September 7, 2010
This letter was sent today by Bishop Leo Frade to the three major newspapers in our area: The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel and The Palm Beach Post.
September 7, 2010
How can anyone think that an act of hate and religious fanaticism—the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001–can somehow be redeemed by an act of intolerance and religious stupidity?
I have been trying to decide whether Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove Center in Gainesville, who is planning to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, has any idea of how much harm and persecution his action will bring upon Christians living around the world–and specifically those living in countries with a majority Muslim population. I have travelled extensively in the Middle East, and I am quite familiar with the precarious situation of Christians in that area.
I can only appeal to him to desist from an action that will hurt his Christian brothers and sisters around the world; they are the ones who will suffer the consequences of his fanatical act.
As an American, I also appeal to his patriotism and concern for our U.S. troops. General David Petraeus, our commander in Afghanistan, has warned that this planned act of disrespect and destruction of the Muslim scriptures will both endanger our troops already in perilous situations and harm our relationship with those Muslim countries that are our sincere allies.
Every page of the Quran that burns will recruit to the ranks of Islamic extremists hundreds of irate Muslims, who will see in this action a confirmation of claims by Al Qaeda and the Taliban that Americans are engaged in our own jihad against the followers of Islam.
What would Jesus do? I am quite sure that burning the holy scriptures of another faith would never be his choice. Our Lord said from the cross where he died, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”
I would remind Pastor Jones that our Lord forgives what we find it impossible to forgive and challenges us to move beyond fear, suspicion and hatred to “love one another.”
I want to assure the followers of Islam here and around the world that the planned actions of the Dove Center do not represent the true values and beliefs of the followers of Jesus Christ, who tells us that the greatest commandment is love.
The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade
Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida
June 16, 2010
“For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us.
Accept our repentance, Lord.”
Every Ash Wednesday in our Litany of Repentance we are reminded of our failures and sins that by our own fault in thought, word and deed we have done, and also have left undone.
Little did we know that only two months after praying for forgiveness for our “waste and pollution of [God’s] creation” we were going to see firsthand that waste and pollution at such magnitude as the environmental catastrophe we are witnessing now in the Gulf of Mexico. With no end in sight to the flow on oil into the Gulf waters, an area the size of a small country is totally contaminated, destroying God’s creation and ruining the livelihood—and lives–of thousands of Americans living in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and perhaps also in our own beautiful State of Florida.
What amazes me is that they keep calling this major spill of oil “unprecedented,” as something that has never before occurred. Unfortunately for our planet, although this disaster is perhaps indeed unprecedented in scope, accidents like this are not unique.
When the voices of greed kept shouting, “Drill, baby, drill,” other voices were raised warning of the consequences of drilling off the coasts of Florida. “Nothing to worry about,” the proponents of offshore drilling kept insisting, ignoring the various accidents around the globe.
Just two examples of these are the blowout in 1979 of Ixtoc I, an offshore drilling station operated by Pemex in the western Gulf that dumped into the Gulf of Mexico an estimated 138 million gallons of crude over a nine-month period. Last August an oil spill in Montara, off the northern coast of Australia, also gushed for nine months before it was contained, spilling as many as 84,000 gallons of oil.
I know that some politicians have recently said that “accidents happen,” and that we should not blame BP for what has occurred. Maybe so, but there are more than 3,500 offshore oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico at this time, and many more have been planned.
I believe that we need to take a hard look at the current cozy arrangement between the oil companies and the regulatory agencies and revamp the way that we have been handling the process of granting drilling permits.
God has given us “dominion” over creation, which means that the Creator has made us responsible for caring for all things on earth. We are intended to be God’s fellow workers in creation, but it seems that our ecological disregard and greed for oil has turned us into workers of destruction.
The Book of Common Prayer has a beautiful prayer that asks God to give us “wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise God for his bounty.”
