The prayer for 2019 from Belize’s Catholic bishop is that Belizeans “do better” this year and give of themselves more to the working of God’s Spirit, calling them to end the violence in their communities.
In his New Year’s message to the Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan, Bishop Lawrence Sydney Nicasio reminded faithful that as believers, they have been blessed to see and begin the New Year. It is, he said, God’s will for us to be alive.
“As we would say, ‘If God’s willing, the house will be finished.’ ‘If God’s willing, we will have a healthy baby.’ Putting God first in all that we say and do helps us to realise that God is the beginning and end of all….” Bishop Nicasio told diocesan monthly The Christian Herald.
Bishop Nicasio observed that unbelievers and non-Christians would say that they have been “lucky” to get through another hurricane season and the end of 2018.
When we think we are smarter than God and can do a better job of caring for ourselves and this world by ourselves, we fall into the trap of believing in the philosophy of good and bad luck, he said.
“…As God has interacted with us and blessed us, we ought to respond positively in turn to His presence and goodness to us. The questions that pop in my mind are: Why am I chosen to be blessed to live and to see 2019? By my actions, attitudes and way of living the past year 2018, do I deserve this blessing? Isn’t there someone more deserving of this blessing?” he pondered.
Quoting Micah 6:8, Bishop Nicasio said that our response is to “listen” and to do better than last year. “But we all know that talk is one thing and doing/living out is another thing,” he said.
Bishop Nicasio said that his concern and worry have been about the first school of formation and education—the family. He reminded faithful that they ought to make their house a home, where there is life, peace and joy; where they appreciate each other; and where they are gifts to one another.
“Remember that we are called to be a holy family. If our families are not functioning well, then our communities suffer, our country suffers and our Church suffers. The shortage of priests and nuns in our Church today tells the story,” Bishop Nicasio said.
He further indicated that there was always room for improvement in how life is lived and shared among Belizeans. “…And God willing we will work harder together this new year for His Church, our Church,” he said.