On Wednesday night, at the Chrism Mass in the Cathedral, Archbishop Malcolm reminded us that it almost a year since he was appointed to be our Archbishop and he thanked us for the warmth of our welcome and all the kindness and support he has received. That reminded me that this is the fifth year I have celebrated the great events of Holy Week with you and I am grateful for all the love and care you have shown to me since I became your parish priest.
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.
Pope Francis is always reminding us that the good news of God’s mercy, made visible in the death and resurrection of Jesus, fills us with joy. That’s why Easter is not just a day but a season of fifty days of rejoicing. Long after the eggs have been eaten and the bonnets put away till next year, we go on celebrating Christ’s victory over sin and death, at least until Pentecost Sunday, which this year is on Sunday 24th May.
Easter reminds us that the Risen Lord is alive among us, opening our eyes to the needs of our sisters and brothers and inspiring us to serve them, so that his Church may stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, so that all people may be raised up to a new hope.