ARCHBISHOP’S EASTER MESSAGE
THE Season of Easter is the most important week in the Church’s liturgical calendar.
In strong powerful liturgies it proclaims the suffering and triumph of Christ and encourages us to follow in his footsteps. Christ’s resurrection provides an answer both to the frightening reality of physical death as well as the constant threat of spiritual death. Easter proves the inexhaustible love of God that embraces us even in the midst of any type of diminishment of life. That is indeed good news for all of us who seek to embrace life in its totality.
Nevertheless Easter is not only a comfort, it is also a challenge. Christ did not die, as most of us do, from the normal attrition of life that affects us all. He died because his great love for his Father led him to oppose evil and injustice wherever he found it. His life constantly calls into question any type of comfortable Christianity we might be tempted to fashion for ourselves. Evil still remains to be fought, and in its most insidious form it is the neglect of God. That is the great challenge for all of us in the Year of Jubilee – to make God the centre of all reality, in our lives first of all, and then in the world that surrounds us.
Of course any suggestion that in Jesus Christ there is any truth and power superior to ourselves will bring howls of outrage from those who deny the existence of ultimate truth, and continue to search fruitlessly for a meaning and purpose without God. Their anger may give us the opportunity to share the rejection and suffering of Christ.
Nevertheless the Season of Easter comforts us with the assurance that God’s final word is life not death, triumph not defeat.
I would like to wish all people of good will the joy and happiness of this marvellous season.
JOHN BATHERSBY Archbishop of Brisbane