WelCom May 2018:
Fr James Lyons
The first Easter dawned under a cloud of betrayal and great loss. During the week we now call ‘Holy Week’, nerves cracked and courage failed and, in moments of great fear and panic, friendship was forgotten. Those closest to Jesus found their loyalty strained to the limit. At his arrest they abandoned him and fled.
None of us is free of guilt when we consider our personal faithfulness to the way of Jesus. Not one of us is perfect enough to cast the first stone. How come, then, that those same cowardly and unreliable followers of Jesus became the strong, dependable foundation stones of the Christian community? Because the death of Jesus was not the end of Jesus! The discovery of the empty tomb was the beginning of an undying hope – and you and I have inherited that same hope. The memory of his love linked the hope of life with the hope of forgiveness, making renewal possible.
May you know in your heart that Easter is the realisation that every act of love – and every loving action, word or gesture – is a further and constant witness TO love and to the life love brings. We are never more alive than when we are loving. It’s love that heals relationships, forgives hurts and enables personal growth. It’s also love that lets us die to ourselves so that others might feel life in themselves – and this kind of dying actually enhances your own life.
The resurrection of Jesus tells us we can never be so lost, or so afraid, so disappointed or disillusioned, so alone or so troubled, that we are beyond the reach of God – or that we are beyond discovering, or re-discovering, the wonderful peace that is not only in the name of Jesus but in every word that comes from his lips: life-giving words from a self-giving love – given, for the life of the world.