Friday, January 28, 2011

min NIEQA - MESSAGE - FEBRUARY 2011

FEBRUARY, 2011

The Archpriest’s message

LET US BE ACTIVE

A wise man once said: ‘Christians are like a sleeping giant’. Reflecting on this phrase, one realizes how true it is. We Christians, not only the Catholics but all those baptized and believing in Jesus Christ though belonging to various churches, number millions. We may have wisdom and a good number of talents but what is lacking is enthusiasm. Although as the wise man says that we are like a giant, it may be that we are a sleeping giant and we are not being the salt of the earth and the yeast that Jesus mentions in his parable. We need someone to spur us up and be more active.

It could be that we Christians are taking our faith too much for granted and this can lead us to fail to recognize that there are others who are trying to destroy what we believe and treasure. In fact we usually say that the church gets stronger when it is persecuted!

Although we are seeing our Christian brethren being persecuted in Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, the Philippines and other places with violent attacks on churches full of people, we, in the Western Countries, may have another kind of persecution which we might not be aware of and yet be more dangerous.

Our present life


- The way of life we are living today, based on how we can improve our livelihood;
- the busy life which leaves us no time to think about ourselves, our family and our religion;
- individualism which lessens the sense of community;
- attacks on the Church from atheists or anti-clericals;
- hedonistic life style which glorifies self gratification;
- the mentality of fighting for our rights even if these oppress other peoples’ rights;
- discussions about various aspects of life lacking moral ethics;
all this creates in us an environment in which our Faith, if not properly sustained, will be weakened.
Considering all this, each Christian convinced of his Faith will not live in tranquility if not starting to:
a) give great importance to prayers and good formation;
b) decide to do his utmost so that the Kingdom of God will be spread more amongst us;
c) make an effort to be witnesses of Jesus in everyday life and also on the working place even if this entitles a sacrifice.

Those who take their Baptism seriously, start to exercise their talents so that they will pass on to others all that they believe in. If we show apathy, others will continue delivering their agenda without us being aware. Let us not forget that nowadays, the media plays an important part in the formation of our opinions. Maybe one asks ” So what can we do in today’s living reality? Create a crusade? Lock ourselves up in a fortress so that we won’t be besieged? Ask for vengeance against our persecutors? “ Definitely not, if we do this we will definitely not be a witness to Our Lord who is goodness itself and receives everybody into his arms.

Let us face the challenge

Let us reflect and at the same time find a remedy if needed:
- Is the Liturgy, especially on Sundays being kept alive?
- Are those attending feel God talking to them through the Liturgy of the Word?
- After getting out of church, are they feeling that their Faith has been strengthened?
All this requires great responsibility from those involved in the Liturgy: priests, animators, readers, choristers, Eucharistic Ministers and those responsible in the cleaning and upkeep of the church.
Can I as a liturgy minister improve my service by injecting in it more enthusiasm?
Can I take an active part in the liturgy and not just watch and listen?

- Our pastoral work among the children, young people, engaged couples, families, elderly people and others, is it being effective enough?
- Are we using modern methods to address today’s realities or are we stagnated in methods of years gone by?
- Are the distributors of the leaflet ‘FLIMKIEN’ trying to make personal contact with those to whom they distribute, especially new comers in the parish?
- Can we improve our relationship with our neighbours and show them that we care for their needs?

Are we conscious of the needs of our emarginated brethren:
- those living in poverty,
- the sick,
- those passing through some personal crisis,
- those falling into bad habits,
- those feeling lonely,
- those that feel that they cannot express themselves and nobody can help them,
and so many other difficulties that society today finds itself in?

This shows how exciting is the work which a real Christian can do. Let us look at today’s difficulties as challenges which we have to face. Let us not forget that we, in the coming months may be told to take an important decision for our country, so let us be properly informed and foresee the consequences of our decision. Although we should sympathise with our brethren who are suffering for various reasons, we should always choose that which is good for our society. We should remember that decisions taken today, will leave an impact on the Maltese society for future years!


Father Evan