Archbishop Jason Gordon officiating at Ash Wednesday Lenten mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Photo by Lincoln Holder
The people of TT have become experts in finding faults in everything, said RC archbishop Charles Jason Gordon, who called on them to “fast” from negativity and instead make holy moments during the whole of Lent.
“Of late, we have lots of negativity in TT. This is not a real place. Could we fast from the negativity over Lent? The negativity about TT, the negativity about this and that person, the negativity we enter into so easily and readily?” Gordon said.
“There is so much beauty in our beautiful twin-island republic. But like in every relationship, you start looking at faults and lose what is beautiful, true, and gracious.”
Gordon urged people to pause when negative comments are being made and say, “Let’s find a positive.”
A parishioner in prayer during Ash Wednesday Lenten mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Photo by Lincoln Holder
He delivered the homily at Ash Wednesday midday mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church on Harris Promenade, San Fernando.
He said negativity is a problem of the soul and reminded the congregation of the saying by “old people” that ingratitude is worse than witchcraft.
“Negativity is really ingratitude dressed up in another dress. Negativity is poisoning our minds and souls. We are becoming very negative people, which is not good,” he said.
He said someone could have the best event in the world. yet people would say, “It was great, but…”
The “but,” Gordon said, is often longer than the compliment or the reflection on what was good.
Apart from fasting from negativity, he called on people to cut down on using social media and use the time to pray. He also called for them to give money to the poor during the Lenten season.
Gordon’s suggestions were in keeping with the three pillars of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Lent commemorates the 40 days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert and enduring temptation by Satan. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday (April 6).
In urging people to pray more and spend less time on social media, the archbishop said prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God.
“By fasting from social media, we create the time we need to read a good book, a spiritual book.”
Archbishop Jason Gordon put ashes on the forehead of a parishioner at Ash Wednesday Lenten mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Harris Promenade, San Fernando. Photo by Lincoln Holder
He said people must also do some abstaining. He suggested families save money in a jar and at the end of Lent, bring it as an offering for the poor.
“Can we do that? Do it as a family. Lent is a time we are given the opportunity to enter the desert. The opportunity for us to put God first in our lives. If we do this work well and consistently, we will be plunged into the desert where God will find our souls,” he said.
He said putting ashes on people’s foreheads is an outward sign that marks an inner grace.