I extend Greetings to the Christian community once more on this occasion of Corpus Christi, also known as the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, and the day of Thanksgiving for the Institution of the Holy Communion.
This greeting comes from the Government, and all the citizens of the Republic, my family and myself, as Prime Minister.
This 13th-century tradition is one of the fundamental tenets of Christianity, specifically within the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches. It is a day when Jesus Christ is praised for nourishing us with love.
This comes at a time in the life of this country, when all citizens, regardless of their religion, should recognise the need for us as humans to reach and call out for the intervention of the Almighty in the lives of us all in our nation.
The verses of Mark seem to be talking to us as a nation at this time. There is a definite need for us to have faith. What the disciples required then was a new level of faith, an understanding that in spite of the events which may occur they must show faith in God, for the Almighty is always in our lives, guiding our every action. His divine, creative action, if we allow him, will stay with us at all times, at every level of our faith.
Fellow citizens, our nation is facing various challenges. We are a small, newly-independent nation, which by our history, physical and human resources can be classified, as enjoying a quality of life, according to some indices, which places us alongside some countries in the developed world.
However, other indices will place us in another direction, based on events which appear regularly in our news. As a resource-based economy, our livelihood is still, subject to the vagaries of the international energy markets.
At a glance, there is also an obvious need to improve our national infrastructure of water, electricity, roads, etc., attend to the pockets of poverty among us, and improve the social conditions.
But above all, what has been occupying the nation’s attention recently are the levels of both school violence and the reported series of incidents of intra-family conflicts. My Government has been paying specific attention to these two areas and will continue to make appropriate interventions.
For the moment, what seems obvious is the family structure, as we know it, has been eroded. The family unit appears to be no longer sacred. How do we fix this is a question that some of our better minds, in the fields of sociology, psychology and social work will need to examine and provide strategies on how to rescue the traditional family unit.
Today, we should, according to tradition, occupy our minds with the basic tenets of love in every circumstance, extending to each other courtesy, patience, kindness, temperance, humility, and sincerity, at all times.
Let us, as Christ advocated, be our brother’s keeper.
Have a Holy, enjoyable holiday.