I have missed writing these words during the past three months while I was on medical leave. But now that it is behind me and I am delighted to be back, busy and well.
I can only begin with a word of very sincere thanks to you all. So many people kindly remembered me in their prayers, sent cards, texts, gifts and more cake than any one man could ever eat! I am deeply grateful. The priests who took up the slack, offered extra Masses, did more funerals and baptisms and kept everything going were fantastic and I also want to thank them too.
It was really great to return at the beginning of Holy Week and to share in the liturgies and prayers of that very special time in our faith journey. It seemed like there were more people around, participating in the ceremonies and perhaps this is a sign that we are regaining some of the losses of the past three years. Thanks to everyone who did so much to make the whole week work so well.
Now we are an ‘Easter People’ for the 50 days until Pentecost. Just as Lent helped us prepare for the Lord’s passion, death and resurrection, so these days remind us of how the first Christian community received the Risen Lord and responded to him. We can be reinvigorated too by recalling their journey from loss and despair to becoming the vibrant and generous body of believers who wanted to carry on His mission to share the Good News with the whole world.
In these days of recalling the New Testament accounts it is clear to see that there was a place for everyone in the new church of Jesus Christ. The women were there from the very first experience of the resurrection and the disciples and followers quickly came to see the need to harness the variety of gifts and to use them for the good of all.
Ours is a church that is continually changing in the light of the challenges of the present moment, so we can’t stand still. We admire the Christians of times past and we are called to discover how to be the most holy, loyal, dynamic and generous Christians for today.
Ours is a calling to share in the faith community, to the sacraments, to ministry, to discipleship and action.
Happy Easter, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia