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“For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” 1 John

The call of Easter is always the same and yet it is always relevant and new – the season calls us to that constant question ‘how well am I loving others?’

The narrative of the death and resurrection of Jesus is full of different characters that are there to help us reflect on ourselves. The tragic figure of Judas reminds of the times when we betray and then are caught up in our guilt and negativity – Judas’ story shows us a figure so locked in his negativity that there is no way out for him. In contrast, the character of Peter shows us the same story of betrayal but one that can accept his guilt and instead throws himself on God’s mercy rather than locking himself in a world of pain. The figure of Mary standing at the foot of the cross reminds us of the fidelity that we are all capable of if we have the courage to reach out in trust to God and to hope. The journey of Jesus through the story of Holy Week is full of the key motifs of our faith – the one who endures injustice, yet overcomes; the man of gentleness who is victimised, yet triumphs; the story of a death that is not the end – the eternal story of hope, renewing and calling us on.

What does this story have to say to us today – ‘Do not despair, love will see us through’. Our world at the moment seems a bleak and negative place as the various world leaders allow their egos to rule us. The challenge of Easter is to say that hate and injustice is never acceptable, and we must stand up with the Risen Jesus against what is wrong. The terrible story of bloodshed in the recent Florida shooting casts a pall over us all, yet the young people in the USA, standing up and demanding change, is the Easter story writ large for us all to see and engage with today. In our families we are being called to remember that Jesus’ death and resurrection is the pattern of what it means to love, resurrection and new life will come. In our day to day relationships, Easter calls us to be authentic, to be hopeful, and to see the potential for growth all around us.

Let us pray for one another this Easter that we may be more and more conscious of the presence of Jesus with us.

Mr Tim Kenny – Dean of Identity