Dear One and All,
Easter Sunday is with us again! Is it with a sigh of relief that we take a break at this time of the year? Has the subtle autumn morning chill, and the occasional morning fog reminded us that times and seasons are changing? The Easter Liturgy speaks in harmony with spring in the Northern Hemisphere, while here are we, Down Under, celebrating new life while the Willow’s leaves are starting to die, and the Liquid Amber’s are beginning to change colour before their leaves fall to the ground; give it another month, and winter will be upon us. For the Eastern coast of Australia, we feel a little cheated because we didn’t have much summer to speak of, yet this week is a sudden burst of summer! However, for our sisters and brothers in the Northern Hemisphere, there have been record snow falls..so Much for Spring!
Resurrection implies new life, which is the gift we receive each morning when we wake up … today being a totally different day from yesterday. The nature of a gift is that someone gives and someone else receives … but with no price tag attached. The difference with God’s gift of life each day is that He doesn’t give it to us to keep for ourselves, but to share with others. The Easter Liturgy celebrates the Father re breathing ‘life’ into His Son … the ‘new life’ to be shared among all people, and by all people.
Easter is about hope! It is unthinkable that a Christian would ever entertain the ideas of hopelessness, even though we live in a world which thrives and makes money on bad news! Jesus triumphed over darkness, sin and death, and in the words of St. Paul, ‘Having given us Christ Jesus, will the Father not surely give us everything else?’ In today’s world and in today’s Church, there is a tremendous need for people of hope, because the doomsday prophets have never had it so good! We are called to be Prophets of hope!
St. Peter wrote the following words to the early Christian community … ‘Always have explanations to give to those who ask you the reason for the hope that you have.’ Peter had lived through and witnessed many failures, so his point about hope is deeply relevant. I am sure that he is not alone in this regard … we can all possibly identify with him.
Easter time is a reminder of our Baptismal responsibilities. We have a very real sign of that within our Parish communities when we welcome and admit our Elect, into full communion with the Church. We are therefore strongly reminded that we must be a community of Hospitality, a community of Mission and a community of Thanksgiving. Underpinning all that, we are as St Paul says, ‘planted on love and built on love, so that together with all the Saints we will have the strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, we are filled with the utter fullness of God.’ Ephesians 3:18. Easter time in not a ‘one off occasion’ on which to celebrate Christ Our Light! It is renewed at Easter time.
Easter time offers an enormous challenge to everyone. Do we personally believe in the community which we call the Church, to the extent that we want to really know and care about each other? Or do we view the Sacramental life of the Church as some kind of Spiritual Service Station, where we can fill up every now and then? The Sacramental Community nourishes us, and we are called to nourish it by our active participation. Let us all pray that throughout this Easter Season; we will be stronger in our hope, livelier in our love for one another, and with the eyes of faith, being more sensitive in seeing the saving hand of God at work, in our lives, and within our community, and within the Church. Food for Thought!
God Bless you and your Families, especially in this Easter season, and may we never forget eachother, especially while held in conversation with the Lord,