My Dear Brothers & Sisters,
During the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in the activities intended to focus on our 60th Anniversary of Independence. These activities vary in nature but all intended to motivate national pride and encourage increased participation. These intentions are of the essence if we are to become the people and nation our forefathers sought to establish. As we celebrate, I encourage us to reflect on our journey as a people and a nation. This reflection I suggest involves reading in a contemplative way, the words of our national anthem, the national pledge, and the national song for schools. The words of these pieces speak to a vision for our people and our nation.
In recent times we have heard of the 2030 vision which is a document that set out in very defined terms where we should be by the year 2030. I share these matters with us, because I am concerned that although they have the best of intentions, they cannot by themselves guarantee their best intentions. I suggest we must begin to find ways to make the people of our nation believe that this is in fact our country and that the intention is for a country that works for every single Jamaican, adds value to the life of our nation’s people. The reality is that despite the talk about economic growth, using various models and strategies, we have failed to achieve this objective. Most of us cannot in honesty say, the efforts towards economic growth have benefitted the ordinary Jamaican.
I suggest that until the average Jamaican can experience a fair quality of living, then we can say we are in reality “Jamaica land of Beauty.” The issues of social and economic justice must become part of our prophetic and pastoral mission. As the Church, we must insist that our systems of governance work for our people and remain answerable to our people, which is far more than efficiency or attempts towards modernization. In essence, the effectiveness of any system is in its capacity to serve the intended population As we continue our celebrations, I invite us to pray. God bless Jamaican people and land we love.