Sunday, July 23, 2017


Saturday Morning and Noon

This is me and Sandra Davis, retired Permanent Secretary of at least three departments in her career in the government. 
This party is a tradition started by Sandra Davis' mother back in 1987.  It took place in the local grade school cafeteria room.  Some of the residents of he Punnet Nursing Home were brought in for the occasion, as well as local area seniors. 

On the way up to Mesopotamia, this is the view of the inside of an old volcano. Would you sleep at night knowing your house had a volcano under it? Some people have to! The problems of this area almost disappear in the lush greenery. 

Like many things down here, "getting there" is a big part of the problem. Who knew there would be a landslide blocking the road? Thank God there was another narrower road around it if you turn around and go back.  We heard that this mud slide happened three years ago after a storm. People at home would complain if a pothole was not fixed the next day! 

The Seniors were already there and waiting when we arrived. 

Mr. Walter Thomas had to have both legs amputated since I saw him last, but he was still a very upbeat man.

What would a party be without a band? These guys volunteered to help make it special. 

These volunteer ladies put on quite a spread. People brought covered dishes to fill the whole table. Youth waited on tables. 

Working the Crowd.

They seemed to be so patient for the food to be served. 

Still working the crowd!

On the way home, we were behind this truck. At home this would have been a "lawsuit about to happen."  Two of the guys are not even standing on the bed of the truck, but on top of the racks. Sudden stops, cars pulling out in front of you from side streets, deep ditches , no shoulders and passing in curves is a common occurrence. I am amazed that people are not killed on a regular basis in road accidents.


Saturday Night and Two on Sunday



Both Cathedrals have pastors by the name of "Father Michael" as well. 


Deacon Victor Peters and myself at the Saturday Night Mass.

Preaching under the watchful eye of St. Vincent the Deacon, patron of the island.
Christopher Columbus supposedly discovered this island on the Feast of Saint Vincent the Deacon. 

Some of the altar servers.

Bringing up the gifts.

Giving the pastor, Msgr. Michael Stewart, a blessing on his 32 anniversary as a priest.

Explaining my CATHOLIC SECOND WIND GUILD  to the parishioners of the Cathedral Parish.

Saying goodbye at the door of the Cathedral after Mass.

Fergal (Irish volunteer) and I met the ambassador from Brazil to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and his wife, at the door of the church. His full title is Ambassador Antonio Jose Rezende de Castro


Do  you want us  to  go and pull up the weeds?

No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot

the  wheat  along with  them.  Let  them  grow
together until harvest.         
Matthew 13:28-29

The lesson of this parable is very simple: the world in which we live is full of good and evil, but, regardless of what some moral crusaders tend to think, it is not always clear which is which!  “People see externals, but God sees into the heart.” Moral crusaders, who tend to see things as black or white, are always more than willing to rush in and play God. In the history of the world, more evil has probably been perpetrated by moral crusaders than any other group, be it radical fundamentalist Moslems or radical fundamentalist Christians. Even today, they are out doing their damage, anything from car bombs to character assassination. In the name of God, they are out ridding the world of “evil,” at least as they see it. Many innocent people are killed, maimed and relationships are ruined in the process.

I remember one incident in particular where the truth of this parable dawned on me: the truth that people can not be judged by what you see externally. It happened one Sunday when I was giving out communion. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a woman I had spoken to only recently. She had divorced her abusive husband and remarried without an annulment. She was crying. She was crying because she had loved going to communion and now, according to church teaching, she was not allowed to receive it while in an invalid marriage. She was not the type to break the laws of the church. I wanted to cry with her.

In front of me was a long line of people coming to receive communion. Many of them were nudging friends or looking around, obviously not focused on what they were about to receive. Probably all of them were in valid marriages, free to receive communion whenever they wished, but they were not “into it.” I gave them communion, but I could not give her communion.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am not challenging our high standards on marriage. I believe that the ideal of one marriage for life is the measure we ought to aspire to, and we ought to do everything we can to challenge people not to enter into mrriage casually, not to be poor judge of character and not to enter into it without being spiritually and emotionally able to carry through on their vow to stay married till death. All I am saying is that we cannot judge people’s relationship to God from what we see. Only God can see into hearts.  Even a good law, written for the common good, cannot always be applied in every individual case. Being too strict is just as bad as being too lenient.

I want to help clean up the world too. It pains me to see many of the destructive things people do to themselves and each other. Condemning them for not being religiously observant will not motivate them to change. It may make the one doing the condemning feel righteous, but it will not bring about a change of heart in the one condemned.  Merely threatening people with condemnation and eternal punishment is the best way for the church to be dismissed as irrelevant.

I want to help clean up the world too. I want to inspire people to want to change. I want people to know the unconditional love of God. I believe that if they know the God that Jesus revealed, they will fall in love with that God. Once in love with that God, they will hunger and thirst for holiness. They will work to turn their lives around. 

I am willing to let the weeds and the wheat grow together, not because I am “liberal” or “tolerant,” but because I cannot see into people’s hearts and judging them simply from externals may do some serious hurt to some very good people. Besides, it is not up to me to “save” the world. I am not God and since I am not God, I will speak about God but not for God. I will let God be God.  Besides, I have enough weeds growing in my own garden that need attention!

Jesus teaches us several things in this parable. (1) Good and bad influences act on our lives, so we must always be on our guard. There is always forces working against the goodness within us that God placed there when he created us. We must be vigilant so that it does not take root to begin with. (2) It teaches us that we must encourage each other in living good lives and resist judging each other merely by what we can see. (3) It teaches us that “it ain’t over till it’s over.”  We are not judged by any single act or stage in our lives, by our whole life. Many a great saint was a great sinner in the beginning. Saint Augustine is one case in point.  Like a farmer, God is patient. He waits till harvest time. He waits to judge the whole of our lives.

Jesus was clear about our not judging each other.  “Do not judge, lest you be judged.” “How can you say to your brother, “let me take that speck out of your eye” when there is a board sticking out of your own.” This parable is a warning to the church’s “weed eaters,” moral crusaders who think they have twenty-twenty vision, when in fact, they are blind as bats. Good will and hasty action is not enough. Many people have done great damage to others, moving too rashly, all the while meaning well. Jesus himself took the path, not of condemnation and judgment, but invitation and encouragement. That, I believe, should be the church’s path even today.     


1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Father Knott. That is exactly what I needed to hear today.