Today is the second day of the last month of 2018. It is the start of the Advent season leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. It is a time of peace and joy, a time of giving and sharing, a time for family fellowship, exchanging greetings and goodwill.
But in the middle of all this, a pall hangs heavily over our country. People are uncertain of what lies ahead. Many people are able to put up a front of enjoyment and happiness but ask anyone and it will be quietly said they are unsure.
There are so many things wrong with our fractured society. People are not living up to their responsibilities; managers not managing but resting on whatever laurels they might have achieved. Productivity is decreasing and criminal activity is on the rise.
The country is littered with examples of people engaged in illicit actions; from the workers on garbage trucks to public servants to big businessmen and even leaders profiting from religious activities.
Also pushing this feeling is our political climate. The two major parties, behaving like schoolchildren, cannot seem to agree on anything. A bipartisan spirit is just not displayed when it comes to seeking solutions to matters of interest to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
For reasons unknown they cannot come together to discuss situations and consider alternatives. Neither can they come with plans which in effect would result either in peace, justice or even reconciliation.
Is it that there is a lack of leadership by our leaders and their first reaction in times of crisis is to blame each other? No entity seems big enough to admit mistakes. So, we are forced to ask where would any new leadership come from? Committed people; younger people. People dedicated to serving the best interests of Trinidad and Tobago and pull us out of the deep abyss in which we now find ourselves.
But politics aside, we come to the season of Advent and we try to put all this aside and as Fr James Stephen Behrens OCSO writing in the Living Faith quarterly said, “Advent is a time when we are asked by the Church to awaken from our drowsiness and be alert, be watchful. This is a season that comes around once a year.”
He adds, “It is an opportune time to rouse our oft-sleeping hearts and ready ourselves for the Lord. These days are a reminder to live as best we can for this one day— for we will not have the chance once it is past.”
It is a good time also to remember Luke 21:34 “Beware that your hearts do not become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the anxieties of daily life and that day will catch you by surprise.”
As Catholics we must take Advent seriously. Please make Advent real and prayerful as we prepare to commemorate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.