Job: IT engineer
City: Beit Hanina
Rite : Maronite
“Sow Abundantly and Reap Likewise”
Would you say that you are involved with the Church ?
St. Paul teaches us that we reap what we sow. Therefore, we keep in mind how to be involved in the church. I personally teach my children to be obedient to the church teachings and live their life according to good virtues no matter how hard that might be in the middle of “disordered” societies. I quote Pope Benedict: « The world offers you comfort. But we were made for Greatness » It is very difficult when society is focused towards earthly matters as they are also looking for comfort in practicing faith and therefor the involvement cannot be superficial, or according to convenience.
I therefore emphasize that involvement with the church requires much of charity and generosity if we really want to belong to it, in other words it is another family member that you love and care for. If we want a good future for the church, we have to be well formed lay members of the church.
Do you feel part of the Holy Land Church ?
Yes with a lot of humility.
Does something bother you inside the Church ?
Unfortunately I see that there is a big gap between the two layers of the church : the one of the clergy and the one of the common people. There is no interaction, because people believe that the church is responsible for everything, that the money and the help they get from it is granted. The clergy doesn’t understand the exact need of the people only the social matters. Sometimes the clergy stand helpless in the storm of disordered societies. The needs of the people are not only financial, they are about spiritual guidance. In between those two layers, the gap is filled with corrupt people and people who seek influence or authority. Those people who come to mass only for the communion or when bishops or consuls are here, they are not my Church. They have no spirituality and they push the struggling families on the margins. Jesus left the whole crowd and went to heal the sick and the excluded. The Church has to follow this path.
The Church’s responsibility is to preserve the Christian presence and encourage Christians to stay and to have more kids and fill up classrooms and become of good influence. We need leadership, spiritual guidance, but also protection. It could happen through incentive programs like school scholarships for large families. Education is expensive in this country and sometimes people can’t afford it for more than two kids. I for example have a job and things on the side, but this is not enough to put four children in a private catholic school. Why doesn't the church invent a way to mandate a free tuition for families of two and more children ? Also people’s mentality needs to evolve. Here people like to point fingers and criticize, but no one questions themselves. Christians presence won’t be strengthened by annual donations only. Change should come from the bottom, from the people living here and learning to give, to contribute with skills and children.
Do you have a dream for the Church ?
My dream for the church is to continue to grow and regenerate and truly continue to be one universal catholic church. The devil will always be present to stop it from reaching the people or vise versa. What we have to focus on are the teachings and the sacraments.
People with good skills should always feel compelled to give and yet encouraged to do so and yet feel encouraged and welcomed to do so.