Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP’s Easter Message 2017

As I reflected on the theme of my Easter message
for this year, I thought I’d ask some of my young friends what Easter means to them. I’m interested how you keep hopeful. People
expect young people to be hopeful. It’s old guys like me that they expect to get cynical
and tired of life, but the Apostles were around your age and by the end of Holy Week, they
were disenchanted, they were disillusioned, they were lost. How do you regain
your hope, how do you maintain your hope? Easter gives me hope because it’s proof of
Heaven, and it reminds me that I’m more than what I earn or what car I drive or what clothes
I wear. Easter is proof that there’s more to life than just the now.
We’ve all journeyed together through Lent, this spiritual marathon that is Lent, and
now we’re at the party, and Easter Mass is the party, and I love a good party and I
wouldn’t want to miss it. The resurrection for me gives me a sense of
meaning in suffering, so there’s always that light to know that even if you’re going
through a hard time, there is the resurrection. It might not take three days, but it’s in
God’s will and plan. So obviously deep down in us we long for
something that’s out of this world, and seeing and feeling the resurrection happened 2000
years ago, yet we still celebrate it in 2017 must mean that there’s got to be this transcendent
or this supernatural feeling that transcends our minds and thoughts to get out of this
materialistic world that we’re living in. This liturgy is being carried out in the same
way across the whole globe, and has been doing so for the last 2000 years. I feel a real
sense of continuity, and feel like I belong to a human family, that extends beyond my immediate
family and my own immediate concerns. Christ is the light, and we need to look through Christ
to live our lives, and so for me as a young Catholic growing up in a society where we had to have
beautiful hair to be successful, to be happy. For me Easter’s a time for me to reflect on my journey,
and reflect on the things that I can work on and to be more close and intimate with Christ, to reach that
ultimate goal to be with Him in Heaven, eventually. You know I just have this real sense where,
you can come home being a young dad, you’ve got chores to do, the never-ending
battle of putting an eight month old to sleep, and in that moment you can, I can often
feel just frustrated, but when viewed from the context of the ultimate meaning of life,
it’s just filled with so much more meaning knowing that there is a hope that comes from,
you know, the promise of what Jesus has done. Easter is a reminder to forgive. Jesus was
on the Cross and He says forgive them Father for they don’t know what they’re doing, and sometimes in
my own life people hurt me and I have to remember to forgive, and if I don’t, if my heart is
hard, it puts me in the Easter tomb, almost creates a prison for myself, but forgiveness
is a way to set yourself free. I wanted to make it very different this Lent,
so it was just about going out and preaching the idea of forgiveness to people and speaking
to them that in this Lenten time, open your heart to say sorry to God for something you’ve
done wrong, but also to embrace His love at the end of Lent, and in Easter, experience
the light and be happy with the fact of knowing that you have someone there who’s forgiven
you, who knows your mistakes yet accepts you for who you are. Thank you all, that was really inspiring and I think
it’s going to help me to have a better Easter hearing from you about how we need to come
out of the tomb with Christ, the tombs of our doubts, our addictions, our unforgivingness.
Those different tombs you’ve said to me we need Christ’s help to rise from at Easter. So
you’ve given me a lot to think about. Let me give you an Easter present. As many of you know, only a year ago I was
suffering a crippling, even life-threatening condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, but by
the grace of God and the prayers of many, through the wonderful care of professionals
and support of those near to me, I have very largely recovered. It has been a very personal
foretaste of resurrection for me. I pray that there will likewise be experiences of healing
and new life, whether physical, psychological or spiritual, for all those in need, in our
families and communities this Easter. However sorely tested we may sometimes be,
Easter speaks of hope. Hope for a world of more than blind natural forces and blinding
human wilfulness, a world of no more hurt from hate or indifference. Hope for a civilisation
of life and love, a civilisation of fidelity and healing. Easter says to us: look again into the tombs
of your hurts and fears, the coffins of your guilt and grudges, the mausoleums of violence
and vice. Look beyond the emptiness to experience freedom, freshness, fulfilment. Christ is alive and ready to raise us up. We are like a vulnerable chick in an egg, an Easter
egg, waiting for liberation and new life. May you break out of your shell this Easter as Christ broke out of His tomb,
and experience with Him the joyful cry of Alleluia!

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