“Why isn’t mummy here?”
This is a question that often comes from the tiny lips of four-year-old Danielle Ramsoomair.
Archbishop Joseph Harris says capital punishment and new crime plans cannot make the transformation that is needed in T&T, only the words of Jesus Christ can do that for our society. Harris, delivering the homily at the annual Glorious Saturday mass, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cathedral on Harris Promenade in San Fernando on Saturday night, urged parishoners to re-commit their faith in the resurrection of Christ and the power of his words.
He told the faithful, all of whom gathered for the solemn mass to mark the period before Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, that they must keep “the words of Jesus alive so that they continue to inform and transform our attitudes and our actions.” This, he said, is important to us in T&T. However, Harris lamented that the transformation is needed in our society but, “we are like those thirsty persons who seek water in a cracked cistern (water receptacle) that provides no water.”
“Capital punishment and new crime plans are like those cracked cisterns. They do not provide living water which facilitates new life. It is the pursuit of Jesus who keeps his words alive in our hearts, who generates new life,” he said.
The archbishop, who prayed for the nation’s wellbeing, said, “By keeping the words of Jesus alive in hearts and in our minds that we will regenerate our moral and spritual values which our nation seems to lack at this moment.” The service, which is a key fixture on the Roman Catholic calender, began with a candlelight vigil as all the church lights were switched off.
After the singing of hymns and rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection, the candle flames were extinguished and parishoners listened to seven solemn scripture readings, each followed by hymns. At the end of the final reading from the Gospel of Matthew, which spoke of the angel’s instruction to Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to inform the disciples of Christ’s resurrection, all the lights in the church were switched on and the church bells chimed simultaneously, expressing the joy that Christ had risen.
Harris issued a special plea to parents to remember that they have a tremendous responsibility in their homes to raise their children with the words of Christ. “Your homes must be schools in which your children learn to love the words of Jesus and learn to let the living words of Jesus inspire them to good things. All homes, my dear parents, must be habit forming. May the habit of listening to God’s word be formed in your children who are the future of this beloved nation of ours,” Harris prayed.
At Saturday night’s mass the converted and those who accepted the holy Sacrament were baptised into the Roman Catholic faith. Harris, in his message to the ones who would have received the sacraments of initation, said they must commit themselves so that “these words of Jesus will become flesh in your words and your actions and attitude in rejecting satan from today.”