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Archbishop Jason Gordon delivers the sermon during the Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, San Fernando, yesterday.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon has called on Christians to spend less time on social media and food and concentrate on the significance of the Holy Week.

Gordon made the appeal while delivering the Palm Sunday sermon at the Pro-Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in San Fernando yesterday.

While the sermon was streamed live over Facebook, this year, more worshippers were allowed to attend the service.

“Last year I did this liturgy with five people in the Cathedral and that was a terrible and a difficult and a wonderful moment,” the Archbishop recalled.

While more parishioners attended the service this year, he said the COVID-19 pandemic was a form of crucifixion.

“This year we’re allowed more and that is a joy in itself but the pandemic is still a crucifixion and still, women are being killed in our society and that is the Christ being crucified one more time and still we have murders that is crazy in our society,” he said.

“There too is the Christ being scourged and killed one more time. Domestic violence in our homes. There too Christ is being crucified again and again and again.”

He encouraged parishioners to acknowledge that Christ is everywhere.

“The Christ and the crucified Christ is amongst us brothers and sisters, let us open our eyes and see him. Not just in the text and the events of the week but also in our homes, in our families, in our communities, in our nation. Let us open our eyes and see and let us be like Veronica or Simon to make sure that the weight of the cross is eased.”

As they observed the events surrounding Christ’s crucifixion, Archbishop Gordon urged Christians to reflect on the importance of this occasion.

“This is the most holy of all weeks and I will ask of you that you keep it holy. Let’s cut back on social media, let’s cut back on television and the tubes. Let’s cut back on all the extras. Let’s cut back on the food. Let’s cut back on all these things and leave the time, the space in your life and in your heart to contemplate the sacred mystery that we will live through this week.”

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, all processions and gatherings have been cancelled again this year. In a letter dated March 24, Gordon had chided some members of parishes for flouting the COVID-19 regulations. Ministry of Health officials last week confirmed that a recent COVID-19 case had been an individual who was not feeling well and still went to church. In light of the restrictions and recent spike in cases, the church has cancelled the Washing of the Feet, all processions and the kissing of the statue and cross during the Holy Week festivities.