Urging his flock to reflect on the blessings of each new day, health, friendship and love, marriage and family and Christian values, Bishop Walsh said the present moment is God’s gift to people.
“It is God’s gift to us - the precious moment which could be our last. We shouldn’t let it slip away in an almost unlived way.”
Bishop Walsh said that in the current economic crisis, it might seem that life has become a Lent with “no end in sight.”
While he sympathised with people who had lost jobs, or savings, at the heart of any recovery programme, had to be the common good. Going the extra mile would test the generosity of people, but as Christians, people needed to move away from blame, forward “in a spirit of mutual support and co-operation”.
They might be tempted not to make extra sacrifices for Trócaire and the poor in the Third World, but from a recent trip to Ecuador to visit three diocesan priests living there, he realised that “compared to what we enjoy, the situation of the people in Ecuador and Peru is away down the scale of our expectations.”
There Bishop Walsh saw the poverty of deprivation, “of living in extremely deprived housing (a shack) with no running water or sewerage system and very limited facilities or comforts of the kind we take for granted in our society".
“I am not making light of our current recession when I say that what we have in these times of cutback will always be richness when compared with the poverty of South America,” he writes.
And yet even in the midst of deprivation, he experienced a people who rejoiced in Christ’s message, and lived “for the moment.”
“That continent is all about the present – living the “now”. They have a great capacity to enjoy the moment and live life as fully as possible regardless of worldly goods or possessions.”
By contrast, writes the bishop, we have spent lifetimes “tied to schedules and timetables. We are engrossed in planning and laying down future schemes. We foresee difficulties and try to shore up against them”.
He urged people to appreciate the gift of “today”.
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