This is an Easter message from Toowoomba Bishop Robert McGuckin.
A POPULAR poem entitled “The Four Candles” by Aino Makoto highlights the importance that hope plays in our lives.
It has the four candles (Peace, Faith, Love, Hope) in conversation, with the first three in turn acknowledging that they are no longer valued by today’s world.
One by one, the light of these three candles diminishes and then goes out completely.
A child suddenly enters the room and, seeing the three candles no longer burning, begins to cry, “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit until the end.” Then the fourth candle speaks gently to the child, “Don’t be afraid, for I am Hope, and while I still burn, we can re-light the other candles.”
It is not difficult for us to recognise the ways in which candles of peace, faith and love are being extinguished in our world today as we are bombarded with shocking revelations of sexual abuse and horrendous scenes of devastation as ideologies of hate are expressed in such violent massacres as the recent attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch.
With Hope, regardless of how bad things look and are, the flames of Peace, Faith and Love can be re-ignited once again.
In his homily at the Easter Vigil in 2018, Pope Francis presents the mystery of Christ’s resurrection as a message of hope for a world that has lost faith.
“He is here… he is risen. This is the message that sustains our hope and turns it into concrete gestures of charity. How greatly we need to let our frailty be anointed by this experience. How greatly we need to let our faith be revived. How greatly we need our myopic horizons to be challenged by this message. Christ is risen, and with him he makes our hope and creativity rise, so that we can face our present problems in the knowledge that we are not alone.”
It is never too late to lend a helping hand to those in need.
Caritas can be contacted at www.caritas.org.au or on 1800 024 413.
Our donations bring hope to many people empowering them to create a brighter future for themselves.
In the midst of the darkness of war, hostility, devastation caused by natural disasters, ill health and struggles of daily life, we know the light of the Resurrection.
We are an Easter people, a people of hope.
We all know the story of that first Easter morning when the tomb was found empty. We know that Jesus rose from the dead and transformed the tears of anguish on Good Friday into incomparable joy.
We are called to be bearers of that Good News into a world that desperately needs that hope.
Let us rejoice and be glad. Christ is risen.
He is indeed risen.
With the candle of hope alive in our own hearts, let us light our world with the candles of peace, faith and love.
I wish you every blessing in this wonderful season. B