Easter extols sacrifice, forgiveness, faith and hope – President Ali
… says these values will ensure we conquer pandemic
– Easter a celebration of hope, re-emergence & eventual triumph of life – Opposition Leader
As Government continues to aggressively roll out the COVID-19 vaccination campaign amidst rising cases, President Dr Irfaan Ali is confident that Guyana will overcome the battle against the pandemic that is ravaging the world.
In his Easter message to the nation, the Head of State noted that it’s been more than one year since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. He said during this time, citizens have been forced to restrict their interaction with each other.
“Friends and relatives have been forced to reduce person-to-person contact in keeping with the COVID-19 guidelines. Most of our children have been away from school and the company of their classmates. Social gatherings and activities have been restricted. The restrictions have come at a price. Many businesses, including small enterprises, have suffered losses. Some workers have had to be laid off. Families have suffered a loss in incomes,” he acknowledged.
He further recalled that the long Easter weekend in Guyana is usually celebrated with a lot of activities, including kite flying, family picnics, the annual Bartica Regatta, and the Rupununi Rodeo – all of which have been curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
But in the same breath, President Ali lauded Guyanese for having borne these deprivations and sacrifices willingly, knowing that they are in the interest of protecting their people and communities.
“I express my gratitude to all Guyanese who have committed to making the necessary sacrifices to protect our people. I also reiterate my appreciation to our frontline workers who were and still are at the forefront of keeping our people safe. Sacrifices made in the interest of others are never in vain. If we do the right things, we will derive the right results. I have no doubt that we will win the war against the pandemic. The Easter story resonates with the hope that victory will inevitably prevail,” the President noted.
Brothers and sisters in humanity
According to Ali, Christ’s selfless sacrifice should inspire persons, especially during Easter. He said Christ’s example should continue to be a source of strength during the weeks and years ahead when we must remain vigilant and disciplined.
In his message, which is also on behalf of his wife, First Lady Arya Ali, and their son Zayd, the President reminded that Easter is the most joyous season in the Christian calendar and emphasises the importance of sacrifice, forgiveness, hope and faith. These, he said, are the primary pillars on which humanity thrive.
He cited 1 John 4:20, which states, “Whoever claims to love God, yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”
“Indeed, we are all brothers and sisters in humanity,” Ali contended.
The Head of State went on to quote Pope Francis, who in his Good Friday address, said “To be happy is to let live the creature that lives in us, free, joyful and simple. It is to have maturity to be able to say I made mistakes, it is to have the courage to say I am sorry, it is to have the sensitivity to say I need you; it is to have the ability to say I love you.”
As such, President Ali posited that Christ’s selfless action and sacrifice must be the lesson through which everyone should selflessly act and sacrifice for the greater good of humanity.
“It is our hope of a better tomorrow that must allow us to free ourselves from anger, hateful thinking, and negativity towards each other. It is our ability to seek forgiveness, but first of all, to acknowledge our mistakes. This Easter, let us come together as family and communities in peace, tolerance and hope in a future that brings us all together,” he noted.
Eventual triumph of life
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon in this Easter message to the nation recognised that the blessed message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, signifying life conquering death, has never been more relevant and needed given the prevailing pandemic situation in Guyana.
“At Easter, we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection – the most important event in Christianity which is the core of Jesus’s message, ministry and mission on earth. It is a celebration of hope, re-emergence and eventual triumph of life. Easter reasserts the power of hope over fear and that the dawn of daylight will come at the end of a period of darkness,” Harmon noted.
He too was cognisant that this is the second Easter being celebrated in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic but said that the ongoing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has given rise to some hope that the country will overcome this crisis.
“Our ultimate hope is through our undying faith and resilience this situation would change from darkness to hope, confidence and optimism. May God almighty continue to bless us as a people and direct our path. Let us maintain hope and offer comfort to each other by our positive actions and with a determined spirit, knowing that we will rise above the challenges confronting our beautiful country. I wish every Guyanese a happy, safe and peaceful Easter. I urge you to be responsible, judicious and considerate during this holiday period,” the Opposition Leader implored.