Archbishop’s Easter Message 2017
In recent days two Coptic Christian Churches have been bombed near Cairo. This terror attack killed dozens of people and injured nearly 60 others. It seems that this terror attack was initiated purely for motives of an anti-Christian nature. Pope Francis prayed, “May the Lord convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.’
This happened at the start of Holy Week, the principal liturgical week for all Christians. It indicates that the suffering and death of Christians continues in imitation of Jesus two thousand years ago.
Pope Francis’ prayer goes to the “heart” of the matter. It is only the change of attitudes that ultimately can effect the change of sinful structures in society. Conversion of hearts from hatred to peace is the ultimate prayer of intercession of us all in these precious times. It is the beginning point of our shared hope that the future will bring forth the practical harvest of joy and mutual respect in society.
Christians believe that in Jesus Christ this journey to peace has already been won yet still not fully realised in our world. The Resurrection of Jesus from the brutality of his death on the Calvary Cross is THE sign of God’s ultimate victory over the terror of the night. It is the cause of our Easter shout of ALLELUIA – Praise the Lord!
We may be limited in our immediate practical response to the tragedy of this Egyptian terror attack. However, this Easter we can reach out to our families and those we know who are struggling and be people of hope and peace. Let us start by the conversion of our attitudes from selfishness to the planting of the seeds of a generous societal heart.
Archbishop Christopher Prowse
Catholic Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn