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Bishop’s Easter message focuses on election outcome, coronavirus


Bishop Francis Alleyne’s Easter wish and prayer is that the people of Guyana recognise their responsibility as citizens.

“As Guyanese wait for an outcome of the March 2 elections, it would be a waiting like the disciples in the Upper Room, perhaps with a bit of fear and bewilderment, but one during which a true understanding of the place and role of every citizen is recovered that would collectively put the citizens on a new path assuming the responsibility due to civil society in shaping the future of the nation”, the bishop said in his Easter message.

His other Easter prayer dealt with the limitations and restrictions of COVID-19. He hoped everyone “diligently adhere to and promote the practices that serve to arrest the progress of this illness”—social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing masks—and do so “with strong motivation to protect each other, to be our brother’s/sister’s keeper”.

The bishop of Georgetown said many have testified that “the lockdown, the curfew and staying at home” have prompted a re-evaluation of themselves and their circumstances, giving a better sense of what matters most in life—family, health, use of time and the beauty that surrounds us. “Even the earth, has had a chance to breathe and be relieved for the while from pollution and desecration”, he said.

He quoted Pope Francis: “Let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it”.

“This is resurrection, this is new life, this is my wish and prayer for all for this Easter of 2020,” Bishop Alleyne said. The full text was published in diocesan weekly, Catholic Standard.

Every year when the Easter Vigil is celebrated, the first thing that is done is the blessing and lighting of the Easter candle. The celebrant traces, either over pre-marked images or etching it into the candle, a cross, the Alpha and Omega symbols and the numbers of the current year saying: “Christ yesterday and today the beginning and the end, Alpha and Omega; all time belongs to Him, and all the ages; to Him be glory and power, through every age for ever, Amen”.

As this action is performed, Bishop Alleyne invited the faithful to participate as well, saying “do it as a gesture of the desire and intention to bring the Easter mystery to our own time and circumstances”.

“All time is connected to our own time in Christ, the celebration of the first Easter, the manner in which those first disciples came to experience and respond to the mystery of the Resurrection stands before us to inspire and mandate us to be animated by and witness to the presence of the Risen Lord,” Bishop Alleyne said.

People of the first Easter, Bishop Alleyne said, would have been struggling with the death of Jesus and the many elements that contributed to His condemnation and crucifixion; the  politics that dominated, intimidated and disrespected people; hidden agendas for power and gain; jealousy and fear; betrayal and denial.

As the people of that first Easter were bombarded with the harsh realities around them, they also knew the teaching and example of Jesus and His last words to them “do this as a memorial of me”: ‘Be in this world for others as I was with you’.