Bishop's Easter Message for 2014
On the first Easter Sunday, according to John’s Gospel, Mary Magdalene stays at the empty tomb, weeping. Someone speaks to her. “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” She thinks it must be the gardener, until he calls her “Mary”. She looks up and it is Jesus. In her joy at seeing him alive she must have grasped hold of him. But he tells her “Do not cling to me.”
He is telling her that something new is happening. The Resurrection has changed everything. This means that his followers will now relate to him in a new way. And they will live in a new way, confident that the resurrection of the body is their future, too.
“Do not cling to me.” Another way of saying it is “Let go.” It sums up a basic part of becoming a Christian. Our human tendency is to hold on to what has been good for us. We cling to things, to ways of operating and thinking, even people, well beyond the moment when we should have let go. It is not easy to release our grasp. It is possible when we believe that it will free us to receive something better
Our journey as Christians together, which we call the Church, goes through these times of needing to let go of what has been good for us, so that God can give us something better. We fear it will be painful, and sometimes it is. It is a moment that tests our trust in God, and God’s way of building and renewing that trust.
May the grace of the Easter season fill your hearts with new faith in God, whose plans for us are, as the prophet Jeremiah said, peace and not disaster. Christ is risen!
+ Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst