President: Corpus Christi a chance for sober reflection

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

President Christine Kangaloo –

AS she joined in the celebration of the holy feast of Corpus Christi, President Christine Carla Kangaloo has called on all Christians and non-Christians alike to be inspired by Christ’s selfless example.

“Let us, even in the darkest hours of our lives, search for and find ways to give of ourselves to others,” she said in a message commemorating the occasion.

She reminded the nation that Corpus Christi was a Christian liturgical feast celebrating the real presence of the most holy body and blood of Jesus Christ in the elements of the Eucharist.

“It offers the Christian community the chance to engage in both sober reflection and joyful celebration.

“On the one hand, there is the opportunity to contemplate the profound mystery of the physical presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. On the other, there are the feelings of overwhelming joy and gratitude for Christ’s enduring physical presence.”

She referred to the gospel of Mark which recounts the story of the Last Supper, from which the Feast of Corpus Christi has its genesis, his breaking of bread and drinking of wine representing his body and blood respectively.

“In his final hours on earth, fully aware of the indescribable suffering that lay before him, Jesus Christ chose, not to focus on His agony, but chose instead to leave for mankind, an enduring and most precious gift – the gift of the Eucharist and of the real presence of His body therein.

“In His darkest hours, He chose to bless humankind with the gifts of God’s enduring love, compassion, and mercy. “

She said this should inspire Christians and non-Christians alike, who, when they feel hopelessly wounded and utterly distressed, to look to God, the source of all strength.

“In all the glorious and wonderful manifestations that our religions and our traditions reveal God to be, let us rise above our pains and our sorrows and re-gift to one another the gifts of love, compassion and mercy that God gives to all of us.

“Let us each, consciously and deliberately, devote ourselves to performing our civic duties and working collaboratively one with the other, as together we build a strong and united nation that can withstand and weather every storm. “

In this time of renewal, when many citizens sow seeds in the hopes of reaping a good harvest, “may each of us make generous deposits of kindness, compassion and joy into the lives of our fellow countrymen, many of whom would benefit from a reminder of the love and mercy of the Divine.

“May we be good and faithful stewards of the precious gift of life, with which we have been entrusted and by which we have been blessed.

“I wish the entire national community a joyous, reflective, and love-filled Corpus Christi celebration.”