Please click on the link for a full copy of the Easter Sunday newsletter: Easter Sunday 010418
The diagnosis from your doctor is grim – and abruptly you are aware that your life will end. Your mortality is suddenly a reality! So what do you do? What do you say? You can strike out in anger, perhaps turn in on yourself in self-pity. Or you can live what is left of your life with a new sense of gratitude, urgency, and a renewed appreciation for those who are most precious to you. You have a new impetus to say the things that need to be said and do the things that need to be done.
The relationship that you thought identified who you were abruptly ends. The parting is painful, traumatic, and acrimonious. You grapple with a rollercoaster ride of emotions from anger and fear to self-doubt and embarrassment. Like all things, it will take time – but you can embrace the lessons you have learned about yourself and move on. And in moving on you are a wiser, kinder, more empathetic individual as a result.
The loss is more than you can bear. Your beloved has gone to God. A partnership of love, trust and dependency is dead and buried. In the midst of your grieving, you have died, too. At first, you have no idea how to continue – or even if you want to. Gradually you let others help you work through your grief. As you face each new day you remember that the happiness and sense of fulfilment that the two of you created still continues. Slowly you appreciate that it can be the start of your new life.
The test you fail, the job you lose, the mistakes you make, do not have to be endings, do not have to be entombments, do not have to be deaths. Sure it takes determination, courage, patience and faith but the initial experience which seems too much like Good Friday can be the foundation of your Easter experience.
What lies at the heart of our celebrations this Easter is the knowledge and trust that from the ashes of our own lives, God can help us re-create ourselves into newness, bringing us closer to the fulfilment of the Easter promise through a new moment, a second chance, a fresh start.
Even now, in small ways and remarkable ways we are experiencing here in our Cathedral Parish a glimpse of what that resurrection means through the lives we live and the future we strive for. As we look forward in faith to fully experiencing this reality may we now bear witness to the Risen Christ in our midst, enabling us to re-create our broken lives in his compassion and peace.
May the blessings of this Easter and the hope and peace that can only come from the knowledge of the Risen Christ be with you and yours as you celebrate this day.
Fr Peter Brannelly