This week, in place of the Dean’s Weekly Message, we are sharing an Easter Message from the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool. The Dean’s Message will return next week.
Whether we recognise it or not our lives have been changed for ever by the Risen Lord at Easter. All too often we fail to see the good things of life when they are right in front of us, it may be the joy which other people can bring us, or it could be something we see in the beauty of the world around us, particularly as new life comes to us in spring time after the darkness of the winter months.
On the first Easter morning Mary of Magdala stayed outside the empty tomb weeping. She was grieving, mourning the death of Jesus. It was the end of everything that she had hoped for and believed in. Her Lord had been crucified and buried, now his body had been taken. As she wept a man came up to her and said, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?’ Mary didn’t recognise the man and thought he was the gardener, she said, ‘Sir, if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and remove him.’ Then the man looked at her and said, ‘Mary’ and at that point she recognised him as Jesus, the Risen Lord.
In that instant Mary’s life changed, all she had hoped for came true, and in the most unexpected way. She didn’t recognise Jesus, she even thought he was the gardener, and then she knew him. ‘It was very early on the first day of the week and still dark, when Mary of Magdala came to the tomb’, and with the dawn the darkness of her own life was transformed for ever. If we can hear the Risen Lord saying our name, our lives can be transformed too.
We live in difficult times. These last weeks and months have been filled with uncertainty and division. Political indecision and financial insecurity lead us to worry about the future for ourselves and for our families. We need the light to keep us going and give us hope. Real hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus, otherwise it is just optimism. The trouble with optimism is that it is just a desire for things to get better and is really only wishful thinking. Hope says that they will get better because Jesus has risen from the dead, and that hope is given to us too. So why not enjoy this season of Easter by looking for signs of new life and resurrection in the ordinary things we encounter every day. You will be surprised by what you see, your faith will be enriched, and it will be fun.