We know that, following the seismic events of Good Friday, the first disciples were now fearful, uncertain and deeply puzzled as to where their future might lie. But Easter transformed them into people of hope in Jesus Christ who brought that hope to those around them, and through them to the furthest reaches of the known world. But how?
Yes, there was the confidence that physical death could no longer grip them with fear, but also a deeper conviction that, through the power of Christ, good would indeed ultimately win definitive victory over fear and evil. Does Easter do that for us? Can we truly call ourselves “Easter people”?
Regardless of personal opinions on the various crises in Ireland, Britain, Europe and throughout the world, no reasonable person can seriously doubt the levels of anxiety, anger and divisiveness that are corroding human relationships within and through society and even within close-knit families. We must not only pray for the healing of relationships. We must also work fearlessly as “Easter people” for the restoration of hope and good relationships with one another and within a wider society.
Saint Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, writes that he wants to know for himself the power of Christ’s resurrection. The Greek word he uses for “power” is dunamis, from which we get the word “dynamic”, and even “dynamite”. This Easter power is something immensely energetic and powerful, not simply an intellectual assent to the truth of the resurrection of Christ. In the power – the dunamis – of Christ’s resurrection, we are Christian disciples, called to bring hope and purpose into our own lives and into the lives of others. We can do this by our generous love and unflagging courage in words and actions, in our sense of positive purpose and in our adamant refusal just to let things happen.
Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh