Easter Day has dawned, a day like no other. A day filled with joy so great that we cannot begin to describe it. In these last days as we have remembered the events of the holiest week of the year we have experienced every human emotion: triumph, betrayal, suffering, pain, and desolation. Our remembrance goes back 2,000 years and yet those emotions are very much alive in our world; in our lives today.
The joy that the resurrection of Jesus brought to his followers is also alive for us today. It is a joy that will never end. I was privileged to attend the funeral of Sir Ken Dodd last week in Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral: one emotion, one word which shone through his life was happiness. He sang, ‘I thank the Lord that I’ve been blessed with more than my share of happiness.’ Today we feel our own happiness as we celebrate the resurrection, and yet it is only a shadow of the happiness which is to come, which the risen Lord wants for us.
Ken would wish people ‘happiness always’ and that is what we have today. Through the resurrection of Jesus we know that death has been conquered and that we are assured of an eternal life, a happiness the like of which we have never experienced before, one which will last for ever.
The journey which is Holy Week reminds us of the trials of life through which we will rise to life. Through the Cross Jesus has drawn all people to himself and through his resurrection he has transformed our lives and given us all the gift of eternal happiness.
If we let the light of the risen Christ into our lives and those of our families it will bring an inner peace and happiness as we experience the mercy of God in the ordinary things of life.
May the risen Lord bless us all during this Easter Season.
Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP