Bishop Francis Alleyne of Georgetown has urged the faithful to live the Easter vocation to the full and so seek every opportunity to “celebrate life, protect life where it is threatened and ferret it out when it may have become buried under fear, rejection and pain”.
The Christian in living her/his vocation, he said, brings the ways of Christ to a time and circumstance in such a way to leave “the stamp of hope, new life and resurrection”.
In his Easter message published in the April 14 issue of the weekly Catholic Standard, the bishop thanked the faithful for their participation in signing “willingly and eagerly” a petition for the abolition of the death penalty, which is prescribed for in the laws of Guyana. He noted that putting a signature to a petition was not merely about accumulating names and numbers to influence the lawmakers.
Rather, he hoped that the mysteries of the Resurrection would “grow in one’s heart” and radiate to the prisons, schools, families and places of business bringing the mark of hope and new life to all.
“The knowledge of and communion with our God compels us to protect and nurture life in all states. If we believe that an offender can be reformed, can have a change of heart, then we must explore every means by which this can come about. This is the way God loved the world: to hope, to believe, to save and not condemn.”
Bishop Alleyne said while the petition speaks directly about the perpetrators, the victims and the immediate fall out of their families, it also raises questions.
“The persons who act violently and commit offences were born into our families, went to our schools, were part of neighbourhoods. Why did they fall through the cracks? Why were there cracks for them to fall through?”
He continued, “Living our Easter identity and vocation means responding to these questions and taking initiatives that would help arrest and reverse the trends of decay in our world.”
Bishop Alleyne highlighted that in recent weeks, a significant number of persons gathered outside the Ministry of Education to register their disapproval that Value Added Tax had been applied to education.
Among the voices, Bishop Alleyne said were those who were not directly affected but were aware of the impact on others and wanted to show their support, an act he described as “most admirable”.
“This in itself was an Easter moment; a gathering of good people sharing a genuine concern…about education, about our schools, about the protection and formation of our children, about who is responsible, about everyone having a part to play and being involved in bringing about the best we can be. This is living Easter,” he said.