The following is a Message to the Nation from Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the Occasion of Easter 2020. (Courtesy Office of the Prime Minister)
I am happy today to extend Easter Greetings to the Christian community from the Government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, including my own family, and myself.
Easter is not just a holiday but a significant spiritual experience, a season of joy and celebration in the lives of the members of the Christian faith, the world over.
During this time, families and friends join together in celebration of their belief in the grace and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the Son of God and the saviour of the world.
Easter is seen as a celebration of life over death which was achieved through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who, the Gospel tells us, laid down his life so that all mankind might live free from sin.
The belief in the resurrection of Christ takes us to a higher consciousness—a victory over sin, death and the grave.
In this joyous season, I urge that, as individuals, we should at some point also find time to step away. Pause for a moment and adopt what is considered God’s first language: Silence.
In that moment, let us reflect on our daily lives, how we may be considering and promoting our self-interests, above those of others, and not the common good. Examine also the bundle of negative attitudes we may be displaying daily in our homes, the workplace, and in our social lives.
In that moment of Silence, let us ask ourselves, where is God placed in our lives, right now? Is God where he should be in every moment of our lives? Then let us nurture our awareness and begin to re-think our lives, and seek an ongoing intimacy with God.
Every year, the Easter holiday is a time for celebration, but this year demands that it should be one of deep, serious reflection. Take this moment to examine ourselves as citizens. Where are we? Ask yourself what am I contributing to ease this country’s pain?
Then turn to the ever-changing health issues, created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Again, ask what is your role, as a citizen in Trinidad and Tobago today. Question whether you have been responsible, in the face of numerous Health Care warnings. What positive steps should you, personally, adopt to bring relief to fellow citizens and the country, in this time of crisis.
Are you going to seek avenues to make positive contributions? Or are you going to sit in the wings, hurling criticisms and pointing fingers at those, who are working night and day on the front lines – selflessly and against the threat of losing their lives?
Remember that the values of Christianity, and Easter, which can be found in so many other faiths, are based on love, compassion, forgiveness, kindness, togetherness and individual responsibility.
These are values we should all, share with others at every moment of our daily lives, for these in essence represent Christ’s sacrifice, and promoted among each other will sustain our collective feelings of Hope that our challenges shall pass.
Over the past weeks, the country found itself with much to do and with very little resources to do it with – but we made clear choices, ensuring that we attempt to take care of all citizens.
The two major challenges — the plunge in energy prices, and the spread of the Covid-19 virus — require us to continue standing on these human values, particularly that of togetherness, and a genuine care for all citizens, specifically, the most vulnerable among us.
As we celebrate the Easter season, let us use the lessons of love, gratitude, discipline, faith, tolerance, togetherness, which the resurrection of Christ brought to us, turning it into a feeling of Hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Happy Easter to you and yours.