The Resurrection of Jesus from the dead that we celebrate on Easter Day and throughout the Easter season is for Christians the bedrock of our hope in Him. Because Jesus rose from the dead we too can hope for resurrection.
The Christian virtue of hope is not to be confused with optimism. Being optimistic about the future, always expecting the best in days to come may well be a good attitude to life but it is not necessarily what Christians call hope. Hope enables us to place our trust in Christ’s promises and therefore we rely not on our own strength but on the help and grace of the Holy Spirit. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews tells us that hope is the ‘sure and steadfast anchor of the soul that goes where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf’ (Heb. 6:19-20).
Today we face much uncertainty in our lives, and we need the virtue of hope as we confront the coronavirus around the world. At an international level the peace of the world is fragile and the future for many people depends on our leaders negotiating meaningful and enduring treaties. The spreading of the coronavirus and wild-fires in many continents serve to remind us of our vulnerability and dependence on God. Closer to home we are constantly challenged how we can serve our Lord in the world. We often struggle with the changes in society that affect employment and the education and health of our families, and all these are severely affected by the virus. We are losing loved ones, our churches are closed, we are becoming poorer as we use our savings, our health services are strained and our children have been sent home from school. All these things can weigh heavily on us at times, but Easter is the moment to rekindle our hope in the future. Easter is the time to renew our hope so that we can find our way through all the difficulties and pressures of life to true peace and happiness in Christ.
May the Spirit of the Risen Jesus fill your lives with hope and joy.
Archbishop of Liverpool
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