Message of Archbishop Denis Hart for Easter 2004
Easter is when Christians celebrate the Life, Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Our Easter faith is that Jesus is Lord and Saviour of the world. Easter gives hope and dignity to the human race. It scatters confusion and despair and brings joy.
Easter presents clearly that God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son into our sinful and broken humanity. This loving mercy is brought to a climax in the Crucifixion of Jesus. Easter announces that God loved us even more by raising Jesus from the dead. We too are raised by the glorified Jesus into the love of the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit alive in the Church.
All are invited to enter the life of the Easter Jesus through Baptism. In Baptism we enter into His glorified body: the Church. Entry into the Church makes us bearers of hope in our troubled world. We hear the words of the Risen Lord sending us forth in Easter joy: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me so I send you.” (John 20/21)
Melbourne is a vibrant city. It provides so many opportunities. It is our home. Great responsibilities, however, are linked with such abundance. Easter sends us forth in joy and hope, especially to the poor and marginalised. We are to welcome and support migrants and refugees, aboriginal peoples, struggling marriages and families, the homeless, the prisoners, the sick and lonely.
Easter is the seed of God’s life in us. May that seed of eternal life in and through us grow into full maturity in the Easter Jesus.
+ Denis J. Hart,
Archbishop of Melbourne.