Easter Day rings out with a type of celebration which we often find difficult – and understandably. The death of those whom we love and know leaves us bereft and wandering in darkness and loneliness. Yet Easter speaks confidently and with celebration of the way in which Jesus Christ has overcome death and has opened the gate of everlasting life. This is a bold and loving claim. It transforms not only life but even death through resurrection.
The angel who spoke to the women at the tomb asked them to go quickly and tell the disciples: He has been raised from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. So the Collect for Easter Day tells us today and every day that the grace of God, with equal urgency and realism, goes ahead of us and fills our minds with the longing for good things.
This is a powerful encouragement to courage itself. Courage is not always about something dramatic. It needs the qualities of constancy and continuity. The Collect for Easter Day goes on to give substance to what happens in our minds – namely that we call on God’s grace to bring those good desires to good effect. In other words, thinking of the thing is not enough; you and I need to want to do it for other people and for ourselves – and then to go and do it.
The Season of Easter pours out its blessing on us until the Day of Pentecost. And then the Spirit of Christ takes the love of God out into the world from the church. Let us rejoice and resound today with the Alleluias which once again find their voice after the restraints of Lent.
Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Most Rev. Dr. Michael Jackson
Archbishop of Dublin