By Kaelanne Jordan
We are living in a Babylonian captivity.
“There is no altar, no priest, no sacrifice, no Eucharist,” said Archbishop Jason Gordon in delivering the homily for the Vigil of Pentecost (Saturday, May, 30) at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
He commented although clergy can still celebrate Mass virtually and God has given us this grace for the renewal of hearts and faith, this grace has been a grace in this time to help faithful renew their focus to put God first in our lives.
“Is God first? Is the worship of God first? Is God the first and the beginning in everything in your life?” the Archbishop questioned. The Mass, concelebrated by Fr Matthew Ragbir saw various priests of the Archdiocese participating virtually at their respective chapels, families, members of the ecclesial community and the Caribbean Service Team.
If God is first in your life, then your life will be “well ordered” and everything will flow in harmony, the Archbishop asserted.
“And if not, then we see the fragmentation and the divisiveness that we have and that brothers and sisters is the heart, the core, the soul, the challenges that we face in our day,” he said.
Similarly to the people of Israel, faithful today think there is no real need for God. What God has accomplished through “this little microbe”, is He’s sent us back to our houses to contemplate who God is and to ask oneself the “hard question”— ‘Who is God for you’?
Archbishop Gordon said that during the period of journeying from the dessert to the Upper Room, the ecclesial communities have been praying for this moment of Pentecost.
He explained “And they have been praying and interceding on God’s behalf that we as Church would open to the Holy Spirit because it is through the Holy Spirit that we would learn to put God first and it is through the Holy Spirit that the Babylonian captivity that we have lived will be fruitful in moving us from where we were as lukewarm Christians to the Church that God images for His people in Trinidad and Tobago.”
It is a Church of love, compassion, resilience, a church that is reaching to the poor and the poorest of the poor and is a friend of creation. It will stand tall in a society and witness to what is true and what is right and be a church where every member will, in one accord, be happy to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The journey from the dessert to the Upper Room is a call to mission—to bring the name of Jesus Christ into every nook and cranny of this wonderful civilisation we call Trinidad and Tobago and by extension, the Caribbean.
“We are on mission today to bring about a renewal of our families, church, civilisation and this is the mission of the Church,” the Archbishop said.
He shared that many persons look at the Church and question ‘Can she do anything at all?’
“She has no more bones, she has no more flesh, she has no more spirit…”
He continued, “But I hold this word from Ezekiel where God joined bone to bone and there was a noise in this valley. And in this noise the bones started to join back together and that brothers and sisters is what happened at the moment of the resurrection of Jesus….”
To this end, the Archbishop assured faithful that the same wind of God that breathed breath into the creation breathes upon us today and for the missioning of Catholic families as Domestic Church.