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Dr Keith Rowley

My fellow citizens,

I take this opportunity to wish you all and your families, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, my family, and myself, a Holy Good Friday.

Today is one of the most important days in the lives of Christian families the world over, as it marks the death of Jesus Christ, who as our faith explains, died to save the world from sin.

His life, according to the Gospel, was that of a charismatic wanderer, who preached an enlightenment in which he wanted us all to reach a unity with God in the way that he did.

The story of his death on earth, which we commemorate today, is a tragic one, from which many lessons have been learnt over the past two thousand years.

It tells first of the support, then the indifference of his disciples, some even falling asleep during his darkest hour. Later, one will kiss him, then betray him. Others will desert and deny him in those final moments of that hour.

Jesus we are reminded was wrongfully accused; his enlightened message, which pointed to love, compassion, and a higher consciousness for all humanity was deliberately distorted and mocked by his accusers.

After a mob trial, he was scourged, stripped, spat upon, beaten, left to be jeered by passers-by, and publicly disgraced by the very people he came to save.

We should all recall that even in those moments, Jesus showed us what temperance and forgiveness meant.

Jesus walked in love and God-consciousness as evidenced in the Scriptures, and even in those moments of vilification, his message remained truly one of brotherly love.

His call to us, to love our neighbour and even our enemies as we love ourselves, may be more significant today than any other period in modern history.

His compassion was also paramount there. Even as he hung on the cross, dying an unworthy death between two thieves, he called to The Father to forgive his enemies.

Today, as we celebrate Good Friday, let us reflect on the lessons that Christ tried to teach us.

Let us hold on to that message of love and compassion as we go through our difficult, personal challenges and those of our nation knowing that the light Jesus promised will be there at the end, after this our nation’s very dark hour.

As Prime Minister, I see that love every day in the selflessness and commitment demonstrated in the on-the-job performances of our health, sanitation, security and essential workers, who hold to their duties in the face of the COVID-19 Virus pandemic.

In the performance of our front-line workers, I see the setting the tone for the celebration of the joy of Easter and Jesus’ resurrection, which symbolises that brighter days are ahead for this nation

Today, observers are anticipating a new world order after the COVID-19 virus. They see our testing time as the turning point, in what is said to be God’s glorious plan to redeem the world, that promised, “Great victory”.

However, as the world turns, let us go forward with unity and confidence as Trinidadians and Tobagonians, inspired by what both the tragic death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ have shown us, and the belief that whatever challenge confronts our nation, ultimately there will be success and better days ahead.

Let us continue to believe, with boundless faith in our destiny.

Happy Easter to us all.