I ask your prayers for God to give us the wisdom not simply to find a way to stop this disastrous oil spill, but also to develop policies and lifestyles that will preserve our ecosystem and save the many species including birds, dolphins, turtles, oysters, sea snakes and the great variety of fish along our coast.
“Repentance” means “turning around,” changing our ways. If we indeed repent of our “waste and pollution,” we need to ask God to grant us a new wisdom and determination to make provision for the future of our planet in accordance to his will.
Let us pray also for our neighbors on the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, who are already suffering severe damage to their environment and their economy. As this disaster spreads, our diocese will continue to look for practical ways in which we might offer support to those directly affected.
Please continue to check the “Disaster Preparedness and Response” link on our diocesan website, http://www.diosef.org, for information.
I know that with God’s help we will be able to heal the damage that is being done now, but my hope is that we will be able to prevent future catastrophes like this by preserving the eastern coast of Florida free of oil drilling.
(This message from Bishop Leo Frade appears in the June 2010 issue of the diocesan newspaper, The Net.)
June 9, 2010
June 9, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I want to share with you the results of our visit with Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin on June 3 in Port-au-Prince and Leogane, two areas that suffered the worst damage from the January earthquake.
Archdeacon Fritz Bazin, Archdeacon Bryan Hobbs and I met for about eight hours with Bishop Duracin, traveling with him as he showed us some of the places where destruction was major and where our churches, rectories, schools, hospitals and other facilities are in immediate need of help.
One of our stops was at what used to be his home, which was connected to two apartment buildings that were also property of the Diocese of Haiti. Both his home and the apartments were completely destroyed; they still haven’t been able to recover the body of one of the nine people killed there.
Mercifully, the bishop had just stepped out of his home to receive a visitor when the earthquake happened. His daughters were able to run out in time, but his wife was trapped by an iron gate. As they dragged her out of the rubble, she received a deep cut in her leg that later became infected. After being treated at the hospital in Cange, she had to be flown first to the US Navy’s hospital ship and then to Tampa General Hospital for several operations. She is still in our neighboring Diocese of Southwest Florida, recovering and undergoing therapy.
As you probably know Cathedrale Ste. Trinité–Trinity Cathedral–in Port-au-Prince was completely destroyed, as well as the adjacent school, where many students died. The diocese has built some temporary wooden classrooms so that the children can complete the school year.
While we visited the grounds where the cathedral used to stand we were able to see and hear the Haiti Symphonic Orchestra, which was rehearsing under a temporary shelter. It was startling to hear classical music coming from a run-down temporary shelter in the midst of the ruins of the cathedral.
The Eglise Episcopale d’Haiti has always taken justifiable pride in its involvement with and encouragement of the arts. Our church made it possible for Haitians gifted in music, the visual arts and other forms of expression to share their talents with the world, as well as with their own people. As a result of this support for the arts, Trinity Cathedral had the most beautiful murals of Bible stories on all of its walls. Fragments of these remain, and UNESCO is now interested in trying to rescue this patrimony of humanity that was so badly damaged in the earthquake.
It was also very sad for me to see the empty lot where St. Vincent School for the Handicapped, where perhaps thousands of children with disabilities had been helped. Many of the children died when the building collapsed.
As we drove around we could see not only the apocalyptic destruction of Port-au-Prince, but also the sturdiness and valor of the Haitian people. Children continue going to school and the few businesses left are open and functioning; but we also saw the tremendous danger in which the population finds itself. It’s hard to describe how fragile and crowded are the tents where people are living at present. I pray that God will spare Haiti from a hurricane this season because even a Category One storm will endanger thousands and thousands of people.
We drove to Leogane, the birthplace of many Episcopalians in our diocese, including the Rev. Smith Milien, the priest-in-charge of St. Paul et les Martyrs d’Haiti, Miami. The work of the Episcopal Church in Leogane began in the 19th century, and expanded over the years to provide Ste. Croix Hospital, severely damaged in the earthquake, and a nursing school, which miraculously survived the earthquake and is now serving the tent hospital where doctors currently live and treat patients.
