Archbishop Francis Duffy
Archbishop Francis’s Easter Message April 2023
Christians believe in and live according to what is called the ‘Good News’. At the very core of the Good News is the Easter message, Christ has died, Christ is risen. This is always fresh, always relevant, and always good news for us as individuals and for all people.
During Holy Week each year, in the Cathedral, the oil of chrism is consecrated. Every Catholic is anointed with sacred chrism, at baptism and again at confirmation. That anointing has marked each one of us out as special in ourselves and special to God, and with the chrism we also are anointed for mission. Ours is the task to be continually animated by the Good News, and to share it with others.
Of course, the reality of suffering is a feature of human life. At the moment, we are acutely aware of the suffering experienced by those from our own country or from abroad who are looking for a place to live; we are conscious of those whose current reality is war and how they long for peace; and those who contend with many other kinds of suffering – visible and invisible.
The suffering of Jesus during his final days in Jerusalem was very human. He knew what it was to experience betrayal, disappointment, injustice, abandonment, humiliation, pain and death. Therefore, he can identify with us when we have these or similar experiences.
Jesus also knows what it is to be raised from the dead, and to live with God the Father eternally, never to suffer or die again. He has paved the way to eternal life with God for us. He invites us to follow him there – in the first place by ongoing personal conversioin, by carrying our crosses, but also by journeying together in joy and in hope as we reflect together on the magnificence of his Good News.
Created in God’s image, you are special to him. He has given you life in abundance; he has shared the Easter message with you, and he invites us to share in the fruits of his Son’s resurrection forever. I wish you all a happy Easter.