#Article (Archive)

Lectors Warm up for Christmas

Dec 17, 2008, 4:45 AM

The Network of Lectors of the Diocese of Banjul is a body set up by lectors to enhance the proclamation of the Word of God through a critical look at the Gospels and to enhance the spiritual well-being of its members. By the examples of the Gospels they proclaim, are urged to live by those principles to allow others see Christ at work in them. This prompted the lectors of the diocese to gather over the weekend at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption in Banjul, directed by Rev. Fr. Edu Gomez, Chaplain of the Network of Lectors. Read on and see what went on and how they gained spiritually.

Austin Kanjia, the Secretary to the Network of Lectors speaking on their president's behalf said the occasion was an illustration of their commitment to spreading the Word of God through example. "The over 60 lector members from different parishes Kombo Area, is a sign of total commitment to the Gospels that we are imitating. Today, we are coming to look back at our past lives and to prepare ourselves in a proper way to receiving Christ who is going to be born anew within us. Our lives should be seen radiating such because the life we live is full of ills and temptations are rife. Inviting Jesus to stay within us means a continual conversion and submission to the will of God. God has given us many gifts, gifts that can enable us to go to Heaven. We have to work hard to enable a free visa on the last day," he said. Today he said should be stress free to allow peace to reign, cutting off other things and staying in the peace of Christ to enable members get in the mode of a true retreat. He advised that they stayed around the area of the retreat. The church left opened to allow people to go for confession when the need arose.

Mary Mendy of Cathedral Banjul welcomed members to the retreat and encouraged them to pray harder as they were all welcome to their parish. Fr. Edu said it was a prayerful day otherwise they would have taken the group to important places in the city for sight seeing.

As members continued pouring in from all over the Kombo, members were already in prayerful mode as meditation took the centre stage. The Cathedral Administrator and Chaplain of the Network of Lectors, Fr. Edu Gomez took the group through the meditation and penitential service to get participants in the right mode. "This retreat will enable you see the reality God intends for you, that will enable you witness and see the birth of Christ blessed and receive the blessings of His coming. Pour out your sins and repent and He will strengthen you," he said. He blessed the group and left them meditating on their own.

Peter French announced the theme of the retreat and said "Prepare the way of the Lord and make His path straight." Peter French, the Religious Secretary talking on the theme said there were many ways to prepare oneself for Christ coming. As lectors he said we should be example to others as our Christmas preparation is to be always and not only during Christmas to make the path straight. The straight path he said means a lot to a Christian because there are a lot of rough edges that they need to make straight for Christ's coming. The coming is simply heard but difficult in itself. Many people he said do not go for confession but receive the Holy Communion. Things we are supposed not to be doing we find ourselves doing them and we sometimes think we are right doing them. "We are children of God and we always need Christ to lead us, therefore there is a constant need for a change of heart," Peter French said. He opened the floor for people to share their opinion on the theme.

Besenty Gomez, introducing himself as coming from five parishes but now in St. Therese said many people need to show how much need they have to make the Lord's path straight. He agreed with the Religious Secretary's point of change of heart in many ways. "As human beings, we need straight path to God, as Jesus knew it was difficult to go through to heaven except we become like children. To be childlike is another way of making His path straight.

Nkuru Jones, a member from Holy Family said living seems to be difficult and people cause most of the problems. She said one might know that something is wrong and they do it, people commit sin and never want to repent, they refuse to go to confession. People go to extreme of everything that is good and it is sin. "We need to change from all these things and love God to the full by staying safe and holy in spirit," she said.

Florence Kanaan, from the same Holy Family church said youth of today take nothing serious about God. Time to go to disco they dress differently and are seen as different while in those programmes, young girls commit abortion and keep it secret, it is disappointing. Married men take extra girl friends and some wives go around with boy friends. These are all bad practices as Christians we should avoid and stay clean for Christ to live in our hearts daily. Other speakers expressed the same sentiments and call for a change of behaviour from both men and women so as to show good morals to our children.

In conclusion, Fr. Edu asked several questions provoking positive reactions. Most of the answers were not different from those people gave already. Father thanked the contributors and urged the group to see the truth of living and inculcate the laws of the Bible, which are paramount. He asked the group to pray hard and put the Gospel in to practice as their tool.

The group prayed the rosary. There was discussion session to evaluate the past readings at the ordination at Farafenni and Kunkujang during the Pilgrimage, Lectors were cautioned to be very careful when reading in such occasions. The president encouraged those who were absent especially the executive to endeavour to be at such enriching spiritual programmes, that comes once a year. He encouraged the membership to spread the news that the group needs them.