Today there are several Episcopal churches in and around Leogane, but unfortunately they are damaged.
One of them, Ste. Croix (Holy Cross), is just an empty shell. We met Father Kelwin Delicat, the vicar of that congregation, at his home; the rectory is unsafe, and like so many Haitians, he currently lives in a small tent.
Holy Cross School was also destroyed and children are studying in tents.
The bishop of Haiti, Jean Zaché Duracin, is very appreciative for all the help that we have been able to provide and for our generous contribution for the relief of the people and the church.
The Diocese of Haiti is now developing a reconstruction plan to provide housing, restore our churches, and of course, to continue feeding the hungry and healing the sick.
I commend the work that several of our congregations are continuing in partnerships in Haiti established long before Jan. 12. But I want you to know that as I told you when I first asked in January for your help for our sisters and brothers in Haiti, the funds donated to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida for our diocesan Haiti Fund are being disbursed at the direction of Bishop Duracin and his diocese, and will go primarily for immediate aid and rebuilding in Port-au-Prince and Leogane, where the damage is most severe and the needs are great.
To date we have given close to $100,000, most of it for direct, immediate needs, including several trailers, many tents, medical equipment and other relief supplies. We will continue to provide funds to the Diocese of Haiti to help our sister and brother Episcopalians serve their neighbors and begin to rebuild their ministries.
Haiti and the Haitian Episcopal Church need your prayers and help. We are their only lifeline, and I know we will not fail them.
Bishop of Southeast Florida
May 21, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Like many of you, I am deeply troubled and concerned about the potential environmental catastrophe our nation and South Florida may experience from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Our government officials and scientists are beginning to alert us in South Florida to the potential ecological and economic impact the oil spill might have on all our shores within the next few weeks.
Linda Schlepp-Gray and Archdeacon Bryan Hobbs have been in touch with Volunteer Florida and are monitoring the latest information and resources available.
Here is a brief summary of the most current information found at the Volunteer Florida’s website:
“ All oil-contaminated materials will only be handled by Qualified Community Responders (QCR) and not by volunteers.”
“…The complex nature of this incident coupled with health and safety concerns limits the roles of volunteers to non-hazardous activities within their local communities. Volunteers will not be engaged in any activity that puts them in direct contact with oil or oil-contaminated materials. These materials will only be handled by trained responders.”
“BP is providing training through PEC/Premier Safety Management. However, the BP training modules are of use primarily to individuals interested in employment and not volunteers”.
Volunteer Florida is encouraging everyone “to get involved in their local community. Volunteers can support the oil cleanup effort through appropriate activities such as Coast Watch, pre-oil landfall beach cleanups, fundraising, and meeting other needs of responding organizations”.
Oil spill volunteer opportunities as well as other links with volunteer opportunities are available at Volunteer Florida’s website at: http://www.volunteerfloridadisaster.org/
Watch your local news media for information on additional opportunities to help in your community.
Above all, we need to pray for all who are or will be affected by this disaster; for the success of efforts to stop the spill and contain the damage; for those engaged in this work; and for wisdom, discipline and courage to make choices as individuals, communities and nations that will enable us all to live as good stewards of creation.
I urge you to include in all your regular worship services prayers for the fragile ecosystems around us and specifically for this present threat to our environment. You may want to use this prayer, adapted from the Prayer for conservation of Natural Resources (BCP, p. 827) by the Rev. Canon Beverly Gibson, sub-dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile, Ala.:
We pray today for the preservation of our natural environment, especially the Gulf of Mexico and the lands and waters it touches: Guide those who labor to contain the oil that endangers the creatures of sea and land; strengthen those who work to protect them; have mercy on those whose livelihoods will suffer; Forgive us for our carelessness in using the resources of nature, and give us wisdom and reverence so to manage them in the future, that no one may suffer from our abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
February 17, 2010
It has been a long time since I was a young lad and heard my parents making sure I understood that I had to return home at a decent hour. Those were the teen years when I had just stopped being a child and was slowly moving toward maturity, so of course, I thought I knew everything and didn’t need my parents trying to control my life.
