Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory! The Risen Saviour shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy, echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
The hope that marks us as Christians is magnificently portrayed through our Holy Week Liturgies. Rightly, they are solemn. This does not mean glum. Rather this means they are intense, capturing the momentous events happening to Jesus himself.
Like all liturgy, that of Holy Week involves us not as spectators but as participants.
Each of the ‘acts’ of the Holy Week drama shape us as Christians. Jesus’ death and resurrection mean that we can say to the Father ‘you have restored us to life!’ (Prayer after Communion, Good Friday).
They mean that we too can cry out to God when trials or difficulties come our way: dispel the darkness of our heart! dispel the darkness of our minds! (cf Prayer at the Lighting of the Easter Candle, Easter Vigil).
Why then we might ask does the darkness of suffering or unfairness persist? Life on earth is not heaven. The God-given dignity of every human being can be spurned or betrayed.
Yet it is precisely here – in the midst of turmoil or injustice or doubt – that the beauty of our faith radiantly shines forth as hope, for ourselves and for all.
The truth and love of Jesus triumph. He rises from the dead. Full of confidence then we affirm: ‘Father we share in the light of your glory through your Son the light of the world…inflame us with your hope!’ (Blessing of the Fire).
And in solemn procession we pass the light of Christ among us: ‘the light which dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace, and humbles earthly pride’ (Exsultet, Easter Vigil).
This is Christ’s light at work. The light in which we were bathed at Baptism. It beckons us to be guiding stars for others, walking Christ’s way of mercy, forgiveness, humility, and joy. Every Sunday at Mass, it is to this life we say: thank you Lord. Amen.
May you and your whānau members, especially those struggling in any way, be greatly blessed this Easter.