So now we have come to the end of another Lenten season. Praise God! We did our denials or maybe we paid greater attention to the direction of our spiritual lives vowing to make it better. Or, we may have attended one or more missions listening to some very inspiring sermons. All these may have made us pledge to be better Catholics.
But would all these Lenten promises lead to better lives or make any real difference to the society in which we live? When we see what’s taking place in our country today, we are forced to ask: What’s wrong with our country?
A schoolboy murdered because he might have seen something and a family of four wiped out for reasons we are still trying to find out. Drive-by shootings are rapidly becoming the norm; turf wars end in death. Sadly, the list is endless.
But as we like to say, ‘hope springs eternal’. Just as we seem to be losing all hope, Archbishop Jason Gordon told the congregation in San Fernando on Palm Sunday our people are angry and violent, insisting that we must find a way to soothe our tempers; to reduce this anger and violence. Then he asked that most important question: “Where was all this coming from?” But more importantly: “How were we contributing to this violence?”
He answered the question himself saying, was it the way we drove; our short tempers at home and at work; by the way we contribute to the build-up of tension and anger in our nation?
He added, “I think every citizen can find a way to bring it down. If each one of us brings it down in our sphere, we’ll experience the whole temperature of violence and anger in the country coming back down.”
There are two old time phrases used for many decades which say: “God is love” and “Please God.” Realistically these sayings are true—God represents love. But less and less people repeat them with meaning. It is used in such an ad hoc manner that most of the time it is meaningless. If therefore we say it with true meaning, it might help our failing society.
Regardless of where you go in this country, there are always glaring examples of this extensive void where love does not exist. There is a great chasm; a total lack of love. Remember that even though we reject God, He still loves us the same way. He is always present at our side.
We are not a Godless nation. We are a very prayerful people. Just look at the number of Christian churches dotting our landscape. But we have lost the ability to LOVE, to love your neighbour as yourself, as God has asked us to do.
As Karla Manternach writes in Living Faith “God loves us freely. He also lets us choose freely, even though we sometimes choose what is not His will.”
She continued, “When we turn away from God, we are a bit like children who hide by covering their own faces and crying, ‘you can’t see me’. Of course, God can see us! We are the ones in darkness. We are hiding from ourselves. Not from Him. Even then, God is with us, watching us, waiting with His arms open wide.”
However, it’s Resurrection morning. So, we will forget the troubles for a while and bask in the joy and spirit of Eastertide. Inject love into everything you do and may God bless you immeasurably. Happy Easter to all.