Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | And so the time has come

Published:Friday | January 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMFather Richard Ho Lung
Ho Lung

The year has come to a close, a new year has arrived, and I move wearily on towards the future.

O Lord, forgive me my wrongs. I am sorry and distressed for having offended you and my neighbours. From the depths of my being I cry out, "forgive me Lord". Over and over I cry out, "I am a worm and no man." I groan, I beat my chest, I cringe, all I can ask is your forgiveness, Lord.

I have tried to glorify you, Lord. I have poured out myself. Everything came from you, everything goes back to you. I speak your name, I preach, I teach, I write, I laugh, I cry. I work for you, day and night. Sometimes I get lazy, but I have sought to do your works as you have commanded - called to get disciples in your name, brothers in Jesus Christ. Every effort, every gain is given over to the poor - your beloved chosen friends. I have had nothing for myself, I want nothing for myself. Everything is for you.


Father to the poor


I am tired, Lord, but I am happy. I cannot sleep, I am full of worries and sadness. I think of the days passed by and your goodness to me. How good you have been to me, Lord; I am a father to the poor, I am a father to my brothers, Missionaries of the Poor, and the sisters, too. I am a father to prisoners, I am a father to all Jamaicans.

My fatherhood has been fulfilled in Jesus all over the world. India, the Philippines, Haiti, Uganda, Kenya, Indonesia, USA, East Timor. It's just that I am not worthy. I think of all my failures and sins.

You have been so good to me, Lord. I delight in you, day and night, like a child. I am in your hands and under your watchful eyes. Sometimes, you frown on me, sometimes you laugh with me. Together all day long, I hear you saying, " I love you." I respond to you over and over, "I love you too, Lord." Do you really love me?

Why have you been so good to me, Lord? The friends, the wonderful friends I have had, close friends who fill me with joy. Why have you given me sons and daughters who warm my heart with love and laughter? Why have you given me this precious calling as a priest and religious (leader), despite your knowledge of my weaknesses and sins? Why this beautiful calling to live out the gospel, to serve the poorest of the poor, to build up communities throughout the world in the poorest countries, to proclaim to God's people the good news? Then, there is the music which is always ringing in my ears and heart. It is all your music, Lord; and the musical productions and the performers and the crowd are yours. They all came from you, they all go back to you.

I want to proclaim your name, Lord. I want to spread your life, your words, your deeds more and more - all over the world.

Yes, I am tired and I cannot sleep. I am worn but I must go on. I must finish the race. I must be faithful to my friends, to my country, to the world, to my calling to serve the poor. To my beloved brothers and sisters in Missionaries of the Poor, and to my most beloved Lord - I owe it to them. I must go on. I want the whole world to know about you.

As the new year 2017 unfolds, I must rise and walk, there is so much to do. The race is not yet finished.