Zion Community and southern parishioners planned and participated in the 25th anniversary of the public celebration of God’s mercy for T&T and the world on April 8 (Divine Mercy Sunday).
At the front of the march were students of Caratal RC Primary with their flag, members of one Confirmation group of Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church and Zion’s leaders. The procession was guided in prayer by Charmaine Parris and team, while participants prayed, danced and listened to excerpts from St Faustina’s Diary on Mercy. Warren Nagee led the music truck.
The programme at Presentation College grounds was live on WACK radio and the music ministry conducted by Marcelline Peters and the St Anthony’s Youth Choir.
Intercessions were offered with vigour for the Church and other faiths (Peter Williams), families (Francis and Anne Marie Elbourne), healing of our schools (Marlene Emanis), and the empowerment of women (Flora Singh). The Scriptural Mercy Chaplet was recited by youth of OLPH. Margaret-Mary Woods led the thanksgiving session with 25 youth releasing 25 balloons, symbol of releasing mercy in T&T.
Mary Baptiste and Peter Timothy shared an inspiring address with the former focusing on mercy as ‘hesed’, God’s faithful covenant love: forgiving those who are guilty and do not deserve such.
Words associated with ‘hesed’ were explored—‘hesed’ with ‘mispat’—God’s mercy and salvation. ‘Eleos’, mercy in the New Testament, is clearly seen in the life of Jesus and the mercy shown to sinners and the call for us to love and forgive.
Timothy highlighted the believers’ life of mercy and work of transformation. He called forth a need for “merciful hearts”, “merciful attitudes” and “actions of mercy” in a person’s vocation.
Both speakers clarified that our nation is being challenged to acknowledge its wrongdoing in every sphere of life and place, to seek repentance and choose to receive God’s mercy through Jesus Christ and share that mercy with others. Conversion and transformation can only arise if prayer and effort combine to reject evil daily in the wider community; and rejection of corruption.
Deacon Harold Woodroffe led the benediction with a strong call to forgive one another. Mercy is authentic when forgiveness is realised. The celebration was closed by Jennifer Alleyne with thanksgiving and by others who were filled with hope for God’s Mercy T&T! –Zion Community