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Easter Message from the International Chaplain 2023

Easter mess age 2023 from Archbishop Malcolm McMahon – International Chaplain

As the evenings become brighter and there is sunshine in early morning, I notice life in my garden here at Archbishop’s House. The various birds and animals that make their homes in the trees and in the flowerbeds seem to be more alive. My garden took on a greater significance for me during the pandemic. It was a place I could walk and sit down in the fresh air.

The annual feast of Easter reminds us so much of those things of the garden where the Lord was buried. It seemed that the darkness of Good Friday would eclipse all in its shade as Jesus was placed in the tomb, which was sealed, such darkness is felt in Ukraine and in other parts of the world where there is war, violence, and suffering. The quietness of that feast of Passover which is described as ‘when the King sleeps’ reminds us of the silence of helplessness and death present in all our lives.

But the garden also reminds of us the new and abundant life that bursts forth on Easter Day, the life which cannot be put back in the tomb.

The life of Jesus, poured into each of us in our baptism is a reason for hope this Easter Day. As we continue to see so much uncertainty in the political sphere, both local and global, we are called to return to the source, to the risen Jesus, who reminds us that there will be suffering, but ultimately glory; the glory of the life of God given to each of us in His son, Jesus Christ.

The glory given to us is the culmination of a journey – a journey of hope. The disciples hoped for the Messiah and found him in Jesus, yet their journey wasn’t an easy one. They experienced that darkness of Good Friday and felt lost as their hope turned to despair, as their lives were turned upside down. Yet, three days later on Easter morning their lives were completely transformed as the tomb was empty and the risen Lord was truly with them again.

It is hope which is part of the journey of so many – refugees and asylum seekers longing for peace, safety and a better life – may we welcome them with the peace of the risen Christ. May we bring light to the darkness of the people of Ukraine and join with them in their hope for peace and may our own journey lead us to give hope to the lonely, those who mourn, those in poverty and the oppressed.

May we welcome the light of the Risen Christ into the darkness of our lives so that we can see what hope his call holds for us and on this great feast of Easter let us remember that Jesus has won the victory and extends life to all.

May the Risen Lord touch our hearts and lives with His hope, peace, and life this Easter Day.

Archbishop Malcolm McMahon – International Chaplain
Archbishop of Liverpool

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