Dear Parishioners of St Jerome’s and St Anne’s.
Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed!
A Blessed Easter to you all!
Forty days ago we gathered in church to receive the blessed ashes on our foreheads and began our Lenten journey. None of us could have imagined what unfolded in the following weeks. Who could have foreseen our locked churches and confinement in our homes? It is truly surreal.
This is the background to our Easter celebrations today. Behind the constant stream of bad news, behind the worry and anxiety that so many of us are experiencing, something else is happening. Nature is in full bloom; nesting birds, new foliage, beautiful sunshine. The town in which we live is a truly beautiful place. So many blessings remain which we can easily overlook.
After the unimaginable brutality of his death, Jesus bursts out of the tomb into a new and risen life. He has destroyed the power of death to hold on to us. He has broken the power of every tragedy and every illness to ruin us and take away our hope. He brings the promise of a new life which is pure joy and delight. It is our birthright, it is the destiny of each one of us.
Can we experience something of this new, risen life now? Can we feel it, if only for a moment? Yes! Look around at the beauty of nature coming alive, think of the love we receive and give. Think of the hidden blessings. Easter life is all around us.
The Gospels tell us that on the evening of that first Easter Day, Jesus stood among his disciples even though the doors were locked. They were afraid. So are we. We don’t look for Jesus in our church today. We look into our hearts; sometimes locked by fear, by anxiety, by uncertainty. ‘Peace be with you’ he says. ‘Do not be afraid. I have conquered the world’.
I pray on this Easter Day that all of us may truly feel that peace, that joy, which is the Risen Jesus himself.
May the Risen Jesus bless you and all those whom you love.