Mon | Oct 2, 2023
Diary of the Ghetto Priest

84 years old and at peace

Published:Monday | September 18, 2023 | 12:05 AMFather Richard Ho Lung/Contributor
Accompanied by lay associates in Jamaica.
Accompanied by lay associates in Jamaica.
On a MOP Philippines mission.
On a MOP Philippines mission.
In the Philippine ghetto.
In the Philippine ghetto.

Faithfulness is much needed, if not necessary, for one’s self and for others. How can we be stable and bring happiness and confidence to others unless we are clear about the meaning of life and strong in our commitment?

There must be personal strength, family life and community life. There must be the value of love and endurance even in times of difficulties. There must be vision that takes us past our trials and troubles, our feelings and our fancy. We must live with integrity in the present time, for the duration of our future into a life of eternity.

My brothers and sisters, there must be consistency and self-definition during this life, to the end of our life.

For instance, during your life you must search for meaning, you must give and receive from all with love. Throughout my life I had to ask these questions: Who am I? What is my purpose? How can I be certain that I am true to myself and to others? At the end of my life, I need to know that I have sacrificed my struggles and sufferings for others unto death. I found a rope and an anchor – to love God and my neighbour, especially the poorest of people; this give me a clear pathway to a definite end.

I found out the meaning of love. It is not a matter of sensual pleasure. It is not a matter of eating and drinking. It is not a matter of wealth, popularity and power, but conquest of self and service of others. What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Knowledge makes us smart, but wisdom makes us wise. What is wisdom? It is a quest for God and to please the Father. To please the Father as Jesus did, loving the poor and the rejected ones. Rich gives a sense and wisdom to life? As I look back, I see that quest as only answerable by God, and specifically by Jesus Christ, who sought to please the Father and to bring happiness to most rejected ones.

All my life as a Jamaican, I wanted to be a missionary, in service of my people and the poor life elsewhere. I did not want to be rich and materially absorbed. I just wanted to be united with God, and together with companions serve the Lord and build up His kingdom.

Later on I came to understand the psalmist’s words, “My soul is longing for then Lord, like a deer that yearns for running streams, my soul is longing for you my Lord.” St Augustine also tells us: “My soul is not at rest until it rests in you.”

Brothers and sisters, we partake in the image and likeness of our brother Jesus, who always sought the will of the Father in Heaven. Our souls, in the depth of our inner selves, want the will of the Father.

Yes! I am 84 years old now. Through the sorrows and joys of life; through my sins and the good deeds that I have done, I tried to do this with my community, Missionaries of the Poor. For this purpose I give thanks. I define my life with this few words.

I am a Chinese Jamaican.

Jamaica is my home.

The world is my mission.

I love the Lord Jesus.

The service of the poor is my vocation.

My greatest joy is to bring truth and happiness to others.

My greatest sadness is my sins.

The gift I give you on my 84th birthday is Ruby, which will place a little bread on the lips of the poor people and a little smile.

God bless you! See you at the National Arena at the end of the month. MOP Hotline: (876) 948-6173/0287; 806-1176; 533—1967 or 488-4377/544-5536.