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From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, our liturgies and the scriptures proclaimed in them take us back to Jerusalem, back to what we call the Holy Land. Our faith looks to actual people and events, to specific times and places: unless Jesus was born, died and rose again, not just as an idea, but there and then, our faith would be in vain.

So, of all the wars, famines, deaths and displacement of peoples that afflict so many sisters and brothers in our world today, we are anguished in a particular way by the horrors of what has been happening in the Holy Land. Violence has begotten more violence; and ordinary and defenceless people are being ground up in the unforgiving wheels of history, politics and the arms trade.

Our prayers for the victims of wars and for the miracle of peace can draw strength from pondering seriously what we declare in our Easter faith. God does not stand back and watch our mess and our suffering, but enters it fully in the person of the Son. He not only takes our suffering and sin on himself, but even death itself: and defeats them. His resurrection is not about God showing off his power. Because it happens in his human body, it opens the path through death, into fulness of life, for all of us.

Will we say yes?


+Michael McKenna
Bishop of Bathurst
Easter 2024