I imagine that we pay for our own past behavior when we have our own children, and in their teen years they begin to act the same way we did.
A few times as a teenager I had to face a “come to Jesus” talk from my parents—a conversation that made sure that whatever I had done wrong would not be repeated again. I hated those talks, but they made me a better person and guided my life during very difficult years.
Every Lenten Season we face our “come to Jesus” talk from his Body, our church, as we are invited to “…the observance of a holy Lent, by self examination and repentance, by prayer and fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance….”
I like to compare Lent to the On-Star service that came with my car. You may have seen the ads in which the On-Star system calls for help in an emergency; but the system also helps me prevent emergencies, because it makes sure I know that my car is in good condition and is running safely. I get a monthly report that tells me all about my engine, whether my tires are properly inflated, if the brake fluid or the oil needs to be changed or if any other part of the car needs attention.
Make sure that during this Lenten Season you examine your innermost soul to see if your spiritual life is running well: Maybe you need a spiritual oil change, or perhaps a soul tune-up, or maybe you need to inflate your faith to a higher level in order to make you function better and live closer to the Lord Christ.
I pray that God will bless you richly on Ash Wednesday and all through the Lenten Season until we meet to celebrate that holy night when Jesus passed over from the death to life and be able to rejoice with the heavenly hosts for the victory of our mighty King.
+ Leo Frade
January 18, 2010
January 18, 2010
Dear sisters and brothers:
Just a quick note to let you know that I was able to speak today with the Bishop of Haiti, Jean Zache Duracin. He wanted to make sure that you all knew how thankful he is for all of your efforts to help Haiti and our wounded church.
He has met twice with Fr Smith Milien to share with him the present needs.
Please continue praying for the Bishop and the clergy and laity of Haiti and for the whole suffering country.
January 16, 2010
January 15, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
I want to let you know that I have asked Fr. Smith Milien to go to Haiti today with the purpose of communicating with the Bishop of Haiti Jean Zaché Duracin and to evaluate the best way that we can serve the Episcopal Church of Haiti and the Haitian people during this time of tragedy. I think that it is important to let Bishop Duracin know of our support and prayers. It was my experience in Honduras after the destruction of Hurricane Mitch that it is very important for the morale of the suffering church to know that they are not forgotten and that we care for them.
I am asking for your prayers for this missionary endeavor that Fr. Milien is doing for all of us. He will fly to the Dominican Republic Friday night and will join a team from that diocese on Saturday and then travel by surface to the border with Haiti and from there find transportation to Port au Prince. It is now a time of sickness and uncertainty so he needs to be covered by our prayers.
I encourage you to do your best to make our congregations understand the seriousness and desperation of the situation. We can make a difference in the life of many.
January 13, 2010
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
I have been able to receive some news from Haiti. First the good news. We were able to confirm that my friend Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin survived the earthquake, though his wife, Marie-Edithe, injured her foot. The bad news is that now they are homeless.
The diocesan cathedral, Cathédrale Sainte Trinité, and the entire cathedral complex, including the entire Holy Trinity School complex adjacent to the cathedral, are also gone. The Sisters of the Society of St. Margaret are safe, but their convent was destroyed. The College of St. Pierre is gone, although the apartment for the college is still standing. St. Vincent’s School for the Handicapped in Port-au-Prince, a diocesan residential school and the only one of its kind in Haiti, was reportedly destroyed.
We have also heard that Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince died in the earthquake.
In Trouin four people were killed during a service at St. Mark’s. In Grand Colline St. Matthew’s Church is gone, as well as the church in St. Etienne. The church in Les Cayes is OK, but some people were injured trying to get out of the building during the quake. The rectory in Les Cayes is in very bad condition.
