Our Readers' Opinions
January 3, 2014
Christmas Vincy style

Fri Jan 03, 2014

by Bishop Jason Gordon,

Roman Catholic Bishop of Kingstown

This Christmas Eve, the sky opened, and the rains came down and washed the earth. Several hours of beating, blinding rain! The sky lit up like a Christmas tree, with blinking lights that never stopped. Lightning, as far as the eyes could see, persistently rolled out for hour after hour. Thunder, like an old cannon, was heard crashing and rolling to add terror and drama to this night when Christ was born.{{more}}

We do not yet know the final number of those who died. But we know this tragedy has affected all of us. While some feel and grieve the immediate loss of their loved ones, we all share the loss as we stand in solidarity supporting each other, especially those who lost loved ones this Christmas Eve.

The Catholic Community stands in solidarity with all the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines. As St Paul has said: ‘rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn (Rom 12:15)’. We mourn with you for your families, the loved ones who are no more. We offer, too, our prayerful support. For any who have immediate loss, we also offer you support with grief counselling if you should need it (you could call us on 1-784-532-9571).

Into this mess, this year, Christ was born in SVG. On the original night, he did not come into the pristine or the antiseptic. He came into the mess of a stable, a place for animals, a smelly place filled with hay and straw. Into this tragedy, this Christmas, He has come. I saw him in the faces of the many people who came out to clean up. In those who reached out to their neighbours. In the young people and old, who organised themselves to serve their community, becoming for us the presence of the Christ Child.

What can you do? Help a neighbour or family. Continue to assist in the clean up; if we all did we will restore order very quickly. Reach out to the families who lost loved ones. Join in prayer. Stop the deforestation; it is already at critical levels and a disaster waiting to happen. Stop throwing rubbish – big and small – onto our streets and rivers. Let us pray that God gives us the strength and resolve to build a better nation so that we can become a more caring people.

May the blessings of the Christ Child remain with us now and forever.