My beloved constituents of St Peter’s, My Dear citizens of Antigua and Barbuda:
For the second year in a row, we celebrate the miracle of Easter in the uncertainty of the Covid 19 pandemic that has claimed millions of lives around the world. Covid 19 stunned us, it surprised us. It filled us with fear. It burdened us with emotion and great confusion. But it also blessed us with the understanding and appreciation that the pandemic would change our lives in protection of health and in defense against disease forever.
Now, at this time of rebirth, let us renew our faith, hope and love. Let us bring the message of Resurrection to everyone. That we who have lived through a year of great fear, great anxiety and great confusion are now seeing new signs of life in Christ through vaccinations and virus protection protocols.
In this Easter weekend 2021, the commemoration of the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ following a brutal state sponsored crucifixion, we pause to reflect on the challenges facing our beloved nation and renew our faith and hope in the promise of the best Antigua and Barbuda for all its sons and daughters
Indeed, easter celebration this year, offers the Christians of this blessed land reason to consider openly the significant events that anchor Christian religion and practice and their importance rekindling the healing powers of love and human kindness that headline the global transformation agenda of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In a season of rapid social decay and worsening economic fortunes triggered by the ravages of Covid 19 over the past 12 months, we celebrate the miracle of Easter. Antiguans and Barbudans have indeed felt the pain considerable socio-economic hardship in the past year, partly because of the massive decline in tourism revenue but also because of tax policies that favor the rich and disadvantage the poor and a growing culture of dependence on hand-outs from the public purse.
Let us reflect carefully on the extent to which our failure as Christians to confront unjust, ineffective distribution of the resources of the state and our unwillingness to set aside personal gain at the expense of the common good are destroying the structures and institutions of our democracy.
Let us remember this Easter that Jesus lived the values of humility, justice, service, compassion, non-violence and forgiveness to exemplify his love of humanity. He constantly shone the light on the eternal truths that must guide us forward. Giving brings receiving. Death of self is true birth of humanitarian spirit. The cause of the meek and lowly eventually overwhelms the seeming invincibility of the oppressor.
The inspired resurrection message is that the Christians of our twin island state can and must drive the changes which are desperately needed to defeat insecurity, poor governance and increasing poverty in their homes, in their communities and in the nation at large. Let us rekindle confidence in the emergence of a new country governed by faithful stewards of the public good with the support of trusting citizens to lead us to the promise of the best Antigua and Barbuda for all Antiguans and Babudans.
As we enjoy the holiday within the restrictions of our Covid 19 defense mechanisms let us keep sight of the important lesson of Easter – the ultimate triumph of good over evil… the victory of truth, righteousness, justice and tough, sacrificial love over darkness, fear, insecurity and oppression. Easter is always a powerful reminder that “truth crushed to earth”, truth beaten down and hidden in a grave simply will not stay there. It will rise.
“Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose victor from the dark domain
And he lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose! He Arose
We pray for the confident joy of lives in which we don’t lie, cheat or steal that enable us to uphold the miraculous Easter Resurrection not merely expressing the hope of resurrection but living the blessing of the resurrection itself in defiance of evil, wickedness and death.
Jesus lives. Because he lives, we too shall live.
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living
Just because He lives…”