In this Jubilee Year of Mercy Easter takes on perhaps an even greater significance for us if that were possible. Easter is the great Festival of God’s mercy and total commitment to us. Jesus, the Christ, first born Son of our Heavenly Father, had been crucified and had died as the last blood sacrifice. He is the lamb that was slain once and for all. This in itself is an extraordinary state of affairs. This is not a sacrifice by us to God but rather God’s self-sacrifice in his Son for us, for our salvation. So the Easter gift of the resurrection is quite overwhelming. God, who is more forgiving than the prodigal son’s Father, and who, like Jesus his son, has the right to cast the first condemnatory stone does not. He forgives us for the death of his son by giving him back to us in the resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Ours is not the God of vengeance but the God of mercy; a God who sees no point in violence, heavy-handed power play or domination. He is rather as we heard back at the beginning of Lent, “The God of compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy”.
We welcome to our parish as full members all those who received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. Please welcome them and support them as they get used to celebrating with us in full the “Awesome [true use of that word rather than modern usage!] Mysteries” of God’s love in the Mass. Many others will be received into fully-confirmed membership of the Church as adults, young and old, over the Easter period. These folk are all a great sign to us of the vitality of our communion in Christ and the witness we give to the Gospel.
God bless you, your families, and the week ahead.
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