See below for Easter message from President Dr. Irfaan Ali:
Easter and sacrifice
The First Lady and I, and our son, Zayd, extend our heartfelt greetings to all Guyanese, at home and abroad, on this blissful Easter.
Easter is the most joyous season in the Christian calendar. It emphasises the importance of sacrifice, forgiveness, hope and faith.
These are the primary pillars on which humanity thrive. As Pope Francis noted in his Good Friday address and I quote, “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.”
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.
Christ’s selfless action and sacrifice must be the lesson through which we all should selflessly act and sacrifice for the greater good of humanity. As First John 4:20 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.
The coronavirus pandemic has been with us for more than a year. 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.
Easter traditionally has been a time to enjoy the outdoors. 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. The coronavirus pandemic, however, has forced us to curtail and limit these activities at this time.
Guyanese have borne these deprivations and sacrifices willingly, knowing that they are in the interest of protecting our 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.
Christ’s selfless sacrifice inspires us at Easter. His example continues to be a source of strength during the weeks and years ahead when we must remain vigilant and disciplined!
May God bless you and your families. A Happy and Holy Easter to all!