I spoke with Bishop Julio Holguin from the Dominican Republic, who said his diocese is beginning to coordinate its help for the Church in Haiti. He said that he was able to see Bishop Duracin in a news report that showed him trying to dig people out of the ruins.
I will keep you posted as soon as I receive further reports. Please pray for the people of Haiti, and don’t forget your brothers and sisters of our Haitian congregations in Southeast Florida that have no news from their families on the island. Archdeacon Fritz Bazin and other Haitian clergy are working very hard trying to make contact with our church and families in Haiti.
We are planning a diocesan service of prayer for Haiti on Jan. 23 at 4:30 p.m. at Holy Sacrament, Pembroke Pines.
Also stress to your congregations the immediate need for financial help for the church and people of Haiti. Your contributions can be sent to either online at http://www.ecsefl.org, or mailed to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, 8895 North Military Trail #205C, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. and we will make sure that it gets there as soon as humanly possible.
An appeal from Bishop Frade for Haiti
As a member of the board of Food for the Poor, I was planning to visit Port-au-Prince next week with other board members. After today’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake just off the coast near Port-au-Prince, we have canceled the trip, because both the facilities of Food for the Poor and the places where we were to stay have been damaged.
The situation in Haiti was critical before, but after the earthquake what was a nightmare has turned into a living hell. Just the initial report of casualties has started with over a thousand dead and thousands of persons injured and homeless.
I am sending out this appeal so that you can challenge your congregations to respond to this crisis in a country that needs our prayers and help. I am asking you to encourage our people to be generous at this time in order that somehow we may be conduits to alleviate the pain of our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
I encourage you to send your contributions to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, either online at http://www.ecsefl.org, or mailed to Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, 8895 North Military Trail #205C, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410. I will make sure that our contributions reach Haiti as soon as possible.
I have been trying to contact Bishop Duracin since we first got news of the earthquake, but there is still very little direct communication with Haiti. As soon as I can reach him, I will share whatever information he can give us.
While we wait for more details of how we can help, let us surround the people of Haiti—and their anxious family members in our midst—with our prayers.
December 10, 2009
During the month of December we usually get more than a few Christmas cards. Some will show a jolly Santa Claus, others a calm, snowy landscape, and of course we get our share of religious cards with the manger scene, the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, the Three Kings in adoration, angels, shepherds and sheep galore.
But there is one Christmas character that probably will never make it onto a Christmas card. Secular society has hijacked the Christmas story in many ways, but nobody has dared to touch John the Baptist in any shape or form.
Can you imagine walking into a mall on your way to Macy’s, and instead of seeing good old Santa, all of a sudden you encounter John the Baptist, dressed with clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, eating locusts with wild honey? Or perhaps imagine opening your mail and reading a card that says: “Repent! You brood of Vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance.”
I am sure that this is not going to happen anytime soon. The secularism and materialism that permeate the very core of our existence reject anything that may interfere with our urge to fulfill our every desire and to buy every product that advertisers promote. For them, Advent and the Christmas 2009 mean just a time to party, to try to forget the pain around this world of ours and to ignore the very least among us. They want us to believe that this is just a time for us, forget the rest. A time to buy and buy because the person who dies with the most toys is bound to be the winner.
But instead, during Advent we are called to prepare to receive our Savior, to make room for the Christ in our hearts and in the world. Now that Christmas is upon us, let us not forget the message of John the Baptist. This is a time to share with others, a time to be content with what we have, a time to care and a time for peace.
Let us not lose sight of the fact that there are many around us who won’t have a roof over their heads that they can call their own, and many around the world who suffer from the hunger and disease that are the result of extreme poverty. Much of this suffering could be alleviated, if only we were willing to share what we have.
Allow me to be a John the Baptist and invite you to “bear fruit worthy of repentance” this Christmas season–to open your hearts and checkbooks and share a portion of the bounty God has given you with those who are in such great need.
