Fr Jude’s Easter Message 2017


Fr Jude’s Easter Message 2017

Love is the eye!

As I reflect on my own life and the importance of further developing my relationship with the Risen Lord, I become more aware that God never forces Himself to the extent of taking away my freedom. He is never a coercive force.

Nowhere is this more evident than in what is revealed in the resurrection of Jesus. The Gospels assure us that, like his birth, the resurrection was physical, real, and not just some alteration in the consciousness of believers. After the resurrection, we are assured that Jesus’ tomb was empty: people could touch him, he ate food with them. He was not a ghost.

After He rose from the dead, Jesus was seen by some and not by others; understood by some and not by others. Some got his meaning and it changed their lives profoundly. Others were indifferent to Him, worse still others refused to believe and hardened their hearts against Him and His followers. They tried to destroy its truth.

I often ask, why the difference? What makes some see the resurrection while others do not? What lets some understand the mystery and embrace it, while others are left in indifference or hatred? Hugo of St Victor used to say “Love is the eye!” When we look at anything through the eyes of love, we see more clearly, understand more deeply, and are able to fully grasp its mystery. The reverse is also true. When we look at anything through eyes that are jaded, cynical, jealous or bitter, we will see with eyes that are obscure and unclear: we will not understand and we will not properly capture its mystery. We return to the tomb, wrapped in our death cloths.

This was evident in how the Gospel of John describes the events of Easter Sunday. Jesus has risen, but it is only the person who is driven by love – Mary of Magdala – goes out in search of Him. The others remain as they are: locked inside their own world. But love seeks out its Beloved, and Mary of Magdala goes out, spices in hand, wanting at least to embalm His dead body. On discovering the empty tomb, she returns to tell Peter and the beloved disciple what she has found. They both race off together towards the tomb, but the beloved disciple who outruns Peter and gets to the tomb first, doesn’t enter: he waits for Peter (the symbol of authority) to go in first. Peter enters but doesn’t understand. The beloved disciple – love – enters, sees and understands. Love grasps the mystery. Love is the eye: it is what lets us see and understand the resurrection, and that is why, after the resurrection, some saw Jesus and others did not. Those with the eyes of love see and understand.

May all our parishioners at St James persevere with eyes that love so that they may experience the many resurrection moments in their lives. I wish you and your families the peace and mercy of the Risen Lord this Easter. Thank you to all who assisted in preparing and celebrating for the Holy Week and Easter liturgies, especially the Parish Staff who continue to make a wonderful contribution to serving our community, as do many generous and committed volunteers in our thriving parish at all levels, ages and stages. Gratitude goes especially at this time to those who helped make the Easter celebrations more life-giving, and all who participated: the Parish Council, Altar Servers, Carpenter’s Club, Environment Helpers (both outside and inside the Church), Music Ministry, Ushers, Carparking Attendants, Liturgical Ministers, Counters, Youth Ministry, RCIA Team, those who donated chocolates for the community, people working behind the scenes and all who have been involved. We say a heartfelt thank you to all: we couldn’t manage without you. We are always looking for new ideas to keep our liturgies vibrant, meaningful, and reaching out to all.

Yours in the Resurrection, Jude Pirotta.


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