Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Grenada, Bishop Clyde Harvey has urged Grenadians to start looking ahead and to address some of the burning social issues that came to the forefront in a more fundamental way due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bishop delivered a deep and moving spiritual address to open the National Day of Thanksgiving declared by government to thank God for his mercies for sparing the island from any deaths from CODID-19 which resulted in a more than two month shut down of Grenada.
The Roman Catholic leader pointed specifically to those in the local population who are having difficulties in being able to put food on their table to enjoy a meal like the most fortunate in society.
“…I think particularly of the least of the brethren … the people, the ordinary simple poor people – (like) the man I met yesterday who is crippled, and who really does not know where his next meal comes from and we need to think of these people all the time,” he said.
“I would hope that everybody who claims the name of Christian would find some time somehow to reach out and touch the life of somebody who doesn’t have something to eat – beginning with our own Christian communities wherever they are, to reach out and share”, he added.
The clergyman who was the most prominent religious leader in Grenada to deliver a sermon on the National Thanksgiving Day platform urged the people not to take the day lightly but to see it as very momentous.
He said: “Today is a special day – today is the day when we in Grenada say thanks be to God for all that we have had over these two months for the successes especially for the fact that there had been no deaths in Grenada, for the fact that we have been able to come through this up to now relatively unscathed and so we thank God and we thank you.
“It is in the spirit of Thanksgiving that we will spend the whole day. We as leaders of the two main church groups in Grenada have called you all to prayer and we call not only those who share our faith but we call also those who have no faith who just have a sense of Thanksgiving to the Almighty – the all-powerful, the all Holy One for what they have experienced over these days.
Referring to the old and revered song, “How can I say Thanks for all the good,” Bishop Harvey said: “… As we spend these moments in prayer, I want to invite you to remember that genuine Thanksgiving always begins with truth – it begins with what we in Christian spirituality call a fundamental humility”.
He went on: “Over and over again, Jesus calls us to be humble, to know who we are before God. One of the great things about having this moment is that we remind ourselves that although science has succeeded, science would be nothing unless there was a hand that had promoted it over all these years and they continue to guide it. That is our faith”.
“We also take the opportunity to acknowledge that we still need God’s help – all of us know that in our hearts, we know that, and so we think of all those whom we have to ask God to reach out to and to help.
“So we thank God for those who in spite of their handicaps, in spite of their pain still are able to join us in praising and thanking God. We thank God for all those people who have helped in different ways through these weeks and they will be remembered over these hours…”
Bishop Harvey singled out for special prayers those who were in the forefront of the coronavirus battle like Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, a practicing member of the Catholic Faith, Health Minister Nicholas Steele and members of the National COVID-19 Response team.
“…We say thanks be to God for you,” he told those who played leadership roles in fighting the virus.
However, Bishop Harvey admonished the people of Grenada to remember that there is life after COVID-19 and the time is ripe to start addressing the future outlook for the island including job security.
“We cannot simply be coming to give thanks and not asking God to open our minds and our hearts to what that future will bring. Some of you brothers and sisters have no jobs. What does the future hold for you? And today we need to ask God to really open up your mind and your imagination so that you will see a way forward for yourself.
“We need to ask that of ourselves as a nation – what are we learning from COVID-19 which tells us what we ought to be thinking about and doing in the future? All of that is part of the journey that we are on today and I pray that God will really help each and every one of us over these hours to be truly open to what the Spirit is saying.
“… We acknowledge in the book of Revelation what the Spirit is saying to the churches but also what the Spirit is saying to the nation that we would not be lukewarm in our response to God, that we would not be simply cowering and thanking God yes but at the same time afraid.
“This moment is a moment that calls for all of us to think of Grenada as an adventure – yes an adventure. Post-Covid-19 it cannot be the same and I pray that today the spirit will really enlighten us and help us to see our way forward.
The Catholic Bishop reminded believers in the existence of a supernatural human being that now is the time to take a moment “to acknowledge as we begin this day of prayer and thanksgiving just to acknowledge our God, acknowledge a God who is even so much more than we can ever imagine.
“We seek not to manipulate you oh God. We don’t want to tell you to do our will today – that’s not the purpose of today. The purpose of today is that we may get in tune with you, with you who are at the very rhythm of the universe.
“And so we ask God to really bless this land today, to let his spirit move powerfully over us and we stand with God in faith though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust, yet the love of the Lord will stand as a shelter for all.
“We will call on his name and sing the praise and the Glory of God. So may God be with you – may God be with all of us this day”.