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Priest: Christians under threat

By Lara Pickford-Gordon Monday, April 9 2012

click on pic to zoom in
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT: Fr Kenneth Assing, holds the Paschal Candle, which symbolises Christ-light of the world. The Easter Vigil service begins with ...
FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT: Fr Kenneth Assing, holds the Paschal Candle, which symbolises Christ-light of the world. The Easter Vigil service begins with ...

The life, suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian heritage. It is central to worship, Christian culture and identity.

“Our identity is understood, our identity is known, it is through God, with the help of the holy spirit,” said Fr Kenneth Assing as he gave the homily at the Easter Vigil service on Saturday night at Sacred Heart RC, Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain. However, he warned that worldwide Christians were under threat.

Speaking to a small congregation, Assing said the Easter Triduum--(Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Gloria Saturday) followed the "way of Jesus in the resurrection."

He said this happened every time the Lord’s supper, Holy Thursday and the crucifixion.

Fr Assing said the Easter Vigil celebration took the congregation from creation to recreation. The Easter Vigil is divided into four parts-the service of light, liturgy of the word, liturgy of baptism and liturgy of Eucharist.

"We are recreated through baptism to have a conscious regard for a life created in the image and likeness of God. That conscious regard is kept alive in Christ."

As part of the liturgy, the congregation was asked to renew their baptismal vows and holy water was sprinkled on them.

Assing said even at the sub-conscious level the soul the spirit of God is working. He drew attention to the tabernacle and said it symbolised the tomb from which Jesus emerges resurrected.

“We celebrate the resurrection, Jesus meeting us when we receive the Eucharist and at the point of consecration that is the Triduum that constitutes our identity as it relates our culture.” Assing said Catholic “life” did not stay within the walls of the Church but reached out.

“That is why Jesus gave himself. Reached out, it does not stay hidden.”

He said if people followed reports in the world news they would see that Christians were threatened and being called to surrender what they were about.

“There are many baptised Christians who want to see the death of the Church for selfish personal reasons.”

He said in the United States, Europe, and around the world, the Christian religion was being “buried.”

Assing asked the congregation to examine what threatened their Christian life, and what were the “tombs” in their lives. He said hatred and division were “tombs” which people should emerge from. He said the Easter vigil celebrated the joy of emerging from the tomb of darkness. “Whatever that darkness may be. You need to identify it so you too can roll away that stone bring light, the light of faith. Christ will do the rest.”

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