EASTER MESSAGE 2019 – Easter provides a ‘special gift of hope’, says
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has this week released his 2019 Easter Message, inviting the Catholic Community to change ourselves, or rather open ourselves to the transforming power of the Lord.
EASTER MESSAGE 2019
By The Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of Perth
19 – 21 April, 2019
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Once again as a Christian community, a community that is of disciples of Jesus, we have travelled the journey of Lent, with its call to conversion of heart, re-living once more the terrible story of the betrayal, suffering and death of Jesus, and now we have arrived at the moment of joy which burst forth in the rising of Jesus from the dead. This extraordinary event is at the heart of our Christian faith. It is a celebration of the victory of love over hatred, of creation over destruction, of hope over despair and of life over death. Because of this Easter, the most important and central celebration of the Christian year, carries a message which speaks to every human heart because it expresses something that lies deep with us. Even for those who are trapped in despair the dream of having something to hope for, and the deep desire that things should and could be better than they are, never seems to die.
As we consider the conflicts and suffering which confront us in so many parts of the world, and as once again we in the Catholic Community here in Australia are overwhelmed by the horrors of the sexual abuse of young people within the Church, the very idea of the triumph of life and love over death and hatred might seem to be an impossible dream beyond our grasp. The qualities and attitudes of mind and heart which marked every moment of Jesus’ life and which led him, courageously, to his death – qualities which we as his disciples are called to keep alive in our world today – might themselves seem merely the stuff of dreams with no connection to reality. And yet, precisely because the attitudes of Jesus – simplicity, compassion, self-forgetfulness, forgiveness, humility – are so profoundly human we must believe that they can be a part of the real world, not just part of an imaginary world.
It is we who can make them so. Certainly none of us alone can solve the terrible problems which confront our world at the moment. But each one of us can change ourselves – or rather open ourselves to the transforming power of the Lord working in us and through us. As we change so will those around us. Change in our families, our friends, the Lord’s Church which we love, and the society of which we must remain an active part, will gradually begin to emerge. Things will be better than they are at the moment.
For Christians especially this is not an “impossible dream”. Because of the resurrection of Christ we believe that he is now present to us, ready to share everything he has – his simplicity and compassion, his forgiveness and humility, his self-forgetfulness and of course his intimate communion with his Father – with us. This is the gift of life he promises us. It is the gift we celebrate at Easter.
I hope that you and those you love experience something of this special gift of hope during these Easter days.
+Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB
Archbishop of Perth