The Bishop’s Easter Message

The Bishop’s Easter Message

Holy Week began with the Entry into Jerusalem, which the Church marked in the liturgy for Palm Sunday.  In the Gospel accounts, both St Matthew and St Mark note a particular detail:  the Lord entered the Temple, cleared it out, and overturned the tables of the money-changers and pigeon-sellers (Mt 21:12, Mk 11:15).  Given that the money-changers and pigeon-sellers were part of the supporting industry for pilgrims, their misdemeanours may not seem particularly heinous, although the sanctity of the Temple clearly required greater devotion.  But the point has to do with ‘overturning the tables’, because everything after that is based on the overturning of expectations.   The triumphant entry into Jerusalem that is not what it seems; the astonishing gesture of service in the washing of feet; the sharing of bread and wine as the embodiment and perpetual re-presentation of sacrificial death, when the ‘Last Supper’ in fact becomes the First Supper of the Church, celebrated every minute of every day across the world; the annihilating experience of Good Friday, in which death itself is destroyed; the commending of the Mother of God as mother of the beloved disciple; death transformed into life; the gardener who is the risen Christ:  in all of these things, expectation is overturned, and Easter calls us again to open our minds to the infinite and wondrous capacity of the most loving God.

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