Dear Parish family and friends of St James,
The Easter story does not end with Mary in grief. It tells us of her encounter with the Risen Lord who calls out her name and sends her out on a mission of proclaiming to others the Good News of the Resurrection. Perhaps we too need to hear our names called and our personal relationship with the Lord affirmed. In the midst of our despair and uncertainty, we need to hear the affirmation of our Lord with crystal clarity: “Be not afraid.”
Be not afraid to die to that which is not worthy of Christ, that which is like the old wineskins unable to contain the new wine God is pouring. We as a church—the people of God—must constantly pattern ourselves on the death and resurrection of Christ.
As we mourn the death of the old ways of being church, we are not without hope. The risen Christ shows us the way forward. He also empowers us to be agents of change and partners with him in the furtherance of God’s reign.
God’s way often involves the pain of letting go, of beginning again, of going forward with hope and trust. The Church needs to die to that which is not of Christ in order to rise again to all that Christ and his Gospel stand for.
- We need to die to a worldly culture of power, dominance and privilege and rise to the Gospel-inspired culture of simplicity, vulnerability and powerlessness;
- We need to die to being an experience of exclusion and condemnation and rise to being an encounter of radical love, inclusiveness and solidarity;
- We need to die to worldly trappings, triumphalism, clericalism and rising again to the power of the vulnerable trust, servant-leadership, discipleship of humble service.
As Paulist Missionaries we were reminded of this in the writings of our founder Joseph De Piro when he insisted that we were to be servants of the poor and for the poor. To abandon our culture of comfort and reach out to those most in need.
Let us endeavour to live the rhythm of Christ dying and rising in the Church and in all facets of our lives.
Then we can be certain that the loving God will bring about renewal and transformation as he brought Jesus Christ to life from the dead.
Happy Easter to all!
Fr Jude Pirotta mssp