In our diocese, Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida is committed during this coming year to expand their ministry of helping the poor—and especially the hungry–in our midst. Consider making a donation this Christmas to join in this ministry to the growing number of our neighbors who are in need.
The shepherds came and offered what they possessed; the three Wise Men brought gifts to the baby in the manger. I am sure that you don’t want to be found empty handed as you come to worship Jesus, the Christ, this Christmas.
“Fruto de Arrepentimiento” – Comparta con Otros – Navidad 2009
Durante el mes de diciembre, normalmente nos llegan más de unas cuantas tarjetas de Navidad. Algunas muestran un alegre Santa Claus, otras son paisajes de nieve, y por supuesto nosotros mandamos tarjetas religiosas con el nacimiento, la Virgen Maria cargando al niño Jesús, los tres Reyes Magos en adoración, ángeles, pastores y muchas ovejas.
Pero hay una figura de Navidad que jamás llegara a estar en la portada de una tarjeta de Navidad. La sociedad secular ha secuestrado la historia de la Navidad en muchas formas, pero nadie se ha atrevido a lidiar con Juan el Bautista en cualquier forma.
¿Puedes imaginarte ir caminando al centro comercial en camino a Macy’s, y en vez de ver a Santa, de repente te encuentras con Juan el Bautista, vestido en ropa hecha de pelo de camello con un cinturón de cuero alrededor de su cintura, comiendo langostas con miel silvestre? O quizás abriendo su correo e encontrando una tarjeta que dice: “¡Arrepiéntanse! ¡Camada de víboras! ¿Quién les enseñó a huir de la ira que vendrá? Por tanto, de frutos dignos de arrepentimiento”
Estoy seguro de que esto no va a pasar dentro de poco. El secularismo y el materialismo que impregnan el mero centro de nuestra existencia rechazan cualquier cosa que se entrometen con nuestro impulso a cumplir con cada uno de nuestros deseos y de comprar cada producto que los publicistas promueven. Para ellos, Adviento y la Navidad 2009 significan solamente un tiempo para festejar, un tiempo para olvidar el dolor alrededor de nuestro mundo e ignorar los desafortunados entre nosotros. Quieren que creamos que esto es solo un tiempo para nosotros mismos, y que olvidemos a los demás. Un tiempo para comprar y comprar porque el que muere con más juguetes seguramente será el ganador.
En cambio, durante Adviento estamos llamados a prepararnos para recibir a nuestro Salvador, para hacer espacio para Cristo in nuestros corazones y en el mundo. Ahora que la Navidad esta aquí, vamos a no olvidar el mensaje de Juan el Bautista. Este es el tiempo para compartir con otros, el tiempo para estar satisfechos con lo que tenemos, el tiempo para preocuparse y el tiempo para la paz.
Vamos a no perder de vista el hecho de que hay muchos alrededor de nosotros que no tendrán un techo que pueden llamar suyos, y que hay muchos alrededor del mundo que sufren de hambre y enfermedades que son resultados de la pobreza. Mucho de este sufrimiento se pudiera aliviar, si solamente estuviéramos dispuestos a compartir lo que tenemos.
Permíteme ser un Juan Bautista e invitarles a dar “frutos dignos de arrepentimiento” en esta época de Navidad – a abrir sus corazones y chequeras y compartir una porción de la munificencia que Dios les ha dado con los que están en tanta necesidad.
En nuestra diócesis Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida esta comprometido durante el próximo año a expandir su ministerio de ayudar a los pobres – especialmente los que tienen hambre – entre nosotros. Considera hacer una donación esta Navidad para unirse a este ministerio ayudando la cada vez mayor numero de nuestros vecinos con necesidad.
Los pastores vinieron y ofrecieron lo que poseían; los Reyes Magos trajeron regalos al niño en el pesebre. Estoy seguro de que no se quisiera encontrar con las manos vacías al venir a adorar a Jesús, el Cristo, esta Navidad.
