Fr. Aidan Writes:
There was a very famous sermon by an English Anglican priest who connected the wood of the
manger, in which Jesus lay at his birth, with the wood of the cross, upon which he died. Easter and Christmas are of course inextricably linked. This year, rather than the wood of the Cross, I want to explore one of the titles Jesus is given at Christmas. Jesus is hailed by the prophets and the angels as the Prince of Peace, and yet he dies an ignominious death. That does not seem to fit the prophecy. But of course it fits the intent of Jesus. His “royalty” is that of the suffering King who sacrifices himself for the salvation of his people. This is what true leadership is about, sacrifice for the benefit of those you lead and love.
At a time of great concern over the war in Ukraine – and let’s not call it the Ukrainian war because they didn’t start it – we must really look at the leadership that is being displayed. A despot has decided he wants someone else’s land and invades it for his own vainglory. He sends in the infantry – the young men and women of “His” land — to get it for him. He is not sacrificing himself for his people; he is sacrificing his own people and the innocents of Ukraine for his own power grab. This is a scenario that has been played out again and again throughout all of history. The “Big-man” or the “Strong-man” approach, that at first seems to get things done, always ends in corruption and the lust for more power, with an arrogant disregard for life and for anyone or anything that gets in its way. That is why the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, to win over the evil of sin and death, is so revolutionary and lasting; because the reward is resurrection. His followers share in the glory of that leadership because they no longer need to fear the power of evil, if they just repent and follow the law of love. Let the glory of Easter lead to true and lasting peace.
On behalf of all the parish team, I wish you all a very Holy Easter!
God bless, Fr Aidan-Peter CJ
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter