Easter message from Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP

'May we be transformed as we embrace the light of the Risen Lord'

The events of the first Easter morning began quietly, in stark contrast to the violence and baying crowds which accompanied the crucifixion on Good Friday. Mary Magdalen went to the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week – while it was still dark, while it was quiet with no people around and none of the hustle and bustle of Jerusalem, the busy city.

Things began to change when she saw that the stone had been rolled away. She ran to Simon Peter and the disciple John saying, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid him.’ The disciples ran to the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying on the ground. They believed.

Mary, though, was not joyful. She did not have hope; she stood outside the empty tomb weeping, asking where the body of Jesus had been taken. Yet, as she recognised the risen Jesus, her life was transformed – moving from darkness to light, from sorrow to joy, and from despair to hope.
 
For over a year now we have been living under the darkness of the pandemic. Just as the light of the Risen Christ is always with us, so we have seen light in that darkness through the bravery, generosity and kindness of others. The light offered to us by the heroes of our NHS, carers, and all who have worked to keep our country going.

Easter is always a time of reawakening and this year as a country we are approaching our own reawakening. Our villages, towns and cities have been quiet, but they are slowly and cautiously coming back to life. We are seeing hope through the vaccine, developed through the gifts of science, giving us hope for a better and safer future. There have been times of grief, loss, doubt and despair during the dark days, and we hold in prayer all who have suffered. We bring those times to our celebration of the resurrection which begins in darkness in our churches with the lighting of the Easter Candle symbolising the risen Christ. A life-giving light overcoming the darkness and bringing healing to a broken world.
 
Just as the lives of Mary Magdalen and the disciples were transformed on the first Easter morning, so too our lives may be transformed as we embrace the light of the Risen Lord who sheds his peace on all humanity.

May God bless us all on this glorious Easter Day.