“Fruit de repentance” – Partager avec les autres – Noel 2009
Au cours du mois de Décembre, nous avons coutume de recevoir des cartes de Noel. Quelques unes exhiberont un Joli “Tonton Noel”, d’autres un calme gazon couvert de neige, et éventuellement, nous partageons nos cartes religieuses avec: la crêche, la Vierge Marie tenant dans ses bras l’enfant Jésus, les trois Rois Mages en adoration, des anges, des bergers et des brebis galeuses.
Mais, il existe un caractère unique de la Noel que probablement ne será jamais contenu á l’intérieur d’aucune carte. La société séculaire a distortionné l’histoire de la Noel en divers aspects, mais personne a osé toucher Jean le Baptiste sous quelque forme que ce soit.
Pouvez-vous imaginer en marchant á l’intérieur d’un “mall”, en direction de Macy’s, et au lieu de voir un vieux et sympathique “Tonton Noel”, soudainnement vous rencontreriez Jean le Baptiste, vêtu de poil de chameau, avec une ceinture de cuir autour des reins, se nourrissant de sauterelle et de miel sauvage? Ou peut-être, imaginez-vous, ouvrant une correspondance et lisant une carte qui dirait: “Repentez-vous! Race de vipères! Qui vous a appris le moyen d’échapper á la colère qui vient, produisez donc des fruits de repentance!”
Je suis sur que cela ne va pas passer en ce présent moment. Le sécularisme et le mercantilisme qui pénetrent le fond noyau de notre existence rejettent toute chose qui pourrait interferrer avec notre impulsion de contenter notre propre désir et acheter tous les produits promotionnés par les annonceurs. Pour eux, l’Avent et la Noel 2009 signifient simplement une période de fête, pour essayer d’oublier la douleur autour de notre monde, et ignorer le plus petit qui se trouve tout près de nous. Ils veulent nous faire croire que justement c’est un temps pour nous, oublions les autres. Un temps pour acheter et acheter parceque celui qui serait mort avec le plus de jouets possible, ¡voilá le vainqueur!
Mais au lieu de tout cela, durant l’Avent nous sommes appelés á nous préparer pour recevoir notre Sauveur, á faire une place pour le Christ dans notre Coeur et dans le monde. Maintennat que la Noel est sur nous, n’oublions pas le message de Jean le Baptiste. C’est un temps pour partager avec les autres, un temps pour être satisfait de ce qu’on a, un temps pour se soucier, et un temps pour la paix.
Ne perdons pas de vu de ce qu’autour de nous il y a beaucoup de personnes qui ne seront pas sous un troit qui leur est propre; et beaucoup dans le monde qui souffrent de faim et de maladies, causées par l’extrème pauvreté. Bonne partie de cette souffrance aurait pu être soulagée, si seulement nous aurions voulu partager ce que nous avons.
Permetez-moi d’être Jean Baptiste, et vous inviter á “porter des fruits de conversión” au cours de cette saison de Noel, á ouvrir vos coeurs et vos livrets de banque et partager une portion de ce que la bonté divine vous a donné, avec ceux-lá qui se trouvent dans de grande necessité.
Dans notre diocèse, Episcopal Charities of Southeast Florida, s’est engagé durant l’année qui s’approche á dédier son ministère pour aider le pauvre – et spécialement l’affamé – dans notre milieu. Considérez donc de faire un don cette Noel, tout en vous joignant á ce ministère, a fin de pouvoir atteindre un plus grand nombre de prochains, lesquels se trouvent dans le besoin
Les bergers venaient et offraient ce qu’ils possedaient, les trios sages portaient des cadeaux á l’enfant dans la crèche. Je suis certain que vous ne voulez pas vous présentez avec les mains vides lorsque vous viendrez adorer Jésus le Christ, au cours de cette Noel.