Archbishop Christopher Prowse’s Easter Message
EASTER MESSAGE 2020
CORONA (CROWN) OF THORNS
Just a few months ago, none of us had heard of CORONAVIRUS. Now it is our uninvited Easter guest.
It seems the whole world has become sick due to its global presence.
We cannot get away from it. It has turned our world upside down. We are anxious and fearful. Even in supermarkets we appear to be suspicious of each other.
We are trying our best in our home isolation. The experience so far is one of mixed blessings. New routines are not easy to navigate on our own. Now whole families and others are to negotiate a new way of daily life for the next few months.
“Corona” is a Latin word meaning “crown”. This pandemic has become a crown of thorns for us all.
In the hours before his death, Jesus too knew of a crown of thorns. It became one of his terrible sufferings before his death on the Cross of Calvary.
Jesus suffers with us in our sufferings. This is the meaning of the key word compassion.
The Easter message is clear: by suffering with the suffering Jesus we enter by Grace into the hope of Resurrection in Him.
Doing this is not something of mere human initiative. We surrender to the Grace invitation of Jesus. The Risen Lord awaits our YES coming from our deepest selves. We do this as Church through, with and in Jesus. Mary and all the saints participate in this saving encounter. We are never alone.
This Easter will be celebrated in unprecedented circumstances. All our Churches are closed. Many, but not all, can participate via online platforms. It will be so new to us. Yet, this pandemic will eventually be contained. Hope insists on this.
We want, however, from the quasi-Monastic anchorage of our homes, to encounter Jesus more than ever. Our lives are in flux. Only Jesus remains forever. Alleluia!
Our new found Easter faith insists that it be expressed in practical charity. We do all we can to help those struggling. We thank the medical professionals, cleaners and volunteers, emergency forces, priests and religious, lay faithful and all who give us particular leadership in our time of real need of human closeness and the caress of the Lord who rises in our midst.
Happy Easter and every blessing to you all!
Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese
Apostolic Administrator of Wagga Wagga Diocese.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER
For Christians, Easter represents a time of reflection and renewal, as we remember the sacrifice of Christ, His resurrection and the divine story of redemption.
This year we will celebrate Easter differently.
During a time of great challenge for the world, we will celebrate Easter not in our churches, but in our homes away from our congregations.
This Easter has a poignancy with families separated and our traditions interrupted. We are distancing ourselves from each other this year, so that next year and beyond, our families and congregations can gather again.
This global health crisis is a once in one hundred year event. At a time like this, when so much is being asked of us, the story of Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection serves as a source of strength and hope.
Life has changed and it will continue to change in the many months ahead. Though we are separated from one another, faith teaches us we can be together in spirit, even if we are physically apart.
Every day our faith speaks to us about lives that puts others first. It answers the question put to Jesus: Who is my neighbour?. This Easter we will live that out. This Easter we are asking Australians to stay home, don’t travel, and don’t go away to holiday. That is how we can care for each other this Easter.
We have a long way to go, but we are part of an incredible country, and we are working together with an unparalleled sense of purpose, unity and co-operation.
So this Easter, we reflect and draw strength from our faith as we face the challenges of our times.
The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
The Archbishop’s Easter message is apt and brings a Christian focus to the difficulties the Corona virus brings to our lives. The Prime Minister has also taken this opportunity to bring the uniquely Christian hope of Easter into our lives in a creative way at this time.