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Archbishop Bathersby’s Easter Message 2003

Easter is a time for celebrating God’s life-giving affirmation of Jesus Christ’s person and message. It is God’s ultimate proof of the presence of God’s Kingdom or reign of God in our midst. As a result Easter is a celebration of hope at many different levels – hope for our world, hope for our Church, hope for ourselves. Moreover it is much broader than the affirmation that, individually our sins are forgiven, and our eternal happiness assured. It embraces with hope our entire universe here and now, and declares that evil in its many forms has been conquered and that there is indeed a future for which we can long, when all tears will be wiped away and all suffering and injustice will be overcome. Though Easter life is available even for those people who, in our secular culture, cannot see beyond the symbolism of Easter eggs, and who even after 2000 years of Christ’s influence still believe that progress will come by the sword rather than the ploughshare, let us search for signs of a deeper hope in the midst of our troubled world. The most positive sign in the recent sad events of war and conflict in Iraq is the increasingly large number of people who now seem to believe that violence does not promote the coming of God’s reign, only love. The growth of that sentiment since the last Gulf War has been remarkable. This Easter let us pray that this evidence of God’s Spirit at work in our world will receive even greater impetus from our Easter Celebrations this year, and renew our hope for a better future filled with justice, peace, and freedom for all.

Courtesy of the Catholic Leader
Published April, 2003

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