Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | Is there evil?

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:00 AMFr Richard Ho Lung

Is there evil? Isaiah 5:20 tells us, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who change darkness into light and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter!” Every tree root shall become rotten.

I pray and I pray and I pray for Jamaica, which is a microcosm of the world. I am afraid that Jamaica and, indeed, the world will lose favour with our God. Can you imagine Jamaica without God, our world without God? But if we go against His will, His laws, if we no longer seek out what He wants of us, if we don’t hold him dear to our heart in all that we say and do, He will no longer pay attention to us, and we will lose his favour as individuals and as a nation. These are cares and concerns that deeply disturb me as a priest, and every pastor is concerned about them.

As Jamaicans, we have always drawn our strength from the Lord and His mighty power. Look at the power of the landscape that is our mountains, watch the roaring of seas as you go from Kingston to St Thomas, be in wonder as you pass through the thousands of different ferns and flowers. Only God could have made all this. And our people shout and sing, “Glory, alleluia,” and dance and work day and night to rhythms and drums and pound out steps filled with the Holy Spirit.

This God made a fearful but powerful people that has braved the struggles and trials, the slavery and suffering over centuries. And we have come out smiling and full of joy because God has been with us all through these times.

Now we are in danger of secularism and evil. I fear, I fear, I fear. Saint Paul tells us in Ephesians, “Put on the armour of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” The great tactic of the Evil One is the great lie. I suggest to you the calling of good evil and evil good.

ALL SINNERS

All of us are sinners. All of us are children of Adam and Eve, our first parents who disobeyed God. The Lord told them, “Do not eat of the fruit of the tree that is forbidden. If you do, you will die.” But the snake told them, “You shall not die, you shall live.” As children of Adam and Eve, we are now prone to lies, the evil promptings of Satan. We justify the wrong to do what we want rather than God’s will. Then we disappear and hide away from God and clothe ourselves with lies.

The worst sin is lying to ourselves, the self-justification, the falsehood of the world and secularisation. We cover ourselves and others with a falsehood. Still, right is right and wrong is wrong. God forgives our wrongs, our sins, and our evils, and all of us do sin. We are sinners! Let us freely say it! Let us proclaim it to the world ... and beg forgiveness. He is most merciful and just. I have sinned, you have sinned, we have sinned! God forgives us and loves us. It really is so. In fact, He loves the repentant sinner more than the self-righteous.

Abortion is not right! Neither are all the many sexual sins that are wrong that are being promoted! The selfishness and greed for profit and power are wrong! We must face it. Violence and murder are wrong!

Jamaica is beginning to say with the secular world: “There is no God!” That is the greatest lie in the face of the most obvious truth. Do not separate yourself from Him. Read your scriptures, and go to church and worship. Help the poor, and unite with your God. How can you say there is no God? When you stand on the peak of any mountain, you know that your heart says, “Lo and behold! There is no other god like our God!”