Sat | May 30, 2020

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | At the Little Theatre: 'The Parables' - the spirit of our people

Published:Thursday | August 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMFr Richard Ho Lung
Bartimeus (centre) sees a vision of Christ in the first story of ‘The Parables’.
Some of the cast of ‘The Parables’ performs at the Little Theatre for this last weekend.
Guess who is cooking runkus soup for the audience at the Little Theatre.

Jamaicans love music, theatre, dance, colour, words. They love to laugh and play and joke. Buttears, sadness, and sorrow are also celebrated. What a people! Even funerals are celebrations that require elaborate dress, make-up, and fashion shows.

I do believe it is too much, that there is a proper time for everything under heaven - a time for weeping, a time for laughing, a time for living, and a time for dying.

These are serious times! We need serious theatre that asks serious questions. What is the purpose of life? What are our life's values? Is there a body, is there a soul? What is happiness? Is there life after death? Is there hell, and is there heaven?

Can't we see that atheism is upon us in Jamaica? That secular materialism is making great inroads in the lives of the young, in the lives of all working people? Can't we see that life is being devalued and that all that matters is me, myself and I? That money, worldly possessions, the pleasures of this world are all that matters?

The Parables, on at the Little Theatre for this last week, Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Tel Nos. 876 -948-6173 / 876-806-1222 / 876-585-2263 will show you an inner vibrancy still powerful, still full of God, still loving and serving in Jamaica in the Father Ho Lung and Friends group.

The cast is a blend of mature and very young people pouring themselves into charity and love for the poor despite the great challenges of life. There are some 50 in our cast. The spirit in the group is marvellous. The spirit of the technical team is full of a desire for beauty, perfection, meaning, purpose.

Jamaicans, young or old, love beauty, power, and expression and want to exceed. The mountains, oceans, the trees, the flowers are excessive and so full of surprise. The people also never cease to surprise us.

"Beauty ever ancient, beauty ever new." This is from the people performing in; The Parables. They are beautiful. The energy pouring out of their performances is breathtaking and mysterious.

When I see them perform, I am joyful. For that period of time, life seems so close to perfection and transcendence. At that time, in that period of the performance, the struggles of life are forgotten. Time seems to stand still, and we seem to experience the inner soul of these performers and all those associated with the production. It is as if we become one soul.

Thank you, Parables team, for being such great providers for the poor, for the audience, for the brothers, and for me. It makes the struggle for beauty worthwhile.