Today, Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations across the country and the world commemorate the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi is the liturgical celebration of the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. The celebration of the Eucharist, or communion, is a central tenet of the Christian faith. Its celebration was instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper at which he declared, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me”.

Like so many of the religious observances that grace our national calendar, Corpus Christi brings with it lessons that are universal and that are relevant to every creed and to every race. Its celebration reminds us that the divine is always with us. This reminder is particularly important in times of difficulty. Its celebration also reminds us of Christ’s enduring lessons of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. These qualities are central to the human experience and to the realization of our fullest potential, including on the spiritual level.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the custom has developed, particularly among our farmers, of sowing seeds and planting on Corpus Christi, in the confidence that doing so at this time will assure a bountiful harvest. As we observe Corpus Christi this year, let us be mindful of the seeds we choose to sow and of the things we elect to plant in our lives. May we choose to engage in self-affirming and life-giving pursuits. May we choose to imitate Christ’s qualities of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Just as Christians memorialize their membership in the body of Christ at Corpus Christi, let us all, by imitating His qualities, memorialize both our membership in and our corresponding responsibilities to the human race. If we do so – if we make those kinds of choices – then we, too, can be confident of a bountiful harvest, both in our individual lives and in the wider society.

I extend to the Christian and national community best wishes for a safe and a Holy Corpus Christi 2023.