As Leader of the Opposition, I extend warm greetings to our Roman Catholic community as well as other members of the Christian Community of Trinidad and Tobago on the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi.
Today, as our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters, as well as other Christians, celebrate the real presence of the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Chris in the elements of the Eucharist, it offers us the opportunity as a country, despite our various faiths, to remember that God is always with us.
In essence, Corpus Christi celebrates the presence of God’s goodness amongst us; it commemorates his everlasting commitment to be with us in our difficult times, while it reminds us that His presence will be a guiding light to the enrichment of our lives.
This year Corpus Christi comes at a time when many in our nation are burdened by the significant economic and social hardships facing our nation such as job losses, business closures as well as the inability to provide basic necessities, all creating a grey cloud of national uncertainty, which has gotten much worse in the last few months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Never before have our citizens faced such a vulnerable time. Citizens have lost hope, battered by an immense crime wave, mass unemployment, growing poverty and overall poor governance.
However, this holy day allows us all to reflect on the presence of God in our lives and how we can not only persevere through this period, but how we can be motivated by God’s presence to become tools for change in the lives of others, especially the less fortunate and heavily impacted.
The words of Pope Francis in his Corpus Christi Homily of 2018 has offered me great hope over the years and have become even more relevant today as he said “Jesus became bread broken for our sake; in turn, he asks us to give ourselves to others, to live no longer for ourselves but for one another. In this way, we live “eucharistically,” pouring out upon the world the love we draw from the Lord’s flesh.”
Therefore, this Corpus Christi, as a country we must all undertake deep introspection and understand that the only way we can defeat the ongoing hardship as a people is if we live for each other, act in goodness for each other as well as have faith in each other.
Over the years, it has become a tradition for many citizens to undertake some form of planting with their families on this special day. Today, besides the physical planting let us undertake the planting of spirituality where we base our trust in God and undertake acts of kindness towards our fellowman, especially those in need, so we can plant goodness into our nation.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition