Holy Week is sometimes known as The Great Week, because it is the most important week of the Church’s year. In this week we celebrate the events that are at the heart of our Christian faith. In one of his letters St Paul said ‘If Christ is not risen, we are the most miserable of people’. The central truth of our faith is that God loved the world so much that he sent his only Son to live like us, to die for us and to rise again to new life that he shares with us. If that were not true, our faith would be meaningless.
This week we have relived the familiar stories that give shape and meaning to our life. We have recalled Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and giving them his Body and Blood in the form of bread and wine at the Last Supper, which was the first Eucharist. We have remembered Jesus being betrayed, condemned, tortured, executed and buried in the story of his Passion. And above all, we have gathered in the darkness of Holy Saturday night to celebrate his bursting forth from the tomb, the bright light of his victory over sin and death.
Easter assures us that God’s love for us is stronger than anything that can harm or depress us and that death is followed by resurrection as surely as day follows night. It is a time for giving thanks to God for everything that has been good in our lives, in our families, in our community and in the world, and for putting our trust in the newness of life that is our constant hope.
This year our parish community has welcomed many new members, our parish church has been newly restored, our school is being remodelled and our worldwide church has a new leader while our diocese is awaiting a new bishop. Although there has been sadness too, especially for those families who have entrusted a loved one to God’s care, the message of Easter is that our God is always creating new life. Let us be on the watch for every sign of new life around us, so that our hearts can be filled with the joy and hope of Easter.
With my thanks to everyone who has worked so hard for our parish community this year, and with every good wish and prayer at this blessed time,