Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | Moses! The prime minister’s critique

Published:Friday | December 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMFather Richard Ho Lung
Father Richard Ho Lung (left foreground) and Friends with Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia Grange (centre) and Prime Minister Andrew Holness (right).
From left: Jermaine Gonzalez, Very Reverend Brother Anil Minz, Father Richard Ho Lung, Yohan Blake, Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia Grange and Major Desmon Brown.

"It's a fabulous production. It's done to the highest professional level.

"Let me tell you, I am blown away! Moses, you are Moses (as he turns to Wynton Williams), excellent! Excellent! The message is clear, the singing was superb, the acting was great... . Moses, I want you to part the Red sea for us, and while you are at it, we will make Jamaica grow!"

We were deeply humbled by what Prime Minister Holness said. He represents Jamaica to all of us, and he declared this to the 6,000 people who attended and whose enthusiasm and gratefulness for the production echoed throughout the performance with hand claps, laughter, tears, and smiles.

Olivia Grange, the minister of entertainment, culture, sport and gender affairs, was full of smiles and warmth greeting the Brothers, the singers, the dancers, the actors and myself.

"We were all inspired. What a wonderful job. I see the beautiful costumes, the message is very clear carried by the music and the performers. I see you, Father, at the centre of it, you have written a lot... . I said to myself earlier: we were singing about Daddy oh! ... I thought of you."

It's very humbling at the age of 77 years to be hearing this from the prime minister and the minister of culture. I keep repeating... it is purely a gift. It is all God's work. My work is purely to be an instrument. God's love and choice of me, reminds me how unworthy and blessed I am. But God does what he wills with whomever He wills, out of love.


Giving glory to God


The prime minister says that the Moses production is part of the whole exercise of nation building, and, of course, giving glory to God.

We want to build this nation, that is the purpose of Missionaries of the Poor, but we want to build it according to the will and plan of God. We are a Judaic-Christian nation, the laws of God, the life of Christ, the life and death, of the martyrs and saints are humanity at its best and noblest. It is not just moneymaking, but the quality of men and women who live up to the noblest of ideals, which are embodied in Jesus Christ - true God and true Man.

I love it when powerful young people like Yohan Blake and Jermaine Gonzales come forward at the National Arena to support the production and our works with the poor.

"I love the story of Moses... . I love what the Missionaries of the Poor do. I am going to partner with Father Ho Lung... . This show is incredible. The young are important in nation building."

Yohan and Jermaine raced with me before the show. I huffed and puffed while the two athletes went slow motion as we raced across the stage two times! I was given the gold medal, Yohan took the silver, and Jermaine took the bronze. The crowd howled and laughed!

Now that things have quieted down, I reflect once again on my love of God, and God's love for me. I think also of the beautiful brothers, and the thousands of poor, homeless people we serve in Jamaica and overseas.

I think of my country, I pray, I dream, I labour to make us a holy and pleasing people to God. I ask the brothers, 'please be saints, pour out your lives for the poor of Jamaica'. Two of our Brothers have died, martyred, their blood poured out in the name of Christ for the poor. All of us here must do likewise, whether it be 'dry martyrdom' or 'wet martyrdom', in service of those who are the wounds of Christ, the poorest of the poor, the forgotten ones, left alone to suffer and to die.