our paradise, our safe haven?
We deserve nothing, much less a congratulation,
For our contribution to mass pollution,
Do we pay attention or take heed?
In preserving our land by going green,
Or emphasising our landscape,
Emphasising or creating a beautiful scene?
As Genesis said,
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,”
And in appreciating our land,
Why do we deforest and just leave the dirt?
Wouldn’t that make God hurt?
Do we conserve our energy?
Or do we prefer to put our world in jeopardy,
With nothing being left but a memory?
It’s up to us to make that change, to make that difference and change society,
Not only this but we must practise the virtue of giving back,
We must practise the virtue called charity,
Giving with a pure heart with honesty and courtesy,
Because this is important,
Yes, it is indeed,
As Pope Francis said, “Take care of God’s creation but above all take care of the people in need,”
Because little do you know there is someone out there worse off than you,
Someone who doesn’t have not one pair of shoe,
Or friends and family to run to,
Someone who… cries themselves to sleep,
Live day by day with nothing to eat,
But we…. we could change their living,
As it’s not how much you give but it’s how much love you put into giving,
In all things though we should approach God in thanksgiving,
Thanking him for His mercy, grace and enriching.
So let’s all take this time to thank God for life,
For making us, for helping us and for pushing us to strive,
Now let’s make the change needed for our nation,
And start showing our maker some thanks and appreciation,
By conserving and preserving,
Our nation for future generation,
And to start caring,
Caring for GOD’S CREATION.