Christ’s resurrection ‘brings hope in the midst of despair’

Bishop Alan has sent Easter blessings to parishes and people across the diocese. “I wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter,” he said.

“Easter is the greatest Christian feast – which is celebrated for the next eight days, the Easter octave. It is a wonderful feast, a wonderful time.”

He quoted the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The Paschal Mystery of Christ’s Cross and Resurrection stands at the centre of the Good News we are to proclaim to the world: “Easter is not simply one feast among others, but the ‘Feast of feasts’, the ‘Solemnity of solemnities’, just as the Eucharist is the ‘Sacrament of sacraments’ (the Great Sacrament). St. Athanasius calls Easter ‘the Great Sunday’ and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week ‘the Great Week’. The mystery of the Resurrection, in which Christ crushed death, permeates with its powerful energy our old time, until all is subjected to him.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church 1169].

He added: “Jesus suffered, died on the Cross and, on Easter Sunday, was raised for our sakes. God’s answer to life’s suffering was the resurrection of Christ.”

“In today’s world we are surrounded by warfare, injustice and great poverty,” he said, “but Christians try to believe that somehow there can be hope in the midst of despair. With Jesus Christ, we believe that life triumphs eventually over death and over suffering. When we are bewildered, when we are searching, we find meaning in the Easter story.”

On Easter Monday Bishop Alan will join the HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes as chaplain to Group 192 (Southend/Shoebury).

He said: “I assure you of my continued prayers for all in the diocese during my time in Lourdes. Wishing you many blessings in the crucified and Risen Lord.”