Monsignor Christian Pereira yesterday urged a congregation to believe in the message of Christmas, even in the midst of high crime, economic recession and apparent hopelessness.
“We live in a time, my dear brothers and sisters, where we are overwhelmed with the unemployment, with the recession,” Pereira said in his homily during Christmas mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain.
“Businesses around town and all over the country have complained about poor sales, people not spending as much. And even if they do have, they are doing more important things.”
Pereira said while many people desist from spending too much money in the hope that the country may experience less crime and murder, “we still wonder about a life free from danger and sin.” He told listeners that Christmas was about celebrating “the birth of peace, prosperity and well-being.
“We are here to celebrate the birth of our Saviour who has come into our midst. And even as circumstances around us make if difficult for us to believe, we have to re-affirm our faith that Jesus has come for you and me.
“He has come not merely to save us but to lead us all through these troubles times into a noble and better way of living. Our Saviour has come to give us an avenue, an opportunity for a better way of life.”
Pereira, Archdiocesan Administrator of the Roman Catholic Church, said just as Jesus came to bring good news to humanity, so, too, must believers.
“Bringing good news is what Jesus came to do for all of us belong to Christ and it is part of our responsibility to carry good news.” He acknowledged, though, that many people are reluctant to share their good news because it is often brushed off by others in exchange for negativity and gossipy conversations.
“But, today, brothers and sisters, Christmas Day is a day to celebrate the good news, the Word made flesh, that God has come among us to let us know that in our midst there is one who is empowering us, one who is strengthening us and giving us the power to transform the realities that are so burdensome for the person.
“The very act of believing in what is good and the very process of smiling in the face of hardship.....is the good news that people need to see and hear,” he added. Pereira said Jesus Christ came into the hearts of mankind “to bring us a new joy and hope.” During the mass, intercessionary prayers were said for family life, the jobless, victims of sexual abuse and those who lost their lives to murder and vehicular accidents.